(Here’s today’s minor-league report).
It’s been nearly three years since Kyle Seager was chosen in the third round of the 2009 draft — which has proven to be an astute choice by Mariners’ scouting director Tom McNamara.
Now Seager is again agonizing over the draft, which kicks off a week from Monday. That’s because his little brother — age-wise, anyway — is very much in the forefront as a potential first-round talent. Corey Seager, a senior at Northwest Cabarrus High School in Concord, N.C., the same school that produced Kyle, is ranked as the 19th-best prospect in the draft by Baseball America. In their first mock draft, they have Corey Seager going to the Dodgers with the 18th overall pick.
In other words, big-time stuff. Corey Seager hits left-handed, like his brother. He is playing shortstop, but is projected to be a third baseman as a pro,like his brother. He is listed as 6-3, 205 at age 18, compared to Kyle, who is 6-0, 195 at age 24.
“You want to go by pure size, I’m the littlest of all of them,” Kyle Seager said.
He was referring not only to Corey, but his other “little” brother, Justin-, a sophomore infielder at UNC Charlotte. “They both passed me pretty well. I’m proud of both of them.”
Justin is enduring a tough year in which he suffered a broken nose, and is hitting just .221. But Corey put himself on the map playing for the USA Baseball 16-and-under team that took Gold in the Pan Am Championships in 2010, and has soared to the draft forefront with a strong senior season.
Corey has committed to the University of South Carolina (he talks about his choice in the video shown above), so it remains to be seen if he’ll sign or attend college. Keith Law of ESPN sees him getting chosen before the 20th pick of the draft, and says that if he doesn’t sign, is likely to be a top-five pick when he becomes eligible again for the draft in 2015. Law says of Corey Seager: “Seager’s swing has great hip rotation, and he can drive the ball to the opposite field. He loads with his hands a little deep, not quite a full bar but enough to create some length to the ball, and keeps his weight back well, which allows him drive the ball the other way.”
When Kyle — an alum of the University of North Carolina — told me in the visiting clubhouse at Coors Field that Corey had committed to South Carolina, Justin Smoak, sitting in the next locker, overheard and immediately chimed in. Smoak, of course, is a South Carolina Gamecock himself, and engages in endless banter with Seager and fellow UNC product Dustin Ackley.
“He wants to be a Gamecock,” Smoak said loud enough for Seager to hear. “He’s smart.”
Kyle said with a smile that Corey’s decision is “definitely a topic of discussion,” but added that he’s not bothered. “Nah, he’s doing a good thing,” he said.
Kyle admits that he’s devouring all the draft news he can on the internet to keep tabs on his brother.
“It’s very exciting for me,” he said. “I know he’s worked really hard for it. He’s a really good kid. He definitely deserves all the attention he’s getting. He’s worked really hard, and he’s a very talented kid. It’s fun for me, being the big brother, going online and looking up the stuff. I’m doing all the stuff I’m telling him not to do. I’m telling him not to watch all that stuff, but I’m sitting here doing it myself, so I can’t really tell him too much, I guess.”
It’s unlikely the Mariners, with the No. 3 overall pick, would have a crack at Corey Seager, because he’s not projected to go as high as third, but will probably be long gone when the Mariners pick again in the second round. That pick is No. 64 overall. But if that were to happen, Kyle Seager would love it.
“Yeah, that would be pretty exciting,” he said. “That would be pretty cool. Anytime you can play with your brother, that would be exciting. I was far enough ahead of them in school I never got to play with them in school ball or anything like that. If the Mariners were to draft him, it would be really exciting.”
Here’s another look at a video I ran earlier, which shows Corey Seager in action.