Reason #1 Julio's sizzling summer
Julio Rodriguez has been on an absolutely insane hot streak on this road trip, punctuating an amazing second half. Rodriguez set an MLB record with 17 hits in four games against Kansas City and Houston. He's 21 for 37 in his last seven games hitting .568, 12 RBI, and a 1.417 OPS in that span. Putting up absolutely absurd numbers and helping catapult the Mariners into the final Wild Card spot, and just 3 GB of the Texas Rangers for first place in the AL West.
Overall, Julio is hitting .347 since the start of the second half, with a .986 OPS, 8 HR, 30 RBI, and 52 hits. Some may have wondered whether Julio's participation in the HR Derby in Seattle would hinder his post all star break performance. Julio has put any of those questions to rest with a blistering hot second half.
Julio's turnaround has coincided with the Mariners surge the past two months. In the first half of the season, as the Mariners were just hanging around .500, Julio was in the midst of a sophomore slump. Hitting just .249, with a .721 OPS far below his career averages of .281 and .827.
Any worries about Julio's regression have clearly been put to bed over the past two months given his exceptional play on the field. The Mariners have certainly needed him both at the plate and in the field, especially after Kelenic's unfortunate injury at the end of July. Julio's second half success has helped put the Mariners in the thick of the playoff chase.