Showtime: Mariners’ Julio Rodríguez enters Home Run Derby

Jul 13, 2022, 2:46 PM | Updated: 6:48 pm
Mariners Julio Rodríguez...
Julio Rodríguez reacts to hitting a two-run home run against the Houston Astros on June 6. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
(Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

Mariners rookie phenom Julio Rodríguez seems built for the spotlight, and he’ll certainly get plenty of it next Monday night. He has officially joined the field of the annual MLB Home Run Derby.

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Rodríguez was already going to be in Los Angeles for the All-Star Game festivities next week, named as the Mariners’ lone representative on the American League squad. The “JRod Show” (that’s the nickname he uses for his Twitter handle) will get plenty of screentime in the derby, which will take place at 5 p.m. Monday on ESPN. The radio broadcast will also air live in its entirety on Seattle Sports Station 710 AM and streaming on and the Seattle Sports app.

Rodríguez announced his participation Wednesday afternoon on Twitter between Game 1 and Game 2 of the Mariners’ doubleheader sweep in Washington, D.C., over the Nationals.

Seattle has already been taken by storm by the 21-year-old Rodríguez. He has 15 home runs and 21 stolen bases in 86 games, and he owns a .274 average and .807 OPS after Wednesday’s wins over Washington. His 3.5 WAR (per ESPN) ranks 11th among hitters in all of MLB.

Rodríguez will be the seventh Mariners player in team history to participate in the Home Run Derby and the last since 2016, when Robinson Canó competed. Ken Griffey Jr. is the only Mariner to ever win a derby, doing so three times (1994, 1998, 1999). The other Mariners to take part in derbies of the past are Jay Buhner, Alex Rodriguez, Bret Boone and Edgar Martinez.

As of the time of Julio Rodríguez’s announcement, the field for the 2022 Home Run Derby included two-time defending champion Pete Alonso of the New York Mets, St. Louis Cardinals legend Albert Pujols, Philadelphia slugger Kyle Schwarber, and two young superstars Rodríguez gets a lot of comparisons to – Washington’s Juan Soto and Atlanta’s Ronald Acuña Jr.

The Mariners no doubt remain hopeful Rodríguez doesn’t remain their only All-Star. Both first baseman Ty France and starting pitcher Logan Gilbert have great cases but have yet to be picked as replacements for players unavailable for the game next Tuesday.

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