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Seager lifts Loons with pair of homers07/30/2013 12:39 AM ET
By Jake Seiner / MiLB.com
During batting practice, Corey Seager was digging "Good Vibrations" on the Great Lakes' public address system so much, he decided tapping Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch in the game wouldn't be such a bad thing.
The Dodgers' No. 2 prospect adopted the '90s pop hit as his walkup music prior to Monday's game, and the song accompanied him at the plate for all his at-bats.
The result? A funky bunch of RBIs.
The shortstop homered twice -- including a grand slam -- and finished with five RBIs for Class A Great Lakes in a 9-0 win over Lake County. Seager finished 3-for-4 in support of a stellar start by Los Angeles' 2013 second-round Draft pick Tom Windle, who logged five one-hit innings with a walk and seven strikeouts.
The multi-homer game was Seager's third this season. He also went yard twice against Cedar Rapids on April 27 and West Michigan on June 21. He delivered a two-homer game last year in the Rookie-level Pioneer League.
Seager homered in his first two at-bats Monday, with both shots coming off Lake County starter Luis DeJesus. The matchup was Seager's second against DeJesus -- he went 0-for-3 against the Captains' right-hander on June 26.
The first long ball, a solo shot, came with two outs in the first inning. Seager stepped in looking for a fastball to drive, and when DeJesus delivered a hittable one on the first pitch, the Loons' infielder drove it over the wall in left field.
"This kid is pretty intelligent," Great Lakes manager Razor Shines said. "He's sitting on pitches, and even when you're sitting on pitches, you still have to hit them. He's sitting and hitting them. It's very impressive."
Seager followed with a grand slam in the bottom of the second to give the Loons a 9-0 lead. DeJesus fell behind Seager, 2-0, by missing the zone with a pair of changeups. Based on how DeJesus had thrown in the June 26 start, the Dodgers' prospect anticipated offspeed, and when DeJesus delivered a third consecutive change, the 19-year-old slammed it over the wall in right.
"[DeJesus] threw us a lot of offspeed pitches and did a good job of keeping everybody off balanced," Seager said, recalling the earlier matchup. "That's kind of unique to him, going three in a row like that."
The offspeed-heavy approach is something Seager has had to adjust to. The 2012 first-round Draft pick is hitting .308 this season with 11 home runs. He sports a .383 on-base percentage and a .517 slugging percentage for a .900 OPS, which is tops among players still in the Midwest League.
As Seager's reputation has grown, pitchers on the circuit have been attacking the Northwest Cabarrus High School (N.C.) alum with fewer fastballs. The tactic hasn't slowed Seager down, though, as he's hitting .333 with a .981 OPS in 25 July games.
"They obviously have begun to pitch him very carefully," Shines said. "They've tried to pitch him backward of late, trying to throw fastballs in offspeed counts and changeups and soft stuff in fastball counts.
"I think with Corey Seager, he's just scratching the surface. I think he's really that good. He's been consistent all year. He's never dropped way down with his average, even though he's been hitting balls hard right at some people. … It doesn't matter how they pitch him. If they pitch him a certain way and get him out, they're going to have to change their approach the next at-bat. He's capable of making those kinds of adjustments."
Shines has no shortage of praise for the 19-year-old, comparing his ability to adjust between at-bats to another prospect who terrorized many a Midwest League pitcher this season.
"I saw that from a kid earlier this year. Was a kid named Buxton," Shines said, referencing MLB.com's top prospect, Minnesota's Byron Buxton. "I saw him doing the same thing to our staff."
With Buxton promoted to the Class A Advanced Florida State League, Seager might have become the league's most feared hitter. And as long as it's working, he won't be changing his new walkup song.
"Yeah," Seager said with a laugh. "I'm going to stick with it."
On the hill, Windle (3-0) continued to dominate in his first pro season. The University of Minnesota product went 56th overall to the Dodgers this year, and he has compiled a 1.55 ERA in seven appearances -- six starts -- for Great Lakes. In 29 innings, he's struck out 26, walked eight and allowed just one home run.
"This guy has a lot of pitchability," Shines said. "He can throw all of his pitches for strikes. I really like him. I think he has a chance to be special one day.
"He's a big-frame guy, and he spots his fastball in the low-90s, in and out. He throws a change for strikes and he throws his slider for strikes. Tonight, whatever he wanted to do, he did. He was in control from the first pitch on."