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  • Shortstop Pecking Order

    Right now, the Twins have a wealth of shortstop candidates. Conventional wisdom is that shortstops aren't platooned because working with the keystone partner is so important. Here is a short tutorial of the shortstop options and my best guess as to what will happen. I invite anyone else to comment and offer his opinion.

    Eduardo Escobar
    Escobar is starting most games right now and why not? He's hitting over .340 and he's pretty good in the field. News flash: he won't hit .340 and he's not going to get 50 doubles. When his bat cools, we'll see how manager Ron Gardenhire feels about playing him every day. For whatever reason, Escobar has been tabbed as a utility guy and he is a versatile player.

    Defensively, Escobar is a solid shortstop with good hands and a strong arm. He doesn't have great range. He has earned this shot and I think there's a chance he may succeed. Regardless, he has proven he is a capable utility player.

    Danny Santana
    Sanatana has the range Escobar lacks - it's the routine plays that are a challenge. Since his promotion, Santana has played short and center field and demonstrated his blazing speed and strong arm. So far, he has also hit the ball. Santana isn't going to hit .400 any more than Escobar will hit .340. In fact, if he gets a couple hundred plate appearances, it is doubtful he will be above average as a hitter, or at least that's what his minor league record suggests.

    In his very short trial with the Twins, he hasn't shown he's ready to be a regular major leaguer, but he also has shown he has major league tools. A trip back to Rochester is nearly certain. Maybe he can develop into a big league regular with quite a bit more sizzle than Escobar offers.

    Eduardo Nuñez
    He is the most established hitter of the group, but that isn't saying much. He currently has taken on the utility role that Escobar vacated. If Escobar slumps, I wouldn't be surprised if Nuñez gets a shot to prove that his poor defensive rep is overstated. I can't see Gardy going with one of the worst defensive shortstops for long, but then again we saw Plouffe and Nishi playing the position.

    Pedro Florimon
    The manager is reportedly already missing his magic glove, but Florimon just didn't hit at all this year, either with the Twins or not at AAA. (He has also already committed five errors in Rochester. Those minor league fields must be rough!)

    Florimon is 27 years old, and we likely saw his peak as a hitter in the first half of last year and that was barely passable. He needs to put up some kind of offense to justify his recall.

    Down the road there are others but they are years away. I hope someone separates himself. Some are predicting the Twins will draft a shortstop with their high first round pick. Maybe that will be the solution to the shortstop problem.
    Comments 8 Comments
    1. Sconnie's Avatar
      Sconnie -
      Santana has made some moves that show a lack of polish, but none I have seen that are alarming. He's making really good throws, and I haven't seen him botch any grabs or exchanges. It's decision type plays that improve with time. Things like 2 outs, runner on 1rst, slow chopper to short on a hit and run. He has gone to 2 and not gotten the out rather than going to first for an easy end of the inning.

      He'll get there. So far his hitting SSS has been good. Man he had wheels.

      I'm optimistic got Danny Santana. I think he has a bright future.
    1. highlander's Avatar
      highlander -
      I like Escobar anywhere on the team. Santana's wheels are special, hope his glove and decision making catch up. I still like Florimon, his leather is good for taking away a hit a game. Not into Nunez.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      Nunez is the kind of guy that would make sense back in the 14 position player days as merely a good bat to use to pinch hit and then replace with a defensive infielder. Right now, his ability to play LF is helping him. Santana getting better defensively at short is pretty vital for the future of this team. Of the minor league middle infielders vying for SS, he is the one who seems to be missing only some strictly fielding prowess but has the range and the arm. Beresford has the fielding prowess but is lacking some range and some arm. Polanco has the range but lacks some fielding prowess and some arm. I don't know enough about Aderlin Mejia's defense (and he an adoptee of mine!) to make a similar judgment.
    1. troyhobbs's Avatar
      troyhobbs -
      Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
      I like Escobar anywhere on the team. Santana's wheels are special, hope his glove and decision making catch up. I still like Florimon, his leather is good for taking away a hit a game. Not into Nunez.
      So you're into Florimon but not Nunez? Anyone who's good enough to play regularly for the Yankees in the Eastern division ought to be able to contribute to the Twins roster. Florimon is a AAAA player, I really hope Gardy can move on but something tells me we haven't seen the last of Florimon.
    1. LaBombo's Avatar
      LaBombo -
      Quote Originally Posted by Shane Wahl View Post
      Nunez is the kind of guy that would make sense back in the 14 position player days,
      You mean back when teams used to routinely carry three catchers? The good old days! Makes me want to get high on Jolt and Duran Duran. Well, Jolt at least.
    1. LaBombo's Avatar
      LaBombo -
      Well, we can cross Drew off the list of potential people to add to the mix...

      http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/20...h-the-red-sox/

      Same deal as the qualifying offer, pro-rated to the remainder of the season.

      Agent fail.
    1. twinsnorth49's Avatar
      twinsnorth49 -
      Quote Originally Posted by LaBombo View Post
      You mean back when teams used to routinely carry three catchers? The good old days! Makes me want to get high on Jolt and Duran Duran. Well, Jolt at least.
      Nice save.......not buying it though.
    1. LaBombo's Avatar
      LaBombo -
      Quote Originally Posted by twinsnorth49 View Post
      Nice save.......not buying it though.
      Immediately lost interest in them with whatever the album was that came out after Rio.


      Number 65 on NME's top 100 albums of all time, which surprised me.

      Now if I had really wanted to invite scorn and ridicule for an 80's guilty pleasure, I'd have said Hall and Oates...
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