Minnesota Twins 2018 positional recap, part 4- Shortstops
By Matt Smith
Shortstop will probably be one of the easier positions to predict for 2019. There’s really not much reason anyone other than Jorge Polanco would be the starter for the season, barring an injury or another suspension. I see Adrianza sticking around as a solid bench infielder capable of filling in at 2B, 3B, and SS, and Nick Gordon will likely debut at some point as well. I’m guessing he gets his chance at 2B since Polanco has shortstop pretty well locked down, but again, you never know.
All in all, shortstop is one of the less contested positions for the Twins in 2019. Polanco has looked pretty good offensively lately, and the hopes will be that he continues to provide good production. He may only hold SS until Lewis makes his way to the MLB in 2020 or 2021, but even then he’ll likely stick in the lineup elsewhere.
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Another option that seems unlikely but may be worth mentioning is that the Twins could elect to sign a shortstop this offseason and move Polanco over to 2B right away. This probably wouldn’t be too inspiring of a decision, as after Manny Machado, the best available free agent shortstops are the likes of Freddy Galvis, Jose Iglesias, and Adeiny Hechavarria, but again, this probably isn’t a very likely scenario. Given the numerous logical options among free agent second basemen this offseason (see Jed Lowrie, Asdrubal Cabrera, Ian Kinsler, Logan Forsythe, and even Brian Dozier, to name a few), it’s much more likely that Polanco sticks at short for at least one more season.
Polanco’s suspension threw the Minnesota Twins a curveball shortly before the season started, but they managed the situation fairly easily with Escobar and Adrianza covering the majority of the shortstop responsibilities until Polanco’s suspension was finished. Polanco returned, played well, and should continue to be the everyday shortstop until Royce Lewis graduates to the MLB. All the while, Adrianza remains more than capable as a backup infielder.