Julio RodriguezA dynamic young center fielder for the Seattle Mariners, the Baltimore Orioles’ leadoff hitter was named the Baseball Writers’ Association’s Rookie of the Year. Adele Rutschman And the Cleveland Cavaliers left fielder Steven Kwan.
Rodriguez received 29 out of 30 first and one second for 148 points from the Baseball Writers Association of America panel. Rutschman finished second with one first-place vote, 18 second-place votes and nine third-place votes. Kwan went to third against the Royals’ infielder. Bobby Witt Jr., Astros shortstop Jeremy Pena and sailor Peter George Kirby Also receiving votes.
Rodriguez developed the city of Seattle and captivated the entire baseball fan base with his youthful exuberance, shooting ability and wide-ranging talent. At 21, he hit .284/.345/.509 with 28 home runs, 25 stolen bases and 25 doubles as the Mariners clinched their first postseason berth since 2001, snapping the longest active hitting drought among the four major North American professional sports.
Along the way, Rodriguez shined with his defense and his power and speed, constantly getting into big spots. His 5.3 FanGraphs wins more than replaces Rutschman as the rookie leader and is bested by only 21 position players in the entire sport.
Rodriguez is the fifth Mariner to win Rookie of the Year, joining Alvin Davis (1984), Kazuhiro Sasaki (2000), Ichiro Suzuki (2001) and later. Kyle Lewis (2020)
Since 1900, only two other players have accumulated at least 28 home runs, 25 stolen bases and 25 doubles in seasons age 21 or younger — Mike Trout. And Andrew Jones. According to an ESPN Stats & Info survey, Rodriguez combined for 25 home runs with 25 stolen bases in his first season in the big leagues and the third player to do so while still eligible as a rookie.
Rutschman finished with a solid .254/.362/.445 slash line to go along with 13 homers and 35 doubles behind home plate. The Orioles, widely expected to finish last in the highly-rivaled AL East, started the 2022 season 16-24 but went 67-55 after Rutschman started on May 21.
Quan, formerly one of the most accomplished hitters in the sport, hit .298/.373/.400 with 168 at-bats as a starter in the expansion era (starting in 1961) in Cleveland. The only player in the majors with a higher contact rate last season was the Minnesota Twins linebacker. Luis ArezWho won the AL batting title?
The Mariners envisioned Rodriguez as a superstar when they signed him from the Dominican Republic for $1.75 million in the summer of 2017, but he has characterized as a power-hitting corner outfielder. Rodriguez worked his way into the Mariners’ minor league system by transitioning to a five-tool center field — though in 2010 Despite missing an entire season due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 — and cracking the team’s Opening Day roster this spring.
Rodriguez struggled mightily in the first month, posting a .544 OPS during that time, but recovered enough to make the All-Star team and eventually perform in the Home Run Derby from Dodger Stadium.
Less than two months later, the Mariners awarded him a long-term extension that would pay him $210 million to $470 million over his lifetime, an unprecedented — and highly leveraged — contract for a man with less than one full year of major league service.