Julio Rodriguez established himself as one of the great young stars in the majors in 2022. The Seattle Mariners center fielder joined another impressive list this year.
On Sunday, Rodriguez eclipsed the 10+ WAR plateau for his career. He joined Oscar Charleston, Joe Dimaggio, and Mike Trout as the only three center fielders to reach that mark in their first two years in the majors.
Seattle Mariners star Julio Rodriguez in rarified air
That is an impressive list. Dimaggio is regarded as one of the greatest players ever to play the game despite missing three years of his prime due to World War Two. Charleston was one of the best players in Negro League history, a three time Triple Crown winner during his playing days. Trout, despite his injury woes, is a future Hall of Famer who is considered one of the best of his generation. All three will be considered part of the inner circle when Trout is enshrined.
Now Rodriguez is a part of that group. He had a career .282/.343/.490 batting line entering Monday, hitting 55 homers and 56 doubles while stealing 60 bases. A two time All Star and the 2022 AL Rookie of the Year, Rodriguez could end up with his first top three finish in the AL MVP vote. He has certainly had an impressive start to his career.
The question is whether or not he can continue that pace. Major league history is littered with players who had an impressive start to their careers only to fall apart. However, aside from a trio of some of the best players ever to put on a uniform, none of those have reached the same level as Rodriguez.
Julio Rodriguez has already established himself as a star for the Seattle Mariners. He may be establishing himself as an all time great.