The two Dominican Republic natives are longtime friends who both hail from the city of Cotui. They anchored Low-A Modesto’s lineup for most of the year. And in September, they were simultaneously promoted to High-A Everett.
Marte is widely regarded as one of baseball’s top prospects, but the less heralded Rodriguez is starting to make a name for himself, too.
Rodriguez is a lefthanded hitter who turned 21 in October. In 93 games for Modesto he hit .295/.383/.484 with 10 home runs, 30 doubles and 13 stolen bases. The Mariners added him to their 40-man roster on Nov. 19 to protect him from the Rule 5 draft.
The Blue Jays signed Rodriguez in 2017 and he attained all-star status in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League in 2019. The Mariners acquired him as the player to be named when they traded Taijuan Walker to Toronto in 2020.
Rodriguez got off to a slow start in 2021, batting just .167 over his first 30 games. But in mid June, he flipped the switch.
From that point on, Rodriguez slashed an eye-catching .332/.394/.531 with 37 extra-base hits over his final 70 games.
That included a scorching August that earned him Low-A West player of the month honors in which he hit .374 with a 1.018 OPS in 22 games.
Over the course of his three professional seasons, Rodriguez has demonstrated strong plate discipline. He has a career 11.3% walk rate and a 20.6% strikeout rate.
Rodriguez’s biggest development has been a surge in power. After hitting just two home runs in 47 games in the GCL, he blasted 10 homers in 2021.
Rodriguez has barely gotten his feet wet in High-A. But the Mariners’ decision to protect him from the Rule 5 draft is surely a vote of confidence in the young slugger’s potential.
— Hard-throwing 22-year-old righthanded reliever Andres Muñoz signed a four-year extension with the Mariners, the club announced Dec. 1. The deal is reportedly worth a total of $7.5 million. Muñoz, a native of Mexico, made his MLB debut with the Padres in July 2019 and appeared in 22 games with San Diego that season. He had Tommy John surgery in March 2020 and was acquired by the Mariners that August. Muñoz made three appearances with Triple-A Tacoma in 2021 and pitched in the Mariners’ Oct. 3 season finale, touching 101 mph in a 17-pitch outing.
— The Mariners dealt lefthander Ray Kerr and outfielder Corey Rosier to the Padres in their Nov. 27 trade for all-star second baseman Adam Frazier. Kerr, a hard-throwing 27-year-old reliever, posted a 3.18 ERA with 60 strikeouts and 16 walks in 39.2 innings this season with Double-A Arkansas and Triple-A Tacoma. Prior to the trade, Kerr was added to the Mariners’ 40-man roster for Rule 5 draft protection. Rosier, a 22-year-old lefthanded-hitting outfielder, slashed .390/.461/.585 in 31 games with Low-A Modesto after being selected in the 12th round of the 2021 draft.