The Seattle Mariners might be struggling to put wins together, but Kyle Seager is currently on his hottest streak of the season.
Back in 2014, Kyle Seager was having the time of his life with the Seattle Mariners. He was named an All-Star for the first time and won a Golden Glove Award.
This led to Seager being rewarded with a seven-year, $100 million contract extension after the season. Two years later he was at the peak of his powers, setting career highs for home runs, RBIs, batting average, on base percentage and slugging percentage.
Unfortunately for Seager, he came crashing back down to reality last season with his poorest year since 2013. This included having the worst slash line of his Major League career.
As the Mariners prepared for a full rebuild, they were going to rely on the likes of Seager to help navigate them through a stormy period for the franchise. However, fate had other ideas as he aimed to bounce back from a n unproductive 2018.
The 31-year-old injured his left hand during spring training, resulting in missing the first two months of the 2019 regular season. When he finally returned to the lineup, he was unsurprisingly rusty.
Following a 9-0 trouncing by the Houston Astros on Aug. 3, Seager was on course for a new career low batting average of .217. Then everything started to come together.
Ever since, the Charlotte, North Carolina native has been in a zone, resulting in a 11-game hitting streak. During that period, he has a batting average of .375, while blasting six homers and 13 RBIs.
(In fairness to Seager, he has actually had hits in 21 of his previous 22 games heading into Sunday’s action. Before then, he was sitting on a .186 batting average.)
Saturday’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays helped highlight how potent Seager has been of late. With the teams tied at 3-3 in the top of the eighth, he hit what proved to be the winning home run.
The moment turned out to be even more special than Seager could have imagined. The 190th home run of his career took him past Alex Rodriguez for the most ever by a Mariners’ infielder.
In addition, Seager now has the fourth-most homers by any player in team franchise history. The trio ahead of him make for impressive reading: Ken Griffey Jr. (417), Edgar Martinez (309) and Jay Buhner (307).
Seager was both surprised and humbled when told about his achievement after the 4-3 win in Toronto. As reported by Greg Johns of MLB.com, he said:
” That is pretty cool. I didn’t know that one. That’s definitely something I don’t take lightly and I’m very proud of that.”
Statistics can be a funny thing, in that they can often be manipulated to support any argument. It’s interesting to note that if you pro-rate Seager’s stats over an entire 162-game schedule, he would have a career high 35 home runs.
On the flip side, however, the third baseman would also have the second-worst batting average of his nine years in the Majors. With this in mind, it will be interesting to see how he performs during the rest of the 2019 campaign.
The reality is Seager will probably not still be with the team if and when they are ready to contend again. The question is, will he at least see out the remainder of his contract in Seattle, or be traded in exchange for some useful assets to assist the current rebuild?