Sometimes numbers are fun. Sometimes they’re not. But oftentimes, numbers can be manipulated to say whatever you want. So on a Sunday after the trade deadline, let’s cook the books and look at some numbers that paint a positive picture of your Seattle Mariners.
Stat #1: .314/.415/.743
Those are Evan White‘s numbers since August 15th. This only covers 41 PAs, but there are undoubtedly been positive signs in White’s development. He’s dropped his strikeout rate to 31.7% which is still high but a major improvement. This two-week stretch has led Mariners fans to see the upside of White and the wRC+ of 210 and .473 wOBA have been elite. Evan White is fun, plain and simple.
Stat #2: 2.75 FIP
Yusei Kikuchi has a 2.75 FIP. Simply put, he’s been good and the ERA doesn’t tell half the story. Kikuchi as increased his K/9 from 6.5 in 2019 to 9.9 in 2020. His groundball rate has also jumped from 44% to 53.8% and his fastball velocity has jumped from 92.5 MPH to 95.1 MPH. The cutter has been a game-changer and is Kikuchi’s go-to pitch. He’ll get 4 more starts to cement his status as a mid-rotation arm. After a disappointing 2019, Kikuchi was been one of the biggest positives of 2020.
Stat #3: 37.1% Whiff Rate
As hard as it is to believe, Anthony Misiewicz sports a 37.1% whiff rate. That ranks in the 93rd percentile in all of baseball. Nobody saw this swing and miss stuff coming in spring training, but Misiewicz has been great. He ranks in the 79th percentile in xERA, 87th percentile in barrel percent and 88th percentile in K%. His curveball-cutter combo has been fantastic and the Mariners may have found an exciting bullpen arm going forward.
Stat #4: 74th Percentile in Outs Above-Average
This is where Kyle Lewis’ centerfield defense ranks in MLB. In layman’s terms, he’s in the upper quarter of centefielders in stealing hits for his team. Lewis is comfortable in center, takes great routes, and understands his strengths and how to maximize his defensive value. Lewis isn’t a long term centerfielder, but can handle the position in the short-term and should be an above-average defender in a corner spot in future years.
Stat #5: .289/.357/.553
After a poor two week stretch, J.P. Crawford has turned things around in the past two weeks, slashing the above numbers in his past 10 games (entering Saturday’s game). Crawford’s overall .248/.338/.358 slashline is decent, but the recent uptick in power the past 10 days is a positive sign. Ideally, Crawford will hit eighth or ninth for the next Mariners playoff team.