3 stats that prove Mariners shortstop JP Crawford's 2023 season wasn't a fluke

JP Crawford had a fantastic 2023 season, surprising everyone with his success on offense. Here are 3 reasons why it wasn't a fluke.

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BB rate paired with a couple of elite discipline rates

Crawford is hitting the ball harder. We've established that now. You might think that this means he is swinging out of his shoes or even making contact less often while swinging at bad pitchers, right?

Wrong.

Crawford was able to pair that increase while actually leading the American League in walks in 2023, tallying 94 of them with an incredible 14.7% walk rate, leading to a .380 OBP. It's not just that he walks a lot either, it's that he wasn't swinging at bad pitches. He was 95th-percentile in chase rate, 86th-percentile in whiff rate, while still positing a strong K rate in the 65th-percentile.

All of those stats were able to help Crawford take a lot of pitches in 2023, set the table for the team as the leadoff hitter, where he actually did better than his season numbers show. They helped him to hit .270/.379/.455 in 113 games in the leadoff spot. They're all great indicators that JP wasn't just getting free passes handed to him, but working the count, earning the walks, and making pitchers pay with his surprise pop when they had to throw to him.

You couldn't pump a fastball over the plate to get ahead in the count, either. JP hit seven home runs on first pitches last year. You had to nibble, or he was going to make you pay.