07-17-2014, 11:28 AM #41
07-17-2014, 11:33 AM #42
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Brock, a lot of that has to do with defense. Plouffe already has 1.6 WAR on the year, and I'm expecting a big second half from him (if he stays healthy). Across the board he is a better player this year. He is hitting balls hard and playing solid defense. His patience at the plate is getting better too. When you look at advanced metrics for him something has to give. He is posting career high LD%, career low HR/FB and IF/FB (significantly less than previously in the worst kind of contact); all the while he has maintained a similar BaBIP and AVG. These will go up along with the number of HR's he hits. We might be having a very different discussion in 2 months.
Why is everyone so convinced Sano is going to push him off the position? I'm not. Sano is will probably be great, but he has contact issue and might get too big for the position. Have we all forgotten Sano's faults? He wouldn't be the first uber prospect to fail. If you're the Twins you don't put all your eggs in the Sano basket. He is going to play the whole season in AA/AAA next year unless he puts up a 1.000 OPS for a half the season. When that happens you worry about moving a solid player. There is only a dozen guys in MLB that are better at 3b. Plouffe is being sold very short on this thread. I hope my predictions come true and he has a big second half.Do or do not. There is no try.
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07-17-2014, 11:56 AM #43
07-17-2014, 12:04 PM #44
If Plouffe makes $3M in arbitration and fills about four backup roles, crushes lefties, plays average or slightly above average 3B, and we have a health question mark at 1B and a position question mark coming up at 3B....seems like a no brainer to me.
We can probably dump others to improve the club. Plouffe is not near the top of the list.
Last edited by tobi0040; 07-17-2014 at 12:06 PM.
07-17-2014, 12:16 PM #45
But average doesn't mean permanently acceptable -- the average includes a lot of bad players (injury replacements, backups, rookies, over-the-hill vets). I think it is better to look at ranks, with a lower PA threshold than batting title qualifiers to account for injuries, rookies, etc.
With 300 minimum PA (or 200 so far in 2014), Plouffe has ranked 23, 25, 21 among 3B at Fangraphs going back to 2012. He's pretty clearly in the bottom 25-30% of MLB third basemen offensively.
And Plouffe doesn't make much, but it's not "no money" anymore -- $2.3 mil this year, probably $3-4 mil in arbitration the next couple years.
That said, I don't think he should be replaced now, or even spring 2015, but he's really just a patch to Sano at this point. And I doubt his bat/salary would play in the corner OF regardless of his glove.
07-17-2014, 12:23 PM #46
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For what it's worth, Dozier's career WAR is 7.3. Plouffe's is 2.9. Maybe bringing those two together in a conversation doesn't really work?
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mike wants wins (07-17-2014)
07-17-2014, 12:32 PM #47
07-17-2014, 12:39 PM #48
I don't know the split between RHP and LHP. But if we assume 75% of the pitchers are righties, you have a guy that could at least be a bench/pinch hit option 75% of the time and a backup at four positions. The other 25% of the time you get a guy with an .820 OPS in your lineup.
That is acceptable to me if Sano moves him off 3B. If Sano can't stick my money says we won't find a better 3B for awhile.
07-17-2014, 12:47 PM #49
Factoring in defense, Joe Crede in 2009 was better than Plouffe.
So Plouffe is better than Tony Batista, Luis Rodriguez, Brian Buscher, Mike Lamb, Brendan Harris, non-2006 Punto, and non-2010 Valencia. I don't think anyone here would dispute that, but it says nothing about Plouffe's place on the Twins going forward.
07-17-2014, 12:54 PM #50
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If Plouffe were traded, I don't think the Twins would notice his absence. The problem is, what could you get in return that would be worth having? Can Polanco play 3B?
07-17-2014, 12:57 PM #51
But how valuable is a .676 OPS bench/pinch hit option vs RHP? 75% of the time, he will have negative value in this role.
Not to mention, who are you going to bench 25% of the time for Plouffe vs LHP? Mauer at 1B? Arcia in RF? Not particularly realistic/desirable... maybe if we're stuck with Parmelee in LF, but then our goal shouldn't be to find/keep a decent sub for Parmelee -- it should be to replace him with a better starter.
Still think we will be way better off trading Plouffe to a team that needs a 3B patch as soon as Sano is up.
07-17-2014, 01:12 PM #52
07-17-2014, 01:17 PM #53
07-17-2014, 01:18 PM #54
07-17-2014, 01:37 PM #55
Actually, since Plouffe was handed the position in 2012, it was really only 7 seasons between him and Koskie. And between Cuddy, Crede, Punto, and Valencia, the Twins got cheap Plouffe-like production at the position at least 5 of those 7 seasons.
Twins combined 3B MLB OPS rank
Hate to say it, but Plouffe's 2012 HR binge still looks like the outlier here, not Plouffe overall.
07-17-2014, 01:40 PM #56
07-17-2014, 01:51 PM #57
In two years we should have Buxton, Sano, Mauer, and likely at least two from the Hicks, Rosario, camp playing every day. As well as an everyday catcher. So the roster should be flexible enough for a guy like that.
07-17-2014, 02:15 PM #58
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The Twins can (and should) go year to year with him right now. He's not going to yield a good prospect at the deadline, he's got a decent chance of improving, and he's not dragging down the team. If he improves, he's going to be worth a lot more next season, and the Twins will also have seen Sano play an entire year against tougher pitching.
07-17-2014, 02:21 PM #59
Plouffe has some value as a 3B. He has less value as a more expensive short-side platoon corner OF. I didn't think that would be a controversial statement!
07-17-2014, 02:46 PM #60
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