When you take a look at the early season stats for the Seattle Mariners, there is a handful of good, bad, and surprising. Shoot, some things probably qualify as all three. There is one, to me at least, that stands out above all the rest. JP Crawford is hitting, and hitting, and hitting some more.
The Mariners have played 23 games so far, which provides a decent little sample size. It’s about 14% of the season. That would be about 2 games of an NFL season and 12 games of an NBA season. Too soon to say its going to happen for an entire season, but still late enough to use it as an indicator of what may be a solid foundation to sustained success for a season.
JP Crawford is one of the MLB leaders in both Batting Average and On Base Percentage… and Slugging Percentage.
Yeah, it’s true. As of the morning of May 3rd, here is how JP Crawford ranks in some major categories throughout all of baseball.
- Batting Average: 2nd (.375)
- On-Base Percentage: 1st (.469)
- Slugging Percentage: 8th (.625)
- Doubles: 23rd (6)
- Home Runs: 24th (4)
- WAR: 2nd (2.0)
- oWAR: 1st (1.8)
JP Crawford has been the best offensive player in all of baseball according to offensive WAR over on Baseball Reference. Let that sink in.
Not Mike Trout…
Not Jose Ramirez…
Not Manny Machado…
Not Nolan Arenado…
Not Ty France…
Could this be an indication of the real JP Crawford? The one that so many fans and scouts were enamored with back in the day when he was a prospect with the Philadelphia Phillies? For those that were unaware, Crawford used to be a top prospect. In 2016, he was the #5 prospect in all of baseball, and if memory serves correct, he got up to #2 during the season update either the prior season or during 2016.
It’s part of the reason the Mariners traded for him. Elite glove, great eye, great instincts and a quick first step, gap power and the ability to catch a ball once in a while and hit the occasional HR. Imagine how good his WAR would be if he wouldn’t have had some odd early-season defensive miscues.
Crawford just hasn’t been good so far this year. He has been elite, and the main reason that the Mariners are above .500. He’s not going to keep it up all year (or is he?) but this far into the season, it’s worth throwing out some what-ifs to try and extrapolate what kind of numbers he could finish the season with.
If he could slash his career average of .257/.339/.381 the rest of the year, then he would end up with a line of .274/.358/.417. Not too shabby. What if he performed at 80% for the rest of the year, compared to how he started? That’s still a pretty big ask, but let’s get a little bold with it. That would be hitting .300/.375/.500 for the rest of the year and would result in a final line of .311/.389/.518.
What I’m trying to get across is that JP Crawford is really good, and has been having an incredible start to the season. He also has a good shot to put up one of the better offensive seasons in Mariners history outside of the big 4 (Griffey, A-Rod, Edgar, Ichiro). Not that it’s going to happen, but if he keeps up this pace, he would end up with a 14.08 WAR, which would be the second-highest number of all-time. Yeah, Babe Ruth had a 14.2 in 1923. JEEZ.
JP Crawford has had a special start to the season, and is one of the most enjoyable players in all of baseball to watch. He looks like he could be the face of the franchise moving forward with his new deal, and Mariners fans should rejoice. We’re pulling for you to keep it up JP!