Originally posted on The Flagrant Fan  |  Last updated 2/24/13
The Minnesota Twins have admitted the mistakes of the past when it came to their middle infielders. One official is quoted by MLB Reports as admitting the mistake of sending away J.J. Hardy and the fiasco caused by Nishioka and Casilla. Admitting your problems is the first half of the battle, so they say. And it should be noted that the Twins' current options will not hit anywhere near where Hardy can hit. But at least for the time being, they have Pedro Florimon Jr., who can certainly field his position. There is much to like about Florimon at short. In each of his last two seasons in the minors, he had over 350 assists in less than 125 games. And then last year with the Twins, he had 125 assists in just 42 starts. So he can go get it. In fact, in those 42 starts, he made 29 plays considered out of range. Florimon has a great first step, lots of speed, good instincts and good strength in his throwing arm. Five of his seven errors were fielding errors and only two were throwing errors, so it's not like he is going to throw the ball all over the place. He is someone who can man the position for the first time since Hardy. His fielding will make people in Minnesota get some of the bad taste out of their mouths from Nishioka, Casilla and even Dozier. The problem with Florimon is that there isn't much hope for him at the plate. He showed decent patience, swinging at only 44% of the pitches he saw and kept his O-swing below 30%. Those numbers did not translate into many walks. His walk rate was 6.7%. If he can get that up to over 8% like he did in his minor league career, that would be much better. Florimon's BABIP was well below average at .274 in his 150 plate appearances. And part of that is that he hit grounders at a Jeter-inspiring rate of 2.65 for every fly ball he hit. If he is a slap and dash kind of hitter, he will always be somewhat limited by whatever his BABIP is. He has no appreciable power. So, no, Pedro Florimon Jr. is not going to hit and be a star with the stick. But if he can field his position like I think he will, Florimon is going to be a huge improvement over the past two futile seasons.
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