Tuesday, March 4, 2014

25-Man Roster Dissection: Trevor Plouffe

Since Corey Koskie left the Twins and headed to Toronto Blue Jays, Minnesota has struggled to find a suitable long-term replacement at third base. Many men have been asked to take the reigns at the hot corner but few have lasted more than a season or two. Miguel Sano was supposed to be the light at the end of the tunnel but he will miss this season following Tommy John surgery.

Trevor Plouffe is the incumbent third baseman and he has already made friends with Sano. In fact, they have started calling each other "Primo," Spanish for cousin. Twins fans are going to be clamoring to see Sano and all of his perceived power potential at Target Field. This pressure won't be behind Plouffe this season but he still has something to prove on the field.

2013 Recap: .254/.309/.392, 14 HR, 22 2B, 52 RBI (129 Games)
After Plouffe went on an offensive rampage for a few weeks in 2012, there were some high hopes for him entering 2013. Fans wanted to see if his power swing was legitimate or if he just got hot for a small stretch. Plouffe didn't exactly take the AL by storm last year. His defense at third could be tough to watch at times and his power swing didn't show up like the previous season. A left wrist injury might have been one of the reasons for his lack of power. He batted .208 with runners in scoring position and this is one big area he will need to improve on for the coming season.

Forecasting 2014: .241/.302/.400, 18 HR, 24 2B, 65 RBI (132 games)
For Plouffe to keep his name on Ron Gardenhire's line-up card, he will need to keep making adjustments at the plate. There isn't going to be anyone pushing him for the third base job so the Sano injury means he gets one more season to prove the Twins were right to draft him in the first round. Minnesota has plenty of men for corner outfield spots and this is likely where Plouffe would need to move in the future after Sano's arrival. Without the nagging wrist injury, Plouffe should be able to hit for more power but pressing at the plate will cause his batting average and OBP to drop. By the end of the season, the Twins will want to spend more time looking at their younger players and this could leave Plouffe searching for at-bats.

25-Man Roster Safety: Locked-In

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