Dodgers’ Corey Seager was knocked out of the Home Run Derby in the first round, but he still impressed.
Corey Seager became the second Dodger rookie to participate in the Home Run Derby in the past two years. Joc Pederson paved the way last year and made it to the final round before hometown hero Todd Frazier took the title. Seager did not make it past the first round, but he exceeded a lot of expectations.
The rookie and first time All-Star was the first to participate this evening. His Dad, Jeff Seager was throwing each pitch to him. J.P Hoornstra caught up with Mr. Seager in a recent article and asked him about his strategy: “I’m going to go about it like I’m in the backyard,” Seager said. “I’m hoping it’s the same.” Jeff Seager did an awesome job giving Corey Seager pitches he could hit. The duo looked relaxed the whole time.
He started off slow, but Seager picked up the pace as the round went on. By the end of the four minutes, he had already sent 12 balls yard. Due to the distance, Seager was given 30 more seconds to hack away after a one minute break. He ended up finishing round one with 15 homers. Seager admitted earlier on MLB Network today that his strategy was to try to drive them to right field, which he did successfully. All of his home runs were either driven to right or right center. The rookie was so locked in he did not take his timeout. When Mark Trumbo came up after him and took his timeout, the camera panned to Seager and it looked like he said he did not even think about taking a timeout. According to Andy McCullough’s tweet, Seager received some comments about it from Clayton Kershaw and Kenley Jansen. Either way, he did great. Trumbo pulled ahead and was crushing the ball. The round ended when Trumbo passed Seager with 16 home runs. One of the best parts was watching Seager laugh watching Trumbo hit monster home runs. It is cool to see the best players in baseball admire other players. With Trumbo passing him, that meant Seager’s night was over.
To be honest when I heard that Seager was selected to participate in the Home Run Derby I was a little surprised. Not that he did not deserve it or that he would not be able to shine on the stage, but because Seager has not been known as a “home run hitter”. In four seasons in the minors, Seager hit 62 home runs. Since joining the Dodgers last September, he has already hit 21. At just 22 years of age, Seager is still going to get bigger and grow stronger, so it is likely that his home run numbers will increase. So far in his career he’s been known as the doubles king. In four seasons in the minors, he has his 116 doubles and hit 30 more since joining the Dodgers. Alex and I joked around that if there was a “doubles in the gap” competition he would clearly be the champion. As time goes on, some of those doubles will turn into home runs. Taking all of that into consideration, being a rookie in the eighth spot going up against a guy who is leading the majors in home runs and hitting 15 in the first round as the first player to hit, is very impressive for the young Dodger sensation.
A huge part of the HR Derby is the match ups. Seager hit 15 and Trumbo passed him, but following those two, Giancarlo Stanton put on a show and sent 24 balls yard in four and a half minutes. Robinson Cano came up next and only hit seven. Seager clearly would have advanced had he been paired against Cano. Seager had the third most home runs in the first round and would have beaten everyone, but Stanton and Trumbo.
The final round came down to Stanton and Frazier. Stanton sent 20 balls yard in the third and final round. He also led in the longest distances for home runs tonight. He hit two that both went an estimated 497 feet. In all three rounds, Stanton hit a total of 61 homers. Frazier finished the final round with 13 which meant the new champion is Stanton. Stanton also set a new record for number of home runs hit in the derby.
Overall, Seager did a great job tonight and gets to add being apart of the Home Run Derby to his already impressive career accomplishments. Seager will also be apart of the All-Star Game which starts at 5 PM tomorrow night.