Mariners 2023 Report Cards: Ty France had a down year

Ty France has been a fan favorite for a long time, but he took a major step back this season in terms of production. But was his 2023 season as bad as you think?
Texas Rangers v Seattle Mariners
Texas Rangers v Seattle Mariners / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

Ty France had a bad season in 2023. There really is no way to argue otherwise. The former All-Star 1B's struggles in the second half of 2023 almost mirror his 2022 second-half struggles. Injuries were blamed for his poor second half in 2022, and I think the league may have caught up to him in 2023.

2022 2nd Half

2023 2nd Half

.229 AVG

.236 AVG

54 Hits

59 Hits

9 Home Runs

5 Home Runs

14 Walks / 42 Strikeouts

24 Walks / 51 Strikeouts

Ty's overall batting average in 2023 was .250, by far his lowest average as a full-time player. His strikeout percentage (17.6%) was the highest in his career as a full-time starter. He earned a 0.5 fWAR (according to Fan Graphs), which was the same fWAR as players like Mike Ford (yikes), Brian Anderson (who was DFA'd), and Christian Pache (.238 hitter, 2 HRs). France also was second in all of baseball in grounding into double plays, which he did 25(!!!) times. Only Minnesota Twins Shortstop Carlos Correa had more with 30.

Overall, I am going to give Ty France a D

I know that is a rough grade. But his season was really that bad. Yes, his WRC+ of 104 was 4% better than the league minimum, and His strikeout rate is much lower than the league average. But those are about the only 2 offensive stats I can be positive about. The double plays were a real problem. He is one of the slowest players on the team. And while there is no doubt Ty would beat me in a foot race, the fact is that his speed, or lack thereof, hurts him.

According to MLB's Daniel Kramer, Ty France had bought property in the Seattle area and will be going to Driveline with fellow Mariner J.P. Crawford. Crawford spent much of the last offseason at Driveline, and whatever he did there, it surely worked. J.P. set career highs in Home Runs (19), RBI 965), Walks (94) and O.B.P. (.380). Is it a guarantee that Driveline can fix Ty France? No. But we all know how hard Ty works.

I think the Mariners will see a much different Ty France in 2023. But, It goes without saying that Ty either needs to figure it out this offseason, or the Mariners will need to go a different direction at first base for 2024.