Let me just start off with this, Matt Klentak is a thief. Klentak stole Segura from the Mariners for a prospect that hasn’t shown the ability to stay healthy or hit anything above Double A pitching and a first baseman that hit .229 last season and takes up $20 million a year in payroll. It is pretty obvious that Matt Klentak is done with the rebuilding stage and does not want to wait any longer he wants to win now. The Phillies have been linked to almost every big name in free agency and on the trade block and they finally struck a deal.
However, we are here to talk about Jean Segura. The newly acquired SS is currently 28 years old and has approximately 4 years, $60 million left on his contract. His contract is not very cheap but it is still less than $20 million a year and you will be getting a player in his prime.
Segura had his first full season in 2013 with the Brewers and was very successful batting .294 while stealing 44 bases and being selected to his first All Star game. After 2013 though he struggled through 2014 and 2015 and was traded to the Diamondbacks. This ended up being a great change of scenery for Segura because that next season Segura posted his first 20-20 season and had a career high batting average (.319) and On Base Percentage (.368). After that season he was traded to the Mariners for the 2017 and 2018 season where he batted over .300 each season and stole over 20 bases each season and got selected to another All Star game.
The one thing that I think made Segura stand out to the Phillies is the fact that he is good at everything that the Phillies were bad at last season. The first problem the Phillies had was they had no legit shortstop. Crawford was supposed to fill that role but he could not stay healthy and since Kingery struggled heavily offensively the Phillies were forced to trade for Asdrubel Cabrera. Segura has played over 140 games in 5 of his 6 full seasons so we can expect him to be at shortstop almost every game. Another area Segura helps the Phillies in a big way is his ability to make contact.
Last year the Phillies ranked last in team batting average (.234) and 3rd in strikeouts (1,520). In the last three seasons Segura ranks 1st in Batting Average among shortstops (.308) and 8th overall among all hitters. For strikeouts I prefer to look at K% (Strikeouts/Plate Appearances) for players because since Segura plays almost every day he would naturally have more strikeouts than a player that has played 100 less games. So over the last three seasons Segura has the 6th lowest K% among shortstops (13.4%) and 27th among all hitters.
The biggest way Segura could help the Phillies is in the field. The Phillies were astronomically bad defensively at the shortstop position last year. The Phillies ranked last in DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) at shortstop last with a rating of -33. That means the Phillies shortstops last year allowed 33 more runs than they should have, they didn’t save anything. Segura last year did not have a gold glove season but he did have a DRS of 5 which means he saved 5 runs from scoring based off his defense. So even though 5 runs does not seem like a big difference in a 162 game season you have to remember he would be erasing the -33 runs that the Phillies allowed last year. So really adding Segura could save us 38 runs compared to last years shortstops and 38 runs could make a difference in multiple games.
If you still aren’t sold on Segura because JP Crawford is the next Jimmy Rollins then I’m sure you will be shocked to find out that Jimmy Rollins and Jean Segura have very similar numbers through their first 901 games (the amount that Segura has played up to this point.)
Each player exceeds to one category over the other but overall they’re very close. As for batting average Jean Segura wins in that category he has posted a career .287 average compared to Jimmy Rollins .272 average through his first 901 games. Surprisingly, they both have the same On Base Percentage at .327 but Rollins showed more power in his earlier years then Segura. Rollins hit 73 homeruns and had a slugging percentage of .418 compared to Segura who has hit 64 homeruns and slugged .404. So once again very similar numbers but Rollins has a slight edge. Strikeouts are also very close. Segura has 523 through 901 games and Rollins had 528. Stolen Bases there is only about a 20 amount difference favoring Rollins but the one thing that does separate them is fielding.
Although Segura is still a very talented fielder and will always help you more than hurt you, Rollins was playing at a Gold Glove level his first 901 games even though he did receive a Gold Glove in that span. Rollins consistently had a Fielding Percentage over .979 every year and had a DRS over 9 each year in that span and Segura had his best fielding year last year with a DRS of 5.
All in the all, Klentak did a great job with this trade. I hope Santana and Crawford do great over Seattle but this trade made too much sense to not do. Crawford was once a great prospect but his injuries and lack to hit have held him back. Even if Crawford stays healthy he is still a small guy with not a lot of power so his ceiling could be a .300 hitter with 10-15 homeruns which is exactly what Jean Segura already is. Plus, since we dumped Santana and his salary in the trade it did not hurt our ability to sign more players. It is great to see the Phillies finally moving back to a competitive culture and I expect many more moves to come this off season.