Shortstop: J.P. Crawford
Yeah, we can feel you roll your eyes. But as you may recall, we did say that Segura would have been the shortstop if we had a better option at third base. But we didn’t and Crawford is a better defender here, so he gets the nod at short.
Crawford flashed every tool in his arsenal in his first season with the Mariners. He even put them all together for the entire month of June when he hit .338/.413/.569 in 16 games. Now, this was just a hot streak and not a reasonable expectation for Crawford going forward, but we saw everything the young shortstop had to offer in that stretch, so it is important.
In those 16 games, Crawford hit 5 doubles, 2 triples, and 2 home runs, showing off the pop he has. He also posted 9 walks to 13 strikeouts, showing off his plate discipline and mature approach at the plate. He also made several of his best defensive plays in 2019 during this 16 game stretch, showing an above-average glove at the position.
Crawford faded hard down the stretch, leading the Mariners to ask him to bulk up some and improve his conditioning, something the young shortstop took seriously last winter. He will most certainly be “the guy” whenever we get to see baseball in 2020 and will almost assuredly get all of 2021 to show what he can do.
But for now, he is a good defensive shortstop and base-runner, with plenty of pop in his bat and a strong ability to draw plenty of walks. While that isn’t an exciting, multiple years All-Star, that is a perfectly fine #8 or #9 bat who can be in your lineup every day. Crawford is a perfect complement to our team and continues the trend of young and athletic bats in our everyday lineup.