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Kyle Seager, an Excellent Keeper

This is now two seasons of Kyle Seager we have under our belts and the two seasons look very similar with modest improvements in some key areas, which has pushed Seager from being a slightly above average major league hitter to a very solid fantasy player.

My favorite part about Seager’s game has been the reliability. There were three guys I was pretty much all in on in fantasy this year, Matt Carpenter, Mike Minor, and Kyle Seager. The first two were sort of wildcards, as we had not yet seen them do this in a full season, but we saw Seager produce and be valuable in his first year. The question was whether he would be able to repeat this level of performance or possibly improve from it. He did not have an abnormal BABIP, his walk rate was decent and his strikeout rate wasn’t worrisome, but people had their doubts and it’s why Seager went either very late in fantasy drafts or was not drafted at all.

His follow up season has been just as, if not more, impressive as last year. He has already matched his home run total with 20, and for a guy that is eligible at second base in many fantasy leagues that’s a pretty big plateau. He also has upped his average 16 points and has scored more runs than last year as well. He has dropped in RBI, but that was probably to be expected as 86 is not an easily matched number for a player who’s ISO was expected to be between .160-.190. Sure, it could have happened, but I do not know that anyone was picking Seager up with the expectation that he would match his RBI contributions from last year.

The drop in steals is a bit unfortunate, as my main reason for being a fan was getting 20-10 HR-SB from him this year. The improvements in the other areas have made me feel that loss a bit less, but it is one area that he has not matched from last season.
Going into next year, Seager will lose any second base eligibility he had since he has solely played third base this year. There is at least a bit of a concern with his defense, as he was -7 last year and is -9 this year. I do not expect a position switch for Seager any time in the near future, but one could conceivably be warranted. Being solely a third baseman dings his fantasy value just a bit, but again since he was drafted so late or in even some cases not drafted, his keeper value is superb.

Guys who post second seasons much similar to their first, specifically where they improve their BB%, K%, and ISO always catch my eye. It reminds me somewhat of Freddie Freeman’s second season, which gives me some confidence that Seager may be even better next year than we have seen so far.