Mariners 2016 Season In Review: The Hitters
2016 was a banner year for the Mariners offense. As a club, Seattle ranked 3rd in the Major Leagues in home runs and 6th in the Majors in runs per game. The Mariners got contributions from up-and-down the lineup, as six different players hit at least 15 home runs. Robinson Canó, Nelson Cruz and Kyle Seager anchored the heart of the order, becoming the third trio of Mariners teammates in club history to hit 30 home runs apiece and the first since 1997. That is just a sampling of this season’s offensive fireworks.
The following is a look at the highlights from the Mariners hitters in 2016, including an in-depth review of the career seasons from Canó, Cruz and Seager. Tomorrow, we take a look back at this season’s noteworthy achievements from the Mariners pitching staff.
The Mariners Hitters: 2016 in Review
Runs, Runs & More Runs…the Mariners scored 4.74 runs per game, 3rd-best in the American League and 6th-best in the Majors…this was the highest-scoring season by a Mariners club since the 2007 club scored 4.90 runs per game…the 4.74 runs per game is the 12th-best in club history.
Homer Happy…Seattle ranked 2nd in the American League and 3rd in the Majors with 223 home runs…the home run total is the 5th-most in club history behind the clubs from 1997 (264), 1996 (245), 1999 (244) and 1998 (234) and the most in the Safeco Field era…18 different Mariners hit a home run this season, including Nelson Cruz, Robinson Canó, Kyle Seager and Adam Lind who all hit 20+.
Home Sweet Homer…the Mariners set a club record with 116 home runs at Safeco Field this season, eclipsing the 2000 club that had 92…the 116 home runs at home are the 5th-most in club history behind the clubs from 1997 (131), 1999 (122), 1996 (121) and 1998 (117)…the 116 homers at home were T2nd-most in the Majors this season behind Baltimore (131) and tied with Colorado…Nelson Cruz and Robinson Canó led the club with 17 home runs at Safeco Field this season, following by Adam Lind (15).
All Right vs. Lefties…Seattle led the Majors Leagues in home runs vs. left-handed pitchers with 79…Seattle had four players ranked in the Top-6 in the Majors in home runs against lefties: Nelson Cruz (1st, 19 HR), Franklin Gutierrez (T3rd, 12), Robinson Canó (T6th, 11) and Kyle Seager (T6th, 11)…as a team against left-handers, hit .255 (489×1915) with 78 doubles, 7 triples, 79 home runs, 246 RBI and a .427 slugging mark.
Dynamic Duo…Nelson Cruz (43 HR) and Robinson Canó (39 HR) ranked 2nd and 7th in the American League in home runs, respectively…Cruz and Canó became the 5th Mariners duo in club history to finish in the top 10 in the AL in home runs and the first to do since 2000 when Alex Rodriguez (41 HR) and Edgar Martinez (37 HR) ranked T4th and T10th in the AL, respectively…the other seasons in which a Mariners duo accomplished this feat are 1999: Ken Griffey Jr. & Rodriguez, 1998: Griffey & Rodriguez, 1997: Griffey & Jay Buhner and 1996: Griffey & Buhner.
Walk it Off…the Mariners had eight walk-off wins in 2016: Dae-Ho Lee (2-run HR April 13 vs. TEX), Chris Iannetta (solo HR May 11 vs. TB), Leonys Martin (2-run HR May 24 vs. OAK), Adam Lind (3-run HR June 24 vs. STL), Lind (3-run HR July 28 vs. CWS), Martin (solo HR July 20 vs. CWS), Mike Zunino (sac fly Aug. 9 vs. DET), Robinson Canó (sac fl y Sept. 21 vs. TOR)…the Mariners tied their franchise record for most players with a game-ending homer in a single season…four players had walk-off homers for Seattle in 1986 (Jim Presley-4/8 vs. LAA & 7/17 vs. BOS, Dave Henderson-4/23 vs. MIN, Alvin Davis-8/15 & 16 vs. MIN & Ken Phelps-9/3 vs. DET) and 2004 (Raul Ibanez-4/20 vs. OAK, Bret Boone-7/19 vs. BOS, Bucky Jacobsen-7/21 vs. OAK & Randy Winn-8/28 vs. KC).
30-30-30…Nelson Cruz (43), Robinson Canó (39) & Kyle Seager (30) all hit 30 homers in 2016…it’s the third time in franchise history that Seattle’s had three, 30-home run guys…Nelson, Robinson & Kyle join Ken Griffey Jr.-56, Jay Buhner-40, Paul Sorrento-31 in 1997 & Griffey Jr.-49, Buhner-44, & Alex Rodriguez-36 in 1996.
Road Warriors…Nelson Cruz led the Major Leagues in home runs on the road with 26 while Robinson Canó ranked T4th with 22 and Kyle Seager finished T12th with 19…Cruz was 4th in road RBI with 62, while Seager ranked 7th with 60 and Canó was T10th with 57…Cruz also ranked 2nd in MLB in slugging percentage on the road with a mark of .616 while Canó was 5th with a mark of .583.
100…Nelson Cruz (105) & Robinson Canó (103) are the first pair of Mariners teammates to record at least 100 RBI in a season since 2006 when Raul Ibanez (123) and Richie Sexson (107) did so…teammate Kyle Seager finished with 99 RBI…the last time Seattle had 3 players with 100+ RBI was 2001 (Bret Boone, Mike Cameron & Edgar Martinez).
Four of a Kind…the Mariners had a player with a multi-home run game in four consecutive games June 7-10: Nelson Cruz (June 7), Chris Iannetta (June 8) & Robinson Canó (June 9) & Dae-Ho Lee (June 10)…the 4 straight games with an individual multi-homer game matched the MLB single-season record (3rd time): Mariners join Chicago-NL, June 17-20, 1998 (Hernandez 2; Brown 3; Sosa 2; Sosa 2) & Cleveland, July 17-20, 2000 (Thome 2; Ramirez 2; Thome 2; Ramirez 2)…the Mariners previous club-record for consecutive multi-HR games was 3 (4x), last June 24-27, 2006 (Ibanez 2/Johjima 2; Sexson 2; Johjima 2).
15×6…the Mariners had 6 players record 15 or more home runs this season (Nelson Cruz – 43 HR, Robinson Canó – 39 HR, Kyle Seager – 30 HR, Adam Lind – 20 HR, Seth Smith – 16 HR & Leonys Martin – 15 HR)…marks the 5th single-season in club history that Seattle has had 6 or more players hit 15 home runs (also: 1997 – 7 players with 15+ home runs, 1999 – 6 players, 1998 – 6 players & 1996 – 6 players)…Dae-Ho Lee and Franklin Gutierrez each finished with 14 home runs this season.
First Time for Everything…Dae-Ho Lee (4/8 vs. OAK), Guillermo Heredia (8/2 vs. BOS), Mike Freeman (8/7 vs. LAA) and Daniel Vogelbach (9/13 at LAA) each recorded their first Major League hits this season…Ben Gamel recorded his first Major League hit on May 9 vs. KC w/NYY.
Robinson Canó: 2016 in Review
All-Star…Named to his 7th All-Star Game, his 6th in the past 7 seasons…competed in the Home Run Derby for the 4th time in his career (also: 2011-13).
Among the Best…Among American League leaders ranked 2nd in total bases (349), 2nd in at-bats (655), 3rd in multi-hit games (59), 4th in hits (195), T4th in games (161), 7th in home runs (39), T8th in XBH (74), 10th in slugging (.533), 11th in RBI (103), 11th in OPS (.882) and 13th in average (.298).
This is WAR…Posted a WAR of 7.3 (Baseball Reference), 6th-best in the Major Leagues among position players, behind Mike Trout-LAA (10.6), Mookie Betts-BOS (9.6), Jose Altuve-HOU (7.7), Kris Bryant-CHC (7.7) and Josh Donaldson-TOR (7.3)…marked the 4th-highest WAR of his career and the best since posting a 7.8 WAR in 2013 with New York-AL.
100 & 100…Scored 100+ runs and collected 100+ RBI for the third time in his career (also: 2010 & 2011 w/NYY)…was one of 5 players in the Majors Leagues to reach those criteria this season (also: Nolan Arenado-COL, Mike Trout-LAA, Mookie Betts-BOS & Kris Bryant-CHC)…is one of 4 players to post at least 3 or more such seasons since 2010 (also: Miguel Cabrera – 5, Jose Bautista – 4 & Ryan Braun – 3)…became the 7th different Mariners player (done 19x) to accomplish this feat and the first to do so since Raul Ibañez scored 103 runs and tallied 123 RBI in 2006.
Age is Only a Number…His 39 home runs tied Rogers Hornsby (39 HR, 1929) for the most home runs by a 2nd baseman in his age-33 season or older.
Good Company…Hit a career-best 39 home runs, the most in a single season by a Mariners 2nd baseman in club history (previous: Bret Boone – 37 HR, 2001)…joins Boone (35 HR, 2003 & 37 HR, 2001) as the only Mariners 2nd basemen to hit 30 or more home runs in a single season.
Clutch Homers…Tied for the Major League lead with 16 go-ahead home runs (also: Nolan Arrenado-COL, Jose Bautista-TOR, Chris Carter-MIL, Freddie Freeman-ATL, David Ortiz-BOS & Albert Pujols-LAA)…ranked T5th-most in club history (also: Alex Rodriguez, 1998)…the most in club history since Rodriguez hit 18 go-ahead homers in 2000.
Left on Left Power…Ranked T1st in the Major Leagues among left-handed hitters (also: Kyle Seager) in home runs vs. left-handed pitchers with 11.
Extra, Extra!…Led MLB with 3 home runs in extra innings this season…tied Jay Buhner (3, 1991) for the most home runs in extra innings in club history.
Elite 2nd Baseman…Recorded his 450th career double on May 2 at Oakland, becoming the 5th second baseman in Major League history with 2,000 hits, 450 doubles, 200 home runs and 1,000 RBI (also: Roberto Alomar, Craig Biggio, Jeff Kent and Rogers Hornsby).
Happy Totals…Doubled in the 8th inning on Aug. 20 vs. Milwaukee, giving him 3,500 total bases in his career…according to STATS, Inc., he is just the fifth player in American League history to total 3,500 bases in his first 12 seasons in the Majors, joining Joe DiMaggio (3,773 total bases from 1936-1950), Al Simmons (3,770 from 1924-1935), Lou Gehrig (3,674 from 1923-1934) and Alex Rodriguez (3,576 from 1994-2005).
Homers as a 2nd Baseman…Belted his 247th career home run as a 2nd baseman on June 17 at Boston, surpassing Joe Gordon for most home runs at the keystone position in American League history.
Milestone…Recorded his 1,000th career RBI in his 1,707th career game on April 26 vs. Houston, becoming the 5th fastest 2nd baseman to reach 1,000 career RBI (Tony Lazzeri: 1,417; Jeff Kent: 1,486; Bobby Doerr: 1,552 & Charlie Gehringer: 1,593)…went 2-for-4 with 1 run, 1 home run and 6 RBI in that game (4/26) vs. Houston, equaling his career-high in RBI with 6 (3x, last: 10/3/12 vs. BOS w/NYY)…hit his 10th career grand slam (last: 8/1/12 vs. BAL w/NYY).
1,000 Runs & 1,000 RBI…Scored his 1,000th career run on June 5 at Texas…since the RBI became an official stat in 1920, Canó is 1 of 6 players to record at least 1,000 runs and 1,000 RBI through his first 12 Major League seasons (also: Lance Berkman, Miguel Cabrera, Matt Holiday, Carlos Lee & Albert Pujols).
Double Time…Doubled to left field in the bottom of the 1st inning on Sept. 3 vs. the Angels, marking his 12th consecutive season with at least 30 doubles…Canó is now one of four players in Major League history to record 12 or more consecutive seasons with at least 30 doubles, joining Stan Musial (16 seasons: 1942 – 1958, DNP in 1945), Tris Speaker (12: 1916 – 1927) and Honus Wagner (12: 1899 – 1910)…Canó is also the only player in Major League history to record at least 30 doubles in each of his first 12 seasons (STATS Inc.).
Happy 50…Homered on August 2 vs. Boston, giving him 12 consecutive seasons with 50+ extra-base hits…he is the 4th player in MLB history with at least 50 XBH in his first 12 MLB seasons, joining Carlos Lee-CWS/MIL/TEX/HOU (13, 1999-2011), Albert Pujols-STL/LAA (12, 2001-2012) and Eddie Mathews-MIL (12, 1952-1963)…he is the first 2nd baseman (primary career position) in MLB history to record 12 seasons with 50 or more extra-base hits.
Nelson Cruz: 2016 in Review
Run Producer…Collected 105 RBI this season, trailing only his career-high of 108 RBI set in 2014 with Baltimore.
Designated to Hit…Hit 33 home runs as a designated hitter, 2nd-most in club history, trailing Edgar Martinez’s 37 home runs as a DH in 2000.
All Right vs. Left…Led the Major Leagues with 19 home runs vs. left-handed pitchers…Cruz’s 19 homers vs. lefties are the 3rd-most home runs against LHP in a single season in club history, trailing Ken Griffey Jr.’s 21 home runs vs. southpaws in 1998 and Griffey’s 21 home run off of lefties in 1996.
Road Warrior…Led the Majors in home runs on the road (26)…ranked 2nd in MLB in slugging percentage on the road (.616) and 4th in road RBI (62).
Home Run Clip…Ranked 4th in the Majors in at-bats/home runs with a mark of 13.70 (43 HR, 589 AB).
In the Clutch…Ranked T4th in the Major Leagues this season (also: Miguel Cabrera-DET) with 13 home runs in the 7th inning or later…since 2014, leads MLB with 42 home runs in the 7th or later, ahead of Edwin Encarnacion (39) and J.D. Martinez (35).
Two Strikes, So What…Ranked T4th in MLB (also: Manny Machado) with 15 2-strike home runs, trailing Todd Frazier (20), Chris Carter (16) & Mark Trumbo (16).
Multi-Hit Madness…Recorded a career-high 52 multi-hit games (previous: 49, 2015).
Strength and Speed…Recorded 41 home runs and 15 infield hits, one of three players in MLB with 40+ home runs and 15+ infield hits (also: B. Dozier-MIN: 42 HR, 18 INF H & N. Arenado-COL: 40 HR, 15 INF H)…joins Alex Rodriguez (3x) & Ken Griffey Jr. as the only players in club history to accomplish this feat.
He’s No Angel…In 19 games vs. the Angels this season, hit .278 (20×72) with 16 runs, 1 double, 10 home runs and 16 RBI…his 10 homers against the Angels are 3rd-most vs. the Halos in a single season, trailing Willie Horton-DET (11 HR in 1968) and Alex Rodriguez-TEX (11 HR in 2003)…ranked T2nd in the Major Leagues in home runs vs. any single opponent this season (also: Kris Bryant-CHC: 10 HR vs. CIN & Khris Davis-OAK: 10 HR vs. TEX).
Record-Setter…Hit 10 home runs in 19 games against Los Angeles – AL this season, the most homers vs. any single opponent in a single season in club history…Robinson Canó hit 9 home runs vs. Houston this season, and Jay Buhner hit 9 home runs vs. Minnesota in 1995.
Prolific Power…Has hit 87 home runs in his first 2 seasons with Seattle (2015: 44 HR & 2016: 43 HR), a club record for most home runs in a player’s first 2 seasons with the Mariners…surpassed Richie Sexson’s previous club record of 73 home runs in his first 2 years with Seattle (2005: 39 HR & 2006: 34 HR).
100 & 300…Is one of 6 players with a total of at least 100 home runs and 300 RBI over the last 3 seasons (2014-16), joining Nolan Arenado, Josh Donaldson, Edwin Encarnacion, David Ortiz and Mike Trout.
He’s the Leader…Has hit 40+ homers in each of the last three seasons (40 HR in 2014 w/BAL, 44 HR in 2015 & 43 HR in 2016) and his total of 125 since the start of 2014 is the most in baseball, ahead of Edwin Encarnacion (115) & Chris Davis (111)…he’s the first player to hit 40+ in three straight years since Ryan Howard – PHI, who did it four straight years from 2006-09…the last AL player was David Ortiz (2004-06)…Cruz also becomes the 4th player in club history with at least 40 home runs in two or more seasons with the Mariners, joining Ken Griffey Jr. (6 such seasons), Jay Buhner (3x) and Alex Rodriguez (3x)…Griffey had 4 straight 40+ homer seasons with SEA (1996-99); Buhner had 3 (1995-97) & Rodriguez had 3 (1998-2000).
In With a Boom…Has hit 87 home runs in his first two seasons in a Mariners uniform (44 HR in 2015 & 43 HR in 2016)…only Ken Griffey Jr. has hit more home runs in any two-year span with Seattle…Griffey Jr. did in 1996-97 (105 total HR – 49 HR in ‘96 & 56 HR in ‘97), 1997-98 (112 total HR – 56 HR in ‘97 & 56 HR in ‘98) and 1998-99 (104 total HR – 56 HR in ‘98 & 48 HR in ‘99).
8×20…Is 1 of 3 players (also: David Ortiz-BOS & Brian McCann-NYY) to record at least 20 home runs in each of the last 8 season (2009-2016).
Boomstick, Baby!…Has hit 87 home runs with the Mariners, all in his age-34 season and older…trails only Edgar Martinez (192) and Raul Ibañez (106) for ost home runs with Seattle in an age-34 season and older.
Milestone Homer…Recorded his 250th career home run on May 20 at Cincinnati.
40 After 33…Has posted three consecutive seasons of 40+ home runs (2014: 40 w/BAL, 2015: 44 & 2016: 43), all in his age-33 season and older…Cruz is the 7th player in Major League history to post 3 or more seasons of at least 40 homers after the age of 33, joining Barry Bonds (5), Babe Ruth (5), Rafael Palmeiro (4), Mark McGwire (3), Andres Galarraga (3) and Hank Aaron (3)…Cruz is the 5th player to do so in back-to-back-to-back seasons (also: Bonds – 5 consecutive seasons, Ruth – 5, McGwire – 3 & Galarraga – 3).
Kyle Seager: 2016 in Review
Career Year…Set career-highs in home runs with 30 (previous: 26, 2015), RBI with 99 (previous: 96, 2014), batting average with a mark of .278 (previous: .268, 2014), runs with 89 (previous; 85, 2015), OBP with a mark of .359 (previous: .338, 2013), slugging % with a mark of .499 (previous: .454, 2014), walks with 69 (previous: 68, 2013) and game-winning RBI with 11 (previous: 10, 2012)…fi nished with 36 doubles, 1 shy of matching his career-best (37, 2015).
Irreplaceable…Posted a 6.9 WAR (Baseball Reference), the highest of any Mariners 3rd baseman (previous: Edgar Martinez, 6.5 WAR, 1992)…ranks 13th-best in club history among position players…ranked 7th-best in the Major Leagues this season among position players.
Hot Corner Leader…Among American League third basemen, ranked T2nd in RBI (99), 3rd in on-base percentage (.359), T3rd in runs (89), 4th in doubles (36), 4th in extra-base hits (69), 4th in OPS (.859), 5th in hits (166), 5th in slugging percentage (.499) and 6th in home runs (30).
Iron Man…Led the American League in starts at 3rd base (156)…led the Major Leagues in innings played at 3rd base (1399.2).
Hawt Corner…Became the first 3rd baseman in club history to post at least 35 doubles, 30 home runs and 90 RBI in a season.
30 / 20…Recorded 36 doubles and 30 home runs this season, his 4th career 30 doubles / 20 homer season…among Mariners players only Edgar Martinez (7x), Ken Griffey Jr. (5x) & Raul Ibanez, Bret Boone and Alex Rodriguez (all 4x) have done it 4 or more times.
Century Mark…Hit his 100th career home run on April 25 vs. Houston, becoming the 12th player to hit 100+ home runs with the Mariners and the 7th player in club history to hit his first 100 career home runs with Seattle.
Like a Fine Wine…Has increased his home run total in each of his first 6 seasons in the Majors (2011: 3, 2012: 20, 2013: 22, 2014: 25, 2015: 26 and 2016: 30)…he’s the first player in MLB to do so since Matt Kemp (2006-11)…the only other Mariners player to accomplish this feat is Tino Martinez.
Diamond Power…Has hit 126 career home runs, all with the Mariners…is one of 4 infielders in club history to hit at least 125 homers with Seattle, joining Alex Rodriguez (189), Alvin Davis (160) and Bret Boone (143).
Power Source… In the last 5 years (2012-16), has posted 4 seasons with 30+ 2B & 20+ HR, tied for the most such seasons in MLB during that time span (also: Robinson Canó, Josh Donaldson, Paul Goldschmidt & Mike Trout)…is one of 3 infielders in club history to post 4 such seasons (also: B. Boone & A. Rodriguez).
Climbing the Ladder…Ranks in the top-5 in several major offensive categories in club history through a player’s age-28 season…his 126 career home runs are 4th-most in club history through his age-28 season, trailing Ken Griffey Jr. (350), Alex Rodriguez (189) and Alvin Davis (131)…his 408 runs are 4th-most, behind Griffey (940), Rodriguez (627) and Davis (461)…his 180 doubles are 4th-most in club history through a player’s age-28 season, trailing Griffey (294), Rodriguez (194) and Jose Lopez (189)…also ranks 4th in RBI at the end of his age-28 campaign with 437, behind Griffey (1018), Rodriguez (595) and Davis (530)…he ranks 5th in hits through age-28, trailing Griffey (1569), Rodriguez (966), Davis (921) and Lopez (897).
Multi-Hit Leader…Recorded his 202nd multi-hit game as a 3rd baseman on July 7 at Kansas City, surpassing Adrian Beltre for most multi-hit games as a Mariners 3rd baseman…has 223 career multi-hit games as a 3rd baseman and 229 overall.
Solving Lefties…Ranked T1st in the Major Leagues among left-handed hitters (also: Robinson Canó) in home runs vs. left-handed pitchers with 11.
3 Ball…Tied for the Major League lead in 3-run home runs with 9 (also: Nolan Arenado-COL & Justin Upton-DET)… nine 3-run homers are T3rd-most in club history (also: Jay Buhner, 3x, last: 2000), trailing Ken Griffey Jr.’s 13 3-run HR in 1996 and Buhner’s 11 3-run HR in 1996.
Two Outs, So What…Ranked T4th in MLB with 43 two-out RBI (also: Mookie Betts-BOS, Kendrys Morales-KC, Mike Napoli-CLE & Justin Upton-DET).
In the Clutch…Tallied 74 RBI with runners in scoring position, 8th-most in the American League.
Mr. Right…His .307 (117×381) average vs. right-handed pitchers ranked 9th in the American League.