2022 Key Mariners Moments: All-Star Weekend
As we go through the key moments of the Seattle Mariner’s 2022, the first one we looked at was that of the brawl orchestrated on June 26, 2022, against the Los Angeles Angels. The next key moment of the season was the All-Star break and its festivities.
The 2022 All-Star game was a key point in the Mariner’s season as it proved that the star of Julio Rodríguez was growing and being recognized. Alongside Rodríguez, Ty France was named an All-Star representative of the Mariners, and the two went to play together on the big stage in the bright lights of Los Angeles.
Julio got the most out of his break, competing in the 2022 Home Run Derby as the No. 6 seed. While he did not win, he stole the show and the legend of his name was built to a national audience.
The team was riding the franchise’s second-longest win streak and looking like one of the hottest teams in baseball, playing their way deep into the playoff picture. That win streak is the next key ‘moment’ that I will cover in this series, coming later in the offseason.
All-Star weekend is integral to the story of the 2022 Mariners season, as it was right at the tail-end of their hottest period of play overall. It showed the world that Julio and France were legit players and showcased the best the Pacific Northwest offers in terms of talent.
Mariners Team Momentum
As previously mentioned, the team was riding 14 straight wins, and actively pushed the longest in franchise history. The wins were racking up and at the break, the team was sitting at a record of 51-42, on pace for about 89 wins.
Two players led that charge into winning baseball, Julio and France, who were selected to represent the team in the All-Star game.
Ty and Julio
France, at the break, was slashing .308/.376/.470 with 11 Home Runs and 49 RBI, good for an OPS of .846. He was also worth 2.1 WAR up to that point of the season from his play at the plate and in the field, according to MLB.
Julio, on the other hand, was only the sixth rookie in franchise history to be named an All-Star, joining the likes of Ruppert Jones, Matt Young, Alvin Davis, Ichiro, and Michael Pineda, According to Seattle Times (paywall).
When he was named an All-Star, he was slashing .274/.335/.480 with 15 HR, 43 RBI, and 21 stolen bases, which was good for a .815 OPS and 3.0 WAR, which was tied for 14th in all of MLB.
Home Run Derby Fireworks
Julio, not satisfied with just being an All-Star, brought the house down in his Home Run Derby performance. Coming in as the No. 6 seed, the rookie made it to the finals in impressive fashion.
In the first round, he took down No. 3 seed Corey Seager as he hit 32 bombs to the Rangers shortstop’s 24. His 32 home runs were also the fourth most in a single round of the derby. In round two, he took down the No. 2 seed in Pete Alonso as he hit 31 to the Mets’ first baseman’s 23. Despite falling in the final round to Juan Soto, Julio’s 81 total home runs were the second-most all-time behind Vladamir Guerrero Jr.’s 91 in 2019.
With Seattle playing host to the 2023 All-Star game, fans can hope that Julio can bring the same energy in his ballpark, preferably with a couple of friends by his side.