For the Seattle Mariners, 2022 is a “prove it” season. The Mariners are trying to end the longest playoff drought in North American sports and the front office made big moves in the offseason.
16 games into the season and it’s so far so good for Seattle. The team is 10-6 and leads the American League West by a game. Players interested in MLB baseball betting have been profiting as well.
Despite all the offseason moves, the biggest contributor to Seattle’s early success has been someone who was already rostered: first baseman Ty France. Acquiring him from the San Diego Padres during the 2020 season was among one of the best acquisitions the Mariners have made in a long time.
France’s Season So Far
France has been the motor for Seattle’s offense and is a huge reason why they’re off to a hot start early.
The 27 year old product of San Diego State University, he’s hitting .375 with 5 homers, 19 runs batted in and a 1.116 on-base plus slugging percentage over 74 plate appearances. France’s 24 hits also lead all of major league baseball right now.
This production is nothing new for him either. France is picking up where he left off in 2021 as he finished last season with a .291 average to go along with 18 homers, 73 RBI and an .813 OPS over 152 games.
France has proven himself to be not only one of the best players in his division, but a standout first baseman and position player across the league. The offseason moves Seattle made to acquire guys like starting pitcher Robbie Ray, infielder Adam Frazier and outfielder Jesse Winker shouldn’t be diminished, but right now it’s France who continues to be the Mariners’ shining star.
In their weekend series sweep over the Kansas City Royals, France took offensive production into his own hands as he went 8-15 with 2 homers, 7 RBI and 4 runs scored in just three games. To go beyond that, if you add France’s previous two games against the Texas Rangers, he’s 13-23 with an additional home run and 3 more RBI.
It should come as no surprise to baseball fans that the Mariners have won four of their last five over this stretch as France’s value to this ballclub cannot be overstated right now. Obviously these numbers aren’t really sustainable for any major leaguer, but France continues to prove himself as one of the most reliable position players that the American League has to offer.
It should be clear as day if you’ve been tracking his game so far. The guy absolutely rips into the ball and can hit both fastballs and off-speed stuff with exceptional power to go along with great plate discipline.
The Future for France
Still in his 20’s, the future could not be brighter for France, and it’s about time he finally gets the recognition that he deserves.
Since the beginning of the 2020 season, France is hitting an even .300 with an .842 OPS over 211 games. It’s still the first month of the new season, but his major league track record shows no indication of slowing down.
He’s the established centerpiece of an impressive Mariners offense, and barring injury, that is not likely to change. If France can continue to have even a semblance of the production he’s put up so far this season, there’s no reason not to have him in the AL MVP conversation.
Sure, there’s guys like Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani to contend with, but France continues to consistently prove himself to be right up there in terms of on-field performance and he’s got his best baseball still ahead of him.
If he keeps it up, he’ll certainly earn his first career All-Star nod this season, and his consistent production will be necessary if Seattle wants to finally put their playoff drought to rest.
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