Julio Rodriguez is one of the early favorites for American League MVP in 2023

Oct 8, 2022; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Seattle Mariners catcher Cal Raleigh (29) celebrates with center
Oct 8, 2022; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Seattle Mariners catcher Cal Raleigh (29) celebrates with center / John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Mariners have a chance to have one of the best players in baseball, and certainly one of the best in the American League. Julio Rodriguez, the soon-to-be second-year pro, is that guy.

We know about the crazy potential this guy has because most of us have followed his path to the Mariners. This is a guy who showed out in the minor leagues and caught everyone's attention. Well, Mariners fans' attention, for sure.

But, when he got called up, I don't know how many people expected to see what we saw. We saw a 21-year-old, now 22, show him that he doesn't have a ceiling.

The rookie participated in the home run derby, and even with a loss, found a way to be the story of All-Star week.

I am in no way saying he will be Ken Griffey Jr., but man, does it feel good to have a guy that has superstar potential like Griffey. He really can be the best player in the league. In fact, one sportsbook thinks he can this next year.

When you win the MVP award for your respected league, you are often times referred to as the best player in that league. For example, last year it was Aaron Judge, by far, and the year before it was Ohtani, and it wasn't close.

This next year it could be Julio Rodriguez.

The 6'3" outfielder has the fourth-best odds over at places like Ceasars Sportsbook to win the AL MVP. Fourth-best odds may sound bad, but when you look at the guys who are above him, it isn't at all.

Ohtani, Judge, and Trout are all ahead of Rodriguez, and those are all some of, if not the best players in baseball. But, here is another reason why it isn't so bad.

As we know, Trout and Ohtani struggle with injuries very frequently, and if they do next season, and miss too many games, which we would hate to happen, the Mariners could have themselves an MVP, and definitely could have a finalist.

This was kind of unexpected, to be honest. I don't know who would have guessed last year before his debut, that Rodriguez would be in the running for the MVP award before 2023 started. But, here we are.

Not only did the Mariners break the playoff drought last season, but they could break the MVP drought too, as seeing they haven't had one since 2001 when Ichiro Suzuki won it.

I don't have to say it either, but I will. Rodriguez is only 22 years old too. He is just getting started.