Center field is apparently in the Seagers' DNA.Statcast™ tracks the location of every hitter's batted balls. By dividing the field into three equal slices, we can see the tendencies -- pull, oppo or center -- of hitters across the Major Leagues.We recently looked at some of baseball's most extreme spray
Center field is apparently in the Seagers' DNA.
Statcast™ tracks the location of every hitter's batted balls. By dividing the field into three equal slices, we can see the tendencies -- pull, oppo or center -- of hitters across the Major Leagues.
We recently looked at some of baseball's most extreme spray charts, and in the process of researching that, we noticed that Kyle Seager and Corey Seager both tend to drive the ball to the middle of the field. A lot.
In fact, Kyle hit the ball in the air to center field more times than any hitter in baseball in 2017. Meanwhile, Corey hit a higher share of his home runs to center than anyone who reached double-digit long balls this past season.
They are brothers, after all. Let's check out some of the spray charts.
108 "air balls" to center in 2017
The older Seager loved to elevate the baseball this season -- his 156 fly balls were most in the Major Leagues -- and when he did, more often than not, it was to the middle of the field. The Mariners' third baseman hit 72 fly balls to center, 15 more than the next-closest hitters (Jose Pujols and Justin Turner, who had 57 apiece). Close to half of Kyle's fly balls, 46.2 percent, went to center field, a higher rate than any left-handed hitter with even half as many fly balls as him.
Add in Kyle's 36 line drives to center, and he finished the season with an MLB-high 108 "air balls" to the middle region of the ballpark. Lorenzo Cain had the next most with 102, and the next-closest lefties were Charlie Blackmon and Daniel Murphy with 96 each.
59.1 percent of home runs to center in 2017
Corey also finished atop a list of heavy center-field hitters last season. The 23-year-old Dodgers shortstop smacked 22 home runs in his second full big league season, and the majority of them -- 13 -- were to center. That's a 59.1 percent center-field home run rate. A Major League-record 242 players reached double-digit homers in 2017, and of that group, Corey hit the highest percentage of home runs to the middle third of the field.
Not only that, among the 117 players who reached the 20-homer mark (also an MLB record for a single season), his center-field home run rate was nearly 10 percent higher than the next-closest hitter (Paul DeJong at 50 percent). And it was more than 10 percent higher than the next-closest lefty (Anthony Rizzo at 46.9 percent).
David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler.