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  • What in the Hell is a Pedro Florimon?

    "What in the hell is a Pedro Florimon?" -- professional baseball writer, doing research on projected starting lineups

    — Grant Brisbee (@mccoveychron) January 25, 2013

    The above tweet from the wise-cracking and hilarious SB Nation scribe Grant Brisbee was undoubtedly written after he glanced over projected starting lineups across the majors and did a triple-take when he came to Minnesota's shortstop position.

    He's hardly the first. I've had multiple national baseball writers contact me this offseason asking some variation of, "The Twins aren't really going to give this guy a starting job, are they?"

    All I can do is shrug. Florimon's career numbers suggest he is not a major-league caliber player, and he certainly didn't look the part last year, but Terry Ryan has treated shortstop as a non-concern this winter. Possibly the GM is open to trying Brian Dozier there again, or considers Jamey Carroll an acceptable fallback, but Ryan hasn't even openly pondered bringing in someone to compete at the position. He's repeatedly talked about doing so with Trevor Plouffe at third.

    It's not clear what Florimon has done to earn this billing. He was waived by a 93-loss Orioles team after the 2011 season, and then passed on by 29 organizations when the Twins claimed him and outrighted him from their 40-man roster. He went on to up sub par numbers between Double-A and Triple-A, striking out at a Gomez-esque 25 percent rate, and then came up and played poorly with the Twins for a couple months.

    Pedro Florimon swings for the Minnesota Twins

    At TwinsFest over the weekend, Ryan told a media luncheon that Florimon is "the athlete you look for" at shortstop. That may very well be true, and ostensibly the hope is that he'll develop as he ages into his prime and become a useful long-term cog on this rebuilding roster.

    But with Florimon, that really is a stretch. He's 26 and he's totaled over 3,000 professional plate appearances. He has established himself very firmly at the plate as a strikeout machine with minimal power and in the field as a flashy, skillful defender who makes a ton of mistakes.

    In order to provide meaningful value, he'll need to offer enough on defense to make up for all the outs he's likely to give away on offense. That's a tall order. He might be the biggest long shot the Twins have taken at the position since Cristian Guzman's departure, and that's saying something.
    This article was originally published in blog: What in the Hell is a Pedro Florimon? started by Nick Nelson
    Comments 101 Comments
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by The Wise One View Post
      Boston signed Drew to a one year deal for a reason, Bogaerts should be ready in 2014. I love how people on this board fantasise about trades that have so little likelyhood of happening. To get a Bogaerts one would have to be giving up a couple top 10 prospects. The belief that any Twins veteran left without a no trade clause or closes games will fetch much this off season is another fantasy. Also like the wish for a player who was in high A ball as a solution for shortstop while complaining of this year's players. The black hole of the Twins will continue.
      Comparing Boston to the Twins in terms of Drew is a fool's errand. Boston wants, and needs in the AL East, an immediate infusion of relevancy.

      Or a blockbuster trade with Boston drooling all over a Mauer-related deal involved in the mix. Or get one of the other 3 ideas I suggested for much less that you conveniently ignored. Much like the acquisition of Meyer and Mays, the Twins have already half-way acknowledged that 2015 is their rebuilding goal season. Holt is already major league-ready and blocked, the other 2 I mentioned project to 2014 or 2015. Who is in denial here, really?
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by Nick Nelson View Post
      I don't think you two necessarily disagree. He already said that their inability to develop/acquire shortstops has been inexplicable, I think he's just pointing out that this offseason wasn't necessarily the most opportune time to address the situation. And he may be right. Pitching needed to be their highest priority, and the area they concentrated their assets. Short of signing Stephen Drew, they weren't going to be adding a quality shortstop without trading too much away.

      That said, I don't understand why they didn't at least bring in a Bartlett type or two to give them some potential options. I'd like to get behind what they see in Florimon, but to me he just looks like another ill-equipped minor-league caliber player that they're putting their faith into, following in the footsteps of Nishioka, Casilla, Dozier and more.
      In other words, the Twins continuing ad nauseum in their self-imposed comfort zone of Middle Infield Mediocrity.
    1. RodneyKline's Avatar
      RodneyKline -
      I honestly do not understand what Terry Ryan is thinking. I want to support him and his vision but he is doing nothing to help us believe. He has a project at 2B, SS and 3B in the infield and in two of the three outfield positions. He is saying he wants to be competitive but his actions say that he is rebuilding when he has two superstars in their prime.

      Everything I have been hearing is that Mauer and Morneau are ready to have great years this year and it will be wasted because he missed the opportunity to surround them with a team that can compete. He has a brand new stadium with two MVPs in their prime and he supports them with a third 90+ loss supporting cast! Any other GM that has two MVPs in their prime would be making sure that they surround them with a World Series caliber team but he chooses to cut payroll.

      If he were to go get a quality short stop or second baseman and an ace to anchor the rotation with the $30 million he is down in payroll vs. the first year at Target field and we are competitive with any team in baseball when Mauer and Morneau have a huge year that I bet they have. What a waste! He didn't even try to land Grienke or any of the top starters and I didn't hear any rumors of him talking to any middle infielders. He has improved the farm system but by the time those players can help, then Mauer will be declining and Morneau will be gone. There is no guarantee that any of these farm hands will be the next Mauer or Morneau or the next ace pitcher and even if they are, he will let them go to another team once the get to their prime and/or not surround them with the talent needed to win.

      This is just not a smart financial plan in my opinion. He is going to save $30 million or more in payroll and lose three times that in lost revenue at. It will be 30 years or more before they have another new stadium also. He is wasting a huge opportunity to take the Twins to the next level. Having a new stadium and two MVPs is not something that comes around very often and he is blowing it. TR could be a great GM if he could somehow learn to not be such a cheapskate. They will lose so much money this year with a third season in a row where we are the worst team in the AL and it didn't have to be this way. He just needed to think big but I don't think he is capable of thinking big or understanding that you get what you pay for and dumpster diving may net you a couple good surprises but we need about six miracles (no pun intended) to happen to not be in last place again.
    1. drjim's Avatar
      drjim -
      Quote Originally Posted by Nick Nelson View Post
      I don't think you two necessarily disagree. He already said that their inability to develop/acquire shortstops has been inexplicable, I think he's just pointing out that this offseason wasn't necessarily the most opportune time to address the situation. And he may be right. Pitching needed to be their highest priority, and the area they concentrated their assets. Short of signing Stephen Drew, they weren't going to be adding a quality shortstop without trading too much away.

      That said, I don't understand why they didn't at least bring in a Bartlett type or two to give them some potential options. I'd like to get behind what they see in Florimon, but to me he just looks like another ill-equipped minor-league caliber player that they're putting their faith into, following in the footsteps of Nishioka, Casilla, Dozier and more.
      This is a pretty good summary of my position on SS. Im not defending their record or making excuses but trying to understand what they have done and why it has failed. Just saying they have done poorly or saying they have to get someone better isn't that interesting to me.

      I'm also not convinced adding slop to the current slop is all that helpful - they already have Carroll for that role. Might as well see what people have. Not expecting much from Florimon but Dozier and/or Escobar could surprise.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by drjim View Post
      This is a pretty good summary of my position on SS. Im not defending their record or making excuses but trying to understand what they have done and why it has failed. Just saying they have done poorly or saying they have to get someone better isn't that interesting to me.

      I'm also not convinced adding slop to the current slop is all that helpful - they already have Carroll for that role. Might as well see what people have. Not expecting much from Florimon but Dozier and/or Escobar could surprise.
      To be fair to Ryan, Smith traded the last two legitimate shortstops the team had on the roster (yeah, he acquired one of them but then turned around and gave him away for virtually nothing).

      Still, I think this comes down to how this organization is run and what they look for in middle infielders. There's a reason why they continually fail to produce middle infielders who can play above a replacement level. I don't know what that reason is but after 15 years of scuffling at two key positions on the field, it's obvious that they're doing something wrong.

      What's most damning is that they refuse to acknowledge this shortcoming and compound the issue by bringing in the likes of Juan Castro, Adam Everett, and Pedro Florimon and expect something good to happen.
    1. drjim's Avatar
      drjim -
      Quote Originally Posted by Dance with Disco Dan View Post
      In my opinion, if we are in for a penny with Span and Revere, we should be in for a pound and move Willingham, too. Signed for two more years at $7 million/per means that he has, by far, the most market value on the MLB roster. I know that Ryan has tickets to sell in 2013 and someone has to produce some runs. That said, Willingham's production will entertain but will not carry the Twins into the range of contention. This is the time to plug our collective noses and move all marketable assets. Willingham is coming off a career year and will not retain the value he has now as we move through next two years.

      Remember the fantastic poo poo platter that one-year of Santana brought back? GMs just wont give back much for one year of control for anyone. And given the contracts Shane Victorino and Cody "Who's that?" Ross got this off season, I have to believe that Willingham is considered a deep-discount option worthy of prospects from teams interested in contending. Hello, Yankees? I believe you are short about 90 home runs.
      I have no problem trading Willingham but I question his value in the offseason. Probably similar or even less than Span. Teams will be hesitant to acquire him for the same reason we would want to trade him. If he stays healthy and produces close to last year he would probably have more value than he does now. It is reasonable to wait.
    1. Dance with Disco Dan's Avatar
      Dance with Disco Dan -
      Quote Originally Posted by drjim View Post
      I have no problem trading Willingham but I question his value in the offseason. Probably similar or even less than Span. Teams will be hesitant to acquire him for the same reason we would want to trade him. If he stays healthy and produces close to last year he would probably have more value than he does now. It is reasonable to wait.
      I agree that Willingham's trade value at this point in the off-season is very uncertain. I think they needed to move him before all the free-agent signings started. It is probably best to keep him at this point. I just worry that our oppotunity to maximize his value in trade has passed. Every game he plays for the Twins shortens the below-market control that comprises a good deal of his value. For that reason, I hope that the Twins entertain the idea of trading him at the trade deadline. Unfortunately, Willingham is an injury risk and is almost certain to regress, so we don't know how he will be viewed mid-summer. Hopefully, he comes out banging homers and some contender is looking for outfield power. We'll see.
    1. Boom Boom's Avatar
      Boom Boom -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      To be fair to Ryan, Smith traded the last two legitimate shortstops the team had on the roster (yeah, he acquired one of them but then turned around and gave him away for virtually nothing).

      Still, I think this comes down to how this organization is run and what they look for in middle infielders. There's a reason why they continually fail to produce middle infielders who can play above a replacement level. I don't know what that reason is but after 15 years of scuffling at two key positions on the field, it's obvious that they're doing something wrong.

      What's most damning is that they refuse to acknowledge this shortcoming and compound the issue by bringing in the likes of Juan Castro, Adam Everett, and Pedro Florimon and expect something good to happen.
      All those guys can really pick it. If everybody else does their job, they don't need to hit.
    1. ashburyjohn's Avatar
      ashburyjohn -
      Quote Originally Posted by drjim View Post
      I have no problem trading Willingham but I question his value in the offseason.
      I may be wrong, but the fact he ended the season hurt leads me to think his offseason value became low and it won't rebound until he gets a month under his belt proving there are no recurring issues.

      And anyway his value to the Twins may be more as a player who helps bridge to the next generation in 2015 by making 2013-14 tolerable than in a medium quality prospect at best that he might bring in trade.
    1. cmathewson's Avatar
      cmathewson -
      Quote Originally Posted by USAFChief View Post
      Ah, the old "if everyone else does their job, he doesn't have to hit" gem. Thanks for that, cmat, it's been too long since someone trotted that out. Well played.
      Thank you. I appreciate your compliment. Seriously, it would be great to get a shortstop who does both. But those guys are pretty rare and really expensive. Also, the Twins have been really bad at developing them over the years, something I have repeatedly blamed on Gardy. And when they did get one, they let him go for peanuts--one of Bill Smith's biggest blunders.

      So here we are, without many good alternatives and the closest prospect two years away. The free agent market looks thin. I would have signed one of those guys to at least be competition for Florimon. But I don't think any of them is better overall than Pedro. That is controversial, I know, but that was the gist of my post. I was reacting to a post that criticised his offense and said little about his defense. In that, it seemed to miss the point. His glove makes up for a lot. Relative to a guy who will hit .250/.280/.320 (my projection for the best FA out there), he's better overall.

      And yes, we have enough offense to absorb a #9 hitter who hits .230/.280/.300, as long as we pitch better. Offense wasn't our problem last year. Pitching was. Florimon will actually help this contact pitching staff by getting to more balls.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Minnesota was 10th in runs scored in the AL last year....so offense was part of the problem.
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      Minnesota was 10th in runs scored in the AL last year....so offense was part of the problem.
      and we lost our table setters...
    1. Riverbrian's Avatar
      Riverbrian -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      To be fair to Ryan, Smith traded the last two legitimate shortstops the team had on the roster (yeah, he acquired one of them but then turned around and gave him away for virtually nothing).

      Still, I think this comes down to how this organization is run and what they look for in middle infielders. There's a reason why they continually fail to produce middle infielders who can play above a replacement level. I don't know what that reason is but after 15 years of scuffling at two key positions on the field, it's obvious that they're doing something wrong.

      What's most damning is that they refuse to acknowledge this shortcoming and compound the issue by bringing in the likes of Juan Castro, Adam Everett, and Pedro Florimon and expect something good to happen.
      I'd love to argue this point... But I can't... I think it's on the nose and a completely fair comment. I don't know what the reason is either... But after this much time... You'd figure that we would have drafted and developed something... Even by accident. I hadn't really thought about it until this thread... The Twins have not drafted and developed a solid SS... ever?

      My god... Is there a Solid MLB SS that I'm not thinking of that was drafted and developed by the Twins but traded and did good things for another squad?
    1. TheLeviathan's Avatar
      TheLeviathan -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      What's most damning is that they refuse to acknowledge this shortcoming and compound the issue by bringing in the likes of Juan Castro, Adam Everett, and Pedro Florimon and expect something good to happen.
      Right, regardless of what was available this offseason, I'm not sure it would have mattered. This team, under Ryan, has had a really awful approach to filling that position regardless of how they attempt to. Their vision for the position is the problem, not the availability of solutions.
    1. cmathewson's Avatar
      cmathewson -
      Quote Originally Posted by Nick Nelson View Post
      What really bothers me is that the Twins don’t even seem to view their perpetual ineptitude at this crucially important position as a problem, because you have Terry Ryan claiming they’ve been “pretty good” there in seven of the last nine years and you’ve got them lining up Pedro Florimon as if he’ll be anything more than another failed stopgap that leaves them right back where they started.
      I hear ya. They have been "pretty good" over there in three of the last 10 years, by my estimation: Bartlett's two good years and Hardy's year. Otherwise, it's been a revolving door of horse hockey that belied the other success we had. And I thought they would try to upgrade, at least to give Florimon competition. But apparently Ryan wanted to just focus on pitching this offseason. I can only hope they get someone in on a minor league deal before spring training. But whoever they get is not likely to be much better than Florimon. Perhaps they think he earned a shot to start based on his decent play in the last two months with the Twins (one really good month and one sub-par month). The only other thing is I know several of the coaches are very high on him despite his numbers, including Gardy and Bruno.

      If Florimon tanks it, I'm sure SS will be tops on the list for a midseason acquisition. I expect Ryan to be active. I would think Willingham will fetch a decent shortstop plus a prospect.
    1. FrodaddyG's Avatar
      FrodaddyG -
      Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
      Perhaps they think he earned a shot to start based on his decent play in the last two months with the Twins (one really good month and one sub-par month).
      I'd hate to see what a "bad" month looks like to you.
    1. snepp's Avatar
      snepp -
      Quote Originally Posted by FrodaddyG View Post
      I'd hate to see what a "bad" month looks like to you.



      "Hi."
    1. FrodaddyG's Avatar
      FrodaddyG -
      Quote Originally Posted by snepp View Post



      "Hi."
      To be fair, Drew probably falls under the "decent" category if Pedro's 2012 stint did.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
      But apparently Ryan wanted to just focus on pitching this offseason.
      Multi-tasking be hard.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by Riverbrian View Post
      I'd love to argue this point... But I can't... I think it's on the nose and a completely fair comment. I don't know what the reason is either... But after this much time... You'd figure that we would have drafted and developed something... Even by accident. I hadn't really thought about it until this thread... The Twins have not drafted and developed a solid SS... ever?

      My god... Is there a Solid MLB SS that I'm not thinking of that was drafted and developed by the Twins but traded and did good things for another squad?
      The other clubs were probably too busy building their own MI depth chart. If you look around the league, SS prioritization is evident on many teams' 40-man rosters, depth charts and minor league prospects. Good teams, and teams that prioritize actually getting better instead of paying lip service to the concept, stockpile pitching arms and SSs.
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