Much-Traveled Sellers Brings Versatility to Columbus
Alex Krempasky | On 07, Apr 2014
Justin Sellers, the starting shortstop for the Columbus Clippers, brings something valuable to the organization: experience.
Sellers comes to the Indians farm system after spending the nine seasons on the West Coast with the Oakland Athletics and Los Angeles Dodgers organizations. He never got higher than Double-A with the A’s before he was traded to the Chicago Cubs for pitcher Michael Wuertz in February 2009.
Sellers never saw a regular season pitch in the Cubs farm system with the Dodgers buying his contract before the minor league season began.
Before the Indians purchased his contract in March, the Bellflower, Calif., native spent the past four seasons with the Albuquerque Isotopes, the Triple-A affiliate for the Dodgers. There he played 270 games for the Isotopes, where he had 254 hits and 171 RBIs.
Sellers saw MLB time with the Dodgers in 2011, 2012 and 2013 for a combined total of 82 games. He got 47 hits and hit .199 in his time with the Dodgers.
Now, Sellers plans on being an essential part of the Indians franchise behind Asdruba Cabrera and Mike Aviles on the Indians’ 40-man roster.
“I’ve been pretty impressed with some of the plays he’s made and he gives you a quality at-bat,” Clippers manager Chris Tremie said. “He stays on the ball pretty well and looks like a good player.”
Early in his professional career, Sellers seemed to have problems with errors. In his first year as a pro (2005) with the Vancouver Canadians (Single-A Short Season affiliate of the Athletics), Sellers had 12 total errors in 47 games. The following year as a member of the Kane County Cougars, the Single-A affiliate of the Athletics, he committed 28 errors in 117 games.
However, as his progressed through the A’s and Dodgers’ organizational ladder, he fined tuned his fielding skills and has not committed more than 20 errors in a season since 2010, his second year in the Dodgers’ organization.
However, there are two statistics to note Sellers has only committed 21 total errors since the end of the 2010 season, and he only committed five errors in the 78 MLB games he played in for the Dodgers.
“He’s shown some really good defensive skills at shortstop,” Clippers manager Chris Tremie said. “He’s also going to play some other positions, second and third probably, and move around the infield. He looks to be a really good defensive player.”
You can follow Justin Sellers’ this season on Twitter and Instagram (@Sellblock12) and look for him to make appearances with the Cleveland Indians this season as a part of the 40-man roster.
The Columbus Clippers were swept in their opening, four-game series with Indianapolis Indians and will host the Louisville Bats (Triple A-Cincinnati Reds) before going on the road for the first time in 2014 later in the week.
Photo: Lianna Holub/DTTWLN photographer