Different movie, same ending.
Last week we took a look at which team has produced baseball’s worst second basemen, and that team was the Minnesota Twins. Today, we are going to look at which team has produced baseball’s worst shortstops, and that team is once again the Twins.
That should give you an idea of what kind of year it’s been in Minnesota.
Let’s take a look at the Twins’ shortstops in 2011 and if there is a quick fix on the way.
Major League Rankings*
BA: 29th (.206)
OBP: 23rd (.278)
SLG: 23rd (.316)
HRs: Tied for 27th (3)
ISO: 12th (.108)
wOBA: 23rd (.272)
WAR: 30th (-0.5)
No surprise that two of the players responsible for the Twins’ second base issues—Casilla and Tolbert—are the primary culprits for their shortstop issues as well. It’s been a rough year for those two.
What puzzles me about the Twins is that they got rid of J.J. Hardy in the offseason and had no realistic replacement for him. They could really use a guy like Hardy right now. I love everything about the Twins organization, but moves like the Hardy one make me wonder if they will ever go the extra mile to win another World Series.
While the Twins have given the majority of the starts to Casilla at short, they have let Plouffe get some starts as well.
Unfortunately, he has performed just as badly as Casilla.
Plouffe has a .193/.309/.386 slash line with three HRs in 68 PAs. His .695 OPS is only 30 points higher than Casilla’s. Plouffe is still only 24 years old but hasn’t shown any signs that he can be an everyday shortstop at the major league level.
Much like the Twins’ second base situation, their isn’t much organizational help on the way.
The Twins do have Niko Goodrum, who was ranked as their 16th-best prospect by Baseball Prospectus before the season started, but he is only 19 years old and hit just .161 in rookie ball last season.
I am more major league ready than Goodrum is at this point.
Unless the Twins go outside the organization, I don’t see a quick fix for them at the shortstop position. I will say this: I would let Plouffe start for the remainder of the season.
The Twins season is pretty much over and starting Casilla at short is not going to help them now or in the future. Let Plouffe start, see how he does over the course of an entire season and who knows, maybe the Twins will get lucky and Plouffe will figure things out.
But he can’t do that watching a ham n’ egger like Casilla play.
*All stats were prior to Monday’s games