The jury is still out on what type of player Jean Segura will be. Will he be a top-tier defensive shortstop who is an average hitter like Andrelton Simmons, or can he hit close to .300 every year? Questions still surround Segura because he is still so young (24) and has only played in 235 career games.
In 2013, his first full season in the bigs, Segura hit .325 with 11 homers and 36 driven in prior to the All-Star break. He earned himself an All-Star selection and the sky was the limit for the young shortstop. But during the second half, Segura only hit .241 with one home run. He admitted that his body wore down, which is why the Brewers didn’t let him play winter ball, and vowed to come back stronger.
Through 43 games so far in 2014, Segura looks more like the player he was in the second half of last season. He’s slashing .262/.292/.348. He struggled so much to start the season that manager Ron Roenicke moved him down from the two-hole to the eighth spot in the batting order. He has since hit in every spot but cleanup and the five-hole.
But since the calender has switched to May, Segura is looking like he’s to pick things up. After hitting .244 in March/April, Segura is batting .284 in May and is beginning to make better contact. Hitting an abundance of ground balls and not enough line drives has always been a problem for Segura, but in May, his line-drive percentage has increased while his ground ball rate has dropped by 14 percent.
As Alec Dopp of Gammons Daily points out, Segura is seeing the ball much better this month. His batting average of balls in play has risen from .273 in March/April to .328 in May. And even though he’s striking out at a higher rate, he’s also walking more which is a big deal for someone who very rarely walks.
When Segura first came to the Brewers from the Los Angeles Angels, I predicted he would one day fight for a batting title. And while it’s still way too early to know if that’s even at all realistic, I don’t foresee that happening anymore. He hits the ball on the ground too much, and even with his speed, I’d like to see him keep boosting his line drive numbers.
With that being said, I do think Segura can be one of the top shortstops in the league with time, both defensively and offensively. His lack of power will hurt him, but nobody ever thought he was going to be a power threat anyway.
The Brewers, who are currently having a tough time scoring runs, need Segura to be the player he was in the first half of the 2013 season. He’s proven he can hit. He just needs to put it together for an entire season.