by Ray Kuhn
What a difference a year or two makes… It’s hard to remember that Corey Seager is still just 26-years old and the book on the Los Angeles shortstop is still not written. Far from it in fact. Seager was filled with potential and talent, and it hasn’t disappeared over the past two years. He was dealing with some health issues, though he played thru most of them last season, and all things considered his performance could have been a lot worse.
In what likely could be referred to as the worst case scenario, Seager hit .272 with 19 HR, 87 RBI, and 82 runs scored. While that didn’t match his expectations entering the season, or his ADP for that matter, it wasn’t as bad as it could’ve been. When you factor that he wasn’t at 100% and that production came in 134 games and 541 plate appearances, you have to feel even better about entering the 2020 season.
By all indications Seager is entering the year in full health. Currently he is the 19th shortstop coming off the board with an ADP of 154 while being selected between picks 114 and 211. That is a wide range and shortstop is a deep position, but it is also an over-correction of sorts.
The fact that he doesn’t run, and nothing really stands out for him from a Stat Cast perspective, helps to keep his value down. If you do miss out on one of the top options, or need to fill the middle infield since second base is weak, you can do a lot worse. If you don’t need the stolen bases taking him closer to pick 114 makes a lot of sense, and he is on my list of players expected to exceed their ADP this season.
When discussing Seager’s pedestrian, mostly that is, Stat Cast profile, a closer look does present some optimism. Last season we saw him take his launch angle from 9.6 degrees to 14.1 (league average of 11.2) as he made good use of his power skills.
Per Baseball HQ, Seager had a Hard Contact rate of 117 (17% above league average) while sporting a 117 Power rate. More importantly, he showed an expected Power rate of 130, which coupled with his launch angle could lead to a 30 HR season. If everything goes right, the projected fifth hitter for the Dodgers could end up with 100 RBI.
As long as you don’t reach there is good value to be found with the young shortstop, as his hit tool is still present.