Injuries can shroud how to evaluate any player from a fantasy perspective. A blindspot may exist for someone like Corey Seager causing one to miss out on his breakout from last year. During the truncated season, he logged 232 plate appearances in the regular season scoring 38 runs with 15 home runs, 41 RBI, one stolen base and a robust .307/.358/.585 slash line. Add in the playoffs during which his slash rose to .328/.425/.746 with eight home runs driving in 20 and he absolutely raked. This equates to a home run every 13.56 plate appearances for the year. Small sample size aside, it's terrific. 


Beneath the numbers, Seager recorded a 7.3 walk percentage with a 15.9 strikeout rate in the regular season along with an eye popping .278 isolated power plus .394 weighted on-base average (wOBA). Yes, his swinging strike rate rose slightly compared to 2019 but if the power results continue, it's more than tolerable. 


Power peaks for players usually ensue during their Age-27 season. Seager turns 27 this April. Armed with an 87.8 Z-Contact (in the strike zone) percentage in 2020, his ability to make quality contact in the strike zone should insulate his growth in terms of home runs in 2021. It seems like health depressed his outcomes in past seasons with last year representing a perfect storm of talent colliding with results. 


According to Statcast, Seager registered 177 batted ball events in 2020 with 28 barrels (15.8 percent) and a 55.8 hard hit percentage. His expected statistics reflect the tremendous gains in contact evidenced by a .326 expected batting average (xBA), .645 expected slugging (xSLG) and .427 expected weighted on-base average (xwOBA). It's crazy realizing he incurred some bad luck evidenced by his xSLG residing 60 points above his actual and his xwOBA 33 points over his actual. So, he could've been better? Check out his zone profile courtesy of the site: 


Perusing his plate discipline markers on Statcast, Seager upped his zone swing percentage along with raising his zone contact percent. He proved more aggressive with a higher swing rate overall but kept his whiff percentage stable. A line drive surge rising almost seven percentage points compared to 2019 fueled his expected numbers and 2020 results overall. Plus, his solid percentage plus barrel percent combined for 28.8 percent of his batted ball data, exactly doubling his 14.4 percent combined rate from 2019. 


Seager did not sacrifice approach to attain his power growth. His pull percentage remained in line with past results. In fact, his spray chart of hits from 2020 displays how he hits home runs to all fields: 



Finishing up the approach aspect, Seager benefits from hitting in a deep lineup enhancing his counting statistics. Also, his swing and take chart from 2020 illustrates his ability to take advantage of game situations: 



Versus his peers, Seager stands out in Statcast's percentile rankings:


-- xwOBA - 98th percentile

-- xBA - 99th percentile

-- xSLG - 99th percentile

-- Barrels - 100th percentile

-- Barrel% - 95th percentile

-- Exit Velocity - 97th percentile (raised his EV by 4.4 MPH compared to 2019)

-- Hard Hit Percentage - 98th percentile


When assessing how to evaluate Seager for 2021, getting over his injury riddled past with eyes on the future depresses his price point slightly. In an effort to expand his samples, here's his numbers from the second half of 2019 through and including last season: 


-- Seager 2H 2019-through-2020: 120 games, 503 plate appearances, 80 runs, 26 home runs, 90 RBI, stolen base; .284/.332/.537, 6.6 BB%, 16.7 K%, .252 ISO, .361 wOBA


Remember this slash line when viewing his projection sets. As for the last three years, Seager lost time due to injuries depressing his overall production but it needs to be assessed: 


-- Seager Last 3 Years: 215 games, 899 plate appearances, 135 runs, 36 home runs, 142 RBI, two stolen bases; .281/.343/.498, 8.1 BB%, 17 K%, .217 ISO, .352 wOBA


Projections never fully buy into breakouts like Seager exhibited last season but using this one's advantage in upcoming drafts and auctions could be beneficial. Here's how five systems see his 2021: 



If Seager can reach the ATC slash lines with THE BAT X's counting numbers, he's well worth his third round average draft position. In fact, while most focus on trying to secure stolen bases or home runs, many overlook protecting batting average in a season with "deadened” baseballs on the horizon. 


There's no sexy upside in Seager, but if the gains in contact along with his power peak continue into 2021, he could hit 35 home runs with a .300 or better average. Pretty, pretty good. 


Statistical Credits:

THE BAT and THE BAT X courtesy of Derek Carty

ATC courtesy of Ariel Cohen

ZiPS courtesy of Dan Szymborski