I think it's fair to say that JP Crawford was the Mariners player that, heading into 2023 at least, drew the most arguments and conversation about anyone on the team. Was he good enough to be the Shortstop? Should the move him to second? Where should he hit in the lineup? Most importantly, regardless of position... was he good enough?
Well, thanks to an offseason at Driveline, JP Crawford assuaged any doubts on that matter with an incredible 2023 season. Later on this offseason we will get into just where he stands in all time seasons for the Mariners and where he ranked at his position, but I want to isntead focus on what was arguably the most important part of his season in 2023.
JP Crawford ended up hitting leadoff for the majority of the season. In fact, he left the bottom of the lineup at the end of April, moving up to the top spot... and never left it. He lead off in 113 games for the Mariners, hitting an impressive .270/.379/.455 out of that spot.
He would finish with 94 walks on the season, leading the entirety of the American League, and finishing 6th overall in baseball. It's one of the best marks we have ever seen from someone on the Mariners, and the most by anyone on the team since John Olerud drew 98 walks back in 2002.
Side note, Edgar was a monster. 464 walks over a 4-year period, all the while hitting .334 at the plate. Goodness gracious.
Anyway, JP now sits 16th in the history of the Mariners for walks in a season, and was a major catalyst to the top of the orders success. He hit .303/.395/.586 in the first inning, with six homers, 22 runs, and just 22 striekouts. If that's not setting the table, then I don't know what is.
Congratulations to JP Crawford on a great season, trying to single-handledly walk the Mariners to the postseason. It was a great year, and I hope we see more of it going forward.