We have written extensively about Ty France's regression since a wrist injury in 2021. Subsequently, we also penned a few articles highlighting a much-needed, and get this, highly likely bounceback season in 2024. France is a crucial cog in the Mariner offense because, at his best, he offers 20-homer power potential with more bat-to-ball skill than half the roster.
While Driveline, the renowned baseball development team, has posted a few clips of France diving into a new swing and routine, there is skepticism around his ability to take those changes and produce in-game results. This skepticism is mainly because Seattle Times reporter Ryan Divish lumped the 29-year-old infielder into the same category as Eugenio Suarez, unwilling to stray from their approach bucket. Well, add one media outlet that is all in on the Ty France bounceback campaign, MLB.com.
In a recent article, MLB.com's Thomas Harrigan consulted Fangraphs and projected the ten most improved players for the upcoming season, with France at number seven in the list alongside Arizona Diamondback outfielder Alek Thomas, pitchers Lucas Giolito and Ross Strippling, and designated hitter Eloy Jimenez. MLB.com projects the San Diego State University alumni to finish with 2.1 WAR, significantly higher than his contribution to a pedestrian Mariner offense in 2023 (0.5 WAR).
Diving deeper into the Fangraph, France's 2024 projections are more in line with his career norms. Getting a 2-win season from the cold corner infielder, along with the projected .267 average, 18 homers, and a 114wRC+, would be a tremendous asset in the team's push to keep pace with deeper lineups in Houston and Texas. Additionally, Ty France turning back the clock to 2021-2022, when he was a borderline American League All-Star and 2-3 win player, would be one of the best offseason developments.
That's saying something, considering all the exciting additions ranging from the Mitches (Garver, Haniger), Jorge Polanco, Luke Raley, and flamethrower Gregory Santos.