Rebuilding the Twins: Second Base
In the latest installment of Rebuilding the Twins, we look at second base, which has been a revolving door for the Twins this year, with several players playing there off and on.
The Twins have not had a consistent second baseman since Luis Castillo was traded to the New York Mets midway through the 2007 season. Since then the Twins have given numerous chances to Alexi Casilla to win the job outright, but he hasn’t put up the kind of stats they had hoped.
This offseason Tsyuoshi Nishioka was signed from Japan to provide stability in the middle infield along with Casilla, but neither player has performed up to the level of an everyday player.
One of the keys for a successful team is strength at the middle infield positions, and the Twins could definitely use stability at second base. Let’s look at the candidates:
Luke Hughes: Hughes has bounced all over the infield this season, acting as a utility player. While his numbers offensively started off slowly, his bat has heated up in the last half of the season. If the Twins aren’t able to sign a free agent to be their second baseman, Hughes could be an intriguing option for the everyday job.
Alexi Casilla: The Twins have given Casilla numerous chances to win the everyday job at second base. But Casilla has time and time again proved that he can’t handle it. This is from a combination of his inability to stay healthy and his inconsistency at the plate. Casilla has a great glove and blazing speed, but simply doesn’t provide the other 2 key factors to be an everyday player.
Prospects: Due to the lack of depth in the Twins minor league system, there isn’t anyone that could be viewed as a long term answer at second base. Due to the Twins placing in this year’s draft with their record, they will have a high pick in the draft and may look to strengthen their middle infield.
Free Agents: This year’s free agent class is full of players coming off down years or nearing the end of their careers. The Twins could sign one of these players, such as Aaron Hill or Carlos Guillen to a low salary deal and if they stayed healthy they would have a nice bargain.
Gut Feeling: Due to the weak free agent class and the lack of minor league depth the Twins possess, my belief is that Luke Hughes will be the starting second baseman next year.
Next up: Shortstop