I am going to go back to the well of the more unknown player again, and this time it is 2B/3B Kyle Seager of the Seattle Mariners. Seager fits more in the mold of previous profiled player Todd Frazier in that he is a younger player that could potentially be around for a while.
Here is a little background:
Seager is about to turn 24 years old in November, and while he does have some utility, he tends to be a much stronger defender at 2B. While not considered a top 100 overall prospect, Seager had managed to crack the back half of many top 10′s for the Seattle Mariners, which has a pretty strong system. The left-handed hitting Seager debuted with the Mariners at the end of the season and hit .258 with 3 homers and 13 RBI. While it was a rather modest debut at the dish for Seager, he showed his skills in August where he hit .342 for the month in 79 at-bats. Over the course of his minor league career, Seager hit .328.
Managing the zone. Seager does a good job of working the strike zone, and going forward should be able to have a good OBP if he hits around .280 to .290, which he is entirely capable of. He did strike out in around 20% of his major league at-bats, but an adjustment to the level is expected. That number is likely to come down and his walks come up as he adjusts. He is a potential top of the order hitter, something the Tigers desperately need.
Versatility. As mentioned above, Seager can play multiple positions, and like Todd Frazier, it happens to be two positions of need for the Tigers. Seager is easily a better 2nd baseman than 3rd baseman, though he showed to be adequate at the hot corner.
Makeup. By most of the accounts I have seen and or read, Seager is a baseball rat, and that is a good thing. He is known to be a guy who will hustle and will work hard to improve his craft.
Power. Seager is never going to have much in the way of home run power. He hit just 3 last year for the Mariners, though that ball park is not conducive to hitting the long ball. He does have genuine gap power, and will more than likely post an okay OPS because of his doubles power and on base ability. His power though doesn’t play well for him if he was a regular 3rd baseman though.
Experience. Getting a young guy like this means you are getting a guy that is inexperienced. Seager hasn’t had much time in professional baseball at all. He was drafted in 2009. Because of his limited amount of at-bats, its likely that clubs are still working on finding the holes in his swing still.
Despite Seager’s ability to hit, and the fact that he is young and inexpensive, I do believe that he is a guy that could be had in a deal rather easily. I don’t think it would cost the Tigers an arm and a leg either. Some probably view him as a bench guy, but I see a solid regular at 2nd base.
The Mariners are locked in at 2nd base with Dustin Ackley, as they should be. They still have Chone Figgins at 3rd base and his albatross contract. They also have Alex Liddi, and the newly acquired Francisco Martinez there as well, courtesy of an earlier deal with the Tigers. There is enough of a logjam in Seattle that they could afford to move Seager in return for something else they might need.
Young, inexpensive, and some ability to get on base and hit. What’s not to look with the potential to acquire a guy like Seager? The best thing about it is, the Tigers and David Dombrowski already seem to have a rapport with Jack Z. of the Mariners, having done deals with him the last couple of years. This would be another solid, potential long term solution that may not even cost that much. I don’t think there is much value in using Seager at 3B, and would pencil him in as a 2B only, but he is definitely worth considering for the Tigers.
If it cost the Tigers a potential bullpen guy or a back rotation piece, I would go for Seager in a second. There is enough potential for a solid major league 2nd baseman to do so.