Mariners Phenom Takes AL Rookie of the Year In A Runaway

After a season in which he dominated as the Seattle Mariners' leadoff man, center fielder, and the new face of the franchise, Julio Rodriguez dominated the AL Rookie of the Year balloting in much the same way, taking 29 of the 30 first place votes.
At age 21, Rodriguez had a sensational rookie season, blasting 28 home runs while stealing 25 bases and batting .284 with a .345 on-base percentage and .854 OPS. And all that after a slow start to the season while he adjusted, mainly, to the umpires' questionable strike calls on him.  

His power and speed combination was remarkable, finishing in the 92nd percentile in average exit velocity and 95th percentile in hard-hit rate. He was in the 97th percentile in speed. 

All this is not to take anything away from the very strong runner-up field of Baltimore Orioles catcher Adley Rutschman and Steven Kwan of the Cleveland Guardians. 

Rutschman had to live up to the billing of top prospect in baseball coming into the year, and he did that quite well. He arrived in mid-May and helped launched the Baltimore Orioles into an unexpected playoff chase, while posting a .362 on-base and .807 OPS. 

Kwan was the talk of baseball in the first week of the season, immediately becoming a hitting and on-base machine for the Cleveland Guardians. He finished with more walks (62) than strikeouts (60), and posted a .373 on-base while hitting .298 with 19 SBs.