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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Twins Grades at Mid-Season- Position Players.

In this post, I will be giving letter grades to the Minnesota Twins' positional players. As we enter the second half of the season, the Twins have a 36-49 record. They are currently in the basement of the American League Central Division. Minnesota trails the Division leading Chicago White Sox, by 11 games. The Twins are 9 games behind the Baltimore Orioles for the second AL Wild Card spot.

A horrible start to the season for the Twins has knocked them out of any serious playoff contention. Minnesota should use the second half of the season to see who can contribute to the franchise's future. Meanwhile, they should trade away some of the veterans who will not be around by the time this team is in serious playoff contention. In other words, this team needs to be completely rebuilt. On to the grades


Catcher Joe Mauer: A 
The Twins lone All-Star. He is a deserving representative. Despite a slow start to the season, Mauer has; a .326 batting average, 5 home-runs, 41 runs batted in, and a .416 on base percentage. Mauer's .326 batting average is good for fourth in the AL. And his .416 on base percentage leads the American League. He batted a robust .397 in the month of June, while reaching base in 48% of his at-bats that month. (I still do not think he is worth his contract, but he has played a lot better lately.)

First Base Justin Morneau: C-
Morneau, has stayed relatively healthy this season, after missing most of the last two seasons due to various injuries. Morneau has 11 home-runs and 38 runs batted in, to go with a . 246 batting average. He is definitely a candidate to be traded before the July 31 trade deadline, as the Twins have Chris Parmelee ready to get more at-bats at the Major League level.

Second Base Jamey Carroll: D-
The only reason he doesn't get an F, is because he can field any ball hit right at him. He has no range in the field. And his .597 OPS (on base percentage + slugging percentage) is the fourth worst in the Majors. Terrible. There are six players in the Major leagues who have a higher slugging percentage than Carroll's OPS. Again, terrible.

Short Stop Brian Dozier: D-
Dozier, is a rookie, which is why he does not recieve an F. Dozier, has no business being a starting SS in the Major Leagues. He has an OPS of .599. Which is only two points higher than Carroll's. He has gotten on base in only 26.7 % of his at-bats. Dozier, also leaves a lot to be desired in the field, as he makes even the routine fielding play difficult.

Third Base Trevor Plouffe: B
At the end of the month of May, Plouffe, was batting around .170, with just 5 home-runs and 8 runs batted in. In simpler terms, he was playing worse then Danny Valencia. In the 6 weeks since then, he has 14 home-runs and 28 runs batted in. And he has raised his batting average all the way up to .253. His OPS of .871 is good for second on the team. While his 19 home-runs are tied for the team lead. Plouffe has been the biggest surprise of the season for the Twins. (In a good way. There have been plenty of bad surprises this season.)

Left Field Josh Willingham: A
Willingham, deserved to be an All-Star this season. That's how good his first half was. His 19 home runs are tied for the team lead. His .913 OPS leads the team, and is good for tenth overall in the Major Leagues. He is also the team's most clutch hitter. Willingham, is batting .307 with runners in scoring position. And 39, of his team leading 60 runs batted in, have come with runners in scoring position.

Center Field Denard Span: B
Denard, has played his usual stellar defense in center field. He has also had consistent at-bats in the batters box. Span has gotten on base in 33 percent of his at-bats. Span, is apparently on the trading block, once again. The Twins do have a glut of Outfield prospects, so it is reasonable to think he could be gone by the end of the month.

Right Field Ben Revere: B
Ben Revere is probably the most exciting player to watch on this Twins team. His speed is electric in the field and on the basepaths. He is hitting .316 and has gotten on base in 35% of his at-bats. Revere, probably, should be in Center Field full time. This would allow him to use his great speed to cover more of the outfield. My 5 year old cousin has a better arm than him in the field though. He also needs to work on his bunting, as guy with his speed should be a great bunter. It would add 20 points to his batting average every year.

Other guys:

Ryan Doumit: B

He has been a solid part time player. Filled in nicely when guys have succumbed to injury. Good power for a bench player.
Alexi Casilla: D-
Still can't hit. Lost his starting job again. Great fielder, but has no plate discipline or power.
Danny Valencia: F
Part of the worst infield in the American League, in April. His .494 OPS is just inexcusable. So is the fact that he can not field any ball down the line at third base. Banished to the minors, for the foreseeable future.
Drew Butera: C
He is solid behind the plate. Just don't expect him to hit the ball much. He is a better pitcher than hitter.
Chris Parmelee: C
Struggled at the big league level, because he hasn't gotten regular at-bats. He has great power potential. This is a guy that should be playing everyday at first base for the Twins, or there minor league team, in Rochester.
Clete Thomas: F
What a mid-season pickup this scrub was. Thomas struckout in 16 of his 28 at-bats, with the Twins. He made Danny Valencia look good. That's how bad he was, in his short time with the Twins.
Sean Burroughs: F
Another Terry Ryan special.(Twins GM, who has an affinity for washed up veterans in free-agency.)This bargin bin free agent hit .117 for the Twins, before being released.
Darrin Mastroianni: C
Solid fifth outfielder. Good speed.




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