Dodgers prospect Corey Seager has a request granted
Asking your boss for a couple days off is difficult for any employee. The degree of difficulty increases when you are a baseball player, in season.
“It was a hard call for me to make,” Corey Seager said Sunday, “but I had to.”
Seager, the Dodgers’ top prospect among position players, had been selected for the Futures Game. His older brother, Seattle Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager, had been selected for the All-Star game.
So Corey Seager called Dodgers minor league director DeJon Watson and asked to remain in Minneapolis for the All-Star game. Seager has not seen his big brother play in person since his major league debut in 2011, and the Dodgers told Corey to stay in Minnesota and enjoy the time with his family.
They also promoted him to double-A Chattanooga, he said, and he will report Thursday.
Seager, 20, one of the Dodgers’ two representatives at Sunday’s Futures Game, batted .352 with 18 home runs in 80 games at Class-A Rancho Cucamonga. He led the California League with 34 doubles, a .633 slugging percentage and a 1.044 OPS.
The Dodgers promoted him to Rancho Cucamonga last summer. He hit .160 in 27 games, with a .566 OPS.
“It was a good learning experience for me,” he said. “It was the first time I ever struggled.”
Most prospect analysts project the 6-foot-4, 215-pound Seager will move to third base in time, but the Dodgers have not told him that.
“They’ve told me I’ll play shortstop until I play myself off it,” Seager said. “They still see me as a shortstop. If they need me to move, I’ll move.”
It is increasingly common for top prospects to jump from double A to the major leagues. The Dodgers have not signed Hanley Ramirez beyond this season and, if they do, they might move him to third base. That could leave an opening at shortstop next spring, and the Dodgers could let Seager compete with Erisbel Arruebarrena and Alex Guerrero.
“If they need me, it would be awesome to be that guy,” Seager said.
Of course, Seager could be elsewhere. The Dodgers would like to upgrade their pitching staff, and Seager is prominent in trade rumors.
“I don’t pay any attention to it,” he said. “I don’t like getting caught up in all that stuff. I’m not worried about it.
“I really enjoy the Dodger organization. I’m very comfortable with it. I’d like to stay. If I get traded, I do.”
Julio Urias, the Dodgers’ 17-year-old Class-A standout, pitched a perfect inning in the Futures Game, striking out one. His fastball was clocked at 92-95 mph and, as would be expected from a player touted as composed beyond his years, threw 11 of 14 pitches for strikes.
He was the youngest player in the 16-year history of the game.
In two plate appearances, Seager flied out and was hit by a pitch in the back, with no injury.
The Angels had two representatives. Class-A Inland Empire shortstop Jose Rondon played four innings at second base and was 0 for 2. Class-A Burlington pitcher Victor Alcantara faced two batters, walking one and retiring one. The United States team beat the World team, 3-2, the fifth consecutive victory for the Americans.
The rough player pool for the All-Star game is 750, that is, 25 players on each of the 30 clubs. With four more substitutions on the All-Star rosters Sunday, 81 players have been selected as stars this season, that is, 11% of major league players.
Garrett Richards of the Angels, who is 11-2 and ranks seventh in the majors with a 2.55 earned-run average, somehow missed out on all 81 All-Star spots.
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