We have nearly made it through the entire list of the Top 10 Mariners players right now, and today we are getting to number two. The player coming in at number 2 was acquired by Jerry Dipoto in a trade with the San Diego Padres before the trade deadline in 2020, and that player is infielder Ty France.
Top 10 Mariners Players Right Now: #2 Ty France
The Mariners acquired Ty France because he was an intriguing hitter who was pretty blocked in San Diego. He had been playing third base in Triple A and had hit over .400 one year at AAA El Paso. Even though he was putting up gaudy numbers, he still wasn’t getting big league playing time. Some of his numbers were really high because he played in crazy good hitters parks while in AAA, so that skewed his numbers.
The Mariners saw an opportunity to take a chance on a good hitter that needed a position to play. Coming into 2021, he was expected to get some time at second base and third base, with the hope he could replace Kyle Seager. He started off a the DH for the M’s, but then Evan White struggled big time and got hurt. France then stepped into the first base role, and never looked back.
Once France moved to first base, he started to improve defensively there every day, and his offense was really good. He slashed .291/.368/.445 with a 129 wRC+ and led the Mariners position players with a 3.5 WAR. He was truly a strong offensive player, and he should get better this year. He hit 18 home runs a year ago, and I believe that he will hit 20-25 this year.
The reason that France is ahead of Haniger is because France is on the upswing, while I believe Haniger will start to slowly decline. Also, Haniger started to sacrifice some batting average and on-base percentage to hit more home runs, and France had a significantly higher batting average and on-base percentage.
Ty France is one of my favorite players because he is simply such a good hitter. I love someone who will hit the ball the other way and get on base a lot, and have the power to drive the ball in the gaps and over the fence. He is a really special hitter, and I hope that he has another very good season that builds on his 2021 season.