I don't think it's pushing the envelope to say that JP Crawford has been the hardest player on the Mariners to figure out over the last coupleof years. I know I've written plenty about him, both on the "I love this dude" side of it, as well as the "I don't think he's good enough" side of it. I waver back and forth, have always wanted to like him and have it work with him, and once again am falling into the "I love this dude" side of the argument.
JP Crawford always seems to have a hot stretch for the Mariners. Then, he plays average baseball the rest of the year, bordering on below average. It makes for a decent stat line for the season, but you are usually left wanting a little bit more. Either the bat seems to be playing well but the defense is faltering, or the opposite happens and the glove looks golden but he's hitting near the Mendoza line.
Well, 2023 has been a bit different. When the glove is flashing and the bat is playing, Crawford makes for a sneaky good ballplayer. He isn't just someone that you can throw into your lineup, he's someone who fits in as potentially your 4th best player on a team. It's odd to think about him that way, but let's get into some of the reasons why he quietly makes the case for that spot on a playoff team.