Calm, Cool and Collected in the Hot Corner
When you ask Eric Wedge how he feels about the Seattle Mariners‘ roster, he brings up the one position that he never worries about – third base.
Only halfway through his third season, Kyle Seager has already become the most consistent Mariner on the ball club. He plays as solid of a third base that you can find, and is hitting an encouraging .281.
With all of the hot prospects coming into Seattle – Dustin Ackley, Justin Smoak, Jesus Montero, Danny Hultzen (none of which are on the current active roster) – you wouldn’t expect the third-round pick out of North Carolina to be the bread winner of the bunch.
But hey, that’s Kyle.
As a true two-hitter, he has proven versatility and flashes enough power to move to the three spot – which the Mariners unfortunately need him to do quite often. His second season was a breakout debut on a Mariner fan’s scale, as he led the team with 20 home runs and 86 RBI’s, and single-handedly brought back the “two outs, so what?” mantra.
In 67 games this season, Seager is hitting .281 with eight home runs and 30 RBI’s. The average is a nice jump up from the .259 he posted last season, showing some progression as his career moves along – different from the rest of our recent prospects.
The hitting is incredibly encouraging, but the defense is arguably more impressive. He currently boasts a .983 fielding percentage – good for No. 2 in the AL behind Baltimore’s Manny Machado.
I’m sure I’m not alone when I take a sigh of relief every time a ball is hit in Seager’s general direction. He never seems rushed or flustered, but is always under control and makes the strong, accurate throw across the diamond in one fluid motion.
There aren’t any crazy stats that make Seager jump off of the page at you, and he may not be a fantasy stud – yet – but he is simply really good at everything. Oh, and he is the only player in MLB history to hit a game-tying grand slam in extras. No big deal.
And I just want to give a pat on the back to pops, Jeff Seager. That man must be eating his Wheaties because he now has three sons at the professional level. Kyle’s younger brother, Justin, was drafted in the 12th round by the Mariners this season, following their youngest brother Corey, who was taken 18th overall by the Dodgers last year.
We are currently at an exciting point in the 2013 season – young studs Nick Franklin and Mike Zunino have both been called up due to necessity at the positions, and both have answered the call with flying colors.
In the midst of this young talent producing, it is comforting knowing we have a budding star to lead the lineup over in the hot corner.