Los Angeles Dodgers‘ Corey Seager stormed on the scene in 2016, winning the National League Rookie of the Year Award (unanimously), and finishing third in the league’s Most Valuable Player ballot. Seager sported an OPS of .877 and played a Gold Glove quality shortstop all season. He was the best player – even including Clayton Kershaw – on baseball’s second best team in 2016. This was evidenced by his 7.5 fWAR. When the 2016 season began, the player I couldn’t wait to see the most was Carlos Correa. By the time the season ended, I emphatically decided that the player I couldn’t wait to see the most in 2017 was Seager.
Let’s have an early look at his 2017 STEAMER projections, released a few days ago on his Fangraphs page.
STEAMER to me; has always been a bit conservative. I mean, it doesn’t really go out on a limb. It projects Mike Trout for 21 home runs and other absurd things that are well below a player’s ceiling. However, it serves as a good baseline for when the bottom falls out of a guy (think Jay Bruce) or when players just have an awful season blip on the radar (Bryce Harper, Andrew McCutchen). But yeah, overall it’s just too conservative.
Corey Seager’s 2017 season STEAMER projection:
152 games, .285 average, .816 OPS, 22 Home Runs, 83 runs, 77 RBI, 4 stolen bases, 5.1 fWAR
Again, in true Steamer fashion; we see a young player who fails to improve upon anything. I guess this is just as likely as more improvement upon 2016 or a repeat season. A five-plus WAR season is nothing pedestrian, so if Seager is able to have a season like this in 2017, he will absolutely be heralded as one of baseball’s best players.
In some circles, he’s already held in such regard. But by the end of 2017 if Seager can meet the conservative expectations of this projection system; there will be little doubt as to who is the finest young shortstop in the game.