M’s Julio Rodríguez fastest player ever to 15 HR and 20 SB
The Seattle Mariners may be having a middling season, but Rodríguez, their newest star is shattering records and showing that there’s a bright future ahead.
Julio Rodríguez has been playing in MLB for just three months, but both Mariners and baseball fans around the world knew that he was coming for a long time, and he has finally arrived. The M’s center fielder just shattered one of the many records he will achieve during his career, as he homered for the second consecutive game with this bomb against the Padres yesterday.
Julio Rodríguez makes a push for the All-Star
After going 1 for 5 with a home run at last night’s game, the Dominican star is now slashing .275/.335/.489 for a 138 OPS+ that puts him as the best young hitter in MLB this season. As his battle with Astro’s Jeremy Peña for the American League Rookie of the Year continues, Rodríguez has just achieved something that no one expected given his rough first month in the league. He’s just become the fastest player ever to reach 15 home runs and 20 stolen bases in MLB history.
Rodríguez is an statistical phenom
This accomplishment puts him ahead of figures such as Barry Bonds, whose early career success with the Pirates was only a prologue of what was to come in his Giants tenure as he finished with over 700 home runs. Julio Rodríguez is faster than anyone expected him to be when he was in Triple-A, he has just as much power as the next guy in this league (bar this season Aaron Judge, perhaps) and is a better defender than most people give him credit for yet.
It’s only half a season’s worth of baseball for him, but the 3.5 Baseball Reference Wins Above Replacement (WAR) he has already amassed put him at the same level of perennial All-Stars such as Rafael Devers.
It has been a while since the Mariners had such a blossoming star hitter in their roster, just as it has been over twenty years since the last time they made the playoffs. It’s difficult not to see the similarities between Rodríguez and old Seattle stars like Ken Griffey Jr and Alex Rodríguez, but J-Rod is already showing that by being himself he can bring back the Mariners to where they want to be: the postseason.