The Seattle Mariners’ first major offseason move came on November 27th, when they acquired second baseman/outfielder Adam Frazier from the San Diego Padres in exchange for two minor league prospects. Frazier, and his .305 BA from 2021, should significantly improve the Mariners’ offense in 2022; what spot in the batting order will maximize his output?
Adam Frazier’s best offensive traits are his bat-to-ball prowess, on-base ability, and speed on the base paths that can help him stretch shallow hits to the gap into extra bases. Frazier’s .281 career BA speaks for itself when describing his ability to consistently make solid contact, but potentially the most valuable aspect of his contact skills is his aversion to strikeouts; Frazier finished with the 2nd lowest strikeouts among qualified hitters in the N.L. last season, with just 69 K’s.
Based on his skill set, there’s no doubt that Adam Frazier will find himself in the top third of the Mariners’ batting order in 2022.
Shortstop J.P. Crawford is currently penciled into the leadoff spot of the Mariners’ batting order, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if he stayed in that role next season; he has steadily improved since his rookie season in 2019, with his BA increasing from .226 to .255 to .273 in those three seasons, and he posted a respectable .338 OBP from the leadoff spot in 2021. Crawford also demonstrated more pop last season, leading the Mariners with 37 doubles and capitalizing on run-scoring opportunities when the end of the order managed to get on base.
Since the Mariners value consistency in their batting order (they very rarely switched around the top five hitters in their lineup last season), fans should expect Crawford to continue hitting leadoff, while Frazier slides into the second spot. Although Crawford and Frazier both hit left-handed, which can be a disadvantage against left-handed relievers, their advanced contact and on-base skills simply must be utilized at the top of the order.