After usurping Jimmy Rollins as the starting shortstop during the final month of the 2015 season, Corey Seager is slated for his first full Major-League season with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Seager hit .337/.425/.561 with four home runs, eight doubles, 17 RBIs, a .421 wOBA and 175 wRC+ in 27 regular-season games with the Dodgers. He then became the youngest position player to start a postseason game in franchise history.
Seager enters 2016 as the consensus No. 1 overall prospect, sweeping the honor from Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus, ESPN and MLB.com. Baseball Prospectus also named him the top talent under 25 years old in the Dodgers organization.
While Seager was championed throughout the offseason, it wasn’t all smooth sailing as he battled strep throat and had his tonsils removed, which led to notable weight loss.
The lofty expectations placed on Seager’s shoulders have only grown after his 2015 debut, and his teammates are certainly well aware of what’s expected. Speaking at FanFest on Jan. 30, Adrian Gonzalez said he believes the shortstop has Hall of Fame potential.
According to Bill Plunkett of the OC Register, Seager has affectionately been given a Rookie of the Year nickname:
Listen closely this spring and you’ll occasionally hear Seager referred to by his new nickname – “Roy,” as in Rookie of the Year. “I guess I get to take that one over from Joc (Pederson) last year. He passed that one on to me,” Seager said sheepishly. “Yeah, it’s all that good-quality fun. It’s never personal. That brings teams together. That brings people together. It makes the clubhouse lighter.”
The Dodgers handled Joc Pederson and Seager in similar fashion — allowing each to get their feet wet as a September call-up the season prior to assuming a full-time role. Pederson of course began 2015 on a high note, then faded as he slumped through the second half.
Although Seager is the Dodgers’ unquestioned shortstop, he’s not taking anything for granted. The promising rookie is also thankful for the time he spent learning under Rollins last spring and during their time with the Dodgers.
Entering Tuesday, the 21 year old has played in three Spring Training games this year. He’s batting .286/.286/.429 with one double and two strikeouts.