The Seattle Mariners received Ty France during the middle of the year last year when they sent Austin Nola to the San Diego Padres. All he’s done since then is hit and hit well.
It seems like Ty France could end up being a great hitter. He was hyped before the season, with some even going as far as predicting that he would end up leading the American League in batting average. You can see why it isn’t that crazy of a prediction when you look at how well France has hit throughout his career, all the way back to his three years in college.
During that time at San Diego State, he hit .337/.432/.473 with a pretty low strikeout rate. Plenty of hitters end up with numbers like that in college, although they still aren’t anything to scoff at. Getting a hit in 1/3rd of your at-bats, regardless of where it is, becomes an impressive feat. He hit just over .300 in High-A in 2016 and then sputtered to mid to high 200’s for the next few years. That all changed when he El Paso in 2019.
The Mariners prospect Ty France would hit .399/.477/.770 in 348 Plate appearances, mashing 27 home runs and 27 doubles.
He continued to hit after being called up to the Padres, hitting .309 through 20 games before the trade was made. He continued on like nothing happened once he came over to the Mariners, hitting .302 through 23 games. For anyone that was worried it was a small sample size fluke (45 games is a bit past that point, usually), Ty France has come out swinging in 2021 as well.
A home run, a couple of doubles, and a handful of walks have jumped him out to an early line of .324/.439/.471. Is it a hot start? Or is this something that is near the level of hitting that you could come to expect from France? What happens when we look a bit deeper?
His timing has been great, as he is driving the ball up the middle at a rate of 66.7%, and hitting line drives while doing it at 57.1%. So he’s hitting the ball well and up the middle, which is a good sign of seeing the ball well and getting your hands through for positive outcomes.
It will be interesting to see how he does against the Orioles this week after facing some tough pitching from the White Sox and the Twins. John Means is the Orioles best pitcher, but he just isn’t in the same boat as Giolito and Berrios. Or even Gausman.
When it comes down to it, it really does seem like France is the real deal as a hitter. He’s shown a proclivity to hit for a high average and is still approaching his prime. I’ll knock on wood here, but Ty France should be a major part of the Mariners offense going forward for years to come.