The biggest moves this off-season for the Minnesota Twins included the trading away of two key outfielders, Denard Span and Ben Revere. The team traded the two away to improve their pitching staff for the future, as they got minor league prospects Trevor May and Alex Meyer, along with an already capable major league starter Vance Worley in return for the two.
While immediate reactions might be to think the team is further entering rebuilding mode by trading away two starters, looking at this Twins roster shows trading away Span and Revere could be one of the best deals this Twins team has made lately.
Taking the places of Span and Revere in the outfield this year will be Darin Mastroianni and first base convert Chris Parmelee, according to the team's official site. Mastroianni may be the best fit to replace and replicate what Denard Span did here, which was be a top of the order hitter who focuses on average and has the speed to get extra bases and cover ground in the outfield.
Parmelee on the other hand has the potential to become a better offensive player than Ben Revere was in Minnesota, however he does lack the speed of Revere that helped him swipe 40 bases last year. Parmelee has shown flashes of greatness playing for the Twins as he batted .355 with four home runs in his first 76 at-bats in the majors in 2011.
Last year started out promising for Parmelee in AAA as he hit .338 with 17 home runs before being called up to the majors and finishing the year with a stat line of .229/.290/.380 and five home runs. Although Parmelee's production dropped drastically last year in the majors, he still started off the season great in AAA and is showing his potential to be a high average hitter who also has the power to hit 20 plus home runs in a year.
When also bringing the Minnesota Twins farm system into the discussion it makes this trade look even better from the Twins side of things. Sitting in the minors waiting to be called up is talented 23 year old outfield prospect Aaron Hicks. Hicks is one of the Twins' top prospects and is expected to make his MLB debut this year.
While Hicks will start off the year in the minors to get him at-bats regularly, he will most likely be the first outfielder called up if Mastroianni or Parmelee struggles early on. The addition of Aaron Hicks to the Twin's roster will give them their Ben Revere replacement. Hicks is the better overall defensive player when compared to Revere, but at the plate is where the mystery begins for Hicks.
The scouting on his offense shows patience, some power, and speed similar to Revere's on the base paths. However, Hicks has never been tested at the major league level and therefor only time will tell us if he will be a success at the plate in the majors.
The immediate impact of this trade on the Twins' offense will be minimal, Mastroianni should be able to replicate what Denard Span did, and Chris Parmelee is the wild card who could either struggle again or surprise every and perform as he did in 2011.
The long term influence of this trade could border being one of the best trades in Twins history. They now have top pitching prospects Kyle Gibson, Alex Meyer, and Trevor May all looking to find their way into the majors in the next couple years, along with other top outfield prospects Byron Buxton, Oswaldo Arcia, and Aaron Hicks. As those players roam the Twins outfield in the future, the previously mentioned pitchers will be the ones on the mound leading this team.
Although the Twins have all-star talent on the roster right now, their pitching staff will hold them back which is what possibly prompted management to make moves this off-season for young pitching, hopefully making this team a serious contender in the future.
Nick Baker is the creator of his own Minnesota Twins Blog that provides fans with daily articles and up-to-date news on the team that every fan should be aware of.