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What to expect from Dodgers rookie Corey Seager

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He's the top prospect in baseball and a leading Rookie of the Year candidate. Can Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager live up to the hype?

From the 2016 Baseball Prospect Book:

Corey Seager, SS, Los Angeles Dodgers
Bats: L Throws: R HT: 6-3 WT: 195 DOB: April 27, 1994
2013: Grade B+; 2014: Grade B+; 2015: Grade A

Corey Seager opened 2015 by destroying Double-A pitching for three weeks. Promoted to Triple-A, he was a little more human (though still impressive) against Pacific Coast League competition, then crushed major league pitching for a month during a pennant race. Obviously he has nothing left to prove in the minors but still retains rookie eligibility for 2016. Seager’s bat is no fluke. He should hit for both power and average with solid on-base skills and could eventually be a more complete offensive player than his brother Kyle. Corey is a bit more athletic than Kyle and holds his own at shortstop defensively. That may or may not be true five years from now once he is physically mature, but for now Corey is certainly playable up the middle. He is a Grade A prospect if there ever was one.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTARY

Seager hit .337/.425/.561 in 98 big league at-bats last fall, obviously excellent. He was limited in 2016 spring training by a knee injury and got just 20 at-bats, hitting .350 with a pair of doubles, but isn't showing much rust and went 1-for-5 with a double against the Padres on Opening Day.

There's no question about Seager's ability but his hot run late last year might create some unrealistic hopes: don't expect a .337/.425/.561 line over 162 games. Projection systems aren't quite as breathless: Steamer has .262/.312/.421, ZipS .266/.311/.447, Baseball Prospectus .262/.309/.448. Not as stunning as last fall, but still very impressive production from a 21-year-old shortstop and a terrific basis for development.

Intuitively, the projection systems seem a bit low on Seager: I think if you took a poll, I think a lot of people would see him as more of a .280/.340/.460 hitter at present. That's certainly doable but would be an upper-tier outcome. In the medium and long runs he should put up numbers in that range, if not better. He projects as an All-Star. Scouting reports are glowing as you'd expect. Really the only question is his long-term position: will he lose range with age and move over to third base? That is quite likely eventually, but for now, shortstop will work.

Bottom line: we need to remember that Seager is human, but all indicators are green and the odds are in his favor.