One of the Seattle Mariners biggest disappointments of 2018 season was Kyle Seager’s overall production at the plate.
Teams used the shift on Seattle Mariners‘ third baseman Kyle Seager this season more than in any of his previous seven Major League seasons. He struggled to adapt and has hit for a career low in batting average (.221), a career high in strikeouts so far at 132, and what will be a career low in walks at only 37 for the season.
Watching Seager hit the season was very frustrating to anyone with an interest in the Seattle Mariners. Whether it be leaving guys on base, which seemed like almost every game, or just him completely losing track of the strike zone. It didn’t click this season for “Corey’s Brother.
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During one at-bat earlier this year, Seager came to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs. Instead of being aggressive and looking for a pitch to hit, Seager took strike one right down the middle. The next pitch was a slider that got Kyle chasing out of the zone for strike two. So down 0-2 in the count, you would expect a hitter to be aggressive with any pitch near the strike zone. The 0-2 pitch was a fast ball right down the middle and the bat didn’t leave Seagers’ shoulder.
Kyle Seager is still a solid player. His defense, although not as productive this year, makes him one of the best defensive third baseman in the league. His power numbers are still there with 22 home runs and 76 Rbi’s through 9/24.
In order for the Mariners to take a step forward next year and contend for the playoffs, they will need Kyle to bounce back in a big way. Let’s face it, at this point, he and his $19 million contract is not going anywhere. He will need to learn how to hit the ball the other way in some way shape or form. Heck, he could drop down a bunt or two once in a while, to keep the defense at bay and potentially rethink the shift. Seager’s pull rate is too high. Anyone who has watched him knows it, including other teams.
What the most confusing most about Seager at the plate is how he continues to hit left-handed pitching better than right-handed (.251).05) . You would think it would be the opposite, but it adds to the “what is going on” factor with him.
Perhaps Seager was distracted this year. He and his wife, Julie, had their third child on August 1st. His daughter, Emelyn, was their first baby born during the season. Seager admitted to media members that it was hard for him to return to work. Also, Corey Seager. Kyle’s stud younger brother for the Dodgers had season-ending Tommy John surgery back in April. He missed the entire season for that but also had hip surgery in August.
Whatever the issue(s) may be, the 2019 Mariners need Kyle Seager to bounce back to his productive self. No one in the minors nor via free agency is going to bump him out of his job. So Seager and the Mariners must work this winter for a better 2019.