Mariners Top 20 Prospects – #20 – Kyle Seager
This is a series in which I’ll be going over my personal top 20 Seattle Mariners 2010 Prospects. As you can see, I’ll be counting them down, starting at 20, and I’ll try to do them, well, whenever I get the chance. Keep in mind that almost all of these are completely debatable, and reflect only my personal opinions.
Kyle Seager was the Mariners third round pick in the 2009 amateur draft, and the 82nd pick overall. The left handed hitting middle infielder is 22 years old and a former college teammate of one Dustin Ackley.
Seager is a good all around hitter with very few holes in his swing. He doesn’t have a whole lot of home run power, so he relies on his excellent ability to get on base and his above average speed – and he’s really good at getting on base. He posted a .487 OBP at UNC in 2009 (yeah I know it’s college, but still), and then a .360 in 178 2009 PA’s down in Clinton at age 21. Those high on base numbers are partially a result of his excellent knowledge of the strike zone – The fact that he’s tallied more walks than strikeouts over the last 3 seasons (2 college, 1 A-ball) indicates that he takes no issue with accepting a free pass.
Aside from his below average power, the one flaw I’ve been able to dig up when it comes to Seager’s offense, is that the leg kick he does up at the plate often disrupts his timing. If that really is the case, I’d imagine that he’ll be weened off of it now that he’s in the minor leagues. He’s never going to be an offensive juggernaut, but he can certainly hold his own up at the plate – and if he ends up sticking at second base rather than third, he’ll likely be above average offensively for the position.
From what I can gather, Seager is an all around solid defender at both third base and second base. He has good hands, good footwork, and a strong throwing arm. Despite being a fairly fast runner, his range is just average – though it’s probably better at third base than it is at second base.
Unless he’s able to improve his range in the minors, once he hits the big leagues he’ll probably be something like a -5 < X < +5 defender at second base, and a 0 < X < +10 defender at third base.
Although not one the best three middle infield prospects in the system, Seager’s got good enough instincts and good enough knowledge of the game that he has a solid chance at eventually being an every day player in the big leagues. He’s already 22 and only entering his first full season in the minors, so ordinarily you’d expect a fairly fast track to the bigs – but with Dustin Ackley likely to arrive by 2011 and Chone Figgins locked up through at least 2013, he’ll probably have plenty of time to develop.