With Corey Seager today — and Courtney Hawkins yesterday — we’ve broken into the top half of our 12 Blue Jays draft targets in 12 days. We’re into the truly elite talent, any of whom Toronto would be very fortunate to grab. Like we did last year, we’ll also be hosting a live chat throughout the entire first round again starting at 7 p.m. ET, so make sure to pop by.
The players on our list are not who are considered to be the “best” players in the draft, but rather who could realistically be around when the Jays take the podium and who we would like to see the Blue Jays go after, with an emphasis on the latter.
Other articles in the series:
No. 1 – Lucas Giolito
No. 2 – Max Fried
No. 3 – Lance McCullers
No. 4 – Zach Eflin
No. 6 – Courtney Hawkins
No. 7 – Chris Stratton
No. 8 – Richie Shaffer
No. 9 – Nick Travieso
No. 10 – Lucas Sims
No. 11 – Andrew Heaney
No. 12 – Joey Gallo
2012 MLB Draft Preview
No. 5: Corey Seager
3B | 18 years old / 6’3” 205 lbs
Born: April 27, 1994 in Charlotte, North Carolina
High School: Northwest Cabarrus (Kannapolis, NC)
College Commitment: South Carolina
Baseball America Rank: 19 (9th among position players)
ESPN/Keith Law Rank: 21 (12th among position players)
- 2012 Rawlings 1st team All American
- Won a Gold Medal with the US National Team at the Pan-American Games in 2010
- Chose South Carolina over North Carolina (where his brother played) because the assistant coach who recruited Kyle became a coach at SC
Stats (via Point StreaK):
Despite being one of the top players available in the draft, no statistics from his 2012 season have been made available. The below statistics are from the 2010 Pan-American Games, in which Seager represented Team USA and won the gold medal.
From the Perfect Game showcase in San Diego, via Bullpen Banter:
Teams are constantly looking to find any kind of advantage when it comes to scouting amateur talent, and genetics are yet another way to look into the future to see what an 18-year-old has the potential to become. When a player has family who plays (or played) baseball professionally, scouts feel better about their chances of making the major leagues than the kid with comparable skills whose parents are an accountant and a veterinarian. The Blue Jays have shown an interest in such players over the past two years, making Dwight Smith Jr. (son of Dwight Smith), Kellen Sweeney (brother of Ryan Sweeney) and Dickie Thon (son of Richard Thon) early picks in their respective drafts. Corey Seager, whose older brother currently plays for the Seattle Mariners, is yet another player with good genes who teams will be looking at early on.
While Corey is Kyle Seager’s younger brother, he’s certainly not his little brother. Standing 6-foot-3, Corey already has three inches on his 24-year-old brother, and it’s doubtful he’s finished growing. This is the biggest reason why most scouts and analysts feel Seager is going to be a third baseman despite playing shortstop (and second base) throughout his high school career. Not only is he tall, but he has a big, physical frame with plenty of strength to go around. He has more than enough of an arm to play on the left side of the infield, and his great instincts and smooth hands should allow him to be an above-average defender at the reaction-driven hot corner. Seager is an average runner and is athletic enough that he won’t clog the bases, but his weight may be something he needs to monitor if he continues to grow.
While he should be a good defensive player, most of Seager’s value comes from the bat and the potential it harnesses. He has very advanced plate approach for his age, particularly with two strikes, as he doesn’t get pull happy and is more than willing to use the opposite field if the pitch dictates doing so. Seager has a simple swing that generates excellent bat speed and makes consistent, hard contact. His timing mechanism is a small tap of his front foot, after which he transfers his weight smoothly through the swing. Simple swing mechanics are always better, as they’re easily repeated and decrease the likelihood of a mechanics-induced slump. He maintains a nearly level swing plane while still generating power, which is preferable to an uppercut. The bat is his best tool, and Seager has the potential to be a .300 hitter in the majors. His power is currently a step behind, but with his size and swing he could plateau as a mid-20’s home run type of guy.
Why the Blue Jays could be interested:
Toronto has been linked to a lot of high school bats by draft experts in the early going, and Seager could be the best available when Toronto picks in the back half of the first round. The biggest disclaimer with him – and likely the reason for a potential fall – is signability. Seager is said to have a very strong commitment to South Carolina, and would need a significant signing bonus to forgo college. With possession of five of the top 60 picks in the draft, the Blue Jays have the wiggle room in their budget to select and pay a big dollar prep bat should they choose to go that route. With Keith Law recently stating that Seager is likely to be a top-5 pick in 2015 when he’s re-eligible to be drafted (should he choose to attend South Carolina), he might be a wise investment to pounce on now.
The draft coverage here at Jays Journal will keep coming leading up and into the MLB Draft -— stay tuned here and on Twitter as Jared (@Jared_Macdonald) and I (@KyleMatte) continue our top 12 draft target series leading up to the first round on the Monday, June 4th.