Friday, March 12, 2010

Name that Twin, Part 2

Today's mystery Twin is to the right. I've diddled with the photo name to keep the secret. (Still learning after all these years.)

Thursday's was indeed Wilson Ramos, a 22-year-old catcher generally regarded as the Twins No. 2 prospect. (No. 1 is Aaron Hicks, an outfielder who spent last season in low A ball and is not in major league camp.)

Ramos does pretty much everything well except run, draw walks and stay in the lineup. He had two injuries last season — a broken finger and a hamstring — and had just a bit more than 200 at-bats.

In winter ball (in his native Venezuela) Ramos hit .332/.397/.582 and led the league in RBIs and total bases, was second in slugging percentage and third in home runs. Baseball America named him Winter Player of the Year. Hard to argue with it.

All roads these days lead back to Joe Mauer and Joe Nathan. Should Mauer and the Twins part company, Ramos figures to be the Twins next catcher. If Mauer stays, Ramos figures to be more valuable as a trading chip than as a backup.

The notion of dealing Mauer for a closer is preposterous. The notion of dealing Ramos for a young gun — for example, Daniel Bard of the Red Sox — to take Nathan's place is not.

But first they have to cement Mauer into place.


  1. Hi Mr. Thoma----Do they HAVE to cement Mauer into place? How high of a percentage of the projected payroll should he command over the next 7+ years?BTW--you may be the most underrated baseball that I read---keep up the good work.

  2. Well, LB, the point is that they wouldn't/shouldn't want to be without one of Ramos and Mauer. Right now, Ramos is Mauer insurance. If the ultimate conclusion of the Mauer negotiations is that his demands are too high, Ramos is their fallback. Trade Ramos and lose Mauer, and their catching talent is sorely depleted.

  3. How about Juan Portes?