Seager getting first-round buzz

Shortstop Corey Seager, of Northwest Cabarrus High School in Concord, N.C., has seen his stock rise during the past few weeks to the point where he's seen as a likely first-rounder, a future plus third baseman who should hit and grow into power.

Seager, younger brother of current Seattle Mariners infielder Kyle Seager, is bigger at 18 (6-foot3, 200 pounds) than Kyle is today, and while he's playing short now, he's very likely to outgrow it as he fills out. He's athletic and has great hands and at least a 6 arm, so he could be plus at third base in time. He's an above-average runner who might drop to average when his body matures, but he should retain that athleticism.

Seager's swing has great hip rotation, and he can drive the ball to the opposite field. He loads with his hands a little deep, not quite a full bar but enough to create some length to the ball, and keeps his weight back well, which allows him drive the ball the other way.

If Seager will sign -- he has a strong commitment to South Carolina -- he should go in the last half of the first round, and I wouldn't be at all surprised to see him go before pick 20. In the event that he doesn't sign, he's got a good chance to become a top-five pick in 2015.


• Some rumors of team preferences are starting to leak out, although it's still fairly early. Some of the stronger rumors: Minnesota Twins with Kevin Gausman or Kyle Zimmer; Seattle with Mike Zunino or Byron Buxton; Kansas City Royals with Gausman or Lance McCullers, Jr.; Chicago Cubs with Max Fried or Albert Almora; Pittsburgh Pirates with Deven Marrero; Oakland Athletics with Addison Russell (with Billy Beane spotted at McCullers' last outing); Atlanta Braves with Tanner Rahier; New York Mets with Gavin Cecchini or Courtney Hawkins.

I've also heard Marcus Stroman's name mentioned as a likely late top-10 pick, and he would like you all to know that he's 5-10, not 5-8. The baseball world waits with bated breath (if not whispering humbleness) on the Houston Astros with the first pick; teams seem to be operating as if the Astros are most likely to take Buxton, with only Houston, Seattle, Kansas City and the Baltimore Orioles scouting him at this point.

• I've also heard that Southern Miss two-sport commit Anthony Alford (of Petal, Miss.) has told scouts not to draft him because he plans to attend school to play baseball and football. He would likely have gone in the last third of the first round had he been willing to sign.