BROCK AND SALK

Mariners’ Dipoto: What Julio Rodríguez’s opposite-field homers suggest

Sep 21, 2023, 1:13 PM | Updated: 4:08 pm

Seattle Mariners Julio Rodriguez...

Julio Rodriguez of the Seattle Mariners rounds the bases after he hit a home run on Sept. 20, 2023. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

(Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Julio Rodríguez joined the 30-homer, 100-RBI club in style on Wednesday, blasting yet another opposite-field home run in a 6-3 Seattle Mariners win over the Oakland A’s.

Julio Rodríguez shakes off HBP to hand, gets to 100 RBIs in style

Rodríguez took a 93 mph fastball that was right on the outside corner out to right-center field with authority, blasting his 31st home run of the season and driving in his 100th run of the year. It was yet another opposite-field homer for Rodríguez, who leads MLB in that category.

Julio’s power the other way was a key talking point during this week’s Jerry Dipoto Show on Seattle Sports.

Dipoto: What’s critical for Mariners over remaining 10 games

“I think the opposite-field homer, more than anything else, it suggests to me that he’s in the strike zone with the barrel of his bat and that he’s allowing the ball to get in there and he’s waiting to trigger his swing,” Dipoto said.

Being able to do that, Dipoto said, leads to and means a few different things that are very positive.

“If you do that, you’re going to be hitting better pitches because you track them deeper in,” he said. “And I know that might sound a little bit scientific, but it shouldn’t be. You’re getting a little bit longer to track the ball, and you get a little bit longer to decide whether you’re going to swing or not. And he has the gift of insane athleticism and bat speed where he can wait a little longer than the others and still hit it 375 to 420 feet to right center field on a line. He’s gifted.”

Rodríguez has been especially good going out to right field over the last two-plus months, when he’s been arguably the best hitter in baseball.

” His season has been unbelievable, especially what he’s done since the first of July. And I think if you count back to that point from the from the first of July or even the first of Augus, no matter where you cut it off, he’s going to be one of the two or three best hitters in our league in almost every category,” Dipoto said. “Power, speed, if you look, it’s slug, it’s batting average, hits, it’s counting stats, it’s more (advanced) metrics. He’s doing things that that are pretty unbelievable. And then you consider the fact that he won’t turn 23 until December. He’s been a driving force (for the Mariners), for sure.”

The Jerry Dipoto Show airs every Thursday at 8:30 a.m. with Brock and Salk on Seattle Sports. Listen to this week’s interview at this link or in the player near the top of this story.

More on the Seattle Mariners

• Kurkjian: Castillo and Brash two key arms for Mariners in playoffs
• Kurkjian: Why Mariners’ Julio Rodríguez, J.P. Crawford will get MVP votes
• Drayer: Seattle Mariners find payoff in not trying to do too much
• Salk: Who do Mariners need to step up during intense final stretch?
• Mariners’ J.P. Crawford homers, celebrates by petting dog
• Which big bats could Seattle Mariners get this winter? Watch for trades, says Morosi

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