The Seattle Mariners had a fantastic run, but their 2021 campaign came to an end on Sunday.
When all was said and done, the team came up just two games shy of extending its season in the AL Wild Card race.
Although this wasn’t the preferred outcome for fans in Seattle, the Mariners’ 2021 campaign was one of the team’s most exciting years in recent memory.
The organization is inching closer and closer to snapping its 20-year postseason drought, and it seems like it’s just a matter of time until the club will find itself in the playoffs.
Moral victories aren’t worth a whole lot, but Mariners fans should focus on the positives.
So, today, on the topic of positivity, we’re going to rank Seattle’s top three players from the 2021 season.
There are plenty to choose from, as several stars emerged for the Mariners this year.
Let’s get started.
3. Chris Flexen – SP
In a year that was full of bright spots for the Mariners, Chris Flexen was certainly one of them.
Flexen’s 2021 campaign was the best of his career so far.
He entered the season with a career ERA of 8.07 at the MLB level, so expectations weren’t very high for the 27-year-old.
But to the surprise of many, he was Seattle’s most reliable rotation arm this season.
He pitched to a 3.61 ERA, 3.89 FIP, and 1.25 WHIP across 31 outings.
The Mariners, who had a winning percentage of .556 on the year, went 22-9 in Flexen’s starts, good for a winning percentage of .710.
The former 14th-round pick finished the year with a bWAR of 3.5.
He has a lot to be proud of.
• 14th round pick
• 8.07 ERA across 3 seasons with Mets
• designated for assignment by Mets
• went to pitch for Doosan Bears in Korea
• 2-year contract with Mariners
• earned spot in starting rotation
• 14-6 record | 3.61 ERA
Quite the comeback season. pic.twitter.com/JmN3gGHJIE
— Danny Vietti (@DannyVietti) October 3, 2021
If all goes well, Flexen figures to be a staple in Seattle’s rotation for a long time.
2. J.P. Crawford
Like Flexen, J.P. Crawford had a career year in 2021.
The 26-year-old is known best for his glove, but this season, he also made a positive impact at the plate.
He posted career-bests in OPS+ (102) and wRC+ (103).
He also racked up an offensive bWAR of 3.0.
Of course, the former first-round pick maintained his status as an elite defender by totaling 8 DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) and a defensive bWAR of 1.8.
Crawford seems to be getting better by the year, and he’s under club control until 2025.
The Mariners are going to enjoy having him around for the foreseeable future.
1. Ty France
After Ty France looked promising in the COVID-shortened 2020 campaign, many folks were interested in seeing if the 27-year-old was going to be able to maintain his success over a full 162.
We got our answer in a big way.
France was Seattle’s most valuable player in 2021.
The San Diego State University product slashed .291/.368/.445 on the year, homering 18 times, doubling 32 times, and tripling once.
— Ty France Fan Page 🇫🇷 (@TyFranceFanPage) September 28, 2021
He posted an OPS+ of 128 and finished the season with a 4.2 WAR.
France is another guy who’s under club control for several years (until 2026).
He’s quickly becoming one of the most underrated young stars in baseball, and it’s crazy to think about the fact that he has only completed one full season at the MLB level.
The Mariners are in great shape for the future.