What's wrong with this Miami Marlins hitter?!
By Neil Raymond
We talked about other options that the Miami Marlins had in free agency, but Kim Ng didn't want them. She signed Jean Segura to be the new Miami Marlins third baseman instead. Kim Ng was looking to improve the team's contact hitting, and Segura seemed like a natural fit. There was concern with him playing third base, but at the very least he'd help the offense right? Not quite. It has been a disaster of a season for Segura. What 's going on?
Jean Segura has been a disaster for the Miami Marlins.
Jean Segura was pretty decent from 2012-2015 with the Los Angeles Angels and the Milwaukee Brewers. He batted .266/.302/.360 in 479 games and 1930 AB. Segura was a decent player at this point, but he showed that he had another level to him. He did it when he batted .308/.353/.449 in 422 games and 1747 AB, with the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Seattle Mariners from 2016-2018. It was at this point that Segura became a great contact hitter.
Segura played for the Philadelphia Phillies from 2019-2022. He batted .281/.337/.418 in 427 games and 1636 AB during his time there. He specifically batted .277/.336/.387 in 98 games and 354 AB in 2022, his final season on the team. He has been a completely different player for the Miami Marlins this season. He batted .186/.233/.212 in 33 games and 113 AB. What's going on?
What does looking at his advanced metrics tell us? He has a .231 BABIP, which is significantly lower than his career average of .315. We can reasonably assume that his luck on balls in play will improve as the season goes on. This in turn will raise his batting average and overall production. He's swinging a lot more than usual this season. Going from 35.3% for his career to 45.9% this season. He's making less contact on outside the zone pitches (70.8% this season, 75.2% career). He's however making more contact on pitches inside the zone (92.0% this season and 91.7% career).
Jean Segura has more swinging strikeouts (10.3% this season and 7.2% career). I can keep going, but what it looks like to me is mostly bad luck. He swings and misses more, but his contact on inside pitches is better than his career average, while his contact on outside pitches is worse. All things considered, the low BABIP is the main culprit for his poor production.