Updated Apr 13, 2012 - 5:00 pm
Kyle Seager off to hot start for Mariners
Kyle Seager hit .258 as a rookie last season and entered spring training without any guarantees of even making the big-league club.
So, it might surprise some that the 24-year-old infielder is leading the Mariners in hitting through eight games.
Kyle Seager's .321 average leads the Mariners. (AP)
"He was the all-time doubles leader in North Carolina baseball history. His first full season in pro ball he led the minor leagues in hits, and last year he started in Double-A, hit his way into Triple-A, and, boom, in the flash of a pan he's in the big leagues," Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik told Bob Stelton and Chris Egan on Friday.
The Mariners drafted Seager in the third round in 2009, the same year they made his teammate at North Carolina, Dustin Ackley, the second overall pick
"I think everyone always thought that Kyle was going to be a really good hitter," Zduriencik said, "and I think he's settling in really nice right now."
Mike Carp's shoulder injury in the season opener forced Chone Figgins to move from third base to left field, creating an opening for Seager. In seven games, Seager is 9-for-25, leading the team with a .321 average and six RBIs.
Some have questioned whether the 6-foot, 195-pound Seager has enough power to project as a long-term third baseman. He hit four home runs during the spring and hit his first of the season on Thursday, a solo shot that went an estimated 438 feet and landed in the upper deck of Rangers Ballpark.
"When he catches one he can hit it just a far as anybody on the team. That's definitely not a surprise to me," Ackley told "The Kevin Calabro Show" on Friday. "He's shown in spring training and over the first couple games of the season that he's going to be a great hitter and great hitter at this level. I think that's maybe a surprise to some people but it's definitely not a surprise to me."
Seager will play third base and hit fifth in Friday's home opener, which you can hear on 710 ESPN Seattle.
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