Jean Segura should be an All-Star, but Mariners fans have to make it happen
Jean Segura is an All-Star.
It’s true in a literal sense in that one time previously in his career he made an All-Star team (2013 while with the Milwaukee Brewers). But I’m specifically talking about this season, one in which Segura has been arguably the best player on the field day in and day out, not to mention an emotional leader, for the American League West-leading Seattle Mariners.
Mean Jean the Hitting Machine has lived up to his nickname, leading the majors in multi-hit games (28) and ranking second in the American League in hits (85) and batting average (.341). He’s hit so much that even though he’s exclusively been the No. 2 hitter in the Mariners’ lineup save for a spell leading off, he’s even tied for 12th in the AL in RBIs (39).
Simply put, Jean Segura is playing like somebody worthy of starting an All-Star Game, not just one of those guys who gets added days before the game itself as a replacement for an injured player.
The hard truth is that not only is there no guarantee Segura will be taking a trip to Washington, D.C. next month, there’s a very real chance he will get picked over by players with bigger names on the AL team.
The American League is loaded with shortstop talent. Baltimore’s Manny Machado (.323 average, 18 home runs, 1.014 OPS) has a case to be considered the best player in baseball right now. Cleveland’s Francisco Lindor (.296 average, 14 home runs, .917 OPS) is fantastic. So is Houston’s Carlos Correa (.264 average, 10 home runs, .811 OPS), who despite having a down year still has All-Star-caliber numbers. Anaheim’s Andrelton Simmons (.330 average, four home runs, .860 OPS) is probably the best defensive shortstop in the game, and now he’s one of the best in the batter’s box, too.
As far as national name recognition goes, all four of those players probably have more than Segura, as does the Yankees’ Didi Gregorius and Boston’s Xander Bogaerts, two other shortstops who wouldn’t be the worst choices to represent the American League.
Now, is Segura the right choice to start at shortstop for the American League? That’s debatable.
I probably would give Machado the edge because of his power numbers and ability to take a walk every so often. Segura has an argument to be considered the second-best choice, though, and if he won the fan vote over Machado to start the game, it really shouldn’t be a controversy. After all, Segura’s Mariners are leading the American League West while Machado’s Orioles own the worst record in baseball.
That doesn’t change the fact that the possibility of Segura being left out in the cold is very real. If Mariners fans start a campaign and make it a point to vote for Segura as much as possible until All-Star voting closes on July 5, however, they could remove the doubt.
Segura is as responsible as any player for the Mariners’ standing as a first-place team this season, and he deserves to be recognized among baseball’s best in the midsummer classic.
He’s done his part.
Now it’s time for Mariners fans to do theirs.
Where Jean Segura ranks among AL shortstops
Average: First (.341)
Hits: First (85)
Stolen bases: Tied first (13)
Runs: Tied first (46)
RBIs: Tied second (39)
Doubles: Tied third (17)
On-base percentage: Fourth (.360)
Slugging percentage: Fourth (.486)
OPS: Fifth (.846)
Home runs: Tied ninth (five)