Seattle Mariners: The 15 Greatest Hitters in Team History

Alex CarsonCorrespondent IIIMarch 30, 2011

Seattle Mariners: The 15 Greatest Hitters in Team History

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    To define who the best hitter in a team's history can be a difficult task.

    In the Mariners case, the name Griffey is the first that pops to most peoples minds. Followed by Martinez, Rodriguez, Buhner and most recently Ichiro.

    Do you prefer power? Perhaps on-base skills? A blend is good, too, right?

    Using a 1500 plate appearance minimum and a mix of traditional and advanced statistics, here is my take on the top 15 hitters in club history.

Tino Martinez

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    He didn't leave the way A-Rod or Griffey bolted, but Tino slipped away and left a hole.

    He belted 88 homers in a Seattle uniform, which was good enough for 13th in team history.

Phil Bradley

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    Bradley ranks fourth in team history on the wOBA list even though his standard numbers were low.

    With 52 homers and 234 RBI, nothing pops out too much.

    What he did right was get on base with his .301 average and .382 OBP.

Mike Cameron

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    Here's a guy that was tasked with replacing the biggest star in club history.

    He wasn't able to totally fill the shoes, but he was accepted by the fans quickly with his solid play and likability.

    While Cammy's value heavily came from his defense, he had a capable bat, too.

    In 601 games, he hit 87 homers and ranks 10th in team history with a .352 wOBA.

Joey Cora

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    Little Joey racked up an even 600 hits and a .293 average during his time in Seattle.

    He also scored right in front of Junior during "The Double."

Jim Presley

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    Presley played half a dozen seasons in Seattle.

    He ranks eight in home runs, 11th in RBI and 13th in hits.

Adrian Beltre

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    Beltre caught a lot of grief during his time in Seattle after the expectations he set in his final season with the Dodgers.

    While everyone appreciated the defense and understood that the park wasn't his best friend, they still wanted more.

    To be fair, though, for all the low and outside crazy swings, Beltre does rank 12th in hits and 10th in home runs. He had a ton of room to improve in the on-base department, but there were far bigger busts in team history.

John Olerud

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    The steady and quite Olerud provided a lot during his short tenure in Seattle.

    He currently ranks second in OBP, sixth in walks and somehow managed a cycle off of one of his two triples.

    Plus, how cool was the helmet in the field?

Bret Boone

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    Yes, I know the allegations, but we're not here to play the guessing game.

    During his stint in Seattle, Boone exploded for four seasons of production at the plate. It was enough to rank him sixth in team history on the home run list.

Raul Ibanez

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    Raul Ibanez ranks seventh in homers and eighth in hits in club history.

    While he was lost in the outfield, this is a list about hitting and Ibanez provided one of the better bats on the team during his second tour of duty.

Alvin Davis

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    "Mr. Mariner" provided so much during the dark days of the franchise, when losing and being the league's doormat was expected.

    Alvin Davis ranks fifth in hits and home runs and fourth in RBI.

Alex Rodriguez

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    While A-Rod only spent five full seasons with the Mariners during his younger years, he ranks fourth in homers.

    He burst onto the season and of course has gone on to do even bigger things in Texas and the Bronx.

    Only Edgar ranked higher in wOBA and Rodriguez is third on the wRC+ list.

Jay Buhner

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    The Bone sits third in team history on the home run list and fourth in hits.

    While Edgar ended up with a couple more dingers, Buhner was more of an actual power hitter.

    Wearing his shades at the plate, the buzz cut nights and of course being the return for one of the most lopsided trades in team history, we'll never forget Jay Buhner.

Ichiro

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    Team Records: Average, SB

    In the ten seasons that Ichiro has been in a Mariners uniform, he done nothing but hit.

    As early as the first series of this season, Ichiro will pass Edgar Martinez for the team lead in hits. He's currently four behind Edgar.

    Sometime next season, he may also own the team record for runs scored and he has a real chance of becoming the first Mariner to reach 3,000 hits. That feat would require spending around four more seasons in Seattle.

Ken Griffey, Jr

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    Team Records: Home Runs, IBB

    The face of the franchise, Junior likely would have topped this list had he spent a couple more seasons in Seattle instead of bolting for Cincinnati.

    The power totals speak for themselves, and when you toss in the defensive metrics you have a case for naming him the best overall player.

    Purely basing this on hitting, though, he's a notch below Edgar.

Edgar Martinez

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    Team Records: Games, Plate Appearances, Hits, Doubles, Walks, Runs, RBI, OBP, HBP, wOBA, wRC+

    While his home run totals and defensive value wasn't up to par with Ken Griffey, Jr, Edgar was quite obviously the best pure hitter in team history.

    He holds more offensive records in both standard and advanced metrics than any other Mariners hitter.

    There's now a street named after him outside Safeco Field, and Major League Baseball re-named the award given to the best designated hitter each season in his honor.