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C'mon there's a big hole for you to walk through.


stringer bell

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The Twins will soon officially have a shortstop vacancy. Carlos Correa has informed the media (and I presume the Twins) that he will opt-out of the second year of his contract. One possibility, Jermaine Palacios, has been DFAed and claimed by the Detroit Tigers. The Twins have shown no tendency to use in-house options Jorge Polanco, Nick Gordon or Gio Urshela as a regular shortstop. Brooks Lee hasn't been with the organization a year out of college and looked pretty rough on defense in the minors.

In addition, the Twins have shown a real lack of speed and base running ability. Finally, having a guy who is capable of playing center field in Byron Buxton's absence and filling in at the outfield corners would be ideal. I'm talking about a better hitter than Gilberto Celestino. 

So, who am I calling on to step up? Austin Martin, of course. The guy was formerly listed as the Twins' top prospect and he played shortstop most of the season in Wichita. Regardless of his ability to play short, he has outfield experience and the requisite speed to cover center field. Moreover, he has profiled with excellent ob=base skills and was among the minor league leaders in stolen bases. Martin has exactly the skills that the club needs to add. Martin will have a chance to show what he has to offer in the Arizona Fall League.

Obviously, Martin has a lot of making up to do. He hit and fielded poorly at AA for Wichita. He has slipped down the prospect ratings because of his performance and he hasn't found a power stroke. I don't hold any illusions that it would be a huge surprise for Martin to vault himself into  contention for an Opening Day spot particularly as a shortstop. I am saying that he has the particular skills that give him a path for quick advancement to the major leagues. It is all there in front of him.

A more likely scenario for Martin would be for him to impress sufficiently that he would be in line for a recall either as an infielder or outfielder at some point during the 2023 season. I will be checking the AFL results in the hope that Austin Martin can restore his prospect status and eventually be a contributor for the Twins.

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Austin Martin does seem like a player that might run with an opportunity. If the Twins aren't going to sign Correa or Turner, then it could be interesting to see what Martin can do. He looked a little rough this summer at shortstop but the Twins are apparently not that into defense as a part of their strategy. Martin might surprise us, in a good way. Maybe.

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Early returns from the AFL are that Martin is raking offensively. I don’t know about defense, but I thought they are now viewing him as an outfielder.

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Brooks may have been a little rough, but Martin was absolutely brutal at short in the games I saw. Not sure you can clean that up in the off-season. Outfield might be more Martin's speed, and I'd love to see him (or pretty much ANYONE) push Gilberto down to AAA.

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Not sure if commenting on a blog entry bumps it, but I do want to again say that Martin's skill set is a fit for the Twins needs, as supported by his performance in the AFL. He's hit, stolen bases and played multiple positions, including center field. I hope he gets plenty of run in Spring Training and puts himself in the conversation for promotion to the majors early in 2023.

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5 hours ago, stringer bell said:

Not sure if commenting on a blog entry bumps it, but I do want to again say that Martin's skill set is a fit for the Twins needs, as supported by his performance in the AFL. He's hit, stolen bases and played multiple positions, including center field. I hope he gets plenty of run in Spring Training and puts himself in the conversation for promotion to the majors early in 2023.

As a RH hitter, Martin would be well-suited to a super-utility role. Celestino will need to up his game to be the regular backup in CF. I think they'll take a long look at him in spring training, but ultimately I expect him to land in AAA to start the season.

besides, we're bringing back Correa...right? Right? RIGHT?!?!?

🤣

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I see Martin as a contender for LF and as a super utility guy who could grow into a bigger role.  The Twins didn't hand Ceasar Tovar an exclusive position after acquiring him from the Reds.  I see Martin as a similar type of player who grew into his role.  Martin could certainly be the RH backup for CF as Kepler could be the LH backup.  I would look to move Larnach as a primary piece in a deal to acquire Woodruff or Pablo Lopez.  With our glut of LH hitting OF'ers, Larnach has the most "current" value at 30.4 (BTV).  Kepler as a 4th OF and Kirilloff and Wallner is plenty of LH depth if someone is hurt or not playing well.  

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I agree with TopGun#22 that Larnach may be a key piece to move if his trade value is really as high as BTV seems to think. A move for the pitchers identified or even Murphy from Oakland may be possible (Larnach, Ober, Miller 4 Murphy). I would love to see any of Lopez, Woodruff, or Burnes added.

Austin Martin may have had an inconsistent summer but he has the talent to fill multiple roles and could be an upgrade as a multiple position utility player getting 400+ at bats.

The Twins need to move more quickly this offseason than they have in the last couple of years. 

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I utsed to get spanked  , verbally, by Larnach's Father in Law, so I have obviously not been a fan of Larnach.  Now his fielding is sub-par but last season for a period he was a Doubles monster,

I stay out of the pitching banter because , especially now that they do not hit, the only thing that ever got my attention for was were they a 20 game winner , or close to, and I can see the Twins need sone one/s they can feel confindent will not the game into a blow out SO, for once, I think the rookie Larnach should be at minimum be given a chance in  Spring Training to see if his bat is a reality.

You did not mention him, but some throw Wallner in as fielder and his bat looked like Badoo by the end of the year and Badoo, in Left Field is an above aver fielder but Wallner looked like a Key Stone Cop., so he is NOT, I hope, hope, hope, not going to be any where but AAA at most,

If the Twins sacrifice fielding quality for a pitcher, who may or may not solve a problem, every one loses.

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