The New Trevor Plouffe
by, 06-09-2012 at 01:32 PM (1245 Views)
Trevor Plouffe has been an offensive juggernaut for the Twins recently and has been an instrumental key to the Twins success. The 25 year old (turns 26 on the 15th) third baseman is hitting .348/.400/.760 and has clubbed 3HRs for the month of June. While it's inevitable that Plouffe will come down from that unsustainable line, it's calming to see him performing so well after a horrid start to the inaugural season. In effect, Plouffe has become a regular pencil-in on the Twins daily lineups. He may not be a long term solution, but getting production offensively from the hot corner has been somewhat of a rarity over the past few years.
In order to look at Plouffe's efficiency, it's my belief that you have to look past his ugly .198BA and more so at his OPS. His excellent slugging percentage contributes the majority of a .725OPS. It may be below average among third basemen, but it is above replacement level. As proof, Trevor Plouffe's bat has given the Twins .5 WAR in 2012. Plouffe's OPS ranks 7th when compared with the rest of his teammates and has been rising quickly. Currently, he only trails the heavily praised Denard Span for 6th by .002 in OPS. The point being made is that Trevor Plouffe is not a huge worry for the Twins right now. There are others who are struggling with the bat, like Jamey Carroll and Brian Dozier, who should be on thinner ice.
Defensively, the Twins haven't been able to get as good results from #24. He sits at a .927% Fielding, but it can be argued that Plouffe's versatility makes up for it. The added flexibility he adds cannot be taken for granted. Gardenhire hasn't had as much of struggle as he did last year in putting together an order and most lineups have been released ahead of schedule. Injuries were a large part of that, but it is these kinds of utility men that make it work. I also want to add that Plouffe's defensive WAR is slightly better than replacement level at .1. That is a little better than how Valencia was defensively this year.
Trevor Plouffe's all-or-nothing approach at the plate reminds me greatly of the pre-2012 Mark Reynolds. Make no mistake, he definitely doesn't have the 30-40HR potential. Although, Plouffe may be able to hit for a better average, strikeout less, and provide a positive presence in the field. As long as he keeps producing, he'll keep playing. Trevor Plouffe has won me over and I really would like for him to continue improving so that he may win over the Twins management as well.