Jean Segura has speed. A lot of speed. In 399 minor league games, he stole 139 bases and was caught just 38 times (78.5%). That works out to 52 steals per 150 games. OK, so I’m not going to go all Bill James on you and project a wild season on the base paths for Segura this year, but the potential is there. (In all fairness, Bill James projects Segura for just 35 steals, but he/his system has a history of being overly optimistic.)
Speed isn’t the only thing Segura has going for him, though. He also puts the bat on the ball. His 13.4% minor league strikeout rate is pretty darn good, and speedy batters who put the ball in play are always a threat to hit for a good average (and usually are safe bets not to flop in that department).
At a Glance
Neutral: R, BA, OBP
Weaknesses: HR, RBI, SLG, OPS
Best-case scenario: Jose Altuve (HOU)
Likely scenario: Andrelton Simmons (ATL), Alcides Escobar (KC), Cameron Maybin (SD)
Worst-case scenario: Dee Gordon (LAD)
Jean Segura 2013 Fantasy Projection
Despite what I said in the intro, Segura didn’t exactly excite in his major league debut. His .258 average in 45 games for the Brewers last year was a little underwhelming, especially since it was fueled by a .302 BABIP and just a 15.2% line drive rate. If Segura can’t improve upon that line drive rate, he’s probably in for another .255-.265 season, but I’m optimistic he can do a little better.
That might just be wishful thinking, though. Statcorner.com tracks minor league ground ball, line drive, and fly ball rates, and according to their breakdown Segura’s line drive rate with Milwaukee last year wasn’t much different than what he’d done in the minors. Actually, Segura put the ball on the ground an astounding 65.6% of the time (according to Fangraphs) in his brief stint with the Brewers and batted .256 on those grounders. Last year the league average on grounders was .234, but Segura is speedier than you average batter so it’s not surprising he outperformed that mark.
We project a .277 season from Segura, and that’s on the more optimistic side, but even if he can’t quite reach that mark, he should approach 30 steals with relative ease. And let’s face it, if you’re drafting Segura it’s because of the steals.