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2022 MLB awards: Julio Rodriguez named AL Rookie of the Year

The Mariners star became one of the young faces of baseball with a breakout rookie season.

SEATTLE — Editor's note: The above video on Julio Rodriguez winning Baseball America's Rookie of the Year originally aired September 26, 2022.

To no surprise to most baseball fans around the country, Mariners outfielder Julio Rodriguez was named the 2022 American League (AL) Rookie of the Year on Monday afternoon.

The 21-year-old hit .284 with 28 home runs, 75 runs batted in and 25 stolen bases, becoming just the third rookie in MLB history to tally at least 25 home runs and steals in his debut campaign. Those stats are even more impressive when you consider Rodriguez missed 30 games as he dealt with wrist and back ailments at different points.

Rodriguez already was named the MLB Players' Choice Outstanding Rookie Award winner for the AL and garnered Baseball America's Rookie of the Year award for his performance in 2022.

The Baseball Writers Association of America gave Julio 49 of 50 first-place votes, and Rodriguez was the only player to be featured on every single ballot.

The Mariners made Rodriguez the face of the franchise before his rookie season even concluded, signing him to a contract that could potentially become the largest in MLB history, with a possible $470 million if he maxes out all of his contract incentives.

The 2022 Home Run Derby was where Rodriguez became a household name across the country. Rodriguez beat established MLB stars Corey Seager and Pete Alonso to advance to the final round, where he came up just short against Juan Soto in the final. 

Despite not winning the title, Rodriguez hit the second-most total home runs of any player in a home run derby in league history (81).

Rodriguez's breakout season also coincided with the Mariners' best year in two decades, as the organization broke a lengthy playoff drought by finishing with a 90-72 record.

His presence in the lineup clearly had an effect on his teammates, as the Mariners were just 15-15 in games in which he did not play.

This should just be another of many accolades Rodriguez will collect over his baseball career, and the Mariners have the face of the franchise locked up for the foreseeable future.

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