The Seattle Mariners had three breakout stars in 2022 including Julio Rodriguez, Cal Raleigh, and George Kirby. Each of these players took a while to finally hit their stride in 2022. For Julio, he broke out of an April/March slump where he hit just .206 and no HR to hitting .297 and 28 HR for the rest of the season. Julio’s power surge started in Miami on May 1st when he hit his first big league HR off Sandy Alcantara. He collected a Rookie of the Year award, a 2022 All-Star appearance, and was 2022 HR Derby runner-up.
Cal Raleigh was the Mariners backup catcher going into the 2022 season. He did not become starting catcher until Tom Murphy suffered a season-ending injury on May 6th, making Raleigh the starter. Raleigh’s breakout moment came on September 30th last season when he ended the Mariners’ postseason drought with a walk-off HR to beat the A’s.
George Kirby took the fifth spot in the Mariners rotation by storm in 2022. Dazzling in his first start as a Mariner against the Rays on May 8th where he pitched six shutout innings, struck out seven, while giving up no walks, and allowed just four hits. Kirby finished 2022 strong posting a 3.39 ERA, an (8-5) record, and 133 strikeouts in 25 starts. He also stepped into an unfamiliar role in the postseason, where Kirby stepped in to close out the Wild Card Series against the Blue Jays.
George Kirby, Cal Raleigh, and Julio Rodriguez were the Mariners 2022 breakout stars, who will be the Mariners breakout players in 2023?