Julio Rodriguez. Goodness, kid. The dude is so impressive. Just 21 years old, and he is already building quite a reputation and trophy case. He’s already won ROY from many publications that hand out some form of the award and looks to be the frontrunner for the official MLB award that comes out on November 14th. He brought home another award on November 10th, earning his first Silver Slugger.
Julio joined Mike Trout and Aaron Judge as one of the three outfield award winners. Think about that group. You’ve got Judge, who put up one of the most impressive offensive seasons of all time. Mike Trout, who if he can stay healthy, will have an argument for The GOAT. Then, Julio, who just put up an all-time impressive season for a 21-year-old rookie.
Julio Rodriguez joined a shortlist of Mariners to win the Silver Slugger
Since the award debuted in 1980, six Mariners had won the award. Oddly enough, there are no one-time winners (before Julio) for the M’s.
- Ken Griffey Jr. – 7
- Edgar Martinez – 5
- Alex Rodriguez – 4
- Ichiro Suzuki – 3
- Bret Boone – 2
- Nelson Cruz – 2
If 2022 was any indicator, Julio is quickly going to climb that list. With the contract that he signed with the Mariners, I don’t think it’s too foolish of a statement to say that Julio could easily surpass Griffey as the leading award winner in Mariners history.
Check out some of the standout statistics from Julio’s season. These are impressive numbers for a player in general. Someone in their 7th season who is a fully-fledged veteran. Yet Julio put together these AL OF numbers as a baby-faced 21-year-old.
- 3rd in AL OF in bWAR – 6.0
- T-5th in HR
- T-3rd in SB
- 3rd in SLG
- 3rd in OPS
Think that’s it? Here are some more accomplishments that he managed this season.
- Baseball America, Sporting News, AND Players Choice ROY
- 3rd Mariners player 21 or younger to be an All-Star (Griffey and A-Rod)
- DOMINATED the HR Derby, putting on one of the best shows ever (2nd place)
- 97th percentile in Sprint Speed and 95th in Hard hit. Only Trout was 95/95
- Fastest player to 25 HR + 25 SB in MLB history, doing so in just 125 games
- Only player in their debut season to have 25 HR + 25 SB
- Signed possibly the largest contract in MLB history
- Led the Mariners to the playoffs, breaking the drought
- Played above-average defense in CF after not really playing CF before
Sure, some of those are just fun things, but they are all true and impressive. Julio has won his first Silver Slugger award, and might just need to build an entire room to start housing the awards that he is starting to amass. He doesn’t turn 22 until December, and we’ve got literal decades left to watch Julio Rodriguez prove that he might be one of the most talented baseball players to ever stop on the MLB diamond.