Tuesday newsletter time: Corey Seager hits second-most homers in first round of derby … and loses
(AP photo/Abbie Parr)
Only one player hit more homers Monday than Rangers shortstop Corey Seager in the first round of the Home Run Derby.
He cranked out 24 of them, delighting the Dodger Stadium crowd that gave him a robust round of applause during pre-derby introductions. The All-Star festivities mark his first appearance in Los Angeles since leaving for the Rangers in the offseason.
Seager’s father with a catchy name, Jeff, was his pitcher.
The problem: Seager’s opponent hit the most in the first round. Mariners rookie Julio Rodriguez swatted 32 in rapid-fire succession. Seager had an early exit, and Rodriguez advanced to the finals before losing to Juan Soto.
Seager finished the first half of the season with 22 home runs, including five in a row from July 8-12. He was the American League Player of the Week for July 4-10.
Left-hander Martin Perez, the AL Pitcher of the Monday in May and the Rangers’ other All-Star selection, was watching from the first-base line, and he gave Seager some counsel during a timeout.
There really wasn’t much to say.
As for Perez, he is expected to pitch tonight. The Rangers haven’t revealed their rotation plans to begin the second half, though right-hander Jon Gray will start the opener in Miami. Perez will be in Miami after taking his family back from Los Angeles, but he might not pitch until the weekend at Oakland.
Another draft stunner
Kumar Rocker was the most notable pick of the first day of the MLB Draft, as the Rangers took him with the third overall pick.
The Rangers did it again on Day 2.
Everything came together for them to select Michigan prep right-hander Brock Porter, considered one of the best pitching prospects in the draft, in the fourth round. Porter slid out of the first round and out of the second, as teams shied away from what they anticipated would be a tough above-slot sign.
When word leaked that Rocker had agreed to a $5.2 million deal (or thereabouts) that is $2.3 million below slot, people started putting the pieces together for the Rangers selecting Porter.
It was a sleepless night, general manager Chris Young said, but Porter made it all the way to the Rangers at pick No. 109. It was their first pick since Rocker because they forfeited their second- and third-round picks as compensation for signing Marcus Semien and Seager.
The Rangers selected arguably the two best pitchers in the draft. Throw in 2021 first-rounder Jack Leiter (No. 2 overall), and the Rangers have revamped their pitching depth that also just happens to include Cole Winn, Owen White, Ricky Vanasco and Cole Ragans.
And TK Roby, Dane Acker and Mitch Bratt. And Zak Kent, Cody Bradford, Avery Weems, Mason Englert, Emiliano Teodo and Winston Santos.
The two Rangers representatives at the Futures Game acquitted themselves nicely Saturday, as Leiter delivered a perfect inning and Dustin Harris went 2 for 3 with an RBI.
Harris, a late addition to the AL team, was in the starting lineup … at first base. He has played left field almost exclusively this season at Double A Frisco. Harris hit the break midseason break batting .261 with 14 homers, 57 RBIs, 17 steals and an .817 OPS.
His RoughRiders teammate, Leiter, recorded two groundouts and a flyout in his lone inning of work, but wowed the TV broadcasters with his stuff.
— Texas Rangers (@Rangers) July 17, 2022
Frisco is off until Friday. The Rangers aren’t sure when Leiter will pitch next, but he will likely be capped at 60 pitches after a layoff for the Futures Game not long after he spent time on the development list with arm fatigue.
Sam Huff, who was sent back to Triple A Round Rock on Sunday, won the Futures Game MVP in 2019.
Pug fight! Enjoy. See you Wednesday.
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