Having appeared in three Cactus League games in 2013 and four in 2014, Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager joined the club for his first big league camp last year as a non-roster invitee.
Seager hit .333/.500/.500 and had three doubles, four RBIs, seven strikeouts and seven walks over 14 games as he impressed the Dodgers with his composure and work ethic. The promising prospect was joined in camp last year by close friend Scott Schebler.
The two first became teammates with High-A Rancho Cucamonga in 2013. They reunited in 2014 when Seager was promoted to Chattanooga, the Dodgers’ Double-A affiliate at the time.
Schebler began last season with Triple-A Oklahoma City, where he was joined by Seager after he first played 20 games with Double-A Tulsa.
While Schebler made his Major League debut prior to Seager — in June when the Dodgers were short on healthy outfielders — they closed the regular season with the club.
However, Schebler, selected in the 26th round by the Dodgers in the 2010 draft, was traded to the Cincinnati Reds in a three-team trade last December that also included the Chicago White Sox.
With one of Seager’s closest friends no longer in the organization, Joc Pederson told David Vassegh on AM 570 Dodger Talk he will live with Seager this spring:
“That’s my guy, I’m going to live with him in Spring Training. Seager is an awesome dude, just real quiet. … He’s 21 years old and I’m going to be 24, so he’s a little bit ahead of the game. … I’m going to do my best to keep his confidence, and help him not feel like he needs to jump off a bridge.”
Pederson and Seager were brought along in similar fashion by the Dodgers, with each getting an opportunity to get their feet wet in the Majors prior to taking on a full-time role.
In 27 games with the Dodgers, Seager hit a blistering .337/.425/.561 with four home runs, eight doubles, 17 RBIs, a .421 wOBA and 175 wRC+. He then became the youngest position player to start a postseason game in franchise history.
Seager enters the 2016 season as the consensus No. 1 prospect, as he swept the honor from Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus, ESPN and MLB.com. He’s also an early favorite to win the 2016 National League Rookie of the Year Award.