Seattle Mariners outfielder Julio Rodriguez and Atlanta Braves outfielder Michael Harris II won the American League and National League Rookie of the Year honors, respectively, on Monday.
Both players emerged as top talent for their teams and helped their organizations to playoff appearances.
For Rodriguez, his Mariners team made the playoffs for the first time since 2001. Though the team was swept in the American League Division Series, Rodriguez proved to be top player on the Mariners in WAR (6.2). He hit 28 home runs and batted .284 with an .853 OPS.
Rodriguez also broke out during the MLB Home Run Derby. He made it to the finals only to lose to Juan Soto. He signed a 12-year, $209.3 million extension in August.
He’s the second Mariners rookie to win the award in three seasons. Kyle Lewis won it during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.
Harris’ season showed that the Braves have an embarrassment of riches on their hands. The 2021 World Series champions played Harris in 114 games this season. It only took him three years to reach the majors as he was selected in the third round of the 2019 draft.
He hit .297 with an .853 OPS with 19 home runs, 27 doubles and 20 stolen bases. He was second in the team in Baseball Reference’s WAR (4.4) value and third in WAR (5.3).
Harris’ win came four years after teammate Ronald Acuna Jr. won the award in 2018.