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Could Corey Seager Bat Lead-off?

Corey Seager

Predicting and making out the lineup for the upcoming season is always the toughest job for any manager. Newly hired Dave Roberts will have 6 weeks of spring to decide what the lineup will look like on opening day. The Dodgers don’t have a prototypical lead-off guy. As I’ve discussed before, the Dodgers need a guy that can get on base frequently at the top of the lineup. He doesn’t have to steal bases or be fast, although that would be preferable.

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I have advocated batting Yasiel Puig at the top of the lineup due to his insane average when leading off an inning. It seems that when Puig leads off an inning and swings at that first pitch, his numbers go way up. Of course Puig would probably be better served batting in the middle of the lineup especially after the rough year he had last season. With Howie Kendrick probably more entrenched in the number two spot that leaves little options for that number one spot in the lineup. Joc Pederson could still be a choice, but with his low contact rate and power he would be better served at the lower part of the lineup as well. Perhaps wonder boy Corey Seager could bat lead-off?

It’s an interesting choice. He’s never batted lead-off in his short time at the major league level, but has in the minors. He’s got power, but he’s not a 30 home run type of hitter so you wouldn’t be worried about wasting his power with nobody on base at the top of the lineup. Could Seager be the perfect fit for lead-off? Beat writer Ken Gurnick also sees Seager as a good lead-off candidate.

When Seager was in the minors he batted lead-off at all levels. At Ogden in 2012 he batted .386 (17 for 44) with 2 home runs. When he was at Rancho in 2013 he was 5 for 27 (.185). In 2014 he batted .233 (7 for 30) when batting lead-off for Chattanooga. However at Oklahoma City in 2015 Seager hit .284 (21 for 74) when batting from the lead-off position.

These are all small sample sizes so these numbers aren’t very important. They are interesting to look at and take with a grain of salt though. When Seager played with the Dodgers last season he batted .400 (8 for 20) with two home runs when he was leading off an inning. It’s something the Dodgers should take a look at and experiment with in spring training.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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Scott Andes
Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

59 thoughts on “Could Corey Seager Bat Lead-off?

  1. I’ll dive in and say yes, he could but no he shouldn’t.

    No matter how well he did last year after his call up he is still a rookie. It is a long season and he will have his ups and downs.

    Let him get through those first. Batting lead off would add pressure. I don’t think he will fold under the pressure, but would rather not find out.

    Think it will be some combination of Howie, Kike and Puig but no obvious candidates, hence the discussion.

    Will Seager bat lead off In some games this season, probably but wouldn’t start the season with that.

  2. Ditto — he is still a rookie and needs to just play his game and learn, right now.

    On these extra pitchers being signed. No, most of them will not make the team, but might see a few days call-up during the season.

    Key here, for those of us who have been to Spring Training for several days or more (to be able to see) — they have innings to eat each day. 1 and 2 games for the big squad, and several more for the minor league squads on the back fields.

    Plus, pitchers really only pitch several innings and then out, or some just an inning or less for situation. I have been to S.T. at least 6 years — and they will get all of the work they need, and fill in the gaps . . . plus, it does get hot out there some games and pitchers tire.

  3. Sure he could. And he would probably do as well there as anybody the Dodgers currently have. But he shouldn’t be asked to do it. He’s a rookie with a lot of pressure already on him. Allow him some time to figure the Major League game out.

  4. Of course Cory could lead off, but why put more pressure on him. Mattingly made that mistake with Cory in the playoffs, and what happened? He looked a little over matched, with the Met’s young pitchers. Mattingly didn’t bat him first, but he had Cory in the heart of the order. Mattingly didn’t learn a thing, from when he had Joc lead off. That is why I don’t think that Joc should lead off, this year. Right now, Joc would be a good eigth hitter. Joc has to have a good eye, to pick up walks, to make up for his strike outs, to be considered productive. And this will take some of the pressure off Joc, at the begining. And pitchers still pitched to Joc carefully in the eigth position, even though he hasn’t hit well, for half of the season. The pitchers pitched like this to Joc, because they were afraid, that he just might get a hold of one, and hit one out. Puig might be a good lead off hitter at first, because he has the speed, and when he is on base, the pitcher, is going to watch Puig well. I know everyone wants Puig to be a run producer, and hit some runs in, and over the fence, but that is the problem with the Dodgers. The Dodgers have only three real run producers, that are able to hit runs in consistently, and these players, are Agone, Turner, and Howie. Puig has not been a run producer, consistently yet, or Pederson. I wouldn’t put Cory in the meat of the order, but I think Cory will be a consistent run producer, so maybe they can bat him fifth or six. The only real reason I wouldn’t start Puig leading off, is because I don’t want him to injure himself, doing something stupid. I think Scott said this, and I agree with him. I do hope the new hitting coach gets with the team before a game, and has a plan on how the Dodger’s players, should attack the pitcher they are facing, on that given day.

  5. I know these long comments can be anoying, so if any one knows how to make a iphone to double space, or auto make paragraphs, please infor me how. I will give it a shot. Sorry for above mistake. I tried to correct it, but I didn’t do it in time.

  6. There’s pressure on Corey just being a MLB SS and the Number One Prospect. Do you really believe it will put more pressure on him hitting leadoff? He has prepared for this for his whole life. He is ready for this. It won’t affect him if he hits first, third or sixth. He’s shown that at every level… including this level. If Dave Roberts likes him at leadoff, so be it. We all saw him – he’s calm, cool and collected. I have already heard one of the alleged “experts” predict that Seager will be the NL ROY and MVP… and batting first will put too much pressure on him?


    Personally, I like him at #3, but that’s just my opinion.

  7. I tried HTML and it recognizes some tags…

    Like BOLD and ITALIC, but not paragraph tags.



    Paragraphs Don’t work!

  8. I am against it. The kid needs to get acclimated to the big league grind before you put that kind of pressure on him. I like him down in the 6-7 slot for now. With Kendrick, Gonzo, Puig, Turner and Ethier 2-6. If Pederson is in CF and improves his contact skills, he could lead off..put the rally killer Grandal down as far as he can go

    1. Micheal did you think that Grandal was a rally killer in the first half of the season? I am just curious, because I know you are not a Grandal supporter.

      1. Yeah… I did… I know he had some clutch hits, and he won a game with a 9th inning HR, but a lot of the games I watched, and I watch a lot…he would strikeout or ground into a double play. Not move the runner over. And all that was before the injury which happened in late July. I and a couple of my friends who watch almost every game did not like his approach at the plate. It is a lot more than his at bats that bothered me. He is not all that great a game caller, and his defense in blocking pitches in the dirt is pretty bad. Now if he turns all that around and improves, fine. But for right now, even though I am not from Missouri, I am adopting their motto……show me…..then I will believe…..

          1. Not a problem MJ. We will not always agree, and that is fine. I know a lot of people like Granny. I prefer Ellis because his catching skills to me are far better than Grandal’s . He was hitting great at the end of last season, and should have started every playoff game. Grandal should not even have been on the roster for the playoff’s. But that is on management, who I also have an issue with. I have seen over the last year them stock the farm system, ( a good thing ) and sign every formerly good coming off an injury journeyman type pitcher and player you can imagine…(not a good thing). The farm system is loaded….great……but most of those guys with maybe 2 or 3 exceptions are 2 and 3 years away. They are woefully weak on position players who are close, and overstocked with close to MLB ready arms. In the last 1 1/2 years they have traded their 2 best shots at being good lead off guys…..Gordon last year, and Peraza last month. I thought Peraza was the center of that deal with the Braves. But they spin him off for a weak fielding 2nd baseman, a position that is loaded right now, a pitcher who has surgery a little over a month after he is acquired, and he also has control problems, and an OF to add to an already overcrowded OF. So excuse me if I am more than a little confused as to their modus operandi……..Also, they sign a guy for 64 million dollars, and trade the same guy 2 months later? If genius is at work here…….I do not see it……not yet anyways…..have a great day….

        1. That really necessary? Ok, from now on, I’m referring to you as Mikey…and you’re going to like it.
          Who else remembers the Life Cereal commercial? “Hey Mikey!”

  9. See, here is another example of the lack that these brain trusts just do not seem to complete this team.

    Need. Leadoff hitter with some skills for that job. Taking pitches, getting their share of walks. Speed to some degree. Know how to bunt. Good base runner, etc.

    But no . . . they did not do it . . . maybe some kid on the farm will do that in 2021.

    1. Micah Johnson cut himself trying to remove an avocado pit. First Montas, now this. Another example of the so-called brain trust trading for injury risks.

      1. Micah Johnson also had knee surgery in late ’15. Scar tissue removed. Knee apparently found to be “structurally sound”. We seem to like the ones who frequent the operating room.

        1. I totally agree, if you have had knee surgery, tommy john, ligament damage , brain surgery, come on down! We the Los Angeles Dodgers want you in our infirmary!

  10. We went through the same thing with Joc last year. How’d that work out?

    And 98 at bats isn’t a large enough sample to conclude anything other than the kid wasn’t intimidated. When the real pressure was on, they got him out. I say start him around 6th in the order, where he was when he hit .337 for those 98 at bats. Pitchers will be working to get a book on him, and leading off is for somebody with experience. Somebody like who on this team? Uh, beats me. Joc maybe? Perhaps Crawford to start the season? Good question. In Spring Training it might actually be Seager, just because there is no better choice.

  11. If the Dodgers do well I think it will be because this lineup is getting it done?

    Right handed pitchers
    Pederson, Puig, Seager, Turner, Agon, Kendrick, Grandal, Ethier

    Left handed pitchers
    Hernandez, Puig, Seager, Turner, Agon, kendrick, Ellis, Pederson

    1. Micheal did you think that Grandal was a rally killer in the first half of the season? I am just curious, because I know you are not a Grandal supporter.

  12. I agree with those who say “no” to Corey batting leadoff for all the reasons they said. But, I do think he would do a capable job batting 3rd in the line up which would give him more at bats.

  13. Keep the team rested is probably a good idea for this bunch. We’ve got some weathered leather everywhere you look, so platooning this group is probably a good idea. Bring Turner along slowly. Heck, bring them ALL along slowly. It’s a long season. We will need all hands on deck come September.

  14. I agree with those that Seager should not bat lead off. Too much self imposed pressure. I think 7-8 until he shows he can hit at this level and then move him to 5-6. It will take at least one trip through the West to see how the teams adjust to him and vice versa. Word spreads fast. This team doesn’t feel a need for a true leadoff hitter. Someone pointed out that leading off a game is only one at bat a game. I agree. Someone who doesn’t strike out would be my choice. Someone who can take pitches and run counts. Who is that? Turner?Kendrick?

    1. Did you guys see that Bumgarner brought a couple of his horses to spring training? It took Bumgarner 30 hours, to drive his horses to Arizona. The Giants like to portray Bumgarner, as a down to earth farm boy, but this trip, looks like a demand for attention. I feel bad for the horses, because of that long trip, and they will have a long trip back home. That last game that the Dodgers played against the Giants, when Bumgarner was pitching, was the first time I have ever seen Bumgarner quiet. I guess it was those three HRs, that did it, and I loved it.

  15. My vote is Kendrick, most hits last year besides Agon, but far fewer AB’s. Also, highest average. I wish he walked more but it is what it is, you make the best of what you have and Kendrick is that guy.

  16. Can anyone say……Dee Gordon……….think they were a little short sighted trading Dee….but since he is gone how about Peraza?……oh yeah, they traded him too…..

    1. Enough of Dee Gordon, please. He’s gone so let’s move on. Dee was one of my favorites and I was actually thrown off one of the Dodger sites for defending so intensely back in 2014.
      Nobody can deny the GREAT season Dee had in Miami BUT nobody can say he would’ve done that in LA either. He went home to Florida and played in front of his family instead of 50,000 strangers. If you don’t think that makes a difference, think again.

      1. Well that is what a site is all about.. I still lament trading Pedro….I was just making a point…they had a leadoff man and traded him…they had another leadoff man, and traded him…leaving the team without a viable leadoff man……unless………Roberts unretires……

  17. I do not understand the Peraza trade, out. He was supposed to be of real help as a Dodgers. Had some real spark.

    Then gone . . . quick as a wink. Like a cloud of dust. And a might cry . . .

    So they sign two older, aging players for a total of $17,000,000 for 2016. So that was in the over-all plan ????

    1. The goal is to get younger. But not this year.

      Peraza? An opportunity came up to trade him for somebody who had surgery PLUS an older prospect. Can’t pass up deals like that. Frazier? Overrated. You’ll see. In a few years he will be older. The goal is to get younger. But not this year.

    2. They saw the opportunity to flip him for three prospects they value more. I don’t think they were really as high on him as some of you folks are. Makes contact, great speed, decent defense, but still just a slap hitter who doesn’t ever walk.

      Montas has great upside. Thompson is a legit backup in the OF, including CF, and Micah has just as much speed and is a better overall hitter.

  18. if a LF platoon of Ethier vs. RHP and Crawford vs. LHP is implemented, then we could use the two of them in the leadoff position. Look at the splits for the two against LHP/RHP and how they do leading off an inning and it doesn’t look like the worst option. the team benefits by having an experienced hitter and baserunner in the lead-off slot and it would allow for a more regular batting order if we did want to try to go L/R/L/R/L/R/L/S and keep guys in the same spot in the lineup. My suggestion:
    1) Ethier/Crawford
    2) Kendrick
    3) Seager
    4) Turner
    5) Gonzalez
    6) Puig
    8) Grandal

  19. Lineup vs. LHP
    1) Crawford
    2) Kendrick
    3) Turner
    4) Gonzalez
    5) Van Slyke (to rest Peterson)
    7) Puig
    8) Hernandez

    Against RHP

    1) Ethier
    2) Kendrick
    3) Seager
    4) Gonzalez
    5) Grandal
    6) Utley
    7) Puig
    8) Peterson

    I wouldn’t recommend these dramatic changes on a daily basis but it does show the flexibility the team could have if facing a pitcher who has difficulty against opposite sided hitter or just is dominant against same sided hitting.

  20. I am a little surprised at all of the talk about Seager needing to get acclimated before putting pressure on him. I think he just displayed his ability to handle pressure taking over for a multi year All Star veteran SS during a pennant drive. He had 112 plate appearances (98 AB) with .337 (BA) .425 OBP, and .906 OPS. He had 19K and 14BB during that time. For those that thinks he needs to get through the NL West a couple of times, 24 games and 77 AB were against the NL West. Against AZ – .368 BA, .538 OBP, and 1.327 OPS. Against CO .368/.429/.955. Against SD .429/.478/1.145, and against SF .222/.222/.444. Those were home and home series against AZ (7), CO (7), and SD (6), and only away against SF (4). He got a hit in 3 of the four games at SF, the only one he did not was the 2 Hit SO by Mike Leake.

    Most of Corey’s ABs were in the #5 and #6 spot in the lineup.
    #6 – 45 AB .378 BA, .509 OBP, and 1.131 OPS
    #5 – 23 AB .304/.385/.863
    #2 – 13 AB .308/.308/1.000
    He also hit in the #3 (8 times), #4 (4), #8 (4), and #9 (1). He never led off.

    But he did lead off an inning 20 times. .400 AB, .455 OBP, and 1.305 OPS with 2 of his 4 HRs leading off an inning.

    The Dodgers as a team succumbed to pressure with RISP w/2 out. Seager was in that position 17 AB and hit .294 with OBP .400 and OPS .753. With RISP (34 AB) , .294 BA, .368 OBP, and .809 OPS. With runners on (50 AB) .300 BA, .397 OBP, and .877 OPS.

    He also clutched up with the pitch count against him:
    0-1 50 times .400 BA, .474 OBP, and 1.094 OPS
    0-2 20 times .350 BA, .409 OBP, and .959 OPS

    He hit RHP and LHP equally well. He walked nearly as much as he struck out.

    I have no idea if that means that Seager should lead off or bat #6 in the lineup. I have no idea if he is going to be NL ROY, All-Star, or MVP candidate. But what it does seem to indicate, at least to me, is that wherever he is slotted in the lineup, it will not be because he has to get acclimated to ML or NL West. He has already proven that he can handle pressure at the age of 21 during a pennant race. It was not the pressure that Seager succumbed to in the NLDS, it was more DeGrom, Syndergaard, and Harvey. Outside of Justin Turner nobody hit well. Those three pretty much stifled all NL lineups.

    Seager is already acclimated enough to hit anywhere Roberts believes he can best help the team.

  21. Ethier leading off?

    Hmm. Outside any box I ever squared up. He does get on base as well as anyone we have (.366 last year) and runs the bases ok.
    Why not? Make it so.

  22. I put Seager in the three spot because he is the as good a hitter as Turner, has plate discipline and is quicker on the base paths than Turner or Agon. He will be the best three slot hitter the Dodgers have had in years and having pros like Crawford, Ethier, and Kendrick getting on ahead of him will push him to succeed more quickly.

    1. Crawford then Kendrick – Turner 3, AGon 4, Puig 5 Seager 6. If Ethier is leading off (I doubt it) then I don’t know from what happens in this lineup. Pick names out of a hat and it would probably work just fine.

  23. Well here’s a tip about editing – if you are attempting to do so, make sure you get it ALL done and posted before your minutes are up. I was just in the middle of adding a response to AC when BAM! time ran out and everything I said was lost. Too bad. It was brilliant.

      1. Thank you AC. As are your thoughts. I try my best, but it’s difficult for me, being a moron.
        What I was saying to you was something like this – “good stats. Obviously did your homework.” I do see Seager as a top (#2) or middle of the order hitter, but he is still a rookie and we don’t know if there might be a book on him. We’ve recently had young guys who came out strong, only to have the league catch up with them. We are talking ML pitchers here. If he has a weakness they will find it. I think it wise to put him in a position that makes success more probable. For me that would be around 6 to start. We’ll see what Roberts thinks.

  24. I think may of you do not really comprehend how good of a player Corey Seager is and will be. You have been ruined by the Joel Guzmans, Andy LaRoches and Joe Thurstons of the Former LA Dodgers.

    He will hit where the Dodgers need to him to hit and I would bet it is in the top 3 spots. To say other wise show me a lack of baseball common sense or lack of watching him play since he came up.

    Actually , Dustin Nosler of Dodgers Digest has this to say:

    “Andrew Friedman is a smart man. Whether you want to believe it or not, he’s smarter than you. Yes, you. He’s one of the — if not, the — highest-paid executives in baseball, and he’s the man who will attempt to put the Dodgers in the best position to succeed short- and long-term.

    When irrational fans clamor for his firing or look down on the “nerds” and “saber-metrics,” as it was written by a hack writer earlier this week, it’s because they don’t understand the process.Friedman is an analytical person, and he has a plan behind everything this organization does.”

    His eloquent diatribe can be found here:

    …. and he didn’t call anyone a moron… but he thought it!

    Neither did I, but I might have thought it!

    1. Corey Seager is so incredibly talented. That kid is going to be an all-star for sure. The farm system is amazingly deep and talented. For that I give Friedman and the guys kudos for helping to build that. Player development is def one of their strong suits. However do we have to hear from people how “smart” these guys are constantly? I mean look I get it Friedman and company are smart guys. Nobody is denying that. But to say they are infallible and unable to make mistakes is just wrong. They’ve made mistakes already. I don’t like this whole new movement of rooting for executives. I root for the players but support the executives. But when they make mistakes I am always prepared to rip them a new one. There is nothing wrong with challenging and having differing opinions.

      With that being said everyone should be able to plainly see how the Dodgers are going to win this year. This is a very deep and talented club with a terrific farm system. this is how they’re going to win year in and year out. this is the Cardinals way of winning. Building a farm system so deep that it sustains your club for many seasons. That’s how the Cardinals have been winning for the last decade. This is a playoff team for sure, and I think with the depth the brain trust has built they could finally get over the hump this year. I am very excited and optimistic for the coming season.

  25. “When irrational fans clamor for his firing”
    I haven’t heard any of this clamor. Where can I find it?
    I don’t doubt these guys are smart. But it seems they may be too smart by half – as in half stepping it at the deadline, moving prospects after trading for them, signing so many surgically repaired players, the Olivera caper, the list is long. Their genius did not work with a two time Division winner. Yeah, we won the Division again, with the help of some pretty bad teams in the West. The Division looks much better. Do we? I don’t know. Looks kinda the same to me, with Kazmir and Meada replacing Greinke and…… all those other guys we ran out there all year. Maybe we’re better. Hard to say. Well hard for some. Not so hard for the FAZophants.

  26. Andrew Friedman is a saber-metrics guru. Like it or not, that is where the Dodgers are going. To the sabermetricians (or whatever the proper word is), OBP is far more important than stolen base capability for a lead off hitter. Considering OBP, Justin turner with his .370 OBP in 2015 and .404 in 2014 and his low K% has to be a consideration. Again, like it or not, if Pederson can learn to put the bat on the ball more often he is also a logical choice with his .346 OBP. If he cuts down his Ks by 50, he will undoubtedly increase his BA to a respectable level, and increase his OBP to Justin Turner marks. He already knows how to work a count as he had far and away the most BB. Crawford should also be considered until he goes onto the DL.

    Peraza wasn’t just given away or DFA’d. The key return in the Peraza trade was Frankie Montas. Peraza will be 22 and Montas 23, so age is not really consideration. I still believe that Montas will end up as a Wade Davis/Andrew Miller lock down 8th inning setup, or closer in training , rather than as a starter. With the bullpen becoming even more important under the saber-metrics model, Montas figures to be a huge factor going forward. Peraza is not considered a strong defensive 2B and was looked at as more of a utility player. FAZ made the decision to go with Kike’ and Montas rather than two utility players, plus LAD received Micah Johnson and Trayce Thompson.

    The knock on Johnson is his defense, but his defensive metrics last year appeared to be at least as good as Peraza’s, while his offense was better. In 2014, Dee Gordon was considered at best an average defensive 2B. He obviously got better defensively, so why can’t Johnson? Micah Johnson may be three years older than Peraza, but will only be 25 in 2016. Gordon became a 2B starter at 26. I think there’s still time for Johnson.

    I still believe that one of the excess OFs gets moved before opening day, giving Thompson a spot on the 25 man. He will probably be another 4th OF at the ML level, but he can play all three OF spots, with power and speed, so in my estimation better than SVS. I would stick a 1st base glove on him during ST and see if he can play at that position as well.

    So while I agree that Peraza will have a productive career, so will Montas, Johnson, and Thompson. I cannot say the same for Schebler or Dixon.

    As far as Friedman, he has undoubtedly made mistakes along the way (I think Nicasio and Peralta count), and the results were disastrous for others (Johnson and Latos). Look at the end result of the ATL/Miami trade. LAD traded Hector Olivera , three organization minor league pitchers, Brandon Dixon and Scott Schebler for Alex Wood, Luis Avilan, Frankie Montas, Micah Johnson and Trayce Thompson. IMO that ends up as a positive transaction(s). But what GM has not made mistakes. Friedman did not trade Pedro or Piazza or Konerko. He also did not sign Barry Zito to a $126 million contract, or sign Kevin Brown, or Jason Schmidt, or Brandon League or Brian Wilson…He did trade for Bolsinger, while not a great pitcher, did what was needed last year to get LA into the playoffs. He did not trade Seager, Urias, or De Leon. Unfortunately McCarthy will only have two years to justify his FA signing. That will probably go into the not so good column. The Dodgers have a lot of “ifs” but they will contend, some of it despite Friedman, but most because of him. Now bash away.

  27. No bash. I follow the logic there.
    As you know I was pissed at the deadline milksop deadline moves. We all saw the looming Greinke departure and to be THAT close and not push the button was difficult for a 56 year Dodger fan to swallow. We’ve already argued the idea of having to use a top 10 prospect angle on this so no need to rehash that. Suffice to say, two years in a row we did not secure the obvious need. Moving on.
    It’s true these guys did not sign any anchor-like contracts, though McCarthy’s 4 years was weird and according to some they almost blew it by offering an old and clearly washed up Greinke 5 YEARS! What were they thinking! So now we go into ’16 with virtually the same offensive team that came up short, while several teams in the NL made serious attempts to beef up. Hey, maybe getting older was the goal all along. More experienced bunch this year. Could work out.
    I want to be positive here. I see us being close at the deadline and the team being improved by trading some minor league depth for what we need to close the deal. My guess as to what that is? Pitching. And a lead-off hitter. And a thumper. Unless Puig and Pederson………….

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