Brian Duensing is a former Olympian, winning bronze in the 2008 Olympics as a member of the USA’s baseball team. But where might the rest of the Twins’ current 25 man roster fit within the 2012 Summer Olympics?
Let’s go around the diamond, 1-9 and examine the Twins’ Olympic roster.
Scott Diamond (10-5, 2.91 ERA): His fastball is not really all that fast, so he’s unlikely to be competitive in any of the speed based events, but his meteoric rise from Rule 5 draftee to staff ace definitely marks him as a fierce competitor. Diamond’s excellent command (1.3 BB/9) will suit him well as an Olympic archer. Arrows away, Scotty.
Joe Mauer, after an injury plagued 2011, is once again hitting the ball with authority (.316/.413/.438) but the time he spends crouched behind home plate will serve him best as a Greco-Roman wrestler.
Justin Morneau is a proud Canadian, and the easy place to put him would be the Field Hockey team, considering his familiarity with the version played on sheets of ice. Speed is not really Morneau’s game (though he hasn’t been caught stealing since 2008), but he he has power to spare and his bat is quick through the hitting zone, and I think he would do well as a throwing member of the Canadian track and field team. Perhaps the shot put or discus?
Alexi Casilla has played second base and third base for the Twins in 2012, but his 68 games at 2B lead the team. However, Casilla has played all of the infield positions with the exception of 1B throughout his career with the Twins, and has even made a couple of appearances in the outfield and as a DH. That’s only 5 different positions, but it gets him half way to a decathlon and his speed should take him the rest of the way.
Brian Dozier fills the shortstop position vacated by Tsuyoshi Nishioka‘s inability to bring his performance across the ocean to an American style of baseball. Dozier has not hit well after a hot start for the Twins, and his fielding has been pretty bad as well, but he’s fighting through his struggles and should be a better ballplayer in 2013 because of it. It is that fighting spirit that will help Dozier in the Olympic boxing ring. Bob and weave, Dozier.
Trevor Plouffe showed the Twins a glimpse of his power in 2011 between Rochester and Minneapolis, but in 2012 he has been a powerful surprise (19 HR, more than doubling his 2011 total). Olympic sports that require a surprising amount of power? How about badminton?
Josh Willingham just mashes home runs. His defense is passable, considering what he does with his bat (29 HR, 83 RBI), so there is no need to dock him too many points for poor form in the outfield. Poor form would certainly not help Willingham in either gymnastics or synchronized swimming, but in a sport like soccer, being able to dominate the offensive side of the ball can play well. Look for the Hammer to put plenty of balls in the back of the net.
Denard Span, he’s fast, but he’s not faster then his right field teammate, so he won’t be winning any Gold medals in the 100M. Instead, Span has speed, doubles power, and a smooth swift way of going about his business. His combination of speed and strength make him an excellent candidate to row his way to an Olympic medal as a member of the Men’s crew team.
Ben Revere leads the team in steals with 27, and only Alexi Casilla (14) has even half as many. And he’s no slouch on defense either, sprinting through the outfield and catching would-be doubles and triples at the warning track. He’s easily the Twins’ best chance to win a medal as an Olympic sprinter. Run, Ben, run.
Baseball is no longer an Olympic sport, so this will have to due.