By no means do I want to poke fun at people who are trying to analyze baseball drafts. Legitimate and trustworthy information is tough to come by from high school and college scouts, especially way back in 2009. But just for a good giggle, let’s take a look at what some people were saying about Kyle Seager when he was drafted in the third round of the 2009 MLB Draft.
Don't expect big things from Seager, though. He doesn't have the tools for a breakout, and at this point he is what he is. He's a useful player, tends to play above his tools, and reasonably close to the majors, but you're not going to get an All-Star out of him. Of course, considering what we currently have as middle infielders, that looks pretty nice.
The M’s final selection of the day is Kyle Seager, a left-handed hitting 3B/2B from North Carolina. Ackley’s teammate, Seager is another pick that I’m going to like more than most. His lack of power will be cited by people too stuck on traditional roles, but he’s a nice all-around player – good approach at the plate, line drive swing, and quality defense at third with a chance to move to second. Definitely a guy who gets more production out of his ability than his raw tools would indicate.
Nothing said here was really that bad, by any means. In fact, some of it was mediocre, and some of it was almost a compliment. That isn’t too surprising. The 2009 was an exciting time to be a Mariner fan in a time when being a Mariner fan provided as little excitement as possible. The Mariners had lost out on the Stephen Strausburg challenge, but were able to pick up one of the best pure hitters in college baseball, a surefire thing, Dustin Ackley. Anything after that was just gravy.
Thankfully, during a time when the Mariners were struggling to do anything right, they also had the foresight to draft Seager in the third round. From the beginning, he was basically known as Ackley’s teammate. It has been a bit of time since the two have been teammates, but it didn’t take long for Seager to supplant Ackley as the gem of the draft for the Mariners. He emphasized it this season by doing this.
Since Seager’s first full season in 2012, he has the fifth-highest fWAR out of all third baseman in the major leagues, and that is also including Miguel Cabrera (despite the fact he is no longer a third baseman). Just some guys named Josh Donaldson, Adrian Beltre and Manny Machado ahead of him.
Seager has done a lot for this team since he arrived. Although Felix Hernandez has always been the face of the Mariners, Seager has slowly morphed into one of the more consistent faces of the offense. He’ll always be overshadowed by Nelson Cruz’s monster dingers or Robinson Cano’s monster contract, but that is what Seager does. Most of the draft reports were correct on this regard: lunch pail kind of guy who isn’t going to be too flashy but will get the job done. Up until now, everyone was just shorting him on how much work he could get done.
His emergence as one of the top third basemen in the game was important as well. The Mariners own too many swings and misses in the draft. A lot of teams own plenty, but the Mariners really owned their flubs. During a time of darkness, Seager resembled the light. Players can actually be drafted, succeed, be rewarded with large contracts, and eventually become All-Stars. We’ve seen it happen on every other team, just not ours yet. Finally, the Seattle Mariners have a success story, and it has been a grand story to watch unfold.