We called the Corey Seager MVP explosion last year. Now that our secret weapon has lost the “secret” after two playoff MVP’s, we want to see what is expected of Seager in 2021. More specifically, are the ZIPs projections still low balling him, or was last year enough to silence the non-believers.
- Seager 2021 Projections
- The Over/Under Game
Seager 2021 Projections
- 5.0 WAR
- 87 R, 109 RBI, 27 HR, 4/4 SB
- 33 doubles, 2 triples, 49 BB/107 K
- Batting Average: .287
It’s hard to believe we’re betting on over a .287 average, but Seager is a career .295 hitter, and that’s mostly because of his two injury ridden seasons. In his other 4 MLB seasons he’s hit somewhere between .295 to .337. In 2020, Seager was ranked in the 99th percentile in expected batting average with an xBA of .326. And if you were watching him everyday, you know just how unlucky his actual batting average of .307 felt. We think Seager hits .300+ with another year batting after Mookie and a rotating #3 batter.
- OBP: .351
Walking is actually a skill Seager could improve upon. The first pitch assassin ranks just above the bottom 25% of MLB batters in walk rate, even though his whiff rate is exactly average (50th percentile). But once again, Seager’s career OBP of .362 surpasses the projection and taking out his two injured seasons ups his average closer to .375. And that’s exactly where we predict him to land this upcoming season.
- SLG: .518
.518 is a high standard to surpass as well, but we think Seager has finally reached his peak strength. We think the usual 40 doubles and 20 homers will even out closer to 30 and 30. We don’t think 35+ homers is out of the question for the shortstop if he plays the full year.
- Runs: 87
Seager seems locked into the #2 spot in the lineup right now. The combination of him and Betts was an absolute monster for opposing pitchers. But because he’s in the 2 hole, we think Seager is going to be knocked in a ton this year. For what it’s worth, Betts is projected to score 116 runs with an OBP of .374.
We think he can cross the 100 R plateau this year. Consider that we think 30+ will come from homers, we think his OBP should mean he’s on base almost 4 out of 10 trips to the plate, and even though he’s not a track star he has above average speed.
- RBI: 109
But on the other end of the stick, more runs scored probably means less runs batted in. And even though the bottom of the Dodgers lineup is looking very strong this year (Lux, Peters, McKinstry, etc.) the DH is gone. With that extra out from the pitcher almost guaranteed, Seager will almost exclusively knock in Betts this year. We’d love to see Seager cross 100 RBI and 100 R, but we think he’ll finish the year closer to the 90 side of RBI.
- HR: 27
- We already said we think he’s 30+ this year
- SB: 4
- Over (Barely)
The Dodgers shifted gears last year. All of a sudden they seem willing to run the bases again with the speedster duo of Betts and Bellinger leading the way. And with Betts ahead of Seager, we think they’ll pull of a few double steals and Seager sneaks his way to 5+ SB.
- Doubles: 33
- He’s a double machine (35+)
- Triples: 2
- Why do you think he’s such a double machine? No triples. (1 or 0)
- Walks: 49
We think that walking is one of the few areas Seager will look to improve this year. Like we said earlier, he was only in the 29th percentile in walk % and it’s not from a lack of contact. Seager is known for swinging at the first pitch, but we think this is the year that stereotype changes for him. We want to see his average pitch count per plate appearance go up.
- Strikeouts: 107
- Seager has been steadily getting better at striking out less
- 5 WAR
- We think he’s going to be as good or maybe even better than last year which would put him on pace for about 6 WAR.
If you can’t tell, we’re extremely bullish on Seager this year. We actually think he has the best odds of winning MVP this year on the Dodgers. Last year was incredible and it was cut short. This year he looks like he’s already locked in and has the extra motivation of being an impending free agent.
We predict Seager’s final stats to look a little closer to something like this.
- 6.0+ WAR
- 105 R, 95 RBI, 30 HR, 5 SB
- 35 doubles, 1 triple, 55 BB/95 K