With the start of the new season right around the corner, most of the focus is on Opening Day. The Minnesota Twins, however, are already in a position to begin looking beyond that and at what the future might look like.
Specifically, the Twins need to figure out what the infield will look like without Jorge Polanco.
Polanco hasn’t played at all in Spring Training and is going to start the season on the Injured List. It’s unclear what the timeline for his return is, but there’s hope that he’ll be back at some point in April with a May debut being a less ideal scenario.
Without Polanco, the Twins will have to get creative in how his production is replaced which could lead to a stars aligning situation for one of the team’s top prospects.
Donovan Solano and Nick Gordon will likely form a platoon at second, but the injury to Polanco could fast track Edouard Julien to the Big Leagues.
Will Minnesota Twins call up Edouard Julien in 2023?
It’s honestly starting to feel like a case of when and not if the Twins will call up Julien this year.
Julien was already lighting it up in the minors, and he continued to improve that performance this spring. He spent more time than anyone expected at second base due to an injury to Jorge Polanco, and he was absolutely electric in the World Baseball Classic.
It’s a small sample size, as Julien only played in four games for Team Canada, but he made the most of his 13 at-bats. Julien slashed .538/.667/1.154, which is absolutely insane. He finished the tournament with the fifth-best batting average and led the entire world in OPS (1.821) and SLG (1.154).
For comparison, Trea Turner — the hero of Team USA — finished over a tenth-percent behind Julien in slugging percentage in two more games.
Turning the dial back, Julien was already making strides with Double-A Wichita the last two season. He slashed .300/.441/.490 with 17 home runs. He was named the Arizona Fall League’s Breakout Player of the Year with a 1.248 OPS highlighting an absolutely electric fall for him.
It wasn’t long after that the Twins added him to the 40-man roster and set up an eventual call up. That still hasn’t happened, but everything seems to be converging on Julien getting that call ahead of schedule and potentially proving his value earlier than anticipated while the Twins navigate a Polanco-less start to the season.