Monday Morning Quarterback (Shortstop Edition)
After watching the Vikings on television yesterday it was fairly obvious that those guys are just not cut out to play in the National Football League. I am not even sure that team could beat the BCS #1 Louisiana State University Tigers. Similarly, after the 2011 MLB season, it was evident that the Twins were barely a Major League team (heck, half of their starting line up should have been playing Double/Triple-A ball instead of suiting up for the Twins). What that in mind, what if these guys changed places? What would a Twins line up made of Vikings look like, and what would a Vikings team made up of Minnesota Twins be?
Boom! The Minnesota Twinkings
Batting lead off and playing center field is the speedy Percy Harvin. Harvin is already a great receiver and his speed will play well in center. He is probably going to need to start taking better routes, but after watching Ben Revere light up center field in 2011, Harvin should bring plenty of excitement to Target Field.
“Bat second, play second,” is one of Ron Gardenhire’s favorite lineup configurations, so we’ll go that same route here. This guy does not have great speed, and he really is not an elite talent, but he is the kind of guy that can go out and get the job done day after day. Your 2012 Minnesota Twinkings starting second basemen is Michael Jenkins. His soft hands give him above average defense, and he’s big enough to have some pop in his bat so he will be a source of consistency on this team.
Left Field is a nice place to hide a guy that is on the downward slope of his career. A guy that is not as quick as he used to be and is not going to make a lot of plays in the field, but someone who can still hit for power and average. That guy is Steve Hutchinson. He is in his 11th year of pro ball, and he’s taken a beating from opposing defenses, but his hits still pack a punch, and I have no doubt he’ll continue to be a menace to opposing defenses from left field.
Batting fourth and playing first base is the Visanthe Shiancoe. At 6’4″ 250lbs Shiancoe can still move pretty well for a big guy, and will have no problem putting a hurt on opposing fastballs. His versatility on the field as a blocker and pass catcher will work well for him on the baseball diamond, think of Kent Hrbek with an extra 50 pounds, this guy would have thrown Ron Gant into the second row!
Playing third base requires quick reflexes, the ability to read the ball off the bat in a split second, and athleticism to not only dive for balls down the line, but also the arm strength to get the ball over to first base on a rope. For the Twinkings, this guy is Adrian Peterson. He has shown soft hands catching balls out of the backfield, and his quickness and vision in the backfield make him a perfect fit at third base. His power is evident when he runs between the tackles and hitting behind Shiancoe he should have plenty of opportunities to drive in runs with guys on base.
Right field is a defensive position that you fill with a player who has tremendous upside at the plate, and can perform adequately in the corner outfield. You should expect your right fielder to hit for power. and maybe not a lot else. In typical Twins fashion, the Twinkings right fielder is also a leader on the field and in the clubhouse, Jared Allen. Allen brings a tenacious energy to everyone around him, raises the performance of his teammates and just crushes the opponent. At the plate Allen is a high home run high strike out guy, but with all the talent a head of him in the lineup he could put up 140 RBIs to go along with 125 strikeouts. He’s basically Adam Dunn, when Adam Dunn was still hitting, except he isn’t expected to play a marquee defensive position.
In the vein on Jim Thome, the Twinkings are employing a designated hitter that limits their bench, but gives them a guy that can really hit and a fan favorite. Your 2012 Minnesota Twinkings designated hitter is Jim Kleinsasser. Kleinsasser has played fullback and tight end for the Vikings in the past, but now finds his role limited to pass blocking and occasionally slipping out into the flats for a 3 yard catch. He’ll fill a similar role for the Twinkings providing big hits and plate discipline near the bottom of the order.
Catcher seems like a natural position for an athletic middle linebacker like E. J. Henderson. Henderson not only calls a good game for the Twinkings pitchers, but the team really likes the way he blocks the plate on plays at home. There are not a lot of MLB players who are particularly excited about getting in a collision with big E. J. Henderson.
There are not a lot of great options for Short Stop on the 2011 Minnesota Vikings roster. Short Stop would be a great place to plug in a shut down corner or hard hitting safety. The Vikings are in short of both of those types of players, instead settling for the likes of Benny Sapp just to get warm bodies on the field. Like the 2011 Minnesota Twins, the 2012 Twinkings will struggle at short stop with Husain Abdullah. Abdullah has 49 tackles from the safety position so far in 2011, but just 1 interception and one sack. Look for Abdullah to make just enough plays to fend off utility man Jamarca Sanford.
Pitching for the Twinkings is the starting quarterback Christian Ponder. He will anchor a pitching staff filled with question marks, but he’ll get the job done. He won’t strike a lot of guys out, but he fits well in Twins’ pitch to contact system and the defensive behind him will help keep runners off base.
Chris Kluwe will be the Lefty One Out Guy out of the bullpen, coming in to help get the Twinkings out of a jam.
Long relief for the Twinkings will be Kevin Williams. He’s there just to eat up innings, and let me tell you, that boy can eat.
Middle Relief/Set Up is a good role for guys who are dependable. They’re not flashy, but they just seem to get things done, these are guys that just know how to get outs. Toby Gerhart is that guy. He is not going to wow anything with his tools, and he does not have any plus plus pitches, but he brings a solid overall skill set to the bullpen and he is a proven leader in the bullpen.
Ryan Longwell, king of clutch, is the unquestioned closer for the Twinkings. No situation is too big for Longwell, who thrives under pressure and has kicked more game winning field goals than anyone else in NFL history (I may or may not have made that up).
Not a terrible team, certainly one that could compete with the rest of the MLB for the first pick in the 2012 MLB draft!
Look for your 2012 Minnesota Vikewins later this week.
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