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Grading the 2020 Twins: Ehire Adrianza

With more playing time than expected, how did one Twin set himself up for free agency?

Detroit Tigers v Minnesota Twins
Was this year A-ire or Eh-ire?
Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images

As we did last offseason, Twinkie Town writers are grading every player who appeared in a game for the 2020 Minnesota Twins. (Last year’s grades can be found here, this year’s here.) Players will be graded individually on an A-F scale based on their hitting, fielding, and whatever else the author wants to consider.

Ehire Adrianza fell into the same category as Marwin Gonzalez and Jake Cave for the Twins: those players who were expected to play a utility role but ended up playing a majority of games due to injuries.

However, over Adrianza’s 44 games, he produced the least out of the three players.

Adrianza was arguably Minnesota’s weakest hitter, slashing .191/.280/.277 without a single homer, his .079 isolated power the team’s lowest among hitters not named LaMonte Wade Jr. or Aaron Whitefield, and the latter hardly counts. While Adrianza’s walk rate went up to 10.9 percent, his strikeout rate escalated to a career-high 22.8 percent, far from justifying his lack of offense.

Defensively, Adrianza wasn’t much better. He played most of his games at third base, at which position he posted a .978 fielding percentage and minus-1.4 UZR.

On top of all that, he didn’t even get the chance to manage another game this season. That was a fantastic way to cap the 2019 regular season; unfortunately, circumstances didn’t allow for a repeat.

I grant that Adrianza was at least healthy and able to take the field regularly, but performance has to justify presence. The statistics and eye test showed this year that a performance like Adrianza’s 2020 did not justify his constant placement in the lineup. His minus-0.79 WPA was second-lowest among Twins batters to Mitch Garver, while he ended the season considered barely replacement-level by both Baseball Reference (0.0 bWAR) and Fangraphs (minus-0.1 fWAR) - but Fangraphs also gives him a minus-4.9 offensive fWAR.

I like Adrianza as much as the next Twins fan, and I hope 2019’s finale previews a successful coaching career. But 2020 was a bad year for him on the field.

Grade: F


How would you grade Ehire Adrianza’s 2020 season?

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