Ken Griffey Jr. Weighs in On Julio Rodriguez Comparison
Seattle Mariners rookie phenom Julio Rodriguez came up short in the finals of the 2022 MLB Home Run Derby. He did accomplish something important, however. The 21-year-old rising star officially arrived to the national stage and there's no doubt he'll continue to grow as a household name.
Rodriguez' performance was nothing new for another Mariners legend in Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. Griffey Jr. spoke with Sam Blum of The Athletic about Rodriguez' special night, discussing everything from the talent he's seen to the early comparisons between him and the youngster.
Julio Rodriguez All-Star
“It ain’t a coming out,“ said Griffey Jr. "For the last two months, you’ve been watching him play. It’s not like he just showed up at the All-Star Game.”
He's right about that. Rodriguez earned an All-Star appearance in his rookie campaign for good reason. The 21-year-old is slashing .275/.337/.477 with 16 home runs, 52 RBIs and 21 stolen bases. He's also made a number of highlight plays while patrolling center field.
No wonder baseball fans are drawing comparisons between J-Rod and Griffey Jr. Griffey didn't get to an All-Star game his first season, but he accomplished that feat in 1990 at just 20 years old. He was also in the Home Run Derby that year.
While there's too many similarities not to draw a comparison, Griffey wasn't having it.
Like any good mentor figure, it's clear that Griffey Jr. wants J-Rod to be known for J-Rod and not a 2.0 version of himself.
Either way, it's fun for baseball fans to reminisce on the way Griffey Jr. took the MLB by storm in the early 1990s, and how Rodriguez has an opportunity to do the same some 30 years later.
Adam Taylor McKillop is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Adam Taylor also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username atmckillop. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.