FanPost

What Happened to Seager Down the Stretch?

If you were going to make a (very) shortlist of good things about the Mariners 2013 season Kyle Seager would be towards the top of it, because he is Boss. There was a point in time last year where it looked all but guaranteed that Kyle Seager would be putting up a 5 or 6 win season, cementing himself as a cornerstone of a ball club in desperate need of breakout performances from its young core. And then something terrible happened; August and September happened.

Period

Triple Slash

OPS

BABIP

BB

K

BB%

K%

BB/K

Apr-July

.298/.361/.492

.852

.324

39

73

8.48%

15.87%

.53

Aug

.194/.303/.340

.642

.213

13

24

10.92%

20.17%

.54

Sept

.172/.284/.242

.527

.216

16

25

13.79%

21.55%

.64

Aug-Sept

.183/.294/.232

.586

.215

29

49

12.34%

20.85

.59

Jofxx5f_medium

Oh. Oh god. That’s not good. That’s not good at all. But maybe it’s not so bad. I mean, that BABIP is horrifically low and an increase in BB/K is always welcomed, right? So maybe a more advanced stat like wOBA sheds a bit more favorable light on Seager’s end of season performance.

Swpmupy_medium

Lloyd-christmas-cry-and-gag-dumb-and-dumber_medium

Alright, there’s no getting around it. Arguably the brightest aspect of the Mariners 2013 season had an absolutely atrocious end to the year. Luckily, it looks to be largely BABIP driven, and that should regress to the mean. Something had to have caused that drop in BABIP though.

Cwlvyqq_medium

FanGraphs doesn’t have month ticks on their x-axis, which is kind of annoying, but just by eyeballing you can see that Seager’s GB% drops dramatically towards the end of the season (usually a good thing), as does his LD% (always a bad thing), but his FB% shoots up an absurd amount (in this case, probably a bad thing). Remember, line drives are more productive than fly balls are more productive than groundballs. His decrease in groundballs and increase in flyballs would usually result in higher production for a player, but it also corresponded with a decrease in the amount of line drives he hit. If you’re wondering why a decrease in groundballs and line drives corresponding with an increase in flyballs doesn’t balance itself out, it’s because the difference in runs per out between a groundball and flyball is a marginal .08 runs, but the difference between a flyball and line drive is a comparatively massive 1.13 runs.

I think that’s the biggest contributor to Boss’s decreased performance. He chased and missed pitches a bit more in August and September, and I’ll put the heat maps for that below, but I don’t think there’s anything damning there. That appears to be supported by his consistent BB/K over the course of the season.

Baijun8_medium5pt5tu3_mediumEblqaju_medium2nbrc4m_mediumXu7crpz_mediumHcg3oao_mediumXjrsuia_mediumOx8j88r_medium
(Sorry about the wall of images)

Seager produces off of gap power at the plate, a skill set that thrives off of one’s ability to hit line drives. His drop-off in line drives and increase in flyballs suggests a change in mechanics to me that resulted in a less flat, more vertical swing. I think it’s safe to rule out an intentional change in mechanics, because Seager’s swing made him Boss. A combination of wear and tear, end of season exhaustion, and burnout from playing on a team with no chance at the playoffs makes it easy to imagine a scenario where a player loses the polish on their swing, though. So if you were worried about Seager at the end of last season, which I don’t think anybody really was, I wouldn’t get too worked up about it. A refresh over the offseason and the promise of a blank slate going into the new season should be enough to fix Seager’s issues.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Lookout Landing

You must be a member of Lookout Landing to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Lookout Landing. You should read them.

Join Lookout Landing

You must be a member of Lookout Landing to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Lookout Landing. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker