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Spencer Steer Closing in on the Twins


Twins Daily Contributor

St. Paul, MN - Spencer Steer was promoted to Triple-A St. Paul on Monday after a successful second turn through Double-A Wichita. Steer was drafted in the third round of the 2019 Major League Baseball draft out of Oregon, and he’s now one step away from an eventual Major League debut.

 

Collegiate powerhouse Oregon featured Steer primarily at shortstop in his junior year, although he played at the hot corner some. In his final college season, he posted a .958 OPS with six homers across 56 games. He was drafted as a solid defender with a good bat that had the ceiling of a solid regular at the highest level.

It was hard to be unimpressed by Steer in his professional debut. Across 64 games the infield posted an .809 OPS and made quick work of the Appalachian League before earning a promotion to Cedar Rapids. Shelved, like everyone else in 2020, Steer opened last season as a 23-year-old a bit above the average at the Single-A level. His .915 OPS there showed he was ready for more, and the Twins gave him 65 games at Double-A Wichita in the inaugural season for the new affiliate.

Again getting close to the higher end of the average age at Double-A, Steer made quick work of another level. In 35 games this season he posted a .976 OPS and clubbed eight home runs. He often played up the middle with top prospect Austin Martin, and the two combined to play strong defense for the Wind Surge.

Maybe most surprisingly for Steer’s game has been the development of power. He hit just 12 long balls in 163 college games and then had just four in his first 64 professional games. When coming back from the Covid shutdown, Steer flashed his hard work. 24 dingers split between Cedar Rapids and Wichita last season was six times his previous career-high. Already with eight this season, it doesn’t appear the power surge was a fluke.

The Twins have used Steer all over the infield as a minor leaguer. He’s probably best cast at second or third base, but he’s adequate at shortstop too. Playing alongside another top prospect in St. Paul, Royce Lewis and Steer can certainly feed off of each other as was the case with the situation down in Kansas.

It’s probably lofty to suggest that Steer has the pedigree to be a perennial All-Star or something of that sort, but there’s no denying he’s looked the part of a Major League regular at each stop throughout the system. Obviously, the Twins have a current answer at shortstop, and Lewis appears tabbed for the future. Gio Urshela doesn’t look like a mainstay, and while Jorge Polanco is penciled in at second, he’s always going to need days off. Having a depth piece like Steer is some nice found money in the prospect world.

I don’t know that Steer has a calling card of sorts yet. Luis Arraez plays all over the place and has a bat that simply doesn’t slump. His plate discipline is unmatched and it makes him one of the toughest outs in the game. Nick Gordon also plays everywhere, but it’s his speed that separates him. Steer could wind up being a big bat off the bench with the pop he’s shown, or he could just be a solid all-around utility man.

Not yet on the 40-man roster, Steer will need to earn one more promotion in order to make his dreams come true. The journey got a bit closer when he singled up the middle in his second at-bat for the Saints. He’ll show he belongs here in time too, and then comes the final step.

 


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I'm not sure how they're doing it, but guys appear to be playing up all across the organization. I haven't seen much of Steer, but the two belt high fastballs, in the linked video, looked pretty hearty. Seeing him against better pitching should be interesting. 

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Twins have a lot of 3B/2B/LF type prospects with Steer, Julian, and Encarnacion-Strand.  Martin also profiles for those positions. Then Miranda plays 3B.  Miller looks to stay at SS but he too may be in the mix at those spots.  Not to mention Kiriloff, Larnach and Celestino all play or can play LF.  Very nice probed to have.

I am think Steer would be a trade piece at the deadline. Plenty of team will want an MLB ready IF.  He will be valuable.

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Steer is in an interesting situation here.  First, he will not debut this year barring any major injuries, being he is not on the 40 man, and we have several guys that cover his position.  Therefore, he really is showing what he could do for next year, or for other teams to get a shot.  He has not been touted as a top prospect, but he has done nothing but shown he can play so far. Adding that power is really going to jump him up some lists.

That being said, he will be a top trade asset because of his ability to play all over.  The Twins will need to assess if they think he will play at the MLB level soon, and do they like him better than what we have.  Does he fit into plans next year?  I think that is a big question.  We have Polonco still next year, Arraez as well so 2nd is locke down.  Our LF area is stacked with possible people if they thought of that move.  SS is should be locked with either Correa if he stays or gets locked up longer term, or Lewis.  That leaves 3rd, which may be filled if Correa stays by Lewis.  There is also Miranda, who has not shown much, but was a top hitter last year.  

Personally, I think Steer gets traded at deadline, or Miranda does.  One of them gets traded as there is no real room for both moving forward. 

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I don't get why Miranda is already penciled in as the 3B of the future by some. He had a great year last year but at this point that is more of the outlier than his struggles this year. Before last year, he was a decent prospect but not many were waiting for him to be a  team cornerstone. Plus, he doesn't play that great of defense at 3B. Maybe he figures his swing back out and plays 1B. Regardless, position battles are a good thing. I don't think you look to trade Steer because another guy played well last year.

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2 minutes ago, NorthernAggression said:

I don't get why Miranda is already penciled in as the 3B of the future by some. He had a great year last year but at this point that is more of the outlier than his struggles this year. Before last year, he was a decent prospect but not many were waiting for him to be a  team cornerstone. Plus, he doesn't play that great of defense at 3B. Maybe he figures his swing back out and plays 1B. Regardless, position battles are a good thing. I don't think you look to trade Steer because another guy played well last year.

Welcome to TD, good sir!

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4 minutes ago, NorthernAggression said:

I don't get why Miranda is already penciled in as the 3B of the future by some. He had a great year last year but at this point that is more of the outlier than his struggles this year. Before last year, he was a decent prospect but not many were waiting for him to be a  team cornerstone. Plus, he doesn't play that great of defense at 3B. Maybe he figures his swing back out and plays 1B. Regardless, position battles are a good thing. I don't think you look to trade Steer because another guy played well last year.

People are relatively confident in Miranda because last year's breakout came with increased contact skill, bat speed, and ability to drive the ball. Those things don't really "go away"; the hope behind Miranda is largely scouting-based, not necessarily stat-based.

Obviously, he could still fall flat on his face against major league pitching but that applies to any prospect.

With that said, some are all too willing to directly translate MiLB success to the expectation of immediate MLB success. It usually doesn't work that way, which is why smart front offices don't routinely bank on unproven prospects, especially at multiple positions at once.

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9 hours ago, jimbo92107 said:

Hey all you rebuilding mlb teams, does your organization need a hard-hitting, talented infielder that can play 3B, 2B, 1B or SS?

Got any good veteran starting pitchers?

I would love to see Luis Castillo in this rotation. The Twins have the prospect capital to make that happen.

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5 hours ago, AKTwins said:

I am think Steer would be a trade piece at the deadline. Plenty of team will want an MLB ready IF.  He will be valuable.

Steer could be like Brian Dozier, but with home run power now, not a few years later...

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Well, he obviously could be trade capital for a move, especially if he adapts well and quickly to AAA. But I prefer to look at him in regard to the Twins. 

While Miranda is penciled in at 3B once his bat gets going...Lewis the future SS...doesn't mean Steer should be dismissed as a challenger. May the best player win. But he could also prove valuable as a "regular" while not being a proverbial "starter". Examining his career so far, he's not going to be the hitter/OB machine that Arraez is, but possibly a better hitter than Gordon, while not matching his speed or ability to play OF. He's got more power than either. 

He could be a great role player at 2B/SS/3B with  quality bat and power. Could he also play a little 1B alla Arraez? IMO, good floor as a multipositional, solid glove and decent bat with solid power. His ceiling is quality starter who hits about .270ish with 30 Dbl and 20 HR power consistently. 

He hasn't come out of nowhere. He was a good college player and a 3rd round pick who's hit since day one.

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On 5/25/2022 at 10:04 AM, nicksaviking said:

Geez, maybe I never paid attention before, but Steer sure does have a pretty swing for a righthanded hitter. 

Right, this guy was completely off my radar but reading recent minor league reports and watching highlights.....this guy obliterates baseballs.  The swing is pretty and the ball explodes off his bat.

This guy sure looks like a player.

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My preference is for speed and athleticism when we compare relatively similarly skilled batters. I really think Miranda is going to be an excellent gap hitter who hits for a high average but if Steer is quite similar with better speed and defense, then it is an easy call. Let's find a way to entice Oakland into giving us Frankie Montas for a few talented blocked players. There seems to be a bit of a logjam coming to the 40 person roster.

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18 hours ago, tony&rodney said:

My preference is for speed and athleticism when we compare relatively similarly skilled batters. I really think Miranda is going to be an excellent gap hitter who hits for a high average but if Steer is quite similar with better speed and defense, then it is an easy call. Let's find a way to entice Oakland into giving us Frankie Montas for a few talented blocked players. There seems to be a bit of a logjam coming to the 40 person roster.

I definitely agree on favoring the more athletic player but I don’t see much problem with the 40-man next year.  All of these players will be coming of it.  Miguel Sanó / Chris Archer / Joe Smith / Carlos Correa / Dylan Bundy / Tyler Duffey / Gary Sanchez.  There are a few relief pitchers that will be proven worthy or not by the end of this year.  (Strotman / Romero / Cano / Minaya / Moran / Megill) even Henriguez is questionable the way he has been getting hit.  I could definitely see them trading Kenta Maeda and Gio Urshela.  That’s a total of 16 so cutting a dozen next year would not be a problem.

All of the transactions since the Berrios trade indicate this FO is dedicated to two things, sustained success and building a pitching staff from within.  Of course, the latter facilitates the former.  The A’s are going to want Winder / Larnach maybe even Lewis type assets for Montas.  Trading away those players does not promote sustained success.  I don’t see it happening unless the Twin’s bats absolutely catch fire.  

If Steer is a reasonable back-up for SS, a bench of Steer / Arraez / Celestino and Garlick would be very strong.  There are many potential directions.   They could even  trade Polanco this off-season.  Of course, they could also sell high on Arraez.  These are things the A’s or Ray’s would do.  
 

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