On Monday night against the Twins, Kyle Seager worked a 10 pitch walk in the first against Liam Hendriks. Jesus Montero went on to bang into a double play to end the inning anyway.
In his 2nd at-bat, he chased a 1-1 high and away slider and fouled it off. Hendricks was clearly keeping the ball way from him. On the 5th pitch of the at-bat, Hendriks threw an inside and high fastball (in the strikezone though) and Seager weakly popped out. At 1-2 instead of 2-1, it was a completely different at-bat.
The 3rd at-bat was a 1 pitch at-bat, as Seager got a pitch low and hit it on the ground for a double play.
His 4th at-bat lasted 6 pitches, but with a runner on, he chased a fastball way outside to strikeout.
When looking at what Kyle Seager is good at, patience is something that can be left off the list. He saw 3.65 pitches per a plate appearance last year and has seen 3.62 this year. League average is 3.81. So far in the Majors, he is walking 7.4% (7.9% this year) of the time, below league average. He walked just once in March/April and I remember remarking (or at least thinking) that this was simply unsustainable. It was. He started walking more. He has been a decent hitter this year, around league average (if you don’t adjust for position. MLB average for 3rd baseman is 97 wRC+ and just 93 wRC+ in the AL). Before the game, his OPS + was 105, his wOBA +was 100, (and thanks to Fangraphs’ live updates), and his wRC + is exactly 100. So Seager has been roughly an average hitter this year. It is always interesting, but not always informative to look at how he has gotten to this point. Basically, Seager had a big May, but other than that he is been below league average. However, it is not as if Seager went BABIP crazy in May. It was above league average, but nothing too out of the ordinary. So it seems that he is able to have legitimate big months and tread water the rest of the year.
Seager is only 24, so hopefully there will be progress in the plate discipline front. Even if there isn’t and he can hold the rest of the statistics (there is nothing that is obviously fluky about his offensive statistics), you have a guy who doesn’t walk a lot, but can slug the ball and be a league average hitter and what appears to be (both by defensive metrics and the eye test by myself and baseball writers I respect) above average defense. If Seager is that guy, then an upgrade at 3rd (a position that looked like a position of need at the start of the year) won’t be necessary for the Mariners.