Mariners: 3 reasons why Ty France should start at third base

MESA, ARIZONA - MARCH 03: Ty France #23 of the Seattle Mariners in action against the Chicago Cubs. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
MESA, ARIZONA - MARCH 03: Ty France #23 of the Seattle Mariners in action against the Chicago Cubs. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images) /
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Ty France of the Mariners runs.
PEORIA, ARIZONA – MARCH 04: Ty France #23 of the Seattle Mariners scores a home run. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images) /

Ty France has been the hottest Mariners hitter this Spring Training and is looking like an early All-Star candidate. The Mariners offense is deep with talent already and Scott Servais has a lot of tough decisions to make.

I’ll make Servais’ job easier… start Ty France at third base. Here are three reasons why:

Reason no. 1 – We need to learn if Ty France is the Mariners 3B of the future

You might be wondering what I plan on doing with Kyle Seager. First things first, the fan-favorite won’t be on the baseball field for much longer as much as I hate to say it. Seager has had an illustrious career in Seattle and will be remembered as one of the best infielders to play in a Mariners uniform.

But, the focus is on the future. We were long concerned about who would replace Kyle Seager, but Ty France has clearly made a name for himself. At the moment, there aren’t any prospects vying for third base in the near term so Ty is our best option. You could consider Noelvi Marte as the next third baseman of Seattle, but that is still a long way out.

So, I think France should be Seattle’s third baseman for the next five years. But with any decision, it always helps to test it out like a science project.

We need to give him lots of reps at third to see how things work out. I fully acknowledge that his defense has been questionable but he is only 26-years-old. With the close attention of Coach Perry Hill, I am sure France can make huge strides defensively. Plus, he is teammates with a Gold Glove third baseman and I am sure they have worked together already.

In his short two-year MLB career, France owns a .967 fielding percentage at third. He also has a minus eight zone fielding runs above average per year, and three defensive runs saved per year.

The more game time he can get, the more chances he will get to improve. He might be somewhat of a liability this season, but the hope is that he won’t be a liability in the long term. If we learn that Ty France isn’t good enough to play third, at least we tried and learned from it.

For those of you that might want Ty France to be the DH, the next page will clarify some of my thinking. But from a long-term perspective, it might be useful to leave the DH spot flexible and open for other players.

Pretty soon, the Mariners outfield could look like Taylor Trammell, Jarred Kelenic, and Kyle Lewis. Notice how I left off Mitch Haniger? The Mariners outfielder might be the future Mariners DH, so it helps to have France over at third and keep DH open.

Now onto reason number two.