For the next several weeks, Emerald City Swagger will review the 2018 Seattle Mariners piece by piece. We start with the position players, then move on to the pitchers. Today is shortstop Jean Segura.
The Seattle Mariners made a slightly under the radar trade in November 2016. They acquired Mitch Haniger, Jean Segura and Zac Curtis from Arizona for Taijuan Walker and Ketel Marte. That trade has paid dividends as Haniger and Segura are two of the most potent bats in the Mariners lineup. In this review, we take a look at Segura’s season and his value going forward.
Since he came to Seattle two seasons ago, Segura has been better than advertised. This year, he was an all-star, batted .304 and struck out just 69 times in 586 at-bats. He hasn’t quite reached the power numbers he had in 2016 when he hit 20 homers for Arizona, but as a shortstop, he hit 10 long balls and drove in 63.
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The one downside to Segura’s offensive game is his lack of walks. This makes him a less attractive leadoff option. He walked just 32 times and his on-base percentage was a mere .341. If Segura had a more selective eye at the plate, it would be beneficial to the team. He had twenty steals on the year but was caught eleven times.
Segura is a decent defender. He made 17 errors in 545 chances. Overall, he is a solid piece going forward. The Dominican infielder is certainly someone for the M’s to build around. Additionally, his contract is fairly attractive. He makes just under $10 million per season and, at 28 years old, has four years left on the deal with a club option in 2023.
Every year that goes by, his contract becomes an even better value. Could he get better? Sure. But even if he stays at .300 with 12-15 HRs and around 65 RBI, that’s good production at shortstop. He can play second as well, which means when Robinson Cano moves to DH, Segura could be the full-time second baseman. Then maybe the M’s make a move for a shortstop in a couple of years. Xander Bogarts would look good in Mariners colors.
Segura is certainly a guy who puts the ball in play and can make something happen on the bases. He scored 91 runs in 2018. The only concern would be the overall power on the infield. Dee Gordon hit just four home runs, Kyle Seager’s status as the every day third baseman is in limbo. Ryon Healy hit 24 bombs, but can he duplicate that?
With Nelson Cruz entering free agency, do the Mariners want more punch in the lineup, and can Segura provide it? If he gets back to his 20 home run power of a couple of years ago, then yes.
I like Segura and think he can be a perennial all-star. His contract is team friendly and it runs for another four to five seasons. That’s great value for a middle infielder who hits .300. A little more plate discipline and better power numbers, and Segura will be a nice player to build the team around in Seattle.