Tuesday, December 8, 2009

My Twins Projected Starting Lineup for 2010

The Twins are known for filling holes in their lineup internally. Hopefully though they go out of their own farm system this year to fill a couple glaring holes .

At the moment, here is my projected starting lineup for 2010:

1. Denard Span: CF
2. J.J. Hardy: SS
3. Joe Mauer: C
4. Justin Morneau: 1st
5. Michael Cuddyer: RF
6. Jason Kubel: DH
7. Delmon Young: LF
8. Brendon Harris: 3rd
9. Nick Punto: 2nd

This lineup looks pretty good. The only question marks are the 8 and 9 spots in the lineup. Let's first take a look at Brendon Harris's stats in 2009:

123 Games
414 At Bats
44 Runs
22 Doubles
6 Home Runs
37 RBI's
29 BB
.261 BA
.310 OBP
.362 SLG
.672 OBS

I honestly don't think that is very good. Harris had over 414 AB's. He had only 6 Home Runs and 37 RBI's. That is way too low for a third baseman. The Twins really need to be looking at more production from a third baseman. In a previous article, I stated the Twins should get a free agent bat at third, and I am holding by that. I still think the Twins should get either Adrian Beltre or Troy Glaus, both of which are great players. Not only do both of those players have power, but they also have great defense.

Now for second base. Nick Punto is an interesting player. A lot of fans hate his lack of production. Let's take a look at his stats in 2009 though and see if the fans are correct:

125 Games
359 At Bats
56 Runs
15 Doubles
1 Home Runs
38 RBI's
61 BB
.228 BA
.337 OBP
.284 SLG
.621 OBS

+2.7 UZR (at 2nd base)

Looking at the stats I can't blame the fans. His power is terrible, and his .228 Batting Average doesn't help the cause. Finally, his defense, which is hyped up as being amazing, is actually below average according to his UZR. (UZR is how many runs he gave up compared to the average second baseman. +2.7 means that Punto gave up 2.7 more runs than the average 2nd baseman.)

I can't see why Punto is getting paid $4 mil a year for what he does.

The verdict: Punto probably shouldn't be the starting second baseman. He is a perfect super utility infielder though. Gardenhire loves Punto's chemistry on the team, so he definitely shouldn't leave. His stats don't warrant him to be the starting second baseman.

What are the options though other than Punto? Let's take a look at a few options:

Dan Uggla:
Uggla is an option for the Twins if they wish to trade for a second baseman. He would probably cost the Twins a lot of top prospects though. It is probably worth it though, as a power hitting second baseman isn't something you can find very often.

Orlando Hudson:
Hudson had a decent year last year for the Dodgers. He is definitely an upgrade over Nick Punto. He could also probably get signed in Free Agency for a reasonable amount. Finally, Hudson wouldn't cost the Twins a draft pick as he wasn't offered arbitration.

Mark DeRosa:
He is probably the player the Twins would want the most. They have shown a lot of interest in him. He has had two consecutive 20+ home run seasons. His other stats were also decent.

Of the three players, I think the Twins would most likely go after Mark DeRosa. That is probably the best option too considering that Dan Uggla would require the Twins to trade most of their farm system.

This is my projected starting lineup if the two players I want end up coming to the Twins:

1. Denard Span: CF
2. J.J. Hardy: SS
3. Joe Mauer: C
4. Justin Morneau: 1st
5. Michael Cuddyer: RF
6. Jason Kubel: DH
7. Adrian Beltre/Troy Glaus: 3rd
8. Mark DeRosa: 2nd
9. Delmon Young: LF

If the Twins have that lineup going into 2010, they will be a force to be reckoned with.