With Kyle Seager expected to miss 10-12 weeks after hand surgery, Ryon Healy is set to become the first starter at third base on Opening Day since Chone Figgins. Healy is not a neophyte when it comes to third as he played the position predominantly when he was with the Athletics.
While Healy had some nice plays, like charging on this slow roller, the advanced metrics don’t like his defensive performance at the hot corner. Between 2016 and 2017 he racked up a UZR of -10.9 at third base. There is going to be a drop off between the 27-year old and Seager at third, the good news is that the Mariners aren’t contending this season so losing Seager won’t impact their playoff odds.
The bad news is that Healy is going to be seeing a bunch of time with in the show when he desperately needs time to work on holes in his swing in Triple A.
LookoutLanding – Kyle Seager’s surgery successful, officially out 10-12 weeks
I am sad Healy won’t get to work on his launch angle and pitch selection in AAA
I was really hoping practicing those skills in a low pressure environment where he would have lots of confidence could help him improve as a hitter. Looks like he has to play 3B in MLB instead.
Posted by lg2285a on Mar 14, 2019 | 2:17 PM reply
Healy has struggled with elevating the ball throughout his major league career as he has a ridiculously low line drive rate (19.2%) and a high ground ball rate (43.1%); and because he’s a pull hitter, those ground balls are being hit right into the shift. When everything goes wrong for the 27-year old, like it did in ’18, then he posts a low BABIP of .257 and it leads to a massive decrease in offensive production.
Healy’s high ground ball rate comes from the fact that he’s primarily making contacts on pitches midway through the top of the strike zone.
While the majority of pitches he’s seeing are low and away.
This means that Healy is primarily getting on top of pitches and driving them into the ground. For him to hit more line drives, he’s going to need to do a better job of getting the barrel of his bat on those pitches in the outside corner; and become more selective with the pitches he swings at.
Unfortunately, he last place that you want a young hitter to be working on his launch angle is against major league pitching, unfortunately because of Seager’s injury…that’s exactly what the Mariners are forcing Healy to do.
Heading into this season, Healy is going to have to develop a better line drive rate for him to start becoming a more offensive threat. Even if he’s still hitting the ball to the shift, a hard hit line drive is the best bet for him to poke holes in it and get on base. Currently, he’s a feast or famine batter and that’s not going to be sustainable long term for Seattle…or his career.