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Jean Segura gifts baseball field to home town in Dominican Republic


Jean Segura is entering his second season with the Phillies. (Cheryl Pursell)

Had the Philadelphia Phillies 2020 season began on March 26, as initially scheduled, Jean Segura almost certainly would have been the team’s opening day third baseman, forced to adjust to a position that he’s never played.

If and when the 2020 season begins, it’s unclear what position Segura will play for the Phillies. He may remain at third base, with Didi Gregorius at shortstop and Scott Kingery given the chance to settle in at his natural position of second base. It’s also possible that No. 1 position prospect Alec Bohm forces his way into the picture for the entirety of the 2020 season now and plays his natural position of third base. That would leave Segura to play second, and Kingery to spend the bulk of his time playing center field.

Even while Segura tries to stay sharp for a 2020 season filled with uncertainty, the 30-year-old is making sure to stay in touch with his roots. In fact, Héctor Gómez of Deportivo Z 101 in the Dominican Republic says that the Phillies infielder recently donated a baseball field in his hometown in the DR:

Gomez passed along this translation of what Segura had to say of the donation: “As I had promised, this is the stadium I promised you. Now, it’s the town’s opportunity to take care of the field and also help these kids that like me dream to play baseball and be an MLB player. God bless you.”

A young Segura’s dreams have come true, as he’s preparing for his ninth major league season. Segura is a two-time All-Star, having made the National League All-Star team as a member of the Milwaukee Brewers in 2013 and the American League All-Star team as a member of the Seattle Mariners in 2018. Wedged in between those two All-Star seasons was a top-15 finish in National League MVP voting in 2016, when he posted a 5.0 fWAR for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Spotrac estimates that Segura has earned $35 million during his career, and he’s still owed $43.75 million as part of his current contract.

The Phillies acquired Segura from the Mariners in December of 2018. Segura’s first season with the Phillies was underwhelming, as he hit just .280 after three consecutive seasons of hitting .300 or better. He also posted -4 defensive runs saved at shortstop, which was part of the reason that the Phillies signed Gregorius to play the position this offseason.

Still, there was quite a bit of optimism about Segura’s chances for a bounce-back season in 2020 before COVID-19 forced the season to be suspended. Segura showed up to spring training having shed 14 pounds, which he credited to quitting drinking alcohol. Both general manager Matt Klentak and new Phillies manager Joe Girardi raved about Segura’s willingness to change positions and overall approach during spring training.

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