A strong offseason could lead to this Mariners' hitter contending for the batting title

He spent time at Driveline, lost some weight, and gained some bat speed. 2024 could be the year that this Mariners' player contends for the batting title
Seattle Mariners v Chicago White Sox
Seattle Mariners v Chicago White Sox / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

Back in 2020, the Mariners made an incredible trade with the San Diego Padres. It's been a few years, and they sent out players who did little to nothing for the Padres (Dan Altavilla, Austin Nola, and Austin Adams). While the Mariners got Taylor Trammell and Luis Torrens (who haven't done much or proven themselves yet), they also got Andres Munoz, who I heard is pretty good, and Ty France.

France put in a bunch of work at Driveline this offseason, and it seems like it is already making a difference. He struggled ever since the 2022 All-Star break, and it seemed like a bunch of factors were contributing to his struggles, as injuries changed how he swung, and it turned into a downward spiral.

Ty France is going to compete for the batting title in 2024

This may seem like a bold statement based on his last 1.5 years' worth of play, and that is far. However, it's important to remember that it wasn't that long ago that a healthy Ty France was hitting on the positive side of 300. Maybe batting just over 300 doesn't seem like much, but it's important to remember that only 4 qualified hitters in the American League hit over .300 in 2023.

We've brought it up before, but France can hit quite well when healthy. He hit .302 the year he got here, then hit .311 in his 148 healthy games in 2021 and was hitting .316 in 2022 before the collision at first with Paredes, and still was hitting .306 on August 7th that year. Shoot, even David Schoenfield from ESPN picked France as a dark horse to win the batting title a couple years ago.

The reports were that France added 3.5 mph to his swing speed while at Driveline. While that may not translate to a 3.5 mph exit velo, we should see a sizeable increase there from France this season. He's looking more svelte, the swing is better, and he is overall in better condition to get back to his old self as they enter 2024.

Just how good can he do? The prediction ends up as something like this. .311/.374/.502. Those are nearly all career highs, and the lost weight helps france snag a decent amount of doubles that he wouldn't have gotten in the past. France was 546th out of 583 eligible players for sprint speed. I'm not saying he turns into Julio, but just adding a bit of speed should lead to more doubles, and will result in a career-high of 37 doubles this season, along with 23 HR.

Ty France is going to contend for the batting title in 2024. You heard it here first. #TridentsUp