Dodgers Go Back To Prep Route To Draft Seager
LOS ANGELES—Nine times in his first 11 years managing the draft for the Dodgers, Logan White has taken a high school pitcher with his first pick.
So it was no shock the Dodgers, picking 18th, took a high schooler with their first-round selection this year. What was surprising, though, was the fact they picked an infielder this time, choosing North Carolina's Corey Seager.
OK, so it really wasn't a big surprise. Although the Dodgers were also interested in Florida prep right-hander Walker Weickel, Oklahoma high school right-hander Ty Hensley and Texas A&M right-hander Michael Wacha, Seager, the brother of Mariners infielder Kyle Seager, was long thought to be at the top of the team's draft chart.
An 18-year-old who swings from the left side, Seager hit .519/.664/1.062 with 10 homers, 37 RBIs and 13 steals for Northwest Cabarrus High in Concord, N.C., winning state player of the year honors. He's also an excellent student, with a weighted GPA of 4.05.
And, of equal importance to White, Seager is a high-character guy as well.
"He's one of the greatest players—if not the best—to ever come out of this county," said Derek Shoe, head coach at rival Concord (N.C.). "With that title, he wasn't pitched to very often, but he never showed any frustration. He's just an all-around great kid and one that we all wish we had on our team.
"From the outside, it looked like he was not only their best player, but also their best person."
Going into the draft White said his preference was to draft a position player. But in the first two rounds he said he would ultimately take the players he felt had both the highest ceiling and could reach the majors the quickest.
Seager, who has committed to South Carolina, is a plus hitter with above-average power. He has decent speed but he's likely to lose some of that as he grows into a 6-foot-3, 205-pound frame. The Dodgers are also likely to shift him from shortstop to third base.
• The Dodgers, whose new owners promised to be aggressive internationally, spent $500,000 to sign 20 Latin American amateurs in May. The investment more than doubled what the team spent on international free agents last year, which by far ranked last in baseball.
• Righthander Ethan Martin, a first-round pick in 2008, is having his best season as a pro at Double-A Chattanooga, winning six of his first seven decisions with a career-best 2.92 ERA after being return to the rotation full-time.