Eugenio Suarez extends sailors towards post-season

Lindsey Wasson USA Today Sports

The Sailors just wrapped up their toughest home run of the final two months of the season, going 4-4 ​​against the White Sox, Braves and Padres. They entered this stretch with a probability of 99.4% in the post-season, buoyed by Cleveland’s three-game sweep over the first weekend of September; If there was an epic meltdown, it would have started here. Instead, they opened a split against three playoff caliber teams and now have 20 matches left against teams with records below 0.500. Their odds of breaking the infamous drought are marginally better at 99.8%, but they’ve weathered the toughest storm and have clear skies ahead of them as they head toward the Wild Card Pier.

Outstanding performance during this eight-game period was Eugenio Suarez. He blasted six of the house hurdles through the house, including two multiple home runs, and a massive shot. The barrage started with a pair of triggers against the White Sox on September 7, tying second in the match at six at the bottom of the seventh inning. Two days later, Suarez fired a single shot Max Fried To give the Mariners a 2-0 lead over Atlanta.

The next day, he bumped into another pair of reptiles, the second being the most dramatic of the group. After the Braves came back and scored five runs at the top of the ninth inning to lead 7-6, Julius Rodriguez Homer fired a single at 117 mph to tie the game to the bottom half. With two naysayers in the half, Suarez stepped in and finished Kenley Jansen And the brave who won the game on their home left of the center.

Not finished either. On Wednesday, he made his sixth home run, part of the kickoff for the eventual 6-1 victory over Padres.

Suarez’s offensive is not limited to the last eight games either. Since the beginning of August, he’s hit 15 and cut 0.250/.352/.625 (178+ shooting games) in 39 games. In the same period, only Aaron Judge He was able to match his home run output.

Strike leaders since August 1

Since 2018, Suárez has been leading the Homers’ major championships – ahead of Judge – with a score of 160. This latest hot streak has helped him achieve a career high on WAR with 4.3, breaking the 30 threshold at home for the fourth time in five years (with the 2020 season shortened). as the only exception). Suárez has always been prone to hot and cold stretches, and this latest summit comes just in time for sailors.

Suarez’s comeback after two seasons follows an impressive career year in 2019. The reason for this contraction may be related to the shoulder surgery he underwent in January 2020 after suffering an accident in the pool. The following year, the Reds decided to try and move him into a short position for the first month of the season. Between the pressure of moving into the more challenging defensive position on the field and his subsequent struggles there, his offensive production struggled until he returned to third base in May.

The Reds seem to have made a particularly smart move by signing him to a seven-year contract extension just before the 2018 season; He amassed 8.5 WAR during the first two seasons of that decade, with Cincinnati on the hook for a total of just $9.25 million. But he only collected 1.0 WAR over the next two years as his salary started to rise. This spiraling spending combined with the shifting fortunes of the franchise has resulted in the Reds joining Suarez in Jesse Winker Trade as a cost-saving measure. He immediately entered the third primary role of the sailors who were then evacuated Kyle SeegerHis retirement was a surprising major element in Seattle’s crime.

Under the hood, all of his power accessories seemed relatively intact throughout this four-year period:

Eugenio Suarez, batting accessories

year strong hit% barrel% nice place% AVG xBA SLG xSLG woopa xwOBA xwOBAcon
2019 40.1% 12.8% 38.0% 0.271 0.247 0.572 0.500 0.381 0.355 0.462
2020 43.9% 14.4% 29.5% 0.202 0.216 0.470 0.472 0.332 0.342 0.431
2021 39.8% 15.0% 33.0% 0.198 0.215 0.428 0.455 0.306 0.326 0.420
2022 42.6% 15.1% 36.9% 0.236 0.220 0.472 0.461 0.350 0.343 0.450

He kept hitting the ball hard during those two bottom years and until his barrel rate improved dramatically. The problem was that the nice point average – the rate at which he hits hits within the ideal range of launch angles – dropped dramatically in 2020 and has just recovered this year. More interestingly, his average shooting angle has been at a career high 20.5, and then averages a career low at 33.2%. He lifts the ball often but has found a way to avoid too much friction above or below the barrel.

Suarez has also improved his discipline somewhat. His chase rate is as low as it has been since the 2018 season. It definitely helped him to reclaim two points over the walking rate he lost last year. Unfortunately, his strike rate has gone up to 30.8%, likely related to some new issues keeping the connection going. When Suarez transformed himself from an average player with a gap in power to a real threat to power at the corner of the field, his contact rate dropped from around 77% to 71%. This is where it has stayed for the three seasons since 2018, but has dropped significantly this year. The biggest red flag is a nearly five-point drop in contact rate on pitches thrown in the area, which keeps his swing hit rate high despite an improvement in his chase rate.

His high strike rate is simply part of his technique that sailors will have to live with, although it’s hard to complain about now. When he sees the ball well and raises his hitting balls, he is liable to explode into one of these hotlines:

This extension over the past two months has coincided with an improved contact rate in the area and a higher contact range. This is a very good combination for a player with the kind of brute force for Suarez.

His hot streak also came at an opportune moment. The Mariners have been one of the hottest teams in baseball since mid-June, but most of that success has been driven by their team — both turn around at first And the pulbehm. Their team benefited from a fantastic rookie season from Rodríguez, who became the third rookie player in MLB history to publish a season 25/25, and sporadic contributions from a host of other players. Early season fan Ty France And the GB Crawford He struggled in the second half, with unexpected contributors like Cal Rally And the Sam Hagerty Pick up the slack.

Offensive divisions of sailors

player First half wRC + Second half WRC +
Eugenio Suarez 128 150
Julius Rodriguez 136 160
Adam Fraser 80 91
Jesse Winker 108 106
Ty France 149 85
GB Crawford 116 79
Cal Rally 116 111
Carlos Santana 109 77
Sam Hagerty 142 128
Mitch Heniger 100 98

Overall, the team improved its scoring ability in the second half, going from 4.14 points per game before the All-Star break to 4.29 afterward. There is a lot of power in the lineup, and Seattle has been one of the best teams in baseball at getting free passes. However, the M sits in the bottom half of the league when it comes to the actual run that was scored, likely because they weren’t fully shot on all cylinders at the same time. Suarez’s hot streak and Rodriguez’s continued supremacy have carried the team over the past few months, but they will need other contributors to step up if they are to take a deep run in the playoffs.

These are things that sailors haven’t had to think about for nearly two decades. Usually, they would simply scramble to stay on the fringes of the playoff picture at this point in the season. Now, they are firmly in place to claim the Wild Card spot and need to figure out how to make the most of this rare opportunity.