Kyle Seager has been the Mariners man at the hot corner over the past five and a half years, and he has played fantastically. But, if you didn’t know that, I put his job description and accolades in the title.
Ever since taking on the starting gig back in August of 2011 there’s only been one guy in a Mariners player to reign supreme at third base, Kyle Seager. Since then, he’s been elected to the MLB All-Star Game, won a Gold Glove Award, and found his name on the MVP ballot twice.
However, with the rise in third base talent across the league, is the eldest Seager being overlooked?
The Mariners have had an elite third baseman for over half a decade now in Kyle Seager, but at times it feels the rest of the league doesn’t give him the credit he’s deserved.
Is the rest of the third base pool that good? Or are we just not recognizing how impressive Seager’s high level of consistency is?
I choose the latter.
It’s true that Seager has never had a standout year that made fans consider him as the league’s best player, but cummulatively, he is likely on track to achieve something that only five current players have done. That is, have at least 25 doubles, 20 home runs, drive in 60 runs, and be walked at least 45 times in more than five seasons.
In every year that Seager has played a full season (five years), he has hit those numbers. The only other player to come into the league as a full-time starter that year and do the same thing is Mike Trout.
Some of the only handful of current players to also start their career having numbers like that for at least his five first seasons are Adrian Gonzalez, Albert Pujols, Carlos Beltran and Miguel Cabrera. All of these guys will most likely all find themselves on the MLB Hall of Fame ballot one day, if not eventually being enshrined in Cooperstown.
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Even more impressive, Seager is only two full seasons of recording the aforementioned numbers behind tying Evan Longoria for the most years a current third baseman has reached those stats, and Longoria has been in the league four years longer than Seager has.
But there’s more. Among all retired third baseman since 1901, only six men have ever had more seasons hitting those statistical marks in more than five years; two of them are hall of famers: Mike Schmidt and George Brett.
And, on the defensive side of the ball, compared to any other man who started at third for more than 75% of their career games, Seager’s two seasons with a Defensive Wins Above Replacement above 1.5 is only outdone by 24 men in the league’s history.
I’m not saying that Kyle Seager is a hall of famer, he’s still got plenty of time to prove he’s actually not that great, but the way his career has gone so far, and if he stays healthy, he will not only be the Mariners greatest third baseman of all time, if he isn’t already, he could go down as one of the top-10 third basemen in the history of the league.