Minnesota Twins Most Overrated and Underrated Player

Collin Kottke@CollinKottkeCorrespondent IIIApril 9, 2013

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - APRIL 3: Eduardo Escobar #5 of the Minnesota Twins celebrates a walk off double against the Detroit Tigers of the game on April 3, 2013 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Tigers 3-2. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

After Monday’s 3-1 loss to the Kansas City Royals, the Minnesota Twins sit just a half game behind the division-leading Chicago White Sox. I know it’s way too early to even be looking at the standings, but I am just fascinated by the Twins' 4-3 record.

The Twins are over .500 for the first time since the end of the 2010 season. Think about that; two straight years of losing baseball for the full 162 games. The law of averages almost makes it impossible not to be over .500 at some point in the early stages of the season.

After two seasons of losing baseball, the Twins' roster has been picked over and pulled apart. Still after all that poking and prodding, we still overvalue and undervalue some players on the squad.

It’s hard to point to anyone being overrated on a team that’s not expected to do worth a darn, because having overrated players is usually a good problem to have for good teams.

Who could even be considered overrated on this current Twins team?

It’s obviously way too early to pass any sort of judgment on Aaron Hicks; although going 2-for-26 at the plate or a .067 batting average is a little less than what I expected.

Joe Mauer just simply isn’t overrated. He does what is expected of him. It would be great if Mauer hit more home runs, but that just isn’t Mauer’s game.

Who is really overrated then?

He’s a tall Canadian, but his name is not Justin Morneau.

Scott Diamond is the most overrated Twins player.

I don’t think Diamond’s overrated status is his fault or the fans' fault, but whom Diamond was surrounded with last season.

Diamond was called up on May 7 last season and started the next day. On his first start of the season, he instantly became the best Twins starter, throwing a four-hit shutout against the Los Angeles Angels.

Just as an added tidbit about that game, Erik Komatsu led off and played center field for the Twins. That was less than a year ago. Komatsu seems like a decade ago.

Diamond went 12-9 last year in 27 starts with a 3.54 ERA and was obviously head and shoulders above every other starting pitcher the Twins threw out onto the mound.

He is overrated in the best of ways—he over succeeded a year ago and got expectations for himself very high. In reality, though, Diamond is a No. 4 or 5 starter on a division-winning squad. Twins fans have started to realize that after the offseason moves by Terry Ryan, bringing in Trevor May and Alex Meyer.

Diamond is scheduled to make his first start of the season on Friday against the New York Mets and will try to recapture the magic of his 2012 season. Hopefully, he can again gain that good overrated status.

The underrated status can be thrown around a little bit throughout the whole Twins' roster. I mean even Kevin Correia, despite getting the loss on Monday, hasn’t looked half bad thus far this season.

I think Ryan Doumit does not quite get the respect he deserves. Chris Parmelee could be thrown in the conversation, along with Brian Dozier now that he has shifted over to second base, but he’s not the most underrated middle infielder.

Eduardo Escobar, utility infielder and emergency catcher, is the most underrated Minnesota Twin.

Granted, we don’t know a whole lot about Escobar since he’s only appeared in 19 games with the Twins and 64 games in his career, but he is underrated.

Escobar is currently hitting .429 this year—granted that’s on three hits in seven at-bats, but one of those hits was a two-run walk-off double to beat the Detroit Tigers last week.

Escobar has a pretty good bat, hitting .228 in his major league career and a .267 minor league batting average. Throw in a good eye and a fair amount of speed; he’s an asset with a bat in his hands, especially compared to the rest of the Twins' bench. It doesn’t hurt that he’s a switch-hitter.

To say Escobar has a good glove would be an understatement. Escobar has committed two errors in his major league career; two. Both of those errors occurred on the hot side of the infield, one at short and one at third.

He also seems like a true ballplayer. Escobar is the Twins emergency catcher; so if Joe Mauer and Doumit both get hurt, Escobar would be the guy behind the plate. I don’t think that many big league ballplayers would want to be the emergency catcher, but Escobar has been that guy both in Chicago and in Minnesota.

Escobar also pitched in two games in rookie ball back in 2006. In 2.1 innings of relief work, he only gave up one hit, no walks and no runs.

I think Escobar is a hugely underrated baseball player. I believe he is a better shortstop than Pedro Florimon, and I think he’ll be the everyday starting shortstop for the Twins sometime during the course of the season.

Ratings are very fluid, just look at your favorite TV show. 30 Rock was one of the smartest comedies to ever be broadcast, but it still didn’t get the ratings most felt like it deserved.

Welcome to the world of TV, Scott Diamond and Eduardo Escobar.

I’m gonna wish I had a tweet warning. @CollinKottke


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