Jose Miranda Learning Less Is More
Jose Miranda was destined to be a part of the Twins' organization from the moment scout Freddie Thon watched him swing.
"He’s got a great swing for a big guy,” said Mike Radcliff, the Twins' vice president of player personnel. "That's a scout thing—most guys you draft need some mechanical tweaks as the face better pitching. But sometimes you spot a guy who just has a natural rhythm to his swing."
But now that the 20-year-old Puerto Rican infielder has been in Minnesota's system for nearly three years, the Twins do have one suggestion for Miranda's swing: Maybe use it a little less.
Miranda, the 73rd overall pick in the 2016 draft, grew into one of the best hitters in the Appalachian League in 2017. He followed up with four strong months with low Class A Cedar Rapids (.277/.326/.434) in 2018 before being promoted to high Class A Fort Myers on Aug. 6. The adjustment there wasn't as smooth, as he hit .216/.292/.353 in 27 games.
At 20 years old, Miranda was younger than most pitchers he faced in the Florida State League, but there was also another factor in his struggles, as well.
"He just swings too much," Radcliff said. "He’s always swinging. You like the confidence that he can hit anything, but his at-bats were two or three pitches and he’s out of there. We tried to tell him, ‘Dude, at the higher levels, they’ll carve you up with that approach.’"
The message, the Twins are confident, is sinking in.
“He made a lot of progress in plate discipline. He’s learning the benefit of waiting for his pitch,” Radcliff said. “His numbers were a tad ugly, but it was obvious he making the adjustment. We saw tremendous strides. We’ve always loved his bat, and with better contact, he’ll add more power, too.”
Miranda was a shortstop in high school and a second baseman in 2018, but that’s probably temporary. At 6-foot-2, 180 pounds and growing, Miranda is likely better suited for a corner position in the future, with third base being the most likely option.
“He’s not going to be able to keep up with the water bugs at second for long,” Radcliff said. “But that’s OK, because he’s going to have the bat and the power for a corner position.”