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2015 Opening Day Line up

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 04:18 PM
What will the Twins opening day roster look like? Recently my worthless brother speculated that 23 of the 25 roster spots were pretty wel...
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Astros & later pick Nix settle -- part of Aiken mess

MLB Baseball Today, 02:30 PM
Jon Heyman ‏@JonHeymanCBS  · 16m16 minutes ago  astros & draftee nix, whose $1.5M deal was canceled thru no fault of his ow...
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REPORT: Jose Berrios To Play Winter Baseball

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 12:53 PM
After being announced that he will be invited to the major league spring training camp, Twins pitching prospect Jose Berrios is on the ve...
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Punto vs Nunez

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 12:50 PM
Punto was just released by the A's.  Should the Twins continue their welcome back tour and bring Punto back as the 2nd back up middl...
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Casey McGehee to the Giants

MLB Baseball Today, 02:30 PM
The Giants have their third baseman, I guess.  They acquired Casey McGehee from the Marlins.  Many of us had speculated that th...
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The Maturation of Trevor Plouffe

As spring training began in Twins Territory, there were questions about who should be starting at third base when the team headed north. Trevor Plouffe was coming off an underwhelming season where he dealt with some injuries and he struggled defensively at third base. Miguel Sano was ranked as one of the best prospects in the game and his powerful swing looked primed to make his debut.

http://twinsdaily.co...=1Flash-forward a couple months and Sano is recovering from Tommy John surgery while Plouffe has continued to look more comfortable at the plate and in the field. Plouffe is never going to be a high batting average player but he's changed some of his offensive approach. Last season, he set a career high in doubles with 22 and this season he's already notched 18 two-baggers. His OPS+ of 113 breaks his career high from back in 2012 when he went HR crazy for a few weeks.

There have been two big changes for Plouffe this season. The first has been his plate discipline and more importantly his ability to coax walks. He has 19 walks to his credit this year but he has increased is BB% from 6.5% in 2013 to close to 10% in 2014. Plouffe has also seen more pitches per game this season than last year. In 2013, he averaged 4.04 pitches seen per at-bat and that number has jumped to 4.60 in 2014.

Another area of improvement for Plouffe has been his ability to drive the ball to the opposite field. Last season, he had a total of six doubles to the opposite field and only two of those balls were to the gap. Already this season he has ten doubles to the opposite field and seven of those doubles are in the gap. His line drive percentage has also increased from 24.7% to 28.5%.

Plouffe is in his first year of being arbitration eligible since he qualified as a Super 2 player. His salary bumped up to $2.35 million this season and that number will continue to increase in the years to come. Here's a fun little player comparison between two former Twins first round picks.

Player A: 1544 PA, .260/.336/.444, 86 2B, 48 HR, .184 ISO, .304 BABIP
Player B: 1544 PA, .242/.305/.413, 78 2B, 51 HR, .171 ISO, .281 BABIP

Player A is Michael Cuddyer, another late bloomer with the Twins. Player B is Trevor Plouffe through Wednesday night's game in San Diego. It took Cuddyer over 1500 at-bats to consistently compile an OPS+ of over 100. Plouffe is around that mark and he just crossed the 1500 career at-bats.

If Plouffe can continue to make small improvements, the Twins are going to have to continue to find room for him on their line-up card.


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