Minnesota Twins: Handing out Season Grades for the Infield

The 2020 Minnesota Twins season is now complete, so it’s time to complete the grades with a look at the infield that took a step back in the shortened year.

Slowly but surely we have made our way through the season grades for the Minnesota Twins, starting with the rotation, moving into the bullpen, taking a look at the outfield, and now we close it out with grades for the infield.

This wasn’t as good of a season as the Twins had hoped for from their infield, especially offensively. At the midseason point, the group as a whole was doing solid, but really started falling apart in the second half. Their grades reflect that downturn.

Lastly, three infielders missed the cut for playing ten or fewer games: Ildemaro Vargas, Willians Astudillo, and Travis Blankenhorn (Only Blankenhorn would have passed). With that out of the way, let’s get started.

 

Minnesota Twins

Ryan Jeffers of the Minnesota Twins bats during Game Two of the Wild Card Series. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)

Minnesota Twins Bench

Ryan Jeffers

Midseason Grade: N/A

Final 2020 Stats: 26 G, .273/.355/.436, 5 R, 3 XBH, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 5-19 BB-K, 0.3 WAR

No one could have predicted Ryan Jeffers breaking onto the team in 2020 and playing in nearly half of the team’s games as the clear top option on the roster. He hit decently for average, picked up a few homers, and got on base, all while playing good defense behind the plate.

He was truly one of the better backstops in baseball, and will likely take over as the No. 1 guy for the Twins next season. This type of rookie season earns him a grade worthy of his overall really solid play. Grade: B+.

Ehire Adrianza

Midseason Grade: D-

Final 2020 Stats: 44 G, .191/.287/.270, 10 R, 7 XBH, 3 RBI, 1 SB, 11-23 BB-K, 0.0 WAR

Forced to be a key starter for the Minnesota Twins, Ehire Adrianza performed as expected-poorly. Adrianza hit below .200, but he did get on base and play multiple different positions, very important for a team that dealt with a ton of injuries.

He may not be back in 2021, which is a bit sad for sentimental reasons, but it doesn’t effect his grade. He’s simply had a bad season. He gets a bit of a bump for his consistency, but not enough for him to pass.  Grade: D+.

Alex Avila

Midseason Grade: C-

Final 2020 Stats: 23 G, .184/.355/.286, 6 R, 3 XBH, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 11-22 BB-K, 0.4 WAR

An absolutely awful season hitting for average and power was matched with a really good season getting on base and playing solid defense for Alex Avila. He was signed to be a veteran presence and back up Mitch Garver, so he played in a third of the Minnesota Twins’ games and was entirely unimpressive. He did his job correctly, so he earned that grade. Grade: C-.

Marwin Gonzalez

Midseason Grade: C

Final 2020 Stats: 53 G, .211/.286/.320, 15 R, 9 XBH, 5 HR, 22 RBI, 17-41 BB-K, -0.1 WAR

Similar to Adrianza, Marwin Gonzalez was forced to play as primary member of the starting group, a role he isn’t suited for at all. He showed this once again as he struggled to hit for average, power, and get on base. Oof.

On top of all this, Gonzalez also didn’t play particularly great defense. He was fine, but still disappointing. This doesn’t help him improve his grade at all, and it would be a stunner to see him come back in 2021. His consistency helps him out, but he still can’t earn a positive grade for this year. Grade: C-.