France’s adjustments could mean he gets hit less, Mariners 1B says

Mar 1, 2024, 11:56 AM

Seattle Mariners Ty France...

Ty France of the Seattle Mariners is hit by a pitch on Aug. 21, 2023. (Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

(Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

A top storyline of this offseason for the Seattle Mariners has been the work that first baseman Ty France put in.

Drayer: Seattle Mariners’ Ty France back after drastic offseason of adjustments

After a poor 2023 season, the 2022 All-Star had a very different offseason by going to Driveline to work on his swing.

There, he told Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk on Friday, he learned how “inefficient” his swing was, and he and trainers went to work on fixing that.

Was that hard to hear?

“Honestly, no. That was the main reason I went there,” he said. “I needed help, I needed that guidance. So I was all ears from the beginning … It’s helped me a lot. I feel better, I feel cleaner, my mechanics feel cleaner.”

“The swing just hadn’t been the same for the last couple years, so trying to figure out how to get that back and not necessarily be who I used to be, but I wanted to even be better than that and clean more things up because I knew it had been a while since I felt like myself,” he later added.

France’s offseason transformation goes beyond his swing as he reported to camp in great shape, and he said he changed his diet and some of his offseason workouts.

“Just moving around, I feel a little quicker, a little more explosive,” he said. “Did some speed training this offseason, so just kind of seeing that translate. I’m still not a burner, but just being able to move around, feel athletic, it feels good not having that extra weight weigh me down.”

France hopes that the work he put in will be reflected in his statistics, but he also noted that he changed how he looks at the plate.

“I cleaned up some of my stance. I’m a little quieter in the box, some less, less moving parts,” he said. “… Just getting my whole body to work together whereas before I was very handsy. I would swing with my hands, I was very good with my hands, putting the barrel on the ball, putting the bat on the ball. And sometimes that can be a curse where I’m swinging at pitches I shouldn’t, putting balls in play that I shouldn’t and the next thing you know I’m 0-for-4 … I think it’s gonna make a huge difference.”

The combination of a stance change and swing change could lead to something different for France in one key category.

The veteran first baseman has led MLB in hit by pitches two of the last three years, including a whopping 34 times in 2023. He hopes that changes this year.

“Honestly, I have actually backed off the plate this year. Now that my swing is cleaner and better, I don’t feel like I need to cheat anymore to get to the outer half,” he said. “A lot of guys attacked me in last year with the hard stuff and sinkers and stuff like that, so being able to back off the plate and just give myself a little more space to work, hopefully it means I get hit less.”

France noted that he did get hit his second at-bat of the spring, but his hope is that isn’t a common theme again in 2024.

“But I backed off the plate a little bit and hopefully that gives me a little more space to work,” he said.

Listen to the full interview at this link or in the player near the top of this story. You can also watch the full interview here or in the video player further up. 

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France’s adjustments could mean he gets hit less, Mariners 1B says