Nobody on the Seattle Mariners had an even bigger weekend than rookie Julio Rodríguez.
First, he stole his ninth base of the season on Friday, and never solely did that make him an ideal 9 for 9 on stolen bases, however he’s additionally within the MLB lead within the class. Then on Sunday, Rodríguez received right into a pitch for a 450-foot moonshot, which was his first massive league house run.
“It was great,” Rodríguez stated Monday when he joined Seattle Sports Station’s Jake and Stacy. “It was a really cool moment.”
The homer was simply the newest proof of the strides the No. 2 total prospect per Baseball America is making not even a month into his Mariners profession. After registering simply two hits in his first 5 video games, the 21-year-old middle fielder has hit .286 over the 15 video games since, and he’s been even higher over the previous seven – .320/.393/.480 slash line for an .873 OPS.
“Everything I’ve been working for, it’s finally coming along,” he stated. “There was, like, a lot of questionable things in the beginning but now I feel like I’m more able to get into my groove. I feel like everything is coming along together better.”
The questionable issues can be a number of referred to as third strikes on pitches outdoors of the strike zone, a difficulty that stored developing a lot that the Mariners really despatched a letter to MLB about it and supervisor Scott Servais received himself tossed from a sport final week arguing on Rodríguez’s behalf. All the whereas, Rodríguez has continued to remain true to his eye on the plate as a substitute of increasing the zone.
“They just told me to stick to myself and keep being who I am because in the long run, it’s gonna be more beneficial to myself,” he stated of the Mariners’ teaching employees. “… As you guys can see, like now, things are turning around a little better and I feel like they’re trending in the right direction.”
The Mariners’ new pace demon
Rodríguez possesses a uncommon mixture of energy and pace, as evidenced by this unimaginable stat dropped at gentle by Mariners baseball data coordinator Alex Mayer:
— Alex Mayer (@alexmayer34) May 2, 2022
The energy was anticipated, however the pace was not.
Asked if his dimension had something to do with folks not anticipating the 6-foot-4 Rodríguez to be as quick as he’s, he needed to reply with a chuckle.
“Big time. Big time they did,” he stated.
Needless to say, Rodríguez is as happy with his pace as any of his skills.
“It feels really good to me because I didn’t let any of that get to me. I just kept on working and believing in myself… and now they see that they got it wrong.”
His steals aren’t simply the results of blazing quickness, although. Rodríguez has labored so much on the nuances of stealing bases.
“I wanted to give the opposing team a lot of things to handle. … It feels really good that once I get on the basepaths, they gotta be aware of that. I’m gonna take the next base for the team. … There are a lot of things that I’ve worked on this offseason that they came along – not just this offseason but I feel like the past two, three of them. It’s been a lot of focus on how to position myself or how to take off, too.”
The good vibes
Coming up by the Mariners’ system, Rodríguez was at all times recognized for his massive smile and upbeat angle. But is there anyone else in Seattle’s clubhouse who’s perhaps much more cheerful?
“Definitely Eugenio Suárez,” Rodríguez stated, pointing to the All-Star third baseman Seattle acquired in a spring coaching commerce. “I feel like you can never be sad around that guy. He’s just such an incredible guy, honestly. I always tell him every time, ‘Bro, I cannot be even mad about you, like around you or anything. Like, if I ever felt mad, I just look at your face and then I just get happy.’”
You can hear the complete interview with Rodríguez within the audio participant under, the video participant in the direction of the highest of this submit, or within the podcast at this hyperlink.