Suddenly Seager … is standing beside you
By Jon Weisman
Have you all noticed what Corey Seager’s been doing lately?
It almost feels like there’s been a media blackout on the 22-year-old shortstop, which might not be a bad thing. But just to make sure you’re up to speed, here’s a bulletin: Seager is producing.
Since April 22, he has a .403 on-base percentage and .522 slugging percentage (.925 OPS) in 77 plate appearances. He now has a .770 OPS on the season, and that might understate his value.
According to Fangraphs, Seager is the No. 5 National League shortstop in wins above replacement, inching ahead of Trevor Story, the Colorado rookie who justifiably grabbed headlines in April with 10 home runs. Part of the reason for Seager’s stature is that on defense — which some thought would be a liability for the 6-foot-4, 215-pounder — Seager also ranks fifth.
Seager did struggle some in April. After going 11 for 33 with an .816 OPS to begin the season, a 3-for-29 slump (one walk, one home run) from April 13-21 lowered his OPS to .596. But he seemed unflappable as ever, and felt somewhat inevitable that he would turn things around. It’s what gives you confidence for the ups-and-downs still to come.
Then there’s this: Though Charlie Culberson has made five starts at shortstop against left-handed pitching, Seager already has 38 plate appearances against southpaws this season, holding his own by going 9 for 34 with two doubles, a triple, a home run and three walks against five strikeouts — a .786 OPS. Some of that might have to do with matchup curation by Dave Roberts, for whom not all lefty pitchers are created equally. But it’s another good sign for a player whom the baseball world has long believed could play every day.