On the heels of winning his second straight American League Rookie of the Month Award, Seattle Mariners wunderkind Julio Rodríguez has locked up a broader honor: American League Player of the Week.
Considering Rodríguez almost single-handedly kept the M’s depleted offense afloat for several games this past week, which started with him being thrown at intentionally by the Angels, it’s a particularly staggering response. His .360/.393/.880 clip with 3 big flies was absolutely electric, and he has quickly come not merely a must-watch for Mariners fans, but appointment viewing for baseball fans league-wide. His torrid stretch and Seattle’s merciful return to shouting distance of playoff contention has come too late for traditional All-Star Game voting to push the rookie into the Midsummer Classic, but injuries and opt-outs could conceivably make a space for him as a deserving replacement.
At present, Rodríguez is 16th in MLB (8th in the AL) in fWAR among position players at 3.0, 3rd or 4th among outfielders behind Aaron Judge, Mike Trout, and Yordan Alvarez who is considered a DH by voters. Baseball Reference’s bWAR is even higher on his performance, holding him 11th in MLB (6th in the AL) at 3.5. However good he could have been hoped to be immediately, he is exceeding those expectations, and his ascension has dragged the Mariners’ season back from the brink.