Mid-Season Grades, Part III

This is our final installment.  Check out Part I and Part II for anyone/anything you may have missed.

What the hell happened after I went to bed last night?  I leave, we're up a couple of runs heading into the top of the eighth.  That's not a fun thing to wake up to.  Anyway, let's get these grades over with.  It's infielders today, and that's it.

Grades after the jump!

Also, don't miss out on some other good reading here on Twinkie Town from the last 24 hours:

Recipe Corner:  Late-Innings Stew  (Jon Marthaler)
Bullpen Hole  (cmathewson)
Starting Pitching Game Score Analysis  (biggity2bit)
Another Managerial Mistake, Another Loss  (Andersklasen)

Infielders


G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG

2008 - Justin Morneau

Projection

90

156

345

585

50

n/a

108

162

18

35

3

2

12

36

65

n/a

35

68

53

90

0

1

1

n/a

.313

.277

.377

.352

.487

.511


There isn't much to be disappointed about from our All-Star first baseman.  The home run numbers aren't where they were last year at this point, but overall I'm not complaining.  He's a good hitter overall, and continues to play well in the field, and is a great bat to have in the middle of the lineup.

Overall Offense:  A
Overall Defense:  A-
Basepaths:  A-
Recent Play:  A


G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG

2008 - Brendan Harris

Projection

79

102

284

332

38

n/a

72

90

14

19

2

1

4

7

27

n/a

21

23

66

63

1

4

1

n/a

.254

.271

.309

.318

.359

.398


I didn't expect Harris to step into a role like he has.  First off, last season was something new for him, and according to people closer to Tampa's action he was scouted and dismantled at the plate later in 2007.  So while I didn't expect him to repeat last year's numbers, he's still having a rough year at the plate.  Secondly, he's playing all over the infield.  He's been a great guy as far as versatility is concerned (which helps his defensive grade a bit), and he's started putting up some extra-base hits, but he still isn't a guy who should be seen as a long-term solution at any position.

Overall Offense:  D
Overall Defense: C-
Basepaths:  B-
Recent Play:  B


G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG

2008 - Mike Lamb

Projection

62

134

198

448

17

n/a

45

124

8

22

2

2

1

13

26

n/a

13

42

27

57

0

1

1

n/a

.227

.277

.265

.339

.303

.429


Since June 14th he's picked up six at-bats and has been given one start.  Suffice it to say I wouldn't blame the Twins if Lamb's days are numbered.  Expectations weren't sky-high, but most people did expect him to step in and be a better third baseman than Punto was last season.  Sorry, Mike Lamb.

Overall Offense:  F
Overall Defense:  C-
Basepaths:  B-
Recent Play:  F


G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG

2008 - Alexi Casilla

Projection

47

64

176

205

26

n/a

55

53

10

8

0

2

4

0

35

n/a

15

18

19

30

4

13

1

0

.313

.259

.362

.318

.438

.317


It's hard to say enough good things about what Casilla's successes have meant to the Twins as a team, and to the batting order.  The last game where he went hitless and walkless:  June 17th.  In fact, since May 19th that's only happened five times.  If Span isn't going to be leading off, Casilla should be.

Overall Offense:  A
Overall Defense:  B+
Basepaths:  A-
Recent Play:  A


G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG

2008 - Nick Punto

Projection

33

72

91

152

11

n/a

27

37

7

6

2

1

1

0

15

n/a

9

16

13

29

4

8

2

n/a

.297

.243

.356

.315

.451

.296


Punto's having a fantastic bounce back season, in spite of time spent on the disabled list.  Recently he's been gettnig starts at shortstop, where his light-yet-effective offense looks better than it did at third base in '06.  He's had some big base hits, not all of them capitalized upon, but in a season where I thought we'd never see him once it was all said and done with, he's proved me wrong.  Keep it up, LNP.

Overall Offense:  A
Overall Defense:  B+
Basepaths:  D
Recent Play:  A


G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG

2008 - Matt Tolbert

Projection

30

7

83

15

13

n/a

22

4

6

1

0

0

0

0

3

n/a

5

3

15

4

4

2

1

n/a

.265

.267

.307

.389

.337

.333


I can't decide if it's funny or sad that Tolbert, who hasn't played with the Twins since May, has more playing time than Adam Everett.  At any rate, Tolbert's hot start to the season was thrown into a bucket of cold water before he hit the disabled list, but I'm sure we'll see him again before the year is up.

Overall Offense:  D+
Overall Defense:  C+
Basepaths:  B-
Recent Play:  D


G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG

2008 - Adam Everett

Projection

25

150

74

495

9

n/a

14

121

5

25

1

2

1

7

7

n/a

5

29

9

68

0

10

0

n/a

.189

.244

.235

.286

.324

.345


Like Lamb, we weren't expecting much (in fact, we were expecting even less on the offensive side), but we were hoping for more than this.  His problems in the field early in the year can be attributed to what sent him to the DL (twice), but as useful as the excuses are he still hasn't been what we needed him to be.  Thankfully, Punto's recent play at shortstop has stemmed the tide of misery from short.

Overall Offense:  F
Overall Defense:  D
Basepaths:  B+
Recent Play:  F


G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG

2008 - Brian Buscher

Projection

20

31

70

87

12

n/a

22

22

3

4

0

0

1

3

17

n/a

4

10

8

18

0

1

1

n/a

.314

.253

.342

.330

.400

.402


Another spark plug, Buscher's getting benched against left-handed pitchers.  When he has been playing, he doesn't draw many walks or hit for power, but he's been a superior contact hitter and he's squared up well.  As far as my pessimistic projection is concerned, I think I was just being realistic.  Still, in cases like this I'm happy to be wrong.

Overall Offense:  A-
Overall Defense:  C+
Basepaths:  B
Recent Play:  B


G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG

2008 - Matt Macri

Projection

14

7

30

15

3

n/a

11

3

1

0

0

0

1

0

 

4

n/a

2

2

8

5

1

0

1

n/a

.367

.200

.406

.294

.500

.200


Macri was doing well before his injury, and because of Buscher's hot start hasn't been able to get back to the Twins yet.  I think we'll see him again, just like Tolbert, but it will probably be in limited time in September.  It was good to see him succeed with the big league club, though.

Overall Offense:  A-
Overall Defense:  B-
Basepaths:  C+
Recent Play:  B

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