Offensive Notables

I have not taken a look at the offensive performances thus far in the spring, so I thought I would highlight the performances of a few Twins who are impressing me at the plate thus far.

2B – Alexi Casilla (24)

AB

HR

TB

SB

BA

OBP

SLG

25

0

12

2

.400

.444

.480

In 98 games last season he hit .281/.333/.374 to re-establish himself as the Twins 2B of the present and future.  Casilla tailed off in August and September after he returned from injury which put his long-term future in some doubt.  25 spring at bats obviously doesn’t legitimize his 2008 season, but it is a good sign that the Alexi Casilla we saw before his injury is the real player.  He has yet to play an entire season in the majors, but he is one of the catalysts that the Twins desperately need to have success in 2009.

 

OF – Carlos Gomez (23)

AB

HR

TB

SB

BA

OBP

SLG

22

3

18

2

.318

.375

.818

Gomez established himself as an absolute stud defensively in 2008, but questions surrounded his offensive ability after he hit .258/.296/.360.  What is most encouraging about his spring numbers is the fact he has hit 3 home runs.  There is no doubt he should be the Twins starting CF for the entire 2009 season, and if he has truly found his power stroke, it would take some of the pressure off the Twins starting Denard Span in RF

 

OF – Delmon Young (23)

AB

HR

TB

SB

BA

OBP

SLG

23

1

15

1

.435

.480

.652

Delmon is my projected 2009 Twins breakout player of the year, so I am happy to see that the offseason alterations he made are already showing results.  Perhaps Gardenhire’s comments about Young not being in the starting outfield were made simply to motivate Delmon.  If they were it seems that the mission was accomplished.

 

DH – Jason Kubel (27)

AB

HR

TB

SB

BA

OBP

SLG

18

1

11

0

.389

.476

.611

Kubel had a mini breakout season in 2008 hitting .272/.335/.471 with 20 home runs.  Entering his age 27 season, now is the time to take it to the next level.  Like Casilla, the Twins need Kubel to improve on last season to be competitive.

 

1B/3B – Brian Buscher (28)

AB

HR

TB

SB

BA

OBP

SLG

20

1

14

0

.450

.500

.700

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2B/SS/3B – Brendan Harris (28)

AB

HR

TB

SB

BA

OBP

SLG

18

0

7

0

.333

.368

.389

The pre-Crede platoon combo slated to play 3B, Buscher and Harris are both out to prove they belong in the major leagues and deserve significant playing time.  The Crede signing brings better defense and more power potential to the Twins lineup, but it also pushes Buscher and Harris to the bench giving the Twins two very solid reserves with offensive potential.  Together they also can back up all the infield spots making the tandem even more valuable.

 

Prospect Watch:

3B – Danny Valencia (DOB 9/19/1984)

AB

HR

TB

SB

BA

OBP

SLG

12

0

5

0

.417

.417

.417

Valencia is the Twins 5th best prospect according to Baseball America, and would seem to be the 3B of the future for the organization.  He has a career line of .305/.361/.485 in his 3 minor league seasons hitting well at every level to date.  He is expected to reach AAA this season and if he performs well could be the starting 3B for the Twins in 2010.  His success this spring is indicative that he is getting closer to being ready for the show.

 

It is just a quick overview, and it is only a few weeks into spring training, but thus far, the signs are all good for the Twins.  If Mauer’s back doesn’t keep him out of the lineup for an extended period of time, the Twins could be an absolute force in the AL this year.  This spring is only raising my expectations for this team.

 

 

 

Topics: AL Central, Minnesota Twins, MLB

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