Four MLB Players You’ve Never Heard of Are Tearing the Cover Off the Ball in ’22

Ty France of the Mariners went 3-for-5 with a home run, run scored, walk and two RBI in a win on Sunday

Ty France of the Mariners bats during the fourth inning against the Astros
Ty France of the Mariners bats during the fourth inning against the Astros.
Alika Jenner/Getty

Through a little more than three weeks of play in the 2022 Major League Baseball, the hottest hitter taking part in America’s Pastime is France.

The starting first baseman for first-place Seattle Mariners in the American League West, Ty France has a slash line of .375/.459/.656 entering playing on Tuesday with 24 hits. Of those hits, five have left the ballpark and helped add into his totals of 19 RBI and 11 runs scored in this young season. Just 27, France is reverting to the form he showed in the minors during the 2019 season when he hit .399 and slugged .770 in 76 games for the Triple-A El Paso Chihuahuas, adding 27 home runs.

France, who went 3-for-5 with a home run, run scored, walk and two RBI in a win on Sunday to complete a series sweep over the Kansas City Royals, is just one of a handful of non-household names who have been crossing home plate and helping others do the same with great regularity so far this season. Here are three more of ’em.

Jazz Chisholm Jr., IF, Marlins

The leadoff hitter for a mediocre-at-best Miami team, Chisholm looks like a true five-tool player through 13 games. Batting .295 (13-for-44) with four homers, nine runs scored and 15 RBI, the 24-year-old has also swiped four bags thus far on the young season and should continue to be a terror on the basepaths as long as he’s at the top of the order.

“Everybody knows that I’m a lover of baseball. That’s all I love to do, is play baseball. And if I’m not out there trying to help my team win, I’m mad anyway, even if it is my day off,” Chisolm said after getting a day off over the weekend.

C.J. Cron, IB, Rockies

The cleanup hitter in Colorado for the majority of the season, Cron has a solid 283/.313/.667 slash line across 64 plate appearances this season. That’s led to six homers to go along with 17 RBI and 10 runs scored.

“I don’t really care,” Cron said last week. “I’m just trying to hit the ball hard. And wherever it goes after that, I can’t control. I guess I have natural power. And sometimes I get hold of it. It goes pretty far.”

Thairo Estrada, IF, Giants

A stud in the field, Estrada has been getting it done at the plate for the Giants thus far and is slashing .258/.299/.403 with two home runs, 10 RBI, 13 runs scored and three stolen bases in 62 at-bats for San Francisco.

“I’m always running 120 miles per hour, especially on balls in the infield,” Estrada said last week after a win. “I try to put pressure on the infielders and it worked out for me today.”

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