Insert Luis Arraez into the everyday lineup
In the grand scheme of things, the signing of Jonathan Schoop might have been one of the Twins’ best offseason moves. With a black hole at second base after the Brian Dozier trade last July, the Twins signed Schoop on a low-risk, one-year deal last winter and he’s responded by hitting .253 with 16 HR and 44 RBI.
Those are solid overall numbers, but the 27-year old has reverted to his previous form recently. In the past month, Schoop has hit .204 with an OPS of just .592. During that time, he’s battled a rib injury and while this has already happened to some degree, it’s time for the Twins to go young at second base and turn the keys over to Luis Arraez.
Arraez has been one of the Twins’ most pleasant surprises after being a non-heralded prospect despite routinely hitting over .300 at every minor league stop of his career. That trend hasn’t stopped at the major league level so far, as Arraez is building a darkhorse rookie of the year campaign by hitting .348 with two home runs and 11 RBI in 164 at-bats.
Perhaps the biggest thing about Arraez is the energy he brings to the field. It sounds like something Ron Gardenhire would say about Nick Punto back in the 2000s, but when Arraez is in the lineup, this feels like a different team. Even his at-bats are fun to watch as he shakes his head in disgust at every pitch that’s out of the strike zone. He’s basically a walking Red Bull.
Arraez has seen more playing time recently, and he may slump once pitchers have an extended book on him. But with the type of energy he brings and the offensive production, it might be something that comes in handy down the stretch.