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Plouffe

defense home runs third base trevor plouffe
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#1 stringer bell

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 04:12 PM

Coming into the season, I was looking at Plouffe hitting .250-.270 with about an .800 OPS, with probably 20+ homers. I expected improved defense, but still not much more than "serviceable". Nearing the halfway point of the season, Plouffe hasn't produced the power I expected, but he's hitting for a better average and keeping the OPS pretty close to .800 (.783 according to ESPN). Eye test view of his defense is improved and serviceable.

For the second half of the season, I would expect that Plouffe will hit more homers and continue to improve as a third baseman. He's just 27 and I think he'll be part of the solution for the Twins when they are contenders again, not necessarily as a third baseman. It could also be that Trevor could be trade bait as soon as this deadline.

#2 TheLeviathan

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 04:19 PM

I made this point in the offseason, but there were people that were expecting Plouffe to be 20+ but he has never been a consistent 20+ HR hitter even in the minors. Much of his power came on one unearthly binge last year.

As with his defense, until he can start to produce consistently, I'm not sure he's much more than a 15 HR guy with sub-par defense. Couple that with some durability concerns and I'm not sure he has much value.

I've always felt his real value going forward was going to be as a bench bat that you could use to pound lefty starters.

#3 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 04:39 PM

I made this point in the offseason, but there were people that were expecting Plouffe to be 20+ but he has never been a consistent 20+ HR hitter even in the minors. Much of his power came on one unearthly binge last year.

As with his defense, until he can start to produce consistently, I'm not sure he's much more than a 15 HR guy with sub-par defense. Couple that with some durability concerns and I'm not sure he has much value.

I've always felt his real value going forward was going to be as a bench bat that you could use to pound lefty starters.


Plouffe never showed much power in the minors until he seemingly transformed into an entirely different hitter in AAA.

It's hard to say what kind of power hitter he is... People were predicting 30+ homers, which seems a little silly. I think he'll probably settle in somewhere between 15-25 depending on how "legit" you consider his 2012 June.

If Plouffe continues posting a .775 OPS, he has a fair amount of value. I think he could be a ~2-ish WAR player, which isn't anything to scoff at, though it won't get anyone too excited, either.

#4 TheLeviathan

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 04:53 PM

Plouffe never showed much power in the minors until he seemingly transformed into an entirely different hitter in AAA.


Eh, he had 192 ABs where his power spiked, but it didn't carry to the majors and he still hasn't found that power consistently. I'd say 15-20 is the much better prediction for him, it falls more in line with his career norms. I certainly don't think you can project more until he A) shows power more consistently and B) stays on the field.

But my role for him has plenty of value. A guy that can play 3B, corner OF, and probably 1B with decent power and crushes lefties has a lot of value. The problem with that is that there are people that want to think he can be much more than that and I just don't think it's realistic. I'd still be plenty happy with what he can realistically provide.

#5 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 05:24 PM

Eh, he had 192 ABs where his power spiked, but it didn't carry to the majors and he still hasn't found that power consistently. I'd say 15-20 is the much better prediction for him, it falls more in line with his career norms. I certainly don't think you can project more until he A) shows power more consistently and B) stays on the field.


He only had ~200 AAA PAs in 2011 when his power spiked but he also had a decent season in Minnesota that year, OPSing right around .700 with 8 homers in 320 PAs. That's not bad for a 25 year old rookie.

Plouffe's biggest problem is his inability to stay on the field, IMO. When he's healthy, he seems to be a pretty good hitter and it seems more and more every day that we can throw out anything he did before 2011, as it no longer seems to apply to him as a hitter.

But my role for him has plenty of value. A guy that can play 3B, corner OF, and probably 1B with decent power and crushes lefties has a lot of value. The problem with that is that there are people that want to think he can be much more than that and I just don't think it's realistic. I'd still be plenty happy with what he can realistically provide.


Well, yeah, and people will continue to expect too much from Trevor until last June fades from memory entirely.

Personally, I think his ceiling is an .800 OPS with adequate defense. A slightly above average player. His floor is out of the league in a year. His most likely outcome is a league average guy for 2-4 years and a quality stopgap until Sano arrives, at which point you consider moving him to a utility role or trading him for a solid prospect.

#6 Monkeypaws

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 08:18 AM

Better than having Lamb or Punto there.

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 10:47 AM

I think Plouffe is one of the more positive developments of 2012-13. He continues to improve both on the field and at the plate. IMO he's already to the point where I see him as part of the next good Twins team.

#8 stringer bell

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 11:56 AM

I checked third basemen a week or so ago and Plouffe is about the only middling one in the American League. Baltimore, Seattle, Tampa, Detroit, Oakland and Texas have All-Star contenders at the hot corner and everybody else (at that point) had a sub-.725 guy. ESPN is now listing Reynolds as a 3B for the Tribe, but it really seems like either the teams have a good third baseman or they have a problem.

#9 howieramone1406390264

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 12:07 PM

I checked third basemen a week or so ago and Plouffe is about the only middling one in the American League. Baltimore, Seattle, Tampa, Detroit, Oakland and Texas have All-Star contenders at the hot corner and everybody else (at that point) had a sub-.725 guy. ESPN is now listing Reynolds as a 3B for the Tribe, but it really seems like either the teams have a good third baseman or they have a problem.


I think that's very true and has been for some time. If you have a 3B you can live with, you stick with him. IMO Plouffe is not part of the core going forward.

#10 Jim H

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 12:20 PM

I agree with most of what has been written here about Plouffe. I think the Twins went into the year hoping to get a good read on Plouffe. The wildcard here is the injury thing. He does seem to have had some trouble staying on the field. I don't remember that well and won't look it up, but I think he had a few injury issues in the minors as well.

I assumed he might have trouble hitting for average but would probably have hot streaks where he hit well with a bunch of home runs. He is maintaining average better than I expected, but maybe he sacrificing power to do that. I don't know. His glove doesn't look that bad to me.

I agree with the predictions about his future. A lot of it depends on others. When Sano is ready, if he can stay at 3B, Plouffe will likely be moved to a different position or traded. It is possible he could be used as sort of a super utility guy with AB's at 3B, DH corner OF and possibly 1B and 2B. Sort like Zobrist was used for a few years. The problem with that sort of thing is some guys have trouble with consistent AB's when moved around a lot. Like Cuddyer did when he was young.

In any case I think he can stay at 3B at least until Sano is ready. If he does a little better with the bat than we think he probably will, he could bring a nice return in trade.

#11 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 01:12 PM

People tend to forget that when he went on that binge last June he was hitting for average too. Part of his lower average was sporadic PT last spring and a thumb injury last fall. The power hasn't been as bingy this year, but it's been there, and that's nice.

#12 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 03:58 PM

I checked third basemen a week or so ago and Plouffe is about the only middling one in the American League. Baltimore, Seattle, Tampa, Detroit, Oakland and Texas have All-Star contenders at the hot corner and everybody else (at that point) had a sub-.725 guy. ESPN is now listing Reynolds as a 3B for the Tribe, but it really seems like either the teams have a good third baseman or they have a problem.


I think that's just third base, period. It's one of the most undervalued and overlooked positions on the field. If someone is really good defensively, they play short. If someone has a really great bat but marginal defense, they play first.

There are fewer third basemen in the HoF than any other position on the field. There's a reason for that. Everyone tends to ignore the position and few "natural" third basemen exist.

#13 Thrylos

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 04:50 PM

There are fewer third basemen in the HoF than any other position on the field.


Foul.

there are 16 third basemen in the hall of fame (and the likes of Ripken went as a SS). That equals the number of catchers (also 16). There are 72 pitchers and if you subtract the 10ish relievers and divide by 5 (even if you do not subtract for the relievers, this makes 14.some) and if you consider that there are 12 P spots for 13 position spots in a roster (or 10 and 15 at the worst ratio), Pitcher is the position with the least likelihood for a HOF award hands down by a long way.
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#14 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 05:52 PM

Foul.

there are 16 third basemen in the hall of fame (and the likes of Ripken went as a SS). That equals the number of catchers (also 16). There are 72 pitchers and if you subtract the 10ish relievers and divide by 5 (even if you do not subtract for the relievers, this makes 14.some) and if you consider that there are 12 P spots for 13 position spots in a roster (or 10 and 15 at the worst ratio), Pitcher is the position with the least likelihood for a HOF award hands down by a long way.


You're kidding, right?

You're essentially arguing that #5 pitchers are the least represented "position" in the HoF.

Well, yes. I... suppose you're right? If anyone on earth would make such a ridiculous argument, that is. And I'm not even factoring in history's four man rotation, 3-4 man bullpen, or utility players (if we're going to start counting bench spots as position dilution).

According to this link, there are fewer third basemen than catchers. But honestly, I don't really care. I'm not going to get into a semantic argument over it.

http://www.baseball-...f/hofstat.shtml

#15 jorgenswest

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 06:00 PM

Foul.

there are 16 third basemen in the hall of fame (and the likes of Ripken went as a SS). That equals the number of catchers (also 16). There are 72 pitchers and if you subtract the 10ish relievers and divide by 5 (even if you do not subtract for the relievers, this makes 14.some) and if you consider that there are 12 P spots for 13 position spots in a roster (or 10 and 15 at the worst ratio), Pitcher is the position with the least likelihood for a HOF award hands down by a long way.


Possibly fair? If you go by the count at the HOF site.

Hall of Famers | Baseball Hall of Fame

Of course, their list is different than the count on their front page.

If you look at list it seems to support Brock's point.

We could spend a few comments arguing positions and Ripken, Molitor etc...

that would only distract from the point.

Edited by jorgenswest, 30 June 2013 - 06:07 PM.


#16 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 10:47 AM

Ripken went in as a shortstop because he played ~2300 games at short and ~700 at third. That kind of illustrates my point about third basemen. Guys who are good with the glove play short and guys who aren't play first. Third base tends to be neglected and older players tend to move there after they've lost the ability to play a "real" position.

Even Paul Molitor, a guy we think of primarily as a third baseman, barely played 50% of his non-DH games at the hot corner. Add in his DH games and he's way under 50%.

Another example is A-Rod, a guy who should have stayed at short for a lot longer than he did and may only go into the hall as a third sacker because the Yankees bumped him from short in favor of manning an inferior defender at the position. And even today he has more games at short than he does third.

Examples of the "anti-Ripken" are Killebrew and Thome. Both came up at the hot corner and moved to first because they were statues.

#17 Nick Nelson

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 12:09 PM

I made this point in the offseason, but there were people that were expecting Plouffe to be 20+ but he has never been a consistent 20+ HR hitter even in the minors. Much of his power came on one unearthly binge last year.

Plouffe hit 17 HR in 2010, 23 in 2011 and 24 in 2012. His injury might prevent him from getting there this year but he's on a 20-HR full-season pace, and that's without his typical mid-season spike, which still may come.

I'd say that's consistent enough to establish 20 homers as his baseline.

#18 Beezer07

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 12:14 PM

Nothing at all wrong with a 20-HR, average-defensively, reliable 3B. I'm perfectly happy with Plouffe when he's healthy. Just wish he could stay healthy.

#19 TheLeviathan

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 12:19 PM

Plouffe hit 17 HR in 2010, 23 in 2011 and 24 in 2012. His injury might prevent him from getting there this year but he's on a 20-HR full-season pace, and that's without his typical mid-season spike, which still may come.

I'd say that's consistent enough to establish 20 homers as his baseline.


Considering his injuries and inability to provide power consistently...I think the baseline is more comfortable lower. I think your 20ish baseline is optimistic.

Which is fine, the kid is certainly taking better at bats, that has been encouraging.

#20 ThePuck

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 01:28 PM

Nothing at all wrong with a 20-HR, average-defensively, reliable 3B. I'm perfectly happy with Plouffe when he's healthy. Just wish he could stay healthy.


He's not average defensively, he's well below average defensively.

#21 beckmt

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 01:38 PM

do not know range stats but his hitting is good. looks like a core gut to me.

#22 Monkeypaws

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 03:14 PM

He seems to make most of the plays there. I like his power. He is a perfect 6-7 hitter on a good team.