Thursday, September 02, 2010

Danny Valencia, Almost a Rookie of The Year Candidate

After last night's heroics, and the fact that he's hitting .432 at Target Field, you'll be forgiven for starting to ponder whether Twins 3rd Baseman Danny Valencia has a shot at the AL Rookie of the Year.

The totally awesome broadcasting crew of Dick Bremer and Bert Blyleven discussed that briefly during tonight's game.  And the feeling is that he just won't get enough games to catch up with the more established rookies who have been in the majors for a longer stretch this season.  For example, Detroit Tiger Austin Jackson has appeared in twice as many games and has almost 300 more at-bats this season.  Jackson's also hitting over .300 on a floundering team.  And playing occasional spectacular defense as well.

It may be typical at this point for fans to lament the slow steady way in which the Twins bring up prospects, especially with the glaring hole in the offense that was the platoon of Nick Punto and Brendan Harris that played third base through the first half of the year.

But the Twins weren't just being cautious--Valencia's numbers in Triple-A didn't justify bringing him up.  Consider:  he has eight more doubles (23) in the major leagues than he did in Triple-A this year (he has had an extra 30 at-bats to get there)  It took a boatload of injuries to bring Danny Valencia from interesting prospect to a guy just outside the running of Rookie of the Year.  It's hard to fault the Twin's caution, but all Twin's fans can be glad that their hand was forced.

No comments: