Throughout his career, Marcus Semien’s name in the starting lineup has been one of the most guaranteed things in all of sports. He is on his way to leading the Major Leagues in plate appearances for the third time in four years, proving once again that his best ability is his availability.
The rook hit one 416 feet…so the vet had to go 417. pic.twitter.com/eGqMiul7g8
— Texas Rangers (@Rangers) September 13, 2022
The 162 games played by Major League Baseball are by far more than any other professional sport, but in this era of load management, there are no more Cal Ripken iron men, taking no days off. Guys are lucky to play in even 75% of games and often times, the decision as to whether they play or not is made by the organization.
That is what makes what Marcus Semien can accomplish by the end of 2022 so impressive. He started in 141 of the teams 142 games and leads the Majors in plate appearances with 577 entering Wednesday. That would make it the third time in the last four years he has led the league in plate appearances. Semien played in all 162 games last season as well as in 2019 and only missed three games in 2018.
“It is something I always wanted to do growing up,” Semien told MLBbro.com when asked about what it meant to play and be available for every game.
“I train and take care of my body so I can play the entire 162. Especially with me batting at the top of the lineup, I know I will get a few more chances every game and have the chance to end the season high in the rankings”
In the shortened 2020 season he played in 53 out of the possible 60 games. He also played in 155 or more games in 2015 and 2016.
Semien’s consistency in his first year of at least a seven-year stint in Texas, has set the tone for the younger Rangers around him.
— MLBbro.com (@MLBbrodotcom) September 3, 2022
After starting the year batting .157 in April, he now has his average up to .248 and secured the first 20/20 season of his career. He currently has 22 home runs and a career high 24 stolen bases which leads the Rangers who recently took over the Major League lead in steals thanks to Semien’s teammate Bubba Thompson who has swiped 15 bags since being called up last month.
Last season Semien, whose birthday comes this Friday, hit 12 of his 45 home runs in the final month of the season. He’s also crushed the ball to begin this year’s final month as well.
Over his last seven games Semien is batting .344 with five RBI, two steals, a home run and eight runs scored. During a double header this past Monday Semien went 4-for-9 including three hits, three RBI and a home run in the night cap. Tuesday night he hit three doubles in a game for the first time in his career, including one where he was a late arrival to the batter’s box.
What do you think Marcus Semien was thinking about in the dugout? https://t.co/Op6Hgi8SSc
— MLBbro.com (@MLBbrodotcom) September 14, 2022
“Unless he comes into my office and tells me he cannot go, he will be out there,” interim manager Tony Beasley told MLBbro.com
“He works in the off-season to play all 162 so there are rarely questions about his availability.”
In an era where playing less seems to be encouraged, Semien doesn’t take days off and earns every bit of his salary by being present and available. That’s an All-Star trait in itself and something a true leader does.