Factoid #1: On Thursday night, Springfield Cardinals shortstop Pete Kozma
committed his 16th error in just 39 games this season. The Cardinal
prospect was given Friday off, replaced by Aaron Miles.
The most nondescript of
transactions appeared on the wire on Friday:
Factoid #2: “The Minnesota Twins recalled
shortstop Trevor Plouffe from the
Rochester Red Wings.” (pictured)
In support of one or the other of
these apparently unrelated items or perhaps both, I offer this scouting
Batting and Power. (He) has shown a good batting eye
at the plate the past couple of seasons, and looks like he could be a
serviceable hitter in the Major Leagues. (He) has shaken off some tough seasons
in the beginning of his career, and now is very confident when he gets to the
plate. He does not have much power, but he is a great gap hitter, and looked
very good in Spring Training this year.
Speed: (He) has
average speed, and is not really a threat on the basepaths. He is a smart
baserunner though, and is not a liability when he gets on. He also has enough
speed to leg out triples, and in some cases, turn singles into doubles. His
career-high in stolen bases is 12, meaning he does not run much, but he could
get you around ten a season.
Defense. Here is where it gets tricky,
because (he) has all the tools to be a top of the line defender. The problem is,
he has not shown those kinds of results since coming into the organization, and
has committed way too many errors so far in his professional career. However, he
is still rated as one of the best defensive infielders in the organization,
mostly due to his soft hands and a rocket for an arm.
Only remembering vaguely about
Plouffe, I pulled up the above, written about him by my peer at
TwinCitiesDugout.com, Brad Weiss, a little over one year ago. The similarities
between the two shortstops, Plouffe and Kozma, struck me, down to the same
career season high-water mark in steals at a dozen each, a point I did not need
to edit from the above text.
Alright, so Kozma has yet to prove
he can be a serviceable hitter at the major league level, but Plouffe had a head
start. His encouraging report was posted after he had put in a half-season at
Triple-A, a level Kozma has yet to achieve.
Looking back, both were
highly-touted high schoolers, taken just two picks apart, though in
different years. Plouffe was number 20 overall in the 2004 draft out of
California, while Kozma was selected
18th in 2007 from Oklahoma.
The career comparison is
interesting, as Kozma has been moved ahead about a half season earlier than was
Plouffe in relation to their respective draft dates, though that is offset
somewhat by the fact the Cardinal was 10 months older than the Twin when
The bottom line is that both
players reached Double-A at the age of 21. Plouffe accomplished it in his fourth
professional season and Kozma in his third.
Like Kozma, Plouffe endured
several seasons of thirty-something error totals. He has played 90 of his 687
minor league games at second and third base, mostly in the last few seasons as
the Twins apparently looked to make him more of a versatile type of player as he
Plouffe appeared in his first major
league game Friday evening, just one month short of his 24th
birthday. He singled, doubled against former Cardinal Jeff Suppan and drove in two.
2010 is Plouffe’s seventh
professional season. For a first-round pick, even as a high schooler, that
lengthy time of development has to be considered a disappointment, but the
right-handed hitter potentially still has a number of baseball years ahead.
If Kozma continues in “Plouffe
form,” he would make his own MLB debut late in the 2012 season, in the midst of
his sixth pro campaign. That doesn’t sound too far-fetched, does
Brian Walton can be reached via
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