The All-Star game is just under a week away in San Diego and Dodgers rookie shortstop Corey Seager is making a case to be included.
Seager was drafted by the Dodgers in 2012 as a first round pick and since then the organization and fan base has placed an incredible amount of pressure on the young man to be the future of the organization. From the moment he became a Dodger, “hype” has followed him at every level as the top-prospect competed for a spot in the lineup. Now, in his first full season with the big league club, he is proving to live up to the hype and surpass all expectations placed on him.
Seager has participated in All-Star week festivities before in 2014 when he played in the Futures Game in Minnesota. The Dodgers top-prospect at the time was given a few extra days off that week to watch his brother, Kyle Seager, the third baseman for the Seattle Mariners who was playing in his first All-Star game. So, Seager is no stranger to what it looks like to be an All-Star and less than a full year in the big leagues, that door is beginning to open for him. He may currently not be the fan favorite, but his numbers speak for themselves. He sits in third place behind the Rockies, Trevor Story and the Cubs, Addison Russell. Russell currently leads the votes. As of now basically the entire infield is dominated by Cubs players, but Seager’s numbers are much more impressive than the ones Russell has put up so far this season.
In 100 games into his major league career, Seager has a batting average of .301 and hit 20 home runs. Those 20 HR’s lead all major league shortstops in that time span of 100 games. If he can continue to play at that rate, he would be on pace from a 32 HR season. Just to put things into a little perspective, Kris Bryant is also on pace for a 32 HR season, Bryce Harper is on pace for 31 and Paul Goldschmidt is on pace for 30. The rookie Dodger sensation could very well send more balls yard than former All-Stars and franchise players like Bryant, Harper and Goldschmidt.
Through play on Monday, Seager is leading the team in batting average, home runs, RBI’s, OBP and hits. He has played in 75 games and currently has a BA of .298, with 16 HR’s, 38 RBI’s, .356 OBP and 89 hits. With 89 hits he not only leads the Dodgers, but all NL shortstops. In the month of June, he has an OPS of 1.061. If that right there does not scream All-Star worthy I am not sure what does. Seager is currently tied for second in the NL for BA at the SS position. The only two shortstops ahead of him are Aledmys Diaz from the Cardinals and Jonathan Villar from the Brewers. Russell is tenth on the list of short stops BA in the NL. Another impressive stat about Seager is his eye. He may have a few less home runs than Story, but Seager has only struck out 58 times all season compared to the 104 times Story has struck out. Seager may not have the popular vote, but he certainly has the credentials to add MLB All-Star to his list of accomplishments in his career so far.
To have such credentials as a rookie is really impressive. Seager is still adjusting to major league pitching and play, so the real question here is where is this kid’s ceiling? He may only be 22 years of age and in his first full season, but Seager’s maturity and calm attitude makes him carry himself like a veteran. The rookie doesn’t get shaken or flustered out on the field, instead he goes about his business and quietly carries a team on his shoulders offensively.
ESPN’s Doug Padilla interviewed Seager in an article on the All-Star game and again his humility took over when he said:
"“That’s not a worry right now, but it’s one of those things that is a great accomplishment for anybody,” he said. “That’s special for you and your family. It’s one of those things that is really, really cool.”"
Clearly his focus is on helping the team win, but like all players, to be acknowledged as an All-Star and one of the best is something to be proud of. Perhaps, the craziest thing about all of this is at his age, Seager could be apart of countless more All-Star games in his career. He has already stepped up to the plate and shined, but he is just getting started.
Seager might be behind Russell in voting, but he is definitely playing like an All-Star. Whether he starts in San Diego or not, Seager has been the best shortstop in the National League. Worst case scenario, he makes the All-Star game as a reserve, but this surely won’t be Seager’s last chance at being an All-Star game starter.