The week that was for Julio Rodriguez
The talent and youth of the Seattle Mariners were on display this week. George Kirby and Julio Rodriguez represent the new era of Seattle baseball, but it was Julio that was basically playing host to baseball in Seattle.
The young star has not had the first half that he had envisioned, but that didn't stop him from putting on an absolute jaw dropping show in the Home Run Derby. The #7 seed facing #2 seed Pete Alonso for the second straight season, Julio made everyone from Karl Ravech to Kevin Durant lose their minds as J-Rod crushed a record 41 bombs into the seats at T-Mobile Park. Those 4 minutes of Julio breaking baseballs over and over again will go down as arguably a top 10 moment in Seattle Mariners history.
Just like last year, Julio ran out of gas, falling in the semis. This lead me to a thought:
The bracket system makes no sense in the derby. The furnace should be similar to what we see in the NBA three-point shooting competition. Eight sluggers battle, the top 4 scores move on, with the highest number going last. The top 2 hitters move on to the finale, with the same rules as before.
Adley Rauschman put on a historic switch hitting performance that deserved to move on. He hit the 3rd most home runs and was eliminated? That's stupid. In my scenario, Julio, Luis Robert Jr, Adley, and Vlad Jr. would have advanced, with Julio being rewarded for his legendary round one.
Back to Julio, I was extremely impressed by all that he did for Seattle this week. Hopefully with the next two days off, we see an explosion from the young star. He's currently on pace for about 23 home runs this season, but he may need to push for 30 to get Seattle into October.