Last offseason just hours before the MLB lockout, the Texas Rangers shocked the baseball world when they signed both Marcus Semien and Corey Seager to lock up their middle infield for at least the next seven years. Immediately once they signed, expectations were placed upon them to lead the Rangers out of their rebuild and to the promised land.
Following the month of April which saw Marcus Semien hit .157 with no home runs and just six RBI, fans began to start asking if Semien “robbed” the Texas Rangers. The truth is you can’t judge someone based on their first year in a mega contract let alone the first month. Semien was able to rebound nicely finishing the season with a .248 batting average with 26 homers and 83 RBI. Semien was also able to join Adolis Garcia as the first pair of 20/20 teammates in franchise history.
Corey Seager had a bit of a down year for his standards despite having a war of 4.0. Seager was not the most consistent player on either side of the ball but was still able to slash 2.45/.317/.445. The slugging lefty was even able to make it into the record books in 2022 by hitting the most home runs from a left-handed hitting shortstop in baseball history.
In spite of both Semien and Seager having inconsistent seasons both of the superstar middle infielders are poised for breakout years in the second campaign of their mega contracts.
No matter how simple this sounds, I think the first reason that I see a breakout on the horizon is the fact that they’re both comfortable here in the Lone Star State. Multiple studies have shown that professional athletes’ performance declines after their “contract years”, I think now that both Semien and Seager have year one in Texas behind them, it’s gonna be a much different story.
Something to watch for is if Semien and Seager’s performances at the end of last season carry over into 2023. After slashing just .196/.256/.268 in his first 45 games, Semien slashed .268/.332/.492. For Corey Seager, it was almost the complete opposite. The slugging shortstop went just 24-122 in his last 30 games. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of starts Semien and Seager get off to in 2023.
Now that this Texas Rangers team is fully ready to win, it’s clear that both Marcus Semien and Corey Seager will be huge parts of that. Year two deep in the heart of Texas are shaping up to be big for the Rangers’ star middle infielders.