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Yep, It's Another Kyle Farmer Article


Matt Braun
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There’s no time for a traditional intro paragraph; let’s talk about what Kyle Farmer can bring to the Minnesota Twins.

Image courtesy of Albert Cesare/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

Kyle Farmer is, to be kind, an obscure baseball presence. A former catcher, raised in the blue-blood Dodgers farm system—something he has in common with his Twins garlicky brother in Kyle—Farmer’s major league impact has been a ripple, not a wave. There was the time he walked off the Giants in his major league debut, but two full seasons OPSing at a below-average rate with the Reds doesn’t place you on many radars. At least, not worthwhile ones. At a cursory glance, the Twins may have sent away Gio Urshela just to acquire an older, cheaper, and slightly worse Gio Urshela. 

But that narrative sells Farmer short; his OPS over the past two seasons is nearly bang-on league average for a shortstop (.716 for Farmer, .714 for the league), while, at least in 2021, Statcast’s OAA measure clocked Farmer as one of the finest glovemen at his position, crediting him with six outs above average while handling shortstop. That placed him as the 9th-best fielding shortstop that year. His defense in 2022 was not as sparkling, though, and which Farmer the Twins will receive defensively appears to be an open question—one made murkier with shift-aided success in 2021. 

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With new rules limiting where infielders are allowed to stand, those bonus outs to the right of 2nd base will no longer exist; whether Farmer can regain his form at the traditional shortstop position will be up to him. 

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His bat, however, has remained consistent, especially against lefties. As the great Tom Froemming has pointed out, Farmer is infield Kyle Garlick, pillaging southpaw villages while leaving fire and rubble in his wake. Lefties loathed facing Farmer, allowing a .948 OPS against him in 2022, a significant step up from his already hefty career line of .288/.345/.492 against them. The Twins, as pointed out by this author, have struggled against lefties since the 2019 season; any extra boost rounds out the team offensively. 

The debate now focuses on where he fits on the team. While he could technically start as the everyday shortstop, a certain 28-year-old Puerto Rican is the preferred target of Twins fans. The Great Carlos Correa Question remains unanswered, and until his pen touches paper once again, the Twins’ shortstop position will operate with split-pea soup haziness.

It’s unlikely that the team will open business in late March with Farmer as the starting shortstop; instead, this author guesses he will operate as a super-utility infielder focusing on playing against lefties. Farmer has played every position in the infield—indeed, that means every position—and even subbed in for four frames in the outfield. The Twins lack a player in that mold, especially one who has flashed an ability to hold down shortstop at an exceptional level. 

But who knows? The Twins relish acquiring baseline players early to set up bigger splashes later. Trying to guess Farmer’s roster contribution in November is like being a stockbroker in 1929. More moves will fill in the roster, creating a much clearer picture, but for now, the Twins appear to have a helpful infielder who can mash lefties, something they have needed for years.

 


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I believe Farmer is a SS which LAD wanted to convert to a catcher because of his arm, Not a catcher who others are trying convert to a SS, there is a difference. He is quite versatile, which could be very helpful. He provides much needed depth especially when facing LHPs, IDT that he be a our sole starting SS. He's not an investment that'll make you rich but he's a safety net investment that'll keep you from crash & burning, That's all. If he's our sole legit SS when the season starts then we are really in trouble. I don't think they are that stupid, I hope.

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2 minutes ago, Doctor Gast said:

I believe Farmer is a SS which LAD wanted to convert to a catcher because of his arm, Not a catcher who others are trying convert to a SS, there is a difference. He is quite versatile, which could be very helpful. He provides much needed depth especially when facing LHPs, IDT that he be a our sole starting SS. He's not an investment that'll make you rich but he's a safety net investment that'll keep you from crash & burning, That's all. If he's our sole legit SS when the season starts then we are really in trouble. I don't think they are that stupid, I hope.

Farmer played 75 innings of Shortstop in the Dodgers organization. Although, he did man the position more at Georgia and while playing in the Cape Cod league. 

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Must disagree Matt.  I expect the Twins know they aren't getting Correa and are planning on Farmer being their starting shortstop until Lewis is ready come June or July.  Farmer then moves to a super utility role for the balance of the season, starting somewhere every time they face a lefty.

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14 minutes ago, roger said:

Must disagree Matt.  I expect the Twins know they aren't getting Correa and are planning on Farmer being their starting shortstop until Lewis is ready come June or July.  Farmer then moves to a super utility role for the balance of the season, starting somewhere every time they face a lefty.

I agree with you Roger.  IMO, the Twins are nowhere near in the ballpark to sign one of the big 4 so this play fills that gap that we have been talking about to get us to Lewis or Lee,  Farmer will be an ideal utility guy after that takes place and can even hedge against injury to one of our catchers while the other is a DH which Rocco likes to do.

I expect the Twins to go with Farmer and put resources into other areas of the club like pitching, catching, and some big bats to replace CC4 in the lineup.

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One problem is that both Kyles play at least as much against righties as lefties. New Kyle had more than twice as many at bats against righties. If he ends up playing most days,.... bad news. I'd prefer Urshela's glove and bat next door at third. But... this is the modern era and we need to have almost completely  new teams every year... so it goes. 

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If they sign Correa, or one of the other big 4, he's a nice super utility player who will almost assuredly be in the lineup somewhere against LHP. He can also be the emergency 3rd catcher.

If the miss out on any of the big 4 SS, he begins 2023 as a solid SS bridge and the Twins pivot to more pitching and additional bats to strengthen the staff and lineup.

Frankly, he just fits the construction of the team better than Urshela. That's why the move.

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3 hours ago, DocBauer said:

If they sign Correa, or one of the other big 4, he's a nice super utility player who will almost assuredly be in the lineup somewhere against LHP. He can also be the emergency 3rd catcher.

If the miss out on any of the big 4 SS, he begins 2023 as a solid SS bridge and the Twins pivot to more pitching and additional bats to strengthen the staff and lineup.

Frankly, he just fits the construction of the team better than Urshela. That's why the move.

You nailed it Doc.

They have no opening day starting shortstop, other than moving Polanco which they don't want to do.  But they have at least 2 third basemen.  As you said, this type of move makes a ton of sense, although like many I really liked Urshela.

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On 11/22/2022 at 12:43 PM, DocBauer said:

If they sign Correa, or one of the other big 4, he's a nice super utility player who will almost assuredly be in the lineup somewhere against LHP. He can also be the emergency 3rd catcher.

If the miss out on any of the big 4 SS, he begins 2023 as a solid SS bridge and the Twins pivot to more pitching and additional bats to strengthen the staff and lineup.

Frankly, he just fits the construction of the team better than Urshela. That's why the move.

Excellent analysis Doc.

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I have chosen a sentence in the above article by author Matt Braun as MBTDS 2022 (Most Beautiful Twins Daily Sentence of 2022). I challenge you, dear readers, to read Matt's award winning sentence out loud, and enjoy the depth of literation  rarely witnessed in sports writing these days. Matt's sentence is as follows: "The Great Carlos Correa Question, remains unanswered, and until his pen touches paper once again, the Twins' shortstop position will operate with split-pea soup haziness."  Mercy, that is some fine writing. 

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