SEATTLE — The first All-Star balloting results, with just over a month remaining before the midsummer classic, were released Tuesday.
Of the top five shortstops on the American League ballot, none were named Jean Segura, despite the Seattle Mariners’ shortstop leading the majors in many batting metrics.
Plenty of time remains for him to make his second All-Star appearance of his career and first since he was in the National League with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2013. But just look at the competition ahead of him:
1. Manny Machado, Orioles (321,887 votes)
2. Francisco Lindor, Indians (211,756)
3. Didi Gregorius, Yankees (208,583)
4. Carlos Correa, Astros (206,727)
5. Andrelton Simmons, Angels (135,562)
This is clearly the deepest position group in the All-Star balloting.
“It is,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “There are a lot of good players in that spot.”
But he offered this in support of Segura:
“The one thing with Jean – everybody looks at what he does, numbers-wise, offensively, but I think defensively he’s been outstanding. That gets overlooked sometimes. He can really throw.”
Since Segura is piling up some elite offensive numbers, though, let’s take a look at some of those entering Tuesday:
▪ .343 – Segura’s batting average, which ranked second in the majors, trailing only Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts.
▪ 91 – Segura’s total hits were second in the major leagues only to reigning American League MVP Jose Altuve of the Astros. He also led the majors in multi-hit games (30) and three-it games (13).
▪ 50 – Segura’s runs scored was fifth in the majors and best among shortstops.
▪ 14 – Segura’s stolen bases, which was tied for fifth-best in the majors.
“The most interesting thing for me is Jean doesn’t just hit certain types of pitchers or pitches,” Servais said. “He makes really good adjustments and he literally takes it line to line in how he hits. He can gear up for high velocity and he can slow it down for guys who have more breaking pitches. That’s the uniqueness of him. (He has) such a short swing, and it’s fun to see how it plays out.”
Maybe the biggest number for Segura is 42. That’s the number of wins the Mariners had entering Tuesday, and only the Red Sox had more than them of any team in the majors.
He’s become a team leader, too, especially since his good friend and mentor Robinson Cano was hit with an 80-game drug suspension last month.
“Whenever he sees me on a mound visit or changing a pitcher, when he sees that concerned look in my face he’s like, ‘C’mon, Skip – happy, happy. We’re happy,’” Servais said. “He’s a very happy-go-lucky guy.”
But among the top five at their position groups, Dee Gordon was third among second basemen (87,647 votes), even though he started the season and has played more games for the Mariners in center field. Mitch Haniger was 13th among outfielders (100,149).