Seager racks up records in rookie campaign

Dodgers shortstop the overwhelming favorite for BBWAA honor

Seager racks up records in rookie campaign

LOS ANGELES -- Even a political pollster could figure this out, as Corey Seager will win the National League's Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award, voted on by the Baseball Writers' Associaion of America.

After all, Seager is the only one of the three finalists for ROY that also is a finalist for the NL Most Valuable Player Award. And he's already won NL rookie honors from Sporting News, Players Choice and Baseball America.

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The 22-year-old Seager will become the Dodgers' 17th Rookie of the Year -- the first since Todd Hollandsworth in 1996 and their first at shortstop -- after a season in which he rewrote much of the franchise record book for first-year players.

His 26 home runs were a Dodgers record for a shortstop, and he set Los Angeles Dodgers rookies marks for hits (193), runs (105) and doubles (40). The 193 hits were the most for a Major League rookie since 2001 (Ichiro Suzuki and Albert Pujols).

The 18th overall pick in the 2012 Draft, Seager was the youngest Dodgers position player named to an NL All-Star team and their first rookie shortstop All-Star since Billy Grabarkewitz in 1970. He is the fifth Dodger with a 25-homer/40-double season, and he led Major League rookies in games played, hits, runs, doubles, RBIs, multihit games and walks. He joined with Kyle Seager of the Mariners as the first set of brothers with at least 25 homers each in the same season. 

Seager wins Silver Slugger

According to Stats, LLC, Seager joined Dusty Baker, Mike Piazza and Pujols as the only rookies in the divisional era (since 1969) to rank in the NL's top 10 in batting average (.308) and slugging percentage (.512). He was second in the league overall with 57 multihit games, fourth with 321 total bases and seventh with a .308 average. The Dodgers nominated him for the Hank Aaron Award as their most outstanding offensive performer.

Seager is one of eight shortstops in MLB history to qualify for the batting title in an age-22-or-younger season and post an OPS+ as high as 137. Of the six eligible for the Hall of Fame, three -- Rogers Hornsby, Arky Vaughan, and Cal Ripken Jr. -- are in.

During the regular season, he had four multihomer games, including a three-homer game June 3 against Atlanta. Although votes must be submitted before postseason games are played, Seager also became the first rookie in big league history to drive in the first run of four games in the same postseason, which included a pair of home runs.

Seager's three-homer game

Defensively, Seager ranked in the bottom half in most metrics at his position, but he was third in the league in innings played at short.

"Obviously, I have a biased perspective, but I think he's the best shortstop in the National League," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of Seager. "When you talk about the game going forward, Corey Seager is what the game is about, now and going forward. The numbers speak for themselves."

The other finalists for the award are Seager's teammate, starting pitcher Kenta Maeda, and Washington outfielder Trea Turner. The last time a club had players finish first and second in ROY voting in the same year was in 2011, with Atlanta's Craig Kimbrel and Freddie Freeman.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.