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MWL notes: Seager shows his smarts04/18/2013 6:00 AM ET
By Curt Rallo / Special to MLB.com
The numbers are eye-opening. Corey Seager, the Dodgers' first-round pick in 2012, hit .309 with eight homers and 33 RBIs in 46 games at Rookie-level Ogden last year. This followed an outstanding senior season in high school, when he batted .519 with 10 homers and 37 RBIs.
Beyond the stats, what also impresses the Dodgers about the 6-foot-4, 215-pound shortstop is what doesn't have a number attached -- Seager's baseball IQ.
"His passion for the game is truly unbelievable, and his knowledge and understanding of what he's seeing, what the opponents are trying to do to him, the pitching, is also unbelievable," Dodgers vice president of player development De Jon Watson said. "It's very refreshing to see."
Seager, off to a slow start this season for the Great Lakes Loons, has the tools Los Angeles is looking for. Watson said that Seager's baseball intellect is an important component in his development.
"We think it's a very big piece for us," Watson said. "He had some help, obviously from his brother playing at the Major League level. I'm sure they communicate often.
"We also love the kid's make-up and his work ethic. He has an unbelievable passion for the game," Watson added. "We also like the way he plays -- he understands the pace of the game. He has an internal clock of the actual flow of the game, which is really nice to see in young players. He has a very advanced approach to hitting. We're excited to have him in the organization."
Seager, a native of Kannapolis, N.C., was selected 18th overall last June. He is the first position player to be selected No. 1 by the Dodgers since James Loney in 2002. Seager is ranked No. 4 among all Dodgers prospects by MLB.com.
There has been speculation that he could be moved from his natural shortstop position, perhaps to third base, but that's not a consideration at the moment.
"Shortstop is a position I grew up with and I want to stay at," Seager said. "I worked a lot in the offseason to get a little quicker, a little faster. Shortstop is the position I'd like to move up at. If the Dodgers see that I can't play the position and I need to move to third base, that's OK. I've always played shortstop and I always felt really comfortable there. I would prefer playing shortstop."
Watson said the Dodgers are currently looking at Seager as a shortstop.
"Right now, he's a shortstop," Watson said. "We'll leave him at short for the time being. We'll let the game tell us when it's time for a move. He could stay there. Right now, his first-step quickness is still good and he's handling the position well. He understands how to play the position. We like what we're seeing right now at shortstop, and we're going to leave him there for the time being."
Seager, a left-handed hitter, said his older brothers helped him develop his passion for the game and his baseball IQ. Kyle Seager plays for the Seattle Mariners, and Justin Seager played at the University of Charlotte.
"I grew up with two older brothers… I was always competing with them," Seager said. "I was always trying to find ways to win. It was really competitive. Both brothers helped me become who I am. I'm really grateful for both of them."
Seager said that Kyle has helped him transition into pro baseball and handling the status of a top pick.
"My brother gave me some really good advice," Seager said. "He told me to make every level my big leagues. He said to get out there and compete like that's the highest level, and not worry about where you are. He said to just go out there and compete and try to win a ball game for your team every day."
For sale: A change in ownership of the holding company that owns and operates five Minor League teams, including the Midwest League's Dayton Dragons, could occur, but there isn't expected to be any change in those franchises. Seaport Capital, a private equity firm located in New York, is exploring the option of selling Mandalay Baseball Properties, which includes the Dayton Dragons, along with the Oklahoma City RedHawks (Pacific Coast League), Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (International League), Erie SeaWolves (Eastern League) and Frisco RoughRiders (Texas League). The teams are being sold as a group.
According to Art Matin, the CEO of Mandalay Baseball, Seaport Capital has invested in Mandalay Baseball for 11 years and is exploring the sale of the holding company.
"This transaction will have zero impact on the teams and the people running them," Matin said. "Dayton will remain in Dayton, just as it has been, with the same leadership.
"Everything is going very well," Matin said. "We think Mandalay Baseball is one of the unique assets in professional sports. We have five teams in five great markets. It's time for Seaport Capital to move on to other investments. Mandalay Baseball has been a great platform for growth, and it's time for somebody else to step up and drive the next phase of growth for Mandalay Baseball."
Power homestand: Bowling Green's Andrew Toles felt at home during the Hot Rods' recent seven-game homestand. The outfielder was 12-for-28 (.429) with nine RBIs. His 12 hits included four triples and four doubles.
Rainout streak: Cedar Rapids suffered four consecutive rainouts in the opening week, then on Wednesday night, the Kernels called off their fifth game of the season due to stormy weather. The Kernels lost two games against Wisconsin and two against Clinton. The postponed games against Clinton will be made up in back-to-back doubleheaders Saturday and Sunday. Wednesday's wipeout was against Wisconsin.