Kyle Seager is On the Way
This is happening a lot quicker than I expected, but reports are making the rounds that 3B/2B Kyle Seager has been selected from Tacoma and C Jose Yepez has been DFA’d. Yepez didn’t even get a game in with the M’s and was only around to be a third backstop with Olivo hurting. It’s Seager that everyone is paying attention to, and rightly so.
Since he was promoted to Tacoma (where he’s been hitting .455/.500/.673), he’s seen six games at third, one at short, and five at second. That’s an increase in time at the hot corner from what we saw back when he was with Jackson, where he only spent three of sixty-six games there. Still, one should not be too concerned about him defensively. He spent his final year at UNC playing third, and has answered a lot of questions about his range and whether or not he could handle the middle infield during the the past couple of seasons. The glovework should be no issue for him, and the arm, while not a cannon or anything, is not something that’s going to hinder him as he moves to the left side of the infield. Barring any weird yips, he’ll be able to make the plays over there.
As for what to expect from him with the bat, I’d say patience, line drives, and mostly doubles power. When people were asking me about him in the offseason, I came up with an interesting comkp for him which a lot of people will hate. Up until this season, you can compare Seager’s line by age to that of Chone Figgins and see some similarities as they were coming up when you adjust for park. The difference there was that Seager would hit more doubles and some would leave the park entirely, whereas Figgins game was more about stealing bases and stretching the double into a triple [I refer, of course, to the good annoying Figgins who played for the Angels as opposed to the bad annoying Figgins that has played for the Mariners]. Of course, this year, Seager has completely pulled away: where Figgins had a .234/.313/.332 line with a 99/54 K/BB in 125 games of his tour of double-A, Seager got out in a little over half the time and departed with a .336/.401/.495 line and a 38/26 K/BB. That he’s capable of working counts should help him adjust to the big leagues a little more easily. I wouldn’t expect him to start going yard and start stealing bases as Ackley has been, but doubles, spray hitting, and a respectable on-base percentage are not out of the question.
Whether Seager will end up being our long-term solution to the ongoing third base issue, I can’t say just yet. Some would like to see more power from the position, but what we can even realistically expect out of him right now is going to be a huge improvement over what the position has seen lately. Even if Seager never ends up being a star, he’s one heck of an upgrade right now, and a pretty cool guy to boot.