Projecting the 2018 Seattle Mariners: Ryon Healy

OAKLAND, CA - JULY 18: Ryon Healy
OAKLAND, CA - JULY 18: Ryon Healy /

Jerry Dipoto made 3 major additions to their Major League roster, and Ryon Healy might be the most forgotten one. Acquired before the disaster of Shohei Ohtani, Healy will play a crucial role in the success of the 2018 Mariners.

Acquired from the Oakland for Emilio Pagan in November, Ryon Healy, the University of Oregon alum, is penciled in as the Mariners starting first baseman. After an impressive 72 game debut in 2016, where Healy slashed.305/.337/.524 with 13 homers, Healy had a so-so sophomore season.

On the hand, Healy bashed 25 home runs while hitting .271 with a .451 slugging percentage. All of these represent solid, but unspectacular numbers. In addition, Healy’s 23.5 K% is below league-average (25%) so Healy makes good contact for a power hitter.

However, Healy does not walk. Like, at all. His 3.8 % BB rate and .302 OBP are both pitiful to say the least. Also, Ryon Healy is a truly terrible defensive third baseman, posting a -23.5 UZR/150 with a -2 DRS (defensive runs saved) in just 260 innings.

This season, the Mariners will ask him to shift across the infield, and man first base. Healy did post solid defensive numbers at first, including a +1 DRS and a 0.6 UZR/150 in 307 innings.

While there could be some competition for he starting job between Healy, Daniel Vogelbach, and Mike Ford, it is difficult to imagine a scenario where Ryon Healy does not make the team out of Spring Training. He does have all 3 options remaining.

Assuming Healy does win the job, projecting him is a bit of a conundrum. He does have true power and an impressive track record in the high minors. However, his woeful OBP last season is tough to overlook. So where do we have him?

Sodo Mojo’s 2018 Projection for Ryon Healy: 588 PA, 153 hits, 30 doubles, 23 HR, 75 RBI, 26 walks, .272/.304/.448

As you can see, we are basically doubling down on the 2017 version of Healy. It is possible that Healy reverts back to his 2016 form, in which case, the Mariners lineup would be formidable. Healy will likely hit 6th, behind Kyle Seager, but could move up to second against LHP.

If the Mariners, get 2017 Healy, it would still represent an upgrade over the 2017 Mariners first baseman. If they get the 2016 version, Seattle will likely have the deepest lineup in the American League.

Next: Projecting the 2018 Mariners: Ben Gamel

Either way, Healy will be around for a while. The right-handed power hitter has 5 seasons of club control remaining, and could be the DH after Nelson Cruz moves on.