Thursday, September 29, 2011

Minnesota Twins Season Recap and State of the Organization: Outfield

This is the fifth in a series of Twins blog posts.
See: Catchers
See: First Base
See:  Middle Infield
See: Third Base

There were some musical chairs in the 2011 Twins outfield due to trades (Delmon Young) and injuries (Span, Young, Kubel, etc).  Due to the injuries and September call-ups we got to see several young outfielders (Ben Revere, Rene Tosoni, Joe Benson, etc).  Michael Cuddyer was the best bat in the outfield, but injuries often forced him to move to other positions.  Kubel was also good for a stretch early in the year.  Both are likely gone. 

With Span out, Ben Revere was able to play a lot of center field.  He stole a bunch of bases, setting a new Twins rookie record, and he also made some highlight reel catches in center.  He has no arm to speak of, doesn't walk and still can't hit all that well.  Other than that, he rules.  That being said, I was for moving Span before the year when I thought his value was at a peak.  Looking into the minor leagues, the Twins have Aaron Hicks, Joe Benson and Oswaldo Arcia as solid outfield prospects.  Hicks is a center fielder and Benson has good speed in the outfield as well.

Ben Revere is FAST

For 2012, I'm going to assume both Kubel and Cuddy are gone.  The Twins will likely go with Revere, Span and a Tosoni/?? platoon.  Please sweet baby Jesus don't let it be that donk Jason Repko. Brian Dinkelman is an option.  Joe Benson will also get a long look in the spring, but he may spend some time in AAA a la Chris Parmalee.  I really like Benson's combination of pop, speed and plate discipline though.  This is a position where the cupboard is not bare as far as young players are concerned.  I mentioned Nady and Hinske in the 1st base blog.  Again, this is a spot where they could fill in with some experience, but wouldn't command full time plate appearances. Cody Ross, Raul Ibanez and Ryan Ludwick are some veteran outfielders that could be brought in to provide a little pop.  The Twins' best hope here though is that young players develop quickly; or Kubel agrees to a deal in the 6-7MM per year area.

Kubel doing the Running Man

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