STEAMER sees cautious regression with JP Crawford, but still projects a great season

JP Crawford shocked the baseball world in 2023 with his play. STEAMER sees it, and projects cautious regression but still a great season for the Mariners SS

Oakland Athletics v Seattle Mariners
Oakland Athletics v Seattle Mariners / Alika Jenner/GettyImages

With how things ended up with the Mariners in 2023, there are only a handful of things that we can look back on without any negative connotations or thoughts associated with them. One of those things, and arguably the lead memory from last season, was the incredible success that JP Crawford found at the plate for the Mariners.

Crawford turned into not just a great hitting shortstop, but a great hitter, PERIOD. The dude raked and set the table consistently for the rest of the team. It wasn't just getting on base, but an increase in power that he also brought to the table with his 19 homers. The big question is, was it a fluke or can he do it again?

STEAMER isn't quite sure, but it seems like it wants to believe in JP. Let's take a look at Crawford's career averaged before 2023, his numbers from last year, and then his projections. For the career numbers, everything is an average other than Off (fangraphs offense measurement), which is totaled.

Pre 2023 - 8.5 fWAR, 27 HR, 10.3% BB rate, 17.5% K rate, .248/.333/.358, -9 Off
2023 - 4.9 fWAR, 19 HR, 94 R, 65 RBI, 14.7% BB rate, 19.6% K rate, .266/.380/.438, 27.7 Off
2024 - 3.5 fWAR, 14 HR, 84 R, 59 RBI, 12.1% BB rate, 17.3% K rate, .258/.355/.391, 10.6 Off

It's just another way of trying to show the kind of leap that he made on offense, but to show as well that some of the backing for his numbers have always been there. That walk rate has always been good, and the K rate is very similar to his career number. For someone to essentially triple their home run rate and barely raise their K percentage is a great marker of success.

I think we would all love to see the same type of season from JP that we saw last year. To have your SS put up a top 20 offensive season across baseball is huge, especially when he is doing it alongside the best young centerfielder in all of baseball. If we can get those projected numbers, though, I think things will be just fine at shortstop for the Mariners in 2024.