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Mid-Season Grades, Part II

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Just like last time, In most instances of the offense, I'll also gloss over how I projected them to perform back in late January.

Today's installment will go through outfielders and starting pitchers.

I'll be grading on four factors for position players: Overall offense and overall defense, which are pretty self-explanitory. Then, a grade for baserunning, based off of both stolen bases and how intelligently base running decisions are made. (Players who do not steal bases will not see their grade affected.) Lastly, I'll grade on recent play, which can sometimes be glossed over by looking at yearly totals.

For pitchers, I'll be grading on overall performance, effectiveness, peripherals and recent play. Grades after the jump!

Outfielders


G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
2008 - Carlos Gomez 84 357 50 95 14 4 5 30 14 89 21 8 .266 .301 .370

It's been a season of ups and downs for our new center fielder, and there've been a lot of frustrating growing pains. Whether it's the strikeouts or the look-I'm-going-to-bunt-no-wait-I'm-not-oh-maybe-I-actually-am-nope-just-kidding-I'm-swinging-but-dammit-now-I've-disrupted-my-timing that makes you grit your teeth, there are clearly things that need working on. Hopefully as the season wears on we'll start noticing some improvements in areas such as base running and plate disciplilne, but it's definitely a long-term view with Gomez.

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


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

2008 - Delmon Young

Projection

82

153

315

582

44

n/a

90

171

16

42

4

1

3

20

33

n/a

21

35

57

118

9

13

4

n/a

.286

.294

.333

.332

.390

.473


We know that he hasn't lived up to expectations for power output, and he makes some mistakes in the field, and he's extraordinarily aggressive in the wrong situations. But like Gomez there's a learning curve, and he's just as (if not more, in some ways) talented as his center field counterpart. His recent production is a good sign, however. Oh, and as for my projections? Yeah. Too optimistic.

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


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

2008 - Jason Kubel

Projection

76

138

258

483

43

n/a

69

135

9

37

3

2

12

19

43

n/a

25

52

48

86

0

6

1

n/a

.267

.280

.328

.350

.465

.478


Kubel's certainly had his share of time this season, which is great to see. The biggest problem with him right now is consistency. Once again he started the season slowly before having a great June (.312/.409/.636), but the key is for him to keep that pace up. Gardenhire has been giving him the bench against southpaws, against whom he's struggled, although not nearly as much as our other DH option.

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


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

2008 - Michael Cuddyer

Projection

62

153

234

581

30

n/a

59

162

12

35

4

5

3

26

35

n/a

21

73

37

127

5

5

1

n/a

.252

.279

.324

.359

.376

.491


What a rough season. Stints on the disabled list, relatively disappointing numbers and all of it right after he signed a three-year deal. Hopefully he'll be back in a few days and he'll be ready to go, and this time he'll be here for good and can get back to being a productive hitter.

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


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

2008 - Craig Monroe

Projection

50

92

138

248

19

n/a

30

65

8

14

0

0

8

11

28

n/a

14

14

38

55

0

0

0

n/a

.217

.262

.289

.302

.449

.452


I'm not sure what most of us were expecting in regards to this guy, but this probably wasn't it. It certainly feels like it's all or nothing with Monroe, and recently that hasn't been far off in terms of accurately describing him at the plate. He's had some big home runs, yes, but he's had some miserable outcomes in big situations as well. Only the homers save him from failing his offensive grade.

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


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

2008 - Denard Span

Projection

19

24

51

51

10

n/a

15

12

3

3

1

0

0

0

5

n/a

9

4

10

11

4

4

1

n/a

.294

.235

.400

.332

.392

.473


Denard's doing his best to make it a hard decision on what to do when Cuddyer comes back. He's done well at the plate and has performed admirably in the field, and it's all been a welcome surprise from the who was, for years, the heir apparent to center field. If he keeps playing like this, Minnesota will have some interesting decisions to make at the end of the season.

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

Starting Pitchers


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2008 - Livan Hernandez 9-5 19 19 1 0 0 0 116.1 162 75 67 15 23 43 5.18 1.59

Overall, Livan's been effective. There isn't much more to say than that. He's not an ace, he's never someon you'll mistake as dangerous or overpowering, but on most occasions he's giving the Twins a chance to win while chewing up some innings (insert fat joke here). And really, that's all they brought him in to do.

Overall Performance: C+
Effectiveness: B-
Peripherals: D+
Recent Play: B+


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2008 - Nick Blackburn 7-4 17 17 0 0 0 0 104.2 121 51 44 11 16 58 3.78 1.31

It's been a year of experimentation with inexperienced arms in the rotation, and Blackburn's logged the most innings of the four. He allows a lot of hits but is quite stingy with the walks, and inducing ground balls has led to success as well. Nick has been as reliable as he's been effective.

Overall Performance: B+
Effectiveness: A-
Peripherals: B
Recent Play: B


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2008 - Kevin Slowey 6-6 13 13 2 1 0 0 78.2 71 33 33 11 11 60 3.78 1.04

Somewhere along the line, Slowey started making a bid to be Minnesota's best starting pitcher. He doesn't allow many baserunners, doesn't allow many walks and isn't too shabby for strikeouts. Prior to his July 5th start, he strung together four starts for 29 innings and three runs. Slowey has definitely come into his own, and it will be interesting to see how he holds up down the stretch.

Overall Performance: A-
Effectiveness: A-
Peripherals: B+
Recent Play: B


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2008 - Scott Baker 5-2 13 13 0 0 0 0 76.0 76 28 28 11 14 64 3.32 1.18

After his performance last night against the Red Sox, Scott Baker has shown me exactly who he can be when he has to be. He's been strong since coming off the disabled list, and is making also making a push to be the Twins' best starter. The masterful pitcher he was on Monday is the guy a lot of us thought he could be, and that's an incredible thing.

Overall Performance: A
Effectiveness: A-
Peripherals: B
Recent Play: A


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2008 - Glen Perkins 5-2 12 12 0 0 0 0 71.2 89 36 34 11 17 41 4.27 1.48

While Perkins has been the weakest of the four young guys, he's still been effective. In fact, the last time he allowed more than three runs in a start was on June 4th. He gets hit pretty hard at times, and opposing hitters don't necessarily have trouble with his stuff, but he's found a way to get outs and give the offense a chance, and that's exactly what a starter needs to do. Perkins has been good.

Overall Performance: B-
Effectiveness: B
Peripherals: C+
Recent Play: B+