The Mariners are back over .500 and are playing good baseball again. Last week they went through a 4-game losing streak but were able to quickly turn things back around and are 4-1 in the games since then.
A major part in their success will ride on how the top of their order produces. They depend on whoever is at the top to start the game with a bang and continue to put pressure on opposing pitchers throughout the game. The players in the first three spots need to consistently score runs.
I believe the Mariners have found the top of their order. The leadoff hitter should be James Jones. He has been playing fantastic since his call up. I cannot stress it enough; your leadoff batter above everything else needs to get on base.
If you have a player hitting .230 but is getting on base at a .370 clip, he would still be a fantastic leadoff hitter. Luckily, Jones is hitting and getting on base at high rates. His numbers may seem very inflated but a high BABIP is more common for players with speed like Jones.
Hopefully, when his numbers level out, he will be able to adjust and produce at a high level still. For now, Jones is the ideal leadoff man who gets on and can swipe a base.
Second, Michael Saunders has earned the second spot in the batting order. It seemed like Saunders had been hitting the ball hard but the ball kept finding opposing gloves rather soft grass. Well, before sitting out last night’s game Saunders had collected 10 hits in his previous six games raising his average to .271. If he continues to keep his play up he should see his numbers continue to rise as he is still hitting above the league average in line drive rate.
And to cap off the top of the order, Robinson Cano. Shocker, I know. The man who has reached base in 30 straight games has been hitting great for the team.
While he still has just two home runs on the year, he has been hitting and getting on base like the star that he is. With Saunders and Jones playing well I think we will see his RBI total begin to rise steadily.
Just taking a look at what these guys have done in the last 7 days. Among the team, they are 1-2-3 in runs, while Saunders and Cano are first and third in RBIs. They have been working well together at the top and we should see the team continue to succeed with them at the top.