PTI: Third Base for 1H-2012 (2 - Liddi, Seager)

Q Mal + Sandy:  Is Kyle Seager underwhelming offensively?

PTI Jemanji:  If Seager hits near .300, with walks and gap power, that's 5-6 runs per 27 outs and there is no such thing as a bench player with 5-6 RC/27.  You hit like that, you play 155, end of story.

But to be fair to Mal, there is every possibility that Seager will hit less than [.300 with walks and gap power].  His hot roll in the last few weeks of 0H 2012 came against fairly sloppy pitching.  There's no guarantee that Haren and Weaver won't find holes in his swing.

Seager, in the UP scenario, can certainly hit well enough to play 3B.  A VERY similar player was Gregg Jeffries, who hit 110 for his career but who peaked at 140 for two years.

After Seager's sizzling finish ... more and more you can see that for him, a career full of 100-110 batting lines with a couple of 130's around age 27.  You going to tell Gregg Jeffries he doesn't hit well enough to play 3B?  He was an All-Star there, with MVP votes.


Q G-Money:  Are Liddi and Seager really going to battle for 3B in spring training?

PTI Jemanji:  If that's not true, then what were you doing in September 2011?  Squandering your assessment time?

The Founding Father of Sabermetrics, James, used to get ferocious with ballclubs precisely for inconsistencies like this.  Let's say, you invite Roberto Petagine to camp and he destroys it, and you give him one AB on opening day and he hits a HR, and then you deep-freeze him.

If you didn't want him, that was perfectly fine.  But why did you bring him to camp?  To prove to him that he can't play?


As you try to weed out process flaws to move up the ranks in chess tournaments, you find that this is a huge leverage point.  "Consistency" means that Move 1 helps Move 2 helps Move 3 helps Move 4.  

Against good players, you can't afford to waste time by spending Moves 1 and 2 towards a project that is not going to be relevant.  That is your currency:  time.  You've got 10 moves in order to improve your position to the point to where your offense puts pressure on him; else you'll be defending the rest of the game and you'll lose.  It's all about how much you accomplish in a given period of time.

Anybody could build a position ... given all the time they wanted.  You and I could accumulate World Series talent, if we had 10,000 ballplayer-hours to do it in.  There's a density-of-return concept that is operating here.

And Zduriencik just doesn't have the time to squander --- > to play Kyle Seager for 60 games, have Seager play well ... and then say oh well whatever nevermind.  That would be losing play.


As things stand now, Liddi has to be one more audition away from being in there, and Seager has to be in there, period.




Great take on good organizations don't waste time on prospects that aren't prospects.
On Seager, I will readily conceed that he could crash and burn.  (I also I'm in the minority in the belief that Smoak could crash and burn, too).
But, that's why I'm thrilled to have Liddi scratching at the door and while I would (like most) welcome a trade of bad contracts with Figgins - I'm okay with the concept of him being a veteran supersub if that doesn't happen.
I think what irks me about the soft sell on Seager by so many is that mathematically, not only has he moved through the system faster than anyone else, his aggregate minors line was better than ALL of the predecessors.  I mean, after he BEATS the slash lines of Jones and Clement and Wlad you'd think somebody would notice.  The fact his aggregate slash line beats ACKLEY and CARP ought to bring enthusiasm.
In closing, let me just say this.  The first Mariner prospect *I* was genuinely enthused about was Carp.  Ackley doesn't count, being the concensus best college player of the millenium.  But, second to Carp, the prospect I am most high on in terms of chance of MLB success is Seager. 
My sense is that Seager, (like Ackley), is a guy who will never stop learning and trying to improve.  My sense of Smoak is that he's a guy satisfied with the skills he has.  I'd personally bet even money that Seager ends up with a higher career OPS than Smoak.  I'd love to be wrong, because honestly I think Seager is a near lock to succeed, and to beat him, Smoak is actually going to have to have that .900 OPS explosion that everyone has been waiting on.

ghost's picture

...that is not to say that I don't think Smoak can't fail...he can and he might.  But I don't think the reason is that he's comfy and totally cool with being mediocre.  I think Smoak struggled this year because he was TRYING TOO HARD to be be the guy that centers the line-up.  He wasn't out there chilling like one of the roid-laden early '00s As...he's no pot-head like Scott Spiezio or lazy punk like Yuni Betancourt.  He's working TOO HARD to get the power going and failing as a result.


Attempting to read minds is a fools errand - (but it's one I feel qualified to run ... :-)
Saying he is accepting his fate IS too strong a line.
A more accurate description of my position is that I don't see evidence (in his stat line) that he's naturally atuned to adjustment.  I get the sense from the stats combined with the massively positive scouting reports on him that actually making those adjustments to become a star MLB player are beyond his ken. 
That said - I completely get that this year is a bad read due to his dad dying. 
The generic point I was really making is that everyone has their own favorites to succeed and flop - but the answers are only known looking backward.  If Smoak hits .900 and Carp hits .690 ... the end result is no different than Carp hitting .900 and Smoak hitting .690. 


Bravo redux...
Doc and Sandy,
Good show.
Seager has established himself as a guy in the lineup, opening day '12.  I would not be surprised if it was at SS.  But it could be 3B, to open the season.
Liddi's ST will be the key to the SS/3B call for Seager.  But Seager's in.  He can hit, add's a bunch of extra-base hits, and he's simply going to get better.
Like Sandy, I was high on Carp when he was in AA with the Mets.  I'm nearly that high on Seager, mostly as a glove first SS.

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