By Jon Weisman
Rob Segedin double-majored in finance and business management in college. That college happened to be Tulane, the alma mater of a certain Dodger president of baseball operations, also known as Segedin’s boss.
Segedin said he first learned about Andrew Friedman while in school because Chad Sutter and Jack Cressend, his coaches at Tulane — where he was the school’s 2008-09 student-athlete of the year, during the time Friedman was a Tampa Bay Rays executive — were previously teammates of Friedman on the Green Wave baseball team. While the 27-year-old infielder isn’t necessarily following in Friedman’s footsteps, you could say he’s walking in proximity.
“Yeah, right now I’m currently getting my MBA from Indiana online,” Segedin said, “so when I get done with baseball, I can stay in the game as long as possible, whether it’s in a coaching role or front-office role.”
Getting a graduate degree in business while pursuing a graduate degree in baseball can’t be the easiest thing in the world, but it has certainly set up Segedin for a fulfilling present and a bright future.
“All my electives for my MBA are in business analytics, because it’s gonna transition, whether it’s in baseball or whether it’s in the real world,” he said. “That’s the way the game is going, so if you want to be in those roles in the future, you’re going to have to have some type of background in that. It’s the new wave of baseball.”
Segedin isn’t ready to trade in his baseball jersey for the button-down shirt, however.
Like Charlie Culberson, Segedin made the most of his non-roster status at Camelback Ranch to earn a trip to Los Angeles and consideration for a 25-man roster spot. The Spring Training iron man played every single day the Dodgers had a baseball game in March, 28 of them in all, in the hopes of making his Major League debut this year.
He spent the previous six seasons in the Yankee organization after being selected in the third round of the 2010 draft, OPSing .787 last year across Double-A and Triple-A.
“Coming to a new team and coaches, people don’t really know you, so to get out there every day and play, especially when you’re playing in front of all the higher-ups, it’s a good thing,” Segedin said.
Segedin has put his study skills to use. For one thing, he has been soaking up insights from several Dodger veterans, led by the starters — Justin Turner and Adrian Gonzalez — at his two main positions.
“Everyone’s been really helpful,” Segedin said. “Being at third base and taking ground balls with JT, he’s almost like a player-coach where he’ll help out anybody. He’s very open with all that — I’ve learned a lot from JT. I’ve learned a lot from Gonzo as well. The veterans in the clubhouse that have been around, that helps young players like me.”
But Segedin also goes to the research lab, so to speak. Consider him his own test case for future study.
“With all the information that is available to us, I do dissect it a lot and use it to set up my approach at the plate against a certain pitcher,” Segedin said, “not so much analytics but the numbers and the data that’s out there. It’s information that can be useful if you don’t think too much about it, but you just know what to look for, because they have everything you can think of in the data now. … You may be pinch-hitting in the seventh inning against a guy, and if you don’t have information on him, it’s going to be tough to be prepared for that at-bat.”
Segedin is at the point of his career where he’ll do all the studying he can, and where he can’t wait for the next test.
“You’ve still got to do your job,” he said. “They could say that they want to use you, but if you don’t perform, there’s nothing that’s guaranteed to you. So just go out there every day, just work, try to get better, try to learn something knew, especially around these guys for all Spring Training, older guys that have been in the game for a while and have the experience, just try to learn a little bit every day and try to apply it to your game. … Right now, I’m just trying to get better every single day.”