By Jon Weisman
The most anticipated minor-league prospect in baseball, Corey Seager, is coming to the Major Leagues.
Three years and three months after being taken 18th overall in the 2012 draft, the 21-year-old Seager has been added to the Dodgers’ 40-man roster from Triple-A Oklahoma City and is joining the team in San Diego. Seager will wear uniform No. 5.
The Dodgers have also recalled reliever Yimi Garcia, who has a 0.99 WHIP with 11.4 strikeouts per nine innings. Garcia last pitched for the big-league team August 21. To make room for Seager on the 40-man roster, the Dodgers designated Oklahoma City infielder Andy Wilkins (18 homers, .779 OPS) for assignment.
Though fans have clamored for him for months, it’s still a fast track for Seager, who began last season at Single-A Rancho Cucamonga. He reached Double-A Chattanooga by July 2014, then moved from Double-A Tulsa — where his OPS was 1.082 — to Triple-A Oklahoma City on May 1.
The Dodgers’ 2014 co-Minor League Player of the Year didn’t overwhelm the Pacific Coast League, delivering a .331 on-base percentage and .450 slugging percentage, but he had a strong finishing kick. In his final 12 games, he went 16 for 53 with six doubles, a triple and three home runs, for a .351 on-base percentage and .623 slugging percentage.
Seager is three days older than Jose Peraza, the youngest Dodger position player since Adrian Beltre.
In the minors this season, Seager has started 103 games at shortstop and 19 games at third base, so he can provide depth at two positions where the Dodgers could use it, as well as another left-handed bat off the bench, something that is always an issue for the Dodgers now that Andre Ethier and Carl Crawford are both starting against righties.
Seager is the No. 2 prospect in baseball, according to MLB Pipeline, behind Twins outfielder Byron Buxton, who was called up in June. The Dodgers could arrange for him to be put on a postseason roster if they so choose, by virtue of being in the organization on August 31.
When he takes the field in the starting lineup tonight, Seager will also be the 54th player the Dodgers have used this season, breaking a franchise record set in 1944 and matched in 1998.
Corey Seager on how much sleep he got last night. "None. I looked up at the wall all night." Slept on the plane a little bit on way to SD.
— Dodger Insider (@DodgerInsider) September 3, 2015