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  • Is Pedro Florimon Meeting or Exceeding Expectations?

    On Tuesday, we took a look at Minnesota Twins second baseman Brian Dozier and noted that his performance is certainly trending in the right direction, and that continued on Wednesday night in Kansas City. Today, weíll shift to the other side of the infield and try to determine whether Dozierís keystone combination partner Pedro Florimon is meeting or exceeding expectations.

    If Iím being honest, my expectations for Mr. Florimon were not terribly high. In fact, when I posted my 2013 Twins hitting predictions, I thought that he would be Designated for Assignment in June with an OPS below .500.

    Strangely, I was not all that impressed by his defense in his late-season run at shortstop with the Twins. Looking at some defensive metrics, they lined up pretty closely with those of Brian Dozier, who many fans thought was pretty bad at shortstop.

    So, letís start with the defense. When the Twins claimed Florimon after he had been DFAd by the Orioles, he was known as a tremendous defensive shortstop. Offensive expectations were very low, but that only meant that his defense must be incredible. Reports I was hearing out of New Britain and Rochester last year didnít disagree with that. They were seeing a great glove man. But again, I thought he was disappointing, relative to expectations, with the glove in 2012.

    So, letís jump to 2013. How is Florimon doing defensively? He had four errors in about the first week of the season. Not a great start to the season, but in total, he has just ten errors this season. Now to the more advanced defensive metrics.


    • According to fangraphs, Florimon ranks third among MLB shortstops with a 7.7 UZR. Only the Braves Andrelton Simmons (17.7) and the Rays Yunel Escabar (8.2) rank ahead of him right now.
    • By DWAR (Defensive WAR), Florimonís (1.9) is second to Simmonsí 4.2. Third on the list is former Twins shortstop, JJ Hardy at 1.5.
    • If Range Factor is what you prefer, then Florimon is Number One on your list. His 5.46 is 0.50 ahead of Simmonsí 4.96. The Number Two AL shortstop is Seattleís Brendan Ryan at 4.30.


    So, from a defensive perspective, he has been very good. For me, thatís actually a little bit better than I expected.

    So, letís turn to the offense. My expectations were incredibly low so it wonít take a whole lot to be better than my expectations for him with the bat. Overall this year, in 300 plate appearances, he is hitting .232/.286/.353 (.639) with 12 doubles, seven home runs and 35 RBI. Looking at those numbers with no context says that they are not very good numbers. So, letís look at how his numbers rank with other big league shortstops.


    • Of 14 shortstops with more than 200 plate appearances, only Seattleís Brendan Ryan has a lower batting average.
    • Of the 14 shortstops, only Ryan and Kansas Cityís Alcides Escobar have a lower on-base percentage.
    • Of the 14 shortstops, only Ryan, Escobar, the Yankeesí Jayson Nix and the Rangersí Elvis Andrus have a lower slugging percentage.
    • Those same four players are the only ones who have an OPS lower than the .639 that Florimon boasts.


    In general, Florimonís offense has been pretty poor, but heís not the worst shortstop in baseball offensively, which is what I expected. Imagine if the Twins were paying him as much as the Rangers are paying Elvis Andrus!!

    So, when you combine the offense of Pedro Florimon with his defense, what happens? Well, if you believe in WAR, the answer might surprise you. Here are the WAR rankings for the shortstops with more than 200 plate appearances:
    1. Jhonny Peralta 3.5
    2. JJ Hardy 2.4
    3. Yunel Escobar 2.3
    4. Elvis Andrus 2.1
    5. Pedro Florimon 2.0
    6. Alexei Ramirez 1.8
    7. Stephen Drew 1.7
    8. Jose Reyes 1.7
    9. Erick Aybar 1.3
    10. Jed Lowrie 1.1
    11. Asdrubal Cabrera 1.0
    12. Mike Aviles 0.8
    13. Jayson Nix 0.5
    14. Brendan Ryan 0.3
    15. Alcides Escobar 0.2

    SUMMARY


    Has Pedro Florimon met or exceeded our expectations? Well, my expectations were immensely low. Again, I expected his defense to be like he was last year, which is to say, look like he should be a good shortstop but the numbers donít match. I thought he wouldnít hit at all, especially over the course of a full season where his weaknesses could be more and more exposed. He hasnít hit great at all, but much better than I expected. So, maybe not to the extent as Brian Dozier, but Pedro Florimon has exceeded my expectations by a decent amount. We said before the season if he could post a .600 OPS and play great defense, we would be happy. I think we can be happy with Pedro Florimon.
    This article was originally published in blog: Is Pedro Florimon Meeting or Exceeding Expectations? started by Seth Stohs
    Comments 54 Comments
    1. LaBombo's Avatar
      LaBombo -
      Yes. He is.
    1. DJL44's Avatar
      DJL44 -
      Mauer's defense matters. You've never heard of a passed ball, wild pitch or a stolen base?
    1. Kwak's Avatar
      Kwak -
      An expectation of OPS >.500 and released in June is a complete dismissal of Florimon. Exceeding that performance bar doesn't address the real question of: "who is the regular SS of the Twins now and for a turnaround?" I believe he has earned the job for April 2014, but I need to see a lot more before a long-term contract is warranted. I hope Florimon "is the SS", but not prepared to deem him so, yet.
    1. Marta Shearing's Avatar
      Marta Shearing -
      1. CF Buxton
      2. RF Mauer
      3. DH Arcia
      4. 1B Sano
      5. 3B Rosario
      6. LF Hicks
      7. 2B Dozier
      8. C Pinto
      9. SS Santana
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      This article is basically saying that Florimon has exceeded very low expectations. I think we generally think the can continue in the job. The purpose was not to say, by any means, that he's going to be the shortstop for the next 8-10 years, much less then next 2-3. I certainly think shortstop is an area the Twins can still address, but I don't think he's been a hole in the roster that I thought he might be. He's been quite adequate. It's not a ringing endorsement, but it's been a pleasant surprise in a season where positives have been few and far between.
    1. John Bonnes's Avatar
      John Bonnes -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      This article is basically saying that Florimon has exceeded very low expectations. I think we generally think the can continue in the job. The purpose was not to say, by any means, that he's going to be the shortstop for the next 8-10 years, much less then next 2-3. I certainly think shortstop is an area the Twins can still address, but I don't think he's been a hole in the roster that I thought he might be. He's been quite adequate. It's not a ringing endorsement, but it's been a pleasant surprise in a season where positives have been few and far between.
      I think just about everyone except the most optimistic would say he's beat the low expectations we had. But your story hints at a tougher question, which I think more people might debate and which to me is a little more interesting: is he an above average MLB starting shortstop?

      Certainly not offensively. However, he seems to be near the top defensively, and if you combine them into WAR, he grades out just above average per your story.

      Right now, I think he's at least average and maybe above average and to get that from someone who is his age and as cheap as he is, would be pretty valuable.

      Does anyone want to give us a breakdown of the starting shortstops in the AL or MLB and where, roughly, they think Florimon ranks?
    1. TheLeviathan's Avatar
      TheLeviathan -
      The range and the arm were always there, but what he cleaned up that I needed to see was the routine plays. He has really improved on eliminating the easy plays he was making errors on.
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
      The range and the arm were always there, but what he cleaned up that I needed to see was the routine plays. He has really improved on eliminating the easy plays he was making errors on.
      I've notice a drop off in the mental mistakes...the fundamentals mistakes....the not knowing what to do with the ball if hit here and opposed to there, or what have you. Physical errors happen
    1. Willihammer's Avatar
      Willihammer -
      Florimon: 223/278/333
      Casilla: 248/302/333
    1. SpitefulRabbit617's Avatar
      SpitefulRabbit617 -
      Definately have to say that watching Dozier and Florimon together is fun to watch. Even his homeruns are a welcome surprise.
    1. DAM DC Twins Fans's Avatar
      DAM DC Twins Fans -
      Using the eyeball test--I would have to say that Dozier/Florimon are about equal to Rivas/Guzman--definitely not better. I still have to get over Dozier's error (not charged) in the game here in DC.

      None of us know where these two will be in 2015 or later. Just look at the Nats utility guy (Lombardozzi--a familiar name to Twins fans)--he had a career year in 2012 and is a bum this year.

      I hope Florimon can continue to improve--and Rosario plays 2B with Dozier in the utility role--but who knows.
    1. Brandon's Avatar
      Brandon -
      If you go back and look at the past Twins teams you will see the Twins like to find players who have holes in their game but still contribute to the team as they help keep costs down. If Florimon plays elite defense and can hit just emough to occaionally contribute at SS, IE 10 HR 10 SB .300 OBP .325 SLG. He has a job plain and simple. there are enough bats comming up in the system to cover him. With Mauer's bat at C giving us a huge advantage on offense if the rest of the offense is up to par then we can absorb a hole in the line up that gives us elite defense at one of the most important positions in the field. The bat will also keep Florimons price down and he will be older and a field leader on the next wave of Twins teams as long as the defense is there and it should be. You can put me on record that if Florimon has a .625 OPS moving forward he will be the SS for the next 4-5 seasons.
    1. blairpaul715's Avatar
      blairpaul715 -
      Anyone have interest in Tim Beckham , who was a #1 pick of the Rays in 2008, has the arm , just might be short on range, but still has the chance to provide power as a shortstop and is only 23, still has a chance to be very good IMO. Not sure what Rays plans are for him as they have Lee as a higher ranked shortstop prospect.
    1. stringer bell's Avatar
      stringer bell -
      Quote Originally Posted by Marta Shearing View Post
      1. CF Buxton
      2. RF Mauer
      3. DH Arcia
      4. 1B Sano
      5. 3B Rosario
      6. LF Hicks
      7. 2B Dozier
      8. C Pinto
      9. SS Santana
      That would be a bit different from what is being projected, however you may be closer to correct than some of the projections. I guess I would have Rosario in left, Hicks in right, Mauer at 1b and Arcia DH if these were the nine starters.
    1. Beezer07's Avatar
      Beezer07 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Marta Shearing View Post
      1. CF Buxton
      2. RF Mauer
      3. DH Arcia
      4. 1B Sano
      5. 3B Rosario
      6. LF Hicks
      7. 2B Dozier
      8. C Pinto
      9. SS Santana
      When exactly is Mauer going to learn to play RF? 2 years from now, when he's 2 years older and has played 2 more years of catcher? I can't imagine, fathom, or anything else a world where Mauer ever plays anything other than C, 1B, or DH.
    1. Oldgoat_MN's Avatar
      Oldgoat_MN -
      A World Series team would hopefully have an above average player at every position.
      Florimon is clearly an above average fielder by any Baseball-Reference or Fangraphs measure.

      At his peak would you decline to have Reggie Jackson on your team because he was a terrible RF?

      It's about the whole game, not just offense. Not every team has a Tulo.

      Of course if a Tulo comes along I expect the Twins would grab him, but Pedro can add some WAR doing what he's doing now.
    1. Erock's Avatar
      Erock -
      Why are people still so high on Santana? At best, I think he is what Florimon is now.
    1. Linus's Avatar
      Linus -
      Here is the critical part about whether Pedro cuts it on a winning team. Besides catcher, shortstop is probably the most difficult position to find players that are excellent offensively and defensively. It is much more realistic to find upgrades at all other positions compared to SS. So, yes, I'm sure the Twins would love to find someone with Floriman's defense and is a great hitter but based on what's out there, its not likely to happen and I certainly would not advocate trading valuable prospects for a SS that likely will not be substantially better overall. In the meantime, his defense is very useful and let's just hope the regularly playing time results in improving hitting stats over the next year.
    1. Dave T's Avatar
      Dave T -
      The Twins have a pitch-to-contact starting pitching staff. Lots of ground balls. Florimon's range has been astounding to me. Especially when compared to the stiffs we've had playing there the past few years. I like to see good defensive plays, and I've enjoyed quite a few of them this year. The Twins lead the majors in double plays, and most of that is due to Florimon and Dozier.

      maybe Rosario can play 1B?
    1. Brandon's Avatar
      Brandon -
      Quote Originally Posted by ericchri View Post
      Realistically speaking every single starter on our currently terrible team could also theoretically be a starter on a World Series winning team if the roster supports them. That doesn't mean they're a player you should target as being a piece that you build around when shooting for the World Series.
      if i remember right the lineup was pretty much about the same in 1990 last place team vs 1991 world series team.
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