While the 2022 season hasn’t gone the way the 40-42 Seattle Mariners have wanted, they have some reasons to smile.
For starters, they have won three games in a row and seven of their last ten, climbing to second in the AL West.
They still have time to turn around their year.
However, the best thing going on for them is that they have perhaps MLB’s premier young outfielder in Julio Rodriguez.
In fact, he just received some impressive endorsement by one of the most reliable reporters in MLB.
“Julio Rodriguez should be an All-Star,” ESPN’s Jeff Passan tweeted.
Julio Rodriguez should be an All-Star.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 4, 2022
All-Star Game rosters are still being decided, but it’s evident that Mr. Passan is, like almost always, right.
Rodriguez is a rookie, having gotten his first taste of MLB action just a couple of months ago.
That hasn’t stopped them from hitting the cover off the ball.
Some Of The Most Impressive Numbers You Will See
Before Tuesday’s games, he is slashing .275/.335/.489 with 15 home runs, 47 runs, 43 RBI, 20 stolen bases, and a .824 OPS.
Oh, and he has 2.9 Wins Above Replacement, and projects well over five when the season ends.
That would put him in star territory.
He has played better than several sluggers and accomplished players in their prime.
Certainly, J-Rod is already a star, tasked with helping deliver the first playoff berth for the Mariners since 2001.
That’s an enormous responsibility for a 21-year-old, but he is prepared for the challenge.
Among qualified AL outfielders, Rodriguez is fifth in OPS, fourth in OPS+, fifth in wOBA (weighted on-base average), and 4th in wRC+ (weighted Runs Created Plus).
He is the real deal, and deserves to represent the Mariners in the All-Star Game in Los Angeles.