Jean Segura Gives The Mariners A Top-Five Infield
With Segura -a seasoned twenty-something that has already proven to be a grade-A superstar- the Mariners will field an infield of Kyle Seager at third, Robinson Cano at second, Danny Valencia at first and Segura at short, giving the M’s one of the best infields in all of baseball.
According to ESPN’s, Busty Olney, the Mariners had the eighth best infield in the league (fifth best in the AL) going into 2016.
With the recent additions of Danny Valencia at first, backed up by the highly ranked prospect, Dan Vogelbach, and Segura at short replacing the young, but error-prone Ketel Marte, the Mariners should move up on the 2017 list.
Last season Olney placed the M’s in eighth behind the now world champion Chicago Cubs and two AL West division rivals in the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros, to name a few.
As we saw this past campaign, both men were able to exceed offensive expectations on their way to setting career highs.
Cano set a personal best in home runs with thirty-nine and runs scored with one hundred and seven.
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Seager was able to set a few more career highs than Cano. He too set records for most runs he’d ever scored, and home runs he’d ever hit, but he also set marks for most runs driven in, most walks drawn and even had his highest batting average in his time in the league.
They also excelled in the field. Cano not only had just three measly errors all year, he had the best fielding percentage for qualifying second basemen in the entire league. And despite Seager’s twenty-two errors at the hot corner (second-most in baseball) he made countless amazing defensive stops. Both of their efforts earned them spots as finalists for gold gloves at their respected positions.
Segura, who was playing second for the Diamondbacks most of the year, committed nine errors; fourteen less than the Marte did at short. Now, of course, these are two positions are very different from each other, but Segura’s does have experience playing at shortstop.
Back when he was part of the Milwaukee Brewers, Segura was the go-to man at the position. During his three full years with the Brewers, Segura never committed more than twenty errors and time and time again had a fielding percentage around .970, which is far better than Marte’s league-worst .956 percentage at short.
Segura also brings excellent hitting that hasn’t been seen since the days of Ichiro. Last year, Segura lead the NL with two hundred and three hits. He also added twenty home runs and sixty-three RBI, besting Marte in every category.
Then there’s first base, that will be occupied by Danny Valencia. Valencia provides a little more athleticism than Adam Lind or Dae-Ho Lee. He also adds a consistent bat that will get on base far more than either Lee or Lind last season.
Lee hit .253, but went through some terrible dry spells at the plate and Lind, despite all-star worthy career hitting stats, hit .239. Valencia not only bats .271 for his career but hit .287 last season.
Having said all that, the Mariners are sure to have an improved infield offensively and defensively. The addition of Segura is a big reason as to why that should be. He and the rest of the infield combine to make one of the best infields in the game.