Twins fans asked Santa for some pitching this offseason and so far he’s given the gifts of Kevin Correia and Mike Pelfrey. On the spectrum of Christmas gifts, they are probably the equivalent of a so-so stocking stuffer. Twins fans want more.
Last offseason the gift of Josh Willingham was under the Twins tree and that turned out to be a hit, 135 hits to be exact. It doesn’t look like the Twins will sign a huge name this offseason to bring them joy, but who will be their gift that keeps on giving all season long?
I find that the best gifts are the unexpected ones, so that takes out the easy candidates for the Twins breakout player in 2013. Twins fans have already unwrapped the joys of Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau and Josh Willingham.
Could Trevor Plouffe be the Twins guiding light? He has shone that bright at times last year, but his drop-off in the second half of 2012 is a tad concerning. Throw in the fact management has been trying to find third base competition for Plouffe as a small red flag.
Maybe Ryan Doumit could be the star on top of the Twins tree. 2012 was Doumit’s best season of his career, playing in 134 games which is ten more than his previous high in 2010. Doumit was one of the Twins' best players, but will that continue into 2013?
Glen Perkins could be a gift to remember for many years to come, but there’s one small problem. It’s hard to break out being the closer on a team that has struggled to keep the season loss total under 100 games the past two seasons.
Almost all the gifts have been passed out and Twins fans still don’t have a breakout player to look forward to all year, but there’s still a 6’1”, 230-pound box left under the tree. The wrapping paper is coated with the number 27.
When Twins fans rip open the wrapping paper, who will appear but Chris Parmelee. With the moves dealing Denard Span and Ben Revere, more outfield spots are open and its projected that Parmelee will be the starting right fielder on Opening Day against the Tigers.
Parmelee started last season as the Twins Opening Day first baseman, but didn’t really flourish and was eventually overtaken by the return of Justin Morneau to the first base position. In 2012 Parmelee played in 64 big-league games with lacking numbers of a .229 ERA, 20 RBI and five home runs.
From those numbers,it may not look like that Parmelee is a good choice to be a breakout player, but his late-season stint in 2011 shows something a lot different. In 21 games, Parmelee hit .355 with 14 RBI and 4 home runs. He did have some success in 2012 though.
Chris Parmelee tore up Triple-A Rochester. In 64 games there, he hit .338 and 17 home runs. He only had 49 RBI, part of that can be accompanied by him drawing 51 walks. Other than last year’s low RBI total, Parmelee has put up solid numbers that should translate well to the majors.
2013 will also be different for Parmelee since it’ll be hard for him to lose his job. The Twins don’t have a lot of major-league ready outfielders right now outside of the projected starting outfield of Josh Willingham, Darin Mastroianni and Parmelee. Trevor Plouffe is the only other player on the current roster that has played significant time in the outfield.
Between Paramlee’s recent numbers and his pretty strong job security, it looks as though he is setting himself up for a breakout year. Maybe he’ll even help the Twins win a year earlier than expected.
Wouldn’t that be a great present?!