Cold Hard M’s Facts
It’s hard to smile about the Seattle Mariners after a 95-loss season. That said, as bad as Seattle’s record was, there really are some positives to draw from the 2011 campaign.
Improvement in 2012 seems almost inevitable.
Let’s review the Mariners’ season.
MVP: Felix Hernandez
King Felix regressed from his Cy Young-winning 2010 campaign but he was still a horse for the M’s, winning 14 games despite horrible run support and posting a 3.47 ERA and 222 strikeouts.
All three of those stats led the team.
Top pitcher: Brandon League
King Felix is the man but closer Brandon League was Seattle’s most dominant pitcher this season. He saved 37 games – more than half the team’s wins – in 42 tries and had just 10 walks and three homers allowed over 61.1 innings.
Rookie of the Year: Michael Pineda
The 6’7” power righty’s first half earned him All-Star status. Though he went winless in his final two months, his WHIP remained above-average, suggesting his second-half swoon was more bad luck than anything else.
Fantasy Baseball Studs and Duds
1. Hernandez: Even in an “off” year, King Felix was good enough to anchor many fantasy staffs.
2. League: He did wonders for your team’s ERA and WHIP as far as closers go.
3. Mike Carp: Hit .286 with 12 homers and 46 RBI in 64 games after the All-Star break, helping many fantasy squads make the playoffs.
4. Dustin Ackley: The blue-chip second baseman provided rare and useful pop from the middle infielder slot.
2. Justin Smoak: A strong April, a strong September, but the struggles in between relegated him to the waiver wire in most leagues.
3. Miguel Olivo: Some owners liked the 19 homers from their catcher slot but Olivo’s 477 at-bats with a .224 average killed teams in that category.
4. Franklin Gutierrez: Was a useful fourth or fifth fantasy outfielder in recent seasons given his power/speed combination but was never fully healthy this year and hit .224 with just one homer and 19 RBI over 322 at-bats.
Future Fantasy Baseball Stars On The Seattle Mariners
Here are my top five impact Seattle Mariners of future.
1. Michael Pineda
3. Justin Smoak
4. Nick Franklin
5. Mike Carp