Julio Rodríguez looks ready — Mariners star caps spring with HR

Mar 26, 2024, 2:26 PM | Updated: 7:00 pm

Seattle Mariners Julio Rodríguez...

Julio Rodríguez of the Seattle Mariners slaps hands with fans at 2024 spring training. (Aaron Doster/Getty Images)

(Aaron Doster/Getty Images)

In just two days, Julio Rodríguez will begin his third major league season with the Seattle Mariners.

On Tuesday, he gave a sneak preview of what M’s fans could be in store for this year.

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Playing the second of two spring training games this week against the Padres at San Diego’s Petco Park, Rodríguez made one final plate appearance of Cactus League play. And it was a good one.

Rodríguez expanded the zone, going down well below the knees to golf an 87 mph changeup by Padres starter Michael King over the fence in left field for a two-run homer.

The data on the blast? An exit velocity of 100.9 mph and distance of 353 feet.

Ah yes, much like a Julio Rodríguez homer, baseball season is in the air.

Like many Mariners hitters, the 23-year-old Rodríguez put together an impressive spring when it comes to numbers. After missing a few games at the start of Cactus League play due to a sore wrist, he had no problem getting back into the groove of things, posting a .394 average, .512 on-base percentage, .667 slugging percentage and 1.179 OPS. He also homered twice, hit three doubles, drove in seven runs, scored 10, and walked eight times to 11 strikeouts over 14 games.

See Seattle Mariners spring training statistics

After winning the 2022 American League Rookie of the Year Award, Rodríguez last year logged just the second 30-homer, 30-steals season in M’s history and finished fourth in the AL MVP voting.

Already a two-time All-Star, Rodríguez is expected to be in the lineup hitting second and playing center field when the Mariners begin the regular season at 7:10 p.m. Thursday against the Boston Red Sox. Mariners Radio Network coverage will be carried on the flagship, Seattle Sports 710 AM and the Seattle Sports app, beginning at 6 p.m. with the pregame show. Seattle Sports’ daily shows will also be live at and around T-Mobile Park throughout the day.

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