Originally posted on Fox Sports Wisconsin  |  Last updated 4/3/13
MILWAUKEE When Jean Segura took his place at shortstop on Monday, he became Milwaukee's fifth different Opening Day shortstop in five years. The Brewers shipped two young shortstops away in trades and had two stopgap starters the past two years while they searched for a long term solution. When the Los Angeles Angels showed interest in Zack Greinke at least season's trade deadline, Segura was high on general manager Doug Melvin's priority list to get back in the deal. 22-years-old at the time, Segura was an extremely talented prospect that still needed some seasoning in the minor leagues. Just eight months later, and he's already flashed signs of tremendous ability at the big league level, won a batting title in winter ball and staked claim to the shortstop position for years to come. "He's probably even better than we thought when we made the deal," Melvin said. "He's gone beyond expectations. When we made the deal, I'm not sure we really thought he'd be a big leaguer at this time." As he walks through the home clubhouse at Miller Park, Segura's growth in confidence is glowing. He's relaxed. Something that wasn't always the case when he came up last August. The first 19 games were a struggle. Hits were few and far between, something that can be damaging to a young player. But then something clicked. Segura hit .309 the final month of the season and hasn't looked back. Segura went to the Dominican Winter League and won the batting title. Then came a tremendous spring training where he hit .367 in 21 games, and now Segura has four hits in his first seven at bats of 2013. Brewers manager Ron Roenicke sees a totally different offensive player than he did last August, a lot of it having to do with confidence. "It's easier when you come up during the season," Roenicke said. "He already has big league experience. If we were coming into spring training this year and he was a guy either coming out of Double A or Triple A and saying it's your job, that's a lot of pressure on a player. "This is a very confident kid right now. We're hoping we can keep him that way." Segura agreed the 45 big league games he played in last season allowed him to have the trust in his physical abilities, but more importantly learn the mental grind the Major Leagues present. "It's helped me a lot," Segura said. "When you come from the minor leagues and come to the big leagues it's way different. You have all the scouting reports and have people looking at what you do every at bat and at your position. When you come here and play every day, it makes you feel better and you know you are going to be there. "It helped my mental (ability) to play every day. I'm trying to have fun and I'm always trying to help the team to win a ballgame. As a player, I feel really good about it. This is amazing." The Dominican Winter League isn't some joke of a league. Many big leaguers participate along with young players like Segura trying to hone their skills. A player at the time three months away from his 23rd birthday winning the batting title in the league doesn't happen frequently. It was just another notch in Segura's belt, and yet another boost in confidence for the young shortstop. "The winter league helps a lot," Segura said. "It's a good league to pitch in, to play in, to practice whatever you are working on over there. Winter ball is a difficult league. Especially when young guys go over there." Without the success of the final month of last season or the batting title this winter, the Brewers might have been hesitant to hand Segura the starting shortstop job. Considering Milwaukee has its previous two Opening Day shortstops on the roster could still create mental pressure for Segura. But the Brewers see don't see Alex Gonzalez and Yuniesky Betancourt as anything other than veterans that can fill-in at multiple positions and provide insurance in case of an injury. They are committed to Segura. He hasn't just shown signs with the bat. When Segura was acquired, rumblings came he couldn't play shortstop at the big league level. Those notions have been dismissed, as Segura has showed good range and an incredibly strong arm. "It means a lot," Segura said. "They know I have the tools to be a starting shortstop every day in the big leagues. This is amazing. A couple of years ago you look back and you are in the minor leagues. For me, it means a lot." It also means he doesn't have to be looking over his shoulder. As a lot of teams continue their search to find young shortstop to build around, Melvin and the Brewers appear to have found a gem in the Greinke trade. He's still 23-years-old, and he's certainly going to make mistakes as he navigates through his first full big league season. But the talent is there, and it should be a long time before the Brewers have to trot another shortstop out on Opening Day. "I'm just trying to relax and play the game," Segura said. "I know the good moments are going to come, I know the bad moments are going to come. It's baseball. You are going to have good moments and you are going to get bad moments. It's how you handle the bad moments that will make you a better player. Follow Andrew Gruman on Twitter.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: K-State players storm student section after big win

Tony Dungy coaches his way into Canton

Top eight takeaways from NFL Honors awards

Report: Austin Rivers out 4-6 weeks with broken hand

Brett Favre Hall of Fame discussion took less than 10 seconds

WATCH: Pop wishes Kobe well in heartfelt message


Eric Berry named NFL Comeback Player of the Year

Cam Newton to be named NFL MVP

Ezekiel Elliott hung out with Jim Brown

Rickie Fowler taunted by fans over his ex-girlfriend

Roger Goodell speaks about future of Pro Bowl in annual address

Mike Krzyzewski provides an update on his health

Another star confirmed for Super Bowl 50 halftime show

WATCH: Wayne Simmonds loses his cool, earns match penalty

Winners and losers from 2016 Hall of Fame vote

Brett Favre, Tony Dungy headline Hall of Fame Class of 2016

Terrell Owens says he was not elected to Hall of Fame

Bruins prospect hit in throat with puck, taken to hospital

WATCH: Mavs rookie laughed at for trash talking Spurs bench

Norris Cole has No. 30 retired with LeBron James, New Orleans Pelicans in attendance

Three keys to victory for the Broncos in Super Bowl 50

Torrey Smith: ‘This is probably the best offense’ for Kaepernick

Byron Scott thought D’Angelo Russell would be further along

Under-the-radar Super Bowl 50 matchups

Is Tim Lincecum's run with the San Francisco Giants done?

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Five outrageous predictions for Super Bowl 50

QUIZ: Name the winning starting quarterback from every Super Bowl

The top six matchups that could decide Super Bowl 50

Seven unheralded players set to make major impacts in SB 50

10 underrated performances in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

X-factors in Super Bowl 50

NHL nightmare: No Canadian teams in playoff hunt

QUIZ: Name the Super Bowl halftime performers since 1991

Manziel's father fears for QB's life

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker