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Found 11 results

  1. A rare insightful MLB.com article looking at the top 4 shortstops defense this year and how it compares to their careers. The focus is on Outs Above Average though DRS is sometimes used. Wonder if this changes opinions for anyone regarding who the twins should sign https://www.mlb.com/news/which-2022-free-agent-shortstop-star-is-the-best-defender
  2. Since the Rangers signed two shortstops to long-term deals, maybe the Twins could get Kiner-Falefa from them. I suggest Arraez as the player to be traded. I like Arraez, but trading him for a legit and good defensive shortstop makes sense and also opens a spot for Miranda to make the Opening Day roster.
  3. The best Shortstop in Twins history This is a challenging position. No HOF candidates. The first year of the Twins Zoilo Vesalles was the dominate Shortstop – 129 games. Jose Valivielso backed him up. Versalles was in 160 games in 1962, 159 – 1963, 160 – 1964, 160 in the World Series year of 1965 when he was the MVP of the league, he dropped to 135 with Cesar Tovar behind him in 1966, 159 in 1967. After developing a Hemotoma on his back, a lifelong condition, his average dropped and he was sent with Mudcat Grant to the Dodgers for an old Johnny Roseboro, Bob Miller, and Ron Perranoski. But Zoilo, nicknamed Zorro set the Twins standard. Versalles played 9 of his 12 years with the club including two in DC before the move. .250/.296/.383/.679 14.7 WAR. 1968 was a scrum year. Lots of players trying to establish themselves at SS – Jackie Hernandez, Ron Clark, Rick Renick and Cesar Tovar. Even Frank Quilici and Rod Carew got in some games at SS. Then in 1969 we found the next infield anchor – Leo Cardenas who played there 160 games. Then he came back for 160 in 1970, and 153 in 1971. A five time all – star and slick fielder, he tied the American League record with 570 assists and his fielding percentage was the highest in AL history. Then Calvin traded him for relief pitcher Dave LaRoche. This allowed the Angels to then trade Jim Fregosi, their shortstop to the Mets for Nolan Ryan. Just think if we had skipped that intermediary step and sent Cardenas for Ryan! In three years out of a 16 year career Cardenas hit .263/.325/.394/.719 with 11.1 WAR. Danny Thompson took over at SS in 1972 and had the looks of a really good player, but of course, he died of Leukemia at the Mayo in Rochester at age 29. In 1973 he played in 95 games at short and Jerry Terrell 81. In 1974, the Leukemia weakening him he played 88 games at short, Luiz Gomez got in 74, Jerry Terrell 34, and Sergio Ferrer 20. Then in 195, the year before he died, he played 100 games at SS with the same three coming in late game or starting the other games. In 1976 Danny played in 34 games and then he was gone. Danny Thompson’s line for six years .251/.289/.316/.605 with 2.4 WAR. Next to grab hold of the position was Roy Smalley in 1976. We got Smalley in a trade along with Mike Cubbage and pitchers Jim Gideon and Bill Singer for Bert Blyleven and Danny Thompson. Why he would or could trade Thompson is another Calvin mystery. Why we traded Blyleven was a difficult thing to do, but a SS is important. Smalley was in 103 games under his uncle, manager Gene Mauch. He played in 150 games in 1977, 157 in 1978, 161 in 1979, and 125 in 1980 with Pete Mackinin, John Castino, and Lenny Faedo playing in the rest. In 1981 injuries limited him to 37 games and in 1982 he got in 4 games and was traded for Greg Gagne, and Pitchers Paul Boris and Ron Davis from the Yankees. The rest of 1981 saw Chuck Baker, Pete Mackinin, Ron Washington, and Lenny Faedo at SS. In 1982 Ron Washington was our primary SS, Lenny Faedo the backup. In 1983 Washington remained number one, but there were multiple players getting time at short. Faedo was in 51 games, Houston Jiminez in 36, the newly acquired Gagne 10, and Gaetti 3. Then in 1984 this streak of forgettables continued with Houston Jiminez and the number one, Washington number two then Faedo and Chris Speier. Finally, in 1985 Greg Gagne grabbed the position. With Roy Smalley back having been with the Yankees and the White Sox. He got in 49 games, Espinoza 31 and Ron Washington 31. The same four held the position in 1986 and Smalley took over DH with 114 games there. In the championship season of 1987 Gagne was backed up by Al Newman and Smalley played there 4 games with the rest as DH or PH. This ended the Smalley era. Roy Smalley in his two stints with the Twins played for us 10 years 262/.350/.401/.750 20.9 WAR Gagne had no one looking over his shoulder in 1988 The others to play short were Al Newman – 28, Steve Lombardozzi – 11 and then Doug Baker, Gary Gaetti, and Tommy Herr. In 1989 the same top two with Baker the only other SS. Starting the new decade – 1990 the top two stayed the same and Scott Leius became the third option. That stayed the same in 1991 with Knoblauch getting in 2 games at short. 1992 Gagne stayed at Short, but Al Newman was replaced by Jeff Reboulet and Donnie Hill. Gagne had been on both world series teams and hit a three run homer in game one of 1991, but in 1992 the Twins were only going to give out one big contract – Kirby Puckett and refused to give Gagne a raise. He left for KC. Greg Gagne played 10 years for the Twins .249/.292/.385/.677 12.7 WAR. Pat Meares was the next player that the Twins put at SS along with Reboulet, Hocking and Lieu in 1993. The same four were at the top of the list in 1994, 1995, 1996, and in 1997.1998 it was just Meares and Hocking. Meares left in FA to Pittsburgh. Pat Meares was a 12th round draft choice and played six years with the Twins .265/.301/.381/.682 6.0 WAR 1999 became the year of Cristian Guzman with Denny Hocking the back up. The same two in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 and in 2004 the back up was Nick Punto. Guzman had come from the Yankees in the Knoblauch trade. He led the league in triples three times and it was a pleasure to see him on the bases. The year he had 20 triples was the first time that number had been reached in 70 years. He left as a FA Guzman played six years with the Twins .266/.303/.382/.685 WAR 7.5 In 2005 Juan Castro and Jason Bartlett split SS with Punto behind them. The same three in 2006, but Bartlett asserted himself as number one. Bartlett was SS in 138 games in 2007, with Punto and Casilla playing the rest. In 2007 Bartlett lead the league in errors – 26 and then was part of the trade to get us Delmon Young! Bartlett played 5 or his 10 years as a Twin 271/.340/.361/.702 8.9 WAR 2008 Nick Punto (the leader of the Piranhas) 61, Brendan Harris 55, Adam Everett 44, and Matt Tolber 14 split the SS position. 2009 saw Punto and Harris split the position with Orlando Cabrera. Then in 2010 we had a lead SS again – JJ Hardy with the other SS candidates sliding down the list. 2011 and Hardy is gone – that was quick, but we had Tsuyoshi Nishioki and he started 60 games, Trever Plouffe 45, Alexi Casilla 36 and Matt Tolber 31. Lots of maneuvering! With Nishioki gone, Hardy gone, we turned to our minor leagues and stared Brian Dozier at SS 83 games. Hard to remember or easy to forget. Others had innings and games at SS too in 2012. Pedro Florimon 43, Jamey Carroll (our oldest SS ever) 37, and Eduardo Escobar 6. Lets call that a bad year too. 2013 Pedro Florimon takes the position 133 games, Escobar 38, and Doug Bernier 20. 2014 Escobar takes the position with Danny Santana playing in 34 games and Florimon 31 plus Eduardo Nunez 20. 2015 Escobar and Santana split the position with Nunez filling in and Polanco getting 4 games. 2016 Escobar gets the most games, but Nunez gets in 51 at short and Polanco 47. Polanco takes over in 2017, Adrianza is primary back up and Escobar gets only 16 because he is not primarily at third. I just cannot choose the best out of the mess that is ten years of revolving door at SS and Polanco has a ways to go year. Who is best – here are the candidates and my ranking – what do you think? 1. Cardenas 3 years .263/.325/.394/.719 with 11.1 WAR 2. Versalles 9 years 250/.296/.383/.679 14.7 WAR. 3. Roy Smalley 10 years 262/.350/.401/.750 20.9 WAR 4. Greg Gagne10 years .249/.292/.385/.677 12.7 WAR. 5. Bartlett 5 years 271/.340/.361/.702 8.9 WAR 6. Guzman 6 years.266/.303/.382/.685 WAR 7.5 7. Pat Meares 6 years.265/.301/.381/.682 6.0 WAR 8. Danny Thompson 6 years .251/.289/.316/.605 2.4 WAR. https://twinsdaily.com/blogs/entry/11367-the-best-first-baseman-in-twins-history/ https://twinsdaily.com/blogs/entry/11365-the-best-catcher-in-twins-history/ https://twinsdaily.com/blogs/entry/11371-%7B%3F%7D/
  4. For years baseball played with shortstops that could cover a lot of ground and if they hit well it was a bonus - Marty Marion and Ozzie Smith made the hall like this. Mark Belanger was the glue of Earl Weaver's championship Orioles and Zoilo Versalles brought the Twins to their first World Series. Now we masquerade SS with all the shifts but still we look at Lindor and Correa and other great gloves with great arms as prototype shortstops. Notice how many professional athletes began as Shortstops - that includes Sano. Because the best athlete was the SS. On a site called Dick's Pro Tips the little league teams are given this advise - "Arguably, this should be one of your best defensive players. The shortstop should show great range and the ability to field sharply hit baseballs. Choose someone who has an above-average arm, as many of their throws will be a great distance." Some might argue catcher and they get a lot of points, but they do not have to move as fast and as many directions, catch hops, drives, popups, and bad hops. Nor do they turn DPs. Think about what happens when a shortstop blows a catch, misses on a DP, or drops a pop up. We can put big oafs that hit Homeruns at 1B and even 3B, but not at SS. We can put good gloves with limited range at 2B (hate to say that since I played 2B), but at SS we want quickness, range, and arm. It is a position that demands a lot and is involved in a lot. I bring that up because Polanco is really disappointing this year. I do not have a stat that tells me how much offense is needed to offset bad defense. He has now reached 50 Errors at SS, not counting other positions, in 3 years. Too many. His fielding percentage, his errors, and his defensive WAR are all near the bottom. If the Twins are going to move up in the standings, we have to move up in the quality of each position and Jorge is not cutting it right now. Do we have hope that will change?
  5. Okay, we're past the statistical halfway point in the season. Sometimes it takes a while to flesh out who can help a team for the present and the future and sometimes circumstances make that decision. However, the Twins still haven't made decisions about several positions and players. The team is in the race for a wild card and they have not solidified several positions on the team. Here's my take on the key decisions that need to be made. 1-Shortstop. Danny Santana started the season as the regular, got demoted and now is back on the team. He showed some signs in the most recent series that he might start hitting and his tools at short are very good. Eduardo Escobar has started more in left field than short, but played over half the season at short last year and did well. Eduardo Nuñez has also been given several starts presumably in an effort to add offense. Nuñez isn't capable enough defensively, Santana hasn't produced after a standout rookie season, mostly played in center field, and Escobar has regressed from last year's numbers. My pick would be Escobar, who provides the highest floor and least risk going forward. Jorge Polanco also could figure in, but I can't see that he's ready to contribute. 2-Outfield. Eddie Rosario has emerged as a regular outfielder. Torii Hunter has been a solid right fielder for the Twins. That leaves one person. The guy who has the most at-bats after Rosario and Hunter is Escobar. He's a novice in the outfield, but has been acceptable. Aaron Hicks has provided excellent defense in center, hasn't hit much, but seems much closer than he has been in previous trials. Byron Buxton played a week+, showed his tremendous potential, but also showed that he has a long way to go before he's an offensive force. Buxton is currently on the DL, and won't return for at least a few weeks. It is unknown whether he could step in right away or might need rehab. The Twins could also use an option and give him time at AAA. It is probably a no-brainer to go with Hicks until Buxton comes off the DL. The big question is what to do then. My guess is that Buxton goes to Rochester for rehab and unless he tears it up, is optioned there perhaps until September 1st. The other factor is Hicks. If his BA continues to dive and the OPS doesn't get above .600, it might be time to give up on him being a productive everyday player. 3-Rotation. For now the decision has been made, Mike Pelfrey stays in the rotation and Trevor May is in the bullpen. May has a future in the Twins' rotation and this demotion really doesn't change that. I actually think that May can help the struggling Twins bullpen. He has strikeout ability and can get the fastball up to near-dominating numbers. I do believe the leash for Pelfrey can't be that long. His last two starts were failures and his peripherals suggest he isn't as good as his ERA might suggest. Pelf is a free agent after this year. Some have also suggested Tommy Milone should be optioned or put in the bullpen. I think Milone provides a bit too much to be pushed aside. He is still relatively young and under team control. Ricky Nolasco has missed over a month with an ankle issue and so far he hasn't solved the problem. I wouldn't be surprised to see Nolasco get surgery and miss most of or the entire remainder of the season. I agree with the Twins decision, but if Pelfrey gets knocked around in his next start, it might be a short demotion for May. Pelfrey throws hard enough that maybe he also can help the bullpen. 4-Bullpen. This isn't about changing roles, it is about changing faces. Aaron Thompson was a good story and a fine contributor for the first six weeks of the season. He just can't get people out anymore. He needs to be optioned immediately. Blaine Boyer was a surprise, but has done a slow fade for the last month. Boyer probably deserves to stay on the team, but should not be the high-leverage bullpen piece as he has been used thus far. Brian Duensing was miserable, but has shown some signs of improvement lately, no runs and only two hits, one walk and five strikeouts in the last 7.2 innings. The temporary addition of a starter in the bullpen might mean that only one pitcher should be added. I think AJ Achter has pitched well enough to get another start. Lefty Taylor Rogers has shown he can dominate AAA left handed hitters as a starter. I think he should be moved to Rochester's bullpen immediately and if he flourishes, should get a chance to help the big team. If Ryan Pressly is disabled, another name to consider is Mike Tonkin, who seems to be able to dominate in AAA, but hasn't done well enough to stick in the majors. For the record, demote Thompson, move up Achter and see if there is a good bullpen arm available on the trade market.
  6. I was originally going to write about the Twins "June Swoon", but the news of Vargas' demotion followed by word that Miguel Sano would assume his spot on the roster makes last month's struggle old news. The Twins are above .500 so by loose definition they are contenders to make the playoffs. They have promoted three of their top prospects within the last month and it looks like this won't be the end of the moves. First, a look at positions, followed by a look at players. Center Field: The Twins have supplanted an injured and now released Jordan Schafer with first, Aaron Hicks and then top prospect Byron Buxton. Both are currently on the DL, with Hicks rehabbing and Buxton supposedly not due back for three to five weeks. I was really surprised when Hicks was not recalled following the injury to Buxton. Hicks has struggled a bit in his first games, but had three hits today. I have to believe Hicks is in Kansas City tomorrow when the Twins face the Royals. The future still belongs to Buxton, despite his struggles with the Twins. Hicks future seems pretty uncertain. The team has started three guys in center in the last week. Shortstop: When Santana was demoted about a month ago, it was assumed that Eduardo Escobar would get his chance to establish himself as the current shortstop. It didn't happen. Santana has returned and started a few games and Eduardo Nuñez has been at short more than Escobar. Jorge Polanco is still in Chattanoogs and committing too many errors. Starting rotation: Ervin Santana's suspension is up on Independence Day. His three rehab starts were very good. All five current starters have a pretty good claim to stay in the rotation. Bullpen: Alex Meyer was recently called up and in two appearances where the starter was knocked out early, has been pretty close to dreadful. The two non-closing left handed reliever have bad statistics and little chance for upside. Blaine Boyer seems to be weakening after a stong start. DH: Vargas opened the season as the regular DH, got demoted and then came back. He hasn't been a constant threat and has seen his playing time diminish. It appears that Sano will get a chance at DH. Players: Kennys Vargas-He wasn't a top prospect last year, but last year he forced his way onto the Twins last year. This year has offered major regression. Vargas had a brief demotion to AAA and today was sent to Chattanooga. Vargas needs to hit with authority and he's failed to do that. As mostly a pure DH (a game at first occasionally) the production has to be substantial. Oswaldo Arcia--He was injured and then optioned to Rochester. Arcia finally has started hitting, but he's been passed by by Eddie Rosario as an outfielder and probably Miguel Sano as a DH. The way back to the majors isn't clear. I would guess someone needs to struggle while Arcia lights it up. Eduardo Escobar--Last year's primary shortstop has hardly played the position. Danny Santana was given the job and when he faltered Escobar has gotten a few starts, but other have started many more. Most of Escobar's playing time has come in left field. He hasn't hit well enough to be a serious alternative in the outfield. Danny Santana--The Opening Day shortstop was demoted to the minors and only recalled when there were injuries. He hasn't hit well since his recall, and started the last two games in center field. Eddie Rosario--Rosario was recalled in May and now seems secure to stay with the club. He has adjusted very well to the majors, starting games at all three outfield positions. Aaron Hicks--Recalled after dominating AAA, Hicks played well in the field, but was at best only a #9 hitter. He was injured just as Buxton was to be recalled and is rehabbing in Rochester. Hicks could be on his way back to the majors as soon as tomorrow. Byron Buxton--The crown jewel of the farm system, Buxton struggled but showed obvious talent. He is slated to be disabled for probably another month. It appears that the Twins have settled on Rosario as a regular outfielder and that DH will be handled by Sano for now. Center field probably goes to Hicks until Buxton is healthy. I don't know who the shortstop for the rest of the year will be. I wish they would give Escobar a legitimate chance at this point. I think Santana needs work in the minors, along with Vargas and Arcia. That is some high quality depth
  7. From the album: Resolutions

    Perhaps it was desperation that stuck Danny Santana in centerfield, perhaps there really isn't a viable alternative this season (at least until Aaron Hicks follows through on his new years resolution), but if it's at all possible, Danny Santana should try to get himself back into the short stop position. Playing extra shallow, sitting down in the outfield and picking dandelions, sad puppy dog eyes, all are feasible solutions
  8. In 2014, I saw Danny Santana play in a lot of games in spring training. I was impressed with his swing and his speed, but thought that he was a long way from helping the Twins in 2014. But, Santana showed the baseball world that he was ready when he was recalled in early May.He hit early and continued to hit throughout the season. Danny finished with a .319 batting average and an OPS of .824, both of which would have led the team easily if he had had enough plate appearances. Danny made the All-Rookie team and is a cinch to be the Twins Rookie of the Year for 2014. Santana assumed the leadoff spot in the order at midseason and thrived there. He hit over .300 and stole 19 bases as the leadoff man. Santana scored 70 runs in just over 100 games and had 41 extra-base hits in 430 plate appearances. Danny's BABIP was .405, a very high number and it was an astounding .443 as a right- handed hitter. Beyond his offensive contributions, Santana saved the Twins by playing center field. Danny started 62 games there after playing center only a handful of games in the low minors. His defense wasn't good at the start, but he improved and was adequate by the conclusion of the season. Two questions loom over Danny Santana for 2015 and beyond: 1) Can he sustain his outstanding offensive performance? and 2) What will his defensive position be? First, it is hard to believe that Santana will continue to hit .319 next year and beyond. He's got great speed, a nice swing and unflappable attitude, but that BABIP is pretty close to otherworldly, especially from the right side. I expect the major regression will come on his right-handed hitting because his K percentage is much higher (32% vs. 19% as a LH hitter). Also, I think Danny has to learn to be a bit more selective at the plate. He chased a lot of pitches out of the zone making for short or defensive at-bats. Adding to his walk percentage would be a good idea, as well (only 4.4% in 2014). Where Santana should play going forward has been a top topic on Twins Daily. The team got solid production from last year's de facto starting shortstop, Eduardo Escobar, and did not get anything close to solid production in center field from anyone else on the current roster. Santana was a shortstop playing center field in 2014. He could be more than that if the team decides he is needed in the outfield. However, he has the arm and range to be an outstanding defensive shortstop. It is a quandary that the next manager will have to deal with. Any solution will be controversial. The hope is the team picks a position for Danny and leaves him there, at least for 2015. Click here to view the article
  9. He hit early and continued to hit throughout the season. Danny finished with a .319 batting average and an OPS of .824, both of which would have led the team easily if he had had enough plate appearances. Danny made the All-Rookie team and is a cinch to be the Twins Rookie of the Year for 2014. Santana assumed the leadoff spot in the order at midseason and thrived there. He hit over .300 and stole 19 bases as the leadoff man. Santana scored 70 runs in just over 100 games and had 41 extra-base hits in 430 plate appearances. Danny's BABIP was .405, a very high number and it was an astounding .443 as a right- handed hitter. Beyond his offensive contributions, Santana saved the Twins by playing center field. Danny started 62 games there after playing center only a handful of games in the low minors. His defense wasn't good at the start, but he improved and was adequate by the conclusion of the season. Two questions loom over Danny Santana for 2015 and beyond: 1) Can he sustain his outstanding offensive performance? and 2) What will his defensive position be? First, it is hard to believe that Santana will continue to hit .319 next year and beyond. He's got great speed, a nice swing and unflappable attitude, but that BABIP is pretty close to otherworldly, especially from the right side. I expect the major regression will come on his right-handed hitting because his K percentage is much higher (32% vs. 19% as a LH hitter). Also, I think Danny has to learn to be a bit more selective at the plate. He chased a lot of pitches out of the zone making for short or defensive at-bats. Adding to his walk percentage would be a good idea, as well (only 4.4% in 2014). Where Santana should play going forward has been a top topic on Twins Daily. The team got solid production from last year's de facto starting shortstop, Eduardo Escobar, and did not get anything close to solid production in center field from anyone else on the current roster. Santana was a shortstop playing center field in 2014. He could be more than that if the team decides he is needed in the outfield. However, he has the arm and range to be an outstanding defensive shortstop. It is a quandary that the next manager will have to deal with. Any solution will be controversial. The hope is the team picks a position for Danny and leaves him there, at least for 2015.
  10. I saw Danny Santana play in a lot of games in Spring Training of 2014. I was impressed with his swing and his speed, but thought that he was a long way from helping the Twins in 2014. Santana showed the baseball world that he was ready when he was recalled in early May. He hit early and continued to hit throughout the season. Danny finished with a .319 batting average and an OPS of .824, both of which would have led the team easily if he had enough plate appearances. Danny made the All-Rookie team and is a cinch to be the Twins Rookie of the Year for 2014. Santana assumed the leadoff spot in the order at midseason and thrived there. He hit over .300 and stole 19 bases as the leadoff man. Santana scored 70 runs in just over 100 games and had 41 extra-base hits in 430 plate appearances. Danny's BABIP was .405, a very high number and it was an astounding .443 as a right handed hitter. Beyond his offensive contributions, Santana saved the Twins by playing center field. Danny started 62 games there after playing center only a handful of games in the low minors. His defense wasn't good at the start, but he improved and was adequate by the conclusion of the season. Two questions loom over Danny Santana for 2015 and beyond: 1) Can he sustain his outstanding offensive performance? 2) What will his defensive position be? First, I find it hard to believe that Santana will continue to hit .319 next year and beyond. He's got great speed, a nice swing and unflappable attitude, but that BABIP is pretty close to otherworldly, especially from the right side. I expect the major regression will come on his right handed hitting because his K percentage is much higher (32% vs. 19% as a LH hitter). Also, I think Danny has to learn to be a bit more selective at the plate. He chased a lot of pitches out of the zone making for short or defensive at-bats. Adding to his walk percentage would be a good idea, as well (only 4.4% in 2014). Where Santana should play going forward has been a top topic on Twins Daily. The team got solid production from last year's de facto starting shortstop, Eduardo Escobar, and did not get anything close to solid production in center field from anyone else on the current roster. Santana was a shortstop playing center field in 2014, he could be more than that if the team decides he is need in the outfield. However, he has the arm and range to be an outstanding defensive shortstop. It is a quandary that the next manager will have to deal with. Any solution will be controversial. I hope the team picks a position for Danny and leaves him there, at least for 2015.
  11. Entering 2014, I had Eduardo Escobar pegged as a standard-order utility infielder. He was a switch-hitter with a pretty good glove, okay speed who had demonstrated the ability to capably fill in at short, third and second. There was some chatter that EE shouldn't make the Twins coming out of spring training, but most viewed him as a good fit for the utility infielder role. Some wanted to see "Eddie 400" in 2014--that is at least 400 at-bats to see what the still-young Venezuelan could do with more consistent playing time. The early season gave Escobar his chance. Pedro Florimon, already seen as a subpar hitter, got off to a woeful start and Escobar got several early starts at shortstop. The rest, as they say, is history. Escobar hit .357 in April and backed that up with a .322 (.865 OPS) May. Florimon was demoted and Escobar became the de facto starting shortstop. Escobar returned to earth in June and July--his average fell to .274 at the end of June--and then he stabilized. Eduardo finished with a .275 batting average and his OPS ended at .721, good for a 102 OPS+. The season qualifies as a breakthrough. Escobar had more plate appearances than in his previous three years combined (over a year and a half in the majors). Escobar set career highs in almost every offensive category and played solid defense at the three infield positions (metrics vary) and showed durability. Esco still has some issues. He struck out 93 times and walked only 24, keeping his OBP relatively low (.315). Many, including myself, doubt that he can replicate his extra base numbers (35 doubles among 43 XBH). Escobar is not a explosive runner and thus will never have excellent range. All of this limits his upside to about what he was this year. Escobar ended up with dramatic platoon splits. In just over 300 ABs, he had only a .654 OPS as a left handed hitter, while in 131 at-bats as a right handed hitter, his OPS was .877. It does appear that Eduardo has been a stronger RH batter throughout his limited major league career. If someone would have said going into the season that the Twins would have a young switch hitting shortstop who could field capably and be an asset at the bottom of the order, most Twins fans would have been ecstatic and guarantee the guy a starting spot for years, however Escobar's rise coincided with the emergence of Danny Santana, who has the speed and explosiveness that Eddie 400 lacks. Next year's role for Escobar is up in the air. He may revert to a 3-position utility guy, he could become a "10th starter", filling in for multiple infielders, but not having a specific position. Perhaps he can hold shortstop, if Santana stays in the outfield. If injuries occur, Escobar could slide in for whoever gets hurt.
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