Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Ex-Twin watch: Nick Punto

Nick Punto with son Nash before Nash's
eye surgery last week. (Photo tweeted
by Natalie Punto).
I find this somewhat amusing: Nick Punto, derided by the stat-savvy on the blogosphere during his years getting regular playing time with the Twins, is now, in the bounce-around phase of his career, making the rounds of the most sabermetrically oriented organizations.

First, he signed with St. Louis. Then with Boston. Now, with an intervening trade to Los Angeles, he's signed with Oakland.

To be sure, he hasn't gotten the at-bats with these teams that he did with the Twins -- fewer than 700 plate appearances the past three years combined. But he did play in 116 games with the Dodgers last year, filling in around the infield, and in 2011, he was a lineup fixture in the NLCS and World Series as the Cardinals won it all.

Punto's 36 now, and he will never be an offensive force. But he was always a better player than his detractors recognized, and the willingness of some of the sharpest front offices to find space for him on their rosters even in his decline phase speaks to that.

1 comment:

  1. That third paragraph is what always bothered me. He batted way to many times than was good for him. Made the great plays in the field, but often did weird things at bat and on the base paths at extremely bad times. He was a good last-game fielding replacement with an occasional start. You could start him for long periods only if you had an offense already geared to score lots of runs.