Thursday, February 11, 2010

DUDE REPORT: Nick Punto Day

There are a variety of Minnesota Twins blogs that since joining the blog world I have enjoyed reading. The Twins blogs that I frequent include:, Over the Baggy, and Twins Geek. These blogs and others have been discussing a Nick Punto Day. For you non-Twins fans Nick Punto is a utility player who has been with the Twins since 2004. The reason for the Nick Punto Day is because analysts and fans have a wide variety of opinions on him. This day would allow everyone who wants to sounds off.

Before I dive into my good, bad and odd breakdown of Nick Punto I want to take this opportunity to announce I am hoping to add a “dude” section to the blog. With March Madness right around the corner, then the Twins, and of course grilling season, I think this is a good time to kick off a Dude Section. As soon as I acquire the technical knowhow (or more likely technical assistance) I will add a link to this new section.

What I like about Punto:

• First and above all else I like his defense. This is also what Manager Ron Gardenhire loves about him. The Twins historically have been a good defensive team, and Punto fits this mold. While a stat does exist about the number of runs any one defender saves per season (I don’t know if I buy the math they use for this stat), I prefer to add up the number of appearances any one player has on ESPN Baseball Tonight’s Web Gems! Punto is a web gem waiting to happen and has made numerous jaw dropping plays over his career.

• His ability to play multiple positions is valuable. This year it sounds like 3rd base will be his spot with Brandon Harris. He is a great option to give shortstop JJ Hardy and 32 year old Orlando Hudson a day off.

• His offense during even year. In 2006 he batted 290 and in 2008 he batted 284. The good news is this is an even year!

• The final thing that I like about Punto is that he seems to be a good clubhouse guy. He is always very energetic and seems to really fit the Twins way of doing things.

What I don’t like about Punto:

• His offense is very frustrating to watch. I will give him credit for having some good at bats down the stretch last season, but overall I do not like watching him bat. I would love to see him hit 260 or better this year. I can live with an average around 245, but below that I feel that he cannot be a member of the everyday lineup.

• More specifically I do not like his hitting in odd year. He hit 210 in 2007 and 228 last year. Both seasons were well below is career average of 248, which is low bar to have to jump over to raise your career average.

• I hate that he slides in to first. This item should possible appear in the odd section, but he has been sliding into first for year. It doesn’t get you there fast, please stop.

• Punto made $4M last season. I don’t completely hate that amount, but any higher without improved offense numbers and I start to get uncomfortable.

Odd things about Punto:

• A friend of a friend attended Justin Morneau’s wedding and said that Punto was a good dancer. I am a fan of anyone who can cut a rug, especially at a wedding reception. This individual also reported that Kevin Slowey had some good moves, which was a bit surprising to me.

• I heard a pun about Punto that although adult in it's humor I can’t resist passing on. The individual was speaking about the Twins lineup before Orlando Hudson was signed. (Hudson will likely bat second.) He mentioned that the top of the order will likely be Span, Punto, Mauer, Morneau, etc. He went on to say that the lineup looks good except Punto, who offensively can be a real pain in the two hole!?!?!

I am glad Punto is on the Twins and I am very excited about the Twins chances this year. I believe Nick Punto wound best be deployed as a utility man who gets 300 at bats while playing various positions. It would be best to see him hitting in the 8th or 9th spot as much as possible. GO TWINS!


  1. Punto is my favorite player and I have no qualms about admitting that!! It's primarily his incredible defense and his attitude. Frankly, he reminds me of me when I played softball...good in the field and shit at the plate...but has fun no matter what! It's fun to ask Ethan who Mommy's favorite Twins player is and hear him yell "Punto!!"

  2. That would be funny to hear your kids yell Punto. Joe Mauer is the name Lucy knows. There seems to be little grey room with Punto. Either you love him or hate him.