Ben Revere has been a bright spot in an otherwise disappointing season for the Twins. He has shown tremendous range in the outfield and has made many spectacular catches on the run. Last night he found a way to top them all while doing his best Spider-Man/Willie Mays impression:
Revere has been a top prospect in the Twins organization for a few years and injuries have allowed the 23 year old to prove that he can start for the Twins in 2012 and beyond. Although his OBP has hovered around .300 for the season he has been consistently getting hits all season (80 hits in 85 games played), and his speed on the base paths has helped him score 44 runs and steal 23 bases on 30 attempts. Extrapolate those numbers to a full 162 game season and he has the potential to score 100 runs and steal 50 bases, ideal numbers for a leadoff hitter or in the 2 hole behind Denard Span.
Span has struggled with symptoms from his concussion earlier in the season and could be out for the rest of the year as a precautionary measure. Span and Revere could make a very nice 1-2 combination at the top of the lineup and their speed would offer ample RBI opportunities for Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau in the 3 and 4 spots.
The Twins will have to decide whether or not Revere will take Span’s spot in CF, or one of the corner OF spots instead. Both players have great range and weak arms, with Span’s arm being a little stronger. Either way, this leaves the Twins with one more open OF spot which could be filled by free agents Michael Cuddyer or Jason Kubel. Cuddyer was voted the Twins only All-Star because of their plethora of injuries, and has enjoyed his best season since ’06 with a current line of .297/.364/.491. Cuddyer does not have great range in the outfield but he has one of the best arms in the MLB and is a leader in the clubhouse who is very versatile (illustrated by his ability to play OF, 1B, and 2B this year). He will also be turning 33 in March and a deal of 3 or more years could come back to bite the Twins.
Kubel will serve the Twins better as a DH and 4th outfielder who has been one of the Twins most consistent hitters and was on pace to be their All-Star this year before going down with a foot injury. These are just a few of the important decisions the Twins will have to make this offseason to be competitive again in 2012.
Matt Capps and Joe Nathan are also set to be free agents, with Glen Perkins looking to be the heir apparent as closer unless Nathan is willing to settle for less money than his $12.5 million team option. The Twins will have decisions to make in terms of their starting pitching which has been their biggest weakness this season.
Francisco Liriano has been incredibly inconsistent even by his standards but still has the best stuff on the pitching stuff. Scott Baker has been easily the Twins most consistent pitcher with a 3.21 ERA and 1.19 WHIP, but time on the DL has limited him to just 21 starts. Brian Duensing could be better served by moving back into the bullpen where he was very succesful in the past, possibly adding some speed to his fastball à la Glen Perkins who regularly throws 96 mph now after topping out around 93 as a starter. Carl Pavano has shown that he can be a consistent innings eater and will finish the season around 200 IP with a respectable ERA in the mid or low 4′s. Nick Blackburn has a staggering 1.60 WHIP and needs to be replaced by a free agent in the off-season.
For now the Twins will get to evaluate some young talent as the season winds down and hopefully see more consistent production from Mauer and Morneau to build confidence going into next season.
About the Author
Written by Jonathan Fawkes
I was born and raised in Brooklyn but I'm a long suffering Minnesota sports fan (Twins, T'Wolves, Vikings). Looking forward to Teddy Bridgewater, Byron Buxton and Andrew Wiggins bringing a winning culture to Minnesota. Thanks for reading!