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View Full Version : Article: DRAFT DAY: Twins Myth #3448: Outfield Depth



Seth Stohs
06-04-2012, 10:03 AM
You can view the page at http://www.twinsdaily.com/content.php?618-DRAFT-DAY-Twins-Myth-3448-Outfield-Depth

Thrylos
06-04-2012, 10:15 AM
I think that you can look at this another way: Three out of your top 7 prospects are outfielders, a forth (the Twins' second best prospect) is being converted to 2B from the OF, and the fifth, the top prospect, might as well end up at the OF.

Given than, at least as far as prospects go, the Twins do have indeed a lot of OF depth and are top-heavy in OFs. This does not mean that it is bad, because they can always trade some to fill a need...

Shane Wahl
06-04-2012, 10:20 AM
Haha, yeah, the Benson/Tosoni situation this year makes for a herd at A+ and AA instead of a clear line of depth through AAA. I would still say that other than middle relief types, the OF situation is better than everything else in the system, though. Nate Roberts, JD Williams, and Dereck Rodriguez are also involved down at A-/A+ for 2013.

The Best Player Available approach relies on there being a clear best player available, and what "best" even means (higher ceiling, lower floor, etc?). Just between *position players* it isn't clear between Buxton and Correa, and maybe Zunino as well. Add in the pitchers from Appel to Giolito (and, I would add in Fried as well), and I just don't see much clarity about the best player available.

Dilligaf69
06-04-2012, 10:28 AM
Just Grab the best Pitcher available! We need someone who can make an impact in 1 or 2 yrs not wait 4-6 for an OF.

Twins Fan From Afar
06-04-2012, 10:31 AM
Great post Seth, and I'll add this: Let's say for the sake of argument that Benson and Hicks do materialize into the everyday MLB starters we hope they can be; or that Span stays a Twin and Revere adds more plate discipline to his game, and the Twins suddenly have a glut of very, very good outfielders at the MLB and minor league levels.

The worst case, then, if the Twins take Buxton, is that he becomes a tradeable asset in the event the Twins do look for front-line pitching (or another area that needs filling) in the next few years.

YourHouseIsMyHouse
06-04-2012, 10:35 AM
The biggest thing TwinsDaily followers don't put much thought into is how many of the outfielders will pan out. Does everyone really expect Hicks, Morales, Kepler, etc. to all reach the MLB and have good careers? Byron Buxton is only a HS kid and 18 years old. It will take at least 3 years to develop him and probably longer than that. The Twins of 2016/2017 may not have this kind of outfield depth. This is the reason you go BPA because the minor league is so unpredictable.

For example, if Buxton has a 15% chance of "success" and every other player has a 14% or less, you take that extra percent. Most may say he IS more risky than the other choices and this is a losing point, but I think upside/natural talent makes prospects more likely to reach the majors.

Cap'n Piranha
06-04-2012, 10:40 AM
No mention of Arcia in this article. Are we assuming it is DH or bust for him at the Major League Level?

Shane Wahl
06-04-2012, 10:41 AM
YHIMH, true, but the "panning out" situation is worse at every other position! That's the thing, maybe the OF depth isn't really deep, but everything about this is relative. It's deeper than everything else except middle relief pitching.

YourHouseIsMyHouse
06-04-2012, 10:42 AM
No mention of Arcia in this article. Are we assuming it is DH or bust for him at the Major League Level?

I noticed that right away too. But this statement from the article made me refrain from commenting about it.


"Obviously there are several more outfielders in the system, four to five per team, but for people to say that the Twins have huge outfield depth is, unfortunately, no longer the case."

YourHouseIsMyHouse
06-04-2012, 10:46 AM
YHIMH, true, but the "panning out" situation is worse at every other position! That's the thing, maybe the OF depth isn't really deep, but everything about this is relative. It's deeper than everything else except middle relief pitching.

I see what you mean, but I'm really just trying to say I'd rather draft a 1st tier OF (at a position of "no need")than a 2nd tier SP (position of need).

Mr. Ed
06-04-2012, 10:48 AM
Hicks and Arcia should be stopped from Switch-Hitting. Start working the side that they're most effective at.

IdahoPilgrim
06-04-2012, 10:48 AM
Thank you! This is the point I've been trying to make and why I think you take Buxton if he's available.

YourHouseIsMyHouse
06-04-2012, 10:53 AM
Hicks and Arcia should be stopped from Switch-Hitting. Start working the side that they're most effective at.

Arcia only bats left-handed.

Shane Wahl
06-04-2012, 11:19 AM
I see what you mean, but I'm really just trying to say I'd rather draft a 1st tier OF (at a position of "no need")than a 2nd tier SP (position of need).

Oh, yeah, I understand. If the Twins really have it shaking out that way and that Buxton is in a tier of his own, than ok. I just can't imagine how that should be the case. At this point, I just want them to make the damn pick.

Shane Wahl
06-04-2012, 11:22 AM
Arcia only bats left-handed.

And he MURDERS RH A+ pitching. Those numbers are crazy. Jacque Jones+??? (offensively).

I would like to see them experiment with Hicks and see if he hits RH from the right side better than from the left side. They really need to commence that experiment immediately though. If it doesn't work, maybe he goes back to switch-hitting in 2013 and starts the year at New Britain again? Seems worth the chance at improving his hitting somewhat significantly, right?

roger
06-04-2012, 11:38 AM
You must be dealing with 'bus lag,' eh? Didn't mention probably the best outfield prospect in the organization, Oswaldo Arcia?

twinstalker
06-04-2012, 12:30 PM
The best player in the draft is Carlos Correa. John Sickels, a Twins fan, is almost beside himself with the possibility the Twins will pass on him. (Note: you'll find a mock draft where John takes Appel, but the draft where he got to choose who he wanted, he took Correa).

Jim Crikket
06-04-2012, 12:48 PM
The worst case, then, if the Twins take Buxton, is that he becomes a tradeable asset in the event the Twins do look for front-line pitching (or another area that needs filling) in the next few years.

I hesitate to even comment on this article because I genuinely don't care who the Twins pick because it really is such a crapshoot anyway. That said, I totally agree that, in theory, you go ahead and take the BPA even if it's at a position of relative depth, because you can always trade that depth for front line pitching.

The problem with that theory, however, is that the Twins have not historically been willing to do that. And even when they have been willing to, a sizable number of their fans go bannanas. It was almost exactly two years ago that the Twins reportedly had offered Hicks and Ramos to Seattle for a couple months of renting Cliff Lee. People went nuts. Those are two of our top five prospects, you can't do that!!! Fine... so Lee goes to Texas and the Rangers go to the World Series, while the Twins, without anything resembling a front line pitcher, bend over and allow the Yankees to spank them three straight games and haven't sniffed .500 baseball since. Instead, the Twins get Matt Capps for Ramos and still have Hicks trying to bat his way out of AA two years later.

Point is, it's absolutely right to draft the best player available regardless of position IF you're willing to part with legitimate prospects to fill important (and expensive) needs at critical times. But if you're NOT willing to do that, then you'd better forget drafting BPA and focus on the pitcher with the best upside, because it's the only way you'll ever get a top of the rotation pitcher.

Paul
06-04-2012, 12:48 PM
...I would like to see them experiment with Hicks and see if he hits RH from the right side better than from the left side. They really need to commence that experiment immediately though. If it doesn't work, maybe he goes back to switch-hitting in 2013 and starts the year at New Britain again? Seems worth the chance at improving his hitting somewhat significantly, right?

This is a lot bigger deal than most realize. I don't know his history but, I think he's 22 yrs old, and he's very likely not seen a RH slider from the RH box since preteen years. And some kids in AA can crack 90 MPH with a slider. The best of them can start it at your ribs and run it off the plate. Unless Hick has terrible uncorrectable mechanics from the LH side, or left eye dominant vision to the degree he can't see in the LH box, this needs to be an absolute last resort.

Thrylos
06-04-2012, 01:04 PM
It was almost exactly two years ago that the Twins reportedly had offered Hicks and Ramos to Seattle for a couple months of renting Cliff Lee. People went nuts.

Part of the reasons for that were because a. they were renting Lee for 2 months b. a single pitcher would had not make them WS contenders and c. Lee is a first class $@&%8$&

If they traded their top 2 OF prospects for the top 2 SP prospects of another organization, it would be a totally different story.

Jim Crikket
06-04-2012, 01:21 PM
Part of the reasons for that were because a. they were renting Lee for 2 months b. a single pitcher would had not make them WS contenders and c. Lee is a first class $@&%8$&

If they traded their top 2 OF prospects for the top 2 SP prospects of another organization, it would be a totally different story.

a. they not only would have had Lee for 2 months, but ALSO either the first shot at re-signing him or TWO compensatory draft picks with which to replace Hicks and Ramos. b. you don't KNOW what his effect would have been, both in terms of winning enough games during the season to change the postseason match-ups and his own postseason performance, nor do you know what additional moves the Twins might have made if they were that committed to winning in 2010. c. So what? Pavano can be, too, and they've kept him around. Are we only interested in aces with personalities we "like"?

And nobody will ever trade their two best SP prospects for 2 OF prospects, so if that's the only hope you're going to hold on to, forget it... you'd better draft pitching. Teams hoard top-flight starting pitching until a guy becomes too expensive to keep.

Chance
06-04-2012, 01:30 PM
As disastrous as our starting pitching is throughout the system with the best piitchers only throwing 90 and don't seem to project as much more than an average 3 starter (Gibson with his TJ can't be counted on until you see what you got) you have to go with a starter with some velocity and potential to miss bats.

I think buxton is tempting but drafting toolsie players is such a risk and one that the twins can't afford to take. Even if he panned out he wouldn't be here for 4-6 years.

The twins have no problem signing FA outfielders but wont stick money into a decent starter. Look at marquis career numbers! Who thought that he would last til the All-star break? I mean what a joke. Any pitcher we draft after the 2nd pick will be like the rest, soft tosser who pitch to contact and can maybe be a 4 or 5 starter if he pans out.

They need a potential 1 or 2 type pitcher. We the fans need one. I think you go with gausman or if they feel lucky try giolito who can hit 100 as a high schooler. After all the twins believe that they can teach any player control... So take a pitcher, please!

Shane Wahl
06-04-2012, 01:33 PM
I hesitate to even comment on this article because I genuinely don't care who the Twins pick because it really is such a crapshoot anyway. That said, I totally agree that, in theory, you go ahead and take the BPA even if it's at a position of relative depth, because you can always trade that depth for front line pitching.

The problem with that theory, however, is that the Twins have not historically been willing to do that. And even when they have been willing to, a sizable number of their fans go bannanas. It was almost exactly two years ago that the Twins reportedly had offered Hicks and Ramos to Seattle for a couple months of renting Cliff Lee. People went nuts. Those are two of our top five prospects, you can't do that!!! Fine... so Lee goes to Texas and the Rangers go to the World Series, while the Twins, without anything resembling a front line pitcher, bend over and allow the Yankees to spank them three straight games and haven't sniffed .500 baseball since. Instead, the Twins get Matt Capps for Ramos and still have Hicks trying to bat his way out of AA two years later.

Point is, it's absolutely right to draft the best player available regardless of position IF you're willing to part with legitimate prospects to fill important (and expensive) needs at critical times. But if you're NOT willing to do that, then you'd better forget drafting BPA and focus on the pitcher with the best upside, because it's the only way you'll ever get a top of the rotation pitcher.

Exactly. I think it is a foregone conclusion that, if the Astros really take Appel, the Twins are taking Buxton. I wish it would be otherwise, for the reason you mention.

Shane Wahl
06-04-2012, 01:38 PM
a. they not only would have had Lee for 2 months, but ALSO either the first shot at re-signing him or TWO compensatory draft picks with which to replace Hicks and Ramos. b. you don't KNOW what his effect would have been, both in terms of winning enough games during the season to change the postseason match-ups and his own postseason performance, nor do you know what additional moves the Twins might have made if they were that committed to winning in 2010. c. So what? Pavano can be, too, and they've kept him around. Are we only interested in aces with personalities we "like"?

And nobody will ever trade their two best SP prospects for 2 OF prospects, so if that's the only hope you're going to hold on to, forget it... you'd better draft pitching. Teams hoard top-flight starting pitching until a guy becomes too expensive to keep.

Jim Crikket is dominating this thread with insight. And this is why I believe a top-tier OF is equal to a second-tier SP, by the way. That's why I don't think there is any way to judge "best player available." Ask the BPA crowd who is the best pitcher available and you will get four different answers! How does adding position players into the question make it any less muddy? Why Buxton might be top-tier OF, I think he is in the same overall tier of players with the college pitchers, Giolito, Fried, and Correa and Zunino.

Seth Stohs
06-04-2012, 01:49 PM
thank you for all of the great comments. This is a fun discussion. I do want to make a couple of quick comments on my own behalf. first, I only wrote of the outfield lose that we all were so high on that have plateaued or gone bbackwards this year. that is why I did not mention arcia, who is been remarkable this season. he should move up quickly, and remind people of jason kubel. the point of the article was just say that 'outfield depth' is not a good reason to not take buxton. that said, of the 6 or 7 players that the twins could take that number 2, buxton would be ranked fifth or sixth for me.

Shane Wahl
06-04-2012, 01:59 PM
I would rank them:

Gausman (had to pick one pitcher at the top)
Correa (SS or 3B)
Appel (tied with Zimmer)
Zimmer (tied with Appel)
Giolito (highest ceiling)
Fried (coming on very strong in many scout's eyes and is a lefty)
Buxton
Zunino

If I had to do so.

Seth Stohs
06-04-2012, 02:13 PM
I posted that in the gleeman amd the geeks podcast forum. I asked people for their top 3. then, when we look back at this in 7 or 8 years, we can see who was smart.

mike wants wins
06-04-2012, 02:18 PM
Gausman, Correa, Appel/Zimmer, Buxton...but I think Giolito could be the best of them, but I'm not willing to roll that dice given the injury. That does NOT mean I think Buxton is the 4th best prospect, but that I think having almost no starting pitching prospects that project to even a number 2 in your entire system (from the majors on down), means you need to add pitching. I'd rather have bad OF and good pitching than what they have now.

Jim Crikket
06-04-2012, 02:32 PM
Of course, if I were really interested enough to care a lot about who the Twins pick and wanted to make the argument for Buxton or another position player, I'd pose the question of whether people really believe the best use of the #2 pick overall would be on a player who, in the unlikely event that he actually hits his ceiling, would appear in less than 20% of his team's games and in less than 15% of his team's total innings... and that would be in his BEST seasons. I want a front of the rotation SP as much as anyone, but I'm not altogether sure it's a wise move with a pick that high. I just wish the organization seemed more inclined to trade for good pitching once in a while.

Shane Wahl
06-04-2012, 02:58 PM
Of course, if I were really interested enough to care a lot about who the Twins pick and wanted to make the argument for Buxton or another position player, I'd pose the question of whether people really believe the best use of the #2 pick overall would be on a player who, in the unlikely event that he actually hits his ceiling, would appear in less than 20% of his team's games and in less than 15% of his team's total innings... and that would be in his BEST seasons. I want a front of the rotation SP as much as anyone, but I'm not altogether sure it's a wise move with a pick that high. I just wish the organization seemed more inclined to trade for good pitching once in a while.

Trading for good pitching can still happen after drafting Gausman, though. Capps might bring something of value back at the deadline. As could Doumit. And clearly Span would if the Twins want to go that way. Revere might bring something back as well. I don't wish players injuries, but I hope a team like the Rangers or Reds has some so that they are a bit more desperate for players for the playoff run and the playoffs. I would be most happy with the Twins taking Gausman or Correa. Less happy with Appel or Zimmer. Less happy with Buxton or Zunino, etc.

mike wants wins
06-04-2012, 03:02 PM
But when has Terry Ryan traded prospects for pitching? I think that was Jim's point.....that said, I understand his other argument, that one pitcher doesn't help as much as one OFer. It is a good point, as are most of Mr. Crikket's points.

ashburyjohn
06-04-2012, 03:04 PM
I'd pose the question of whether people really believe the best use of the #2 pick overall would be on a player who, in the unlikely event that he actually hits his ceiling, would appear in less than 20% of his team's games and in less than 15% of his team's total innings

Doesn't a similar logic cap a batter's opportunities to aid the offense at a little above 10%?

Jim Crikket
06-04-2012, 03:15 PM
ashburyjohn: Position players don't just bat, however, unless you're drafting a pure DH (which I don't think anyone does). They also contribute every inning by playing defense and, hopefully, do so almost every game. A starting pitcher can only influence the games he pitches. A position player has the potential to influence every game offensively and defensively.

mike wants wins: You've stumbled upon my secret for always being right... I simply argue both sides of the debate. :)

Cap'n Piranha
06-04-2012, 03:25 PM
I noticed that right away too. But this statement from the article made me refrain from commenting about it.


"Obviously there are several more outfielders in the system, four to five per team, but for people to say that the Twins have huge outfield depth is, unfortunately, no longer the case."



Sure, but the issue I have with that is some of the other outfielders that WERE mentioned. Rene Tosoni, who hasn't hit above .271 (at FTM) since 2008, which would be his age 21/22 season (July birthday). Arcia on the other hand, in his mostly age 21 season (May birthday) is showing far more success. Compare their two lines, which are actually apples to apples, since they each have approximately 45 games at the A+ level in the seasons I'm referencing.

Arcia--.330/.388/.551 (.940 OPS), 24/61 hits are XBH (14 2B, 3 3B, 7 HR, .39 XBH AVG), 18 BB, 44K (.4 BB/K ratio) in 48 games
Tosoni--.300/.402/.425 (.827 OPS), 11/42 hits are XBH (7 2B, 3 3B, 1 HR, .26 XBH AVG), 21 BB, 30K (.7 BB/K ratio) in 42 games

For further consideration, here are Hicks' numbers from last year (his age 21 season, October birthday). Since he played 122 games, I divided all non-average numbers by 2.7, to get a 45 game sample size for ease of comparison

Hicks--.242/.354/.368 (.722 OPS), 15.2/40 hits are XBH (11.5 2B, 1.9 3B, 1.9 HR, .38 XBH AVG), 28.9 BB, 40.7K (.7 BB/K ratio) in 45 game sample

Other than the strikeout numbers, Arcia is clearly the most advanced, despite being the only one of these players that was not at least 21 for the entire season. If I had to rank the Twins outfield prospects right now, I feel like I would have to go in the following order...

1. Arcia--should be at AA, which puts him at the exact same level, except younger, than any of the other true prospects on this list
2. Benson--closer to putting it all together than anyone else. If the time off lets him get things mentally right, he'll be back at AAA in August, and with the big club in September
3. Hicks--has actually held his numbers (other than BB/K ratio) despite moving up a level. Is hitting for more power, and stealing more bases while getting caught less than last year too.
4. Any number of other guys could go in here, but they are all way down in the system, and probably 3 years away from contributing (Morales, Williams, Rodriguez, Kepler).

I can't call Tosoni a prospect anymore because he's about to turn 26, has big league time, but couldn't hang at AAA this year. Barring him catching on fire, Tosoni seems like a replacement level outfielder at best at this point, as he's unlikely to move past Revere or Benson in the pecking order in my opinion, and as demonstrated above, has Arcia hot on his heels.

CDog
06-04-2012, 03:27 PM
then, when we look back at this in 7 or 8 years, we can see who was smart.

Or lucky....

ashburyjohn
06-04-2012, 03:32 PM
ashburyjohn: Position players don't just bat

Sure, but the additional value brought by the glove pales in comparison, bringing a position player up to maybe around the same 15% you mention for a stud pitcher, by this back-of-the-envelope math.

Since I see the balance as being more or less close, I guess I'm poaching on your patented technique of not being squarely on either side of the debate either. :)

mike wants wins
06-04-2012, 03:35 PM
I'd have Benson working with a meditation expert right now. His brain needs to slow down.

Steve Lein
06-04-2012, 03:47 PM
I'm with Seth, Buxton barely cracks the top 5 for me. Appel, Zimmer, Correa, Gausman, Buxton. Twins aren't going to ever sign a top-flight FA pitcher, so if they want one, they have to draft him. Now's as good a time as they're going to get having the #2 pick to do so, even if none of these guys are Strasburg-like.