Nobody, and I mean NOBODY in the Midwest has been harder on Trevor Plouffe than your favorite illiterate Twinkie Town blogger. After Plouffe got off to another rough start in April, I had already seen enough of meatball popups and boneheaded defense to declare another wasted first-round talent by our favorite ball club.
After Plouffe turned it around in the hot summer months for a second straight summer, I was this close to eating my words on Plouffe until, well, he Plouffe'd us again. He had an abysmal start to the second half. A strong September may have bought Plouffe a bit more time with the club, which led me to an interesting comparison: Can you think of any other power-hitters who showed flashes of potential early in their career but struggled to put it all together in the infield? Now, I've done some number crunching and the similarities are there to a certain former Twin: Michael Cuddyer
|Plouffe: 351 games||240, 48HR, 602B||.300/.411/.711 2011-2013|
|Cuddy: 325 games||.249, 32HR, 572B,||.326/.427/.753 2002-2005|
Clearly Cuddy was a better contact hitter and had more "patient" at-bats than Plouffe. However, Plouffe has demonstrated significantly more raw power. Both of them played abysmal defense at this point in their careers. There's also a good chance Plouffe could be moved to a new position AGAIN in 2014. Cuddy, who like Plouffe was drafted as a shortstop, moved to third base in the minors. Also like Plouffe, he struggled to field the position before finding a home in right field and solidifying himself as a quality player.
Seeeeeeee, the similarities are there! Both played with a bit of chip on their shoulder when they came up, both were first round picks, both caused us agony, both couldn't play defense, and both were still trying to figure it out four years into their career.
One of them is still just Trevor Plouffe, but the other is a two-time All-Star who just won a batting title.