Julio Rodriguez, the Seattle Mariners’ dynamic younger middle fielder, was named the American League Rookie of the 12 months by the Baseball Writers’ Affiliation of America on Monday, topping Baltimore Orioles catcher Adley Rutschman and Cleveland Guardians left fielder Steven Kwan.
Rodriguez obtained 29 of 30 first-place votes and one second for 148 factors from a Baseball Writers’ Affiliation of America panel. Rutschman got here in second with one first-place vote, 18 second-place votes and 9 thirds. Kwan got here in third with Royals infielder Bobby Witt Jr., Astros shortstop Jeremy Pena and Mariners pitcher George Kirby additionally receiving votes.
The J-Rod Present goes on. #JulioROYriguez pic.twitter.com/3tdeOGy0d3
— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) November 15, 2022
Rodriguez electrified the town of Seattle and captivated a complete nation of baseball followers together with his youthful exuberance, pronounced swagger and wide-ranging expertise. At 21, he slashed .284/.345/.509 with 28 house runs, 25 stolen bases and 25 doubles whereas propelling the Mariners to their first postseason berth since 2001, snapping the longest energetic drought among the many 4 main North American skilled sports activities.
Alongside the best way, Rodriguez persistently got here by in huge spots, dazzling together with his protection and energy and pace. His 5.3 FanGraphs wins above substitute tied that of Rutschman for the rookie lead and was topped by solely 21 place gamers all through the game.
Participant, TeamFirstSecondThirdTotalsJulio Rodriguez, Mariners291–148Adley Rutschman, Orioles118968Steven Kwan, Guardians–101444Bobby Witt Jr., Royals–147Jeremy Peña, Astros—-22George Kirby, Mariners—-11– Baseball Writers’ Affiliation of America
Rodriguez is the fifth Mariners participant to win Rookie of the 12 months, after Alvin Davis (1984), Kazuhiro Sasaki (2000), Ichiro Suzuki (2001) and Kyle Lewis (2020).
Solely two different gamers since 1900 have gathered not less than 28 house runs, 25 stolen bases and 25 doubles of their age-21-or-younger seasons — Mike Trout and Andruw Jones. Rodriguez is the primary participant ever to mix 25 house runs with 25 stolen bases in his first season within the huge leagues and the third to take action whereas nonetheless rookie eligible, together with Trout and Chris Younger, in line with ESPN Stats & Info analysis.
Rutschman completed with a .254/.362/.445 slash line to go together with 13 homers and 35 doubles whereas dealing with the trials from behind house plate. The Orioles, broadly anticipated to complete final within the hyper-competitive AL East, started the 2022 season 16-24 however went 67-55 after Rutschman’s debut on Might 21, almost making the playoffs.
Kwan, already one of the crucial expert hitters within the sport, batted .298/.373/.400 with 168 hits, essentially the most by a Cleveland rookie within the enlargement period (since 1961). The one participant within the majors with the next contact price final season was Minnesota Twins infielder Luis Arraez, who received the AL batting title.
The Mariners envisioned Rodriguez as a possible star after they signed him out of the Dominican Republic for $1.75 million in the summertime of 2017, however he profiled extra as a power-hitting nook outfielder. Rodriguez labored to show himself right into a five-tool middle fielder, zooming by the Mariners’ minor league system — regardless of dropping a complete season to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 — and cracking the workforce’s Opening Day roster this spring.
Rodriguez struggled mightily in his first month, posting a .544 OPS throughout that stretch, however he recovered sufficient to make the All-Star workforce and finally placed on a present in the course of the Residence Run Derby from Dodger Stadium.
“I went by some shaky instances in the beginning of the 12 months, however I used to be in a position to follow myself, belief myself,” mentioned Rodriguez. “All of the doubts I had all year long, I do know it should serve me effectively alongside my profession.”
The Mariners finally rewarded Rodriguez with a long-term extension that may pay him anyplace between $210 million and $470 million over the lifetime of his profession, an unprecedented — and extremely incentivized — contract for somebody with lower than a full 12 months of main league service time.