Perhaps the most important name in a Dodger uniform heading into the 2021 season is that of Corey Seager. The 26-year-old is heading into his final season under team control with the Dodgers and has a potentially huge payday waiting for him in the offseason.
Fully healthy for the first time since his Rookie of the Year season in 2016, Seager posted MVP-caliber numbers in the National League in 2020. And the one-two punch he formed at the top of the lineup with Mookie Betts undoubtedly helped make the Dodgers the best team in baseball.
So with Mookie locked up for the next 12 seasons, what comes next for Corey? Well, LA manager Dave Roberts hopes it’s a lot more Seager.
I love him in Dodger blue! For him to be a Dodger, it certainly makes me a much better coach.
Of course, Seager started his career on fire. Over his first two-plus seasons in the big leagues, he accumulated 13.1 bWAR while playing a quality defensive shortstop. Then the injuries happened. By mid-2017, his throwing elbow started giving him trouble. That postseason he missed the NLCS with a back issue. He missed most of 2018 after undergoing surgery on that elbow and adding in a hip operation. And while 2019 saw the return of Corey Seager, it was clearly a lesser version of the former All-Star.
Dave Roberts talked about what he saw with Seager in 2020, and about what he thinks fuels him to be one of the best.
I think with Corey, he was just healthy this year. I don’t think anybody I know is as in-tune with their body like Corey is. So, he was healthy. His skill set is amazing and, as with every great player, they all have a chip on their shoulder. And his chip is to prove every naysayer wrong that says he can’t stay at shortstop and perform with the bat.
As discussed recently, the chatter about moving Seager to third base has followed him for most of his career. But he’s been steadfast in reminding people that he wants to be a shortstop… and that he is one now.
If 2019’s version of Corey Seager was one that was getting reacclimated to being healthy, and 2020’s version was one year removed from that, 2021 could be the year he puts it all back together again en route to his first foray into free agency. So let’s see what that chip can do next season.