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.