3 Seattle Mariners Players that Beat 2020 Expectations

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 05: Justus Sheffield of the Seattle Mariners pitches. (Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 05: Justus Sheffield of the Seattle Mariners pitches. (Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images) /
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Dylan Moore of the Seattle Mariners looks on.
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 17: Dylan Moore of the Seattle Mariners looks on. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

Seattle Mariners players that beat 2020 expectations

The Seattle Mariners finished third in the AL West, but there were a few players that beat 2020 expectations. These players made a big leap and almost helped the Mariners make the playoffs in the final stretch of the regular season. Let’s meet the first player….

No. 1: Dylan Moore

Dylan Moore made his MLB debut with the Seattle Mariners in 2019, and he was nothing more than a role player. Moore played every single position except catcher in 2019, which is very reminiscent of former Mariners utility player Willie Bloomquist. But his offensive numbers were lacking and if it weren’t for his defensive versatility, he would not have been playing.

In 2019, he batted .206, slugged .389, hit 9 home runs, and stole 11 bases. His offensive WAR was just 0.1. Moore’s barrel percentage was just 6.5%, and his strikeout rate was 33% which is very high for a non-power hitter. Lastly, his hard-hit % was not all that impressive sitting at 36.1%

With his 2019 stat line, expectations were set low for Moore who was a 7th round pick in 2015 by the Texas Rangers. I was expecting him to have another typical utility player season: helpful on defense but useless on offense. But, he proved everyone wrong in 2020.

He was able to increase his offensive WAR to 1.4 this past season. He finished with a .255 average (49 points higher than 2019) and increased his slugging percentage to .496 (107 points higher).

Dylan also led the team in stolen bases and it wasn’t even close. J.P. Crawford had the second most, but Moore doubled Crawford’s six steals. What is even more impressive is that Moore only played 38 games, but he was still able to produce a good amount in terms of power and base running.

Moore hit 8 home runs and 9 doubles. He might have changed his approach in 2020 because his exit velocity jumped up to 90.4mph (2019: 88.4mph), and his hard-hit percentage increased to 44.7%. He still struck out at a high rate but dropped it down to 27%.

There was a lot to like about Moore in 2020, and he is such a well-rounded baseball player. Runs the bases hard, is scrappy, tough, and is willing to play anywhere on the field. I don’t think Moore was supposed to be a part of the young Seattle Mariners core, but he might have just proved to Jerry Dipoto that he is worth keeping around. Secondly, let’s highlight the performance of our No. 1 option in the pen….