Kyle Seager Is Not The Third Baseman Of The Future


I’m not very opinionated.  I try to enjoy everything in life because, as far as I know, we only get one – so why not take advantage of it?  Take music, for example.  I’m one of those people who, when asked what kind of music do you like? I reply, everything!  When I say it,  I actually mean it.  My tastes vary from Kanye West, to Brad Paisley, from Killswitch Engage to Iron and Wine.  I try to enjoy everything, because there are a lot of things in this world that we shouldn’t take for granted.  So when I have an opinion on something, I usually stick to it, because I’m stubborn, narrow-minded and open-minded all in this convoluted smorgasbord I call a brain.

So when I say that Kyle Seager is not the third-baseman of the future, do I really mean it?  I don’t know, I’m already confusing myself, but the more I look at the evidence, the more I convince myself.  The more I watch him play, the less I convince myself.  And now you see, I’ve already confused myself reading that sentence again, so more than likely you are confused.  This is confusing.

It’s not any one particular statistic.  It’s not any one scouting report.  It’s just one thing I heard on the radio, one time, said by one man.

We all remember the Carlos Peguero call-up.  There was all this excitement in the media about the potential of a big bat arriving.  In the blogosphere, most writers were hesitant, in that he did have power, but his strikeout-rate and his non-existence of plate discipline will render him a useless commodity.  His slash line with the Mariners is .196/.252/.371, so while that shows the power is there, there’s no way he’s ready to be a major league contributor now, or if ever.  The one thing of notice is that he did hit six homeruns with the big club, and that’s currently tied with Dustin Ackley and Casper Wells.  The next batch of Mariners with the most bombs on the club with three a piece: Ichiro Suzuki, Brendan Ryan and the departed Jack Cust.  Yes, power is a problem.

Power is the problem, and Kyle Seager will not fill that void.  Now, as I’ve made my indecisiveness apparent, Jack Zduriencik has made his decisiveness apparent.  When Peguero was called up, he said something that I’ve taken literally.

"We want this team to get bigger."

It’s not as simple as just getting bigger players.  I believe Zduriencik believes in building his ballclub in a prototypical manner.  The first thing we can look at is outside of the Mariners organization, with his two biggest draft picks in Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder.  Braun is the prototypical left-fielder – he can’t play the field very well, but he can smash the ball.  The same goes for Fielder as a prototypical first-baseman.  You don’t have to look hard at his frame to realize that he won’t be winning any Gold Gloves soon, but winning the Silver Slugger again is more than attainable.

Dustin Ackley is a converted second base-man.  We all know this.  I believe it’s because of his frame that Zduriencik decided to stick him at second.  Ackley stands at 6′ 1″, but has a slight frame.  Second baseman with a comparable build: Ian Kinsler, Robinson Cano and Chase Utley.  That’s not bad company.  Zduriencik does this so, when he drafts/trades for/signs less athletic, bigger players, he has a for sure spot for Ackley to play in everyday.  The outfield was never a guaranteed position for him, and we Mariners fans ought to know the crowd of outfielders that have made their way through Seattle.  And now, a chart that means nothing, but also tells some things:

Weight is something that can be lost, or gained.  Reporters have said that all of these prospects are still young, and that they have time to fill in their bodies.  Okay, I can I get that.  One thing that cannot be lost or gained is height.  At this age, men typically stop growing vertically.  Amongst these draft picks, Seager is the shortest.  Zduriencik, for the most part, has drafted taller people with bigger frames.  Now, one part of this situation I’ve avoided is the existence of pitchers.  I’ve limited my scope to position players because, while the pitchers drafted by Zduriencik are definitely big, it’s another post for another time.  Sidebar: I love the pitching Zduriencik’s drafted since he’s been here.  And now, one last observation:

Alex Liddi towers over Kyle Seager.  He is the prototypical third-baseman.  Who else in the bigs has this frame?  Evan Longoria?  Yep.  Ryan Zimmerman?  Yep.  Alex Rodriguez?  Yep.  Liddi fits the mold, and I believe Zudriencik’s going to give Liddi as many opportunities as he can in the future to play himself into the third-baseman role.

This isn’t an indictment on Seager’s abilities.  I love what he’s been doing with the big club.  I actually like him as a person, too!  He’s a good interview (He’s no Justin Smoak ha!), he’s showing patience at the plate, and he’s showing professionalism in and around the clubhouse.  Although the sample size is small, his slash line is .282/.331/.387.  He can be productive, and he’s currently trying to play the Mariners hand into making him the third-baseman of the future.

I offer one last observation.  Out of the 36 big league games he’s played, he played three games at shortstop.  Just sayin’.


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