Mariners’ Julio Rodríguez star of Topps cards boxes, commercial
Feb 15, 2023, 11:15 AM | Updated: 1:35 pm
(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
Going into his second big league season, Mariners center fielder Julio Rodríguez can already call himself an All-Star, a Home Run Derby participant, a member of the 25/25 club, and American League Rookie of the Year.
On Wednesday, he officially adds another honor to the list, as he’s the featured player on both boxes and pack wrappers for Series 1 of the 2023 edition of Topps baseball trading cards.
Not only that, but the 22-year-old phenom shows off his acting skills – and cooking chops, sort of – in a commercial shared on Topps social media channels Wednesday morning.
BATTER UP! Welcome to The J-Rod Show, where Chef Julio Rodríguez whips up a fresh batch of #ToppsSeriesOne 🥣⏲
— Topps (@Topps) February 15, 2023
Julio Rodríguez has been the main focus of a frenzy in the baseball card hobby in recent months as his rookie cards in various 2022 sets began to hit the shelves. While there was a host of sought-after rookies from 2022, including Kansas City’s Bobby Witt Jr., Detroit’s Spencer Torkelson and Houston’s Jeremy Peña, Rodríguez has generally been considered the top of the class.
While 2023 Topps Series 1 doesn’t include any Julio rookies, he’s still heavily featured in the checklist.
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Rodríguez burst on the scene with Seattle last season, posting a slash line of .284/.345/.509 for an .853 OPS with 28 home runs, 75 RBIs, 84 runs scored and 25 stolen bases. He became the fastest player in MLB history to join the 25/25 club (home runs and stolen bases), doing so in just 125 career games, three games faster than Angels superstar Mike Trout. He is also just the fourth rookie ever aged 21 or younger to post a WAR of at least 6 in MLB history.
Rodríguez’s Mariners have started spring training in earnest this week, with pitchers and catchers officially reporting Wednesday. Position players are due to be at the team’s complex in Peoria, Ariz., on Monday, though Rodríguez will spend much of his time over the next month preparing and playing with the Dominican Republic team for the World Baseball Classic.
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