These Mariners had seasons for the ages

December 1st, 2021

SEATTLE -- So who’s had the best season in Mariners history at each position? It’s a pretty good list with some pretty remarkable seasons.

This isn’t a list of the best player to play at each position, but rather the player with the best single season. You could win a few games with this lineup.

Catcher: , 1996 -- .285/.330/.444, with 18 HRs, 83 RBIs in 138 games.

Wilson’s best offensive season came with career highs in homers, RBIs and slugging percentage, resulting in his lone American League All-Star selection. His .774 OPS was also the best of his 14-year Mariners Hall of Fame career.

First base: Alvin Davis, 1984 -- .284/.391/.497, with 27 HRs, 116 RBIs in 152 games.

Davis won AL Rookie of the Year honors, and he was an AL All-Star at age 23, finishing 12th in the AL MVP voting and setting the tone for a career that earned him the nickname Mr. Mariner and a place in the Mariners Hall of Fame.

Second base: , 2001 -- .331/.372/.578, with 37 HRs, 141 RBIs in 158 games.

After re-signing with Seattle as a free agent at age 32, Boone helped lead the Mariners to their record-setting 116-win season with a huge offensive year, leading the AL in RBIs, earning All-Star and Silver Slugger honors and finishing third in the AL MVP voting.

Shortstop: , 1996 -- .358/.414/.631, with 36 HRs, 123 RBIs in 146 games.

Just 20 years old and in his first season as a full-time starter, A-Rod broke out with a monster season in which he led the AL in batting average, runs (141), doubles (54) and total bases (379). He earned All-Star and Silver Slugger honors and was a very close -- and controversial -- second to Juan Gonzalez of the Rangers in the AL MVP voting.

Third base: , 1992 -- .343/.404/.544, with 18 HRs, 73 RBIs in 145 games.

Before Martinez became the game’s premier designated hitter, he was pretty decent at the hot corner, and he led the AL in batting average and doubles (43) while earning All-Star and Silver Slugger honors in his final season as the club’s primary third baseman, playing 103 games there and 28 at DH. At age 29, Martinez even stole a career-high 14 bases.

Left field: , 2006 -- .289/.353/.516, with 33 HRs, 123 RBIs in 159 games.

This position has been a revolving door for much of the Mariners’ history, but Ibanez put up big numbers at age 34 with a career high in RBIs and the second-highest home run total of his 19-year MLB career.

Center field: , 1997 -- .304/.382/.646, with 56 HRs, 147 RBIs in 157 games.

The Hall of Famer obviously had a number of great seasons in center for Seattle, but this was the year he won the AL MVP after leading the league in home runs, RBIs, slugging percentage, runs (125) and total bases (393). The 27-year-old Junior also stole 15 bases and earned AL All-Star, Gold Glove and Silver Slugger honors.

Right field: , 2004 -- .372/.414/.455, with 8 HRs, 60 RBIs in 161 games.

Ichiro earned AL MVP and Rookie of the Year honors in 2001, but his fourth season in Seattle was even better as he broke George Sisler’s 84-year-old single-season record for most hits with 262 while leading the Majors with his career-best .372 average. At age 30, Ichiro earned the fourth of his 10 consecutive All-Star and Gold Glove honors. He also stole 36 bases and drew an AL-leading 19 intentional walks.

Designated hitter: Edgar Martinez, 1995 -- .356/.479/.628, with 29 HRs, 113 RBIs in 145 games.

The Mariners’ second Hall of Famer put together his best season in the team’s magical ’95 run, playing every game in the strike-shortened campaign and leading the AL in average, slugging percentage, OPS (1.107), doubles (52) and runs (121), which doesn’t even take into account his huge postseason. At age 32, Martinez earned the second All-Star and Silver Slugger honors of his career, and he finished third in the AL MVP voting behind Mo Vaughn and Albert Belle.

Starting pitcher: , 1995 -- 18-2, 2.48 ERA in 30 starts

The Big Unit was at his biggest in the Mariners’ first playoff season, earning the AL Cy Young Award after leading the league in winning percentage, ERA and strikeouts (294 in 214 1/3 innings). Johnson also had the league’s best WHIP (1.045) and strikeouts per nine innings (12.3) and the lowest hits per nine innings (6.7) and homers per nine innings (0.5). At age 31, he earned his fourth All-Star appearance and finished sixth in the AL MVP voting.

Reliever: , 2018 -- 57 saves, 1.96 ERA in 73 games.

A 24-year-old Díaz shattered the franchise record for saves (previously 48 by Fernando Rodney), and he wound up tied for the second-highest total in Major League history in a dominating season in which he struck out 124 batters with just 17 walks in 73 1/3 innings. Díaz was named to the AL All-Star team, finished eighth in the AL Cy Young Award voting and 18th in the MVP balloting. He joined Eric Gagne, the Dodgers’ 2003 NL Cy Young winner, as the only relievers in MLB history with 50-plus saves and 100-plus strikeouts in a season. The Mariners were 66-0 in games when Díaz entered with a lead.