The Los Angeles Dodgers have two young players making a big impact in real and fantasy baseball, Cody Bellinger and Corey Seager.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are one game away from getting to the World Series led by their dominant offense. Two of the players leading the charge are shortstop Corey Seager and first baseman Cody Bellinger. When you’re drafting next year, you may have a shot at just one so who do you draft?
Well, the answer can easily be answered by who you drafted with your first two picks. Both players rank as late third round picks. Seager and Bellinger rank in the top five of their respective positions. Odds are if you draft someone ahead of them, you don’t need to draft a second one this early.
However, if you draft an outfielder in the first round (Mike Trout, Charlie Blackmon, Bryce Harper, etc.) and a starting pitcher in the second (Max Scherzer, Corey Kluber, etc.), then both Seager and Bellinger will be on the table for you in the third.
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The next thing you would need to do is look at the individual position rankings. First base is deeper now more than ever. Shortstop, on the other hand, drops off after No. 6 or 7. If you don’t get one of those guys, you can wait until Round 20 to draft your shortstop. You can find a solid first baseman in the teen rounds.
So, that means Seager should be drafted first, right? Not necessarily. Let’s take a look at the stats.
Bellinger made his debut on April 25, missing the Dodgers first 20 games of the season. He finished with 132 games played and hit 39 home runs, 97 RBI and .267. He also had 87 runs, 10 steals, a 146:64 K:BB ratio and .352 on-base percentage.
Bellinger had a 47.1 fly ball rate, 35.3 ground ball rate and a 43.0 medium and hard-hit rate as well. He made good contact with the ball and when he did, the ball went far. He finished 56th overall on the Player Rater.
Seager provided good power and a higher average. In 145 games, he hit 22 homers, 77 RBI and a .295 average. He had just four steals, 131:67 K:BB ratio and a .375 OBP. Seager finished 103rd on the Player Rater.
The increase in batting average was not enough to make it into the top 100. The Rater also weighs speed a little more than the other categories, so Bellinger got a nice boost there. The difference in power was also a big factor.
Looking ahead to 2018, if I were choosing between these two with my third-round pick, I would have to lean towards Seager. Despite the obvious power difference, Seager has a better average, has 20-home run power and plays a shallow position.
If I pass on Seager in the third round, my next option would likely be Elvis Adrus or Bregman. While they are good, finished No. 1 and 6 on the Rater respectively, I’d rather use the pick on Seager.
Bellinger plays a position with a lot of power hitters, so missing out on a 40-home run hitter won’t sting as much. Rhys Hopkins, Wil Myers and even Matt Olson can be drafted later and provide the same amount of power.
The two Dodgers players are just 21 years old. I was playing MLB 12: The Show when I was 21, just for reference. You can’t go wrong with either player on your roster next year. When you boil it down, I would rather not pass on a top-five shortstop in an otherwise shallow position. You have to draft the best player available.