TEMPE, Ariz. -- Jean Segura got a bit of a late jump on baseball's most demanding position.
But so far this spring, it's tough to notice.
Segura has appeared in four Cactus League games -- checking in normally in the later innings -- and has gone 3-for-6 with a couple of walks. Most noticeably, though, he's played a mean shortstop, showing off his cannon arm, making the routine play and even turning in a couple of dazzling ones on hard-hit short-hops.
The 21-year-old Segura played shortstop for most of his young life, but the Angels moved him to second base after signing him out of the Dominican Republic in 2007. Four seasons later, they moved him back to his natural position for the start of 2011.
"I was very happy because that's a position I like," Segura said in Spanish. "Even though you have more responsibilities, it makes you a better player because you always have to be aware. You're the captain of the infield."
A torn hamstring limited him to 52 Minor League games last year, so Segura didn't get as many reps at shortstop as he would've liked. But he got 23 additional games while playing in the Arizona Fall League, and this spring, he's worked closely with field coordinator and longtime shortstop Gary DiSarcina.
Extension talks with free-agent-to-be Erick Aybar are currently stalled, and Segura may be the Angels' shortstop of the future if Aybar eventually leaves via the open market. First, though, Segura needs a solid (and healthy) 2012, which will begin in Double-A.
At the very least, he's off to a good start.
"He's athletic and he's having a great Spring Training," Scioscia said. "On the practice field, too. He's really been impressive."