SAN DIEGO -- The moment got to Corey Seager on Monday. The clock was ticking, and his dad was throwing, and the balls were flying, and the crowd was roaring, and through all of that, the Dodgers' 22-year-old shortstop forgot the rules to the T-Mobile Home Run Derby."I didn't even
SAN DIEGO -- The moment got to Corey Seager on Monday. The clock was ticking, and his dad was throwing, and the balls were flying, and the crowd was roaring, and through all of that, the Dodgers' 22-year-old shortstop forgot the rules to the T-Mobile Home Run Derby.
"I didn't even think about taking a timeout," Seager said moments after he was finished, shaking his head. "I was just so worried about swinging that it didn't even cross my mind. I wish I would have."
Seager managed an impressive 15 home runs in his four minute, 30-second first round from Petco Park, but perhaps he could've hit more if he had taken a minute to catch his breath. His opponent, prodigious Orioles slugger Mark Trumbo, managed 16 before his round was finished, a flurry of those coming immediately after he called the timeout that Seager never used.
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Seager left early, but pleased.
"It was fun," Seager said of the event, ultimately won by Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton. "It was very fun. It was one of those things that not a lot of people get to experience, and to be able to do it, with my dad, was real fun. It was really enjoyable."
Jeff Seager has been throwing batting practice to his three sons -- Kyle and Justin of the Mariners, Corey of the Dodgers -- since they each could even swing. Corey took hacks from him four times a week in North Carolina throughout this past offseason, but this was wholly different.
"I thought I was really lucky that he thought of me and asked me," Jeff Seager said. "Then I started thinking about what it means."
Jeff Seager figured he would be nervous once the cameras came on, so he focused merely on his target -- inner third, waist-high -- and hoped for the best with his young son.
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Seager possesses one of the game's most beautiful left-handed swings, one that has produced a .306/.373/.530 slash line in 502 Major League plate appearances. The power didn't show up prominently until this season, when Seager amassed 17 home runs in 90 first-half games. And his first few Derby swings produced an assortment of angelic line drives that didn't have the arc to clear a fence.
Then Seager began to elevate pitches.
"The nerves get out; swinging a little too hard gets out of the way," Seager said. "You just relax and go from there."
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Seager homered with nine of 10 swings toward the middle of his round and three of four swings at the end. He hit balls that Statcast™ projected to travel more than 400 feet with 10 of 23 swings. One traveled 454 feet, another left his bat at 112 mph. But he wasn't necessarily confident he would advance.
"Not really," Seager said. "You think you have a chance, but you never know. That guy's here for a reason."
"That guy," Trumbo, the Major League leader with 28 home runs, trailed by seven home runs when he took his timeout with about 90 seconds left. Then he rattled off eight consecutive ones. He went deep with each of his last 11 swings and hit six baseballs an excess of 450 feet. His 16th home run came with 17 seconds left -- though Trumbo had also accrued an extra 30 seconds of bonus time -- and traveled a whopping 479 feet.
Seager could only smile.
His Dodgers teammates, Clayton Kershaw and Kenley Jansen, playfully ribbed him for not utilizing that timeout.
His father gave him a hug and told him he loved him.
"He could've thrown every ball to the backstop, and I still would've had fun with him," Seager said. "It's a good memory for us."
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com.