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Kyle Seager, Defensive Wizard

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Kyle Seager won a Gold Glove. Let's appreciate his defensive wizardry.

Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier this week, Rawlings announced the winners of the 2014 Gold Glove Awards and, perhaps surprisingly, the Mariners' Kyle Seager came away with his first, major piece of hardware in his career.

A ton of credit has to be given to Seager and the Mariners' coaching staff. He put in a ton of work on his defense in the offseason and was noticeably improved this year. The fact that he was rewarded with an award recognizing his excellence is just a cherry on top of an amazing year for Kyle. Scott wrote a reaction piece that covers all the details.

It's been a week since baseball ended and I'm already going through withdrawals. Any excuse to watch baseball is fine by me.  Today, I'd like to go through the observable evidence of Kyle Seager's defensive wizardry by combing through his defensive highlights on MLB.com to find his top-10 plays from 2014.

A search of the MLB.com video database for "Kyle Seager" and "defense" brings up around 40 plays from this year that fall into our query. There are a few more that come up where Seager is involved in the defensive play but he isn't the focus of the highlight. Those were thrown out.

Using a completely objective and arbitrary (read: made up) rating system, I meticulously watched each highlight and noted the play's degree of difficulty, level of "Boss-ness," and its shiny factor. Using these three criteria, I was able to come up with Kyle Seager's top-10 defensive plays from 2014. Enjoy.

10. Seager's jumping stop

Date: 9/2
Opponent: Oakland Athletics
Degree of Difficulty: 6
Shiny Factor: 6
Boss-ness: 6

Defensive Skills Displayed: instincts, glovework, arm strength, arm accuracy

This is a pretty good play from Seager but what really strikes me is the nonchalance with which he makes it. He doesn't panic or rush his actions. He calmly reacts to the ball over his head, cleanly fields, spins, and fires to first. No big deal.

9. Seager's backhanded snag

Date: 6/29
Opponent: Cleveland Indians
Degree of Difficulty: 8
Shiny Factor: 6
Boss-ness: 5

Defensive Skills Displayed: reactions, glovework, first step

[Insert cliché hot corner joke]

8. Seager's barehanded play

Date: 4/14
Opponent: Texas Rangers
Degree of Difficulty: 8
Shiny Factor: 7
Boss-ness: 5

Defensive Skills Displayed: range, arm strength, arm accuracy

There were probably about ten different plays like this that I watched. They're all equally deserving of this spot but this one seemed to rise above the other. Maybe because it was one of the first highlights I watched or perhaps it was the sweet sound of Rick Rizz's voice, I'm not sure. Seager, for his part, has made this kind of barehanded play look easy -- like Adrian Beltre made it look easy. Beltre was presumably watching Seager make this play from the dugout. I wonder if he appreciates excellent defensive play at third by others or if he thinks everyone else is below him...

7. Seager's diving stop

Date: 5/27
Opponent: Los Angeles Angels
Degree of Difficulty: 7
Shiny Factor: 7
Boss-ness: 7

Defensive Skills Displayed: first step, range, glovework, arm strength, arm accuracy

Seager shows some excellent range to his left on this play and makes a great off balance throw after his diving stop. A great play that shows off all of Kyle's skills as a third baseman.

6. Seager fields deflection

Date: 7/6
Opponent: Chicago White Sox
Degree of Difficulty: 7
Shiny Factor: 8
Boss-ness: 7

Defensive Skills Displayed: instincts, arm strength, arm accuracy

Fielding any kind of deflection is difficult. Your body is moving one direction and then instantly has to adjust course. It doesn't seem like Seager has to make an extreme course correction on this play but since the ball was popped so high in the air, he's forced to make a snap throw across the diamond. He throws a strike to first with a very impressive quick release throw.

5. Seager's tough play

Date: 4/25
Opponent: Texas Rangers
Degree of Difficulty: 8
Shiny Factor: 5
Boss-ness: 10

Defensive Skills Displayed: range, glovework, arm strength

While Seager loses points for bobbling the initial pick, he sticks with the play and nails Beltre at first with a strong throw. The fact that he made this play against one of his fellow Gold Glove nominees earns him even more points.

I wish Mike Blowers could just pop up and say "oh boy" every time someone makes a mistake. You trip on the stairs while carrying a full cup of coffee -- "oh boy." You sent that sensitive email to the wrong Rebecca in your department -- "oh boy." You forgot to call on your mom's birthday -- "oh boy."

4. Seager's nice play

Date: 7/30
Opponent: Cleveland Indians
Degree of Difficulty: 8
Shiny Factor: 8
Boss-ness: 8

Defensive Skills Displayed: range, instincts, glovework, arm strength, arm accuracy

Kyle Seager and Lonnie Chisenhall are both third basemen. Based solely on this highlight, we can assume that Kyle Seager is the better fielder since he completes this play with maximum effort without knowing whether or not the ball would be called fair or foul. We can also assume that Lonnie Chisenhall is a terrible defender because he freezes in the batter's box to wait and see if the ball would go foul. Hey, would you look at that - Chisenhall was one of the worst third basemen in the league and Seager won a Gold Glove. I guess assuming doesn't make an ass out of ‘u' and ‘me' after all.

3.  Seager's great play

Date: 9/12
Opponent: Oakland Athletics
Degree of Difficulty: 8
Shiny Factor: 7
Boss-ness: 10

Defensive Skills Displayed: range, instincts, glovework

First of all, what the hell was Jason Hammel doing running the bases? I have no recollection of this game so the fact that a pitcher is running the bases in the fourth inning of a game in September really piqued my interest.

After making this pretty impressive play, Seager seems pretty disappointed when talking to Miller. Did he expect to get the double play? Was he disappointed with his backhanded flip to second? After getting an out on a play where an out was certainly not a guarantee, I'd be pretty pumped. Not Kyle Seager, Gold Glove winner. Kyle Seager expects excellence all the time. Kyle Seager gets all the outs, all the time.

2. Seager's nice stop

Date: 5/29
Opponent: Los Angeles Angels
Degree of Difficulty: 8
Shiny Factor: 8
Boss-ness: 10

Defensive Skills Displayed: reactions, instincts, glovework, arm strength

Jay Buhner is right, Seager does make it look easy. I mean, he gloves this ball when it was almost behind him. I can guarantee you he could not see that ball and yet his instincts allowed him to make that stop. Just, wow.

1. Seager's great backhanded play

Date: 7/12
Opponent: Oakland Athletics
Degree of Difficulty: 9
Shiny Factor: 9
Boss-ness: 9

Defensive Skills Displayed: first step, range, glovework, arm strength

I'm not sure which is more impressive on this play, Seager's pick and throw or Morrison's catch at first. This play was similar to the play against the Indians at #4 but, on this one, the pick he makes on the grounder is much more difficult. The throw to first has to be rushed because Gentry is busting out of the box which makes it even more impressive that they're able to get the out.

I'm not kidding you, Mike -- Kyle Seager is a defensive wizard.