In an industry league I joined this off-season, I inherited a team with Jean Segura as my starting SS and biggest trade chip. Having never been a Segura fan, I started shopping the Brewer speedster, and found myself relatively flush with offers. In a 20 team league, I think at least eight owners inquired, and deals were pretty solid.
This week, I finally traded Segura, and the return was not what it would have been three or four months ago. So what happened?
Despite not loving Segura, I thought a solid start (an early HR or two, a few SB) would remind people of his fast start in 2013 and bring up his trade value. Instead, Segura has been pretty much a disaster. After an extra inning affair on Sunday, Segura’s line on the season is .233/.263/.301 with 0 HR and 3 SB. He only has 4 extra base hits. His .274 BABIP isn’t great, but with a LD% under 15%, it’s hard to expect much more.
The real problem is that Segura looks an awful lot like the player he was in 2012 and the second half of 2013 – weak bat with no pop; sure he has those wheels, but as Billy Hamilton’s owners are learning, if you can’t get on base, what does it matter?
In 2012, in 45 games slashed .258/.315/.325 with seven SB and without a HR. In the second half of 2013, .241/.268/.315 with a HR and 17 SB. The first half of 2013 is where he made his name: .325/.363/.487 with 11 HR and 27 SB.
With solid prospect pedigree, it was easy enough to squint and see growing pains in 2012 and a slump in late 2013; to believe in that first half. And of course the potential is always there, but the further we move from May 2013 (really his last good month), the more and more you have to wonder if that was just a mirage.
But there is a pattern forming here. His LD% in 2012, 2nd half of 2013, and 2014 to date are 15.2%, 15.9% and 14.5%. His HR/FB% in those periods are 0%, 2.3% and 0%. That covers 126 games, in total.
Now, don’t get me wrong, Segura isn’t beyond turning it around. He is only 24, has shown a 2-3 month period of legitimate, serious MLB production. But there is a reason the market is drying up for me to move him, and there is a reason there are probably owners in your leagues looking to sell while they still can.
For me, now is the time to get out of the Jean Segura business. I am not a scout, by any means, so I won’t begin to tell you which Segura is real, or how likely he is to get back the vintage early 2013 swing. What I will tell you is that I see a pattern forming, and I don’t like it.
Chad Young is a product manager at Amazon by day and a baseball writer (RotoGraphs, Let's Go Tribe), sports fan and digital enthusiast at all times. Follow him on Twitter @chadyoung.