by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
A lot is made of Kyle Seager’s splits from the first and second half, and for good reason:
- First Half – .293, 15 HR, 44 RBI, 54 R
- Second Half – .212, 7 HR, 25 RBi, 25 R
However, not quite as much is made about his splits by where he hits in the order:
- 2nd – .304, 5 HR, 15 RBI (138 AB)
- 3rd – .221, 11 HR, 39 RBI (358 AB)
- 5th – .356, 6 HR, 11 RBI (90 AB)
He also had a handful of AB hitting elsewhere in the lineup, but hardly e?ough to draw any conclusions from. So, what exactly do we take from this?
Before we simply look at the HR number hitting third, keep in mind his slugging percentage was higher hitting second (.486) and fifth (.600) than it was third (.360).
Part of the problem could’ve been the pressure of producing in the third spot. Just look at the strikeout split between hitting third compared to anywhere else:
- 3rd – 77 K over 358 AB (1 K every 4.6 AB)
- Everywhere Else – 45 K over 257 AB (1 K every 5.7 AB)
With the additions of Robinson Cano, Corey Hart and Logan Morrison, there’s a good chance that Seager finds himself hitting second in the order this season. If the split is any indication, that’s a good thing.
It’s hard not to like Seager’s overall package, as he took steps forward in multiple areas. He drew more walks (9.8%) than he had in ’12 (7.1%), while keeping the strikeouts in check (17.6% vs. 16.9%). He hit the ball hard (20.8% line drive rate) and keeping similar power (9.9% HR/FB vs. 9.8% in ’12). The potential is also still there for a significant step forward, considering his .290 BABIP and potential growth in the power department (he recently turned 26-years old).
Throw in a better lineup, meaning less pressure and more opportunities, and there’s a lot to like. While hitting second generally could limit RBI opportunities, that wouldn’t be as big of a concern in the AL (and with Dustin Ackley hitting atop the lineup and Michael Saunders/Brad Miller at the bottom of it). Consider him well worth owning in all formats.
Sources – CBS Sports, Fangraphs
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