Grading the 2019 Seattle Mariners: Third Base aka Kyle Seager
We continue our trip around the diamond looking at the individual seasons of the Seattle Mariners significant pieces. Today we arrive at the hot corner, home to Kyle Seager.
But before we get to Seager, there was one other Mariners player who called third base home for a chunk of the season. You may not remember it, but way back in the magical time of early April, Ryon Healy was a thing.
Healy played 44 games at third base, before a back and hip injury cost him the rest of 2019. Healy barely qualified for this list, but he did enough that we can give him a quick grade for his efforts
Healy looked like Ryon Healy, just playing third instead of first. He did a serviceable job filling in for Seager but put up a fairly typical Ryon Healy line. He hit for power occasionally but was below-average across the board.
Healy may not be a great player, but his performance in just over 25% of the season was as expected. Now let’s dive into the big name at third, Kyle Seager.
2018 was an absolute disaster for Seager. He was, simply put, a bad everyday player. It was his second subpar season in a row, though his 2017 was just fine. But Seager wasn’t satisfied and did what he always does; he put in the work.
Seager entered 2019 sleeker and with a changed swing and approach. He put in the hard work, changed his diet, workout routine, and swing and was excited to prove people wrong. An unfortunate injury late in spring training to his hand cost him the first 55 games, his first-ever stint to the IL.
Then, Seager returned and things were rough. In June he hit .219/.327/.417, barely over league average. July was even worse. He hit .220/.244/.439 and posted a 75 wRC+. But Seager never waivered and was committed to his new approach and things took off.
Over the second half of 2019, Seager slashed .260/.343/.528 with 16 homers, good for a 131 wRC+. His defense has been as steady as ever, showing more range than usual thanks to his new physique.
Of course, the question with Seager is if he can repeat. Well, if he can, he looks like a 4 win player, giving the Mariners an excellent chance to recoup even more value than they already have off of his $100 million deal. Seager may have played his way into the plans of the 2021 Mariners. Based off of where he was one year ago today, that is an incredible accomplishment.