If the front office crew of the Dodgers hopes to have a handy bench piece with quite a bit of offensive pop available for a playoff run down the stretch, it may want to consider an extended stay for utility man Rob Segedin, who is at the top of almost every single offensive category at Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Through the first 113 games on the 2016 schedule, Segedin has been very instrumental in pushing OKC’s lead to eight full games over second place Colorado Springs in the PCL American Northern division.
Specializing in the corner infield spots, the 28-year-old has appeared in 103 games this season, and is at the top of the heap in many of the PCL’s stat categories. He’s slashing an outstanding .319/.392/.598, including 21 home runs, 69 RBI, 23 doubles, nine triples, 40 walks and 71 runs scored.
As far as defense, he’s played every infield position this year except pitcher and catcher, and is fully capable to play both of the corner spots in the outfield. The 27-year-old has played mostly as a third baseman during his 2016 campaign, however, having logged 56 games at the hot corner, and tallying only six errors in 108 chances in 504 innings.
“It definitely helps when they can trust you at multiple positions,” Segedin said. “Obviously, if a guy goes down playing one of those positions, you have a better chance at getting called up than if you were just limited to one position. I try to be as versatile as I can defensively, so that way I can be an option for the big club.”
Among his achievements already this season was being selected as the lone OKC representative to the Triple All-Star game in Charlotte, as well as participating in the even’t Home Run Derby. He played third base in the latter innings for the PCL All-Stars, but the highlight of his trip was blasting 12 dingers in the first round — the round’s highest total — and then another 13 in the next round, only to fall short to Chris Marrero of Pawtucket in the end.
Not too shabby a year for a player who was considering retirement just last season.
In 2015, Segedin missed almost a month after suffering a wrist injury while diving into the stands to catch a foul ball. That injury prevented Segedin’s development for the second time since 2013, when he missed most of what began as a promising season following hip surgery.
Once healthy, he would eventually be demoted to Double-A Trenton and ultimately ask the Yankees for an unconditional release. After being denied, New York traded him to the Dodgers in January for left-hander Tyler Olson and shortstop Ronald Torreyes.
Segedin admitted that a change in scenery and an opportunity to play every day has benefited him tremendously.
“It was a little frustrating for me last year to not be an everyday player and not get those everyday at-bats,” Segedin added. “I think playing for another organization was better for my career.”
And believe it or not, just as I was about halfway finished writing this piece to give some well-deserved props to the OKC star, I glanced over at my Twitter feed only to see that Segedin was present in the Dodgers’ clubhouse and will be starting in left field against the Red Sox in Sunday’s series finale.
It’s also worth noting that as a secondary plan to baseball in regards to a career path, Segedin graduated from Tulane with a degree in 3-1/2 years while double-majoring in finance and management, and is pursuing an online MBA from Indiana University. He hopes having a master’s degree will help him land a gratifying job in baseball once his playing days are over.
At the present moment, however, hopefully his major league debut with the Dodgers on Sunday is only the beginning of a long and successful career in the bigs.