With the recent “shift ban” in Major League Baseball, there’s no doubt that it will be beneficial for many batters throughout MLB. Some players include Byron Buxton, Kyle Tucker, Jose Ramirez, and even Shohei Ohtani. These players are all gifted and should do extraordinarily well with the shift mostly gone. But there is another player by the name of Corey Seager that should also perform extremely well without the shift. In 2022, Seager was shifted against about 93% of the time, according to Baseball Savant. This is a total of 609 plate appearances against the shift. Also, according to MLB.com, the shift took 20 hits away from Seager. This would have added up to around 30 points of his batting average, so instead of batting .245, he would’ve been batting around .275 without the shift. With the shift practically being gone next season, this could greatly impact Seager’s performance.
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There is another stat that comes into play when talking about the shift: wOBA. Weighted On-Base Average is measured by the value of how the player reaches the base. For example, a home run is worth more than a single (shocker). The wOBA for the average MLB player is around .320. Seager’s wOBA against the shift is .325, which is barely better than the average ballplayer. However, in the 47 plate appearances Seager had in which the shift was not on, his wOBA was .397, which is extremely good. You can see this at MLB’s Baseball Savant.
If Corey Seager has a bounce-back season in 2023, he could be one of the most productive players in the entire league. He has so much potential to be the best player as long as he is able to capitalize on the shift being gone, along with other new changes coming into 2023.