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'Perfect Guy For Us': Corey Seaver Impresses in Rangers Spring Debut

Corey Seager was paid to come to the Texas Rangers and make an impression. It didn't take him long to do that in the batter's box—or in the clubhouse.

SURPRISE, Ariz. — For Texas Rangers fans, the first day of Cactus League action brought a little bit of everything to the table. Though the Rangers' first game of the spring ended in a 5-5 tie with the Kansas City Royals, there was plenty to give fans hope for the future.

The Rangers invested $325 million in Corey Seager in the offseason, and he didn't disappoint in his first appearance in a Texas uniform. Seager not only recorded the club's first hit of the spring (a one-out single in the first inning), he then gave the Rangers a 3-1 lead with a three-run blast in the third inning.

"It was just nice to get out there, move around, get a couple first ones out of the way, get some ground balls and just get on your feet again," Seager said. "It was just fun to be out there."

Home runs are arguably the most exciting play in sports. But what goes deeper than what shows up on SportsCenter, your Twitter feed or in the box score is the type of player the Rangers have in Seager.

"When you sign a guy to represent your offense, he's the perfect guy for us," said Rangers manager Chris Woodward. "He doesn't chase, but yet he's on the go nonstop. He's really talented and got a really good swing. But at the same time, it's more of the mentality that we want. He's on 'go' 100 percent of the time."

It wasn't only Seager's first time donning Rangers red, white and blue. His middle infield partner Marcus Semien also made his debut, batting lead off for Texas. Woodward talked about wanting Semien and Seager to bat together in the 1-2 or 2-3 holes, with new catcher Mitch Garver hitting behind them.

Corey Seager
Corey Seager / Marcus Semien

Garver wasn't in the Texas lineup Friday, but Semien and Seager set the tone at the top of the lineup. But for Semien, after dealing with months of being in the middle of a labor dispute, it was nice to just focus on baseball.

"I love the game. It's what we do," Semien said. "It's a blessing to be out there and play at this level. It's good to see the other guys on the other side too and catch up with them. We talked on union calls and things like that, then we see each other in uniform and it feels so much better. It was really nice to get out there."

Rangers top prospect Jack Leiter also made his first appearance in a Major League spring training game, and started off as well as can be expected. The Vanderbilt product cruised through the first five batters he faced, striking out the first four then induced a pop out.

Leiter then ran into some issues. After giving up a two-out single to Cam Gallagher, Nick Pratto unloaded on a hanging changeup for a two-run home run. Leiter then walked the next two batters, which forced Woodward's hand to pull him before recording the final out of his second scheduled inning.

Though Leiter wasn't the most pleased with his outing, Woodward believes experiencing Friday's highs and lows were good for him.

"He'll be fine," Woodward said. "He showed a little but of vulnerability there. We all thought he was going to strike out six in a row. But it's cool that he had both sides of it."

What's Next?

The Rangers take on the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday at Surprise Stadium. Dane Dunning takes the mound for Texas, and he'll square off with right-hander Luis Perdomo.

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