Part Two: Infielders
Let's start with the probable starters:
1B Justin Morneau
Adorableness Quotient (AQ): Justin has a mop of curly hair. He loves hockey. HUGE bonus points for being Canadian. There is definite adorableness here. I cannot however award him a perfect score because, reportedly, he made nasty comments to Doug Mientkiewicz during the game after he was traded to the Red Sox. I'm holding a grudge. Just a little one. A half-point grudge.
Final AQ Score: 9.50
The Good at Baseball Factor (GABF): Being the '06 AL MVP speaks for itself. However there was that post-All Star Game slump last season. Still....Justin's awesome at baseball. Everybody knows it. Including Justin.
Final GABF Score: 9.25
Total Awesomeness Rating (TAR): 18.75
Being Canadian and Good at Baseball has its benefits, clearly...like hero worship and millions of dollars.
2B Brendan Harris
AQ: With an infield cluttered with players we don't really know, it makes assigning AQ scores more difficult and imprecise. But I love a challenge. I have little to go on here besides Brendan's Twinsfest appearance. Luckily for him, I captured photographic evidence of him blowing a bubblegum bubble. Which is totally
Plus he scores bonus points for having a Political Science degree, just like me.
Final AQ Score: 8.25
GABF: Going strictly by the numbers, he had a decent '07. Better than some of our players....but that's beside the point. We'll see how the Spring goes, but I have faith that he'll be a good addition at 2B.
Final GABF Score: 7.75
Pretty good for an unknown Twins newbie. Let's hope his numbers hold once we get to see more of him.
SS Adam Everett
AQ: It's been hard to form a solid opinion of Adam, even with his Twinsfest appearance. Honestly, my gut instinct says that Adam is this season's Jeff Cirillo...which leaves me with an unequivocal impression of "Meh." He's not unfortunate or unpersonable....but he hasn't really done anything to establish any sort of adorableness either. He is D.J. Qualls's favorite baseball player, apparently because they look alike. No joke. It's on wikipedia, so it must be true. There's just not much to go on here. And Adam is at a distinct disadvantage in the AQ category because he is taking over Jason Bartlett's spot. We love Jason Bartlett. Those are some pretty adorable cleats to fill. Tell me Adam, how do you feel about Chipotle?
Final AQ Score: 5.00
GABF: Stellar defensive play. Acceptable offense. Some problems being constantly broken. I dislike the Astros, in general, so I don't have much to say.
Final GABF: 7.75
To be fair, this might be a low estimate. Maybe Adam juggles or does acrobatics on the field, or spends his free time volunteering with orphans and doing stand-up comedy. Maybe I'll warm up to him when I see him in a Twins uniform. Who knows.
3B Mike Lamb
AQ: Oh boy. I got nuthin'. However, thanks once again to wikipedia, I now know that he named his crazy-ass swing "The Thing," which amuses me. His name is also perfect for cute nicknames and plays on words. In fact, I saved his thumbnail headshot on my computer as "Little Lamb" and it was entertaining to me for almost a solid 45 seconds.
Final AQ Score: 6.15
GABF: Defying my previous assertion that I hate the Astros, I had Lamb on my fantasy team in '06 and he was helpful. I was not dissatisfied. Good job, Mike.
Final GABF Score: 7.85
Clearly the new guys have their work cut out for them.
AQ: I try really hard to like Alexi. But it's not really working. He did do that backflip once, making an out during the Tampa Bay game, which helped a little. E for Effort, Alexi.
Final AQ Score: 6.00 (It was a really good backflip.)
GABF: When Luis Castillo got traded, everyone tried to say Alexi would be a suitable replacement. I disagreed. Still do. Remember when his alarm didn't go off and he was late to the Dome when he was penciled in to start? I'm going to need to see more discipline, and more success at the plate and on the basepath, before I jump on any Alexi-shaped parade floats.
Final GABF Score: 4.75
Ouch. That seems harsh when I put it down on paper. Oh well.
AQ: Nick Punto pretty much defines AQ. He does backflips. He flies. He is supernaturally attractive for some reason. Seriously. Anecdotal evidence to back up my claim, one of the kids I work(ed) with was looking through some of my baseball cards one day. She saw one of the Allen & Ginter's Nick Punto cards and said "Oh my god....that Allen guy is HOT!" To which I replied, "His name is Nick, but yes. Yes, he is." He has his own official rabid fanclub and everything. There is a reason you see tons of women wearing Punto shirts, and it sure ain't his batting average.
Final AQ Score: 10.00
GABF: Here is where the batting average comes into play. Not quite as hot. Awesome defensive play though, which I still maintain counts for something. Not on my fantasy team, mind you, but on the real-life field. As the last piranha standing (moment of silence, please) I sincerely hope we see a little more bite from his bat this season.
Final GABF Score: 5.75
Being pretty counts for a lot. There's a life lesson here.
AQ: I can't wait til Spring Training Photo Day so we can get this kid a Twins cap. I wonder why they never photoshopped one in? Oh well. Those Girls really like Brian. He's fun to look at. Super polite. Friendly. Nice smile. Charming. We cheer loudly for him even when, literally, no one else does. When he is in the line up, we are Those Girls Who Cheer For Brian Buscher. His nickname is Bushwacker. 'Nuf said.
Final AQ Score: 8.95
GABF: I think Brian was just getting warmed up offensively last fall. I have a good feeling about him. He did have that nasty leg injury that required "drainage," which slowed his progress a little. Being broken sucks. His defense hasn't been awesome since his promotion, but I hope that his time playing winter ball helped a little.
Final GABF Score: 7.25
This is why Those Girls frequently consider founding the Brian Buscher Fan Club.
All in all a pretty difficult group to judge. Gosh we have a lot of new guys. It's......irritating. I'll stop being crabby about it once Spring Training gets here and they start playing together. We need to see some personality from these guys, STAT. Maybe some tap-dancing. Something. Make us love you, new guys!