Sep 15, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Twins third baseman Trevor Plouffe (24) hits a single in the eighth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Target Field. The Tigers won 8-6. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Last season, Plouffe should have likely been pushed for playing time by prospect, Miguel Sano. Unfortunately, Sano’s season ended before it started after he underwent Tommy John surgery. Minnesota however has to be pleased with how Plouffe responded, and handled the hot corner in 2014.
Not only did Plouffe show an advanced level of fielding ability and range, but his bat continued to play for the Twins. Setting career highs across the board, Plouffe slashed .258/.328/.423. He also hit 14 home runs for the second season in a row, and drove in a career high 80 runs. At the plate, he cut down on his strikeouts (impressive considering he had 60 more plate appearances a season ago than he did in 2013), as well as setting a new career high in walks (53).
As 2015 kicks off, Plouffe will once again know that his leash is short. Should he find himself regressing either in the field, or at the plate, Miguel Sano could be at Target Field sooner than expected. Likely a candidate to switch positions upon the arrival of Sano, it will be on Plouffe to show Minnesota that he is worth keeping in the lineup. Looking at the year-by-year trend, it’s fair to assume Plouffe can continue the same uptick in production, and possibly expand on his home run totals in 2015.