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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. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brandon View Post
      if i remember right the lineup was pretty much about the same in 1990 last place team vs 1991 world series team.
      Besides the 2B, 3B, DH a starting pitcher or two, and a good chunk of the bullpen.
    1. snepp's Avatar
      snepp -
      Quote Originally Posted by Dave T View Post
      The Twins lead the majors in double plays, and most of that is due to Florimon and Dozier.
      I don't know about most. I think you undersell the pitching staff's ability to fill the bases with runners (2nd worst in the league) while not striking anybody out (worst in the league).
    1. ashburyjohn's Avatar
      ashburyjohn -
      Quote Originally Posted by snepp View Post
      I don't know about most. I think you undersell the pitching staff's ability to fill the bases with runners (2nd worst in the league) while not striking anybody out (worst in the league).
      Yeah. It amazes me that in a sport that values rate stats like BA and ERA, no normalization for numbers of chances occurs (in the commonly mentioned stats) for RBI and DP and so forth.
    1. Brandon's Avatar
      Brandon -
      Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
      Besides the 2B, 3B, DH a starting pitcher or two, and a good chunk of the bullpen.
      just the lineup not the pitching staff. and wasnt it only half a new 3b as they platooned in 91.
    1. John Bonnes's Avatar
      John Bonnes -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brandon View Post
      if i remember right the lineup was pretty much about the same in 1990 last place team vs 1991 world series team.
      There was the change at 3B, which was really a downgrade - Gaetti to Pags/Leius. But there were two huge upgrades:

      • Knoblauch had that remarkable rookie year at 2B and won ROY. Huge upgrade.
      • Chili Davis at DH. He got some votes for MVP that year.


      So it was just a couple of pieces, but they ended up being big pieces.
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brandon View Post
      just the lineup not the pitching staff. and wasnt it only half a new 3b as they platooned in 91.
      Gaetti was gone...and they had one guy who played in 121 games at 3B...so I suppose there may have been a platoon, but Gaetti wasn't part of it. So I guess I just consider that a new 3B. I also remember Davis, Morris and Knoblauch coming on board.

      To be honest, it was my first year back in Panama, I got some baseball games, but not any Twins game until playoffs. So it was a bummer not being able to see the season.
    1. notoriousgod71's Avatar
      notoriousgod71 -
      Quote Originally Posted by John Bonnes View Post
      There was the change at 3B, which was really a downgrade - Gaetti to Pags/Leius. But there were two huge upgrades:

      • Knoblauch had that remarkable rookie year at 2B and won ROY. Huge upgrade.
      • Chili Davis at DH. He got some votes for MVP that year.


      So it was just a couple of pieces, but they ended up being big pieces.

      Pags/Leius in '91 were an upgrade over Gaetti from 1990. Gaetti was truly miserable in '90 (and '89 and '91 and '92).
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Quote Originally Posted by John Bonnes View Post
      There was the change at 3B, which was really a downgrade - Gaetti to Pags/Leius. But there were two huge upgrades:

      • Knoblauch had that remarkable rookie year at 2B and won ROY. Huge upgrade.
      • Chili Davis at DH. He got some votes for MVP that year.


      So it was just a couple of pieces, but they ended up being big pieces.
      Agree about Knoblauch and Chili.

      Funny enough the 1991 platoon at 3B was an upgrade over Gaetti in 1990:
      .274/.334/.390 101 OPS+ for 1991 from 3B vs. .235/.279/.377 84 OPS+

      Another major difference was the institution of Shane Mack at RF (who took over John Moses in late 1990). In 1990 RF production was: .243/.307/.356 78 OPS+ vs. .328/.386/.521 138 OPS+ in 1991.

      Small changes but made a difference. Similarly, on paper the 2010 team was not that different from the 2011 team
    1. 70charger's Avatar
      70charger -
      Quote Originally Posted by Oldgoat_MN View Post
      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.
      This is so right. I remember lots of consternation on another thread about how it's somehow silly to think that we can "hide" a bad hitter in the lineup. Yes, in a perfect world, we want top-notch defense combined with top-notch offense at every single position on the field and bench. Is this realistic? You tell me.

      Frankly, I had very low expectations of Flormion coming into this year. I expected him to be gone by now, and I'm happy to eat crow. I also think that with the way he's performing, he'd fit in very nicely on a championship team with other offensive weapons. There is no such thing as a perfect team.
    1. jimbo92107's Avatar
      jimbo92107 -
      I like Pedro Florimon. He reminds me of Greg Gagne - very fast, great defense, occasional pop in his bat, and we all wish he would bat .300, but it just ain't gonna happen. The team did pretty well with Gagne, and I think now it can get along just fine with Florimon.
    1. twinsnorth49's Avatar
      twinsnorth49 -
      If anyone told me at the start of the season that Florimon would be a 2 WAR, I'd have said "I'm in".

      I'm pleasantly surprised.
    1. Reider's Avatar
      Reider -
      As a fellow SS, when I saw Florimon last year, he was green, but I saw the potential he had. Defensively, Florimon has been nothing short of outstanding this year. I absolutely love watching this guy play the position. He has great range and a strong arm. He also has good speed and seems to have a good baseball IQ. If you consider the fact that he's had some clutch hits this year, including a few home runs, we honestly can't ask much more from him in his first year as a full time SS.

      Time will tell how things go in the future, but considering he has shown a lot of improvement in such a short period of time, there's absolutely no doubt in my mind that he is the starting SS in 2014 and we'll go from there.

      Also, I must say Dozier has been a pleasant surprise this year, especially over the last few weeks. He's been solid in the field and has obviously been getting it done at the plate with some big hits. It will be interesting to see how things go for him in the future, but right now I am definitely appreciating his effort.
    1. Fanatic Jack's Avatar
      Fanatic Jack -
      Really good article!! I have been very impressed with Florimon all year. He is in a tremendous slump right now, but will get better as he gets more plate appearances. Hell Greg Gagne only had a lifetime batting average of .254. He is terrific defensively, good base stealer, and some pop in his bat. Florimon and Dozier have been real good this year. Pitching still the huge issue with this club. Remember this comment is coming from Mr. Negative.
    1. Oldgoat_MN's Avatar
      Oldgoat_MN -
      Quote Originally Posted by Fanatic Jack View Post
      Really good article!! I have been very impressed with Florimon all year. He is in a tremendous slump right now, but will get better as he gets more plate appearances. Hell Greg Gagne only had a lifetime batting average of .254. He is terrific defensively, good base stealer, and some pop in his bat. Florimon and Dozier have been real good this year. Pitching still the huge issue with this club. Remember this comment is coming from Mr. Negative.
      Who are you and what did you do with Jack?
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