Rancho Cucamonga, CA - Corey Seager was named the California League's Most Valuable Player for 2014 on Friday. The shortstop, who played in 80 games with Rancho Cucamonga this season, becomes the second player in Quakes history to earn the honor. Seager was also named a Post-Season All-Star.
Seager was promoted to the Double-A Chattanooga Lookouts on July 18. At the time of his promotion, he led the California League with 34 doubles, a .633 slugging percentage, a 1.044 OPS, 54 extra-base hits and 207 total bases. Seager is still fourth in the league in doubles despite not having played for Rancho in over a month.
He started off the campaign relatively slowly, hitting just .294 with a pair of homers in 20 April games. After a short stint on the disabled list, Seager came back in May and proved himself to be the best hitter in the Cal League. In the month, he hit .400 (44-for-110) with six home runs, 15 doubles and 24 RBIs in 27 games.
Seager was the starting shortstop for the California League in the All-Star Game against the Carolina League in Wilmington, Delaware in June. In the First Half, Seager hit .344 with a dozen homers and 24 doubles in 60 games. He was one of three Quakes to be named Cal League Player of the Week in the First Half. Seager earned the honor on May 26 after a week in which he batted .552 with six-straight mutli-hit games.
To the surprise of some, Seager returned to Rancho after the All-Star Break. He terrorized Cal League pitchers for 20 more games before earning a promotion to Double-A. In those 20 contests, Seager hit .377 with six homers, 10 doubles and 21 RBIs. He played a huge role in Rancho's historic 18-2 start to the Second Half.
He was also named to the MLB All-Star Futures Game in July. Seager started at shortstop and batted third in front of Joey Gallo and Kris Bryant for the U.S. Team, going 0-for-1 at Target Field in Minnesota. Seager did not return to LoanMart Field after the Futures Game. Instead, he made his way to Chattanooga for a much-deserved promotion.
Seager also displayed fantastic defense at shortstop for Rancho Cucamonga while with the Quakes, making just 12 errors in 77 games defensively. That number stands in stark contrast to the eight errors he made in 26 games with Rancho in 2013.
His production with the Quakes did not go unrecognized. Seager was ranked among the top 20 prospects in all of baseball by MLB.com, Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus and ESPN in each publication's midseason lists. Seager was tabbed as the fifth-best minor-leaguer by ESPN.
The offensive success has continued for Seager in the Southern League. Despite being more than four years younger than the average player, Seager has a .333 average, 11 doubles and 17 RBIs in 28 games with the Lookouts as of Friday. With Seager on the roster, Chattanooga won 11 games in a row to begin the month of August.
Seager becomes just the second player in Quakes history to win the California League's Most Valuable Player Award. The first was Angels' farmhand Brandon Wood in 2005. Wood led the circuit with 43 home runs that year, becoming the first player in the league to hit 40 homers in close to 30 years.
In addition to Seager, Rancho Cucamonga's head groundskeeper Rex Whitney was honored on Friday. Whitney was named Groundskeeper of the Year for his excellent work on LoanMart Field throughout the 2014 season.
You can see the full list of Field Awards and the Postseason All-Stars here.
The Quakes begin their last home stand of the 2014 season on Friday night with three games against the Stockton Ports. Tickets to this weekend's series are available by calling (909) 481-5000 or online at rcquakes.com. We hope to see you at LoanMart Field during the home stretch! Go Quakes!