It was 3:30 in the afternoon, with the game starting in 3 1/2 hours. Jean Segura was nowhere to be found in the Milwaukee Brewers clubhouse. Other players sifted through messages on their phones or watched TV or worked on the computer, a little peace and sanctity before batting practice, meetings and the first pitch at Miller Park. Four o'clock. Still no Segura. 4:25. Nope. Word came back that Segura was in the weight room with none other than Ryan Braun. Well, that explained everything. He was going to be awhile. If you want to know who Jean Segura is, then you have to start at home, in the Dominican Republic, where he trained for eight hours a day in hopes he could help his family through baseball. If you want to know who Jean Segura wants to be, 23 now and his baseball future ahead, then you have to go back to spring training when he asked to be Braun's workout buddy. "He came up to me and started asking a lot of questions," said Braun. "I think he has a desire to get better. I think he's done better than anybody could have possibly hoped; he's been amazing to this point. It's been a lot of fun for us to watch it and see it." Segura is Milwaukee's promising young shortstop, aggressive at the plate and maybe even more so in the field. But he wasn't always so. Growing up in the San Juan province, he hopped a bus to a baseball training academy where Carlos Julio De La Rosa promised he would help Segura. "Practice eight hours every day," said Segura. "To the field in the morning. After that, school for a little bit. Had to go to the gym after and do some exercise. God give me the opportunity to be professional baseball player and you know, this tough decision to make, but I just wanted to be successful to help my family be good. You know? And I think this is the only way that I can help them, quickly, you know?" After playing in the Dominican Summer League, Segura left home for the United States at age 18 to play in the Angels' farm system. "They always play hard," said Segura. When Segura arrived he was understandably a little unsure of his new surroundings, said Ty Boykin, Segura's manager from the Arizona Angels in 2008. He wasn't as aggressive as the other Dominican players. He was a little quiet. He would have to change. Everything the Angels teach is aggressive. "Even if you make a mistake, make it an aggressive mistake," said Boykin. Segura took the coaching and became a hard-charging player until - playing second base then - he was steamrolled by a base runner and broke his leg. He was convinced his baseball career was over. "You'll play," said Boykin. "Trust me."
Brewers shortstop Segura aims to make most of his talents
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | May 10