Jake Fraley was once a top prospect in the Seattle Mariners organization, and he was one of those players that we scratched our head about. Most of us here at Sodo Mojo were optimistic about Fraley, but his nagging injuries and poor offensive performances made us lose hope.
But this year, he got off to a solid start in the first week of April and quickly became a (borderline) fan favorite amongst Seattle Mariners fans. After just six games into the season, the M’s outfielder found himself on the injured list again. Jake Fraley has now been with the big league club since May 31st and it couldn’t have come at a better time.
With Kyle Lewis heading to the IL, Jake Fraley has a huge opportunity to prove himself to the Seattle Mariners
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As you might have heard, Kyle Lewis will most likely miss significant time after injuring his right meniscus in his knee. The team has not announced a timetable for his return yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t see the 2020 AL Rookie of the Year this season.
This is obviously a major blow to the team but we should be extremely cautious with Kyle Lewis since he has dealt with knee injuries in the past. With that being said, a fantastic opportunity has opened up for Jake Fraley.
Like I said earlier, Fraley has had an unimpressive start to his MLB career, but things are looking up for him in 2021. To be fair, Jake Fraley hasn’t been really given an opportunity to play every day so his poor offensive numbers might not be a good representation of his potential.
Now that the LSU product will be in the starting lineup nearly every day, I think Seattle Mariners fans might be able to finally see what scouts have been projecting. With Lewis out, the Mariners have prospects Jarred Kelenic, and Taylor Trammell, veteran Mitch Haniger, and Jake Fraley.
This is a solid mix of outfielders in my opinion with a lot of upside. Haniger has been excellent but he still needs his days of every once in a while. Jarred Kelenic has been struggling so I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets some days off and rotates with Taylor Trammell in center field.
So, that leaves the door wide open for Jake Fraley and it’s really his opportunity to lose at this point. The Seattle Mariners don’t have any outfielders waiting in line to be called up in the near future so it really is Jake Fraley’s time to shine.
(I didn’t forget about Julio Rodriguez… That’s why I specified “in the near future.”)
Jake Fraley has been great since returning to the Seattle Mariners lineup
I guess “great” is a bit of a stretch for the Mariners outfielder since he’s only recorded three hits in four games, but he’s an on-base machine. When he made his M’s return, he went two for three with two walks.
The 26-year-old didn’t get a hit in the next two games against the Athletics, but he walked three times. And last night in Los Angeles, Jake Fraley hit a clutch three-run home run to give the Seattle Mariners a 4-2 lead. Lats night’s homer was the first of his MLB career!
And to no one’s surprise, Jake Fraley walked twice last night and scored another run in the sixth inning as an insurance run. The young outfielder is now hitting .200 with a .556 OBP (leads the team), and a 1.006 OPS (leads the team).
I expect Fraley’s average to trend in the right direction this month and his OBP and OPS will probably flatten out (but I hope not). Not only am I hoping for an offensive boost from Jake’s bat, but I am also counting on his defensive skills.
Number 28 has been a solid outfielder for the Seattle Mariners even when his offensive was lackluster. His defensive skills make it easy for Scott Servais to put him in the lineup and I hope to see more diving plays from Fraley.
It’s a great opportunity for Jake Fraley, and I really hope he proves that he belongs to all of us Seattle Mariners fans. We are going to need him if the Mariners are to make a playoff push.