Corey Seager went into last season rated as the top prospect in the Los Angeles Dodgers and all of baseball. He validated the accolades by slugging his way to a National League Rookie of the Year Award and third-place finish in MVP voting.
Seager also took home a Silver Slugger Award as the top-hitting shortstop. While he was largely considered the best player at his position by the midway point last season, Seager did not start in the All-Star Game.
Instead, Chicago Cubs shortstop Addison Russell did. While Seager remained on track for multiple weeks to change that this year, he’s been behind Zack Cozart of the Cincinnati Reds in each of the past two All-Star Game voting updates; the latest of which was released Monday morning.
Reds first baseman Joey Votto explained in an interview with David Vassegh of AM 570 L.A. Sports Radio he believes that’s a result of Cozart outperforming Seager and garnering deserved recognition:
“Corey, I mean, he nearly won the Most Value Player last year. He won Rookie of the Year and he’s a bonafide, budding superstar in this game. I think he’s in the conversation for one of the best players in the game. But let’s be clear here, Cozart has earned this because he’s performed better. He’s been the best player at his position, which is the most important factor. I think people are now seeing the attention with the donkey and some support from the Reds, but when people look at his numbers they see how well-rounded he’s performed offensively and defensively. That’s what’s going to get him the start at the All-Star Game, which is exactly what he deserves.”
Entering play Tuesday, Seager is batting .283/.392/.461 with 18 doubles, nine home runs, 32 RBI, 44 walks, a .367 wOBA and 130 wRC+. He’s on pace to hit more doubles than he did last season (40) and shatter last year’s walk total (54).
Cozart is hitting .320/.404/.562 with 16 doubles, nine home runs, 32 RBI, .405 wOBA and 149 wRC+ through 59 games. Cozart leads qualified NL shortstops in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging. He was placed on the 10-day disabled list Monday due to a strained right quad.