Does Jose Miranda have a path to the MLB roster this season?

After a solid spring, could we see Jose Miranda redeem himself in the majors this season?

University of Minnesota v Minnesota Twins
University of Minnesota v Minnesota Twins / Brace Hemmelgarn/GettyImages

There was a time not that long ago where Jose Miranda seemed to be on his way to becoming an important part of the Minnesota Twins’ core.

That all came crashing down last season when he was marred by injuries and poor play that seemingly erased what was an otherwise phenomenal rookie campaign a year prior.

Back in 2022, José Miranda was on fire from early-May to late-July. He slashed .335/.374/.571 and drove in 37 RBI in just 50 games as a rookie, which was understandly exciting when thinking about the future. At that time there was no clear answer at either of the corner infield spots and it seemed that Miranda was an easy fit at third base.

Last season tarnished all of that progress. Miranda was officially moved over to third base to become an everyday player, but hit turbulence right out of the gate. He posted a -0.6 fWAR in 40 games and an anemic 56 OPS+ in 152 plate appearance, while also being a total defensive liabilty.

It was a stunning fall from grace, but one that h may have started to counter back from this spring with a surprisingly stout performance. How well Miranda played down in Fort Myers had some wondering if he’d be a dark horse to make the Opening Day roster and seems to have put him on a path to reach the MLB roster at some point this season.

Does Jose Miranda have a path to the MLB roster this season?

As bad as he was last year, Miranda bounced back in a big way this spring. He finished with hitting .320/.393./.360 with a .753 OPS in 25 at-bats, adding eight hits and four RBI to his total. It was down from what he did last season, but his bloated stat line from Sprining Training a year ago seemed to be an outlier. Ahead of his fantastic rookie season, Miranda slashed a much more comparable .257/.353/.533, which is more in line with where he is this scoring an could be a better indicator of what’s to come.

Of course, it was hard to not get excited about what he did last spring, but it stood out in terms of where his numbers usually trend. This would suggest that we’re closer to the normal Jose Miranda than we are the lofty idea of what he can do, and the latter is much more valuable to the Twins lineup.

His path to being and everyday player has disappeared, with Royce Lewis’ rise happening adjacent to Miranda’s struggles. He also isn’t going to be in the picture as the staring first baseman thanks to Alex Kirilloff and Carlos Santana, but Miranda could factor in as important depth this season behind all of those guys.

Minnesota opted to not dip into free agency as a means of fortifying the roster, instead looking at internal options to add depth. That creates a petty clear path to the bigs for Miranda, who is an injury away from potentially re-joining the clubhouse at Target Field. There’s a line ahead of him, as both Austin Martin and Brooks Lee make sense as additions to the lineup instead of him, but Miranda’s value as depth behind Lewis and Kirilloff can’t be overlooked.

He bounced back in a big way this spring, which was incredibly encouraging. He’ll start the season in Triple-A which gives him time to further home his skills, but it seems like a matter of when, not if, we’ll see Miranda back on the MLB roster this season.

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