Previously on my blog, I’ve discussed that what the Twins need most is a #2 hitter to get on base in front of Mauer. There are only 2nd baseman left on the market that fit this mold. The two most ideal fits are Orlando Hudson and Felipe Lopez.
Hudson has been reported to be looking for $9 million next year and he hopes to sign with a team soon. The Twins appear to be waiting for his price to drop, but the Nationals and Mets are in on him. There hasn’t been much interest in Lopez, I’ve only heard him connected to the Cardinals. They haven’t made strides toward signing him, and they’d want him to play 3rd base. He has never played more than 47 games of third in one season.
Hudson and Lopez are very similar players. They are both switch hitters, which is good because whoever hits in front of Mauer should not be a lefty because that could make 5 lefties in a row.
*Please not that when comparing them I will compare their stats from the past 2 years.
Both should put up a decent average. Hudson’s 2 year avgerage is .292, Lopez’s is .298. Hudson gets on base with a .361 OBP, Lopez gets on at a .366 clip. Advantage Lopez.
Whoever hits in front of Mauer should have plenty to hit. Lopez made contact with 92.7% pitches inside the strike-zone that he swung at. Hudson made contact with 88.7%. Advantage Lopez
Hudson hit 17 homers over the past 2 years, while Lopez hit 15. Hudson slugged .431 and Lopez had a SLG of .401. Advantage Hudson.
Once they are on, neither are not much of a threat to steal. Lopez had 14 total steals and Hudson had 12. Advantage Lopez.
One thing the Twins have been known to do is take the extra base when possible. Hudson did this 56% of the time, Lopez did it 33% of the time. Advantage Hudson.
When you’re hitting in front of Mauer and Morneau and you make an out, it should be productive. 41% of Hudson’s outs were pruductive, while only 26% of Lopez’s were. Advantage Hudson.
Hudson had a fielding percentage of .986 and Lopez’s was .974. Lopez’s UZR/150 was -0.25 and Hudson’s was -5.65. Hudson is more accurate but Lopez saves more runs in the long run. Advantage Lopez.
Hudson will command a higher contract than Lopez, and there has been much more interest in Hudson. Advantage Lopez.
Hudson’s WAR the past 2 years were 2.0 and 2.9. Lopez’s were 0.8 and 4.6. Hudson is much more consistent, but Lopez has the higher ceiling. No advantage.
If you tally them up the tally is Lopez 5, Hudson 3. This is slightly misleading, as Hudson has two very important categories, taking the extra base and making productive outs.
Hudson is the more consistent player, while Lopez has the tools to be the better player. So, Twins fans, what do you think? Should the Twins sign Hudson or Lopez? Personally, I think Hudson is the better fit, but would be happy with either.