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The Shortstop factory

Posted by mikelink45 , 15 January 2021 · 3,035 views

royce lewis jorge polanco fredy laflor danny de andrade keoni cavaco
The Shortstop factory The Twins have Jorge Polanco at SS. In 2019 he was an all star. Now all of Twins fandom wants him at utility and hope for the team to sign another SS. I am not sure why. Our number one prospect remains Royce Lewis who is still listed as a SS who should be ready by the end of the year at least. So why do we want to demote Polanco and block Lewis? This is reasoning that does not work for me.

Then we have Wander Javier who came to us in the same international draft that produced Vladimir Guerrero, jr. and Yordan Alvarez. To say that he is behind them on the development level is an understatement. I am still not sure why he is rated so high as a prospect. He has had a hamstring injury during his 2016 debut, a torn labrum costing him all of 2018 and a strained quad keeping him from making his full-season debut in 2019. Then he came in and looked lost for 300 at bats. And MLB.com still has him listed at number nine.

Above him on the mlb.com site is Keoni Cavaco who is given great grades for athleticism, which is fine in the Olympics, but batting and fielding count in baseball. I am not sold on him. He was a fast riser in HS according to his notes. Another prospect who does not make my list.

At 17 is Nick Gordon. He seems to be on a slippery slope to a forgotten prospect, but I hope he will find a way to get to the majors someday. He just isn’t going to make the team as a starter.

Will Holland is next on the prospect list at 19. Notes about him say that he was doing great at Auburn until his Junior year where he bombed and slipped to fifth round. Then he came to rookie ball and still bombed. Not looking good.

Today the Twins made an big international signing – Danny De Andrade who is 16. He could be projected to arrive when Lewis runs out of arbitration and signs elsewhere. He is big, potential middle of the order project (typically that means not staying at SS). At 16 he is a project. I know what my grandsons are like at that age – I would not sign them for $2.2 million and I love them. If he makes it he will probably replace Donaldson and not Lewis.

Finally the second signing is Fredy LaFlor who is already projected in the mlb.com writeup to shift to second or CF. He said to be a high energy top of the lineup prospect.

So there is the Twins SS list. I would like to see us develop one of them into the next great SS rather than sign one who is already down the road of his career and will be overpaid. How do you see these names playing out?

The Athletic summary of international signings did not include the Twins - disappointing. https://theathletic....rce=weeklyemail For those of us who do not know who they are it is important to have outside opinions.

  • tarheeltwinsfan, ToddlerHarmon, Dave The Dastardly and 1 other like this

Doctor Gast
Jan 15 2021 05:37 PM
SS factory? Who could Mike be talking about? It couldn't be our Twins? To my knowledge they haven't produced a bona fide SS since Zoilo Versalles.
Prospects usually don't pan out and leave or move to a different position. Polanco became an all star because of his bat not his glove. He's a 2B but was thrust at SS when we traded Escobar.
It seems that any good SS we've had, we gotten thru trade. Lewis is a good SS but will he stay there?
Why can't we produce our own SS, Mike? It's a question that needs to be asked. Thank you Mike for bringing this to our attention.
    • mikelink45, tarheeltwinsfan, ToddlerHarmon and 1 other like this

Your assessment of the Twins' short stops is sound. Adding a player from outside the organization either via trade or free agency is about making the team better. That doesn't always mean simply shoring up weaker areas - the Twins could improve their team by bringing in a SS like Simmons and finding a different regular role for Polanco.

    • mikelink45, tarheeltwinsfan and ToddlerHarmon like this

It is odd that the best SS's the Twins have ever had (other than Zoilo) have all been acquired via trade (Cardenas, Gagne, Guzman come to mind).  

It is also true than Polanco was an A.L. All Star due to his bat, not his glove.

I want to see the Twins get better "D" up the middle.That's why I'm not against looking at a FA signing (Simmons, Didi) or a trade for someone like Story.  

However, if a BIG move was made for someone like Story, I want the Twins to work out an extension much like the Mets did with Lindor.I don't want a one-year rental.

I have no superior knowledge, I just see Lewis more as an outfielder.

I still have hope for Wander Javier but this is pretty much a make or break year for him.He either stays healthy and puts himself back in the serious SS of the future conversation, or I fear he will never turn the corner and drift into the dust bin of forgotten prospects.  


    • mikelink45, tarheeltwinsfan and GNess like this

Nick Gordon is the forgotten guy. Maybe, just maybe, he will get a utility role shot this year.


Royce Lewis to the outfield? Already crowded, even after deep-sixing Rosario (no one had grabbed Eddie yet). 


Javier, still highly rated, but has already gone thru two Rule 5 drafts. That ahs to be amazing for such a still highly rated prospect. At some point the Twins have to work him onto the 40-man.



 school players vs. college players? Discussion on some positions? Yes, MOST prospects don't pan out at all. Others seemed to be packaged more after their first season in a club's system, which can be a smart move...you basically only have money invested.


    • mikelink45 and ToddlerHarmon like this

Here is the Athletic grading of the Twins off season signings.I do not know enough about them, but this does not give me much encouragement. 

Minnesota Twins
Grade: F
Trades: None.
Free Agents: Hansel Robles, 1 year/$2 million.
Waiver Claims: None.
Rule 5: None.

The Twins have had an ugly offseason so far, saying goodbye to reliever Trevor May who left for the Mets in free agency, non-tendering outfielder Eddie Rosario and not yet being able to persuade designated hitter Nelson Cruz to return. They did make one move, landing reliever Hansel Robles who’s coming off a 10.26 ERA season in 18 appearances with the Angels. The best part of the offseason for the Twins is opening up a spot for one of the game’s hitting prospects in outfielder Alex Kirilloff.