The shortstop has been a position of weakness for the twins in recent memory but with Jorge Polanco looking like a potential all star if he plays a full year, and Royce Lewis the possible number one prospect in all of baseball only 1-2 years away, the Twins look set for a long time. The three players being looked at today are Jorge Polanco, Ehire Adrianza and Royce Lewis.
Jorge Polanco: Polanco will definitely be the starter at short to start the year. Last year was a disappointment to start with Polanco missing the first 82 games due to a PED suspension, but when he came back he proved to be a player the Twins will need to play well this year. He had a AVG of .288 and a solid OPS of .773. He did not have big power numbers with only 6 home runs but the twins don’t need him to hit homers. Polanco will be a solid #1 or #2 hitter in the lineup this season. His defense has never been seen as great but he did seem improved last year and with a full year coming in 2018 his defense should be looking solid. His projected stats for this year is a .277 AVG with 8 homers and 50 RBIs. Personally, I feel his AVG will be more around .285 with about 75-80 RBIs and 12 homers. He will finally get to prove truly just how good he can be for this team. He has a ceiling of a .300+ AVG if everything clicks like I believe it could.
Ehire Adrianza: For the last two seasons, Adrianza has been a solid utility man having a consistent .250-.260 AVG, while playing 5-6 different positions in a season. He is competing with newly singed IF Ronald Torreyes but I believe Adrianza has the advantage due to his versatility. Both players have a similar slugging and OPS do there is no clear advantage (except Adrianza is a switch hitter) but Adrianza has been playing here for longer so the Twins already know what he can bring. He is projected a .256 AVG with 5 homers and 34 RBIs which would be solid for a utility man.
Royce Lewis: The 2017 first overall pick has definitely lived up to the hype. After many fans questioned the pick, they have been given answers as Lewis hit a .315 AVG with a stellar .853 OPS to go along with 9 homers and 53 RBIs (75 games). He also is a great base runner stealing 22 of 26 bases again in only 75 games. Lewis likely will spend this year in AA unless he struggles enough to be sent down to A+ or totally exceeds expectations and getting to AAA. I see Lewis getting to the majors as soon as 2020 or maybe as a September call up if he does great in the minors this season. Great things are ahead for the twins number 1 prospect.
Overall the twins seem to be set at shortstop for many years to come with Polanco and Lewis. They could have a top 5 shortstop for the next 8+ years of everything goes as it should.
Thank you for reading my 4th position outlook of 2019 and be sure to go read my other articles and check back everyday at 12:30 P.M. Central. If you enjoyed please leave a like and share with your friends. If you have any feedback or other opinions feel free to let me know.
Websites used: (baseball-reference.com) (rotochamp.com)