Train arrives, sixteen coaches long.
Joe Crede Is A Twin
Great defense, solid offense, a ton of pop ups and a creaky back. He's certainly capable of outhitting that projection and the Twins got him for only $2.5 million guaranteed. That baseline jumps based on his performance from plate appearance 250 onward. I wonder what Joe thinks of hopping on the Boras train now? Either way, the Twins are pretty well set at 3rd. Buscher isn't amazing, but no one in this group shows him up.
CHONE suggests that Betemit should/could/ornot win the third base job in the end. But it comes away with that result because Josh Fields' defense is expected to be in the realm of movehimtotheoutfield bad at third.* For Fields' to beat these projections, he'll need his legs to be fully healthy all season and for those reps with Cora to pay off. Betemit isn't a bad cheap bet to make either. Between those two, Dayan Viciedo and possibly even Gordon Beckham, KW should be able to find a suitable long term solution at third.
Alex Gordon is not that bad at defense. I don't know why CHONE would spit that out, since he's had over one and a half full seasons of plus defense according to bUZR. I remember him getting good reviews for his defense in the minors, too. Gordon is looking more and more like the player the Royals thought they were drafting and he may well be primed for a break out. He took a ton more walks, hit for a bit more power and average. One might say he upped his game. Particularly if the Indians stick DeRosa at third instead of Peralta, Gordon's my pick to end up at the top of the heap by season's end.
You Kind Of Skipped Over How The Sox Will Fare In The Short Term
Yes. Yes I did. It's hard to say exactly. SSS already did a community projection and I for one submitted that Fields would post a .240/.310//.460 line this season. He can mash lefties and recognizes off speed stuff remarkably well. But if he can't get around on a major league right handed fastball on a regular basis, he's far from an ideal solution. Betemit I have even less a feel for. I've never seen him play and there's not a ton of sparkle to him thanks to his listing splits as a switch hitter. Betemit probably can't hit lefties. Fields may not be able to hit righties. What a coincidence!
So: the Sox have a choice between the short term gain (by assuming that Fields and Betemit are as good as they are going to be and as such make a great platoon) and the long (affording Fields an opportunity to cement himself could pay off). Fields hit .283/.389/.504 in 450+ PAs in the minors and ..303/.363/.667 in 136 PA in the majors off LHP. By comparison, Betemit has hit a career .232/.276/.360 off southpaws, but .269/.339/.460 off RHP. The defense would still suck, but that's a combined above average stick. Enough to probably get back a win lost to the Tigers and Indians elsewhere. But not enough to make it a guaranteed good idea.