Ty France was a borderline all-star performer during the previous two years, eclipsing two wins above replacement each year. However, the 29-year-old first baseman's production dipped this past season, with most of his value coming from a league-leading 32 beanballs. France would finish the year with a subpar .250/.337/.703 slash from a traditional power position, which could be better. Fortunately, the San Diego State University alum recognized the need for a change and high-tailed it to Driveline for some swing mechanics changes.
We all saw what working at Driveline did for J.P. Crawford this season. The Mariner shortstop just went out and hit the ball harder than before, resulting in career highs in home runs, runs batted in, wRC+, and WAR. Crawford's offseason work with Driveline completely changed his career trajectory, taking him from a two-win player to a four-win player. That's the difference between just a guy and an all-star.
It is refreshing to see Ty France put in the effort to rework his swing this offseason, especially when MLB reporters like Ryan Divish have mentioned France's unwillingness to stray from his approach in years past. He may see a career at a crossroads or just an opportunity to return to his career norms (127 wRC+). Either way, manager Scott Servais should welcome France's high-contact bat in the 2024 lineup as the front office works to curb the strikeouts on the roster. If J.P. Crawford's 2023 season indicates Driveline's impact, you should hop onboard the Ty France bandwagon while the gettings are good.