The Minnesota Twins are in the midst of another tough season, and the faithful that reside in Twins Territory are very hopefuly for a turnaround in 2015. While much of the roster is going to be under speculation during the offseason this winter, one guy may have played himself right back into favor with Twins management. We’re looking at you Trevor Plouffe.
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Coming into 2014, Trevor Plouffe was a 2004 first round pick that had never reached his ceiling. As a third basemen, he was below average defensively, and lack range to play the position long-term. His bat showed some power promise, but he was never able to be consistent enough to make the effort noticeable.
Fast forward to where we stand today. Trevor Plouffe has hit .252/.319/.425 through 117 games. He has 12 home runs and 69 runs batted in. The home run total is down from his career year (24) in 2012, but his RBI total is already a career high. It’s a very real possibility that Plouffe could set a new career high in strikeouts, but he has already done so in walks as well.
On the defensive side of the ball, he has turned in a higher fielding percentage (.964) than any previous year in his career. Also, when it comes to making himself above average, based upon Rtot/yr, Plouffe is +2, positive for the first time in his career. The state measures the total amount of runs a player is worth above or below average per 1,200 innings.
Now the elephant in the room, Miguel Sano. Sure the talented slugger is likely an option to break spring training with the Twins. Sure Sano is one of the most highly touted prospects in baseball. However, Miguel Sano doesn’t have to be tied to third base, and neither does Trevor Plouffe.
Kennys Vargas and Joe Mauer being members of the Twins take first base out of the equation, but all four players can profile as a designated hitter. Plouffe also has the most versatility of the bunch.
Plouffe has played the outfield, along with multiple other infield positions. He would be the most likely player to move positions. If his bat continues to play at the major league level, the Twins will find a place for him. The pressure to promote Sano could also be dulled with Plouffe continuing to play at a high level.
No matter what happens at the hot corner, and with the Twins roster in general, fans around Minnesota must be excited that Trevor Plouffe has arrived. While it may have taken longer than initially hoped for, the talent is starting to break through.