Kyle Seager to AAA Tacoma, Nick Franklin to AA Jackson
Seager’s gone from being Dustin Ackley’s grade school opponent, to his college roommate, to his AAA replacement. (He may also be blocked at the big league level by his old friend, of course). The other lefty swinging 2B out of North Carolina will join Tacoma, who will no longer have to use Leury Bonilla or Sean Kazmar at 2B. The Rainiers have been struggling since Ackley joined the M’s, and Seager will help a line-up that lacks some consistency with Carp, Peguero, Ackley and Halman all with Seattle. Luis Rodriguez could help, but he’s been sidelined with an injury, hence experiments like Kazmar at 2B and Alex Liddi at SS, or Bonilla at 2B. Conor at Mariners Farm Review had a great interview with Seager this week – check it out.
To fill the gap at AA Jackson, the M’s have sent up last year’s breakout prospect, Nick Franklin. The SS/2B was enjoying a decent but ultimately disappointing season in the California League, with only 5 HRs despite playing in the offensive paradise of High Desert. His power surge in the midwest league hasn’t translated to higher levels thus far, but his struggles against left-handed pitching followed him (he’s slugging .301 vs. southpaws). He’s still a great talent, and he’ll get a lot of attention from Jackson hitting coach Cory Snyder. While Seager’s a gap-hitting, low-K guy, Franklin had a classic power year for Clinton in 2010, hitting 23 HRs in a pitcher’s league – and striking out 123 times. Despite the power outage, Franklin’s cut his K rate under 20% and increased his walk rate. He’ll need improved plate discipline in the Southern League, where he’ll play in a roughly neutral park.