mariners

Three reasons the Mariners Kyle Seager takes the next step in 2013

He could probably talk to a Buffalo too!

The young 3B has been ahead of schedule his entire career; Mariners fans are looking forward to year three.

At the ripe age of 25, 3B Kyle Seager is heading into his third season with the Seattle Mariners, his second complete season. Called up in 2011, Seager surprised both fans and experts by arriving at the show only a month after 2B Dustin Ackley was called up as well.

Why the comparison? Seager and Ackley were selected in the same draft by Seattle (Ackley, #2 overall, Seager, third round).

They were also college teammates at the University of North Carolina where Ackley played predominantly 1B and Seager at 2B.

Although Ackley has not been a disappointment, Seager has taken the steps fans anticipated out of Ackley sooner. Seager’s smooth approach and powerful swing placed him in the heart of the order a year ago, where he led the AL in 2-out RBI.

Good signs ahead, here are a few more reasons why Seager could possibly represent Seattle in an All-Star game before too long.

1. Protection

In 208 career games, Seager has hit at a .259 clip with a OBP of .315. His batting average has been nothing but consistent since his debut in July of 2011, but he has something this season he has never had before; veteran bats hitting around him.

The way Seager attacks the big moments is an ode to his confidence at the plate and desire to drive in runs, with players like Kendrys Morales and Michael Morse hitting in front or behind him, Seager will see more pitches to hit and have more opportunities to hit with runners on base.

A year ago, when Seager hit well the chance of Mariner victory greatly increased, in Mariner wins, he hit .295 with an OBP of .349, but in losses he hit .230 and his OBP was .288. It will be good for Seager to know that the pressure isn’t entirely on him.

2. Road Splits

If Kyle Seager produces at SafeCo Field the way he has done on the road in his career, the jump to stardom could become a reality.

Kyle Seager

Here’s hoping Seager produces at SafeCo Field the way he has done so on the road…

In 76 road games last season, Seager hit .293 with 15 of his 20 HR’s coming outside of Seattle. 60/86 RBI’s came on the road. If the improved hitting actually happens at Safeco, then Seager’s power numbers and average could see home improvement.

It will be interesting this season to see how directly the new fences affect both the Mariners and visiting teams with the new dimensions. A year ago, Citi Field in New York (Mets) did the same thing, although not as drastic as 17 feet in left, but there was not as much change as New York fans expected/hoped for.

3. Experience

Seager is no longer fighting for his spot at 3B, he also knows about the grind of 162 games.

This may seem like a trivial thing to be excited about, but hopefully this year, Seager will be able to avoid a bad month. In June of last season, Seager dropped his average and OBP, his power was consistent, but this season should see more consistency throughout his entire game.

His numbers against left-handed pitchers were average to pedestrian a year ago, and with an entire offseason and continued expected progression, Seager could see a jump against them as well.

The greatest stat on Seager, and one that gave M’s fans hope a year ago, were his numbers with runners in scoring position. In 157 plate appearances, Seager hit .308 and had 68 of his 86 RBI’s.

Mariners fans are not hoping for better numbers in that department, just more plate appearances!

Cheers, and Go M’s!

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