The famous poets Blink-182 once said, “Nobody likes you when you’re 23.” They were right.
For many Americans, 23 is the perilous age between young, unburdened dummy and older, now-has-to-pay-bills dummy. The typical American education system spits kids out at 18, millions of them go to college, and then they graduate at 22. But 23 is usually right around the time that the universe delivers its first right hook. “One day you’ll look back on this and laugh”, it seems to say, “But for now I’m going to spend every waking moment making things impossible for you.”
One way to circumvent all of this, it turns out, is to be disgustingly good at baseball! Or at least, to trick people into thinking that you might one day be alright. The Seattle Mariners have trusted 14 position players to make somewhat significant contributions before they hit 23. Technically, some of these people were 23 during their age-22 seasons due to spring or summer birthdays. But still, to make 200 plate appearances before an official age-23 season is to make people believe in you.
Do the Mariners believe in Jarred Kelenic enough to add him to this list in 2021? At just 21 years old, Kelenic will surely make the list eventually, but with an early callup we could maybe even see him hit 200 plate appearances before August.
Take a stab at all 14 of the Mariners who were thrown to the wolves at least 200 times before their 23rd birthday. There’s two heavyweights of the sport, a couple Seattle cult figures, a few names you’ll recognize, and a few more who will probably make you say some swear words.