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Article: Suddenly, Shortstops!

danny santana eduardo escobar
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#21 Dantes929

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 09:52 AM

Interesting conundrum. Maybe Santana is where he needs to be right now. An outfield with Buxton and Santana is certainly intriguing. Or Santana is also at a high value right now (think Casilla after his great stretch before injury in 2008) and maybe could get a top pitching prospect. I don't think anyone is suggesting trade Escobar for utility player value but if they get an offer commiserate with a top 10 shortstop they should consider it It is not so far fetched. There are currently only 7 qualifying shortstops with an OPS over .700. Think of how many years the Twins were looking for just this kind of guy. If they don't get a high offer then the whole point is moot. You can't sell high if no one is willing to buy high.
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#22 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 10:01 AM

I take a different approach.I leave Santana in CF--lots of CF played SS in the minors starting with the Mick.Lets face it, Buxton wont be here until Sept. 2015 at the earliest--2014 was a lost season for him.Put Danny in CF next year and see if he repeats this year.Keep Escobar at SS.

 

At some point, Hicks is going to need to get another shot at MLB. Personally, I'd like to see Santana start making the transition back to short as soon as possible because he's not going to stay in center. One or all of Hicks, Rosario, and Buxton are better suited to the position.


#23 Seth Stohs

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 10:18 AM

But there's also a reason that Hicks is playing all 3 outfield positions now. There were always questions about Santana's Defense at SS. Escobar is terrific at shortstop with the glove. I just assume he isn't going to hit like he has this year going forward, but there's no way I'd trade him at this point. There wouldn't be enough upside in whoever they would get for him to make it worth it. 

 

I mentioned on the Twins Hangouts last night that I can't help but wonder if not only the Twins but the other organizations still see Escobar as "just" a utility infielder. Fair or not. He made it to the big leagues at at 21 as a utility guy. Who would do that if they saw him as a real prospect (the White Sox, I guess)? I wonder if that's the industry's standard belief.

 

The Twins do, and rightfully should, value utility guys. We've seen the value of that position for the last 25 years. Having a guy that can play all three spots in the infield is huge, and now I think he can be an adequate starting SS too. 

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#24 TheLeviathan

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 10:27 AM

People keep pointing out the problem with "sell high" is that  no other teams will want him because he's a likely regression candidate...but then they argue he's a really valuable guy to keep around because of his production in future seasons.

 

I'm a bit confused how we want to have it both ways.


#25 Nick Nelson

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 10:42 AM

People keep pointing out the problem with "sell high" is that  no other teams will want him because he's a likely regression candidate...but then they argue he's a really valuable guy to keep around because of his production in future seasons.

 

I'm a bit confused how we want to have it both ways.

We see value in having him around as a solid utility guy and depth option. That's probably how other teams see him, rather than as a starting SS. What is anyone really going to give up for that? Not enough to make it worthwhile, IMO. That's my hold-up.

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#26 TheLeviathan

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 10:44 AM

We see value in having him around as a solid utility guy and depth option. That's probably how other teams see him, rather than as a starting SS. What is anyone really going to give up for that? Not enough to make it worthwhile, IMO. That's my hold-up.

 

They might not....and if they don't you don't move him.  I'm simply endorsing that we shop him because it would make sense from a value standpoint and for getting Santana back to where he needs to be playing.

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#27 drjim

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 10:56 AM

I don't think they get much for him. Nothing bad with having depth going into next season, more value in that than what they could get in a trade in my opinion.

Papers...business papers.

#28 DJL44

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 11:06 AM

The infielder to "sell high" on is Trevor Plouffe. He has 3 arbitration years remaining and is coming off his best year as a defender. I think he's reached his peak and projects as an average 3B for the remainder of his arbitration years. Average performance has value and Plouffe should be of interest to about half the teams in the league. The Twins can patch together 3B with Escobar and Nunez until Miguel Sano is ready and give SS to Danny Santana.


#29 tobi0040

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 11:20 AM

I think the article is interesting, but I agree with those in the camp that we may not yet know what we have in either Santana or Escobar. Both are dramatically outperforming their minor league stats and I also struggle to peg Santana as a SS.He has only started 18 games there and the Twins have questions about his defense.

 

I think we could be sitting here next June in a familiar place, complaining about our SS production.


#30 tobi0040

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 11:22 AM

The infielder to "sell high" on is Trevor Plouffe. He has 3 arbitration years remaining and is coming off his best year as a defender. I think he's reached his peak and projects as an average 3B for the remainder of his arbitration years. Average performance has value and Plouffe should be of interest to about half the teams in the league. The Twins can patch together 3B with Escobar and Nunez until Miguel Sano is ready and give SS to Danny Santana.

 

I am holding onto Plouffe.Sano is no lock at 3B and Plouffe is at least league average there. This is a difficult position to fill. We would be kicking ourselves if Sano doesn't work out there.At worst he is a super utility guy, 3B, 1B, LF, and RF.He should see every rep against lefties regardless.


#31 Linus

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 11:26 AM

I don't get it.We've been waiting forever to have anybody competent at the two middle infield positions and now we have a prevailing opinion that we should trade them?Good teams have depth and multiple choices for lineups something that the Twins haven't had in years.So, when the one guy you are counting on doesn't come through, you have another hole in your lineup.

 

Between Santana and Escobar, we are likely to find a competent SS for 2015 and beyond.Nobody knows who it will be so we need to keep both and not return to the middle infield black hole we had for years.If both prove worthy (not likely) then you can trade one of them without creating another hole in the lineup. 

 

I think a great scenario is for Santana to be the SS and Escobar plays just as much, but at a variety of positions and filling in for injuries.Being a utility guy doesn't mean he won't get full playing time.You could argue that the lineup would be better with Escobar at third instead of Plouffe (far better defense and offensive production that is more similar than most people think).

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#32 DJL44

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 11:38 AM

I am holding onto Plouffe.Sano is no lock at 3B and Plouffe is at least league average there. This is a difficult position to fill. We would be kicking ourselves if Sano doesn't work out there.At worst he is a super utility guy, 3B, 1B, LF, and RF.He should see every rep against lefties regardless.

 

If Sano does not come through the Twins are not going to be a contender. He's also very low risk of being a failure. Are they building a contender or a .500 ballclub?

 

Plouffe may be at least league average but he's also at best league average. Better a year too early than a year too late.


#33 TRex

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 11:46 AM

Do the Twin's version of 'who would you trade for...'

 

Eduardo Escobar: I don't think I would even trade one of our high A outfielders (Max Keplar or ABWII) for him. I think you would definitely have to go down into the 25-35 range. Maybe a 2013 version of Levi Michael. For pitching, I don't know that I would give up a Stephen Gonsalves or a 2013 version of Jorge Felix/Randy Rosario for him. Maybe you would do a Taylor Rogers or Tyler Duffy, but how valuable is that?

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#34 tobi0040

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 11:49 AM

If Sano does not come through the Twins are not going to be a contender. He's also very low risk of being a failure. Are they building a contender or a .500 ballclub?

 

Plouffe may be at least league average but he's also at best league average. Better a year too early than a year too late.

 

I meant not coming through as a 3B. I find it very unlikely we can't find a place for Sano's bat between 1B, DH, LF, and RF.But it is not certain he remains at 3B, every scouting report suggests that.

 

Plouffe is a league average 3B, so I can see a contending team with Plouffe at 3B and Sano somewhere else.


#35 stringer bell

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 01:02 PM

I think the SS job should be Escobar's until either Santana takes it or EE gives it away.As far as third base, in the last two games I was amazed because when a ball was hit to Plouffe, I immediately thought "that's an out" instead of "what will Plouffe do with that hand grenade".He is really much, much better in the field.Some of Plouffe's AB are pretty bad, but he does deliver a number of big hits. 

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#36 iTwins

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 01:08 PM

I'd love it if Escobar was the longterm answer at short for the Twins. I'm still skeptical, however, and think he likely ends up as a utility guy for them in the coming seasons. That being said, he's a great player to fill that utility role. I'd keep him on the roster just to be a rotating infielder, if his short stop success suddenly disappears.

I think Santana is the future SS, but it's hard to say what we have with him defensively or if his bat will continue to be leadoff quality.

One thing's for sure, it's nice to have too many options, for once.

#37 ashburyjohn

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 01:13 PM

I think the SS job should be Escobar's until either Santana takes it or EE gives it away.

I'm in the camp that views him as a utility player for a ceiling.More specifically, a good utility player for a contending team, or a starter for a bad team.Since I don't want the Twins to continue being bad, I don't focus on the latter.But what you said (ignoring names of other candidates) fits in with this general POV.He'll stop being a starter when the Twins reach the state where he shouldn't be their starter, IMO.

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When I said I meant that literally and not as just a figure of speech, that was just a figure of speech. I didn't mean it literally.


#38 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 01:16 PM

Do the Twin's version of 'who would you trade for...'
 
Eduardo Escobar: I don't think I would even trade one of our high A outfielders (Max Keplar or ABWII) for him. I think you would definitely have to go down into the 25-35 range. Maybe a 2013 version of Levi Michael. For pitching, I don't know that I would give up a Stephen Gonsalves or a 2013 version of Jorge Felix/Randy Rosario for him. Maybe you would do a Taylor Rogers or Tyler Duffy, but how valuable is that?


I guess I think Escobar is more valuable. He's an above average SS both offensively and defensively. I'd echo what others said in that presently, he's got a few question marks that would be answered by one more decent season, but I do think that that he'd net something better than Kepler or Walker. Both of them fit in the high risk/high reward mold presently.

#39 Oxtung

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 01:37 PM

I have nothing further to really add to this discussion but I will say that I agree with those who think that at some point next season we'll be looking at Polanco as the savior at SS.Both Escobar and Santana are swinging above their heads, Escobar already seems to have come back to Earth since an outstanding May, and IMO it is only a matter of time before Santana does as well.If Santana can become as good a defender as his minor league reputation suggests is possible, let's not forget he was named the minor league defensive player of the year last season at AA by the leagues managers, he might hit enough to stick but counting on his bat to be above average is a step farther than I'm willing to go.


#40 SD Buhr

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 01:46 PM

Thanks for the read. Add the minor league depth that Polanco, (and yes) Michaels and Goodrum (the latter two both rule-5 eligible) and the eventuality of first rounder Nick Gordon, the Twins' have options for short in the near and far future. Though troubling, none lead with their defense. Each prospects' warts seems to be in a similar place: defense (even if different aspects). 

 

I agree and I think this entire discussion is about who the best option is at SS for the next 1-2 years, because I don't think many of the names here should be counted on to be a major league shortstop on a long-term basis. They just haven't shown the glove for it.

 

If you want someone who "leads with their defense," keep an eye on Engelb Vielma.

 

I know it sounds like hyperbole, but Vielma is the best shortstop I've seen on a professional infield at any level in a while. Defensively, he could play SS for a Major League team today. He's that smooth, that strong and that consistent.

 

He was only 19 when he started the season in CR (only because Ryan Walker, expected to start the year as Class A SS, got hurt in ST) and for several very cold weeks, he looked totally lost at the plate (hitting .187 in April). That is no longer the case. He's been very productive at the plate and, since he just turned 20 in June, I expect him to only get stronger.

 

Nick Gordon is coming up behind him on the organization ladder and I'm anxious to watch Gordon next summer, but I would not bet against Vielma. There's a lot of us talking about how strong the CR pitching has been, but I'd guarantee you that having Vielma at SS behind them is aiding their stats (and, not coincidentally, the team's W-L record).

Edited by SD Buhr, 20 August 2014 - 01:47 PM.

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