Born seven years apart, it’s hard to confuse Kyle Seager and his younger brother Corey for identical twins, until you see how the pair have fared at the plate. Though a lot of players say they try to keep statistics on the backburner, Kyle keeps track of his brother.
TORONTO — Born seven years apart, it’s hard to confuse Kyle Seager and his younger brother Corey for identical twins, until you see how the pair have fared at the plate this year.
The Mariners third baseman heads into Tuesday’s action sporting a robust .283/.360/.522 batting average/on-base percentage/slugging percentage line. Meanwhile in Los Angeles, Corey is at .306/.363/.525 for the Dodgers. Though a lot of players say they try to keep statistics on the backburner, Kyle certainly keeps track of what his brother is doing at the dish.
“I pay attention every day,” he says. “We text each other pretty regularly, it’s nice to check the box score and see the highlights every day with both [Corey and Justin, a first baseman in the Mariner’s system].”
This season, the similarity between Kyle and Corey is borderline eerie. Kyle has played one more game and has two more home runs, but both have exactly 27 doubles, a single stolen base and OPS marks within five points of each other. Although the closeness engenders a bit of sibling rivalry, it’s a competition of the friendliest variety. It’s also a competition Kyle is not sure he can win.
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“We definitely talk about that stuff, there’s competitiveness there,” he says. “I didn’t know it was that close. It’s going to be tough for me to compete with that towards the end of the year, he’s pretty good.”
On the surface, it shouldn’t be surprising that two players sharing the same DNA should also perform similarly in the major leagues. For the Seager brothers the issue is a little more complex, because the baseball world did not view them as equal talents on their ascents to the big leagues.
Kyle was never identified as a potential star as a third-round pick who was conspicuously absent from top-prospect lists. Now he’s one home run away from his fifth consecutive 20-homer season. Alternatively, Corey is a first rounder who Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus and MLB.com all ranked as baseball’s top prospect heading into the 2016 season.
It could be considered a surprise that at the age of 22 the Dodgers’ shortstop is already producing like Kyle, a six-year veteran with a $100 million contract under his belt. Spun the other way, the fact that Kyle is producing at the level of his naturally-gifted younger brother could also be seen as surprising. Whichever way you slice it, the brothers weren’t meant to be neck-in-neck, but here they are.
As they head down the stretch the pair will surely keep tabs on each other’s production with bragging rights at stake. But as far as Kyle’s concerned, it can never go as far as cheering against Corey.
“I’m always rooting for him harder than anything,” he says. “We’re brothers.”