The Seattle Mariners are off to a bit of a tough start this year after winning 90 games last season and securing their first trip to the postseason since 2001.
One of the biggest stories of the Mariners season was Julio Rodriguez, who won a Silver Slugger Award and was named the American League Rookie of the Year.
The young slugger posted some very impressive stats last season, especially when hitting fastballs.
In 2022, Rodriguez hit for a .317 average, had a slugging percentage of .557, an expected slugging percentage of .496, and a weighted on-base average of .410 against fastballs.
However, as noted by MLB writer John Denton, Rodriguez’s production against fastballs has dipped a little bit in 2023, as a graphic on Twitter shows.
The #Mariners , opponents of the #STLCards the next three nights/days, feature one of the game’s best young players in Julio Rodríguez. However, he’s struggled mightily this far vs. fastballs, per Statcast. pic.twitter.com/xu50Cqk3pE
— John Denton (@JohnDenton555) April 21, 2023
This season, Rodriguez is hitting .275 against fastballs and has posted a .500 slugging percentage, an expected slugging percentage of .480, and a weighted on-base average of .357.
By no means are these bad numbers.
Rodriguez is still producing quite well against fastballs and the season is still young.
However, it is a slight drop-off from 2022, which is something to keep an eye on this weekend as the Mariners play host to the St. Louis Cardinals, another team that has struggled out of the gates.
Still, these numbers are not bad by any stretch of the imagination and Rodriguez still has a good track record of hitting the fastball.
But it is something to keep an eye on as the Mariners open up their first series with the Cardinals since 2019.
Rodriguez is hitting .259 with four home runs to start the season.NEXT: Former MLB Star Discusses Jarred Kelenic's Hot Start