Young shortstop making an impression

The Angels have just begun to play this spring, but thus far the most impressive play has been made by a young infielder ticketed for Double-A.

During the team's intrasquad scrimmage, Jean Segura fielded a vicious one-hopper to his right, got to his feet quickly, spun and threw the hitter out. It was, perhaps, an omen of things to come from the Angels' No. 2 position-player prospect after Mike Trout and a guy who may be the heir apparent to Gold Glove shortstop Erick Aybar.

"His defense is stupid," praised Trout, who played with Segura at Cedar Rapids and in the Arizona Fall League.

The challenge for Segura so far has been staying on the field. He played just 44 games last season for Single-A Inland Empire because of a strained hamstring. Baseball America still rates him the No. 55 prospect in baseball going into this season.

If Aybar departs via free agency this fall, the Angels likely would have to sign a veteran shortstop to a one-year contract, hopeful that Segura would be ready to take over by 2013.

"I want to be good. I want to be an All-Star," said Segura, who comes from a small town in the Dominican Republic near the border with Haiti. "It's close, but I need to work hard mentally and physically."