2023 Marlins Season Review: Jean Segura

Segura seemed to fit the Marlins’ new identity, but simply didn’t produce.

Relive all of the ups and downs of the 2023 Miami Marlins with our Fish On First Season Review, containing detailed articles about a wide variety of players. The FOF staff analyzes the individual impact that each of them had and what it means for their future with the organization.

This installment focuses on infielder Jean Segura.

2023 Timeline

  • January 11—introduced at loanDepot park after signing two-year, $17MM deal with third-year club option
  • March 11-15—represented the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic
  • August 1—traded with prospect SS Kahlil Watson to Cleveland Guardians for 1B Josh Bell; immediately released by Guardians

Nine different players started games at third base for the Marlins in 2022. After spending half the offseason searching for somebody who could bring continuity to the position, they eventually landed on established veteran infielder Jean Segura.

Segura seemed to fit the Marlins’ blueprint: a contact-first bat who plays multiple positions. A finger injury limited him to 98 games in 2022, but he had been a consistent and fairly durable player prior to that. In the two-time All-Star, Miami hoped Segura could continue being the Phillies version of himself in a division he knows very well.

Segura’s signing included a $17MM guarantee, making him the Marlins’ most expensive free agent pick-up of the 2022-23 offseason.

Segura came to spring training with the Marlins and made a good first impression. In 11 spring games, he hit .324/.361/.382.

That didn’t carry over to the regular season, though. Segura started struggling immediately once the real games began. He posted very low exit velocities and had an affinity for putting the ball on the ground. His 58.6% ground ball rate was the highest he’d posted since 2015 and ranked as the third-highest in baseball amongst players with at least 200 plate appearances. Twelve of those grounders resulted in double plays.

Segura spent most of his Marlins tenure hitting below the Mendoza Line. He wasn’t much better with runners in scoring position, slashing .246/.333/.275 with only two extra-base hits.

Segura had only spent 24 games at third base coming into 2023. Daily reps didn’t help him get comfortable there, as he posted a -0.6 dWAR. Overall, his -1.9 WAR was tied for the third-lowest by a Marlins player while playing more than 80 games in a season, per Stathead.

It wasn’t all doom and gloom for Segura. He had some standout moments in a Marlins’ uniform including a walk-off hit on April 28, part of a 10-for-36 stretch that could have signified Segura was returning to his previous form.

However, his dry spells continued to permeate. Hitting .219/.277/.279 at the trade deadline, the Marlins coupled Segura with prospect Kahlil Watson in a trade that brought them first baseman Josh Bell. Moments after the trade was finalized, Segura was released by the Cleveland Guardians.

Overall, Segura was signed by the Marlins in a time of extreme need after being shunned by several of their preferred options. Playing a very unfamiliar position full time, he struggled mightily under pressure. The Marlins made a bet on Segura and ultimately came out on the wrong side of the equation.

To their credit, the Marlins pulled the plug on Segura early enough to salvage their 2023 season. In his place, they now have the controllable 27-year-old power hitter Jake Burger.

Presumably close to the summation of his career, Segura can call 2023 a wash and celebrate a very effective 12-year career. All in all, he owns a lifetime slash line of .281/.327/.401 and a 97 wRC+.

Photo by Noah Berger/Fish On First

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