Tuesday, February 25, 2014

25-Man Roster Dissection: Pedro Florimon

Minnesota hasn't had a shortstop make back-to-back Opening Day starts since Cristian Guzman run ended in 2004. There have been a wide variety of men who have tried to solve some of Minnesota's up the middle problems. Jamey Carroll, Alexi Casilla, JJ Hardy, Nick Punto, Adam Everett, Jason Bartlett, and Juan Castro all made Opening Day starts but with those starts came plenty of swings and misses.

Pedro Florimon is trying to give the Twins a little stability at shortstop. He is never going to be a guy with a high batting average but his defensive skills make him valuable. At 27-years old, Florimon isn't exactly an up-and-coming prospect so he needs to continue to prove he belongs at the big league level or Minnesota will find someone else.

2013 Recap: .221/.281/.330, 9 HR, 17 2B, 44 RBI (134 Games)
After never appearing in more than 43 games in a season, Florimon was given the chance to be an every day player. His batting average and slugging percentage were slightly above his career marks but the Twins don't keep him around because of his bat. His defense is where he gives the team the most value. He ranked sixth in the AL in Defensive WAR and his 101 double plays turned ranked second in the league. According to defensive runs saved, Florimon saved the Twins 12 runs last year and that can mean the difference in a couple different games. Minnesota got what they were expecting out of Florimon and the team will likely expect more of the same moving forward.

Forecasting 2014: .227/.284/.329, 8 HR, 19 2B, 43 RBI (130 games)
Minnesota doesn't exactly have a crop of minor league shortstops pushing Florimon for his starting job during spring training. Danny Santana is getting closer to the big leagues but there are questions about his defense at shortstop. Florimon recently underwent an emergency appendectomy so he will miss the first couple weeks of camp. This might mean he isn't ready for Opening Day so Eduardo Escobar could get a little more playing time at the beginning of the year. The Twins have reassured that Florimon will be the starter even with his recent setback. The 27-year old isn't going to light the world on fire at the plate but his defense is above average and Ron Gardenhire has a soft spot for a good glove man.

25-Man Roster Safety: Locked-In

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