Julio Rodriguez running with Al Roy Race

Julio Rodriguez #44 of the Seattle Mariners celebrates hitting a single home run in the first innings against the Texas Rangers at T-Mobile Park on July 26, 2022 in Seattle, Washington.
(Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

Seattle Mariners took a bold step at the start of the season to add Julio Rodriguez in their opening day roster.

The 21-year-old played 46 games in Double-A in 2021 and the chances of being called up in the minors with that small sample size are rare.

Rodriguez is just no prospect though.

He is a generation after generation player who has taken MLB by storm in his very first season.

Despite being named to his first All-Star team in July, the first months of his career presented some growing pains.

In April, Rodriguez batted .205 with zero home runs, scored six runs and struck 30 strikes for seven walks.

Yet he found ways to contribute through his great defense and nine stolen bases.

According to statcastHis 29.6 sprint speed ranks 15th in MLB.

Then in May, the J-Rod Show took on MLB as the rookie posted a .309 average with six home runs, 17 RBIs and five stolen bases.

He also added nine multi-hit games during the month.

His June and July were just as good, scoring 12 home runs and 34 runs in those months as he rose to the top of the Mariners’ batting line-up.

Rodriguez has finally settled on his own in the big leagues and his success has helped position the Mariners to make it post-season for the first time since 2001.

J-Rod leads to a crowded field

Rodriguez is well ahead of the ground for the AL Rookie of the Year trophy, but other contenders are in the running.

Bobby Vitto Junior, Jeremy PenaAnd Adley Ratshman Good weather is going on.

But the effect that Rodriguez is having, it is not affecting anyone.

The Mariners’ center fielder leads all rookies in the WAR with 4.0 points, home runs with 18, and RBIs with 59.

Not to mention that he became the youngest player to be named to the All-Star team.

He also competed in the home run derby and had one of the best performances we’ve ever seen in the competition before we lost john soto in the final.

Star power usually plays a role in award voting, and there are no bigger stars in MLB than Rodriguez.

Rodriguez was always expected to be good (a top five prospect in baseball), but being that good is too soon a setback.

He is a true five-tool player.

He is seventh in the league in stolen bases with 21, despite recently coming out of an IL stint.

It would come as no surprise to see him with several 30-30 seasons throughout his career.

According to Covers.comJ-Rod is a huge betting favorite to bring home the Roy Trophy.

He is a -600 favorite well ahead of the rest of the contenders.

In a league that struggles to market its players, Rodriguez is a must-watch TV.

As long as the 21-year-old can stay healthy, we should see him not only win the ROY award, but also help get Seattle back into the playoffs.

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