Puckett’s Pond faces off two notable Minnesota Twins players and you decide which one was greater
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Puckett’s Pond is enlisting your help in deciding who the greatest Minnesota Twins in history are at each position. Eventually we’ll square off each position against the others and wind up with the greatest Minnesota Twin, as selected by you. The first position we’ll be selecting is catcher. We’ll only be counting literal Minnesota Twins and not the pre-1961 Washington franchises. Players also will need 700 PAs as a Twin to qualify. We ask you to consider the player based solely on his time as a Twin and at the position specified.
With Rod Carew chosen as the greatest Twins’ second baseman, we move on to shortstop. Shortstop will be exciting position to poll as there are many more legitimate hats in the ring compared to other positions. The candidates are: Roy Smalley, Zoilo Versalles, Greg Gagne, Leo Cardenas, Jason Bartlett, Jeff Reboulet, Eduardo Escobar and Cristian Guzman (Pat Meares just missed the cut).
Matchup #1: Escobar vs Guzman
Escobar was signed as an amateur free agent by the White Sox in 2006. He arrived in the majors in 2011. He was traded to the Twins part way through the 2012 season in the Francisco Liriano deal. He’s played parts of four seasons with the Twins in total so far. Escobar has mostly played shortstop but also spent significant periods of time at other positions. He only became the Twins’ everyday shortstop mid-way through the 2015 season
Escobar has an above average bat for a shortstop and decent but consistently impoved defense. He’s a smart baserunner but doesn’t steal much. As of yet, he’s posted a .710 OPS, 1.4 defensive runs above average and a 3.6 fWAR in 1139 plate appearances with Minnesota
Guzman was signed as an amateur free agent by the Yankees in 1994. He was traded to the Twins as part of the Chuck Knoblauch deal. He made his MLB debut in 1999 with Minnesota. He spent 6 seasons in the uniform. He played his last game in 2010 with Texas. Guzman’s best season as a Twin came in 2001 when he posted an .810 OPS and a 3.9 WAR.
Apart from that season, Guzman was below average offensively. Defensively, he was quite strong. He put up a .685 OPS, 34.6 defensive runs above average and 4.8 WAR in his Twins career.
Who was the greater Twins shortstop? Have your say:
Feel free to leave your reasoning in the comments. Check back here for the rest of the match ups and to see who moves on.