Jean Segura Gets ‘The Call’ from Angels

Los Angeles caught lightning in a bottle with the addition of rookie Mike Trout earlier this season. Now the team will look to do the same with the addition of Jean Segura. Back in November, I ranked the rookie as the club’s fourth-best prospect entering the this season.

The middle infield prospect was promoted to the majors for the first time in his pro career after starting shortstop Erick Aybar fouled a pitch off his foot on Saturday. X-rays were inconclusive, but the swelling has yet to subside. It remains to be seen how long he’ll be out of action. Segura, 22, has battled injury woes of his own and missed a good chunk of the 2011 season when he hurt a hamstring. I wrote less than a month ago that the infielder was about a year away from helping the big league club, so I’m not expecting a huge impact from the Dominican Republic native in 2012.

Aybar’s loss is huge for this team. Los Angeles is currently five games behind the Texas Rangers for first place in the American League West and also has a tenuous hold on the first AL wild card slot. His replacement got off to a bit of a slow start to begin this year in Double-A, but he’s hit above .300 in both June and July. His walk rate also has gone up while his strikeout rate has fallen significantly. At the plate, Segura profiles as a No. 2 hitter because he makes good contact but doesn’t get on base consistently enough for me to envision him as a true leadoff hitter. He has good speed and stole 33 bases this season. But he’s also been caught 13 times.

Segura exclusively played second base until 2011 when the organization moved him to shortstop. He’s currently fringe-average at the position but he has the potential to develop into an average defensive shortstop. His fielding is above-average at second base, though. The Angels currently have the inconsistent Howie Kendrick tied to the keystone but Segura could eventually be a cheap upgrade.

With Mike Trout, Mark Trumbo and Albert Pujols leading the offensive charge for the Angels, all Segura really needs to do is play league-average ball for his position and his team won’t see a drop from the offensive side. Remember that Aybar is having a down year with the bat and has a dismal 82 wRC+. Defensive metrics also suggest Aybar’s defense has less-than-stellar.

Segura could become an above-average contributor at the major-league level, but it’s not likely to begin this year.

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Marc Hulet has been writing at FanGraphs since 2008. His work focuses on prospects, depth charts and fantasy. Follow him on Twitter @marchulet.

18 Responses to “Jean Segura Gets ‘The Call’ from Angels”

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  1. chri521 says:

    Marc – would a comparable be Amarista or is his offensive skillset better? If I recall Amarista was ahead of him in the minors before he got dealt for Frieri?

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  2. Justin says:

    I just don’t get the point of calling him up and then making him ride the pine while letting Maicer Izturis play. Especially when the first two games he was up for were against LHP. Seems like the perfect time to get him some action. Typical Scioscia.

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    • MLB Rainmaker says:

      Agree. Scioscia is brutal on prospects. Its a miracle Trout and Trumbo have fought their way through…

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      • chri521 says:

        Trumbo barely did… he was pretty brutal early on last year IIRC but his power has shone through this year.

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    • Andre says:

      East now. Someone has to be the backup to Izturis…

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      • ppabich says:

        Yeah, the Angels need to make the playoffs. Play the best player at the position and have your second best player be the back-up. What a novel idea! Who cares about Segura’s development in the next few weeks, the big league club needs to win some games. And if that means Segura is the best suited for a back-up middle infield role, then so be it.

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    • Ervin Santana says:

      I disagree with this mentality. I think its potentially troubling to the development of a young prospect to just throw them out there with the wolves. The Tigers seem to have this problem every year being overly aggressive with their young talent instead of letting them slowly develop in the minors.

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      • ppabich says:

        This isn’t a true call up, it’s a taste of the big league. He is up until the Aybar is back, that’s it. This isn’t bringing up a prospect before he is ready and thrown to the wolves, he’s going to sit watch and learn then get sent back to the minors to complete his development.

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  3. Nathan Nathan says:

    Segura profiles as a No. 2 hitter because he makes good contact but doesn’t get on base consistently enough for me to envision him as a true leadoff hitter.

    Not that batting order matters that much, but (by The Book, the #2 hitter should be the generally best hitter (or second best) on the team. In the case of the Angels,

    1. Trout (R)
    2. Trumbo (R)
    3. Moralez (S)
    4. Pujols (R)
    5. Hunter (R)

    is a good top of the order. Assuming he can swing a 90 wRC+ in the majors, I figure he’d fit in as high as 6th in the order.

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  4. rotofan says:

    Hope Segura gets a chance to play as he’s on my fantasy team but I think it’s more likely he’s there just for depth as Izturis plays SS.

    A 72% SB rate is just above break even in terms of runs created but he’s managed a somewhat better rate overall in the minors, despite the hammy injury, so I would hope he could improve on that mark over time.

    He also could be a trade chip as the Angels gear up for a stretch run so showcasing him might help that cause.

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  5. DodgersKingsoftheGalaxy says:

    It’s still weird when you start reading an Article that says “Los Angeles” and then they start talking about the Angels….

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    • Frank in LAA of A says:

      Yeah, because the City of Angels couldn’t possibly be where a team called the “Angels” plays. You’re welcome for the interlocked L and A logo as well, stolen by O’Malley when he shipped the PCL LA Angels off to Spokane and brought the Chavez land-thieves to Los Angeles.

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  6. Dirck says:

    Scioscioscioscioscioa is a nightmare for young players . He has jerked so many young players around over the years that it is a wonder that any of the Angels’ farmhands ever make it . Typically they come up to the majors ,get 3 or 4 AB’s in two weeks or so and then get sent down . Wait a month or so and repeat process. He tried to bury Trout at AAA this year and was close to doing the same to Trumbo .

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    • ppabich says:

      I don’t get this. Some of his players failed, but can that be attributed to something other than Scioscia? Probably. Scioscia didn’t jerk around Aybar, Kendrick, Bourjos, Trumbo, Trout, Weaver, and Santana.

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  7. chri521 says:

    Just recalled again, should be playing full time at SS with the Brew crew now that Izturis is gone right?

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