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Kyle Seager should be an All-Star

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You know what's better than one Seager at the Mid-Summer classic?

Hey guys! Am I an All-Star?
Hey guys! Am I an All-Star?
Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

No, wait, where are you going? Sure, it's All-Star voting and you're very fancy and busy. Too fancy and busy to care about such things. Yes, I have expressed the position (publicly, loudly, in ways that are awkward at parties) that Kyle Seager is underappreciated outside of Seattle. And yes, if asked to pick a favorite current Mariner, non-Felix division, I would most certainly select Kyle. But that doesn't mean that there isn't a good argument that Kyle Seager should have heard his name announced yesterday, or that I can't be the one to make it.

Third base is a crowded field. There are several worthy-ish gentlemen manning the hot corner who were excluded. But for whatever reason--be it the pacific time zone, Kyle's abhorrence of social media, the presence of another, better Seager confusing people, or a deep and abiding belief that Mariners fans are only allowed to have one nice thing at any given time--the reaction to his snubbing has been present but not passionate, and all a little too shrugging for my taste. It lacks a sense of significance. Of course, it isn't that significant because none of this really matters (although I have endeavored to make the case elsewhere that it sort of does). Our Seager has already cleared the hurdle of having been an All-Star once, so he'll be "Former All-Star and Gold Glove third baseman Kyle Seager" when his career ends and his Hall of the Nearly Great case is written. Except he should also maybe, sort of, kind of, really be an All-Star this year, too.

Here's the case for Kyle in his own right. He's slashing .277/.360/.519, with a 134 wRC+, a 136 OPS+, 16 HR, 24 doubles, and one stolen base (that's a lot for him). He's set career bests for average, OBP, wRC+, and slugging. He's on pace to hit 30 home runs and his best offensive season as a pro. Add to that the fact that he plays, depending on your preferred defensive metric, an Above Average to Very Good third base, and you have a Very Good third baseman. And how does he look relative to his peers? Really, really good.


WAR(P)

3rd Base Rank

AL Position Player Rank

Baseball Prospectus

3.78

3rd

6th

Fangraphs

2.8

3rd (T)

12th

Baseball Reference

3.5

3rd

10th

Using WAR as a benchmark, he's the most valuable position player missing from the AL roster. He's the most valuable position player missing from either roster. And do you like narratives? Here is a fun narrative: Seager vs. Seager. The Battle of the Seagers. A matchup we're all Seager to see. The Brothers Seager. Messieurs Seager and Seager. Seagers: The Past is Prologue. Seagers as far as the eye can see. Seagers: One of these things is not like the other ones, one of these things is Justin. (Editor's note: Meg had literally one hundred more of these. We'll cut it off here.) Our Seager is the best homegrown position player the Mariners have had since A-Rod. He profiled as a career utility infielder. Now he's a quiet star. Stick him up there with his first round pick brother and tell a tale of hard work and promise. Make it about America. It's a great story about one of today's great baseball families. So why will this tale go untold?

Mostly, it's a crowded field with very talented talent at the top. You have a mix of veterans like Adrian Beltre, and young, developing talent like Nick Castellanos who could make good cases. But their seasons have nothing on the years Manny Machado and Josh Donaldson are having. You could quibble that Machado has played more of the year at shortstop than third base, and while you wouldn't be wrong, given that Machado was a shortstop and likely will be again, you'll probably be accused of taking this whole thing too seriously. Not by me, but by people. Also, as tempting as it is to punt him over to short, a position a Mariner had no hope of fielding, it seems like a petty exercise of a very particular kind of nationalism, so let's not. Machado has been worth 4.1 fWAR so far this year; Donaldson clocks in at a staggering 5.1. They should be All-Stars, and hey look at that.

Partly, it's that every team has to have at least one All-Star. So, the real problem was Evan Longoria, right? NO. Shockingly, NO, Evan Longoria was not the real problem! I was all prepared to rail against the Rays' general ineptitude manifesting in Evan Longoria's specific selection because what else are you going to do? I was ready to curse the Rays rotation for failing so spectacularly. I was ready to remind them that it isn't our fault they thought trading for Nick Franklin and Brad Miller and Logan Morrison was a good idea, and they shouldn't punish Kyle for it. Sure, we brought those trade horses to water but as the old saying goes, you can't make a horse drink or like spider web elbow tattoos. It is for each individual horse to assess his or her own preferences and make wild choices. You have to wear that, Rays.

And while they still do, this isn't Evan Longoria's fault, even though he is on the Final Ballot instead of Kyle. It's actually the Twins' fault! I'm sure Eduardo Nunez is a nice man whose family loves him very much, and he's having a nice first half. But he's also a utility infielder playing third base with just over half of Seager's value and a subpar glove. Brian Dozier has been sorta bad this year and he's been more valuable than Nunez, but he plays second base and I guess with Kinsler there it was too great a stretch. You guys couldn't muster one good reliever to fix all of this, Minnesota? Longoria I could have lived with, but this? J'accuse, Twins. J'accuse.

And lastly, it's Ned Yost's fault. Nunez is such a Ned Yost selection. High average with contact. No walks to speak of, but a low strikeout rate. The bad defense would undermine his Yost-y qualities, but only if we thought Ned Yost cared about All-Star game defense. Kyle lost his All-Star bid the minute the Royals won the World Series. He has been boom Yosted.

But it's not too late to do the right thing, Ned. You still have time. Unfortunate injuries and weird recusals will occur and when they do, you can turn to the guy who can do this:

And this:

And this:

And this:

While being related to this guy:

And a good friend to all:

Do the right thing, Ned. Make Kyle an All-Star. He's already playing like one.