Seattle Mariners: Julio Rodríguez makes history with power and speed

Jul 4, 2022; San Diego, California, USA; Seattle Mariners center fielder Julio Rodriguez (44) gestures while rounding the bases after hitting a two-run home run during the fourth inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 4, 2022; San Diego, California, USA; Seattle Mariners center fielder Julio Rodriguez (44) gestures while rounding the bases after hitting a two-run home run during the fourth inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports /
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Julio Rodríguez of the Seattle Mariners is making history and showing Major League Baseball fans why his arrival this season was well worth the wait in the Pacific Northwest.

On Sunday, using his power and speed, Julio Rodríguez of the Seattle Mariners cemented his place in the Major League Baseball record books

With a fourth-inning home run on the road against the San Diego Padres on Sunday, the 21-year-old Rodríguez became the first player in MLB history to hit 15 home runs and steal 20 bases in the first 81 games of his career. And the home run that Rodríguez hit to make history was a titanic blast that landed in the third deck of the Western Metal Supply Co. building that is part of Petco Park’s left field.

With his 15 homers and 20 swipes, the back-to-back American League Rookie of the Month joins an elite group of baseball players who were putting up those numbers early in their careers. Only Ronald Acuña Jr. (2019, Atlanta Braves), Mike Trout (2012, Los Angeles Angels), Andruw Jones (1998, Braves), and César Cedeno (1972, Houston Astros) have compiled those numbers before or during their age 21 seasons.

Since making his debut on April 8 and not hitting a home run while batting just .205 in 20 April games, Rodríguez has been red hot. His batting average jumped to .309 in the month of May and he totaled six homers in the month.

In the first four days of July, Rodríguez has provided plenty of fireworks for the Seattle Mariners, going 5-for-15 with a pair of home runs and posting an OPS of 1.308.

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Look for Rodríguez to be among the favorites for the Mariners to land a spot in the upcoming MLB All-Star Game. With the contest scheduled for July 19 in Los Angeles, the history-making Rodríguez is putting up statistics that are worthy of not only a spot in the history books, but also on the American League All-Star roster at Dodger Stadium.