The Dodgers are taking it slowly with Corey Seager, but he will be ready for Opening Day and fantasy owners can draft him with greater confidence.
An elbow injury late in the 2017 season lingered into last spring for Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager, and he only lasted 26 games before needing Tommy John surgery. He also had hip surgery in early August, but his availability for Opening Day was never really in doubt. On Sunday, manager Dave Roberts confirmed Seager will be ready for the start of the season.
On his way to winning NL Rookie of the Year in 2016, Seager hit .308/.365/.512 with 26 home runs, 72 RBI and 105 runs scored over 157 games. He followed that up nicely in 2017, with a .295/.375/.479 slash-line, 22 home runs, 77 RBI and 85 runs scored over 147 games. Prior to injuries presumably playing a role in a fade late in that 2017 campaign, Seager entered August with a .304/.395/.529 slash-line and 18 home runs. Go ahead and look at his 2016 slash numbers and compare.
Seager will not play in any Cactus League games, but he will play in the “Freeway Series” exhibition games against the Angels before the March 28 season opener against Arizona. So he’ll have an opportunity to work some kinks out before games count, ideally with no setbacks.
A look at the current ADP rankings over at Fantasy Pros shows Seager as something of a forgotten man. All the way down at No. 12 among shortstops, and roughly the 71st overall pick based on the consensus (end of sixth round in a 12-team league), there he is. The gap between he and the No. 13 shortstop by ADP (Jonathan Villar) is 26 picks, and if you take stolen bases out of the equation Seager has more upside than the three shortstops immediately above him in ADP (Jean Segura, Gleyber Torres, Adalberto Mondesi).
The value of power around baseball has been diminished, in a haze of launch angle and exit velocity. But .290-.300 with 20-25 home runs, 70-75 RBI and 85-90 runs scored makes for a fairly rare commodity among fantasy shortstops, and with some upside potential in those numbers the discount attached to Seager gets even better.