Julio Rodriguez has been widely considered to be a top three prospect in baseball according to many outlets. Prospect Insider’s Jason A. Churchill has Rodriguez ranked as his No. 3 prospect in baseball. Others, such as The Athletic’s Keith Law (No 9), MLB Pipeline (No. 3) and Baseball America (No. 2) also grade Rodriguez in the company of the elite.

As the result of the combination of his prospect status, and now having made the Seattle Mariners Opening Day roster, The 21-year-old is poised to be a serious contender for the American League Rookie of the Year award.

History Says

Looking back at the last decade of the award, 15 of the 20 winners have been hitters, four were pitchers, and one was Shohei Ohtani. Also, the winner has played in at least 87 games, and only played under 100 games three times (excluding Kyle Lewis in 2020 where he played in 58 games of the 60 game season).

In Mariners lore, Alvin Davis holds many Mariners rookie records. He has hit the most home runs as a rookie in M’s history with 27. He is also one of only three rookies to hit 20 or more home runs. Davis also is the only rookie in franchise history to have over 100 RBI with 116.

Statistical Thresholds

There are also a few statistical margins the past 15 position players to win Rookie of the Year had in common. Only twice has the winner failed to hit 20 home runs, and one of those was Lewis in 2020, a shortened season. Additionally, there have only been three times the winner did not have a 3.0 WAR or better according to Baseball Reference (again, one was Lewis on a 60-game schedule).

Finally, not one of the past 15 position players to win ROY has had a batting average below .260. If Rodriguez were to meet or exceed these benchmarks, one would think he’d at least me in the mix. There’s nothing on his professional resume or in his skill set to suggest any of this is remotely beyond Rodriguez’s present ability levels.

The Odds

Rodriguez, along with Bobby Witt Jr., and Spencer Torkelson, currently sits as consensus favorites, per sportsbooks.

PLAYERTEAMDRAFTKINGSFANDUELSUPERBOOK
Bobby Witt Jr.Royals+310+550+250
Spencer TorkelsonTigers+450+500+500
Julio RodriguezMariners+450+550+400

 

 

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Curtis Christianson

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