The Minnesota Twins have had a revolving door at shortstop for sometime and second base has been Alexi Casilla's spot to eventually lose.
Casilla is gone, but the plethora of prospects and utility players remains. The Twins hope it has a long-term answer up the middle in its camp.
Jamey Carroll - The 5-foot-11-inch, 175-pound veteran has been in the majors since 2002. That longevity combined with versatility and consistency has made him a valuable member of any ball club. That should not, however, be misconstrued as talent. His career batting average is .276, including a .268 clip last season for the Twins and a career OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) of .698, .660 last season. He is a good backup, but bad starter. He is most effective as a utility player, not an everyday starter. He will turn 39 years old before the start of the 2013 season.
Brian Dozier - The 5-foot-11-inch, 190-pound veteran made a positive first impression with the Twins after making his major league debut last May. That flame fizzled just as quickly and he finished the season at triple-A. He is probably the most gifted major league ready bat of the group. He has shown decent pull power potential for Target Field, but needs to develop more consistency with both his bat and glove. He will turn 26 years old in mid-May.
Eduardo Escobar - The 5-foot-10-inch, 165-pound veteran was acquired in the Francisco Liriano trade in July last season. After the trade, he split the rest of the season between triple-A and the Twins. It wasn't a grand opening act for his new ball club. He hit just .217 at triple-A and .227 with the Twins. He is better with his glove, which should be his ticket to continued success in the majors. His most valuable asset is his athleticism and versatility. He turned 24 years old earlier this month.
Pedro Florimon - The 6-foot-2-inch, 180-pound veteran was a waiver pickup last offseason. He began the year in the minors and hit enough to warrant a late season call up. He became the everyday shortstop after the September roster expansion. He has an outstanding glove, but is not much of a hitter. Any offense he provides is a bonus. He turned 26 years old earlier in the offseason.
Daniel Santana - The 5-foot-11-inch, 173-pound prospect had his finest minor league season at the advanced-A level. He showed good plate discipline (77 strikeouts in 507 at-bats), power potential (eight home runs and a .410 slugging percentage) and the ability to hit from both sides of the plate (.294 vs. right-handers and .271 vs. left-handers). Advanced-A is the highest level he has played at thus far. He is likely headed to double-A to begin the season. He turned 22 years old earlier in the offseason.
The Best Case Scenario
Florimon improves as a hitter and claims the shortstop position and Dozier excels at second base. They can form a middle infield pair for several years. Escobar provides competition at third base, but becomes a quality utility player off the bench. Carroll gives the Twins a steady presence on the bench and becomes a tradable asset in late July.
The Worst Case Scenario
Ron Gardenhire is forced to platoon several players and play whoever the "hot" player is at the time. None of the players prove to be capable starters and the Twins are forced to do it all again next season.