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What Does the Outfield Look Like with Kepler?


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Matthew Lenz
The Twins haven’t gotten the offers they were hoping for in a Kepler trade, which means he’s likely to be on the Opening Day roster. With nine outfielders on the active roster, what is the role of each player?

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With the Buxton - Larnach - Kirilof injury histories, like it or not, it makes sense to hang on to Kepler & see if he or Gallo has more value to our club up to the deadline. Also, Kepler ensure’s that we don’t need to go any deeper than Walner at AAA if there are injuries.

Buxton played 140 games in 2017 and in other 6 years (other than Covid ‘20) he’s played an average of 68 games per year. Need depth!

                            2022 stats:

                  Buxton        Gordon         Kepler

Games           92              136             115

AB’s               340            405             388

Hits                 76              128              88

BA                 .224            .272            .227

HR                   28               9                9

Doubles          13                28              18

RBI                   51                50             43

OPS               .833             .743           .666

OPS+             135                113             93

SO                  116                105            66

BB.                   34.                19             49

OBP.                .306.            .316.          .318

Gordon had 1st healthy season since signing - first year playing OF - gained 25 lb in 2022. His 2nd year in SHOW vs. the other 2 guy’s 8th season. If he K’s once less per week & walks once more per week he’s a solid MLB outfielder that hits 40 doubles & 14 HR per year………….did this comparison to show Gordon should play vs. RH pitching nearly 100% of the time in LF or CF. If Gallo needs AB’s he needs to start maybe 50 games in LF but the other 30 games each should come from Kepler in RF & Kirilof at 1B.

Gordon could get OBP up to .335 and SO/BB ratio down to 2:1 this year, or even approach that, & he’s our LF …….Buxton’s primary back-up in CF, for years!! 

Basically, Gordon is performing offensively like we all hoped that Kepler would.

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