Yesterday was September 1st. That means that the rosters expanded, and that means some of baseball’s best prospects were expected to get their big league debut. There was one in particular that everyone was excited about and it seemed like the door was wide open in Los Angeles for it to happen.
Alas, today is September 2nd, and Corey Seager is still in Triple-A.
It has caused quite a stir across the internet amongst fans and writers. After all, Seager is widely considered the best prospect in baseball. Should he not have been promoted yesterday?
Seager stumbled a bit upon his promotion to Triple-A Oklahoma City, not putting up traditional Seager numbers. His overall numbers at Triple-A aren’t eye-popping, let’s promote him numbers: he is slashing .276/.331/.450 with a mere 13 home runs and 59 RBI. His walk rate is a bit low (6.7%) but his strikeout rate isn’t screaming out signs of concern (13.9%).
The 21-year old infield prospect had a much better August, settling in at .295, including one tear when he homered four times in seven games and his current seven-game hitting streak. Seager is heating up at the right time for the PCL’s top team.
I also don’t think service time is an issue. This is the Los Angeles Dodgers. Their payroll is north of $270-million and they are the highest paid team by a landslide.
As David Hill pointed out in his pro-Seager article, despite new team president Andrew Friedman hailing from Tampa, and new GM Farhan Zaidi learning the ropes in Oakland where something like service time matters, I think that is the furthest concern for the Dodgers, where saving money doesn’t seem like that big a deal. Holding Seager back to save what equates to a few bucks to their wallets isn’t the problem.
The Dodgers are also in a heated pennant race, one in which MLB’s current dynasty is hot on their tail. Getting Seager some experience in a situation the Dodgers hope he finds himself in for the duration of his career isn’t a terrible idea.
As Dustin Nosler points out in his anti-Seager article, should the Dodgers call up Seager they face two problems. The first is probably a quick fix, but Seager is currently not on the 40-man roster. Trimming down the roster and DFA-ing someone is no easy chore, especially in a farm system like the Dodgers that has many high-octane prospects awaiting their turn.
The bigger concern is where he would fit. Should the Dodgers have made Seager part of the first wave of September call-ups, it doesn’t currently seem like they have room to allot him everyday playing time.
Most people will tell you that despite playing well over 90% of his Minor League career at shortstop, Seager is destined for third base. Justin Turner seems to have a stronghold at the position. Despite Jimmy Rollins being old enough to hit up the Early Bird Special, he is still the man at shortstop, and a 21-year old unproven rookie taking over at shortstop for a team with a 5.5 game lead over the reigning world champs isn’t the ideal situation.
Jose Peraza has been holding his own as the utility guy. I know it is simply a 17 PA sample size, but the fact that Peraza has an 11.8% walk rate is astounding based on his career norms. You wouldn’t expect such an aggressive minor leaguer to develop patience at the big league level, but Peraza has bided his time well. He is also a perfect 3-for-3 in stolen bases thus far, so he is doing what the Dodgers need him to do. He is also 21 like Seager, and is auditioning for a full-time roll in 2016.
Me? I’m on the fence, and I guess that’s the point of this post: opening up the discussion to our readers who live and breathe Minor League Baseball.
Keep in mind, with a setback to Howie Kendrick in his rehab and a trip to the DL for Enrique Hernandez, Seager may be recalled by the time you are done reading this. So what do you think? Should Seager be getting his cup of coffee in The Show?