JUSTIN SELLERS, SHORTSTOP
Born: February 1, 1986
Height: 5’10”
Weight: 160
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Drafted: 6th Round, 191st Overall, 2005 (Athletics)
How Acquired: Trade from Indians (for cash)
High School: Marina (CA) HS
Agents: Select Sports Group

WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES

Oakland drafted Sellers out of high school.  He was considered a good prospect coming up through the Athletics’ system, mainly due to his glove.  He has good range and hands, and an adequate arm at short.  He’s had significant experience at second and third, and profiles as a utility infielder.  Sellers hit reasonably well coming up through the minors, then had two big seasons in AAA, but he was almost always playing in strong hitting environments.  He had uniformly good BB:K ratios in the minors until 2013, when his walk rate suddenly dropped.  He showed some power in 2010-11 and that also disappeared following back problems in 2012, so you have to wonder whether the back problems affected his hitting in 2013-14.  The Pirates acquired Sellers from the Indians for cash considerations in October 2014.

2005
A-:  274/369/331, 175 AB, 8 2B, 1 3B, 19 BB, 24 K, 8-11 SB

The Athletics sent Sellers to short season ball, an aggressive assignment for a high school draftee.  He played shortstop regularly after signing and hit reasonably well except for a lack of power.

2006
A:  241/346/338, 411 AB, 21 2B, 2 3B, 5 HR, 58 BB, 65 K, 17-22 SB

Sellers didn’t hit very well in low A, but he was young for the level, and he had good walk and K rates.  Baseball America rated him the Athletics’ 9th best prospect after the season.

2007
A+:  274/350/378, 434 AB, 25 2B, 4 3B, 4 HR, 46 BB, 69 K, 11-15 SB
AA:  156/224/178, 45 AB, 1 2B, 3 BB, 10 K, 2-2 SB

Sellers hit better in high A, but that may have resulted from him moving to the California League.  He split his time evenly between short and second.

2008
AA:  255/333/367, 439 AB, 15 2B, 8 3B, 6 HR, 47 BB, 77 K, 10-16 SB

Sellers again split his time between short and second.  After the season, Oakland traded him to the Cubs.

2009
AA:  280/371/369, 393 AB, 27 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 50 BB, 70 K, 10-18 SB

Sellers never played for the Cubs, as they sent him on to the Dodgers at the start of the season.  LA sent him back to AA, where he improved a little offensively.  The Dodgers played him at short.

2010
A+:  260/324/333, 96 AB, 7 2B, 9 BB, 16 K, 2-2 SB
AAA:  285/371/497, 288 AB, 17 2B, 1 3B, 14 HR, 40 BB, 49 K, 5-8 SB

Sellers missed the first two weeks, then the Dodgers sent him to high A for a month.  He eventually moved up to AAA and had a very strong season offensively.  The numbers have to be taken with a grain of salt, though, as he was playing at Albuquerque.  He played mostly at short.

2011
AAA:  304/400/537, 270 AB, 17 2B, 2 3B, 14 HR, 41 BB, 57 K, 3-6 SB
MLB:  203/283/301, 123 AB, 9 2B, 1 HR, 12 BB, 21 K, 1-1 SB

The Dodgers sent Sellers back to AAA, where he played short, second, third, and a little in the outfield.  He continued to hit very well in AAA.  The Dodgers called him up in August when Dee Gordon got hurt and he played semi-regularly the rest of the season.  In the majors he saw time at short, second and third.  He didn’t do much on offense apart from drawing walks.

2012
A+:  286/375/714, 7 AB, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 BB, 1 K, 1-1 SB
AAA:  286/250/429, 7 AB, 1 2B, 2 K
MLB:  205/286/386, 44 AB, 3 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 5 BB, 14 K

Sellers opened the season with the Dodgers as a utility infielder.  They sent him to AAA in early May, but recalled him a week later when Jerry Hairston got hurt.  Shortly after that, Sellers went out with a bulging disk in his back and didn’t return.

2013
AAA:  270/326/429, 326 AB, 26 2B, 4 3B, 6 HR, 25 BB, 54 K, 4-4 SB
MLB:  188/263/246, 69 AB, 1 2B, 1 HR, 5 BB, 20 K

Sellers again opened the season in the majors, but he didn’t hit and the Dodgers sent him to AAA in May.  Except for a one-game callup, he spent the rest of the season in AAA, where he didn’t hit nearly as well as he had in 2010-11.  The power spike he’d shown disappeared and his walk rate dropped well below where it had been throughout his career.

2014
AAA:  254/307/335, 355 AB, 18 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 25 BB, 48 K, 3-4 SB
MLB:  188/316/188, 16 AB, 3 BB, 4 K, 0-1 SB

At the beginning of spring training, the Dodgers sent Sellers to the Indians for cash.  He spent most of the season in AAA, where his hitting dropped off further.  Some of that was probably moving to the International League from Albuquerque and the Pacific Coast League.  He spent about a week in the majors in May, then came back up at the end of August.

Sellers figured to battle for a utility infield position in spring training, but he suffered an Achilles injury early in camp that ended any chance of that.  Sellers has an option left, so he’ll provide infield depth at Indianapolis once he’s ready to go.

UPDATE:  Sellers suffered a couple setbacks during his rehab efforts and wasn’t ready to return to the Indy roster until late July.  By then, the Pirates had put him through waivers and outrighted him to AAA.

CONTRACT INFORMATION
2015: Major league minimum
2014: $504,000
2013:
$494,000
2012: $481,000
PLAYER INFORMATION
Signing Bonus: $150,000
MiLB Debut: 2005
MLB Debut: 8/12/2011
MiLB FA Eligible: N/A
MLB FA Eligible: 2019
Rule 5 Eligible: N/A
Added to 40-Man: August 12, 2011
Options Remaining: 1 (USED:  2013, 2014)
MLB Service Time: 1.124
TRANSACTIONS
June 7, 2005: Drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 6th round, 191st overall pick; signed on June 17.
February 2, 2009: Traded by the Oakland Athletics with Richie Robnett to the Chicago Cubs for Michael Wuertz.
April 2, 2009: Purchased by the Los Angeles Dodgers from the Chicago Cubs.
August 12, 2011: Contract purchased by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
February 22, 2014: Designated for assignment by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
March 2, 2014: Traded by the Los Angeles Dodgers to the Cleveland Indians for cash considerations.
October 25, 2014: Traded by the Cleveland Indians to the Pittsburgh Pirates for cash considerations.
July 25, 2015: Outrighted to AAA by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
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