Corey Seager was once a premier shortstop in Major League Baseball. His success in the majors was immediate. In 2016, his first full season in the big leagues, he won Rookie of the Year, finished third in MVP voting, won a Silver Slugger and made his first All-Star team. According to MLB.com, he was ranked as the best shortstop offensively that season. He followed his outstanding rookie year with another All-Star and Silver Slugger.
He helped the Dodgers get to the World Series in 2017, and Seager had a promising career ahead of him.
That was until Seager ran into some bad luck early in the 2018 season. Seager played through some right elbow pain in 2017, and after two painful throws against the Giants in April ‘18, he knew something was wrong. An MRI showed Seager was going to need Tommy John Surgery on his right elbow. Seager is one of only four shortstops since 2010 to have the surgery, with most pitchers having the problem due to repetitive hard throwing over time. It ended the rest of his 2018 season.
Seager was able to recover from the surgery in time for opening day in 2019. He had a solid season, leading the league in doubles (44), hitting 19 homers and driving in 87 runs in 134 games.
And then we get to 2020, where a coronavirus pandemic and a dispute between the MLBPA and owners resulted in a 60-game regular season. But, Seager made the most of the shortened season. He was one of the best shortstops this year offensively. He was second in round-trippers by a shortstop with 15, right behind Fernando Tatis. Seager had his third season hitting over .300, led all shortstops with 15 doubles, and was second among shortstops in Runs Batted In (41). I know it’s a shortened season, and it definitely helps to be batting behind Mookie Betts and in front of Turner, Bellinger, etc., but the Dodger shortstop was on pace to hit 46 homers and drive in 127 runs for a 162-game season. Both would have been career highs.
If his regular season wasn’t already impressive enough, he was even BETTER in the playoffs. Prior to 2020, he was hitting .203 in 31 career postseason games. It was a different story this October. He won the NLCS MVP, being a crucial part in the Dodgers 3-1 comeback against the Braves, hitting over .300 with 5 home runs and 11 RBI’s. To go along with the Championship Series MVP, he earned the World Series MVP, helping Los Angeles capture their first title since 1988. In 6 games he hit .400 and had an absurd .556 On-Base percentage. He was the first shortstop since Edgar Renteria in 2010 to win World Series Most Valuable Player.
Regardless of having a shortened season in 2020, Corey Seager has shown he’s back as one of the best shortstops in baseball.
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