Warne Out (5/26): Power Ranking the Current 25-Man Roster of the Minnesota Twins

(image credit: Brian Curski, Cumulus Media)

Power ranking things can be a fun exercise.

It can be exhausting.

But few things get people talking as much as seeing their favorite things — be it baseball teams, foods or pop culture phenomena — ranked in an orderly list.

We’ve done this in this space before, but here’s how we’d power rank the current 25-man roster of the Minnesota Twins. Like most power rankings, a special formula is used with room for the human — in this case, me! — to make slight changes to the order that it spits out, including adjustments for recent performance.

  1. SS Jorge Polanco: It’s not even really close. He has an OPS over 1.000 and he’s playing stellar defense at short. At 26 in July, he could still be a superstar in the making.
  2. CF Byron Buxton: What a turnaround. Buck is hitting, running and throwing at a well above-average level, and is starting to look like the guy who had a “Torii Hunter floor” when he was coming up. He’s still prone to some ugly strikeouts, but he’s come so, so far.
  3. SP Jake Odorizzi: Odorizzi is proving that you can work with the high fastball and make it happen. In fact, hitters know it’s coming and have still been powerless to do anything about it. Literally, Odorizzi has allowed just 0.68 homers per nine innings — a career-low.
  4. LF Eddie Rosario: Rosario is picking up where he left off before injuring his shoulder last year as a low-OBP, low strikeout slugger who can put a powerful swing on just about anything. It’s a fun skill set because it’s so rare in the current MLB landscape.
  5. SP Jose Berrios: It says a lot when a player is still in the top five among his peers and people are talking about his relative ‘struggles.’ Berrios has set the bar that high, and has still pitched the best baseball of his career despite velocity that has alternated between 91 and 94 mph over his last few starts. He maintains he’s just adding and subtracting to mess with hitters — and we believe him.
  6. RF Max Kepler: His season is not unlike Rosario’s so far, though with a little more OBP and a little less power. Of course, for a leadoff hitter that isn’t a bad thing.
  7. SP Martin Perez: Sure, his command has slipped a bit of late, but nobody saw this coming from Perez. Well, maybe somebody did.
  8. 1B C.J. Cron: He’s not a man of many words, but he can really hit. Cron has some trouble with pitches off the plate, but not nearly enough for it to be any sort of concern as he’s fanning just 21.1 percent of the time — well below league average. Has bat. Will travel.
  9. 2B Jonathan Schoop: He almost never walks, but has been otherwise Brian Dozier 2.o with homers and solid defense at second base. Unsung hero of this offense.
  10. C Jason Castro: If rate stats were the only thing that mattered, Castro might be atop this list. Getting a 143 wRC+ mark from a catcher with stellar defense is a huge boon in this economy — but he’s had to split time behind the plate with La Tortuga and the presently injured Mitch Garver.
  11. RP Taylor Rogers: This might seem a little on the low side for how good he’s been, but relievers just don’t impact as much of the game as position players do. Still, it’s hard to be any better than Rogers (1.33 ERA, 12.0 K/9) has been this year.
  12. UTIL Marwin Gonzalez: Just like with Houston, Gonzalez has proven invaluable with respectable defense all over the diamond, and he was a huge boost to the team while Mr. Sano was out with a lacerated heel. He’s really come on strong in May (136 wRC+ entering Saturday’s game) as well.
  13. RP Ryne Harper: He’s been better than advertised. He’s striking out enough batters to offset his low BABIP (.220) when factoring in weak contact induced and virtually no walks (1.69 per nine).
  14. 3B Miguel Sano: It’s been too small of a sample to rank him higher, but right now he looks like the Sano of 2015 — lost of strikeouts, walks and power. A TTO superstar, if you will.
  15. SP Kyle Gibson: He’s been really good after a trio of iffy starts to open the season, so this ranking just goes to show how good his teammates have truly been. By comparison, I did a Baltimore Orioles power ranking for another site recently and Gibson would have been like No. 2 or 3 there.
  16. RP Blake Parker: There are some signs he can’t keep it up (.190 BABIP, 96.2 percent strand rate), but it’s hard to believe the Angels non-tendered him so they could pay Cody Allen nearly four times what Parker is making this year. Bananas.
  17. IF Luis Arraez: All he’s done is hit — albeit in a very small sample size — and while he’ll almost certainly go back down once Nelson Cruz is healthy, he’s at least made it a tougher decision.
  18. IF Ehire Adrianza: It’s pretty amazing when the second-worst position player on the team is a slick-fielding shortstop who is about league-average with the bat (96 wRC+ after homering on Saturday).
  19. RP Matt Magill: He looked absolutely nasty on Saturday — but just hasn’t had enough innings to justify a higher spot.
  20. RP Trevor May: Usage has been a little funky and he’d tell you he’s walking too many batters, but the stuff looks really, really good.
  21. RP Mike Morin: Will have a spot as long as he doesn’t walk anyone. Well, not literally.
  22. RP Zack Littell: Was very impressive in his season debut on Friday. Not much else to say right now.
  23. RP Tyler Duffey: Infinitely more intriguing throwing 96 than 92. Tunneling apprentice.
  24. UNICORN Willians Astudillo: Defensively capable and makes a ton of contact, but has slipped to a 72 wRC+. Could lose roster spot with return of Garver, though that’s quite a ways off yet.
  25. SP Michael Pineda: Has been quite a bit better in May (4.50 ERA) than April (6.21) but still has some work to do. It can be easy to forget he’s still working back from Tommy John surgery, and the command/snap on his slider comes and goes. Should be full-go in the second half.
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(image credit: Brian Curski, Cumulus Media)

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