The 21-year-old played 46 games at Double-A in 2021 and it is rare for a prospect to get called up with that small sample size in the minors.
Rodriguez is not just any prospect though.
He is a once-in-a-generation player that has taken the MLB by storm in his very first season.
Despite being named to his first All-Star team in July, the first month of his career presented some growing pains.
In April, Rodriguez batted .205 with zero home runs, six runs batted in, and had 30 strikeouts to seven walks.
Yet he still found ways to contribute via his great defense and nine stolen bases.
According to Statcast, his 29.6 sprint speed ranks 15th in the MLB.
— MLB (@MLB) August 13, 2022
Then in May, the J-Rod Show took over MLB as the rookie posted a .309 average with six home runs, 17 RBIs, and five stolen bases.
He even added nine multi-hit games during the month.
His June and July were equally as good, as he combined to hit 12 home runs in those months and scored 34 runs as he moved to the top of the Mariners’ batting order.
Rodriguez has finally settled into his own in the big leagues and his success has helped put the Mariners in a position to make the postseason for the first time since 2001.
J-Rod Leads A Crowded Field
Rodriguez is far ahead of the field for the AL Rookie of the Year trophy, but other contenders are in the race.
But none are having the impact that Rodriguez is having.
The Mariners center fielder leads all rookies in WAR with a 4.0 mark, home runs with 18, and RBIs with 59.
With the help of Friday's grand slam, Julio Rodríguez is the first 1st-year player ever with 50 RBI and 20 SB before the All-Star Break.
He is the 2nd Mariners player with 50 RBI and 20 SB before the All-Star break (1998 Alex Rodriguez). pic.twitter.com/C40yD4E2kE
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 16, 2022
Not to mention he became the youngest player to ever be named to the All-Star team.
He even participated in the Home Run Derby and had one of the best showings we have ever seen in the competition before losing to Juan Soto in the finals.
Star power usually plays a role in award voting, and there are not many bigger stars than Rodriguez in MLB.
Rodriguez was always expected to be good (top-five prospect in baseball) but to be this good this soon is a shock.
He is a true five-tool player.
He is seventh in the league in stolen bases with 21 despite recently coming off an IL stint.
It would not be a surprise to see him with multiple 30-30 seasons throughout his career.
According to Covers.com, J-Rod is a huge betting favorite to bring home the ROY trophy.
He is a -600 favorite which is far and away ahead of the rest of the contenders.
In a league that struggles to market its players, Rodriguez is must-see TV.
As long as the 21-year-old can stay healthy, we should see him not only win the ROY award but also help lead Seattle back to the playoffs.