By John Boyle
Kyle Seager was hitting just .156 three weeks into the season, but Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said at the time that he wasn’t worried about his young third baseman. Midway through the season, Seager has turned things around so dramatically that on Monday he was named to the American League All-Star team as a replacement for injured Toronto first baseman Edwin Encarnacion.
“He’s a good player and the book says he’s a good player,” McClendon said. “Having talked with him and learning his personality, I knew he was going to be OK, so I wasn’t really worried about it.”
A third-round pick in 2009, Seager has been the Mariners best offensive player over the past two seasons, and this season is hitting .274 with 13 home runs, 59 RBI, 21 doubles and a .483 slugging percentage.
“This is obviously a dream come true,” Seager said. “Growing up, you want to play in the big leagues, you want to be an All-Star. For that to happen is pretty special. It’s something I’m very proud of and I’m very honored.”
Seager had his son in one hand and a box of diapers in the other outside of a Babies “R” Us store when McClendon called with the news Monday morning.
“I had the little man in my arms and a big box of diapers, so I put it down and answered the phone,” he said. “It was pretty good… It was a pretty cool moment.”
Seager will join Felix Hernandez and Robinson Cano in Minnesota for the All-Star game, giving the Mariners three All-Stars for the first time since 2011.
“I can basically be like I am here and just follow Cano around, so it’ll work out well for me,” Seager said.
Cano said that when he was with the Yankees, Seager was the player other teams were worried about when they faced the Mariners.
“He’s the only guy I don’t worry about if he’s not hitting, because I know when I played against this team, he was the best hitter they had,” Cano said. “I can see now that I’m here that he cares a lot about it, he wants to be the best and I really like that.
“He really deserves it. He’s a guy who’s been working hard, a guy who helps this team to win. We all know he can hit. The guy has good numbers.”