At a time when the Los Angeles Dodgers should be flailing, they’ve found a way to soar. It’s been over a month since Clayton Kershaw hit the disabled list, and weeks since Yasiel Puig got demoted, but the Dodgers are playing their best baseball.
A big reason for that has been the performance of rookie shortstop Corey Seager. The 22-year-old entered the season as the No. 1 overall prospect in the game, and somehow has gone under the radar this season.
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He proved as much during Monday’s contest against the Cincinnati Reds. In the fifth inning, Seager added to his highlight reel, blasting his 22nd home run of the season to add to the Dodgers’ blowout.
While the home run didn’t have a huge impact on the outcome of the game, it did tie a long-standing Dodgers record.
Yes, with his 22nd home run of the year, Seager tied the franchise record for home runs by a shortstop in a single season. The previous record-holder, Glenn Wright, set that mark back in 1930.
That wasn’t Seager’s only contribution to the contest, either. He also slapped three singles and walked in the 18-9 blowout. Seager finished 4-for-5, with three runs scored and three RBI. Normally, that type of performance would lead the club, but Adrian Gonzalez managed three home runs and eight RBI during the win.
Being overshadowed seems to fit Seager this season. Despite some exceptional numbers, the shortstop doesn’t appear to be getting a ton of buzz. Over 528 plate appearances, Seager is hitting .321/.375/.540, with 22 home runs. He’s played strong defense at one of the most difficult positions on the field and he’s just 22. Seager faced high expectations coming into the season, he’s obliterated them.
Barring some kind of ridiculous drop-off Seager appears to be a lock for the National League Rookie of the Year award. That shouldn’t really come as a shock considering his hype entering the year.
What might surprise some is that Seager has already turned himself into a legitimate MVP candidate. HIs 6.2 fWAR ranks second in the NL, just behind Kris Bryant, who has a 6.6 fWAR. The award is probably Bryant’s to lose, but that shouldn’t diminish Seager’s accomplishments. He’s a 22-year-old shortstop who is already one of the best players in baseball. The sky is the limit here!
All of this is to say … please take note of Corey Seager. He might be overshadowed by the bigger names on the Dodgers at the moment, but he’s far and away been the team’s best offensive player. If the Dodgers can continue their second half surge and play meaningful games in October, he’s not going to fly under the radar much longer.
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