Projecting the 2018 Seattle Mariners: Kyle Seager
We continue our grind of projecting the 2018 Seattle Mariners today, focusing on the second longest tenured Mariners, Kyle Seager. 2017 was a step back for “Seags”, but will he rebound?
Okay, lets clarify this right up front. Kyle Seager wasn’t bad in 2017. In fact, for the most part, Seager put up a very Seager like season. In fact, if you compare last season to his career averages, he fell right in line with his norms.
For example, Seager’s career slash line is .263/.332/.447. His 2017 slash line was .249/.323/.450. A slight downgrade over his career marks, but still well within the realm of a typical season for the 30 year old third baseman. His 27 home runs was his second most in a season and his 88 RBI ranked 3rd in his career. So why do we call his 2017 a disappointment?
Well, because it kind of was. Seager was coming off a career year in 2016, slashing .278/.359/.499 (all career highs) with 30 homers and 99 RBI (also career highs). Many just assumed that the 29-year-old would continue to improve, and some went so far as to name him a dark horse MVP candidate.
Well, as it is said, “the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” So what went wrong. Well, one theory suggest that Seager’s tried to over invest in the new “fly ball revolution”. The idea, which was broken down by John Trupin of Lookout Landing here, is backed up by the massive jump in FB% from 42% in 2016 to 51.6% in 2017.
Seager, who rarely hits the mammoth, cloud scrapping blast, needs to get back to his old approach of hard contact leading to home runs. The bat control is still there, as he is well below average in K%.
Seager is a steady performer, and is actually one of the easiest players to project. This is where we have Seager in 2018:
Sodo Mojo’s 2018 Projections for Kyle Seager: 637 PA, 160 hits, 34 doubles, 28 HR, 88 RBI, 60 BB, .277/.345/.485
As you can see, we believe the 2016 version of Seager more than the 2017 version. And if the Mariners will not commit to improving their team’s pitching, they’ll need Seager to be at his very best in 2018.
Throughout his career, the Seager has consistently posted between 3.5-5 WAR seasons. A MVP caliber seasons seems far-fetched at this point, but Seager is still a valuable player, and one of the most underrated in the game today.
Next: Projecting the 2018 Mariners: Nelson Cruz
2018 might be Seager’s last season in Seattle. So why not make it a big one?