Youngest Seager brother finds himself in CAL League at age 19
Get used to hearing public address announcers across major league stadiums saying the name ‘Seager’.
Baseball’s newest trio of brothers have arrived at the professional level — one more so than the others — and with the youngest Seager sibling being the higher draft pick, he’s led a more distinct path to the big leagues compared to his older brothers. After watching Kyle and Justin attend college in their home state of North Carolina, Corey Seager chose to forgo his verbal commitment to the University of South Carolina to sign in the first round (18th overall) with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2012′s MLB First-Year Player Draft.
“That was a tough decision for me,” Corey said. “Both my brothers went to school and I saw the good things that college did for them so it was hard to say no.”
Corey’s middle brother Justin is the most recent draftee, being selected in the 12th round in this June’s draft by their oldest brother Kyle’s current team, the Seattle Mariners.
“Everything that I struggle with or wonder or anything like that, he’s gone through,” Corey said of Kyle, who’s been Seattle’s starting third baseman since his call-up in July of 2011. “You’ve got that little guy on your shoulder saying what’s going on here and he tells you. It’s really nice to have somebody who has already gone through it and can help you through it.”
Now Corey finds himself at the Class A-Advanced level, playing for Dodgers affiliate Rancho Cucamonga Quakes after an early-August promotion from Great Lakes. But after a more-than-impressive campaign with the Loons, the Dodgers No. 2-ranked prospect has struggled to find his swing in Southern California.
“It’s not a comfortability thing, but nothing’s right,” said Corey, who’s managed just 15 hits in 93 at-bats since joining the Quakes on August 3rd. “Nothing has clicked for me yet.”
Corey tore up the Midwest League with Great Lakes, batting .309 with 12 home runs and 57 RBIs in 74 games. But a .161/.255/.333 line in 25 games since has left him looking forward to continued work at the plate.
“It’s just trying to find that one swing to get me back on track,” he said. “I’m still searching for it.”
At 6-foot-4 and 205 pounds, Corey was a projectable pick out of North Cabaruss High School in his hometown of Kannapolis, just northeast of Charlotte. Scouts see the current shortstop moving to third base eventually, but regardless or where he plays, Corey believes the decision he and his family made was the right one.
“It was definitely the best thing for my career and best thing for me,” Corey said. “I’ve learned a lot more here than I would’ve in school so it was the best overall choice that my family and I thought.”
Said Corey of the things he enjoys about pro ball: “You know situations more and in college it’s just plays. The coaches tell you what to do and here you have to learn all the ins and outs on your own to perform.
“It’s not on the managers to tell you what to do,” he said.
Saturday night in Rancho Cucamonga, Corey went 1-for-4, picking up just his fourth hit in his last 38 at-bats. But for the 19-year old and his teammates, it was the presence of a certain big leaguer that caught their attention.
Dodgers star Matt Kemp began a rehab assignment with the Quakes on Saturday, drawing a sellout crowd to LoanMart Field.
“This is a really good thing for our team,” Corey said, “to see how they go about their business and try to emulate it, even in an environment like this, to see how we should go about our business.”
Corey will likely begin 2014 with the Quakes as the team’s starting shortstop, but until then, two regular season games and playoff hopes remain.
“I’m just trying to get as much information as I can here and try to figure it out,” he said.