Another outfielder with some major league experience that could help fill the Kepler void would be Zack Granite who currently figures to be in strong consideration as the Twins 4th outfielder in 2018. Granite has continued to surprise as he has made his way through the Twins minor league system after being the teams 14th round pick in the 2013 draft out of Seton Hall.
To start, Granite has the skill set to keep the “Nothing but Raindrops” theme in the outfield trio going the best. He still has the speed and ability to track down fly balls as a solid center fielder. That would make a move to a corner outfield a way for Granite to show off his defensive ability in a less demanding position.
Offensively through the minors, Granite was known as a speedy on-base machine. In his first taste of the majors in 2017, he hit .237/.321/.290. In his first taste of the majors, Granite didn’t take off right away so there is room to improve. No matter the improvement, Granite would likely always be a downgrade from Kepler in the power category.
If Granite could develop into the type of hitter he was in the minors he could make a very good table setter for the Twins lineup. His 2017 numbers in the minors would be near impossible to duplicate with a slash line of .340/.394/.479, but if he could settle in around his 2016 numbers .295/.347/.382 and a .729 OPS, that could help produce some runs with the other Twins bats around him.
Granite isn’t likely a long-term option unless he continues to prove the baseball world wrong. As a short-term fill-in Granite is certainly a good option if the Twins were to trade Kepler this spring.