Corey Seager’s first full major league season went better than anyone could have reasonably expected, with the rookie stepping seamlessly into the role of best player in the Dodgers’ lineup.
What went right
Seager set a Dodgers franchise record with 26 home runs as a shortstop. In his first season.
He was the first rookie in MLB with 40 doubles and 25 home runs since Albert Pujols in 2001, and the first LA Dodgers rookie with 40 doubles.
Seager also set LA Dodgers rookie records for hit (193), runs scored (105) and total bases (321).
Seager hit a two-out, game-tying home run in the ninth inning on Sept. 25 against the Rockies, extending the game into extras where the Dodgers would win and clinch the National League West in Vin Scully’s final home game at Dodger Stadium.
He made the National League All-Star team as a rookie, and was named after the season a Sporting News NL All-Star.
Seager is the first Dodgers rookie in 64 years to finish in the top three in NL Most Valuable Player voting. We’ll find out whether he got second or third place, behind Kris Bryant, next Thursday.
Seager won the Sporting News NL Rookie of the Year Award, also was voted by the players as the NL Outstanding Rookie, and is the overwhelming favorite to win the BBWAA award on Monday. If he wins that, he’ll be the first Dodger to do so since Todd Hollandsworth in 1996.
What went wrong
Seager hit just .205/.255/.364 in the postseason, including 3-for-23 (.130) in the NLDS against Washington. Though those three hits were all run-scoring extra-base hits in the first inning of each of the first three games of the series -- two home runs and a double.
Stats: .308/.365/.512, 26 HR, 40 doubles, 105 R, 72 RBI, 6.1 rWAR, 7.5 fWAR
Game of the year
Seager hit three home runs on June 3 against the Braves at home, one of three Dodgers to hit three home runs in a game in 2016 (joining Yasmani Grandal, Adrian Gonzalez).
Seager was just the second Dodgers rookie ever with a three-homer game, along with Don Demeter in 1959. He was also the youngest shortstop in MLB history to hit three home runs in a game.
Seager has franchise cornerstone status at this point, and with one year, 32 days of major league service time he still has two more seasons before he’s eligible for salary arbitration, and five years before eligible for free agency.
Seager is as good a candidate as any for a long-term contract extension, but it takes two to tango.