Seigler, a long-haired high school catcher from Georgia who the Yankees selected as the 23rd overall pick in this year’s MLB Draft, received congratulations from Frazier via Twitter on Tuesday. The 23-year-old rookie outfielder, who was forced to cut his long, red locks after being traded to New York in 2016, told Seigler, “Congrats on being drafted by the Yankees Anthony Seigler! I know a good barber!”
Seigler was amused.
“I did see [Frazier’s tweet]. I thought that was pretty funny,” Seigler toldreporters during a conference callon Tuesday night. “I’m definitely going to get a haircut before I arrive to Tampa. I’m probably going to go to a barber shop here in a few days.”
Although most scouts and analysts didn’t view Seigler as a top draft prospect (ranked 46th overall by MLBPipeline and 24th overall by Fangraphs), no one disputed the 18-year-old’s unique makeup as a ball player. Seigler’s quite a fascinating youngster. Not only is he a switch-hitting catcher, but he’s also an ambidextrous pitcher, which means he throws with both arms and wears a six-fingered glove.
Seigler led Cartersville High School to a state championship series this season with a .421 average (107 at-bats), 14 home runs, and 34 RBI. Plus, he went 3-1 with a 1.09 ERA, five saves, and 29 strikeouts in 25.2 innings. Behind the dish, Seigler threw out 12 of 21 base runners.
“I started from a young age. As soon as I started walking,” Seigler told reporters about throwing with both arms. “My dad noticed before I could even start walking, he’d throw balls to my left and I’d pick it up with my left hand and throw it back to him. And if the ball was to my right, I’d pick it up righty and throw it back to him.
“So when he started noticing that, as soon as I could start walking, one day we’d throw lefty and another day we’d throw righty. Hitting, he wanted me to be a switch-hitter, so every day we worked on each side hitting wise…
“[The Yankees] haven’t given me any indication about me playing any other positions other than just catching. I think they’re just looking at me as a catcher for right now.”
Yankees’ Vice President and Director of Amateur Scouting Damon Oppenheimer told NJ.com on Monday night that he’s excited about Seigler, who will be a catcher at the professional level.
“The thing that attracts you to Seigler is that he has the tools to catch, and he’s a switch-hitter, which makes him a unique commodity,” Oppenheimer said. “He’s showing power from both sides of the plate, has really great instincts for baseball, a plus-arm and runs well for a catcher. On top of that, he’s proven to be versatile, with his ability to play other positions. Seigler’s got top-of-the-line makeup. We’re very happy about him.”
Seigler doesn’t believe he’s anything like Shohei Ohtani, the two-way Japanese phenom who is a legitimate Rookie of the Year candidate with the Los Angeles Angels. Seigler added, “[Ohtani’s] just a rare player. He’s truly a two-way player and I feel like I’m not really like a two-way.”
Seigler is proud of his current abilities as a catcher, but since he’s still a teenager, the road to the majors is still years away. And Seigler knows he needs further development and experience.
“I feel like my strength is definitely catching. I feel like I’m a great receiver and I have a pretty good arm, but obviously I’m not going to be satisfied with where I’m at,” he told reporters. “I’m obviously going to keep working on those things. Hitting wise, hopefully getting some more power. That’s what I’d love to do. Going with the Yankees, I feel like I’ll be able to get on a strength program with them and then tap into some more power.
“…Obviously I want to get [to the majors] as quick as I can, but [Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez] is a great player. He’s there for a reason and hopefully I’m able to get up there that way I can pick his brain and get some feedback and learn some stuff from him and hopefully I’ll be able to play with him. I can’t wait for it.”
Seigler committed to play college ball for the Florida Gators, an SEC program that won the Division I College World Series in 2017. But Seigler intends to sign with the Yankees. His mind is made up.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that I’m definitely going to sign with the Yankees. This is a no-brainer for me,” he said. “Just being able to hear my name called out, it’s a great honor. And then for it to be with the Yankees, too … it was just unbelievable.”