Is Josmil Pinto going to be the next full-time catcher for the Twins? I hope so. I really really hope so. Is Alex Presley going to prove it was worth trading Justin Morneau away? Maybe, just maybe. One went through the minors and one was acquired in a trade but both are performing well in their first few games as Minnesota Twins. Will it continue is another question?
A .700 batting average after 10 AB is a really small sample size to judge a player’s long withstanding career in the majors, but I am going to roll with it as it pertains to Josmil Pinto. I wholeheartedly believe he will be a .300+ hitter in the majors. Maybe it is because I am desperate to find some positives about this season. Maybe it is because I am a nervous wreck that now Joe Mauer has concussion problems [Sobs and shakes head in disbelief that this is starting to become just like Justin Morneau’s concussion problems in 2010/2011]. Or maybe it is because, even as crazy as it sounds, it is the truth.
Now, numerous players have started off blazing hot only to seemingly fall off the face of the planet and never amount to anything in the majors. With Pinto, I am hoping, praying, and secretly pulling that he replaces Joe Mauer as the backstop for years to come in the Twins’ organization. Now don’t get me wrong, I am a huge worshiper of Baby Jesus himself (Joe Mauer). I even have a couple of his jerseys hanging in my closet, but watching Pinto swing the bat has me ready to be wearing my #7 jerseys and rooting for Mauer while he is playing 1B instead of catching.
Sep 1, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Minnesota Twins catcher Josmil Pinto (43) leads off second base during the game against the Texas Rangers at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Crazy, I know, but this all boils down to that I firmly believe Pinto will be the full-time catcher for the Twins sooner than later. Just from stats alone, Pinto’s BA actually rose as he went from Fort Myers to New Britain to Rochester and now to the majors. And it is not just his hitting that has my attention. His minor league career average for throwing out baserunners is 33%. Yes, I know that throwing out baserunners is not entirely on the catcher as pitchers are to blame or credit as well, but 33% is not bad in my opinion. Having Pinto replace Mauer would obviously be a step down since Joe is head and shoulders above any catcher to come before him in this game, but the best option for the investment we have in Mauer would be to have him play 1B and Pinto take over the catching duties. Having concussions and playing catcher is a dangerous mix and judging by how long it is taking Mauer to come back from it, 1B may be his only option at this point and continue to let Pinto get his reps in as an every day catcher through the end of September.
Pinto’s stint in the majors will finally be coming to Target Field in front of the hometown fans this weekend where we will get a nice dose of seeing Pinto catching with a side of
Alex Presley. Both new comers to the team will be performing at home for the first time as Minnesota Twins and I know I am extremely excited to see them live and in action. Not only just to see them play as Twins, but to see what they can do at home since both players had excellent road trips against the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros.
Having already touched on Pinto’s successful road trip where he racked in 7 hits in 10 AB and had 2 RBI, we cannot forget about Alex Presley and the impression he left on Twins fans. Now many Twins fans who are not diehards have given up and do not watch them play anymore. Suckers. They are missing some exciting games and surprising play from a team who is all but mathematically eliminated. Presley in his games with the Twins so far is 7 for 18 with 1 HR and 5 RBI. Not too shabby for 4 games. And if he collects 8 more RBI, he will have the same number as Clete Thomas has on the season…in 77 games. I may be jumping to conclusions too soon, but saying Presley is an improvement to the CF position may be the understatement of this season.
Naturally, Presley will not be around too long as a starter since the Twins do have Hicks and Buxton in the minors, but for the time remaining in this season, it isn’t a bad idea to keep throwing him out there in centerfield to see what can happen. He may level off and fall back down to his average, which is what the law of averages and sabermetrics say, but I am all about basking in the glory of seeing a Twins CF actually drive in a run for the first time since, well, July 28th. Yes, we went the entire month of August without a single RBI from someone who started and played CF in a game.
Sep 1, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Minnesota Twins center fielder Alex Presley (1) singles during the first inning against the Texas Rangers at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
From here on out, the Twins will not have a day off as their only scheduled day off left is being replaced by a make-up game against the Angels from back in April. That means as Twins fans, we will be seeing lots of Presley and Pinto through the end of the season and, as an optimistic Twins fan, I am excited to see what they can bring to the table. These games may be meaningless for the Twins, but seeing how these young and new players perform against teams like the Rays, Athletics, and Tigers will give us a good understanding what we should be expecting from them next season and following seasons. Josmil Pinto and Alex Presley were not in the Twins 2013 Player’s Guide to start the season, but they will be there to finish the season and hopefully captivate Twins fans into looking forward to what 2014 and on may bring us here in Minneapolis.