Monday, March 30, 2015

40-Man Roster Dissection: Corner Outfielders

After the exciting young and veteran players among the middle infielders and corner infielders, the corner outfielder group is a little lackluster. Torii Hunter is an aging veteran. Eduardo Nunez is an organizational depth type of player. Chris Herrmann offers some versatility. Overall, Oswaldo Arcia still has some upside but his ability to stay healthy is a big question mark.

It will be interesting to see how this group develops throughout the season. It seems likely that other players like Aaron Hicks, Jordan Schafer, and even Trevor Plouffe could see some time in the right or left field. Arcia and Hunter will be penciled in for Opening Day but will they be there at the end of the year?

Oswaldo Arcia
.231/.300/.452, 20 HR, 16 2B, 57 RBI, 46 R
Between the big leagues and Triple-A, Arcia played in a professional high 125 games in 2014, Arcia has dealt with a variety of injuries throughout his career and this has limited his ability to stay on the field. In just over a hundred games, Arcia finished second on the team in home runs and slugging percentage. A healthy Arcia could mean the team's first 30 home run hitter since Josh Willingham in 2012. This will be Arcia's age-24 season so there is still time for growth on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. 25-Man Roster Prediction: Yes

Chris Herrmann
.213/.253/.253, 0 HR, 3 2B, 4 RBI, 8 R
Herrmann is already 27 and he has played parts of the last three seasons at baseball's highest level. There hasn't really been any signs of improved offense and he's had over 500 Triple-A at-bats while hitting .262/.331/.399. If Kurt Suzuki or Josmil Pinto ends up on the DL this season, Herrmann could serve as a back-up catcher since he's already on the 40-man roster. There doesn't seem to be a ton of upside left with Herrmann and the Twins have some other good young catchers moving through the system. 25-Man Roster Prediction: Yes (Because of Pinto Injury)

Torii Hunter
.286/.319/.446, 17 HR, 33 2B, 83 RBI, 71 R
All off-season Twins Territory has heard about the leadership Hunter will provide in the clubhouse to the young core of Minnesota's team. After batting .262/.336/.429 in 2011, Hunter has seen an offensive rebirth over the last three seasons, During that stretch, he's hit .301/.339/.455 while averaging 17 home runs and 31 doubles per season. The defensive metrics have not been kind as Hunter's body has aged entering his 19th big league season. He says he wants to end his career in Minnesota but will he strive on a rebuilding team. 25-Man Roster Prediction: Yes

Eduardo Nunez
.250/.271/.382, 4 HR, 7 2B, 24 RBI, 26 R
Some people were surprised when the Twins offered salary arbitration to Nunez. He seems likely a fairly replaceable player. However, it has only been a little over a year since the Twins acquired Nunez from the Yankees for Miguel Sulbaran. Nunez might be limited offensively but his ability to play three infield positions and both corner outfield positions. This versatility could be his likely saving grace when it comes time for the team to head north for Opening Day. 25-Man Roster Prediction: Yes

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