For the greater part of the second half of the season, the question was asked repeatedly: When will Corey Seager get called up?
The first whispers may have started way back when Kris Bryant got called up by the Cubs in April. When the Dodgers promoted Seager, who is now the No. 2 prospect in baseball, to Triple-A Oklahoma City in early May, those murmurs got louder. When Carlos Correa came up to the Astros in early June, and the Twins' Byron Buxton followed a week later, it reached a fever pitch.
Seager had to wait until Thursday to finally get that call. But now that the 21-year-old infielder is joining the Dodgers, what's fair to expect?
Much of that has to do with just how much playing time the 2012 first-round pick (taken No. 18 overall) gets in the final month of the regular season. There is little question Seager knows how to hit. The left-handed hitter brings a career .307/.368/.523 slash line in the Minors up to the big leagues. After torching the Double-A Texas League (.375/.407/.675) through the first 20 games of the 2015 season, he was bumped up to the Triple-A Pacific Coast League.
After a lull in July, Seager picked it back up in August and the three games he played in September, hitting .300 with four homers and 24 RBIs in 34 games. Seager has a very advanced approach at the plate, especially for his age, and doesn't strike out much for someone with his power potential. He has a smooth and balanced swing, uses all fields well and has both bat speed and strength.
Since Seager was drafted, most saw a permanent move to third base in his future, given his size (6-foot-4, 215 pounds) and relative lack of speed. Seager, whose older brother Kyle is the Mariners' third baseman, has used that as motivation, working hard to show he can stay at the premium position. And that's primarily where he's played, though he's also appeared in 19 games at third this season.
That increases Seager's versatility and gives him a better chance to get playing time now that he's up. He'd be an almost certain upgrade offensively over shortstop Jimmy Rollins (.633 OPS in 2015, .690 in the second half) and Justin Turner (.520 OPS in August), who's been the primary third baseman lately. With regular playing time, Seager should immediately provide average and on-base skills with some extra-base pop. He's capable at shortstop and could eventually be an above-average defender at the hot corner.
Even if he doesn't play every day, Seager has the ability to provide a very strong left-handed bat off the bench, one who can fill in at either spot on the left side of the infield.
Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com and writes a blog, B3. Follow @JonathanMayoB3 on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.