It wasn’t that long ago that we were talking about JP Crawford as one of the best hitters on the Mariners. It was for a good reason, too. You can either click the link to read about it, or check out the highlights from just how good he was doing as of the morning of May 3rd, just three weeks ago. These are how he stood throughout the entirety of the MLB.
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)
It’s not May 24th, and here is how he ranks in those same categories.
Batting Average: 34th (.285)
On-Base Percentage: 22nd (.371)
Slugging Percentage: 50th (.438)
Doubles: 56th (8)
Home Runs: 87th (4)
WAR: 14th (2.0)
oWAR: 12th (1.7)
JP Crawford has cooled off considerably and has not been hitting well at all in May.
You could look at his current stats and think “Hey, he’s still not doing bad. A .285/.371/.438 with some pop from a defensive SS is pretty good.” You’d be right, it is. It just feels off when it’s been such a major split. Over the last 17 games, Crawford has a slash line of just .172/.239/.203 with only two 2Bs and a single RBI, scoring only six runs.
It might be time to drop Crawford back to the bottom third of the lineup. I know that things don’t look the same as the beginning of the year, especially with so many of the Mariners hitters struggling or injured. Having no Haniger or Murphy is tough. Maybe a big shift to the lineup is exactly what the team needs, though.
Take some of the pressure off of Crawford, and move him to the 7/8 spot. Winker seems to be hitting a bit better, Julio is a monster, and Kyle Lewis is reportedly with the team and could be starting during this series. Crawford was crushing it when he was moving around between the 6-9 spots in the lineup, and it could bring a nice boost to the lower half, which has struggled mightily.
I’m not really worried about Crawford. If memory recalls correctly, he struggled a bit last summer after a massive June as well. If he can play the rest of this year with that average slash line, it will end up being a great season. For now though, Crawford needs to start hitting again, or else the Mariners are going to struggle to score runs.