2022 Minnesota Twins Quarter-Season Infielder Grades
Catcher: Ryan Jeffers
Ryan Jeffers’ season at the plate has left a lot to be desired. The former second round pick is getting the bat on the ball plenty, but he’s just not seeing the results that he should, and he’s striking out way too often.
Lucky for him though, he’s one of the best defensive catchers in baseball, ranking in the 97th percentile in pitch framing and he’s errorless through 25 games. The Twins could use more offense from him, but his defense has been excellent, and that’s really what you need from a catcher. Grade: B-.
First Base: Luis Arraez
In the past, I’ve been critical of Luis Arraez, for not really being a good defender and struggling to draw walks and hit for power. While he still can’t hit for power, he’s transformed his game yet again and been everything the Twins have needed.
His batting average and on-base percentage are way up from last year and rank near the league lead, while his slugging percentage has jumped 46 points as well. He’s doing a really admirable job of filling in at first as well, helping out where the Twins are in desperate need. He’s truly been the Twins’ most valuable player thus far. Grade: A.
Second Base: Jorge Polanco
Jorge Polanco is in the same boat as Ryan jeffers. He’s been extremely streaky on offense in 2022, especially when it comes to contact and slugging, but his OBP has been consistently solid due to his team-leading 24 walks and a walk rate that’s one of the best in baseball. His analytics suggest things will even out.
On defense, Polanco has proven the improvements he made at the end of last year were legit. Despite a .698 OPS and the fact that he plays second base, he currently has a 1.3 WAR, mostly from his defensive ability and clutch hitting. Still, it’s hard to grade him highly with his offensive numbers. Grade: B-.
Shortstop: Carlos Correa
After a brutal start to the season (mostly due to a missed Spring Training and brutal weather adjustments, Carlos Correa has turned things around, slashing .268/.339/.384, numbers that are far closer to his career averages. He’s not hitting for power as much, but in a year with dead baseballs, no one seems to be.
His defense has been as good as advertised, and the Twins’ signing of the superstar appears to have been a great one. I can’t give him an A, as he’s missed quite a bit of time and the lack of power is a question mark, but he’s already a clubhouse leader and a key member of this team. He’s been well worth the contract thus far. Grade: B+.
Third Base: Gio Urshela
After moving on from Josh Donaldson in the offseason, the Twins left Gio Urshela with some big shoes to fill. So far this year, he’s done a pretty solid job. His offense to start the year wasn’t very good, and he’s been on a roller coaster since then, but he’s done enough (especially hitting in the clutch).
His defense has also been far better than I expected as well, creating some pause before anointing Royce Lewis the future at third base. He’s been a useful player this year, so we’ll take that as a win. Grade: C.