We are all too familiar with offensive futility from the Mariners. There's more to come if you somehow aren't. There was plenty in the past as well and I covered some of the worst hitting seasons, both with and without accounting for defensive position back in January. I had plans to do more with looking back into the past before other ideas and offsite activities got in the way and derailed my momentum.
However, it is a new season underway now and let us try to keep the warm feelings going. I wanted to break from the depressing peek under the trash can of our team's history to a more sunny moment. On the other end of the spectrum from Brian L. Hunter and Mario Mendoza is the best hitting season in Mariner history, first without factoring position into the equation.
It is perfectly fitting that the provider of that season was Edgar Martinez and the time was 1995. That season stands heads and shoulders above any other offensive season in Seattle history. Edgar tallied up 74 runs above the average hitter in that season and the next highest mark was Alex Rodriguez in the following season at 65 runs.* Edgar's season is an extraordinary total in its own right. That batting runs is a counting stat and that Edgar achieved his 1995 campaign in a 145-game strike-shortened season is a cherry on top.
*See ** note
Edgar played every game that year and the Mariners needed each precious plate appearance that he gave them. He led the league in runs scored, which is a rather unusual accomplishment for a slow-footed DH batting in the three through five slots. He won a second career batting title and led the league in doubles, OBP, OPS and OPS+ as well. Edgar's slash line that year was .356/.479/.628. He posted a 1.297 OPS in high leverage trips to the plate including a .440 batting average.
In one of the worst** votes, Mo Vaughn captured the 1995 AL MVP. Not that it should have gone to Edgar; the real MVP was probably John Valentin, whom nobody remembers. However, Edgar was a far more deserving choice than Mo Vaughn was and one cannot help but wonder how an MVP Award would affect Edgar's Hall of Fame vote count.
**See * for possibly the worst
By the way, not a single one of the top 20 hitting seasons has taken place in this past decade. Bret Boone's 2003 season is the closest. The magic number is 40 batting runs. So in addition to fawning over Edgar Martinez, who do you think could break over that barrier? When we next see a Mariner add his name to the list and displace Ken Griffey Jr circa 1991?