By Shannon Drayer
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Kyle Seager making it to the big leagues when he did was a surprise for some. Seager making the team out of spring training last year was a surprise for a surprising number of people who watch this team. They weren’t watching the Mariners third baseman close enough.
Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager has worked to improve his his speed and ability to hit left-handed pitchers. (AP)
Seager is a player who has continued to improve at the big-league level. Young player ups and downs have not been a part of his path in part because he attacks the game like a veteran. He knows himself, he knows his swing, he knows his abilities and he knows his limitations. He then goes to work on those limitations.
After his first few months in the big leagues he determined that he needed to get stronger and went to work on that. He also made an adjustment with his swing. After his first full season in the big leagues – and a successful one at that – he had a new focus. He wanted to get faster and he wanted to hit lefties better.
It would be easy for a young player to look at himself and say he is what he is in regard to speed. Seager is a decent enough runner, but that is not enough for him.
The past couple of weeks, about two hours before batting practice on an often-empty field, Seager could be seen in the outfield with strength and conditioning coach James Clifford running sprints. Sometimes he is running cones, sometimes he is wearing a harness and pulling Clifford. With a month to go in the season, the finish line in sight, Seager is still working.
“It is just something to try to continually work on running faster,” he told me Wednesday. “I am never going to be a burner, I am never going to be a plus runner but you can always improve on what you have.”
Of course, Seager’s calling card is always going to be his bat and as mentioned earlier, hitting lefties was a focus this offseason. To that end he made an adjustment that has proved successful, as he has upped his line against lefties from .237/.281/.377/.658 to .262/.310/.452/762.
To hear more about how Seager attacked the problem of hitting lefties, click here.