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Drafting Shortstops

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#1 spideyo

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 11:46 AM

I did some digging, and discovered some interesting stuff about the history of the Twins drafting shortstops. Here's a list of ALL the shortstops that the Twins have drafted in the first three rounds that actually played in the big leagues:

1st Round:
1965 - Eddie Leon, came up with Cleveland, played 601 games over 8 years with the Indians, White Sox, and 1 game with the Yankees
1970 - Bob Gorinski, played in 54 games with the Twins at DH and OF
1975 Rick Sofield, played in 207 with the Twins in OF
1978 - Lenny Faedo, played 174 games over 5 years with the Twins
1984 - Jay Bell, spent 18 years in the bigs, mostly in the National League, never in a Twins uniform
1989 - Chuck Knoblauch, played a total of 13 games at SS in his 12 years
1997 - Michael Cuddyer, has played every position except catcher and SS
2004 - Trevor Plouffe, his 55 games at SS for the Twins is second only to Lenny Faedo (in games played as a Twin)

2nd Round:
1994 - Cleatus Davidson, got a cup of coffee for 12 games in 1999

3rd Round:
2001 - Jose Morales, actually managed to play 2 games at 2b in his last big league season in 2011

Edited by spideyo, 24 February 2013 - 12:08 PM.


#2 spideyo

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 12:07 PM

So really, the only top drafted SS we've ever had as a franchise that actually was really successful as a SS was Jay Bell, and we got rid of him for some dutchman

#3 Oldgoat_MN

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 01:36 PM

Are the Twins unusually inept at drafting for this position?
When you draft someone very young they sometimes grow out of the position.
Sure would like one of the kids race through the system and be a real solution for the Twins at SS.

#4 Oldgoat_MN

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 01:39 PM

So really, the only top drafted SS we've ever had as a franchise that actually was really successful as a SS was Jay Bell, and we got rid of him for some dutchman

I like that.
Jay Bell had a hell of a career.
It was a costly trade, but it did wind up with the Twins getting their first World Series Championship.

#5 spideyo

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 01:40 PM

Yeah, how's Levi Michael doing? Any chance he'll turn into something decent?

As an aside, does anyone ever get switched TO shortstop from another position?

#6 FrodaddyG

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 01:49 PM

As an aside, does anyone ever get switched TO shortstop from another position?

Generally, no. The position requires the largest toolset among the defensive positions. Top notch reflexes, range, and arm are all pretty much requirements for the position, while many positions can skimp on at least one of those. It's just a natural tendency to have the best athlete playing short at lesser levels of competition due to the higher physical demands.

#7 maxisagod

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 01:51 PM

As an aside, does anyone ever get switched TO shortstop from another position?

Rarely, since it's one of the hardest denfenisve postions, not many other players who can play it, are playing somewhere else instead. Maybe CF, but it's a different skill set. More range verus quicker reflexives. I'd like the Twins to sign more SS from the International market, I'm thinking they've hade more success there.

#8 Thrylos

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 01:54 PM

I did some digging, and discovered some interesting stuff about the history of the Twins drafting shortstops. Here's a list of ALL the shortstops that the Twins have drafted in the first three rounds that actually played in the big leagues:


This is normal. If you do a bit more digging, across the majors, you will find few SSs that were actually drafted in the first 3 rounds and were stuck at SS in the majors.

Part of it is that the best SS hitters out of College/HS either outgrew the position or their fielding just was not there in pro ball, another part of it is that a lot of Latin American FA signees have been starters in this position throughout MLB.
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#9 Badsmerf

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 07:05 PM

It is a tough position to fill adequately, and the Twins for some reason are terrible at it. I'm sure it is something they have been trying to figure out... without much luck.
Do or do not. There is no try.

#10 ScottyB

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 07:55 PM

You are missing Danny Thompson who was drafted in the 1st round in 1968 (#16 overall). He has the second most games as a shortstop by a player drafted by the Twins - 630 games over 7 seasons (although in 1970 he filled in at 2B when Carew went down). The only other starting shortstop the Twins have drafted was Pat Meares who played in 742 games over 6 seasons with the Twins. He was drafted in the 12th round. As was stated Plouffe is next in number of games and fourth place belongs to Brian Dozier as a Twins draft choice to play at short. The Twins have NEVER drafted quality shortstops in their entire history. All their best shortstops have come via trades - Smalley, Gagne, Guzman even Cardenas. Zoilo Versalles was signed by the Twins before the draft came about.

Edited by ScottyB, 25 February 2013 - 07:58 PM.


#11 spideyo

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 05:09 PM

I guess I only was looking at the normal June draft, and forgot the "secondary" june draft they used to have, mostly because I didn't know it existed

#12 ashburyjohn

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 06:52 PM

Here's a list of ALL the shortstops that the Twins have drafted in the first three rounds that actually played in the big leagues:


Did you happen to keep a count of the ones they drafted in those rounds (or just in round 1) who didn't even make it that far?

#13 The Wise One

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 07:41 PM

So what is the big evil in trading for a SS? Most of the shortstops traded for were minor leaguers. Cardenas was the only established one.