Julio Rodriguez has been named American League Rookie of the Year for 2022. Julio led Major League rookies in home runs with 28, .509 slugging percentage, .853 OPS, 260 total bases, second in runs with 84, third in hits with 135, second in RBIs with 75, second in extra base hits with 56 and second in stolen bases with 25.
Mr. Mariner Alvin Davis presented Rodriguez with the award on MLB Network when it was announced.
“That was amazing, that was amazing, as soon as I saw Alvin Davis I was like oh my goodness,” Rodriguez said. “But it was amazing because everybody knows how good of a guy he is, while delivering the message was great, delivering that award was really special.”
Rodriguez is now the fifth Mariners player to win the honor joining Davis (1984), Kazuhiro Sasaki (2000), Ichiro Suzuki (2001) and Kyle Lewis (2020). Rodriguez is signed with Seattle through the 2034 season with options that could extend his stay through the 2039 season.
On winning the award, Rodriguez said it definitely has to be up there and said it’s a one-in-one chance. He said it was a good feeling knowing he has what it takes to do good in his career. He had family in the room the moment it was announced and that it was amazing.
“Everybody that was in that room somehow in some way just played a big part in me being here talking to you guys about being the rookie of the year,” Rodriguez said. “I feel like if I didn’t have them, it wouldn’t be the same, and I feel I wouldn’t be at the same level I am right now.”
He said everybody was excited when they announced it and people even cried.
“My mom was definitely excited and my little sibling so it was definitely fun, they had a good time,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez credited his family as being his day ones and having given him all the good advice to be who he is today and was very thankful and proud of them.
When it comes to next season, he said they just have to keep on going but that he’s going to leave the numbers he put up in 2022 in 2022 and improve on them in 2023. He said they just have to get ready for next season, improve this offseason and get ready for the challenge again. However, he said he’s going to keep it a secret about what he’s going to work on and only said there’s definitely room for improvement. Rodriguez said they’ll keep on working and do some tweaks and see everyone in Spring Training.
In his rookie campaign, Rodriguez said there were just so many things that he didn’t know about and that it was definitely a learning experience. He said he was happy he went through it because it will build up a good foundation for 2023. But that doesn’t mean he’s going to change what he does. Rodriguez wants to stick to being able to trust himself, and his approach and commit well to the offseason preparation.