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Twins Future Position Analysis: Shortstop


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1 hour ago, RJA said:

Thanks for responding. You are right about the draft, but conversation does occur about how players will be utilized, I know that for a fact.  And, Brujan was playing second base in the minors full time even in the year that Wander was 17 years old and playing in rookie ball, so they didn't just suddenly switch him to second once Wander became "Wander", he was a second baseman during his whole career with the Rays.  Also, if you check the 2019 AFL roster you will note that Lewis is listed as a shortstop.  I don't think it was the short end of the stick that got the Twins, I think they were comfortable having Lewis stretched out just to see what type of position flexibility he had.

As far as Brujan goes he was also playing on the same teams as Taylor Walls (an elite SS glove prospect). The Rays also have Xavier Edwards and Greg Jones as big time up the middle talents who move around. It's how the Rays do things. But that's neither here nor there. The fact of the 2019 AFL roster situation is the Twins didn't have a priority player assignment for short stop and they simply couldn't get Royce playing time there. They were obviously willing to let him play other positions in order to get him some extra at bats after a bad season. The Twins new from the start Lewis wouldn't be getting SS innings and there wasn't anything they could do about it. They could either send him and have him play all over or they could keep him home. The Twins had no ability to force the Salt River manager to play him at short. They felt the biggest need was just to get him ABs and get his swing back in order and they were willing to have him play other positions to get him those ABs.

Your original post suggested him playing CF in the AFL was a sign the Twins didn't plan to have him play SS in the majors. That wasn't the reasoning for him playing mostly CF and 3B. To get him the ABs they had to let them play him wherever they could fit him in.

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Palacios isn't in the plans to play a substantial amount at SS, you need only to look at his absence from the 40 man to assess that much.

Martin has weaker arm and field grades than Polanco did as a prospect. Yet I keep hearing his name come up in the SS conversation while Polanco moving back is reviled. If you hate Polanco at SS, you shouldn't be including Martin as a candidate there. Lewis can't be relied upon as our opening day SS.

So here's my preferences:

1. Trevor Story

2. Polanco/Simmons platoon.

3. Iglesias

I hope they don't trade for someone to play SS. This isn't the year to be giving up prospects to make a run for the World Series. We're too far away from having a contender's rotation, we need a year to develop pitching.

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6 minutes ago, rambis26 said:

it would be a significant downgrade at SS and 2B defensively from last year.  Would that be wise with the mediocre-at-best pitching staff we are presumably going to have?

I agree, the defense will be worse. The only option is a FA signing or trade. Options I'm aware of are Story, Iglesias, or Simmons, or a trade. I don't want a trade because I don't want to give up a good prospect because I don't think we're contenders in 2022.

What do you prefer?

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Okay, so here is the take of a casual fan: stop taking a band aid approach to the SS position and either commit to giving a long term FA contract to a guy who will bring defense and offense (Correa) or decide you are a budget team and only interested in saving money (be willing to take less performance in return). Can a guy currently in the system break out? Yes. Is there risk with that move? Absolutely. The safer, albeit more expensive route, is to pony up for a long term FA signing and to clear out the farm of the SS prospects who do not show the promise to promote through the system. Package these guys while they can still be sold off, don’t wait until they flounder longer in the farm system and hold little value as trade bait.

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2 hours ago, rambis26 said:

I would prefer Simmons.  I think there is a decent chance that his offense will improve and his defense has always been good.  Plus he will be affordable!

I also do greatly, I loved watching him make plays that were impossible for any one else  (and when he got too cocky and blew a simple one his expression showed he was bitching at himself)  watching him jump for a ball and throw out a runner with both feet off of the ground was marvelous.

There is a large group of people here that judge by the bat, or simply hate Simmons to make them feel better which is odd as by that standard , all but Garlick or Kiriloff of  the Rookies that came up should have been loathed, with there lousy at bats.

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3 hours ago, chpettit19 said:

As far as Brujan goes he was also playing on the same teams as Taylor Walls (an elite SS glove prospect). The Rays also have Xavier Edwards and Greg Jones as big time up the middle talents who move around. It's how the Rays do things. But that's neither here nor there. The fact of the 2019 AFL roster situation is the Twins didn't have a priority player assignment for short stop and they simply couldn't get Royce playing time there. They were obviously willing to let him play other positions in order to get him some extra at bats after a bad season. The Twins new from the start Lewis wouldn't be getting SS innings and there wasn't anything they could do about it. They could either send him and have him play all over or they could keep him home. The Twins had no ability to force the Salt River manager to play him at short. They felt the biggest need was just to get him ABs and get his swing back in order and they were willing to have him play other positions to get him those ABs.

Your original post suggested him playing CF in the AFL was a sign the Twins didn't plan to have him play SS in the majors. That wasn't the reasoning for him playing mostly CF and 3B. To get him the ABs they had to let them play him wherever they could fit him in.

I have to disagree again.  If you are suggesting that there were not conversations between the Twins and the AFL officials, that is simply incorrect, as the Twins indicated a willingness to have him play around the diamond. I was actually at the ballpark there in the fall and heard the manager discussing the situation with some scribes. He indicated that the Twins welcomed having Lewis play multiple positions as they wanted to see how his athleticism played out around the diamond.  He said he might play him at short a couple of games, but the Twins were interested in seeing him in the outfield and third base.  I never said they didn't plan to play him at short, I said they were interested to see him at the other position or positions to evaluate his ability to play other positions IF shortstop didn't work out.  I don't think you realize what goes on behind the scenes in the AFl concerning how prospects are played.  I love being down there in the fall for that reason--you get access to players and coaches, and can pick up info even better than at spring training which is a close second.  We have to agree to disagree.

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35 minutes ago, RJA said:

I have to disagree again.  If you are suggesting that there were not conversations between the Twins and the AFL officials, that is simply incorrect, as the Twins indicated a willingness to have him play around the diamond. I was actually at the ballpark there in the fall and heard the manager discussing the situation with some scribes. He indicated that the Twins welcomed having Lewis play multiple positions as they wanted to see how his athleticism played out around the diamond.  He said he might play him at short a couple of games, but the Twins were interested in seeing him in the outfield and third base.  I never said they didn't plan to play him at short, I said they were interested to see him at the other position or positions to evaluate his ability to play other positions IF shortstop didn't work out.  I don't think you realize what goes on behind the scenes in the AFl concerning how prospects are played.  I love being down there in the fall for that reason--you get access to players and coaches, and can pick up info even better than at spring training which is a close second.  We have to agree to disagree.

I'm not at all suggesting there weren't conversations between the Twins and the AFL staff. I'm suggesting the conversations were "you don't have a priority spot at SS so if you send Royce Lewis we can't guarantee him innings at short, but will try to fit him in here and there." The Twins were ok with that because their biggest concern was getting him ABs after a less than stellar year that started with an injury. Because they couldn't play him at SS the Twins asked for him to be played in CF and at 3B instead so they could at least gain some info on what he looks like in those places.

Your first post said them playing him in CF may be a sign of real concern about his ability to play SS. I've simply stated that the roster rules were the reason he wasn't played at SS in the AFL. There is nothing to agree or disagree on the AFL roster rules and how the priorities are given to players for playing different positions. The Twins were 3rd in line at short. That was the impetus for Royce playing CF and 3B. Had the Twins had the priority at SS Royce would've spent most of his innings at short.

I've never been to the AFL, and am jealous that you have. I hope to make it someday. But I have worked in the baseball industry and have a number of former coworkers who've worked for AFL teams. I do realize what goes on behind the scenes in the AFL concerning how prospects are played. The Twins weren't mad about having to move Royce around the field as it gave them insight on future possibilities, and we all know the Twins love their flexibility under Falvine. But his position distribution in the AFL was about roster rules and being 3rd in line for the SS position, not the Twins wanting to move him around.

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3 hours ago, chpettit19 said:

I'm not at all suggesting there weren't conversations between the Twins and the AFL staff. I'm suggesting the conversations were "you don't have a priority spot at SS so if you send Royce Lewis we can't guarantee him innings at short, but will try to fit him in here and there." The Twins were ok with that because their biggest concern was getting him ABs after a less than stellar year that started with an injury. Because they couldn't play him at SS the Twins asked for him to be played in CF and at 3B instead so they could at least gain some info on what he looks like in those places.

Your first post said them playing him in CF may be a sign of real concern about his ability to play SS. I've simply stated that the roster rules were the reason he wasn't played at SS in the AFL. There is nothing to agree or disagree on the AFL roster rules and how the priorities are given to players for playing different positions. The Twins were 3rd in line at short. That was the impetus for Royce playing CF and 3B. Had the Twins had the priority at SS Royce would've spent most of his innings at short.

I've never been to the AFL, and am jealous that you have. I hope to make it someday. But I have worked in the baseball industry and have a number of former coworkers who've worked for AFL teams. I do realize what goes on behind the scenes in the AFL concerning how prospects are played. The Twins weren't mad about having to move Royce around the field as it gave them insight on future possibilities, and we all know the Twins love their flexibility under Falvine. But his position distribution in the AFL was about roster rules and being 3rd in line for the SS position, not the Twins wanting to move him around.

At this point, I don't think either of us will convince the other.  I bet there is one thing we could agree on:  let's hope that Lewis turns out to be a superstar at shortstop and that our budget minded Twins have to decide whether to extend him for 200 million!  I don't doubt your commitment to the Twins or your baseball knowledge.  Reasonable people can disagree.  I hope you and your loved ones have a wonderful holiday season.  Yes, get to the AFL.  It is even better than spring training methinks.  

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16 hours ago, RJA said:

At this point, I don't think either of us will convince the other.  I bet there is one thing we could agree on:  let's hope that Lewis turns out to be a superstar at shortstop and that our budget minded Twins have to decide whether to extend him for 200 million!  I don't doubt your commitment to the Twins or your baseball knowledge.  Reasonable people can disagree.  I hope you and your loved ones have a wonderful holiday season.  Yes, get to the AFL.  It is even better than spring training methinks.  

You both have been talking about pieces of the same puzzle.

#1 - Twins didn't get the "priority" roster spot for SS, so Royce or any other Twins prospect wasn't going to play there.

#2 - Twins definitely wanted Royce to get more at-bats, and the getting some game experience at other defensive spots was a bonus.

Win-win for Twins and Royce, and you are both accurate with the opinions.

Edited by Steve Lein
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