Sigh. Today is Nick Punto day, the day where Andrew Kneeland of TwinsTarget said all Twins bloggers should write down their thoughts on Nick Punto. In truth, I don’t really want to do this at all because I’ve already burned so many calories defending Nick Punto, but I imagine I will be the only person defending him this time, so here we go.
*A warning before I start: If you are under 18 or sensitive to obscene language or personal attacks, I’d stop reading now.
First of all, Nick Punto’s career WAR is 8.6. His WAR per 162 games is roughly 2.4. Since he has fluctuated the past couple of years, and was at 1.3 WAR last year, let’s put him at 1.5 just for fun, even though I think he will have a higher WAR than that.
Last year 182 players in the majors performed at 1.5 WAR or above. 182/30 is roughly 6 per team. So, Nick Punto *should* be your 7th most valuable position player. Last year he was 7th on the Twins. But guess what, he would have been 7th on the Red Sox as well.
It is fucking hard to find a major league shortstop. It is fucking harder to find one who fields as well as Punto does. The guy is a +18.1/150 for his career. A number which would have ranked 2nd in the majors last season.
I wish I could get onto SB Nation right now to see what some of the retards over at Twinkie Town were saying about him, but I can only imagine.
Listen, Punto is a bad hitter. There is no way to argue against that. His poor 2007 season can be explained by an oblique injury, but he’s still not a good hitter. Still, he sees the 2nd post pitches per plate appearance on the team after Mauer, something that is a valuable skill when put in the 9 hole. Tiring out pitchers before they face the top of the order is a good thing.
You’re not going to win the World Series with him as your best player, but if he’s your 7th best player, you are in damn good shape. It’s time Twins fans wake the fuck up and realize that Punto is a valuable player.