Today we continue our Yankees Top-30 Prospects Countdown for the 2020 season with C Anthony Seigler.
After being a storyline due to his switch-hitting and switch-pitching, the Yankees did reach a little bit drafting Seigler as the 2nd catcher in the 2018 MLB Draft. Since then the Yankees have been able to see his very highly rated defensive abilities, but in very short stints. Dealing with a variety of issues in his first two years of professional ball has kept the backstop to only 54 games, and his offense definitely needs to improve from a 2019 showing at a .534 OPS. He’s a prospect in decline, but with better health Seigler should be able to save his future as an MLB backstop, although that is looking more and more as a BUC.
(Screenshot From Yes Network Video, here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1rp2amARxA)
Anthony Seigler, C (#15):
Age/Date of Birth: 20 Years Old (06/20/1999)
2019 Team(s): Charleston RiverDogs (Class A)
2019 MiLB Statistics: .175/.328/.206 (0.534 OPS), 0 HR, 6 RBIs, 20 Walks, 28 Strikeouts (30 Games, 97 At-Bats)
Height/Weight: 6’0”/200 Pounds
Acquired: Drafted by the New York Yankees with the 23rd Overall Pick (1st Round) of the 2018 MLB Draft
MLB ETA: 2022
Anthony Seigler Scouting Grades (20-80 Scale):
What to Know:
Coming out of Cartersville, Georgia and into the 2018 MLB draft, the biggest note about Anthony Seigler was that he was a switch-hitter and a switch-pitcher, showing great flashes of both while in high school. Where he would play wasn’t much of a question as he was seen as the best high school catcher and one of the top catchers overall, being the second of three that would get drafted in the first round including Joey Bart (2) and Bo Naylor (29). The interesting thing about his game is that his athleticism would also allow a chance to play second base (or doing the reverse Jorge Posada) yet the Georgian product said he thinks his catching will be what gets him to the MLB. The Yankees and Seigler ended up agreeing to a bonus at slot value of $2,815,900.
5 Days after inking a contract, Anthony Seigler was assigned to the GCL Yankees West, spending 12 games there from the middle of June to the end of July. He would end up hitting .333/.429/.472 (.901 OPS) in the league while recording what was and still has been the only professional home run in his career. Interestingly enough, the day after that home run Seigler was promoted up to the Pulaski Yankees where he would play in 12 games before the season ended. He hit .209/.340/.233 (.571 OPS) in the advanced rookie league which isn’t a great showing overall, but still not worrisome considering that Seigler was still only 18 and just starting his career in a new baseball environment.
In 2019, Seigler would begin the season being assigned with the GCL Yankees West in order to provide him more time in Extended Spring Training to work on the fundamentals of his game. He showed a lot and earned his first bid over the Rookie leagues, going up to the Charleston RiverDogs near the mid-season on June 10th. Seigler would accumulate 30 games played over the next month and a half, but didn’t show much of anything offensively while hitting to a .175/.328/.206 triple-slash. The big increase from AVG to OBP is promising, showing a good eye for the ball, but it seemed obvious he was in a little over his head. On July 20th, Siegler would see his season ended as he would end up on the IL after fracturing his patella on a foul ball until September and failed to return to game action after his return.
Overall, Anthony Seigler had spent a long time these past two seasons dealing with a variety of issues to his hamstrings and quadriceps, along with having a concussion, which combined with his 2019 IL stint has limited his games greatly. However, when he does play his athleticism shows why he is such a valuable player as he already offers Gold Glove potential behind the plate with great framing, a plus arm, and great mechanics. On offense, his lack of strength is keeping him behind as his bat speed is average and induces too many weak ground outs. He is a quick player, far above the normal catcher as well, which helps him take the extra base on the basepaths.
What Will the Future Hold?
As a catcher, Seigler’s offensive stats aren’t the biggest point towards gaining favor in the farm and being promoted to more advanced leagues, but it can definitely keep his defensive skills behind where he could be. I’d like to think that with a healthy season and consistent playing time, Seigler will be able to find himself as a batter. Given that, I would expect him to start the season again with the Charleston RiverDogs. If he hits well enough (maybe a .250/.260 BA?), moving up to the Tampa Tarpons should also be expected, which would also keep his 2022 ETA on track.
Seigler was at one point the Yankees #5 prospect in the farm system, immediately after being drafted but saw a fall to #8 at mid-season in 2019, and has now dropped to #15 going into 2020. It’s going to be hard for him to get back to where he used to be, not only because the talent the Yankees have acquired in recent years, but also because these past two seasons have built up a narrative of Seigler being an injury-prone catcher. Fixing that will go a long way in boosting his ratings again, but even until then his extreme defensive skill set will help him stick on an MLB trajectory at some point in his future.