Projecting the 2018 Seattle Mariners: Jean Segura

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 6: Jean Segura /

Very few players will have a bigger impact on the success of the 2018 Seattle Mariners than shortstop Jean Segura. After an up and down year 1, the Mariners will need Segura to return to All-Star form.

Before we begin, let’s get this out-of-the-way: Jean Segura was just fine in 2017. After all, he finished with a .300 average, posting a solid .300/.349/.427 slash line. Segura was also a pleasant surprise defensively, although he won’t be winning a Gold Glove for the Mariners anytime soon.

His 111 wRC+ and 2.9 fWAR are both solid, as were his 43 extra base hits and 22 steals. Simply put, Jean Segura was a good player in 2017. What more could the Mariners possibly want from Segura? The short answer: more.

The Mariners need Segura to be as close to the 2016 version of him as possible if they want to end their playoff drought. While this seems like an outlandish request, there is actually some anecdotal reasons for optimism.

First, Segura did not crater like he did in 2014-2015, and showed the floor of a good Major League player. In 2 of his 5 seasons, Segura has been just that, an above-average player. In 2 seasons, Segura was replacement level, and in 2016, Segura was an All-Star player.

Second, the injuries cut into Segura’s best, most valuable asset; his legs. After appearing in 142 games or more in his first 4 seasons, Segura dropped to 125 games in 2017. What’s more, the injuries to his lower body drove down his base-running ability to below-average.

Throughout his career, Segura has constantly graded out as a good to great base-runner. According to Fangraphs BsR ( base running runs above average, where 0 is average), Segura has posted the following scores in his first 5 seasons: 5.1,1.6, 3.1, 5.1, -0.5. I’ll let you guess which score was from last season.

A pair of healthy legs could add half a win to Segura’s total, and could also improve his range at shortstop, which did grade out as below average in 2017. A stronger lower half could help Segura in the power department, although 43 XBH is nothing to sneeze at. So which Segura do we get in 2018?

Sodo Mojo’s 2018 Projections for Jean Segura: 616 PA, 170 hits, 32 doubles, 3 triples, 12 HR, 34 SB, 42 walks, .296/.344/.425

As you can surmise, we largely left Segura’s 2017 stat line the same, but with a massive spike in his stolen base numbers. Healthy legs should add roughly .5 wins to Segura’s ledger, and a potential improvement to his defense might push him back to being a 4 win player.

The Mariners will need this to stay afloat the American League Wild Card standings. Segura and the Mariners bet on each other, and now is the time for that to pay off.