Julio Rodriguez is having himself a season, and the accolades continued in Game 1 of the AL Wild Card series.
Julio Rodriguez, what a rookie season. Already an All-Star, Rodriguez propelled the Seattle Mariners to the MLB Postseason for the first time since 2001.
And when Rodriguez showed up for their first game of the MLB Postseason, his youth put him in the record books. Rodriguez was batting first, which makes him one of the youngest players to ever lead off in a postseason game.
Alex Mayer pointed out how Rodriguez put himself just after Mickey Mantle and Amos Strunk. Those two entered the record books over 50 and 100 years ago, respectively:
Julio Rodriguez is blazing a path toward Rookie of the Year
At just 21 years old and 282 days of age, Rodriguez has firmly planted himself as the front-runner for Rookie of the Year this season. While this year’s rookie class is exciting with names like Adley Rutschman, Spencer Strider, and Steven Kwan, no one is contributing to their team at the level Rodriguez is.
He leads his team in WAR (6.0) and all of the slash-line metrics, is second in hits (145), second in HRs (28), and third in RBI.
Rodriguez may already be an All-Star, a likely Rookie of the Year, a Home Run Derby runner-up, and now in the record books just after Mickey Mantle and Amos Strunk, but there is plenty left to come if his debut season was any indication.
Also, in that first postseason at-bat? Rodriguez got on base on an Alex Manoah hit-by-pitch (a fastball with an 0-2 count). Eugenio Suarez batted him in later that inning.