It’s Major League Baseball award season, and Mariner superstar Julio Rodriguez keeps hearing his name called. Thus far, he’s earned an American League Silver Slugger Award, Baseball America Major League Rookie of the Year, The Sporting News AL Rookie of the Year, the Players Choice Awards’ American League Outstanding Rookie, and Baseball Digest AL Rookie of the Year in 2022.
The steady stream of awards shouldn’t be a surprise, as Rodriguez hammered 28 home runs, stole 25 bases, and amassed 6.2 WAR at the ripe age of 21. The Dominican outfielder also finished seventh in the AL MVP voting.
The Awards just keep coming for Julio Rodriguez
Another trophy is headed Rodriguez’s way, as he was just named to the All-MLB Second Team, which is a fantastic accomplishment considering the talent roaming MLB outfields. Rodriguez edged out Juan Soto, Byron Buxton, and Michael Harris III for the award. All-MLB, which began in 2019, is more competitive than most league-specific awards because this award recognizes the best in the game at their position taking into account all aspects of the game (power, defense, speed).
Rodriguez might not have led in any categories, but he impacted the game on both sides. According to Fangraphs, he amassed a 146 wRC+, which was good for ninth in the league. He also was nine outs above average in center field, a position he was learning on the fly. His ability makes a mark in all facets of the game, and his aptitude for harnessing the moment was evident all season.
There is no doubt Rodriguez had a whirlwind rookie year, which seemed to crest at the MLB All-Star Game and Home Run Derby. He used that event as a springboard into a massive second half with gaudy statistics and a face of the franchise vibe that helped push the team into the playoffs. Here’s to an even better 2023, Jrod!