Mariners Report Cards: Grading the 2021 season for Jake Fraley
Some of these are a breeze to do, and pretty fun. We all know that JP Crawford had a great season. That Ty France had a great season. Those are easy to figure out. You can argue over what type of great grade to give them, but we all know they did incredibly well. There are other players on the Mariners that are a lot more difficult to figure out. One of the first ones that come to mind is Jake Fraley.
If all you are going to do is look at his slash line to make a decision in your own mind about how he did (a very early 2000’s/1990’s way of doing things) then you aren’t going to think his season was good. Through 265 PAs, it ended up being .210/.352/.369.
You know what though? For such a short amount of time, he still ended up with a WAR of 1.6. It was about half the appearances you would want for him in a season. If he played a full season, he would’ve been a 3.0-3.5 WAR player.
Let that sink in for a second, and think about how you view Fraley. Think about some of the other outfielders in 2021 that finished with a WAR number in that range. Randy Arozarena, Joey Gallo, Mitch Haniger, Yordan Alvarez, Adolis Garcia.
Guess what. I’m taking that all day. Well, maybe not Joey Gallo, but I just can’t stand watching the homeless man’s Jim Thome out there.
Jake Fraley was actually not that bad when all was said and done for the Mariners in 2021
I’ve fallen into a habit of doing this, but I think it helps us to get a clearer look at how a player performed during a season, and get a better idea of who they might actually be.
Jake Fraley got hurt after just five games with the Mariners. He was only 1-10, but also had 8 BBs and 1 HBP. The part of his season that is fun to look at is once he came back, from May 31st through July 11th over a period of 35 games. The second set of numbers will be once he came back from COVID, when he played 38 games, this time from August 2nd through October 3rd.
- 130 PA, .250/.392/.462, 7 HR, 6 SB
- 116 PA, .180/.278/.290, 2 HR, 3 SB
Those are two vastly different players. The first is someone I would love to have in the outfield. Even if the power/speed combo drops a bit, you are looking at someone who plays above-average defense that can also give you .250/.375 with 20/20.
You know, everything we wanted from Dylan Moore over the last 3 years.
The second player though, I don’t want that anywhere near the team. It doesn’t help, and all it does is make you upset.
You know, what we got from Dylan Moore this year.
Sorry, I shouldn’t rag on the guy. I actually really like Moore, and still want to see him succeed. He’s uber-talented. I’m rooting for him forever.
Back to the person who I’m actually supposed to be talking about. If we can get anything near that top version of Fraley, the Mariners have a certified answer in left field. He’s fast, plays good defense, can hit for pop, and steal bases. He’s got the crazy look too, which I’ve always been a fan of.
When it comes to a grade for 2021, we have to take all of that into consideration. He dealt with injuries a lot, and the team struggled because of it. If you want to scare your children, share some of those May lineups with them… shiver, indeed.
It’s why, when it comes down to it, I think I give Jake Fraley a C+. Between the injuries, COVID, and up and down performance, it’s hard to bump it up to the next level. I still liked what I saw from Fraley and am interested in watching him in 2022, especially if he can stay healthy.