Southern notes: Seager stays untouchable

Still a Dodger, shortstop continues to shine early on with Lookouts

Corey Seager is hitting .340 with seven extra-base hits and five RBIs in his first 12 Double-A games. (Chattanooga Lookouts)

By Guy Curtright / Special to | August 5, 2014 10:00 AM ET

Corey Seager may have been one of the few players or fans not closely following the action as one big deal followed another before the non-waiver trade deadline on July 31.

"I don't really get into that media stuff," the Chattanooga Lookouts shortstop said. "It's kind of a family thing that way."

Of course, by "family" he's referring to oldest brother Kyle, Seattle's All-Star third baseman, and middle brother Justin, a pitcher in the Mariners organization -- but excluding another very important member.

"I'm sure my mom was glued to the TV and the computer," he said. "She probably hasn't cooled down yet."

The Los Angeles Dodgers had insisted that they wouldn't include any of their top three prospects in a deal -- even for David Price -- and they stuck to it. That meant Seager remained in Chattanooga, outfielder Joc Pederson in Albuquerque and pitcher Julio Urias in Rancho Cucamonga.

The Dodgers want to win now and later as well, meaning the 20-year-old Seager stayed untouchable. The first-round pick in the 2012 Draft is No. 17 among's Top 100 Prospects, ranking immediately ahead of Pederson and Urias.

Seager tore up the Class A Advanced California League, and his bat didn't cool off after he was promoted to the Double-A Southern League following a trip to the All-Star Futures Game.

The 6-foot-4 left-handed hitter's average was .350 through his first 92 games at the two levels, and he had 39 doubles, 18 homers and 75 RBIs. Not bad for someone who came into the season determined to concentrate on his defense, not his offense.

"That's been my main focus, because I knew I had some things to work on," Seager said.

The extra work has paid off. After committing 42 errors last year, he has just 14 so far this season.

It's at the plate, though, where Seager really stands out. His .352 average was second in the California League while at Rancho Cucamonga, and he led with a .633 slugging mark and 1.044 OPS.

The Southern League is a tougher place to hit, but Seager has been up to the challenge.

Seager had at least one hit in his first six games with the Lookouts, going 8-for-23 with four extra-base hits, and then had two hits in three consecutive games against Birmingham.

Through his first 12 games with Chattanooga, he was hitting .340 with seven extra-base hits and five RBIs.

For Seager, the only real difference between leagues has been the weather.

"I've had to get used to the humidity again," said the North Carolina native.

Seager joined the Lookouts after experiencing the dual highs of playing in the Futures Game at Minnesota and then getting to watch brother Kyle in his first All-Star Game.

"It was awesome," Corey said. "It was great of the Dodgers to let me stay there for everything, and the whole family got to enjoy it."

Kyle Seager spent the first half of the 2011 season with Jackson en route to Seattle, but he didn't really feel it necessary to give his brother a primer on the Southern League.

"We talk all the time, but that didn't come up," Corey said.

What does come up frequently is being careful to take your baseball journey one step at a time and not think too far ahead.

"He always says to treat each level [of the Minors] as your Major League and make sure to master it," Corey said. "That what I do."

So far, the philosophy has worked as Seager has shown the production, as well as potential, to back up his status as a key piece of the Dodgers' long-term future.

In brief

Moving up: Mobile third baseman Jake Lamb, leading the Southern League with 79 RBIs, was promoted to Triple-A Reno on Aug. 1 along with outfielder Zach Borenstein. Lamb, Arizona's No. 5 prospect, was also first among qualified players for the batting race with a .318 average, to go along with 35 doubles, five triples and 14 homers in 103 games. Lamb, a first-round pick by the Diamondbacks in 2012 out of the University of Washington, had a .399 on-base percentage and .551 slugging mark. His OPS of .949 was second behind former Tennessee third baseman Kris Bryant, also now in the Pacific Coast League.

Sidelined: Montgomery second baseman Ryan Brett, sixth in the league batting race with a .306 average, went on the disabled list with a sore left shoulder. He hurt it for the second time this season diving for a ball at Chattanooga on July 24. Brett, 22, was 3-for-3 in that game and was hitting .425 over his last 10 contests. Tampa Bay's No. 8 prospect had 34 extra-base hits and 24 stolen bases in 91 games. When Brett, the Rays' third-round pick in the 2010 Draft, went on the DL, Leonardo Regginato was promoted from Class A Advanced Charlotte, where he was hitting .316.

Comeback trail: J.R. Graham is on a strict innings limit after a stint on the disabled list, but the Mississippi right-hander looked sharp in consecutive two-inning starts. Dropped down to No. 11 on's Atlanta prospect list, he retired all six Pensacola batters he faced on July 27 and then allowed just an infield single July 31 against Mobile, striking out one each time. Graham, who didn't pitch after May last season because of shoulder problems, was out for three weeks with triceps tendonitis this year. The 24-year-old is 1-5 with a 5.26 ERA in 19 starts covering just 63 1/3 innings.

Guy Curtright is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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