The player with the third-most home runs in the Rangers new ballpark is now a Ranger. Corey Seager is coming to Texas, having signed a ten-year deal to be the Rangers shortstop of the future.
Remember when The Shed opened and Joey Gallo got it in his head it was too cavernous to hit home runs in and the entire Rangers offense went into a funk and suddenly it was deemed too hard to hit home runs in until the playoffs and World Series were staged there and we saw actual hitters and not those faux-hitters the Rangers ran out nightly and how those actual hitters had no problem hitting balls out of The Shed? Well, the hitter who shattered the notion The Shed was too big to homer in and who hit the most home runs that post-season just signed a ten-year deal to be the Rangers shortstop of the future.
The 27-year-old right-handed-hitting Seager (and the brother of Ranger killer Kyle Seager) is a major upgrade at short for the Rangers, displacing the disappointing Isiah Kiner-Falefa, who displaced the sagging Elvis Andrus.
It’s been a while since the Rangers had talent like this at short. Not since Adrian Beltre have the Rangers had talent like this at all.
The worst offensive team in baseball in 2021 just took a major step forward. Seager is a career .297 hitter, with an on-base of .367, and OPS of .870, and an OPS+ of 133.
The guy literally burst onto the scene. In 2016 he was Rookie of the Year, third in MVP voting, made the All-Star team and won a Silver Slugger award. He followed that up with another All-Star appearance, another Silver Slugger award, and a top-twenty finish for MVP.
Then, oddly, he was struck by Rangeritis. In 2018, he underwent Tommy John surgery, rare for a position player. While out, he went ahead and had hip surgery too.
In 2019, he was on fire, on a run where he was hitting .459 over his past half-dozen games, when he pulled a hamstring and lost a month of the season. Even so, he ended up tied for the N.L. lead in doubles, and drove in 87.
His 2020 season was just as strong, finishing with an elite OPS of .943.
In 2021, he was hit by a pitch in May, shattering his hand, but still came back to post a .917 OPS.
So, how much did the Rangers improve?
The Rangers just landed one of the top three shortstops in baseball, and the head of this talented free agent class.
With him and Marcus Semien, they now have an elite core up the middle to build around.
This is exciting.