The Drought, Part III: The 10 Most Underrated Mariners Since 2001 – Final Five

SEATTLE, WA - APRIL 15: A general view of Safeco Field as Felix Hernandez
SEATTLE, WA - APRIL 15: A general view of Safeco Field as Felix Hernandez /
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#5: SS Brendan Ryan

SEATTLE, WA – JULY 24: Brendan Ryan #26 of the Seattle Mariners celebrates after scoring on an RBI single by Jesus Montero against the New York Yankees at Safeco Field on July 24, 2012, in Seattle, Washington. The Mariners defeated the Yankees 4-2. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA – JULY 24: Brendan Ryan #26 of the Seattle Mariners celebrates after scoring on an RBI single by Jesus Montero against the New York Yankees at Safeco Field on July 24, 2012, in Seattle, Washington. The Mariners defeated the Yankees 4-2. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) /

Ah, just look at this glorious man. Look at those mutton chops!!!

A lot of Mariners fans actually dislike Brendan Ryan, due in part to his awful track record at the plate. It’s not an exaggeration to say that Ryan was one of the worst hitters in the Majors during his time with the M’s.

His highest wRC+ in two-and-a-half seasons with the Mariners was 84 in 2011, his first season in Seattle. Honestly, he wasn’t totally atrocious that year, slashing  .248/.313/.326. From that point forward, though, Ryan posted back-to-back seasons of -21 offensive WAR.

Who cares? Brendan Ryan is potentially the second-best defensive shortstop the Mariners have ever had.

From 2011 to 2013, Ryan’s UZR was an outstanding +29.1. For whatever Ryan gave up with the bat, he made up with his glove tenfold. Ryan was a game-changer at shortstop for the Mariners, who could never find a defensive identity.

Ryan’s inability to hit ultimately got him traded to the Yankees, paving the way for Brad Miller to take his spot. Many Mariners fans rejoiced, but they clearly didn’t understand just how special Ryan was defensive.

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