31/05/2021 - 05/06/2021

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Baseball Americas Qualifier 2021 - Official Payoff

DR's Julio Rodriguez playing for country and for shot at Olympics the 'most special baseball I’ve ever played in my life'

DR's Julio Rodriguez playing for country and for shot at Olympics the 'most special baseball I’ve ever played in my life'
07/06/2021
"If we go to Tokyo, I will represent my country," says J-Rod. "I definitively will be playing in Tokyo...you will see me playing in this uniform."

Seattle Mariners top prospect Julio Rodriguez was one of the most exciting players to watch at the WBSC Baseball Americas Qualifier in Florida. During a press conference after the Dominican topped Canada this past Saturday, the 20-year old Dominican right fielder said it was a unique experience for him to play for the Dominican Republic National Baseball Team and for a shot to go the Olympics. “It will live forever with me,” he said.

Rodriguez says he's all-in for the Olympic Games, if his team qualifies. "I will be available, we just have to talk to my [pro] club. I am available to continue with the country," Rodríguez said, as his team awaited the result from the Venezuela-USA contest. "If [the US loses and] we go to Tokyo, I will represent my country. I will definitively be playing in Tokyo. You will see me playing in this uniform."

Rodriguez was impressive at the WBSC Baseball Americas Qualifier, hitting .458 with 2 homers and 7 RBI, and was one of the key players for a Dominican team that finished with a 4-1 overall record, which gives his country another chance to qualify for the Olympics via the WBSC Baseball Final Qualifier in Puebla, Mexico.

On Saturday, MLB's No. 3 prospect drove in the winning run in the decisive match against Canada, which guaranteed his country at least a spot in the final Olympic qualifier and put the team in position for a three-way tie for first place with Venezuela and USA. “It was the biggest hit of my career,” the right fielder recognised. “It felt different. Representing my country is just the most special baseball I’ve ever played in my life. It’s just a different feeling. It's the most special moment of my life."

The US eventually claimed the Olympic ticket in Florida, topping Venezuela Saturday night, 4-2, to end any thought of a three-way tie between the Dominican Republic, the US and Venezuela.

But the baseball world will be anticipating J-Rod's next appearance with the Dominican National Team as well as his big league career.