Monday, March 9, 2015

Non roster infield depth

Jose G. Martinez
is 29 and on his
fourth organziation.
I made this point during the winter: The Twins list of non-roster invitees this spring is relatively light on players from other organizations and particularly light on guys with major league resumes. For the most part the NRIs are guys from the Twins own farm system.

This suggests that the organization is comfortable with the idea of stocking its upper level minor league clubs (Triple A Rochester in particular) with the products of the lower levels. That really hasn't been the case for several years.

Argenis Dias has a
career average in
the minors (11 seasons)
of .264.
There are exceptions, however. There are five infielders among the non-roster invitees, and three of them are new to the organization. (James Beresford has never played for anybody else, and Triple-A lifer Doug Bernier is entering his third season with the Twins.)

Jose Martinez, for example. He started with St. Louis, spent two years with Houston  and last season at Triple A for Oakland. He's 29 and has yet to see the majors.

Argenis Diaz has -- back in 2010, he got 33 at-bats with Pittsburgh. He was 23 then. Now he's 28, and the Twins are his seventh organization.
Heiker Meneses
has 117 minor league
stolen bases.

Heiker Meneses is the youngest of the trio (23) and the least traveled; he's spent all seven of his professional seasons in the Red Sox system. He also appears to be the lightest hitter of the three newcomers.

Presumably these five will be the Rochester infield (other than first base) while Double-A Chattanooga brims with the real prospects, such as Miguel Sano and Jorge Polanco, They are playing this spring not so much in hopes of cracking the opening day roster as to be first in line should an injury open a spot on the major league roster.

The Rochester Five are all multi-position guys. None figure to be anybody you'd want to plug into the starting lineup. My guess is that right now Bernier would be option one for a bench spot. By July, Polanco and Sano might be deemed ready to be given big league playing time, but they're not coming to Minneapolis to be reserves.

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