Are The 2017 Mariners Tooled To Be A Hitting Machine?
Over the off-season, Mariners GM, Jerry Dipoto, has added some new key players to the roster, filling the M’s biggest necessities. So, is the 2017 team destined to be an offensive wrecking ball?
Based on the additions made by Dipoto this offseason, the priority can be defined by one word: Speed. In 2017, Jean Segura and Jarrod Dyson will give the Mariners more speed at the top of the lineup than they’ve had in a while.
In 2016, the Mariners did not fare well as far as stealing bases. They ranked 24th out of all MLB teams with 56 bags taken. Furthermore, the top two in the lineup in 2016 did not consistently get on base.
Even with the top two lineup guys not getting on, the rest of the M’s still got on base quite often. They ranked 6th in the MLB with a .326 OBP. Adding Dyson and Segura will certainly add to a rise in that OBP.
What Do All These Stats Mean For The 2017 Lineup?
Adding speed and OBP to a team with the RBI and Homerun producers we already have equals runs; and lots of them.
Although the offense was not the kryptonite of the 2016 team, these additions take the offense from formidable to feared. With a rebuilt bullpen and a solid rotation, this 2017 team will be scary.
To fully understand the potency of the lineup, you have to dissect it individually. The projected 2017 lineup goes as follows;
- Jarrod Dyson
- Jean Segura
- Robinson Cano
- Nelson Cruz
- Kyle Seager
- Mike Zunino
- Dan Vogelbach
- Leonys Martin
- Ben Gamel
You can break this lineup into three exciting groups.
Firstly, the speed demons at the top. Jarrod Dyson and Jean Segura both stole more than 30 bags in 2016. Adding these two gives the Mariners leadoff hitter 1 & 1A, which is vital in today’s game.
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Secondly, we have the run producers. Cano, Cruz, and Seager combined for 307 RBI’s in 2016, and with better leadoff guys, expect that number to climb. Production with this group is never the issue, they just need to stay healthy on the field.
The New Boys In Town
Lastly, the lineup includes the “exciting potential group”. 6-9 in the lineup will more than likely be moved around and switched throughout the season. But give these guys a full season, they have potential to do a lot of offensive damage.
We have seen glimpses of Zunino’s ability to hit for average, and his raw power is almost unparalleled. Vogelbach at first, Haniger in right and Gamel presumably as an outfield utility will have 2017 to showcase themselves and prove why they belong in the big leagues.
In my opinion, Martin will benefit from not having to be the only source of speed. He will thrive being lower in the lineup and being able to be hidden in such a potent 1-9.
The 2017 Mariner’s lineup has a great mix of everything: speed to set the tone, players to send the ball over the fence, and youngins with scary good potential. A rejuvenated offense along with a repaired pitching staff could result in a deep 2017 playoff run.