Mariners Mojo

Mariners Mojo

The Seahawks, Sounders, and Storm all dominate the Seattle sports landscape. They are consistently good teams that have each won at least one title in their respective sport over the past decade. Then there are the Seattle Mariners.

While they are part of one of the most popular sports leagues in the world, they might be one of the worst franchises in it. At 19 years —and counting— the Mariners have the longest playoff drought in Major League Baseball, and it is not particularly close. This drought is also the longest across any of the four main sports leagues in the U.S. —MLB, NFL, NBA, and NHL—.

However, there appears to be light at the end of this long, dark tunnel that the Mariners have been trapped in since last making the playoffs in 2001.

I believe that the Mariners are going to be a playoff team next season. Written off by everyone at the start of the season, the 2021 Mariners overperformed and shocked the baseball world.

Despite a lineup with mostly weak hitters, this team, which was supposed to be years away from contending again, sped up that process this season. A team filled with journeymen veterans and bargain players became one of the unexpected success stories of 2021, finishing above .500 for the first time in multiple years.

2nd baseman Ty France was a major find. The Mariners traded for the 27-year-old last year and he became the team’s most consistent bat. He should be a major part of the lineup again next season and beyond. The same goes for outfielder Mitch Haniger who had the best season of his five-year career. He hit more than 30 home runs for the first time in his career and is someone the team can rely on in a big moment.

Top prospect Julio Rodriguez is likely going to be ready for his Mariner debut in 2022. He might instantly change the dynamic of this lineup. First-year players Logan Gilbert —pitcher— and Jarred Kelenic —center fielder— both showed star potential for the Mariners in 2021.

The Mariners have many other veteran players who outperformed expectations this season and could warrant key spots in the lineup next year. Paired with the mass of talented young prospects this franchise has, I think they are going to be ready to win big next season.

With good money to spend in free agency this off-season, for the first time in any University Prep student’s life, there could be a return of playoff baseball to Seattle.