The issue of Baseball America that popped into my mailbox Wednesday has as the subject of the Twins system update Estarlin de los Santos (left), a 23-year-old shortstop who the Twins put on the 40-man roster this offseason even though he hasn't gotten out of A ball and hasn't played a full year's worth of games the last two seasons combined.
Mike Radcliff, the Twins vice president of player personnel, gushes about de los Santos' tools and then says:
"He's really the only true shortstop we have in our system."
So much, then, for Trevor Plouffe, the 20th overall pick in the 2004 draft. He's now spent a year and a half in Triple A, and he hasn't forced the Twins to make plans to have him in the show. So much, too, for the other shortstops populating the Twins minor league rosters.
Plouffe's failure to develop as anticipated motivated the trade for J.J. Hardy. The scarcity of athletic shortstop prospects probably motivated the heavy activity this year in the Dominican, including the signing of Miguel Angel Sano (or Miguel Jean; he apparently hasn't yet decided if he's using the his mother's surname or his father's) for more than $3 million. Sano is to begin his professional career as a shortstop and stay there until he proves he can't handle it.