Introducing… Kevin Seitzer

An exceptional batsman, Kevin Seitzer was a solid third baseman for a number of years, first in Kansas City and later in Milwaukee.  The Royals thought so highly of Seitzer in 1987 that they moved Hall of Famer George Brett across the diamond to open up third base for him.  Although he was no George Brett, Kevin was a reliable ballplayer with a knack for putting the ball in play.  Kevin typically walked more than he struck out and was a threat to hit .300 every season.  A two-time All-Star, Seitzer retired with a rather enviable career batting average and on-base percentage.

Seitzer was drafted by the Royals in the 11th round out of Eastern Illinois College.  It was unlikely that an 11th round pick would force a team to move a player of George Brett’s caliber, but after Kevin impressed in a late season trial with Kansas City in 1986, that’s exactly what happened in 1987.  The Royals shifted Brett to first base and gave the third base assignment to the rookie.  Seitzer rewarded the Royals with one of the greatest rookie seasons ever recorded.  He led the American League with 207 hits, scored 105 runs, hit .323 and posted an amazing .390 on-base percentage.  However, despite these awe-inspiring freshman numbers, Seitzer was denied the Rookie of the Year Award because some gorilla named Mark McGwire hit a lot of homeruns. 

After a rookie season that allowed him to make the All-Star team, Kevin had another .300 season as a sophomore in 1988.  His numbers were rather close to what they had been as a rookie with the exception of his power stats.  He swatted fifteen dingers as a rookie but only managed five long balls as a sophomore.  Those fifteen freshman homeruns would be the most Seitzer would tally over the course of a season as he never duplicated his early slugging numbers.  But despite his loss of power, Kevin was a mighty serviceable ballplayer.  In 1989 he drew 102 walks which enabled him to post a solid OBP of .387–which was fifty points higher than his slugging percentage. 

Seitzer’s batting average fell steadily each year after his rookie season and after a injury-plagued 1991 season the Royals cut ties with Kevin.  He signed a free agent deal with the Brewers in 1992 with plenty to prove.  He showed the Royals that they gave up on him too soon with a healthy ’92 campaign in Wisconsin.  Seitzer, who led the AL in errors at third base twice while in Kansas City, paced the junior circuit with a .969 fielding percentage (20 points above league average) for the Brew Crew.  He rebounded with the stick also to drive in 71 runs. 

Granted free agency after the season, Seitzer signed with the A’s in 1993 but ended the season back in Milwaukee.  Seitzer hit a combined .269 between the two teams before reeling off three straight seasons with a batting average above .310.  Kevin hit .314 in the strike-shortened ’94 season and in 1995 he made his second All-Star team.  That year Kevin hit .311 with a .395 on-base percentage.  But he was even better the following season.  Near the end of the ’96 season, the Brewers sent Kevin to the contending Indians where he hit a lusty .386 down the stretch.  Between the two teams, Kevin hit .326 with an amazing .416 on-base percentage.  Seitzer played one final year with the Indians before retiring.

THE NUMBERS

G 1,439/R 739/H 1,557/2B 285/3B 35/HR 74/RBI 613/SB 80/BB 669/SO 617/BA .295/OBP .375/SA .404

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