Pedro Florimon is front-runner to be starting shortstop for Twins


Sept 29, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA: Minnesota Twins shortstop Pedro Florimon (25) fields a ground ball hit by Detroit Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson (not pictured) in the first inning at Target Field. Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The Twins front office was impressed by Pedro Florimon’s play at shortstop late last season, despite hitting just .219 in 137 at-bats.

His bat is not what is drawing the attention.

"“Florimon has kind of made the plays and shown some of the range that you really like from a shortstop, that Dozier didn’t necessarily do,” assistant general manager Rob Antony said Sept. 16, 2012 via the Pioneer Press. “So it might be a situation where we still think Dozier can be a good player, but he may end up being a second baseman instead of a shortstop.”"

In an article by Phil Mackey of 1500 ESPN, general manager Terry Ryan confirmed the club’s stance on Florimon, suggesting that position is his to lose:

"• According to Ryan, Pedro Florimon is “the athlete you look for” at shortstop. Brian Dozier and Eduardo Escobar will “push him,” but the job appears to be Florimon’s to lose due to his slick defensive abilities. According to plus/minus fielding data, Florimon was rated among the best defensive shortstops in baseball last year. Second base is likely a battle between Dozier and Jamey Carroll."

The Twins claimed the 26-year-old Domincan off waivers from the Orioles on December 5, 2011. He was called up late last season when the team optioned then-starting shortstop Brian Dozier to the minors.

Florimon, who once stated his favorite major league player was Omar Vizquel, is the defensive presence the club has been looking for post-Tsuyoshi Nishioka and Dozier. For a team that stresses inducing ground balls, the middle infield has been a disaster in previous years.

Jamey Carroll, 38, still figures to get a decent opportunity as he has been a sure-handed defensive player throughout his career.