4 Mariners who have surprised us this year

The Mariners had high expectations this year. WIth a core group of top level players, who stepped up the most this year and surprised Mariners fans.
Seattle Mariners v Chicago White Sox
Seattle Mariners v Chicago White Sox / Jamie Sabau/GettyImages
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Cal Raleigh - .235/.314/.472 27 HR, 10.2 BB%, 117 wRC+, 4.2 fWAR

Cal Raleigh had a very up and down year in 2022. He opened the year on the roster before being demoted as he struggled mightily at the plate. An injury to Tom Murphy forced Cal back onto the big league club and he took the job and ran with it. He was a stable behind the plate giving the Mariners pitching staff a great receiver that they could have confidence in. He also destroyed opposing pitching, setting the Mariners single season home run record for a catch with 27.

He hit .211/.284/.489 and that is a very good year for a catcher, especially with who the Mariners have had to deal with recently. But going into his second year Cal has stepped up big time. He has played in 124 of the 140 games so far and is 1 home run shy of tying his club record from last season. His walk rate is up over 10% and his strikeout rate is high at 28% but he has cut it down by almost 2% from last year. His slash line is much improved to a .235/.315/.470 slash line. His xWOBA is actually 10 points higher than last year. Not to mention, his defense is borderline elite. He leads this pitching staff and they trust him in part by his 88th percentile framing ability. Many of us expected Cal Raleigh to be among the top group of catchers in baseball, but there is a legit argument that Call Raleigh has been one of the 2 best catchers in all of baseball.