Jean Segura: Sell High or… Buy High?

While a trendy sleeper pick in 2013, Jean Segura still slipped well into the double-digit rounds on draft day. Suddenly the top fantasy shortstop through six weeks, owners who passed are annoyed and owners who took the plunge in dynasty formats are already readying the 15-year franchise tender. Apparently the Brewers want to keep him around for a while, too, as they have reportedly offered the young shortstop a multi-year deal even though he isn’t arbitration eligible until 2016. What does this start mean for you, though?

You don’t need me to tell you Segura’s .393 BABIP isn’t going to stay there. He’s bound to slip a bit, although he might not fall as far if you just blindly assume league average. He has historically put up high BABIPs at all stops in the minors and his 2013 xBABIP is a surprisingly high 0.376. That’s buoyed by a scorching 21% LD% and the fact nearly a quarter of his grounders are turning into infield hits (it’s nice to have wheels). There’s no reason to believe he’ll be getting on base at less than a .330 clip going forward (and that builds in some regression in IFH%).

Speaking of wheels, he’s swiped 13 bags already this season, putting him on pace to end up in the mid-50′s if we extrapolate to a roughly 600 PA season. Even if he only drove in 40 with a handful of homers, the steals give him extreme value as a SS or MI slot. He’s only been caught twice in 2013 and is 20-for-23 in his big league career. With a success rate like that, Segura should be seeing plenty of green lights going forward (if he’s not getting the left shoulder pat, right elbow rub right now). Seeing the 50-60 mark is very possible.

The real question is whether the newfound power is legit. Segura now has seven home runs this year after only hitting 24 in his previous five professional seasons. He’s making Matt Kemp look like that kid your Little League just had to bat every game. His ISO is .236. To put that ridiculousness into perspective, his highest career ISO (minimum 100 plate appearances) coming into 2013 was .167. In 2009. In A-ball.

This season Segura’s flyball/home run average distance is a whopping 299 feet, sandwiching him between Pablo Sandoval and Edwin Encarnacion. How’s that for power company when you stand at only 1.077 Altuves? Unfortunately, Segura didn’t have enough plate appearances for me to pull his 2012 numbers, but we can surmise it was lower (much lower) given his HR/FB% has jumped to 18% from the slightly smaller mark of… 0%.

Interestingly, until last night, each of Segura’s homeruns went to the opposite field. Unfortunately, five of them rated as “just enough” on the ESPN Home Run Tracker so his newfound love of taters doesn’t involve light tower power. Even with the surprisingly sexy batted ball distance numbers, there’s not a lot of evidence Segura can keep up the torrid home run pace of the early season. Some of those will likely turn into doubles and triples, so those in OPS leagues won’t cry too much, but you’re going to have to keep waiting if you are penciling in 25 homers from the diminutive shortstop.

In the plate discipline department, there is nothing exciting signaling impending doom, but also nothing to imply Segura has developed a transformed approach at the plate. One marker with significant changes over 2012 is his O-Contact% which is down from 76% to 68%. However, his O-Swing% is also down from 37% to 31% so maybe the drop in the former is merely a function of him doing a better job laying off balls near the strike zone. If that’s the case, it’s a net positive as it shows increasing discipline as a major league hitter, but, even assuming I’m stretching, Jean Segura appears to be the same Jean Segura we’ve seen for a few years now.

So what should you do? As much as he’s a great story, it’s highly unlikely (hedge!) he finishes the season top 10 overall in fantasy leagues. Remember, he came into the season as the 17th ranked shortstop among a group of Rotographs writers and has shown power that is so far above and beyond his minor league rates it borders on ridiculous. However, there is no denying has stock has also increased dramatically, so you’re probably not going to want to move him for Paul Konerko either.

In one of my redrafts where I could stand to upgrade on the solid-but-injury-prone Jed Lowrie with some speed, I almost feel like turning the tables, trying to find an owner who looks at the runt and thinks “lucky flash in the pan” while I send him Kris Medlen (aside: his BB% jump and K% fall terrify me). On the flip side, in keeper/dynasty leagues, where Segura has even more value thanks to his age/position, he might be more of a sell high candidate. If you’re sitting on Ben Zobrist and and you find a rebuilding owner who needs to replace Jimmy Rollins declining pop, maybe you could get a Jason Heyward or Jose Bautista right now.

Either way, you can probably make a legitimate argument on either side in all types of leagues — Segura is in that purgatorial position where he’s not quite this good, but there’s still a lot to like.




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There are few things Colin loves more in life than a pitcher with a single-digit BB%. Find him on Twitter @soxczar.

56 Responses to “Jean Segura: Sell High or… Buy High?”

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  1. Pat G says:

    extra who in the first paragraph, the third paragraph (steals) says if he drove in 40, which i assume should be “if he swept 40″ or something to that effect

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    • Thanks. Horton hears a…?

      The latter was actually awkwardly phrased. I meant that even if he only ends up with a few HR’s and 40ish RBI, he still has lots of value because of the R’s and SB.

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  2. Edward says:

    http://www.jsonline.com/sports/brewers/brewers-shortstop-segura-aims-to-make-most-of-his-talents-jq9t438-206868561.html

    I think the fact that Segura is working out with Braun and probably learning a few things from him only increases his chances of success

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  3. Big Knockers says:

    I drafted Segura in both my 12 and 16 man leagues. He doesn’t need to not finish top 10 overall for me to trade him. Now, if you were to argue he’d finish outside of the top 100 then I would certainly considering moving him. However, that is highly unlikely to happen. He is untouchable in trades. Not because I think he will stay on this pace, but because, even with the dropoff, a player like this at the SS position is too valuable to trade away.

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  4. hebert jablonski says:

    I tried to trade the 2b, 3b, ss, of eligible martin prado for him, but no take

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  5. RobDeerInTheHeadlights says:

    Ach yeah maybe B-Roid did slip him some secret sauce.

    Gotta hate that guy for making us have to even consider that.

    When is that tool getting suspended anyways?

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    • Clever Nickname Department says:

      B-roid! Well played, sir, well played. It’s totally unique AND hilarious!

      Cordially,
      Obummer, a.k.a. Nobama

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  6. Hunter Pence's Thorax says:

    Offer Medlen for Segura then post the other owners response. Should be funny.

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  7. Justin says:

    I think he will end the season with a line of something like .305/.350/.450 with 17 dingers and 34 SB

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    • Giovani says:

      Take 5 of those HRs and make them SBs and you might be close. There’s nothing in his profile to suggest he’s a 15+ HRs guy, but plenty to suggest he could steal 40.

      .300 with 12 HRs and 40 SBs sounds about right to me, and makes him a borderline elite option at SS.

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      • hebert jablonski says:

        He’s already half way to 15 hr in just over a month

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      • John Stamos says:

        You mean other than the fact that he basically stated ZiPS updated season line for Segura (16 HR, 36 SB)?

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      • Giovani says:

        Here’s a ZiPS for you: zips your lips, smart guy.

        But yeah, just looking at his MiLB numbers, I don’t agree with ZiPS here.

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      • bleh says:

        He hit 21 HR in his last 1100 minor league at bats or so. Hitting 10 more HR this year is around the same pace as that.

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  8. dude says:

    Two weeks ago I traded segura for Adam Jones. I had the SS/MI depth and needed HR/RBI. Still waiting for that part of the return to work out.

    It is a keeper league and segura can be kept next season at round 21 value.

    Don’t mind what I received, but may regret not hanging onto segura and his round value.

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    • hebert jablonski says:

      That’s a great deal for you

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      • dude says:

        Thanks. I definitely couldnt pass up on it at the time.

        Segura continues to go off, however. I think 3 homers since I traded him…ironic.

        Like I said, ill miss that round 21 value if he continues to go off like this.

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  9. kid says:

    I more or less agree on ZIPS’ ROS projections, with a bit more shaved off of the BA.

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  10. philosofool says:

    It’s worth noting that Marc Hullet graded Segura as the best non-Profar short stop prospect in baseball. When he wrote that, he said that Segura’s power tool should reach about 15 HR at the MLB level. Honestly, I find the fact that he’s hitting homers to the opposite field and straight away center at the “just enough” level to be a pretty positive sign. Anyone who can hit to the opposite field with that power should be able to generate legit pull power, right? Honestly, I think Segura will be a top three SS this season. Maybe top overall.

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  11. Ryan Sturm says:

    I just traded Segura, Holliday and Mujica for McCutchen and Pedroia in a OBP league…i think that was an obvious sell high

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    • Ryan Sturm says:

      was having to sit Andrus to play Segura anyway…I expect them to finish with similar numbers

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      • FeslenR says:

        I would’ve traded Andrus and kept Segura….
        trying to calculate to see who wins your trade, very interesting.

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      • dude says:

        I’m sure the guy didn’t want andrus. People drool over young bats that run hot. We all do it to different degrees.

        If people didn’t drool, I would have traded rollins instead of segura for adam jones.

        Same goes for this poster above with andrus.

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  12. affidian says:

    Haha, in a Dynasty keeper league. Traded $8 Medlen for $3 Segura and $3 Kubel in the offseason. So it kinda made me Lol when I read the suggestion of trading Medlen for Segura. :D

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  13. Toasty says:

    Brew Crew Ball posted a nice article about Segura a couple days ago. It looks like his hot spot for power hitting is high and outside, and all but one of his homers have come off of fastballs (and the only off-speed one was from Vin Mazzaro, so, yeah). I’d guess his power numbers will come down once opponents figure out how to pitch him, but his hitting mechanics are solid, so it’s not like he’ll fall off a cliff.

    http://www.brewcrewball.com/2013/5/13/4324350/investigating-jean-seguras-power-stroke

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  14. gareth says:

    Traded mike morse for segura in my head to head league last week. I have Rutledge and lowrie, but outfielders are easy to acquire while good shortstops are harder to come by.

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  15. tynandaly says:

    How on EARTH does he only have 18 RBI? 9 of those are from his 7 homers which means his other 44 hits (35 singles, 6 doubles, 3 triples) have driven in only 9 guys! …..and he’s batting 2nd behind a guy with a .381 OBP. I’m baffled

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    • tynandaly says:

      Milwaukee must have a truly terrible bottom of the lineup

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      • herbert jablonski says:

        the brewers are kinda of a streaky team + they’re horrible on the road, 28th in runs, while 3rd in runs at home.

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  16. wily mo says:

    “Even if he only drove in 40 with a handful of homers, the saves make still extremely valuable coming from a SS or MI slot.”

    this sentence didn’t quite come together i don’t figure

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  17. Kevin says:

    5’10, 200 lb isn’t really diminutive. He is extremely muscular.

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    • Giovani says:

      It isn’t. That’s interesting, here and Yahoo list him at 165, whereas the Brewers official site lists him at 200. That does change things if he really is two bucks.

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      • Loquacious Jones says:

        wow! good catch! I always thought he was 165 because of yahoo. Now that I think about it, the one thing I always notice about him is his noticeably huge butt. He is shaped like a running back. His butt and thighs gotta be 165 alone. haha. Dang! That makes me wonder which site we can trust for height/weight measurements.

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    • Grant says:

      yes! i’m glad someone mentioned this that’s what i was thinking when i read this article. I’ve followed him for some time and noticed the jump/discrepancy in weight. He looks thick enough now to be 200ish.

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  18. deezy333 says:

    I have an owner that wanted to trade his Castro for my Bumgardner but im not making that trade. Castro has regressed in every area (bb%, k%, sb, iso). However he has Segura and im trying to swing a trade for him. Offered Buchholz but that was rejected and now I have Peavy on the table. If he rejects that, im going to see if he’ll do a Peavy for Castro trade.

    Here is my pitching staff in a 10 team league: Bumgardner, Zimmerman, Peavy, Lester, Harvey, Miller, Buchholz.

    What should I do?

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    • shibboleth says:

      I suspect Castro might just repeat next year instead of build on. Also gotta remember he’s on the Cubs – R/BI will be in short supply. The future is still bright, but they can’t all grow all the time. Is it a keeper? Then I’d let Peavy or maybe even Lester go for either Castro or maybe even Segura if he’d part.

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    • Spelling Police says:

      Bumgarner.

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  19. Fedee_ says:

    I traded for Segura by giving up Jed Lowrie. Can’t complain. He’s outperforming Starlin Castro on my team whos been very disappointing so far.

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  20. Smirky Segura Owner says:

    Segura just struck out in the first inning against Pittsburgh. No sooner does this article come out than he falls into his worst slump of the year.

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  21. wjylaw says:

    Why does the fact that 4 writers from FG ranked him as the #17 SS pre-season, have anything to do with whether or not he finishes as a top 10 SS?

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  22. Jamie says:

    was just offered Segura, and I give up Mike Minor….10 team H2H, with Total Bases, OPS, QS and K/BB ratio as extra categories. My current SS is Jed Lowrie. What do you guys think??

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  23. FreeRedbird says:

    In a 12-team dynasty league, I picked up Segura from the waiver wire in the first week, then traded him for Jay Bruce and Alcides Escobar at the end of April. I thought I sold him high, however the guy hasn’t slowed down at all since then.

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  24. dunc182 says:

    This sell/high buy/high has been on my mind all week. I am kicking myself for not picking Segura up as I nearly big $8 for him.

    I have Dee Gordon/Moustakas filling my UTIL spot. What do you think of trading Ian Kennedy for Segura??

    Also…sell high on R.A. Dickey? So confused!

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    • Jason B says:

      “sell high on R.A. Dickey?”

      Is anyone going to give you what you think Dickey is worth, even after his last start? Or do you mean “sell high” as in, “last week I would take 60 cents on the dollar for him and now I can maybe get 70 cents on the dollar”?

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  25. Matt says:

    Today I traded segura for madbum. My hitters are stacked and I also have Castro. No MI spot. Kept getting out pitched. I like it.

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  26. bleh says:

    He could be like Josh Rutledge last year. He had a 1.000 OPS after his first 150 AB, then came crashing down to earth. Segura is at that 150 AB point now.

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  27. rockstar68 says:

    Missed out on Segura now debating is it worth it.The high BA is what scares me I know any more power will be a bonus.If I get the steals (40-50) with a .290 avg I will be happy. He would be like a diet Hanley Ramirez lol! Steals are a precious commodity this year I can get more power other places.

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  28. jon says:

    I’m thinking of sending Segura/JZimm/Cobb to get Strasburg/Kimbrel/Headley. 10-team with OPS, K/9, IP and QS instead of Wins. Seems like a good deal to me, unless Segura really is a Top-3 SS.

    Thoughts?

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  29. John says:

    I was offered Segura/Braun/ and Sandoval for Kemp/ Tulo/ and A-Gon in a 6×6, 10 team H2H keeper league. Do I pull the trigger? Anyone think segura will have a Trout/ Harper like start to his career?

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  30. Just offered Giancarlo Stanton for Segura and Marte earlier this a.m. Picked up Segura last year, had him on my draft list…yet nominated him too early and let him for $8(!!!).

    Need runs and steals, but Stanton terrifies me so much in both directions that I don’t know if it was a great trade offer or a stupid one on my part.

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