Corey Seager Adjusting to All-Star Level
At just 22 years young, Corey Seager of the Los Angeles Dodgers has, somewhat quietly, been the best shortstop in the National League in 2016. Sure, Trevor Story of the Rockies is beating Seager in homeruns (17 to 15) and received most of the early season hype. Similarly, Aledmys Diaz of the Cardinals is 35 points ahead of Seager in batting average, .315 to .280. Then there is Brandon Crawford, who may be the best defensive shortstop in the NL now that Andrelton Simmons is in the AL. Looking at the sum of the parts, however, Corey Seager would be my choice to start in this years’ All-Star game even as a rookie on the senior circuit.
Seager was not in the NL lead for shortstops in the June 8th All-Star Game voting update. In fact, the 2015 top prospect was not even in the top five, despite leading the NL in fWAR for shortstops at 2.8. The names ahead of him include the aforementioned Crawford (2.7 WAR) and Story (1.5), as well as Addison Russell (1.1), Asdrubal Cabrera (0.7), and Zack Cozart (1.6). But, while Seager may not get an all-star nod this season, there is reason to believe that he will be in the running for several years to come.
First, I would like to take a look at what Seager has done so far in his short major league career, to determine whether or not his numbers fall in line with his minor league track record. As of June 15th, Seager had accumulated a batting line of .295/.365/.526 throughout his first 92 career, good for an .891 OPS. Taking his counting stats over those same 92 games and stretching them into a full 162-game season, Seager would accumulate an average of 35 doubles, 33 homeruns, 93 RBIs and 104 runs scored to go along with a 16.8% strikeout rate and a very good 9.6% walk rate. Make no mistake, those are great numbers, especially for a shortstop, and it is easy to think that Seager will soon return to earth.
Now take into account his minor league track record. In 390 minor league games, Corey Seager put up an almost identical batting line of .307/.368/.523, which also adds to an .891 OPS.
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