Tonight’s open thread blurb is just an appreciation of Ty France. While France’s career 121 wRC+ and .337 xwOBA through right about 1,000 (exactly 1,006) career PAs is a pretty good outcome for a guy with a 50 FV hit tool and 55 FV game power tool before he graduated, it’s pretty cool to see a “mostly bat, corner at best” profile still give his teams over 2.6 fWAR/600 to date, including something akin to 3.5/600 in both of the past two seasons. He’s also put up some good (but small sample) fielding metrics at first base, and the Mariners have indicated that he’s going to be the team’s Opening Day first baseman for 2022, whenever that actually happens.
So here’s to Ty France, a guy who turned a 40 FV into a lot more already.
Random factoid, though: France posted a .291/.368/.445 line in 2021. Yet, that gaudy OBP came with only a 7.1 percent walk rate. What helped? 27 HBPs, which tied Mark Canha for the MLB lead last year. Whatever works for out avoidance, I guess!