The Minnesota Twins have openings at several starting spots, including the important middle triangle of center field, shortstop and second base.
The team is now just over one week into its spring training schedule and each job has no cut winner leader.
Despite a solid return from an injury, Mastroianni appears to have been passed by Hicks. Hicks, a top prospect and former first round draft pick, has lifted his spring batting average over .400. He enamored Twins fans this week with a four hit, three of which were home runs, and six RBI game against the Philadelphia Phillies. He is playing with a lot of confidence right now. The only flaw in his game right now is probably his throwing accuracy.
The Twins are going to sacrifice some offense for better defense than it had in recent seasons.
Pedro Florimon may have overtaken Jamey Carroll for the starting shortstop job. Florimon has more upside defensively. Neither is going win a batting title or even ever contend to be among the league leaders. Florimon's youth and glove should give him the nod at this point.
The second base job is the same candidates as the shortstops with the addition of Brian Dozier. Dozier made his first error of the spring this week, but still has made 42 successful chances in 61 innings. He is hitting just .259, but has struck out just five times and has made enough contact to warrant the every day job.
The Projected Opening Day Batting Order
CF Aaron Hicks
2B Brian Dozier
C Joe Mauer
LF Josh Willingham
1B Justin Morneau
DH Ryan Doumit
RF Chris Parmelee
3B Trevor Plouffe
SS Pedro Florimon
*Italics indicate spot is locked down