2022 Minnesota Twins Quarter-Season Bench Grades
Outfielder Gilberto Celestino
As good as Max Kepler, Trevor Larnach, and Byron Buxton have been this year, Gilberto Celestino‘s development has been the most exciting news for the outfield in 2022. Currently slashing .359/.438/.422, Celestino has been a revelation.
He’s always been a good defender, but his development at the plate with a much-improved eye and a refined approach have led to him being a consistent average hitter and the perfect fourth outfielder for the Twins. Sure, a regression is likely, but this has been the perfect start for the young outfielder. Grade: A+.
Utilityman Nick Gordon
When Nick Gordon was pressed into action in 2021, he performed well, and his versatility was very important for the Twins as they trudged through the worst season in half a decade. This year, he’s taken a small step back, but with the way the team has played, it’s felt enormous.
Of the twelve players on this list, Gordon’s OPS of .611 is the lowest on the team by 25 points, simply because he can’t get on base or hit for power. His versatility is still useful when the Twins have been as beat up as they’ve been, but his defense is simply average and his offense is lousy. When Royce Lewis is ready to take over as the utility man, Gordon may be the odd man out. Grade: D+.
Catcher Gary Sanchez
Before the season began, I wrote about how Gary Sanchez could have a bit of a career renaissance in Minnesota. While that hasn’t quite happened, he’s posted his best OPS+ since his All-Star 2019 season, improved his pitch framing, and looked much more comfortable than he did in either 2020 or 2021.
He’ll probably improve even more offensively a little bit as the year gets warmer (more of his towering hits will fly a little better) and defensively (more time getting comfortable with the Twins system of catching). For a catcher/part time-DH, he’s been very solid. Grade: B-.
Outfielder Kyle Garlick
Kyle Garlick has become one of the most indispensable platoon player I’ve seen over the last two decades of Twins baseball, and it’s clear to see why: He simply mashes left-handed pitching. Just look at his splits against different pitchers:
- RHP: 9 G, 13 AB, .154/.267/.385, 1 HR, 2 RBI
- LHP: 14 G, 20 AB .350/.440/.800, 3 HR, 8 RBI
His defense is forgettable, and he’s only used in specific situations, but he’s been absolutely dominant when needed, just like he’s been his whole career. What a truly fun player. Grade: A+.