Benny Sieu-US PRESSWIRE
The new shortstop of the future held his own in his Brewer debut, creating some hope that the position may finally be stable.
MVBrewers is a player-by-player look at the most valuable members of the 2012 Brewers, as voted on by you. Here's our top ten:
The series now continues with Honorable Mentions, to cover some of the Brewers we've missed. This is the seventh installment in that segment. You can see all the player profiles in the Most Valuable Brewers 2012 section. The series continues tomorrow with the next Honorable Mention.
Developing a major league shortstop is one of the hardest things to do in all of baseball. Consider for a moment this list of players:
- Tsuyoshi Nishioka
- Tommy Manzella
- Dee Gordon
- Yuniesky Betancourt
- Angel Sanchez
- Paul Janish
- Eduardo Nunez
- Willie Bloomquist
Those players all have something in common: At least once in the last three seasons they've played 50 or more games at shortstop and, according to B-Ref's Wins Above Replacement, been below replacement level while doing so.
The Brewers have actually developed two major league shortstops in the last decade, but because of trades both of them (J.J. Hardy and Alcides Escobar) play somewhere else now. It was less than two full seasons, but it felt like it had been an eternity since the Brewers had a competent regular at the position.
When you look at it in that light, it's easy to see why so many of us were excited to see the Brewers get Jean Segura in the Zack Greinke trade. He's young (still only 22), talented and appears likely to stick at the position long term.
It's possible the Brewers rushed Segura to the majors when they called him up on August 6. He had played just eight AA games in the Brewer organization, and just seven AAA games in his career. Segura looked a little overmatched for the first few weeks, but finished the season by hitting .296/.361/.398 over his final 29 games. It's possible the Brewers still could bring in a veteran to compete with him next spring, but at the moment he looks like the team's first legitimate "shortstop of the future" since Alcides Escobar's departure.
Segura had three hits for the first time as a big leaguer on September 9 and was a key part of a clutch Brewer comeback in a game they unfortunately went on to lose. He walked in the second, drove in a run with a single in the fourth, singled again in the seventh and doubled in the ninth before being driven home on Norichika Aoki's game-tying home run. Segura's 3-for-3 day was not enough as the Cardinals won 5-4 in ten innings.
We don't have highlights from all of Segura's hits in the game, but here's the RBI single in the fourth:
Segura has been a major leaguer for less than one full season, so he's still under team control through the 2018 season. In addition, he still has two options remaining so he could be sent to the minors without having to go on waivers.