In our voting of the Mariners all-time roster, we have had some close battles. Starting pitcher and second base were each separated by a single vote. As we head down to the ” Hot Corner”, we have our final battle.
The Seattle Mariners have had some solid third base members. The 80’s brought us Jim Presley and (however briefly) Edgar Martinez. The 90’s brought Mike Blowers and Russ Davis, and the early 2000’s gave us David Bell.
The true battle comes down to two fan favorites: Adrian Beltre and current Mariners third sacker Kyle Seager. Let’s compare the two heavyweights.
First things first, Adrian Beltre got a bad rap as a “bust” during his time in Seattle even though he was anything but. This idea stems from the undeniable fact that Beltre’s tenure in Seattle was weaker than any of his other stops.
But let’s look at the numbers. In five seasons in Seattle, he slashed .266/.317/.442 and averaged 21 homers, 32 doubles, and 10 stolen bases. All solid numbers, which lead to an average fWAR of 3.2 wins a year.
Add in stellar defense winning two gold gloves, and league average base-running and Beltre was a solid player for five seasons.
The numbers get even better if you throw out a disastrous 2009 season. From 2005-2008, Beltre averaged 24 homers, 36 doubles, and slashed .266/.319/.454.
Let’s jump ahead to the challenger, Kyle Seager.
Coincidentally, Seager has played the same number of full seasons in Seattle as Beltre did (five). In those five seasons, Seager has slashed .266/.335/.450 and averaged 25 home runs, 32 doubles, and eight steals.
Now add good defense and slightly below average base running, and you get an average fWAR of 4.5 wins a year.
These numbers speak for themselves. Even when we give Beltre a courtesy of removing his worst season, Seager still has better offensive numbers. Offensively, Seager is the clear winner.
Defensively, Beltre is the superior player. You can argue that he is one of the greatest defensive third basemen in history. Seager is a solid third baseman and has a Gold Glove to his credit. But he is not on Beltre’s level in the field
Base-running is a wash at best. The bottom line, this is an extremely close battle. But, Kyle Seager won the day.
Most Mariners fans do not think of Kyle Seager as being cut from the same cloth as Felix Hernandez. But like Felix, Seager is a life-long Mariner.
Drafted by the team in 2009, he climbed the ranks, remaking himself from a possible light hitting utility player to a slugging third baseman.
As a result, Seager wins the Battle of the “Hawt Corner”.