The Los Angeles Dodgers boasted one of the most feared lineups in all of baseball last season, setting a National League and team record with 279 home runs.
The abundance of power contributed to the Dodgers scoring 886 runs, which is their second-highest total since 1900. Only the 1953 Brooklyn team (955 runs) scored more during that span.
The addition of Mookie Betts gives the Dodgers arguably their most talented lineup in franchise history from top to bottom. It’s a group that includes multiple All-Stars, including 2019 NL MVP Cody Bellinger, along with Max Muncy and Justin Turner.
Corey Seager is also prominently in the mix as he is a second year removed from Tommy John and hip surgery. He appeared in 134 games last season and was an above-average hitter by OPS+ (113+), but fell short of the numbers he posted during his rookie and sophomore campaigns.
While some may have been overlooking Seager in the Dodgers’ deep lineup, he recently said his focus is on being the best version of himself this season rather than worry about fans’ opinions, via Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:
“I don’t know how to answer that question,” Seager says with a laugh. “Um, I don’t really know. I mean, I don’t think about that. I don’t know that I’ve ever thought about that. My place is just to go out, compete and perform. Do what you can.”
Seager burst onto the scene as a September call-up in 2015, posting a .986 on-base plus slugging across 27 games and supplanting Jimmy Rollins as the Dodgers’ starting shortstop.
Seager followed up that performance by hitting .308/.365/.512 in his first full Major League season, earning unanimous NL Rookie of the Year honors and finishing third in MVP voting.
He continued swinging a hot bat in 2017 and was selected to his second consecutive All-Star Game, once again receiving MVP votes at the end of the season.
Seager was limited to just 26 games the following year, undergoing season-ending Tommy John surgery at the beginning of May. He also had a hip procedure later that summer, though it didn’t have an effect on his recovery timeline.
Despite a slow start to his 2019 campaign, Seager eventually found his groove and batted an overall .272/.335/.483 with an NL-best 44 doubles, 19 home runs and 87 RBI in 541 plate appearances.
He has been on a tear in 2020, batting .347/.396/.612 with four doubles, three home runs and seven RBI in 12 games. The only thing to seemingly slow Seager down was a left issue that kept him out of the lineup for one game and twice required starts as designated hitter.
Roberts’ view of Seager
Seager has produced similar stretches to the one he’s currently in, but Dodgers manager Dave Roberts sees a difference with 2020.
“He’s just really squaring everything up,” Roberts said. “I think he’s still aggressive but I think just kind of understanding what the league is trying to do, whether it’s spin early or get him to chase early, where now he’s just being a lot more stubborn in the strike zone.”
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