Outside of his clutch game-tying RBI single in the second game of the season, Seattle Mariners leadoff hitter Adam Frazier has not performed well in that spot of the batting order. Meanwhile, last year’s primary leadoff man, shortstop JP Crawford, has started hot at the plate and could be asked soon to utilize his skill set at the top of the order once again.
Frazier has gotten unlucky on a few hard hit balls so far this season, but JP Crawford seems to put together a quality at-bat every team he trots to the plate. Productive at-bats have been a glaring weakness for the Mariners, so it would make sense for Seattle to give as many at-bats as possible to the player who has performed the best in that area.
Crawford is hitting .435 with a 1.084 OPS so far this season (easily the best on the Mariners), but he’s been stuck at the end of the batting order, limiting his overall impact on games. Not only has he shown out statistically, but there’s always been something special about the energy and emotional leadership that Crawford brings to the team; those intangibles are something we haven’t seen yet from Frazier, and it could help spark a relatively slow-starting heart of the Mariners order.
After being inked to a 5-year, $51 million extension recently, it could be smart for Seattle to give more reps to JP Crawford in the leadoff spot to get an extended look at if that could/should be his role for the team for the foreseeable future. Even so, regardless of long-term consideration, Crawford has the physical skill set and intangibles to thrive in the leadoff spot; it’s about time the Mariners take advantage of it.