You may not realize this, but yesterday the Mariners played their 55th game. Because I am apparently math-challenged, I did not realize quickly that this meant they were PAST the 1⁄3 mark, so I should have gotten this article done before yesterday’s game, but those are the breaks. One third of a season—almost a full 2020’s worth of games!—provides ample opportunity to do some “projections” by doing a type of math that is about at the limit of what I can handle on my own these days: multiplying by three. So here are some bizarre, some cool, some bad, but all 100% guaranteed to happen facts about the Mariners’ final 2021 tallies. You can’t argue with this. It’s just math.
Mitch Haniger hits 42 home runs
This is probably one of the most realistic items in this article (you’ve been warned). This will place Mitch third on the single-season list since 2000 for Mariners hitters. Yes, third. Nelson Cruz hit more in 2015 and 2016 and that’s it. Mitch Haniger should be a Seattle Mariner for a very long time because he has conquered T-Mobile in a way few (one) have before him. There have been 135 40+ home run seasons since 2000, from Barry Bonds’ 73 in 2004 to Adam Dunn’s 40 in 2008. The Mariners, until Mitch mashes 42 by season’s end, have three of them. Extend Mitch Haniger.
Jake Fraley racks up 30 walks... in 72 PA
Naturally, the thing about just multiplying by three is that some Mariners only played a little bit because of things like one of their hamstrings falling off. However, again, it’s math: I multiplied by three and I am right and I cannot be criticized for that. Jake Fraley will draw 30 walks in 72 PA, a tally which would rank 8th on the 2019 Mariners. This, combined with his .231/.583/.385 line, will probably result in him winning team MVP or something. I don’t know, I still can’t figure out Jake Fraley. I hope his legs stay attached for the rest of the year.
Kendall Graveman posts a TWO WAR SEASON
Kendall Graveman is having an outstanding relief season. Having seemingly mostly absorbed closing duties from Rafael Montero, he will throw a nice even 50 innings, landing at 2.1 fWAR (and tying for the team lead with Chris Flexen) and producing the second-best reliever season in the Dipoto era. The weirder thing is he’s going to end up with a mere 15 saves! Would be cool for the Mariners to win a lot more games by a lot of runs so that this isn’t because they’re getting mollywhopped by the entire AL.
Kendall Graveman takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked pic.twitter.com/HzJcM4az8i— Zach••• (@zachleft) May 12, 2021
Top 3 Mariner hitters: Jake Fraley, Justin Dunn, Justus Sheffield
These three guys are our best hitters. There’s no way around it. Their respective wRC+ numbers of 198, 177, and 193 give the Mariners a trio of powerhouse hitters barely conceived of since the 1927 Yankees. Some people might say Sheffield’s K% of 50.0 and Dunn’s 66.7% could pose a problem. To those people I say it will not matter because they will end up with 6 and 9 plate appearances. It would be nice if we got them more, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles.
Kyle Seager ties his career high with 30 home runs
It’s been a neat benchmark-y type season for Kyle Seager, who as we all know just took the lead for home runs at T-Mobile/Safeco Field. He will also equal his career year’s home run tally! He put up 30 bombs in 2016 with his 5.2 WAR and nearly pushed the M’s into the playoffs that year. Well, he’s only going to match one piece of that in 2021, but home runs are cool, so that’s OK with me.
Marco Gonzales has an exactly nonexistent season
Here’s a question the saber nerds have never been able to answer. If a player has a 0 WAR season, does he even really exist? We’ll be able to answer that by year’s end with Marco Gonzales, who unfortunately is set to follow several excellent campaigns with a season that yields no WAR whatsoever over a relatively low 85 innings. Long term, of course, you expect him to be more or less fine, he’s Marco Gonzales—but it’s pretty weird to look at his statline this year and see a big goose egg after his near-elite shortened 2020.
IL Days used by 2021 Mariners, all-told: 1,719
Runs Scored: 624
Runs Allowed: 750
Run Differential: -126
That’s the math, folks, we don’t really need to let this one play out. I’ll see you at a moderately satisfying 81-81.