Will the real SS please stand up?
by, 11-26-2012 at 01:34 AM (1033 Views)
Like the pretenders and imitators of the real Slim Shady, the Twins appear to have a preposterous situation at the SS position throughout the organization. Here, I discuss the 15 top shortstops in the organization with regard to their current output and future potential. Initially, the term "shortstop" will designate those players in the organization with significant playing time at the position in 2012 (Eduardo Escobar's 10 games at the position is the low point in terms of playing time at SS).
The "big" 15 are: Jamey Carroll, Brian Dozier, Pedro Florimon, Eduardo Escobar, James Beresford, Estarlin De Los Santos, Daniel Santana, Levi Michael, Tyler Grimes, Stephen Wickens, Adam Bryant, Adam Pettersen, Niko Goodrum, Jorge Polanco, Aderlin Mejia.
These players have accumulated 650 games played at SS this season and 559 games at other positions (predominantly 2B, then 3B). So the "shortstops" here have actually played the position for 53.8% of the games. Included in this are the games played by De Los Santos (55) and Bryant (20), but those two players cannot be a part of the future for the Twins with Bryant's .580 OPS as a 23-year-old at Beloit, and De Los Santos' .552 OPS as a 25-year-old.
Removing those games makes it about 50/50 in terms of shortstop playing time vs. playing time at other positions. But this ratio could be offset by true shortstops coupled with true second basemen, etc., right? Not really, as Brian Dozier's 83 games and Tyler Grimes' 77 games are second and third respectively in games played at shortstop behind Danny Santana. But Santana isn't even a good fit at SS, but is much better at 2B. In all three cases, it would appear that the better fit is 2B instead of SS.
What on earth is going to happen at shortstop outside of adding free agents? The best cases may be Florimon and Beresford, but I have no high hopes for the offensive production in the future for those two players. Maybe that will not matter, as the Twins offense outside of SS may improve dramatically. Otherwise, it would appear that the Twins are going to be hoping for Niko Goodrum to stay at short and develop offensively.
There is a major failure by this organization at securing this position. They had a chance with the FA J.J. Hardy, but they sought help elsewhere (nowhere). I am comfortable with Florimon backed by Carroll for 2013, but the outlook is fairly bleak beyond this season. The hope (for the future) for 2013 is going to lie in James Beresford's offensive production, Danny Santana's ability to field the postion, and Niko Goodrum's progress at the position across the board.