Seattle Mariners’ Julio Rodriguez named AL Rookie of the Year

Seattle Mariners dynamic young center Julio Rodriguez was named the American League Rookie of the Year by the Baseball Writers Association of America on Monday, ahead of Baltimore Orioles catcher Adley Luchman and the Cleveland Guards Left fielder Steven Kwan.

Rodriguez received 29 of 30 first-place votes and 148 second-place votes from the Baseball Writers Association of America panel. Rutschman came in second with one first-place vote, 18 second-place votes and nine two-thirds. Kwan came in third, with Royals infielder Bobby Witt Jr., Astros shortstop Jeremy Pena and Mariners pitcher George Kirby also receiving votes.

Rodriguez energized the city of Seattle and captivated baseball fans across the country with his youthful energy, palpable swagger and wide-ranging talent. At age 21, he slashed . 284/. 345/. Longest active drought in major professional sport.

Along the way, Rodriguez has consistently excelled, dazzling with his defense, strength and speed. His 5.3 FanGraphs win percentage is higher than his replacements, tied with Rutschman for the rookie lead, and surpassed by only 21 position players in the entire campaign.

Rodriguez is the fifth Mariners player to be named Rookie of the Year after Alvin Davis (1984), Kazuhiro Sasaki (2000), Ichiro Suzuki (2001) and Kyle Lewis (2020).

Since 1900, only two other players have amassed at least 28 home runs, 25 stolen bases and 25 doubles in seasons in which they were 21 or younger — Mike Trout and Andrew Jones. According to ESPN Stats & Information research, Rodriguez is the first player to hit both 25 homers and 25 stolen bases in his first season in the majors, and only the third player to hit rookie eligibility. The other two players who did this under the circumstances are Trout and Chris Young.

Rutschman finished with a slash line of .254/.362/.445 with 13 homers and 35 doubles while dealing with the rigors behind the plate. The Orioles, widely expected to finish last in the competitive AL East, started the 2022 season 16-24 but won 67-55 after Luchman made his debut on May 21 to nearly make the playoffs.

Kwan is already one of the most skilled hitters in the game, batting .298/.373/.400 with 168 hits, the most by a rookie in Cleveland’s expansion era (since 1961) number. The only player in the majors with a higher contact rate last season was Minnesota Twins infielder Luis Alaz, who won the AP batting title.

The Mariners saw Rodriguez as a potential star player when they signed him from the Dominican Republic for $1.75 million in the summer of 2017, but he was more of a power-hitter. outfielder. Rodriguez struggled to transform himself into a five-tool center who thrived in the Mariners’ minor league system — despite losing a full season in 2020 to the COVID-19 pandemic — and played in the Breaking down the team’s Opening Day roster this spring.

Rodriguez struggled in his first month on the job, posting a . 544 OPS during that time, but he recovered enough to make the All-Star team and eventually played in the home run derby at Dodger Stadium. a show.

Less than two months later, the Mariners rewarded him with a long-term extension that will pay him $210 million to $470 million over the course of his career, an unprecedented — and highly incentivized — contract for a full year of major league service time. .

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