28. SS Jean Segura
Next on our list is former Milwaukee Brewers shortstop Jean Segura. Once thought of as the next great Brewers shortstop, Segura’s tenure didn’t last as long as many had hoped, but he still proved himself a great player in the early years of his career.
2012: -0.2 WAR
Total WAR: 4.0
The Brewers initially acquired Segura as the centerpiece of the second Zack Greinke trade in July 2012. After the Crew had fallen out of contention, Greinke was going to be prime rental trade target at the deadline and the Crew knew they couldn’t afford to re-sign him, so they traded him to the Angels for Segura, Johnny Hellweg, and Ariel Pina.
Segura was initially sent to Double-A, but didn’t last down there very long, being called up to make his Brewers debut on August 6th, just eight days after he was acquired. He hit .264 with the Crew in that 2012 season while playing superb defense and stealing seven bases.
2013 was the year Segura burst onto the scene. He was regarded as the top shortstop prospect in the Angels system and had plenty of talent that he finally had an opportunity to showcase. He dominated the first half of the 2013 season, hitting .325 with a .849 OPS, 11 home runs, and 27 stolen bases en route to his first career All-Star Game selection.
He struggled in the second half of that season, with a .241 batting average with just one home run the rest of the way. He finished that breakout 2013 campaign with a .294/.329/.423 slash line and 44 stolen bases. His 4.0 WAR was third-best on that team.
In 2014, his struggles carried over, hitting just .232 in the first half.
Then, tragedy struck.
Segura’s nine-month old son, Janniel, died in July 2014 back home in the Dominican Republic. He found out after one of the Crew’s games and immediately flew back home.
Of all the things that went wrong in that forgettable 2014 season, this was clearly the worst of them. Segura was never the same after that, I don’t think that clubhouse was the same after that, and it just changed everything.
Segura’s on-field struggles continued after this, and the player who was once hitting .325, could barely muster hitting .240. This continued into 2015, when the Brewers began their rebuilding process and new GM David Stearns was hired.
After such a tragic life event happened while Segura was in Milwaukee, perhaps he just couldn’t feel comfortable here, and both Segura, Stearns, and fans could tell it was time for a change of scenery.
On January 30, 2016, Segura was traded to Arizona along with Tyler Wagner in exchange for Chase Anderson, Isan Diaz, and Aaron Hill. Hill had a good 2016 season with the Crew before being traded away, Diaz was used to get Christian Yelich, and Anderson appeared at No. 32 on our countdown.
Since moving on, Segura has hit over .300 three times and signed a big contract extension with Seattle before getting traded to Philadelphia. It’s unfortunate things couldn’t work out in Milwaukee, considering how good of a player fans and coaches knew he could be, but it’s good to see him at least have that success.