Ignore batting average — Mariners’ Kyle Seager is having ‘his best year’

Aug 24, 2021, 1:57 PM
Mariners Kyle Seager...
Kyle Seager is one home run away from tying his career-high. (Getty)

Kyle Seager is on pace to have a career-low batting average this season, but don’t take that to mean the veteran Mariners third baseman isn’t pulling his weight. If anything, he’s doing more than he ever has as Seattle makes a push for the postseason.

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“I think that he’s having – and has the opportunity to have – his best year as a Mariner, and that’s saying something,” Mike Blowers, Mariners color commentator for ROOT Sports, said Monday on 710 ESPN Seattle’s Wyman and Bob. “Especially with the way that everybody kind of looks at the game today… his batting average, I’m sure it’s not where he wants it to be, but it’s not the most important thing of what he brings to this team.”

Seager went into Tuesday’s game between the Mariners and Athletics hitting .217 with a .290 on-base percentage and .451 slugging mark, but the biggest numbers for him at the plate are home runs and RBIs. He sits at 29 homers, just one off his career-high in 2016, and 82 RBIs, 17 short of his career-best also set in 2016.

“You look at him setting career-highs in home runs – that’s definitely going to happen… (and) he’s never driven in 100, he drove in 99 in 2016, and he has a real good chance especially with the guys that are swinging it around him and the way that they take their walks,” Blowers said.

Most importantly, while Seager’s overall batting average is lower than normal, he’s very much taking care of business when he comes up in a big spot. He’s ninth in MLB in OPS with runners in scoring position (1.101) and seventh in batting average with runners in scoring position and two outs (.394).

“Especially with the way that he has hit with runners in scoring position, and runners in scoring position with two outs he’s (around) .400, that’s hitting in the clutch right there,” Blowers said.

And then there’s what Seager, a former Gold Glove winner, does in the field.

“I’m telling you, when he’s gone everybody’s going to realize just how good he is at third base. He’s unbelievable over there,” Blowers said.

There’s a big question mark about Seager’s future with the Mariners as the team holds an option to bring him back next year or not, but it’s clear he’s had a strong impact in multiple ways in this surprisingly successful M’s season.

“The way that he drives the ball and his leadership on this team, which is a very young team… I think that he’s helped all of these guys on a daily basis work their way through this season, and he’s a big reason why they’re in the position that they’re in,” Blowers said. “And oh, by the way, he hits third or fourth every single night, which is not an easy thing to do. Everybody on the other side knows exactly where he’s at. He’s the veteran guy, he’s the one they game plan for… To me, his batting average, I’m not too concerned about that. I think he’s having a terrific year.”

You can hear the full conversation between Blowers and hosts Bob Stelton and Dave Wyman in the podcast at this link or in the player below.

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Ignore batting average — Mariners’ Kyle Seager is having ‘his best year’