Julio Rodríguez couldn’t get the words out.
When listening to the familiar, but at the same time surprising voice of his father, Julio Sr., the young Dominican and 5th best MLB prospect I couldn’t believe what was happening. He got up, took a few steps, and adjusted his sweater before giving his father a big, effusive hug.
“He was afraid of the flight. My mom loves airplanes, but he was scared of her. This is the first time he has flown to the United States, ”the 20-year-old prospect said on Saturday. “They gave me a tremendous surprise. I really didn’t know what was coming. He said, ‘Oh, it’s that with work and everything’, and he comes and introduces himself like this … “
Young Rodríguez paused briefly before hugging his father again.
Later, their mother, Yasmín Reyes, joined them. The outfielder was already grateful because he knew she was going to attend the SiriusXM All-Star Futures. But this was another level.
“Having them both here, the two people who have supported me the most, brother, this is something very special,” said Rodríguez.
The Mariners’ No. 2 prospect has had some good news in recent weeks. Rodríguez was selected to be part of the Dominican Republic team that won the ticket to the Olympic Games, was chosen for the Futures Games and also promoted to Double-A Arkansas.
When Rodríguez was growing up in Loma de Cabrera, he and his father watched the now traditional game of baseball’s best prospects every year and dreamed that one day he could play there.
And now, not only did the outfielder see action at the Futures Game, but his parents were on the stand to support him, the first time they had seen him play in the United States.
“I am excited to play. I am literally more excited to play now, ”Rodríguez had said before the match. “I definitely wanted to come before all this, but now that I have you both here, even more so.”
With their son serving as interpreter for both of them, both Julio Sr. and Reyes expressed how important it was for them to be present at such a great moment.
“It really is very special to have them here,” said the minor league player.
Rodríguez kept smiling and shook his head from side to side while hugging his parents.
“We are here,” he told them.