Segura Continues To Impress Brewers

MILWAUKEE — In a perfect world, the Brewers would have preferred that Jean Segura get some rest this winter.

After all, the 22-year-old shortstop saw plenty of action in 2012, beginning with 94 games with the Angels' Double-A Arkansas affiliate. Then came the Zack Greinke trade on July 27 that sent Segura and righthanders Johnny Hellweg and Ariel Pena to Milwaukee for the Brewers' ace.

Segura was assigned to Double-A Huntsville, where he played in eight games before the Brewers called him up. In a sink-or-swim scenario, they installed him as their starting shortstop to see if he might be their player of the future at that position.

As might be expected of a player who had no experience at the Triple-A level, Segura sank at first, batting .209 over his first three weeks with Milwaukee. But he caught fire after that, hitting .309 in September/October to finish the season at .258/.315/.325.

Segura then signed up for a full winter slate of action with the Gigantes of the Dominican League. Brewers assistant general manager Gord Ash was asked if the organization would rather the young infielder get some time off before spring training.

"Sure," said Ash, "but he's a youthful player. They have contractual rights, so it's not as easy as, 'Hey, tell them you're not going to play anymore.' Also, we don't necessarily understand the pride factor and pressure they put on these young guys to play."

Segura showed no signs of fatigue, winning the league batting crown after hitting .324/.379/.426 in 35 games. He tied for second in the league with 11 stolen bases.
All of which did nothing to lessen the Brewers' enthusiasm over Segura, slated to be their starting shortstop in 2013. Manager Ron Roenicke admitted there are pros and cons to that commitment.

"The pros would be the ability, that he has tremendous range, great arm," he said. "And he's going to keep getting better. The cons would be he is a young guy. He is basically unproven. I like his confidence, his cockiness, but I also like the fact that he's a worker. So, he's an exciting guy."


• The Brewers signed three big league veterans as minor league free agents: righthander Jim Hoey and outfielders Cole Garner and Rene Tosoni.

• Righthander Rob Wooten earned an invitation to big league spring training with a solid performance in the Venezuelan League, striking out 11 in as many innings.