HomeTeamsMarinersTy France, One of the Unluckiest Hitters in 2024? 

Ty France, One of the Unluckiest Hitters in 2024? 

Ty France has been hitting the ball hard without results so far in 2024. After a down year, wherehe had a .703 OPS, his OPS so far has been lower at .677. However, France’s contact has been far better, which could indicate better times are coming for the Mariners first baseman. 

In 16 games so far this season, France owns a .333 slugging percentage, hitting just three doubles without a homer or triple. And if you think, France would have had more homers in more hitter friendly parks? You are incorrect, as he would have a homer in just three other ballparks according to statcast. Still, his expected numbers are far superior to his overall numbers, including his expected slugging percentage.  

His overall slash line this season is .278/.344/.333, which shows a solid on base percentage and batting average. However, in my opinion, you need more power out of your first baseman. If he keeps hitting hard, I have no doubt it will come. 

France his hard-hit rate so far stands at 57.5% which is in the top 4 percent of the league. His average exit velocity on balls in play is 93mph, which is in the top eight percentage in the league. So, France is making hard contact, and it’s shows in his expected slash line. 

His expected slash stands at .316/.385/.522, all at least in the 85th percentile or higher in the major leagues. While he does strike out a little more than you like out of France, it’s still just below average. It’s concerning as France isn’t a hitter who strikes out a lot as his percentage is up by 7% since last year. Not a great combo to be a hitter without showing power, but also strikes out more often. On the other hand, he does walk more being an above average hitter in that department.  

So why does France hit the ball so hard, but doesn’t have much to show for? He is close to the lead in the sweet spot %, but his slugging is down. Well, he hasn’t launched the ball. 

His launch angle is below MLB average and second lowest in his career behind 2022, when he did hit 20 home runs in 140 games. However, in his two best seasons, France did have an above average launch angle, which could indicate part of his success. Hitting the ball hard in the air leads to homers. 

But even if that’s the case, France is hitting the ball very hard, and results should come. If you hit the ball on the nose more often you should get rewarded more often. He has a tremendously high Line Drive percentage at 37.5%, while the Major League Average stands at 24.8 Percent. He is also using the middle of the field a lot, which is the deepest part of the ballpark. That could indicate some difficulties getting the ball out of the ballpark too.  

The difference in success against the 4 Seam Fastball is crazy. It’s the pitch he most often sees at30.9%. He slashed .222/.354/.222 against the 4 Seamer but his expected slash is .344/.447/.419 with a hard-hit percentage over 70 percent. Hope pitchers look at his slash line and keep throwing him 4 Seamer. 

While his lack of power is concerning with the lack of launch angle, it still should be better than we have seen so far for France. He just hits the ball too solidly to not have better results. I bet we will see the results increase soon. One thing that would work is lowering his strikeout rate to his career norm 17.8%. Hard hits and a low strikeout rate could be a dangerous combination for any opposing team.

Corne Hogeveen
Corne Hogeveenhttps://mlbreport.com/
Mets fan from the Netherlands since 2006. As a European fan, trying to get to as many games as possible. Mets writer for MLBreport and Co-host of the Queens Connection Podcast. Author of Diary of a Dutch Mets fan


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