24-year old switch hitting 2B Alexi Casilla burst onto the scene last season for the Twins before petering out in the 2nd half of the season. The Twins need him to maintain his focus for the entire 2009 season as he is clearly the best option at 2B for the Twins. Casilla played in 98 games for the Twins last season in which he was 108 for 385 (.281 avg, .707 OPS) with 58 runs scored, 7 homers, 50 RBIs and 7 stolen bases. Casilla needs to improve on defense which is a requirement for a Twins’ player as he made 12 errors in only 95 games at 2B last season while showing below average range.
26-year old switch hitting Matt Tolbert will battle for a backup job in the Twins’ infield this spring. He played in 41 games for the Twins in 2008 and he was 32 for 113 (.283 avg, .711 OPS) with 18 runs scored, 6 RBIs and 7 stolen bases. Tolbert only made 1 error in 11 games at 2B last season for the Twins while showing outstanding range.
26-year old righty swinging Matt Macri just has the look of a backup player. He played in 18 games for the Twins last season and he was 11 for 34 (.324 avg, .802 OPS) with 3 runs scored, 1 homer, 4 RBIs and 1 stolen base. Macri also played in 89 AAA games last season in which he was 81 for 313 (.259 avg, .789 OPS) with 35 runs scored, 11 homers and 48 RBIs.
Nick Punto and Brendan Harris will likely be sharing the shortstop job this season but one of them would likely slide over the 2B if Casilla has problems in 2009. Punto played 26 games and made only 2 errors at 2B last season for the Twins while showing out of this world range. Harris however had problems at 2B making 5 errors in only 39 games there while showing poor range.
PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2009 SEASON: C-