Jean Segura Heads For the Sun and Sand in Miami

Just over a week ago, Jean Segura signed a two-year, $17 million contract with the Marlins, likely to serve as their regular third baseman. He missed two months last season due to a fractured finger, but heading into his age 33 season, he could still be an all-around fantasy contributor. Let’s see how his new park might affect his performance.

Park Factor Comparison
Park (Team) 1B as R 2B as R 3B as R HR as R SO BB GB FB LD IFFB Basic
Citizens Bank Park (Phillies) 100 97 100 107 101 100 99 102 97 107 101
LoanDepot Park (Marlins) 103 100 105 92 100 99 101 98 103 98 97

This is a fun mix of more hitter friendly park factors! Looks like a great example of more a change in performance shape, and a bit less of a change in overall performance. Let’s dive into the individual factors.

We start with the non-home run hit type factors and find a clean sweep for LoanDepot. The Marlins’ home turf inflates singles, which drives BABIP, while Citizens was neutral last season. During his time with the Phillies, Segura has posted a .317 BABIP at home, significantly higher than his .300 mark on the road. That split does not match the park factors! Obviously, hitters generally perform better at home, but Segura is likely benefiting from something else as well that we aren’t seeing in the blanket factors. That said, I still feel like his 2023 projection should boost his singles rate, and therefore his BABIP.

While LoanDepot is neutral for doubles, that’s still better than Citizens, which suppressed them. This time, the performance matches the factor, as Segura has hit slightly more doubles on the road than at home. For most hitters, triples factors don’t matter, as they are so infrequent. Segura does have speed though, although he failed to hit a triple during his injury shortened 2022. He does sport a big home/road split though, as he hit seven triples at home, but just two in away parks. We see that LoanDepot is quite favorable for triples, so maybe he hits another triple playing there.

Moving along to the home run factors, we find a massive gap. This is no surprise given each park’s reputation. LoanDepot was tied for the fourth toughest park for right-handed homers last year, while Citizens ranked as the fourth best. Segura’s splits suggest he greatly benefited from his home park’s homer-happy environment, as he posted a 13.5% HR/FB rate there, versus just an 8.5% mark on the road. That’s a huge difference! It definitely doesn’t bode well for his HR/FB rate in Miami. He hasn’t posted a single digit HR/FB rate since 2019, but his chances this season of posting his first since that year has now skyrocketed.

Let’s now hop on over to the strikeout and walk factors. The two are as close as can be without being identical, with LoanDepot being slightly more favorable for strikeouts as a neutral park, while it slightly reduces walks. Interestingly, Segura has posted meaningfully higher strikeout and walk rates at home than on the road. I wouldn’t expect much of a park impact here.

Now we shuffle over to the batted ball type factors. Throughout his Phillies career, he has oddly posted meaningfully different batted ball rates. He posted a higher GB% at home, but lower LD%, FB%, and IFFB% marks. That’s weird because it doesn’t really match at all with the factors. LoanDepot suppresses fly balls, but he had already hit a lower rate of flies at home. The one metric that did match the factor was line drive rate. He posted a lower home mark, which matches with the factor that suggests Citizens reduces that hit type. Therefore, moving to LoanDepot should boost his LD%. What’s strange is he posted a lower IFFB% at home, despite the high IFFB factor. Perhaps some of that is playing better at home, but I would reduce his IFFB% projection.

Those more hitter friendly LD and IFFB factors at LoanDepot explain the hit type factors, rather than add to them. So overall, the move should clearly increase his BABIP forecast.

Finally, we arrive at the five year Basic factor. Here, we find that although LoanDepot is better for hits and Citizens is better for home runs, they don’t offset each other, resulting in LoanDepot stifling offense overall, while Citizens marginally inflates offense.

This has a clear effect on Segura’s expected performance. All else equal, his BABIP should increase, while his HR/FB rate should decline. Given most fantasy leagues’ weighting of home runs and the RBI and runs scored that come along for the ride, the move probably reduces Segura’s fantasy value. However, his stolen base output is also important and will go a long way to determining how valuable he ends up, regardless of whether his BABIP gets a small bump or his home runs drop by a couple.

Mike Podhorzer is the 2015 Fantasy Sports Writers Association Baseball Writer of the Year. He produces player projections using his own forecasting system and is the author of the eBook Projecting X 2.0: How to Forecast Baseball Player Performance, which teaches you how to project players yourself. His projections helped him win the inaugural 2013 Tout Wars mixed draft league. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikePodhorzer and contact him via email.

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