The Orioles didn’t end up with 20th-round draftee Ryan Ripken, son of Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr., but they have signed a player this year with a familiar name to Orioles fans: Right-handed hitting first baseman Cory Segui, the son of former Oriole David Segui and the grandson of former big league pitcher Diego Segui.
Segui, 20, played last year at Scottsdale (Ariz.) Community College, but after a subpar season was not drafted. He was headed to Emporia State University in Kansas on a baseball scholarship, but wanted to play pro ball.
His father, who played for the Orioles for parts of eight seasons, maintained a close relationship with current O's special assistant Brady Anderson, and Segui’s son was invited for a tryout at Camden Yards last week.
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He was inked to a minor league deal – without a signing bonus – and has been assigned to the Gulf Coast League Orioles and started at third base Wednesday. Segui batted fifth, one slot behind catcher Steel Russell, the son of Orioles bench coach John Russell.
“I’m happy for him, but it is on now,” said David Segui, a lifetime .291 hitter in a 15-season big league career. “He has to go do his thing. He’s got to go play. It’s a full-time job now.”
Segui said his son also was being considered by the Milwaukee Brewers, but they currently didn’t have a spot available.
Listed at 6-1, 200 pounds, Cory Segui has some power and can run and field, his father said, but had a rough season for the Fighting Artichokes in Scottsdale, chasing too many bad pitches and not walking as much as he could have. Although the college’s stats were not official, Segui said his son had three homers and batted around .250. Segui’s roommate at Scottsdale was infielder James Boddicker, son of former Oriole pitcher Mike Boddicker.
David Segui said he’s pretty psyched that his son is joining the organization that he signed with as an amateur.
“It’s cool because I started with them and finished with them. Jerry Narron’s son (Connor) is in the organization, too, and they used to shag (fly balls) and run around the clubhouse together as kids,” Segui said. “So that is kind of a neat scenario.”
David Segui was selected by the Orioles in the 18th round in the 1987 draft and made his debut in 1990 as a sweet-swinging, slick-fielding switch hitter. He was traded to the New York Mets in 1994 and then returned to the Orioles in 2001, signing a four-year, $28 million deal as a free agent.
Segui couldn’t stay healthy in his second stint with the Orioles, playing in 193 games in four seasons. He was then embroiled in baseball’s steroid scandal, being mentioned prominently in the Mitchell Report.
Segui never lost his sense of humor, though – evident Wednesday when he was asked about his son agreeing to a contract with the Orioles for no signing bonus.
“I figuredPeter [Angelos] paid me enough, that’s Cory’s signing bonus right now,” Segui said. “When I die, he’s going to get some of it.”