Seager says he didn't have 'A' swing in '16

NL ROY, MVP candidate claims he wasn't comfortable at times

Seager says he didn't have 'A' swing in '16

PHOENIX -- Here's a stunning revelation, passed along by Dodgers manager Dave Roberts: Corey Seager said he didn't have his "A" swing last year.

"I thought I could be better at times mechanically than I was," Seager confirmed Wednesday. "I wasn't always 100 percent comfortable. Still competing, not uncomfortable, but not comfortable. I wasn't exactly where I wanted to be."

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Seager was a unanimous choice for National League Rookie of the Year and finished third in the Most Valuable Player Award voting. His 26 home runs set a Dodgers record for a shortstop, and he set Los Angeles Dodgers rookies marks for hits (193), runs (105) and doubles (40). His hits were the most for a Major League rookie since 2001. He became the fifth Dodger to post a 25-homer/40-double season, and he led Major League rookies in games played, hits, runs, doubles, RBIs, multi-hit games and walks.

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Per Stats LLC, Seager joined Dusty Baker, Mike Piazza and Albert 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 multi-hit games, fourth with 321 total bases and seventh with a .308 average.

But Seager, 22, wasn't satisfied with the way it came about, and he equates "not feeling it" with failure.

"I think any athlete, it's just the fear of failure, of not having success. I was at that point last year," he said. "You can always get better, right? It's pretty much the same to me, if I'm not succeeding the way I want, it's sort of failure. You're obviously succeeding, I know that, and it's not that I wasn't happy with the success, but I wasn't satisfied.

"I could even post the same numbers and still feel better at times than I felt."

Seager said he's "still in the process" of refining the swing. He said he continued working over the winter with Shawn Wooten, currently the batting coach for the Dodgers at Triple-A and Seager's batting coach at Double-A in 2014.

"He actually was managing San Diego's club at Lake Elsinore when I was playing against him for Rancho Cucamonga. He saw me enough to spot some things and helped me make adjustments the next year, and I took off from there," said Seager.

"During the winter, we worked on a lot of little things. My hips were getting quick, I was getting out early, and I'm just trying to completely stay through while being closed. It's hard to explain, but I'm working on it."

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.