2016 Dodgers in Review: SS Corey Seager

Photo: Stacie Wheeler
MLB 687 .308 .365 .512 137 26 6.8

What happened in 2016: Had an outstanding rookie campaign, good for a unanimous Rookie of the Year selection and third place in NL MVP voting.

Corey Seager made a strong first impression as a September call-up in 2015, batting .337/.425/.561/.986 in 113 plate appearances. That performance created unrealistic expectations for him, but he followed that up by somehow surpassing those expectations in his first full season in the majors.

The year started off relatively slowly for Seager, who posted a decent-but-not-amazing .707 OPS for the month of April. But things picked up for him in May, and even more so in June. During those two months, Seager really found his power, hitting 15 home runs (after only hitting two in the first month of the season). From June 16 through July 6, Seager had a 19-game hitting streak.

Seager’s line of .297/.357/.521/.879 — plus his excellent defense — in the first half earned him an All-Star Game selection (as a reserve), making him the seventh Dodgers rookie ever to receive that honor. Seager was also chosen to participate in the Home Run Derby. Although his 15-home run showing in the first round was admirable, he was eliminated by MLB home run leader, Mark Trumbo, who just edged him out with 16.

Seager continued to perform well in the second half, making up for a slight decline in power with a slight increase in on-base percentage. All told, he had more multi-hit games (28) than games without a hit (19) in the second half.

In a season where Seager produced a lot of highlights, one that stands out the most came in a Dodger loss. On Corey Seager bobblehead night, Matt Moore was one out away from no-hitting the Dodgers when Seager stepped to the plate and did this:

It’s not quite a bobbleslam, but it’ll do.

While Charlie Culberson‘s division-clinching, walk-off home run in the 10th inning of the Dodgers’ final home game was arguably the most memorable regular-season moment of the year, it couldn’t have happened if not for Seager. The Dodgers trailed by a run with two outs in the bottom of the 9th when Seager stepped to the plate and delivered a solo shot, prolonging the game and enabling Culberson’s heroics to happen.

Seager cooled off a bit in the postseason, going 9-for-44, though he did hit two first-inning home runs (in Games 1 and 2 of the NLDS, respectively).

Still, it was a very good year for the 22-year-old shortstop, whose efforts made him an easy choice for National League Rookie of the Year, topping his own teammate, Kenta Maeda, and Trea Turner of the Nationals. This was hardly surprising, considering that Seager was a top-three finalist for Most Valuable Player.

Now, please enjoy Corey (and Dave Roberts) looking very dapper in formal wear:

2017 status: Pre-arb. Seager just might secure a starting role.

About Sarah Wexler

Sarah Wexler is a native Angeleno and longtime Dodger fan. She began blogging about baseball in 2012 on her Tumblr, New Grass On The Field, where she covered an array of topics but especially enjoyed exploring baseball history. She is now a reporter/producer for MLB.com. She earned her master's degree in Sports Management from Cal State Long Beach. She graduated from New York University in 2014 with a bachelor's in History and a minor in American Studies. She's an avid Springsteen fan, which is a big boost to her baseball writer cred.