At the Mariners’ annual FanFest event on Jan. 31, third basemen Kyle Seager was faced with a question he’s likely been asked for years: Who is better, you or your little brother?
And, apparently, Kyle couldn’t help but give his most honest answer.
“He’s good, sorry,” Seager responded to a cascade of laughs. “I’m sorry he’s better; I’m trying, I promise.”
While Kyle Seager has more years in the majors, and a substantially more lucrative contract, he’s currently standing in the shadow of his youngest brother Corey, the Dodgers’ shortstop who has been pegged as baseball’s top prospect by both MLB.com and Baseball Prospectus.
Corey, 21, came out of high school as the 18th overall pick in the 2012 draft and made his major league debut in September of last year. He made an immediate splash, putting together a .337/.425/.561 slash line over 27 games, including four home runs and 14 walks versus just 19 strikeouts.
Since Corey didn’t reach 130 at-bats or 45 days of regular-season service time, he’s still considered a rookie for the 2016 season, even though he was called up in time for the Dodgers’ playoff run, which ended in the NLDS against the Mets.
It’s that playoff experience that has Kyle itching the most.
“It’s been fun to talk to them and pick Corey’s brain, tell me what the playoffs were like and everything,” he told the media on Jan. 30. “He got me jealous.”
This isn’t to say Kyle has been a slouch, by any means.
After being drafted out of the University of North Carolina in the third round of the 2009 draft, Kyle made his major league debut almost exactly two years after signing. The lefty is in the midst of a seven-year, $100 million contract that keeps him in Seattle through at least 2021.
The 28-year-old has put together a solid five-year career, averaging more than 23 home runs and 81 RBIs over the past four seasons, earning an All-Star nod and Gold Glove in 2014.
Kyle said he and Corey, along with their middle brother, Mariners’ minor leaguer Justin Seager, have continued to work out together in the offseason like in years past.
The Mariners are scheduled for a split-squad matchup during Spring Training with Dodgers on March 12, and a regular meeting March 21, but the teams won’t meet during the regular season.
However, if FanFest is any indication, that’s unlikely to stop the questions from coming. Immediately after being asked which brother was better, another Mariners’ fan asked when Corey would be joining the Mariners.
“I’m the wrong guy to ask about that one, I think (GM Jerry Dipoto) is sitting over there somewhere,” Kyle Seager joked in response. “No, he’s pretty special, he’s pretty fun to watch, but, I tell you what, we’ve got a nice young shortstop (Ketel Marte) ourselves, so I think we’ve got a lot to look forward to there, too.”