Ranking the Best Center Fielders in Seattle Mariners History

17 Oct 1995: Oufielder Ken Griffey Jr. of the Seattle Mariners watches his shot during a game playoff game against the Cleveland Indians at the Kingdome in Seattle, Washington. The Indians won the game 4-0.
17 Oct 1995: Oufielder Ken Griffey Jr. of the Seattle Mariners watches his shot during a game playoff game against the Cleveland Indians at the Kingdome in Seattle, Washington. The Indians won the game 4-0. /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
3 of 6
Next
Mariners Ruppert Jones
BALTIMORE, MD – CIRCA 1979: Ruppert Jones #9 of the Seattle Mariners bats against the Baltimore Orioles during an Major League Baseball game circa 1979 at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland. Jones played for the Mariners from 1977-79. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) /

Mariners #4: Ruppert Jones – 7.6 fWAR

1977. Most fans know that was when the current iteration of the Seattle Mariners started their franchise. Ruppert Jones was their first pick in the expansion draft, and it turned out to be a great choice.

As a 22-year-old, Jones would make the All-Star team in his rookie season and the inaugural season of the Mariners. He would be the lone selection from the Mariners, well deserving of the spot that he earned. There aren’t many 22-year-olds that succeed that early on in their career, but Jones was definitely one of them.

You can make an argument for either that rookie season in 1977 or two years later in 1979, which would be his final season with the team.

  • 1977 – 3.7 fWAR – .263/.324/.454, 108 WRC+, 7.7 DEF, 24 HR, 13 SB, 85 R, 76 RBI
  • 1979 – 3.5 fWAR – .267/.356/.444, 115 WRC+, -3.9 DEF, 21 HR, 33 SB, 109 R, 78 RBI

You tend to see this fairly often when trying to distinguish between a player’s two best seasons. One of them is a better offensive season with some poor defensive numbers, and the other is a well-rounded season. For Jones, he was able to steal a lot more and walk a lot more during the 1979 season.

Unfortunately, the Mariners were unable to benefit too much from it. He was pretty good in his short time with the team, just three years, and would go on to have 13 more fWAR over eight more seasons in the MLB. Nothing spectacular, but having league average 2.0 fWAR players in the 80s for the Mariners would’ve been better than most of what they had on the roster.

facebooktwitterreddit