The Seattle Mariners are one of baseball’s most dangerous teams heading into the 2023 season. Much of the danger the Mariners present to opposing pitchers is thanks in large part to star outfielder Julio Rodríguez. The 2022 All-Star became a key piece to the Mariners’ present and future last season, and expectations will be high for the budding superstar.
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A Look at Rodríguez
Mariners outfielder Julio Rodríguez — our second-best center fielder heading into 2023 — stormed into the Majors last season, as the 22-year-old cemented himself as a cornerstone for Seattle and MLB’s future. Rodríguez batted .284 with 28 home runs and 75 RBIs for a Mariners squad that made the playoffs for the first time since 2001. The 2022 All-Star and AL Silver Slugger also scored 84 runs.
Just nine players in all of baseball last season hit the 20-20 plateau, with Rodríguez being a member of that group. When sorted by position, only three other outfielders — Adolis Garcia, Randy Arozarena, and Kyle Tucker — could also claim membership to the club in 2022.
The M’s outfielder displayed a ton of pop, and “J-Rod” excelled in the average exit velocity and Hard Hit% categories last season. Rodríguez finished in the top ten percent of all players in each of the two batted ball metrics.
One downside from Rodríguez’s last was the strikeout. The young outfielder did finish with below-average Whiff%, K%, and BB% rates last season. That proved not be a problem for Rodríguez, although those numbers will be something to watch in his second campaign in the Majors.
2023 Fantasy Outlook
After a rookie season that saw “J-Rod” record a 20-20 campaign and win the AL Rookie of the Year, it’s now time to see what Rodríguez can do for an encore. The outfielder showed plenty of pop last season, and it’s possible that the 22-year-old could increase his output from 2022.
On the other hand, one has to be on the lookout for a potential sophomore slump. There’s no way to telling that will occur at all, but it’s something to keep in mind.
An incredible talent that can provide power, speed, and run production, the All-Star outfielder should be a first round pick in fantasy drafts come 2023.