The Dodgers top prospect, Corey Seager, will most likely take over shortstop in 2016 when I projected him to be ready, but he could make his Dodger debut even sooner this coming season. The Dodgers acquired Jimmy Rollins, the veteran shortstop, to fill in at the defensively important position in the interim until Seager is ready to take over, but could we see Seager earlier than expected?
There’s no reason to rush Seager with the sure handed Rollins at the Dodgers disposal for 2015, but with a roster already in flux, I don’t see why we couldn’t get a glimpse of Corey in Dodger Blue sometime in 2015 in order to transition the 20-year old into the Majors and have Rollins available to lend a guiding glove. Why not break Corey on to the scene while still having Rollins there in order to provide invaluable mentoring? That’s if Rollins would be willing to take young Corey under his wing for a bit.
Jimmy Rollins will no doubt provide the Dodgers with some solid defense from shortstop in 2015, but he is well aware that Corey Seager is knocking on the door and could enter the fray at any time. Rollins spoke about his ability to be a leader on the field and in the dugout after he became a Dodger.
"“In 14 years, I have the experience of winning a World Series, losing a World Series, being in the playoffs. Had successes and failures and there’s a lot I can provide. When things go a little crazy, I can bring stability. I’ve been in situations where we didn’t have a leader. I can be the glue to make sure things work.”"
If Rollins will be the glue, Seager will certainly be the future super glue.
Before the Dodgers even made the move to obtain Rollins, General Manager Farhan Zaidi talked about the talent of Seager and the possibility of his contribution to the team in 2015.
"“We’re not going into the season expecting him to contribute,” Zaidi said of Seager in 2015. “If he were to break into the lineup, great. He obviously has the talent to do that.”"
So you are saying there’s a chance, Farhan?
With Miguel Rojas traded away, Corey Seager will likely get an invite to Spring Training as a non-roster invitee. Joc Pederson, who made his Major League debut in September for the Dodgers along with Zach Lee and Chris Reed were all non-roster invites to big league camp last Spring Training.
Corey Seager is big, but that doesn’t stop him from playing a solid shortstop. Photo: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Another possibility for 2016 and beyond is for Seager to take over at third base for Juan Uribe who is in the final year of his contract, and for the Dodgers to re-sign Rollins who has already voiced his opinion about playing beyond 2015. While I’d rather see Seager stick at shortstop, since he could be the rare player who provides power from the position, the Dodgers would have to then perhaps re-sign hot corner extraordinaire Juan Uribe in 2016. I think you know by know that I love Uribe, and even though he is getting older, his skills at third base remain golden.
From what I have seen in person from Corey Seager during Spring Training and during his time at Rancho Cucamonga, I can attest to the fact that he is very capable at shortstop regardless of his stature. I don’t see any reason to usurp him from short, and the Dodgers should move forward in his development at the position in 2015.
Andrew Friedman also feels that Seager would stick at shortstop for now.
"“His hands work really well. We have a number of guys who feel like he has a real chance to stick there,” Friedman said. “In the few games we got to see him a couple weeks ago he had a lot of different chances and completed plays from all different angles – to the backhand, up the middle. His body control is really good.”"
Seager has moved up the minor league ladder quickly and successfully, and there was only one hiccup during a late-season promotion to the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes as a 19-year old when he hit .160/.246/.320 in 27 games. He then had some trouble in the Arizona Fall League last year. After working hard in the 2013 offseason, Corey came back strong to hit .352/.411/.633 with 18 homeruns and 70 RBI for Rancho Cucamonga when he resumed playing for the Quakes in 2014 over 80 games. After being promoted to AA-Chattanooga, Seager hit .345/.381/.534 over 38 games.
Corey was named to the Arizona Fall League’s Top Prospects Team this offseason after batting .281 with a homerun and 14 RBIs over 23 games with the Glendale Desert Dogs. Second baseman Darnell Sweeney and outfielder Scott Schebler also made the AFL’s Top Prospects team.
Seager still needs some seasoning before he can be thrust on to the Major League scene, but he could very well make his Dodger debut sometime in 2015. We saw how development was hampered by rushing Dee Gordon to the Majors, and the Dodgers surely want to tread lightly with their top prospect in order to create the smoothest path to the Majors for the highly touted first-rounder.
If anything, we should get more opportunities to see Corey during the Dodgers annual Winter Development Program that is usually held in January (yet to be announced) and again during Spring Training beginning in February.
Whether he sticks at short or shifts to third, the Dodgers have a future star on their hands with Seager.