I’ll dispense with the lengthy preamble for this one. Like every other position for the Mariners, third base has good options, questions, and lots of guys with something to prove. Not sure when I’ll get to the outfielders or how I’m going to tackle that many guys, so you might have to wait a bit for that. Plus, I’m heading on a long vacation in a couple of days. Sorry. Maybe the Mariners will make a trade and clear things up for me in the meantime.
Think of Kyle Seager‘s pro career up to this point as a reverse on the football field. Unexpected, exciting. Everyone’s paying attention now, where a few seconds ago the game was a bit on the boring side. He’s just turned past the line of scrimmage, so that danger of being caught in the backfield for a big loss is avoided, but now he has to make that defensive end who held his gap miss, or else it was just a pretty three yard run. Seager was a bit unexpected as a third round pick in 2009. He was the second baseman on Ackley’s UNC team, and most thought that Ackley would move to the outfield in the pros and Seager would stay at second. Instead, Ackley moved to second, and eventually, Seager to third.
Seager’s hit more than anyone expected. Early on, he was termed Ackley-lite, but that doesn’t seem so accurate now. He has surprising power without quite having the eye that Ackley was supposed to have. He started 2012 on a tear, and despite tapering off some, he’s still been one of probably the three best position players for the Mariners this year. Right now, he’s an average or slightly wose hitter and a good defender who should only improve. The player he is now is valuable. The Mariners could do and have done much worse at third base (see below). The question now is whether Seager can make that defensive end miss and go for a big gain. To be a star, he needs to make adjustments and become a constant power threat. He’s not likely to ever be a huge power hitter, but home runs in the 20s with 40 doubles and a .340 OBP is realistic and would make him one of the best third basemen in the league. Continue reading