Yankees Top 30 Prospects for 2021: Anthony Seigler (C, #22)
Last year I said that Anthony Seigler has a fine future to be held as a defense-first back-up catcher at the MLB level. However, after injuries (and COVID) have held him from much professional ball the last 3 years, I’m going to be more cautious with my expectations. I want to see what 2021 brings, and I hope it brings a much needed upgrade to his offense.
ANTHONY SEIGLER, C (#22):
Age/Date of Birth: 21 Years Old (06/20/1999)
Most Recent Team(s) (Level and Year): Charleston RiverDogs (Class A, 2019)
Most Recent Yearly Statistics (2019): .175/.328/.206 (.534 OPS), 0 HR, 6 RBIs, 20 Walks, 28 Strikeouts (30 Games, 97 At-Bats)
Height/Weight: 6’0”/200 Pounds
Acquired: Drafted in the 1st round of the 2018 MLB First Year Player Draft by the New York Yankees with the 23rd overall pick.
MLB ETA: 2023
ANTHONY SEIGLER SCOUTING GRADES (20-80 SCALE):
What to Know:
Anthony Seigler was one of the most intriguing prospects heading into the 2018 MLB Draft, coming out of Cartersville High School (Cartersville, GA) as a switch hitting catcher while also being a switch pitcher. The Yankees- who drafted a fellow ambidextrous pitcher a decade earlier in Pat Venditte- were an obvious choice to go after Seigler, doing so with the 23rd overall pick in the 2018 draft and signing him to a $2.815 Million bonus.
In his draft year, Seigler finished out his draft season with two different teams in Rookie Ball, spending 12 games at each location. Starting with the Gulf Coast Yankees West, Seigler would hit .333/.429/.472 (.902 OPS) and earn a move up to the Pulaski Yankees (Appalachian League), where he would take a step back with a .209/.340/.233 (.572 OPS) triple-slash. Yet, it was his first professional stint in baseball and he was doing well.
In 2019, this- along with his status as a Yankees top prospect- earned him a promotion to the Charleston RiverDogs (Class A, South Atlantic League) where he only managed to get into 30 games. He didn’t play great with a .175/.328/.206 (.534 OPS) triple-slash, but his offensive game was hindered by injuries including a concussion, hamstring and quadricep issues, and a fractured patella (knee).
It is also important to note that while Seigler possessed a high-80 MPH fastball (with either hand) in high school, the New York Yankees have not experimented with having Seigler pitch in professional ball. And, it seems unlikely for this to happen.
As a hitter, Seigler is definitely a question mark. His best value is that he has good patience at the plate, but this alone isn’t enough to counter his typical groundball-centric bat profile. Combine that with average to below-average strength and bat speed and Seigler does constantly looked overmatched. Though, to be fair to Seiglers better tools, he does also have great baserunning IQ and his speed plays up on the basepaths with his above-average speed as opposed to other catchers.
However, Seigler does have great value as a defender and the Yankees are hoping his recovery helps him maintain his quick reflexes and flexibility behind the dish. He does have gold glove upside and has been able to utilize his previous pitching experience towards having a top catching arm in the system. Seigler is a defense-first catching prospect.
What Will the Future Hold?
After just 176 at-bats over three professional seasons since signing, Seigler has gotten dealt a tough hand when it comes to showing that he can be a solid offensive contributor. He has already been assigned to the Tampa Tarpons (Low Single A, Southeast), which is right in-line with where he played during 2019 with Charleston. However, any promotions will need the Yankees to see consistent health and better offensive numbers with hits. If this can happen where Seigler goes from a sub-.200 hitter to a patient .260 hitter (with a .380 OBP) he’ll move up the ranks quick.
I am a fan of Seigler. I like the fun story baseball guys. I think with better offense he could find himself quickly becoming a top Yankees prospect again. However, I also understand that’s a lot to hope on and since drafted all he’s done is fall in the Yankees farm system. Though, I’m not going to make any big judgements this year about where I see his future leads as I want to give him a shot in the 2021 season. If he does well, that bodes well but if he falters, a perspective career as a defensive-first BUC still means he made the MLB.