Corey Seager has been one of the most hyped prospects the Los Angeles Dodgers have ever had. In fact, coming into the 2016 season MLB Network named him the No. 1 prospect in all of baseball. This obviously made Dodgers fan extremely happy, but being ranked so high can also have a negative effect by placing huge expectations on a player who had basically never played in the major leagues.
Just look at perennial top prospect Byron Buxton who has yet to put together a strong major league season but has been ranked in the top two prospects for three straight years.
Well, I think it is safe to say that Corey Seager can handle the pressure and has lived up to the huge expectations placed on him. In fact, he may have even exceeded those expectations. Seager currently has a slash line of .306/.361/.890 with 19 home runs and 51 RBI, hitting his 19th home run Thursday night against Colorado.
Seager tied Hanley Ramirez for the Los Angeles Dodgers franchise record for most home runs in a season by a shortstop, and it is only August 5th. The only Dodgers shortstop with more home runs in a season Glenn Wright in 1930 and it is pretty clear that Seager will surpass that total.
Although he is currently not on pace to do so, if Seager could get hot he could even set the MLB shortstop rookie record set by Nomar Garciaparra with 30 or the Dodgers rookie record set by Mika Piazza with 35.
That being said, it is abundantly clear that Seager is the favorite for the National League Rookie of the Year award. The question though becomes whether Seager has earned his way into the National League MVP race?
If you had asked me a little over a month ago which Dodger had the best chance at bringing the MVP award back to Los Angeles, I would have quickly answered Clayton Kershaw. However, with Kershaw landing on the disabled list and being that there is not set date for his return, the odds of him winning his second MVP are very slim. Don’t worry though Dodgers Nation, Seager could still bring the trophy back where it belongs.
When looking at his stats it’s clear why Seager brought home NL Rookie of the Month in June.
Seager has quietly put together MVP caliber numbers at one of the most important positions on the field. He currently ranks 2nd in the National League in doubles, 5th in hits, 12th in batting average, 14th in slugging, 15th, in OPS, 17th in home runs, and 26th in OBP.
The only category he isn’t in the top 20 for is RBI and that isn’t entirely on him considering his teammates need to be on base in front of him. This all put him right in the thick of things for the title of National League MVP.
Oddsshark.com even has Seager ranked as the 4th most likely player to win the award behind only Kris Bryant, Daniel Murphy, and Anthony Rizzo. He is even ranked ahead of players like Nolan Arenado and Bryce Harper.
The biggest obstacle for Seager to overcome is the fact that the Dodgers are not currently winning their division. Whether the team’s place in the standings should be a factor in the MVP race has been a point of contention, but the fact is that many of the voters weigh it heavily in making their decision.
That being said, it makes sense that a pair of Chicago Cubs players are ahead of Seager at the moment. Not only do they have slightly better numbers, they are leading their division and currently have the best record in baseball. However, the Dodgers are only 2 games back of the San Francisco Giants at the moment and currently have the 8th best record in baseball. If the team can get on a hot streak and take over the top spot in the NL West, you may see Seager jump a spot or two in the MVP race, giving Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo a run for their money.
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