Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
In Jeff Clement we have one of the more interesting cases among the Twins' NRIs.
Jeff Clement, 1B
Remember when a 23-year old Clement made his nine-game Major League debut in 2007? He hit .375/.474/.813, helping to propel him to #42 on Baseball America's Top 100 prospects list heading into 2008. Since then he's hit .211/.268/.352 in 402 MLB plate appearances.
He tries to get under the ball too much sometimes, putting him into situations where his timing is off and he ends up rolling over to the right side of the infield or popping the ball up. He's also had trouble hitting for power in the majors because he just doesn't get the ball into the air often enough. Pitchers tend to try and pitch him down and away, because it's impossible for him to put good wood on the ball in that area and he hasn't given them a reason to mix it up elsewhere in the zone, where he might actually be able to do some damage.
His days as a catcher are pretty much behind him, so if he's going to be considered for a roster spot he'll be fighting with players who can field first base and take at-bats as a designated hitter: Justin Morneau, Chris Parmelee, and Ryan Doumit are his three biggest stumbling blocks.
Right now it looks like Clement will be slotted into a decent spot in Rochester's lineup, where he'll be able to flash the talent that's earned him a .280/.359/.493 triple slash at that level. If there's an injury, or if something unexpected happens, I imagine Clement will be one of the first players considered for a bench spot in those aforementioned roles. Until then, though, his chances don't look too good.
Chances of making the team: Feasible.