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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Justin Topa - 64 G, 2.47 ERA, 58 1/3 IP, 52 K's (8.0 K/9), 15 BB's (2.3 BB/9)

In the Jerry Dipoto/Scott Servais era, the bullpen has regularly been a strength. Dipoto and Justin Hollander have shown an ability to take guys that have been cut or DFA'd, or former top prospects and turn them into valuable and sometime high leverage relievers. The Mariners acquired Justin Topa in the offseason and out of camp, he actually started in Tacoma. He was recalled pretty quickly on April 9th and never looked back. The Mariners have a system and it is damn good at identifying guys with certain traits, spin rates, arm slots etc. that they can work with or tweak and make them very effective. Before this year Justin Topa had thrown a combined 18 1/3.

This year he has thrown 58 1/3, the most in any single season in his professional career since 2014 when he was used as a starter in A ball. Topa doesn't have the elite strikeout numbers like guys such as Andres Munoz or Matt Brash, but he has been dependable and effective, posting a sub 1 ERA in both July and August with 27 appearances between those 2 months. The Mariners needed another bullpen arm to step up and no one has been more of a pleasant surprise than Justin Topa.

These four young players make up a strong supporting cast for superstars Julio Rodriguez and George Kirby.