While Florimon's defense improved, on balance, as the season wore on, his offense diminished as the season progressed. I would say that he had a hard time staying focused in his first full season, especially with all the losing. After experiencing last year, perhaps he'll be better equipped to sustain more consistent performance, both offensively and defensively, for an entire season.
Florimon is never going to hit well enough to be an every-day player on a decent team. And there doesn't seem to be any sure-things in the minors at SS. If there's a position that screams to be addressed via FA trade, it's SS. The payroll is at $83 million, they could certainly afford to sign Drew or make an offer for Jimmy Rollins.
While I probably agree that Florimon wouldn't be a starter on a pennant contender, but I don't think going for a 30 y.o.-plus free agent SS is the answer. If the Twins don't think they've got a regular SS in their system, they would be well advised to trade for one, a la Segura and Iglesias. Age and injuries take away the skills that make the guys special unless you are Derek Jeter and it appears that time has finally caught up with him.
Drew would be a solid signing.
Many pennant contenders have employed good field no hit shortstops, it is not a position that calls for a great hitter by any means.
Does anyone even watch the games?
I've said this multiple times on here and I'll say it again.. Twins fan's don't even know what they have in Pedro Florimon. It's absolutely crazy that fans are trying to categorically place him as an "average" defensive short stop. This guy has great range, a strong arm, and yes, he has big play making ability too. I've played short stop competitively for many years (I still play for fun) and it's been a frosty Friday since I've seen a Twins SS that's impressed me this much defensively. His skill set is elite and he's an absolute treat to watch. It's only due to the number of "easy" mistakes he made in 2013 that he gets bumped down to "great." Easy mistakes can be fixed. Trying to categorize him as average is laughable at best. His defensive skill set and play making ability are not average.
Yes, I did see Florimon make some small mistakes that I would like to have back, but considering it was his first full season as an MLB SS, it doesn't surprise me that some easy mistakes were made. Guess what? He'll make easy mistakes in 2014 too, I just hope he makes less of them. Some fans have suggested that some of his mistakes early on may have been due to the cold weather and that may be true. I don't know. But I tend not to get too excited over mistakes that are made in the first month of the season (from all players).
Dozier and Florimon solidified the middle infield and will likely build upon their chemistry from last year.
Offensively, we all know the story. He is a below average hitter, but can hit home runs and has pretty good wheels. I admit that right now i'm not really confident that he'll turn into a .300+ hitter, but I think an obvious achievable short term goal for him is to strike out less. If he strikes out less he should be able to improve upon his numbers from last season. Considering last year was his first full season in the MLB, the Twins would be wise to at least give him an opportunity in 2014 to improve upon his numbers from last season. If he can show any sort of improvement, he will prove to be really good value @ $500k/year.
I don't follow sabermetrics numbers and all of these other numbers too much, but if sabermetrics has him top 5, I believe his skill set is up there for sure. I'm not going to sit here and blow smoke up everyone's yin yangs and try and claim that he's a clear #2 or #3 SS behind Simmons. But I do believe that he has the skill set to be a #2 or #3 if he reduces the easy mistakes he made last year. As far as this UZR rating that has at least a dozen guys ahead of Florimon, I say no. Plenty of those guys do not have the range, arm, or play making ability of Florimon. His skill set is just way too good to be considered "average." Realistically, top 5 sounds about right for Florimon, top 10 at worst, with the potential to be #2 or #3 if he can cut out those easy mistakes.
I'm not even confident that he can turn into a .300 OBP hitter.
Recalling Greg Gagne, Mark Belanger, Ed Brinkman, Leo Cardenas, and Luis Aparicio makes me think good shortstops don't need to be high average hitters.
Without looking I would say that Cardenas & Aparicio would be considered better than average offensive players. Aparicio won several stolen base championships in addition to being a leadoff hitter. He's in the Hall-of-Fame for defense and stolen bases, but he was a respectable hitter.
Cardenas was a pretty good hitter. I think he should be remembered more fondly by Twins fans. He was solid defensively and was a respectable hitter (98 OPS+ for the Twins).
As I said, defensive stats still have a ways to go. The biggest difference that stands out between Peralta's numbers and Florimon's is the Error rate. Peralta's number is 2nd best among the top 14 SSs, while Florimon's is 2nd worst. This follows with the eye test and the number of errors each committed. Florimon gets to more balls but has had some muffs and some inexplicably bad throws on easy plays, Peralta is more consistent on the easier plays. Perhaps FG values the error rate too highly in their overall metric, perhaps not. One thing is for certian, Florimon's value will go way up when he becomes more consistent on the easy plays and moves his DPR into positive territory.
As I have said, I think he is an elite defender--the best the Twins have had since Gagne. But the Twins offense could use a boost, so, if they have a chance to upgrade offensively at the position without harming the defensive side too much, they should look at it. Therein lies the challenge.
Stephen Drew would certainly be an offensive upgrade, but you give something back on defense. He seems awfully expensive for a marginal upgrade overall. And he's declining while Florimon is on the upswing.
To get substantially better at the position, my sense is they would need to make a trade. And that is a tough proposition because a lot of other teams would love to have a guy named Escobar, for example, including the teams that currently employ them. They will not come cheap, if at all (think three top 10 prospects).
In the unlikely event the Twins could lure one of them away at the steep price they would garner, we might only be in need of that upgrade for a year or two. According to Twins scouts, Danny Santana has the kind of upside on both sides of the ball to represent an upgrade at the position. Assuming the Twins do not make a trade or signing, Santana will likely spend 2014 at AAA and compete with Florimon in spring of 2015 for the starting job. I expect him to be the regular shortstop before the end of 2015.
I don't think it's worth the price of the upgrade for one year plus, a year in which the Twins are still primarily building for the future. Better to save their prospects for that future, imo. Also, if and when Santana is ready, Florimon would be worth a lot more on the trade market if he continued to hold the position.
I'm not sure how much "up" is left in Florimon's "swing". As I stated, he's 27, in his 8th professional season. Although I think he can make a marginal improvement over 2013, the Oliver projection surmises that last year was his peak WAR value, and that over the next 5 years he plays himself into a utility role, at best.
Hopefully, they can sell high on Florimon...but FWIW, the Santana projections don't look like much of an overall upgrade...more of a continuation in the opportunity of paying minimum wage at the position out to 2018.
Danny Santana has very little offensive unless we are talking to people that say great things about all prospects. He will probably be lucky to crack a .300 OBP and in the end is probably very similar to Florimon.
I took a second look at Florimon's MiLB batting stats. Four years in A because he didn't hit. I am very comfortable starting him every day at short for his glove and batting him ninth this year however.
Florimon is an above average defensive SS and a very below average hitter. He has value, but as he gains service time and he gets paid more, his value compared to salary will decrease and I would guess he has 1 or 2 years left with this team.
If Santana could learn how to take a walk he would be the long term replacement. Otherwise we will have to wait for Polonco who may or may not be able to field the position.
Does Trea Turner profile about the same offensively?
Based on reports, I'm less optimistic that Polanco can be an above average defender at short. He has good range and very good hands. But his arm is marginal. The arm is the great equalizer over there, turning slow guys like Hardy into above-average defenders because they can play so deep.