#3: Alex Rodriguez: 1996 w/8.5 oWAR. Also, 2000 w/8.9, 1998 w/7.8, 1997 w/6.2, 1999 w/5.3
So here’s the thing. You may be looking at A-Rod’s spot at #3 on this list and thinking “Hold on, he was #1, 2, and 4 back on that first slide. Heck, even Boone was #5. What’s going on?”. Again, I’m not doing this solely off of oWAR. If I did, it would be boring. Plus, who would you argue with then?
(Just kidding. It’s the internet. There is always someone to argue with.)
I’m not giving his best offensive season to 2000. Yeah, it’s the top mark solely on the number of 8.9 in team history, but I don’t think it was his best offensive season. Do you wanna know a big part of the reason? Well, in 2000, A-Rod was 24. It would be his last year in Seattle, and he would sign the monster deal and leave for Texas after that, paving the way for Ichiro, Boone, and a big wormhole of “What-if A-Rod stayed?“.
Do some quick math, and you can see that in 1996, Alex Rodriguez was only 20 years old.
HE WAS 20 YEARS OLD. THAT’S IT. NO, I WON’T STOP YELLING. THIS IS INSANE! I CAN’T COMPREHEND THIS LEVEL OF SUCCESS FOR SOMEONE AT ONLY 20 YEARS OLD!
Okay, I’m done yelling for now. Here’s another way to think about this. Noelvi Marte, Mariners Superstar prospect is 20. That would be like him coming up this year. Here are the numbers A-Rod put up, and you can see why I’m losing my mind over re-visiting these numbers.
- .358/.414/.631, 161 OPS+, 379 Total Bases, 54 2B, 36 HR, 15 SB, 123 RBI, 141 R, 215 H
He still should’ve finished second in MVP voting, only it should’ve been to Griffey and not Juan Gonzalez, who didn’t even have a great season. A-Rod lost by 3 points, one of the closest races in the history of the sport.
It stands out to me as the best season that he ever had with the Mariners, and takes the #3 spot in the greatest individual seasons in Mariners history. Next up… The Kid.