Mariners 2024 Player Rankings: A "down" year sees Andres Munoz at #8

After dominating in 2022, Andres Munoz struggled a bit in comparison in 2023. As we head to 2024, which Munoz will we see for the Mariners this season?

Los Angeles Dodgers v Seattle Mariners
Los Angeles Dodgers v Seattle Mariners / Stephen Brashear/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit

You know what's wild? If you ask Mariners fans, there are a fair amount of them that would tell you that Munoz struggled in 2023. That he had a down or bad year. It's true that the had times of struggle, but nearly every reliever does. Even the GOAT Rivera blew a save when it mattered most in the World Series.

Andres Munoz comes in at #8 in our 2024 player rankings

There are definitely some stats that show that Munoz wasn't as good in 2023. His walk rate, hit rate, ERA, and FIP were all higher than 2022. Not by much though. His BABIP against was also a lot worse, which contributed to some of those higher numbers. His HR rate was also lower, as he gave up just two on the entire year. This is why it's wild to me that people think he struggled last season.

Season

ERA

FIP

K Rate

BB rate

HR Rate

BABIP

2022

2.49

2.04

12.3/9

2.1/9

0.7/9

.297

2023

2.94

2.70

12.3/9

4.0/9

0.4/9

.330

I do think a big part of this is that he struggled a bit in September. A 4.35 ERA in 12 appearances that was punctuated by a run in 2 of his final 3 outings, bumping his ERA from 2.70 to its finishing point of 2.94. The 24 appearances before that? He had a 2.42 ERA with a 12.9 K rate even with a .365 BABIP against him.

The run value on the slider wasn't near as good as 2022 when it was literally one of the best pitches in all of baseball. However, he did have a bit of bad luck in both xBA and xSLG, with both numbers ending up higher than they should've been.

Here's why I think that we are underrating Munoz heading into 2024. He "only" threw 49 innings last year, and should be fully healthy throughout the offseason. Last year, he was dealing with some surgeries to clean things up. A healthy and rested Munoz, who will only be 25 mind you, could be one of the best relievers in baseball once again.

No one voted him higher than #7, which is a bit of a surprise after seeing a #3 and a #5 last year in the 2023 rankings. If we see Munoz at his peak, I think he will end the season as not just the best reliever on the Mariners, but one of the best relievers in all of baseball... if not the best.