The Seattle Mariners currently sit at 69-58 on the season and sit six games behind the Houston Astros for the AL Central division crown and only trail the Boston Red Sox by three games in the AL Wild Card Race.
The Mariners are one of the feel-good stories in the MLB this year & were picked by very few, if any, experts to be in a post-season race in 2021. One of Seattle’s key pieces during this run has been Delaware and Caravel Academy’s own Jake Fraley, an outfielder for the team.
It’s been a bit of an up and down season for Fraley, who’s getting his first real shot at being an everyday player in his 3rd season. The first setback occurred on April 6 when he suffered what was originally called a mild hamstring strain. However, this injury kept him out of the lineup until May 31.
When he came back, Fraley started to get in a groove. In the first 26 games after the injury, Fraley hit seven of his eight home runs, drove in 20 runs and raised his average to a respectable .270 clip with a .454 on-base.
However, over his next eight games he was mired in a 3-25 slump. In the midst of his slump in mid-July, Fraley contracted Covid-19, which forced him to miss another significant amount of time.
After missing 15 games in July, Fraley returned to the lineup on Aug. 2 and has been playing every day since. Fraley started off hot in his return, going 3-7 with two runs batted in over his first two games of August. Then he slumped again as we entered late August.
Fraley’s average sits at .208 currently, and his team is winners of three straight. He’s has shown signs that he can contribute offensively.
If Fraley could return to that form we saw in June through early July, it could be the shot in the arm the Mariners need to push them into the postseason and end MLB’s longest current postseason drought of 19 seasons.
Seattle has a 3 game series this week against the Royals which should allow them to continue their win streak, then end August with a few games against Houston which will be huge in the division race.
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