The Twins have started to turn things around as of late, but are still 11 games below .500 nearly a third of the way through the season. Certainly there is a chance for the squad to go on a long win streak, which features the next 12 games against the lowly Orioles and the free falling Kansas City Royals, but injuries are still piling up, and we've seen the Twins play just as bad as the two aforementioned squads. As of now, I still firmly sit in my stance that the front office would be best suited to have a fire-sale at the deadline, moving every expiring deal, and taking offers on players with only one year of team control left. This group of players is highlighted by Jose Berrios, Byron Buxton, and Taylor Rogers. If they get a 'blow your socks off" offer, I see no reason not to take it. Today we take a look at some infielders that the Twins should get an extended look at in the second half of 2021.
RH C Ryan Jeffers
Jeffers was fantastic as a rookie, featuring a fantastic defensive game behind the dish, and was part of what appeared to be a two-headed monster catching duo headed into the 2021 season. However, Garver got off to a slow start, and Jeffers was flat out bad. Jeffers was performing so poorly in limited at bats that the front office sent him down to AAA Saint Paul where he's been given the opportunity to start nearly every day, whether behind the dish or as the DH. Jeffers has returned to form at the plate, OPSing .753 for the Saints, including three home runs and four doubles. Jeffers is also using a patient approach, drawing 10 walks in 77 PA. He is still having trouble with strikeouts, with a K rate of 25 percent, but hitting the ball hard while playing fantastic defense at a premium position is worth giving a look at. When Jeffers was up, he was only starting against RH which puts him in a hole. If the Twins are out of things come July, I'd like to see Jeffers split time with Garver, including against southpaws.
MIF S Nick Gordon
Nick Gordon isn't the top 50 prospect that he was a few years ago, and he hasn't put up great numbers in the high minor leagues, but I believe that Gordon can be a utility infielder at a minimum. The one thing holding back Gordon right now are the facts that he struggles against left handed pitchers, which is a bad thing for a platoon bat, and can no longer play shortstop, at least over a full season. However, Gordon has succeed in the young campaign with the Saints, hitting .393, including a homer and a triple. He has also added four stolen bags, which we saw on display in Gordon's MLB debut, where he stole second base twice. If Gordon can play a strong second base, and potentially develop an average glove at third, and fill in in left field a few times a year, which with his speed I think is a possibility, he is an MLB bench bat. There is a very strong chance we see a ton of Nick Gordon, and the front office either commits to him as an MLB utility player, or removes him from the 40 man roster.
3B/2B RH Jose Miranda
At only 22 years old and no spot on the 40 man roster, I don't think it's too likely that we see Miranda in Minnesota this year, but I don't think that should be the case. Miranda was mediocre in the low minors, but started the season at AA Wichita, and has gotten off to a blazing hot start. Miranda has hit .309, and has an OBP of .372 in 18 games. Jose has shown the pop that we've seen in the past with 5 homers in 68 at-bats, as well as 3 doubles. Fangraphs had Miranda ranked as the 20th Twins' prospect heading into the year, with a game power grade of 50, and a hit tool of 55, but doesn't love the defense as they note he's likely a "shift-enabled" 2nd or 3rd basemen. Miranda has good bat to ball skills which have shown well in AA, with only 10 strikeouts in 78 plate apperances. It is worth noting that Miranda is rule-5 eligible this upcoming off-season, and will have to be added to the 40 man, as he will certainly be taken if not added. I hope the Twins get out in front of things with Miranda, and see what he can do in 2021 at the big league level.