December 16, 2011 Michael Cuddyer signed a 3-year $31.5million dollar deal to play for the Colorado Rockies and for me, as well as for many other Twins fans, this was a sad day. I think the Rockies paid too much and I think the addition of Josh Willingham is an upgrade, but that’s not where I want to go with this. As a fan, the departure of Cuddyer was especially loathsome because Cuddy was my favorite Twin, and had been for awhile. I can’t think of many Twins players who I’ve liked more than Cuddyer, except of course for Kirby Puckett. I’ll continue to follow Cuddyer, both on twitter (@Mcuddy3) and on the field, but now there’s a void in my life. I no longer have a favorite Twins player.
Something must be done to fix this problem, there’s a hole in my baseball world and it needs to be filled. No one on the current 25-man roster really jumps out at me, so I’m going to need to take a closer look. There are a couple of guys in the minor league that I really like, but who knows if they’ll even pan out and make it up to the bigs for more than a cup of coffee. I need a favorite Twin, and I need one now. What am I looking for in a favorite player? I’m on twitter, a lot, so a player who interacts with fans on Twitter is a big plus. I’m looking for a player who gets regular playing time and has some history with the team, someone that seems to be a regular Joe and a good person. I want Michael Cuddyer, but he’s gone gone gone. I want someone who speaks their mind but not in an Ocho Cinco way (@ochocinco). Let’s take a look at the candidates for my favorite player.
Jamey Carroll, Ryan Doumit, Josh Willingham, Sean Burroughs, thanks for playing, but none of you have yet to play a single meaningful pitch for the Twins so you’re out of the running for my favorite player before things even begin. NEXT!
Pitchers, I’m sorry but I’ve never been a pitcher, and I don’t think I could ever fully commit to having a pitcher as a favorite player. I’m going to have to pass. Sorry guys, you just don’t make the cut. Carl Pavano, bring back the stash and maybe we can talk. No stash, no love. NEXT!
Joe Mauer was drafted with the first overall pick in 2001 and debuted 3 years later in 2004. He is everyone’s favorite, a hometown kid who’s turned into just a fantastic baseball player, 3 time AL batting champ, and he’s signed through 2018. But, he just doesn’t have what I’m looking for in a favorite player. He does shampoo commercials, he’s not on twitter and generally is just a pretty quiet guy. I need more excitement, I need more! Joe Mauer, you’re great, you’re too good for me, it’s not you, it’s me. NEXT!
Justin Morneau was drafted by the Twins in the third round of the 1999 draft and made his debut 4 years later in 2003 and has mashed 185 taters for the Twins in the last 9 years. He’s Canadian and under contract until the end of next season. This guy seems like a great choice for my favorite player, but he’s been injured for most of the last 2 seasons and there are concerns that his concussion symptoms may not be behind him leading him to comment that he may have to hang up the cleats if the problem continues. I can’t go through this favorite player choosing every season, I need a long term commitment. Thank you Justin Morneau, but no thank you. NEXT!
Denard Span was drafted in the first round in 2002 and debuted with the Twins in 2008, he’s under contract for the next three seasons and he’s on Twitter (@thisisDSpan). He’s a flashy player who makes great plays in the field and he gets on base, even Billy Beane would love this guy. When he’s up to bat people say “Let’s get Denarded.” Awesome, but he’s not for me. Unlike Morneau, I’m not too worried about any lingering effects from his concussion last season, but I just dont have any buzz for Denard. I need to actually be a fan of my favorite player, there needs to be some sort of personal connection and with D. Span I’ve got nothing. NEXT!
Danny Valencia (@DannyValencia19) was drafted in the 19th round of the 2006 draft and debuted in 2010 and put up great numbers the rest of the season. He went to college at the University of Miami so I know that he knows how to have a good time. I’ve been living in the Miami area for the last three years and if there’s one thing that people do well in Miami, it’s party. Danny’s a bit of a hard egg, anyone who Ron Gardenhire doesn’t like must be doing something wrong, right? Or maybe he’s just got a bit of an edginess about him. I like you Dan-o, and I think third base is a pretty neat position, but I’m going to pass. NEXT!
Trevor Plouffe (@TPlouffe24) signed with the Twins after being drafted in the first round of the 2004 draft and then debuted with the club in 2010. Plouffe who has some power will, at least to be, always be called “Babe Plouffe” although he’s only hit 10HR in 103 career games in the big league, so maybe that’s unfair. Regardless, Plouffe is a prior middle infielder and I have an irrational dislike for middle infielders. Plouffe will probably be with the Twins for quite some time, Trevor Plouffe, I’m not quite ready to dismiss you, but I must move on down the road. NEXT!
Alexi Casilla is not on twitter and he’s a middle-infielder. That’s 2 strikes against him already. Casilla signed as a free agent with the Anaheim Angels 2003 and in 2005 was traded to the Twins in exchange for J.C. Romero and then debuted with the Twins the following year. Casilla has almost no power, 71 XBH (10HR) in 1281 at-bats. Not exactly an offensive monster but the Twins have actually used him as a DH 17 times during his six years with the Twins. Alexi also has terrible facial hair, and as a man who can rock a beard with the best of them I despise him. NEXT!
Chris Parmelee (@CParmeleeAFL) is a California kid who was drafted in 2006 and made his debut last season with the Twins and put up pretty impressive numbers at the end of the year hitting .355 in 21 games, a bright spot on a very dark year for the Twins. Although Parmelee is on Twitter he hasn’t tweeted since 2009. I like Parmelee, and I also like saying his last name, Parmelee. Fantastic. It looks like CP is going to get a chance in 2012 to be the everyday first basemen for the Twins while Justin Morneau takes over the regular DH duties. Parm, which is what I like to call him when I’m talking Twins with other fans, is definitely high on my list for possible favorites. I’ll keep him in mind, but I must press on, NEXT!
Ben Revere is on twitter,
@BenRevere9 and this just in, he’s fast! With the big smile that’s always plastered across his face it’s fun watching Ben play the game. He may not take the best routes in the outfield, and his arm might be pretty weak (Fangraphs rated it 4/100) but he sure is fast. Revere was drafted in the first round of the 2007 draft and debuted with the Twins in 2010. While Revere only got on base at a .310 OBP last year, his minor league career numbers were much better with a .385. Revere started to get things figured out last season, batting .311 with a .342 OBP. Hopefully Revere has begun to figure out major league pitchers and can build on that going into 2012. Ben Revere, you’re on the short list to be my favorite Twin. NEXT!
Luke Hughes (@lukehughes38) signed with the Twins as an international free agent in 2002 out of Perth, Australia. Being an Aussie, Hughes says mate, wombat, and all sorts of other fun Australian things. Hughes had a rough go of things with the Twins in 2011, hitting .223 with only 19XBH (7HR) and got on base less than 1/3 of the time. While Hughes has never been a high BA guy he’s never had trouble getting on base with a minor career .330 OBP in the minor leagues. Hopefully 2012 sees Hughes turn things around otherwise he might be wearing a Twins uniform for much longer. NEXT?
That takes care of all of the regulars on the big league squad and it looks like it comes down to Trevor Plouffe, Chris Parmelee and Ben Revere. I honestly think that Ben Revere is my favorite, with CP coming in second and Plouffe in a distant third. In addition to these guys there are a great bunch of players coming up through the minors, a few who will see time with the Twins this season. Who’s your favorite Twin?