After seeing a trio of starting pitchers ahead of this player on the Top 10 Mariners players right now,(Logan Gilbert, Marco Gonzales, and Chris Flexen) we get back to another position player coming in at number 5, and that is the Seattle Mariners shortstop JP Crawford.
Top 10 Mariners Players Right Now: #5 JP Crawford
JP Crawford is one of the most exciting players on the Mariners roster. He has really become a fan favorite during his time with the Mariners. He was acquired in a trade with the Phillies back at the start of the rebuild, and it was maybe one of the better trades Jerry Dipoto has made. He is an electric player that plays with a ton of energy, and the fans love it. He has turned himself into one of the best defenders in the game of baseball and has made some spectacular plays at short.
Last year was Crawford’s first full normal season in the big leagues. He played a career-high 160 games, and he put up some of his best numbers. He slashed .273/.338/.376 with a 103 wRC+ and had a career high 3.1 WAR. He started to become a better offensive player, as the numbers show. He has never hit for much power, but he did hit a career-high 9 bombs this last season.
Crawford started to embrace the fact that he is not a slugging shortstop or a power hitter. He started to just make contact to get base hits. His hard-hit numbers aren’t the best, but that is totally fine due to the fact that he embraced getting on base and hitting for more average. He really was good for the majority of the season. He still can yank a ball down the line for a home run, but he won’t be someone doing that a ton.
The reason that Crawford comes in at number five is because of his great defense and now average offensive production. He is the best defender on this team by a long shot, but he is not the best hitter on the roster. If he can be slightly better offensively in 2022 and have a wRC+ of 110 or better, then that is a huge leap for Crawford, and it will be exciting to see if he can get there.
Overall, JP Crawford is the best leader on the team after Kyle Seager departed, and it will be one of the bigger storylines to watch as the season progresses. I believe that Crawford will stay pretty much where he is, and that will be a large reason that the Mariners win games. He could still improve a little, but it is probably not in the cards. He should almost certainly not regress this year, but he will be one of the best and most fun players to watch in Seattle.