There isn’t much going on in Marinerville today that isn’t revolving around the Mariner’s newest edition: Kyle Seager. Lets face it, there’s a lot to talk about, and very little information out there about this guy. I’ll admit, I knew very little about Seager 48 hours ago, so I set out to change that. Armed with my good friend Mr. Google, I’ve sent the last couple days reading everything I could possibly find on him. Yes, to answer your question, I did have a lot of free time on my hands.
Overall, the opinions of scouts seems pretty muted. He’s got an average arm, average range, average bat speed, average, average, average, average. The two things that aren’t average are the two things that will give him a chance to be successful: his work ethic and his plate approach.
I found it odd that a player whose tools are almost all described as average, even before the draft, would be picked in the 3rd round and also be listed as the 9th best prospect in the Mariners system by almost everyone (even our own Harrison Crow.) The reason? that would be his plate approach. He doesn’t strike out much, walks a lot, and rarely chases a pitch outside the zone. Unlike Greg Halman, he has no trouble reading a curveball as it comes out of the pitcher’s hand, and is capable of hitting it. And unlike Chone Figgins, has no problem catching up to an elite fastball.
The highest praise for Seager’s approach has actually come from teammate Felix Hernandez. Felix faced Seager back in spring training.
"“I throw a good pitch — a changeup — that any big-leaguer swings at, and he takes it,” Hernandez said. “It’s a 1-1 count. I say, ‘Boy, you are good, man.’"
That come courtesy of Larry Stone over at the Times, and it shows just how advanced Seager’s plate disciple is. At the time, Seager had never played above A ball, and was facing the best pitcher in all of baseball. I remember reading that column back in March and thinking, “This kid is going to get a chance at the pro level.” Here we are just 4 months later and Seager is getting his chance. I just expected it to be in September, or next year year.
I’ll leave you with a game story to read from a couple years ago when Seager and Dustin Ackley were still playing for North Carolina, which can be found here. It’s a testament to Seager’s preparation, willingness to listen to his coaches, and his ability to make adjustments.