The first half review- hitters

Jul 3, 2012, 4:48 PM | Updated: 4:49 pm

By Gary Hill


Miguel Olivo- .209 6 16– Olivo had more hits in April than the rest of the season combined and he swatted half his homers in the month. He bounced back in June to hit .241 in the month, but he has only drawn one walk since April.

2nd Half Outlook- He will continue to see time behind homeplate in rotation with Montero and Jaso. However, he is only hitting .196 on the year versus righties so a bulk of his second half at-bats will probably come against lefties (.235 / .278 / .451).

Justin Smoak- .204 11 32– All eyes were on Smoak in the first half to see if he could start to develop into the middle of the order thumper that many scouts anticipated. It has not happened so far. He struggled through a .147 month of June which has pulled his season average down to .204. He has fanned 63 times and walked 26 this year. He only has four doubles on the season.

2nd Half Outlook- The M’s need him to develop so he will continue to get opportunities. However, the second half of the season will be big for him or he will surely see some competition in place next spring.

Dustin Ackley- .239 4 23– Ackley was tremendous in his rookie season- .273 6 36, but has found it more difficult in his first full season. History suggests his plight is not unusual-

2nd Half Outlook- He is expected to be a major part of the M’s offense in the future and the hope is that the will put together a solid second half.

Brendan Ryan- .182 2 19– Ryan leads the Mariner position players with a 2.6 WAR and it is entirely because of his defense. He has truly been a wizard at SS leading the majors in UZR which is a sabermetric fielding rating. He is so good defensively as a primary defensive spot that he renders his offense an afterthought.

2nd Half Outlook- More comments like, “He is the only one who could make that play”.

Kyle Seager- .250 10 46– He grabbed a hold of the everyday third base job early in the season and he has not let it go. He has shown serious potential by hitting .290 in April and putting up an .839 OPS in the month of May. He has been one of the most consistent hitters for the M’s this year, but he struggled in June by hitting .204 with 27 K’s.

2nd Half Outlook- Seager should continue to play every day and the M’s will hope he can recapture his early season stroke.

Chone Figgins- .184 2 10– Figgins was given the chance to leadoff and play every day early in the season, but he could not take advantage of the situation.

2nd Half Outlook- He will most likely play sparingly if he is still with the Mariners.

Michael Saunders- .258 8 24– The Guti injury opened the door for Saunders to take one last crack at an everyday OF job. He has seized the opportunity. He has already put of double digit stolen bases and he is on the verge of hitting the mark for homers as well. His batting average is 100 points higher than a year ago and his OPS is 300 higher. His defense has been solid in CF.

2nd Half Outlook- The hope is that he continues to progress and prove that he can be a long-term OF answer.

Ichiro- .268 4 27– Ichiro has clearly taken a step-back, but he is still among the leaders on the team in BA, OBP and OPS. His defense rating is near the top in baseball

2nd Half Outlook- Probably very similar to the first half.

Jesus Montero- .249 8 28– The rookie catcher/DH has been up and down so far this season which should not be a surprise. The 22-year-old has swatted 8 homers, but he has only drawn 14 walks.

2nd Half Outlook- More development for Montero at the plate and behind the plate.

John Jaso- .273 3 20- After not being used much in the first month of the season Jaso has earned a massive increase in playing time thanks to his patient approach and timely hitting. He leads the team in BA .273/ OBP .371/ SLG .455. He has spent time at C and DH and provides increased value to the M’s hitting from the left-side.

2nd Half Outlook- He should continue to see a good deal of at-bats towards the middle of the order. He should see the most at-bats at DH against righties and will probably sit against lefties. He is only hitting .163 versus left-handed pitchers in his career with 4 extra base hits in 119 PA.

Alex Liddi- .231 3 10– He had some moments, but needs more time to develop. He fanned 42 times and walked only 9 in 114 PA.

Casper Wells- .263 2 15– Wells has exploded since returning from AAA Tacoma. He hit .325 in June with a homer and 6 RBIs. Here is a longer post about Wells posted a couple of weeks ago-

2nd Half Outlook- Opportunity will knock for Wells in the second half. He has a chance to prove he can be an everday player at the Big League level.

Mike Carp- .157 4 12– It has been a very disappointing season for Carp. Carp was hurt early and has spent little to no time healthy this season. He was expected to be a middle of the order bat coming into the season after his breakout in the last half a year ago.

2nd Half Outlook- Carp has an uphill battle in the second half. First, he needs to get healthy and then he needs to find a way to carve out enough at-bats to prove himself again. Outfield ABs will be hard to come by if everyone is healthy.

Muenori Kawasaki- .194 0 6– He has given the M’s something they have not had the past few years and that is a backup capable of playing solid defensively at SS. He has also been a pinch-runner late in games.

2nd Half Outlook- More of the same.

Franklin Gutierrez- .267 2 9– The unluckiest man in baseball. He fought through numerous injuries to get onto the field in June and it looked like he was starting to find his groove. He had hit in 6 of 7 games while driving in 6 and hitting 2 homers. Then he gets hit in the face with a pick-off throw, which is a very common occurrence.

2nd Half Outlook- He will be trying to stay on the field and then take it from there.

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The first half review- hitters