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Jean Segura 2017 Outlook

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With Jean Segura what it all boils down to for every fantasy owner is if you believe in the adjustment or not. In 2016, Segura showed a different hand positioning than he had in the past, and many attribute this for the reason he was able to hit over .300 and show a new power stroke particularly for doubles, with 41 in 2016, and 68 XBHs overall. I took a look at some of the adjustments and tried to see how they affected Segura’s underlying numbers to judge the legitimacy of the breakout. After doing the analysis, I’m pretty sold, and think he warrants a rankings adjustment.

 

Firstly, the most obvious factor when just glancing over his fangraphs page is the generation of hard contact. But to me, what is specifically more important especially in a case like Segura’s is the ability to generate hard contact without losing the ability to make contact overall. Segura achieved this in 2016. Segura’s Hard% jumped a whole ten percent, from 19.7% to 29.7%, while keeping his K% consistent with his career norm (14.6% v. 14.1%) and his Contact% consistent as well (92.3% v. 91.8%). The combination of increased hard contact while not losing any ability to make contact is a large check in the positives column for buying into Segura’s breakout. While that’s not necessarily even an above average Hard% on its own, the overall combination of Segura’s skill set with speed, contact, and athleticism makes his ability to hit for even league average hard contact a strong positive.

 

In general for BABIP predictors, while the move from Chase isn’t going to do him any favors, Segura has a high Oppo%, a good ability to spread the ball to all fields, and is a GB oriented hitter (53.1%), even though his adjustment caused him to elevate the ball more. The thing about his BABIP and his elevation though is that he Popped-Up less in 2016, particularly in the first half, but kept most of the gains throughout the second. This is a large part of my now more pro-Segura argument, as I believe the change in his swing plane has really helped him to eliminate some pop-ups from his game. This in combination with his speed should be able to generate a high BABIP, even if I’ll project it to be about 15 points lower than I would have if he were still in the Desert.

 

Another thing that really sticks out is that Segura seemed to make a discipline adjustment along with his mechanical adjustment. Segura’s O-Swing was still slightly above average in 2016 at 31.2%,  this number is far lower than his whopping 38.5% from the year before, or his career mark, influence by 2016, which is at 34.8%. Taking a look at his zone profile, he’s never swung a ton at some of the typical problem zones like low and away, but what he really improved on in 2016, and this works well with the aforementioned point about pop-ups, is not chasing the high pitches. Segura chased 35.3% of pitches that were outside the zone and high on his career prior to 2016, and in 2016 that ratio was reduced to 25.4%. If you eliminate the corners, which Segura didn’t chase too awful much, and just look at the three zones middle-high, Segura reduced his chase rate in this zone by 13.1%, going from 45.8% to 32.7%. Avoiding these pitches for a guy who uses his legs like Segura can be a pretty large asset.

 

Here’s the Graphics:

Jean Segura Pre-2016 Swing%

 

Jean Segura 2016 Swing%

 

Quick, shall we say, “editor’s” note for the next section: The typical PU% and IFFB%’s as used by fangraphs are Pop-Ups/Fly Balls NOT Pop-Ups/Balls In Play. For the following data set, I’ll be using Pop-Ups/Balls In Play, so these number are not consistent with the typical PU% and IFFB%’s you most commonly see.

 

As mentioned prior, I really think the path of his swing caused him to cut down on pop-ups. I took a look at certain zones in his profile to see where he popped up and how often prior to 2016 and compared that with his 2016. Prior to 2016, on pitches in the strike zone, Segura popped up 5.11% of the time he put the ball in play. In 2016, this rate was reduced all the way down to 2.16%, a near 60% decrease. He did see his Pop-Ups elevate a slight bit more in the second half, but I checked for due diligence and his Pop-Up rate in the Strike Zone rose only to 3.12% in the second half, which is still substantially better than prior to 2016. Also, as stated above, Segura laid off pitches high in the zone, so that alone should drive down his Pop-Up% as these zones are going to see higher ratios of pop-ups. However, Segura didn’t only reduce his Pop-Ups on pitches outside the zone high by raw count, but also by ratio, as prior to 2016, Segura popped up on 18.37% of balls in play that were outside the zone high, and reduced this rate to 12.5% in 2016. So he’s chasing balls in the high Pop-Up zone less, and he’s also hitting pop-ups in a lower ratio in these zones. Some of these gains seem rather small, but for evaluating a mechanical adjustment, it does seem to suggest that his swing path is improved, particularly for his toolkit of athleticism and speed. Here’s the Pop-Up/BIP charts with his zone profile:

 

Jean Segura Pre-2016 Pop-Up/BIP%

 

Jean Segura 2016 Pop-Up/BIP%

 

Keeping with a similar train of thought, I looked at his LD% on balls in the strike zone. Prior to 2016, Segura produced a 23.98% LD% on balls in the strike zone. In 2016, this rate jumped to 29.63%. In addition to this, unlike with the pop-ups where the rate got a bit worse in the second half, his LD%s continued to improve, as he posted a 32.5% LD% in the second half on balls in the strike zone. Here’s more graphics:

 

Jean Segura Pre-2016 LD%

 

Jean Segura 2016 LD%

 

(Again, keying in on numbers, not colors, as they are relative within the individual graphics)

 

Also very impressed with the Pitch Specific measures. He has never had a high Whiff% on his career on any pitch type and like his contact remained consistent in 2016, this also did not change. I typically look for problem pitches being close to and exceeding 20% Whiffs, Segura’s highest whiff total is a 12.78% rate on Change-Ups. His Slider rate is plus at 11.34%. The main point for Segura like all the above points isn’t making contact, it’s driving the ball. Segura had sub-.100 ISOs on 4 Major pitch types prior to 2016, and had zero major pitch types below a .137 ISO in 2016. There aren’t many specific thing to me to look at here, so I’m just going to show the 2016 SLGs in a table with improvements on pre-2016 numbers:

 

2016 SLG% by Pitch Type | Pre-2016 Difference

4SFB: 0.538 | +0.155

Sinker: 0.554 | +0.214

Change: 0.544 | +0.174

Slider: 0.481 | +0.158

Curve: 0.466 | +0.063

 

So aside from Curves, every pitch typing increased by at least +0.155. Again, I do believe there’s going to be a slight dip leaving Arizona, but also by the same token the fact that the improvements are so universal and to some extent almost uniform lead me to believe that it is mostly to do with the adjustments. It is worth noting that he did struggle versus Cutters, a pitch type I don’t normally look at as much as the others, but he did have a very low .298 SLG on Cutters, although he did pair it with a probably unsustainably low .208 BABIP. Either way, the major pitch typing improvements are much more substantial to me.

 

I also took a quick glance at his PU%’s by pitch type and saw that there was a general decline in these as well but with a slight exception: Segura went from popping out on Sliders and Change-Ups on 6.32% and 5.86% of balls in play respectively to not having a single pop-up on Sliders and Change-Ups in 2016. Whether he was getting on top of the ball or getting the barrel on the ball, Sliders and Change-Ups did not result in pop-up outs for Segura in 2016, and that is something to make a quick note of.

 

Updated Bottom Line Projection: .289/102/13/66/32

 

Bottom Line: Even prior to doing a full range of analysis on Segura, I was pretty sold on the idea that the hand placement helped him to sustain success in 2016. What I found though were quite a few more results based changes than I really expected. Specifically, the lack of pop-ups to for a hitter who already strikes out sub-15% of the time can be a real asset. He has really seemed to adjust to be “anti-pop-up” whether intentionally or not by chasing fewer high pitches and driving the ball on a line when he gets it in the strike zone. If it weren’t for the move away from Chase, I’d be tempted to put him up around the .300 BA range, but I do think that Chase has a bit of an influence on some of these numbers, and think that it is as close to the ideal park (with the exception of the obvious ideal park, Coors) for a hitter like Segura. Still, Segura’s ability to drive the ball, hit for a good average, and the context of the strong Mariners line-up behind him should allow Segura to continue to produce at a high clip, and between his BA, Runs and Stolen Bases, Segura will make a move up the rankings, where I now have him slightly above consensus.

 

(@mysonx3)

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Segura injured diving back to first base and has left the game...

 

#everyoneisinjured

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4 minutes ago, Yceman1234 said:

Looks like he hurt his hand?

Hurt on a dive back to bag.  Let's hope this isn't one of those stupid torn finger tendons on a dive back. 

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Just great.  Getting murdered by injuries so far a week into the season. 

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10 minutes ago, Cmilne23 said:

Hurt on a dive back to bag.  Let's hope this isn't one of those stupid torn finger tendons on a dive back. 

Cmilne - can you keep us posted with any update from the broadcast?  Many thanks!

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FWIW he didn't look like he was in a great deal of pain. But enough that he seemed to know right away he was hurt. Hopefully it will turn out to be minor. 

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2 minutes ago, BigPapi44 said:

Cmilne - can you keep us posted with any update from the broadcast?  Many thanks!

Yeah I'm watching (unfortunately lol).

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Just now, Cmilne23 said:

Yeah I'm watching (unfortunately lol).

haha, knew you would be!  Okay, fingers crossed it's just something minor.

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Just announced hamstring strain.  Strange didn't seem like that was the case.

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Just now, Cmilne23 said:

Just announced hamstring strain.  Strange didn't seem like that was the case.

Great, the proverbial 'day to day' begins.  For those of us in weekly lineups, it sucks, but I'll take a hamstring strain over torn ligaments in one of the fingers, etc.

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Wow.  So I own Segura, Sanchez, Hill, Donaldson, Price and Ramos.  Could it get any worse?? 

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3 minutes ago, BigPapi44 said:

Great, the proverbial 'day to day' begins.  For those of us in weekly lineups, it sucks, but I'll take a hamstring strain over torn ligaments in one of the fingers, etc.

Yeah good and bad news.  A torn tendon is an 8 week injury so thankfully he didn't suffer that injury.  But given cold weather + early in season this is probably one of those injuries they won't "push".

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30 minutes ago, chud12 said:

Wow.  So I own Segura, Sanchez, Hill, Donaldson, Price and Ramos.  Could it get any worse?? 

 

Why are you complaining about Price and Ramos? You drafted them knowing they were hurt.  I hate when people do this...blame terrible luck of injuries when you drafted hurt players.  You got them at a discount because they were hurt, if they weren't they probably wouldn't be on your team.

Edited by murraygd13

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3 minutes ago, murraygd13 said:

 

Why are you complaining about Price and Ramos? You drafted them knowing they were hurt.  I hate when people do this...blame terrible luck of injuries when you drafted hurt players.  You got them at a discount because they were hurt, if they weren't they probably wouldn't be on your team.

 

Am I suppose to exclude Ramos and Price from the guys I have that are hurt because I drafted them?? I don't get your point here. Take those two away and I still have 4 guys hurt. You don't go into a season expecting 4 key guys to go down the first week of the year. I drafted Price and Ramos hoping I could get by with an injury or two the first couple weeks.  

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3 minutes ago, murraygd13 said:

Who's the backup here? Taylor Motter?

Yeah he would be the fill in.

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1 minute ago, Michael Bluth said:

If it's very mild and day to day why would they have to make a move?

Because mild to a baseball player equates to a dl stint.

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1 minute ago, Michael Bluth said:

If it's very mild and day to day why would they have to make a move?

10 day DL basically gives team urgency to make moves now.  Because the time is short most teams will make a rash decision whether to play a man down for a day or 2 or just let them sit out the week and change to get right.  

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2 minutes ago, Michael Bluth said:

If it's very mild and day to day why would they have to make a move?

 

This new 10-day DL is going to lead to a lot more DL stints for lesser injuries like this. Same with Jackie Bradley Jr. - minor injury but DL anyway.

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