And why wouldn’t he have been an All-Star? At the break, Segura was hitting .325/.363/.487 with 11 homers, 36 RBI, 54 runs, 27 stolen bases, 11 doubles, eight triples and a National League-best 121 hits in 397 plate appearances.
But Segura’s numbers have fallen off in the second half, particularly his power numbers. Since the All-Star break, Segura is hitting .250/.271/.338 with a homer and nine RBI in 141 plate appearances. Only nine of his 34 hits have gone for extra bases (seven doubles, a triple and a homer) and he’s scored 13 runs.
His first-half OPS was .849; since the break it’s a paltry .610. With 155 hits, Segura is now two behind Matt Carpenter of the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL and he remained tied with teammate and fellow All-Star Carlos Gomez, along with Denard Span of the Washington Nationals, for second in the league with nine triples. Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Starling Marte leads the circuit with 10.
Segura has continued to steal bases at a fair clip, however, but he is being caught more often. After successfully stealing in 27 of his 31 attempts before the break, he is 11-for-15 since. He stole his 38th base in Friday night’s win over the Cincinnati Reds to take over the NL lead from Everth Cabrera of the San Diego Padres, who is serving a 50-game suspension for violating the Joint Drug Agreement.
One thing that has changed for Segura as the year has gone on is that he’s seeing more off-speed pitches. According to FanGraphs.com, Segura is being thrown changeups on 7.6 percent of the pitches he’s facing. While that may not seem like a lot, it’s double the 3.8 percent he saw during his time in the majors in 2012. He’s seeing fewer fastballs and more cutters, as well.
It’s part of the ongoing adjustment process. Segura took the league by storm over the first two months of this season. At the end of May, Segura was hitting .354/.393/.550 and had already slugged eight homers in 224 plate appearances.
Since then, he’s hit .271/.300/.375 with four homers in 314 plate appearances. So obviously, the pitchers have made some adjustments and now it’s Segura’s turn to adjust back.
Another factor could be fatigue. Segura has started 123 of the Brewers’ 130 games in his first full season, coming on the heels of playing in the Dominican Winter League, where he won the batting title, hitting .324 in 35 games.
This came after making the jump from Double-A to the majors in 2012. Segura made his major league debut on July 24, 2012, in his only game for the Los Angeles Angels, after he had played 94 games for the Angels’ Double-A Arkansas affiliate. Three days after his debut, he was one of three minor-leaguers dealt to the Milwaukee Brewers when the Angels picked up Zack Greinke for the stretch run last season.
Segura went to the Brewers’ Double-A affiliate in Huntsville, went 13-for-30 in eight games and got the call to the bigs.
After a slow start, Segura began to hit, finishing last season with a .264/.321/.331 line in 163 plate appearances with four doubles and three triples to go with 14 RBI. One thing that wasn’t there was power—he didn’t hit a home run—which made his early power outburst that much more surprising.
Segura wasn’t a power threat in six minor-league seasons, hitting 26 long balls with a single-season high of 10 at Class-A Cedar Rapids in 2010.
Still, Segura is a game-changer with his speed and even though his production has tailed off in the second half, he still has an OPS-plus of 113, tied for second among NL shortstops with Cabrera and trailing only Ian Desmond of Washington, who is at 119. Brandon Crawford of the San Francisco Giants, at 112, is the only other shortstop in the National League better than 100.
Manager Ron Roenicke said the Brewers are more than pleased with Segura’s work defensively.
“We love him on defense,” Roenicke told MLB.com recently.
According to FanGraphs, Segura ranks seventh among NL shortstops with an ultimate zone rating per 150 games of minus-1.0 (runs saved per 150 games). Andrelton Simmons of the Atlanta Braves is tops at 27.9.
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