Scouting Report: Rob Segedin

Segedin was experimenting with his swing this year

The New York Yankees selected third baseman Rob Segedin in the third round of the 2010 MLB Draft out of Tulane University. The Yankees began transitioning him to the outfield this past year and while that remains a work in a progress, offensively it was a tale of two seasons between his time in high-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Robert Segedin
Position: Third Base/Outfield
DOB: November 10, 1988
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 220
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

"I had a lot of ups and downs," Segedin said. "I started off the season pretty well but I obviously didn't finish as well as I wanted to. Overall the season wasn't too bad but there's always room for improvement with everything.

"It just makes me more hungry to work hard to put together a full season where it can be more of the ups and less of the downs."

Just like in 2011, his start to the year was actually very productive. He hit .297 with 29 extra-base hits, including seven home runs, in just 73 games for the Tampa Yankees this season. And just as he did a year ago, he struggled mightily with his in-season promotion to the next level.

"Before I ever even got there, towards the end in Tampa, my mechanics going into the year, I went to the leg-kick and that was doing very well for me in Tampa," he said. "My whole life I never really used a leg-kick but it was something that was working for me but then my timing was starting to get a little messed up while I was in Tampa and when I first got to Trenton."

He hit just .188 for the Trenton Thunder in his first 48 games at the Double-A level with a mere .532 OPS.

"My timing was good for the fastball but I wasn't in a good position to hit for any pitch that they were throwing," he admitted. "I was in the middle of it when I got to Trenton and I was hitting the ball but not like I would have liked to and just got myself in a hole.

"We were trying to figure out a way to eliminate the leg-kick as much as possible and it took a little bit of experimenting. Every time I felt like I was starting to get it something else was causing [problems].

"It was a slow mental thing and I was working with coach [Tommy] Slater -- we started to figure out towards the end and into Instructs what to do going forward.

"Even though I was producing with the leg-kick we figured out that I was producing for down there [in A-ball] and the swing wasn't really geared for more advanced pitching where they throw offspeed [pitches] in fastball counts.

"When I was sticking out a pitch and getting it I was able to hit it but when I was getting fooled with the leg-kick -- when my foot was down I was still able to make the adjustment to be able to get good wood on it and try to make things happen."

Slowly but surely Segedin and the Yankees continuously worked on lessening what had become an exaggerated leg-kick, an experiment that actually began back in Spring Training.

"Even though I was producing it wasn't an ideal position to be in," he said. "I was watching video and your natural reaction is to break that habit.

"I was still picking it up but [the leg-kick] was getting smaller and smaller until it got down to the position where now it just gets up to my toe, more like pick it up and put it right back down without my foot really leaving the ground. It helped out just simplifying everything with my swing."

He says that he figured it out around mid-August and that was one of the reasons he was sent to Instructional League this offseason -- to get more repetitions with the toe tap load and allow it to become more second nature after slowly eliminating the leg-kick over the course of most of the season.

Though the numbers in Double-A were kind of disastrous, Segedin believes he is back on the right path with his swing and he's hoping he can follow the footsteps of other players who have initially struggled during their first exposure to Double-A pitching and responded in a big way the following year.

Case in point would be fellow teammate Zoilo Almonte who hit just .251 with three home runs in 46 games for Trenton a year ago but bounced back with a .277, 21 home run season this year in his return trip. In fact, Segedin has shown a similar ability to make the needed corrections himself, hitting just .245 with two home runs in 52 games for the Tampa Yankees a season ago.

"Being up there for half of a year you get to know what the game speed is and what pitchers are trying to do," he said. "It's kind of the same thing last year, I went to Tampa halfway through the season and struggled in Tampa.

"I kind of learned from it, didn't get down on myself, and took it as a learning experience and prepared for this year. At every level there's some type of learning curve, you just try to minimize the time period where you're adjusting."

So despite his struggles in Double-A this year, Segedin says his confidence never waned and he believes he will bounce back in a big way going forward, especially after all of the adjustments he made in 2012.

"You can look at it a lot of different ways but my confidence was the same regardless. It kind of never changes with me. That's something I learned from my season in Tampa a year ago where I struggled a little bit but I didn't let it affect me.

"I took that learning experience with me into this year. Even though I was struggling [last year] I took that as a positive learning experience and went out there this year with the confidence knowing that I could get it done."

Year

Team

AVG

AB

2B

HR

RBI

R

SB

BB

SO

OBP

SLG

2012 Trenton .188 165 6 3 13 16 0 13 33 .253 .279
2012 Tampa .297 290 21 7 41 44 9 29 53 .362 .448
2011 Tampa .245 188 4 2 21 32 4 15 40 .311 .309
2011 Charleston .323 226 15 5 34 33 3 23 39 .396 .482
2010 Staten Island .243 70 6 1 7 13 0 7 7 .321 .400
2010 GCL Yankees .250 8 0 1 3 3 0 0 1 .333 .625


Batting and Power. At his core Segedin is a very good hitter because of the fundamentals; good pitch recognition and strike zone judgment, natural patience, and a willingness to use the whole field. Not a real power hitter, he experimented in Spring Training this year with adding a leg-kick in an effort to get more torque with his swing and increase his power production, and the results were a more powerful swing but the hitting overall suffered. Now that the experiment is over, he should be back to being a selective, high-average hitter. The power, however, still remains average overall at best.

Base Running and Speed. He has stolen 16 bases over his first two full minor leagues seasons, but that's more of a product of being a smart base runner than a quick one. His speed is below average and he doesn't project to be much of a base running threat as he continues to mature.

Defense. Segedin, a third baseman growing up, plays an adequate hot corner with above average arm strength and limited range. He is more adequate than anything in the outfield too, able to handle the position in right field but still has some troubles in left field when left-handed batters slice balls into the corner. He's not difference maker in the field at any position but can man the spots if called upon.

Projection. You can throw out Segedin's paltry offensive numbers in Trenton -- he's a much better natural hitter than the numbers suggest. Chalk it up to an experimental season, one where he was trying to develop his power better. That's really the biggest issue with his game going forward, his eventual power production. He plays power-hitting positions at the corners and he simply doesn't have the prototypical above average or plus power needed to be an everyday guy at any of those positions at the big league level right now, especially since his defense at those positions are just okay. For now his ceiling projects to be a viable candidate to provide some hitting off of a big league bench potentially someday and perhaps a possible starting candidate on a second division tier type team if all goes well power-wise.

ETA. 2014. Segedin is likely to begin the 2013 season where he finished, in Double-A Trenton, and could seem some late-season action in Triple-A if he gets back to his hitting for average ways.

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