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:
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
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.