The latest praise for Kyle Seager’s improving defense at third base comes from the stat wizards at The Fielding Bible, who have devised a metric to measure the accuracy of an infielder’s throwing arm.
The Seattle Mariner led all American League third basemen with a 96.6 percent “good throw” rate for his 267 throws to first base.
The Fielding Bible , using video reviews, determined Seager had no throwing errors to first, made just one bad throw to first and had only eight throws that required a good play by the first baseman.
“He’s been great offensively,” Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon said, “but I’ve been saying all year he should seriously be considered for a Gold Glove. What he does on the other side of the ball is just as important.
“He’s turned into a complete player.”
The three finalists for the Gold Glove awards, which recognize defensive excellence at each position, will be announced Oct. 30. The winners will be announced Nov. 4.
Baltimore third baseman Manny Machado was the AL Gold Glove winner in 2013, but injuries limited him this season to 82 games.
Seager led all qualifying AL third basemen this season with a .981 fielding percentage. Houston’s Matt Dominguez was second at .972. No other third baseman finished higher than .967.
Sabermetric stats are split.
Seager led AL third basemen with a plus-24 rating in runs saved, followed by Oakland’s Josh Donaldson at plus-21. But Donaldson led in defensive WAR (wins above replacement) at 2.69. Seager was second at 1.67.
Donaldson and Seager ranked one-two among AL third basemen in total chances, but Donaldson led by a wide margin: 482-422.
The Fielding Bible showed Seager led all major-league third basemen in throws to first — one more than Donaldson, who had a 91.4-percent “good throw” rate.
Juan Uribe of the Los Angeles Dodgers was the only third baseman in either league with a higher “good throw” rate than Seager. Uribe finished at 97.1 percent for 175 throws to first.
The Mariners have not had a Gold Glove recipient since outfielders Franklin Gutierrez and Ichiro Suzuki in 2010.
Third baseman D.J. Peterson and outfielder Gabby Guerrero were cited by Baseball America as being among the top 20 prospects in the High-A California League.
Peterson, 22, was ranked 10th despite spending only 65 games at High Desert prior to his promotion to Double-A Jackson. He batted .326 with 18 homers and 73 RBIs in 273 at-bats.
“Peterson has advanced quickly because of his offensive production,” Baseball America reported. “A big, strong presence in the box, he shows easy power to all fields.”
Guerrero, 20, was No. 14 after batting .307 in 131 games for High Desert with 18 homers and 96 RBIs.
“Guerrero uses a big stride and his swing has length,” Baseball America reported, “but he does show signs of putting his tools together.
“He’s a good defensive right fielder who runs well for his size, and he shares his uncle’s big-time throwing arm.”
Guerrero’s uncle is former All-Star outfielder Vladimir Guerrero.
Taijuan Walker opened the Arizona Fall League with four strong innings for the Surprise Saguaros on Tuesday, but Mariners farmhand Stephen Landazuri gave up three runs in the eighth inning in a 5-4 loss to the Peoria Javelinas.
Walker held Peoria to one run and five hits in Surprise, Arizona, while striking out five and walking none. He threw 44 strikes in 57 pitches before handing a 3-1 lead to the bullpen.
Several other Mariners prospects had encouraging Fall League debuts.
Patrick Kivlehan started at first base and hit a homer in the third inning against Peoria starter Kyle Zimmer of Kansas City, while third baseman Peterson contributed an RBI double in the sixth inning.
Catcher John Hicks went 1-for-3 with a walk.
Landazuri, 22, inherited a 4-2 lead to start the eighth inning but gave up four hits. Hunter Renfroe of San Diego had a two-out RBI single before Hunter Dozier of Kansas City followed with a two-run double.
The Mariners selected Landazuri, a right-hander, in the 22nd round of the 2010 draft. He was 6-5 with a 4.33 ERA this season in 19 starts at Double-A Jackson.
The Fall League bills itself as a finishing school for top prospects and runs through Nov. 15. It consists of six clubs in the Phoenix area, which are each comprised of players from five organizations.