The Los Angeles Dodgers have one of the deepest rosters in baseball that will look even deeper in October after a great regular season for Corey Seager.
The Los Angeles Dodgers have three MVPs on the roster, two of which have won the award in the last two seasons. The team has a stacked lineup, a plethora of young talent both in the big leagues and in the farm system and the deepest pitching staff in baseball.
Ask any Dodger fan who they are most excited about in the 2020 season and the first name for most fans would not be Corey Seager, who has gotten lost in the shuffle in what is the best roster the Dodgers have built during their playoff run since 2013.
Seager is starting to get more attention. Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register wrote a great piece about Seager being the “forgotten man of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ lineup”. That could not be any closer to the truth, but at the end of the 2020 season, it will feel like a distant memory.
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Similar to Cody Bellinger in 2019, Seager will be the guy that, at the end of the season, we cannot believe we sort of forgot about. While Seager was a fixture of the 2019 team, he was not at full strength and had immense playoff woes that shortly turned the fanbase against him.
Seager was awful in the NLDS, there is no denying that. The shortstop went 3-20 and was seemingly at the plate in every shifting moment of the game, where he would be unable to drive a run in from second or third.
During the season, though, Seager was not as bad as people might think he was. The 2019 season is being considered as a “down year” for Seager in which he still hit .272 with 19 home runs, 87 RBIs and 44 doubles in 134 games. That being a down year should do all of the talking.
This is still the same player that was the National League Rookie of the Year and finished as an MVP finalist in that rookie season. It is the same player that won back-to-back Silver Sluggers in his first two seasons and was fast-tracking his way to being the best shortstop in baseball.
Tommy John Surgery derailed that. Seager started to struggle in late 2017 as issues with his arm flared up and missed practically all of 2018. Seager went almost an entire calendar year without being able to see live pitching.
That is going to take a massive toll on any hitter. So much of baseball has to do with timing, with recognizing pitches out of a pitcher’s hand and no matter who you are, it is going to be hard to get back in the swing of things after nearly an entire year away from it.
And instead of looking at Seager’s overall 2019 numbers, which are still impressive but are bogged down by his slow start, we need to look at when he was finally back in the swing of things.
Seager was really starting to swing a hot bat in June, where in 10 games he hit seven doubles, a home run and went 17-40. Then he pulled up with a hamstring injury against the Los Angeles Angels, and once he returned, he still struggled to really get in that groove.
It was not until the last month of the season where Seager was finally back in that groove. He hit .291 in September and October with seven home runs and 26 RBIs in 86 at-bats. That was the Seager that we know and love.
With that full season and another offseason under his belt, Seager is primed to return back to form in 2020, regain his Silver Slugger award and create perhaps the scariest 1-5 that baseball has seen in quite some time.
The craziest part about Seager is that he is only 25 and is arguably still 2-3 years away from his prime. A new decade could very well be the start of that prime window, which if he stays healthy, could lead to a .300 batting average, 30 home runs and 100 RBIs.
We all know what Cody Bellinger and company bring to the table. So if someone asks you who you are most excited about this year, besides Mookie Betts of course, the answer should be Corey Seager.