Last season when I had the opportunity to see Dodger prospect Corey Seager play for the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, the then 19-year old shortstop was hitting under .175 while being the youngest player in the Cal League. Large for his position, Corey was consistent in the field yet still working on adjustments after being promoted from Great Lakes. Corey played 27 games with the Quakes last year and finished with a line of .160/.246/.320 with 4 homeruns and 15 RBIs. Seager was sidelined for 36 games in 2013 with a hamstring injury, and the Dodgers sent him to play in the Arizona Fall League thereafter.
Corey found his groove this season in Rancho after gaining the experience in the Fall League, and the left-handed hitter impressed
with a much improved league leading .352 batting average along with a .411 OBP and .633 SLG in 80 games. As one of the Dodgers’ top prospects, Seager hit 18 homeruns with 70 RBIs. Corey continued to play almost all of his games at shortstop, and Ned Colletti has stated that Corey would maintain his shortstop position for now even though many see him as a future third baseman due to his size.
On Sunday, Seager participated in the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game representing the U.S. The 20-year old went 0-for-1 and was hit by a pitch as the U.S. defeated the World Team with a score of 3-2. The Dodgers have yet to officially announce his promotion, but Seager is expected to join the AA-Chattanooga Lookouts after leaving Minnesota. Seager got special permission to remain in Minnesota to enjoy the All-Star game and watch his brother Kyle play.
Corey has said that he talks with his two brothers almost every night utilizing any opportunity to discuss mechanics. Kyle, his older brother, plays for the Seattle Mariners as a third baseman and his other brother Justin is also an infielder within the Seattle farm system (Low-A Clinton). While Kyle has found success at the Major League level, the Dodgers may have the best of the Seager brothers in their system with Corey.
Seager’s name is no longer listed on the Quakes’ roster list, but he has yet to be added to Chattanooga’s just yet. Chattanooga’s current infielders include shortstops Angel Sanchez and Darnell Sweeney along with third baseman Daniel Mayora. Seager was expected to report to Chattanooga on Thursday, but his flight was reportedly delayed.
Corey Seager’s flight was delayed, which explains why he has not been transferred to the Lookouts’ roster yet. Maybe tomorrow.
— Brandon Liebhaber (@B_Liebhaber) July 17, 2014
Corey’s short-lived struggles in Rancho Cucamonga last season may have helped the highly touted prospect to make that next leap
in his journey to the Majors. Corey has matured into the powerful hitting infielder which the Dodgers hoped he would become after they drafted him in the first round (11th overall pick) of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft. While Joc Pederson has garnered much of the headlines while tearing up AAA in Albuquerque, Seager has been in the midst of a huge year of his own in Rancho Cucamonga.
While many believe Seager’s size (6’4″ 215 lbs.) will eventually decide his future position as a third baseman in the Majors, there’s no reason to not play him at short for as long as possible. If the Dodgers should re-sign Hanley Ramirez to a new contract, he would inevitably be shifted over to third base for the remainder of his career. Even though Seager may not have the speed or range of many of the top defensive shortstops in the league, I feel that Seager’s power could really bolster the Dodger lineup out of the shortstop position which isn’t one which typically produces much slugging. Seager may not be the next Troy Tulowitzki, but there is definitely something to be excited about with Corey’s prospective future as a Dodger which I project to happen sometime in 2016.
Further reading: Dustin Nosler of Dodgers Digest has written a personal scouting report on Seager which is definitely worth a read.
Lookout now, Corey Seager is ready to make a splash in AA.