Five Impact Prospects for 2016: National League

Source: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images North America

Source: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images North America

#1: Corey Seager, SS/3B, Los Angeles Dodgers

No other prospect in all of baseball has as much overall talent or opportunity to impact his team’s 2016 season as Seager. The #1 overall prospect on virtually every major publication’s rankings has kept Dodgers fans salivating over his potential since his selection in 2012. So far, he has lived up to the hype.

Just take a look at his September 2015 call-up, in which he slashed .337/.425/.561 with a 175 wRC+ in 113 plate appearances. That was enough for the Dodgers to give him the starting shortstop job over Jimmy Rollins in the NLDS against the Mets, even batting the kid in the third spot of the order in game one in hopes of igniting their sluggish offense.

As for this season, the sky’s the limit for Seager. The only other shortstops currently on the roster are super-utilityman Enrique Hernandez and former utilityman Justin Turner, the latter of whom L.A. has entrusted their everyday third base job to. In other words, Seager faces no serious threats to his playing time as long as he is healthy. And when he’s healthy, he has the potential to carry an offense like no other active shortstop can (with the exception of Carlos Correa). Seager’s beautiful left-handed swing allows him to hit for average and power consistently, giving him an offensive ceiling that’s extremely rare for his position. His strong arm and good feel with the glove help make up for his abnormal 6’4″ height and below-average speed on the defensive side.

The only thing potentially stopping Seager from playing for the Dodgers on opening day is a mild knee strain that will reportedly sideline him for one to two weeks. Even if he does miss the first few games of the season, however, Seager is still the easy choice for most impactful NL Rookie of 2016 and is already the early favorite for Rookie of the Year.

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