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View Full Version : Terry Ryan interview on Fangraphs



snepp
07-12-2012, 07:11 AM
Q&A: Terry Ryan, Twins general manager (http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/qa-terry-ryan-twins-general-manager/)
(http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/qa-terry-ryan-twins-general-manager/)

DPJ
07-12-2012, 08:03 AM
Working the count, preaching patience at the plate to young hitters...no just go hack at anything in the strike zone.

TWINS BASEBALL

Oxtung
07-12-2012, 09:11 AM
Working the count, preaching patience at the plate to young hitters...no just go hack at anything in the strike zone.

TWINS BASEBALL

Yeah, don't bother to actually read the article or anything just go with your gut feeling! Here's a direct quote, "You know, we do not take many strikes. If there’s a strike there, we encourage our hitters to go get it. Get good pitches to hit, and go ahead and take a whack at it." Now you can believe that isn't true which is of course your prerogative but at least read the article before responding...sheesh.

Seth Stohs
07-12-2012, 09:14 AM
I like the philosophy. A good plate approach and plate discipline really has little to do with walks. If the pitcher throws no strikes, take the walk. But it's about knowing the strike zone and recognizing good pitches to hit. When you get a good pitch to hit, take a hack. That's the way it should be.

mike wants wins
07-12-2012, 09:14 AM
Great interview. I appreciate their willingness to talk.

Oxtung
07-12-2012, 09:16 AM
I found something Terry Ryan said interesting that I had not heard before and I was wondering if this was common knowledge and I am unaware or if any actual analysis had been done on this issue:

"...usually when you get strike-throwers, that means they’ve got pretty good mechanics and pretty good deliveries. That usually means they stay healthy."

Recently that doesn't seem to be the case. How many of our "strike throwers" have had TJ surgery or just gone on the DL in general? Seems like a bunch. Have we just been unlucky or are other teams even more inflicted?

SpiritofVodkaDave
07-12-2012, 09:29 AM
Seems like a bunch. Have we just been unlucky or are other teams even more inflicted?

The Royals have had like 6 guys go town with Tommy John surgery this year.

I think its just bad luck to be honest. Pavano has been completely healthy since joining the Twins and Blackburn has been healthy for the most part up until this year as well. (I could be wrong on this)

J-Dog Dungan
07-12-2012, 09:38 AM
I found something Terry Ryan said interesting that I had not heard before and I was wondering if this was common knowledge and I am unaware or if any actual analysis had been done on this issue:

"...usually when you get strike-throwers, that means they’ve got pretty good mechanics and pretty good deliveries. That usually means they stay healthy."

Recently that doesn't seem to be the case. How many of our "strike throwers" have had TJ surgery or just gone on the DL in general? Seems like a bunch. Have we just been unlucky or are other teams even more inflicted?

Well, like it says in the quote, it says, "USUALLY when you get strike-throwers [...] they stay healthy." With the recent injuries to their top pitching prospects, it seems like they are more unlucky than picking guys who are likely going to get injured.

SpiritofVodkaDave
07-12-2012, 09:39 AM
Really good article, glad he expanded on the "curve ball/change up" thing that Thyrlos was going nuts about. He is absolutely right, if you don't have a good fastball you can locate, not a whole lot else matters.

Also I like how they don't try to build one inning relievers, keeping them stretched out in the minors is a very good thing.

I liked this as well re: Minnesota Twins using statistical anaylsys, also the fact he does read Fangraphs/others probably comes to a huge shock to the Ryan haters (DPJ, Thrylos etc)



People don’t want to hear that out of the Minnesota Twins. But we’ve been looking at that forever. Way before some. We’re not as deep as some, but we do believe in certainly doing our work, and that stat page is one big piece to the puzzle of putting players together. Our scouts, and our people, will tell you if I’m looking at a player, and I go down and look at his line, and it doesn’t add up, I’ve got to give him a call quick. I tell him, “This doesn’t make any sense.” His role, his skills and his statistical history, and you’re going to tell me this? How do you get there? I believe in that. All forms of information are good. I’ve drilled that into our people. Bring it on. All forms, let me sort it out. If a scout or a statistician is going to be smart enough to do that, he probably ought to be in a different world. Because I don’t know that any general manager in the game wouldn’t take that type of information and try to predict what players are going to do. That’s kind of what projection is in scouting. You’re going to project on a kid that’s 22 up here more than you are a kid that’s 28. And you’re certainly going to project a player that’s 28 more than you are a player that’s 38.
I read all that stuff, and sometimes it’s so much information that I do get paralyzed reading it and taking it all in. You can spend as much time as you want on everything that is available. It’s almost mind-boggling how much stuff is out there. I mean, I read you guys’ stuff.

Riverbrian
07-12-2012, 09:46 AM
I found something Terry Ryan said interesting that I had not heard before and I was wondering if this was common knowledge and I am unaware or if any actual analysis had been done on this issue:

"...usually when you get strike-throwers, that means they’ve got pretty good mechanics and pretty good deliveries. That usually means they stay healthy."

Recently that doesn't seem to be the case. How many of our "strike throwers" have had TJ surgery or just gone on the DL in general? Seems like a bunch. Have we just been unlucky or are other teams even more inflicted?

I don't know about more inflicted but I think Pitchers go down all over the place and all the time. Throwing as many pitches as they do takes a toll on the arm. Not just the pitch counts in the game but the bullpen sessions, off season programs... all of it. Years of throwing from Little League on up... adds up. Curve Balls, Sliders, the different spins put on a baseball.

I'm sure mechanics help along with stretching and weights but you are still overusing a part of the human body and unnaturally. I think arms were probably not designed for throwing. I think they were designed for reaching into farm equipment to unjam stuff.

nicksaviking
07-12-2012, 09:47 AM
DL: "Is there a specific Minnesota Twins hitting philosophy?"

TRL: "You can’t cookie-cut hitters....There are guys that cannot hit the ball to the opposite field. OK. Well then, why would you force him to do that?"

That only rings true starting this year once they realized righties had to hit it exclusively to LF in order to hit one out. The Twins used to force EVERYBODY to try to go opposite field, which was why there was animosity with former hitters like JJ Hardy and David Ortiz. I wish Ryan would have acknowledged that this philosophy is new to the Twins.

JB_Iowa
07-12-2012, 09:52 AM
Thanks for the link. It's an interesting article.

I have a really mixed reaction to it especially the section on keeping the organization fresh by rotating people in their jobs. I think that moving people around in the organization does help in keeping it fresh but I also think that if you don't, from time to time, inject NEW, OUTSIDE talent into the organization at the highest levels, you still become stale.

He says they aren't stagnant. But if one compares it to water, it is more like a recirculating pool -- and even that becomes stale when you don't add a regular influx of new water.

As for his comments about statistical analysis, it reflects a lot of what I often feel when I read stats-based articles -- my head starts spinning. I may read them and I may try to digest them but I don't think I really appreciate all that they could tell me. And I still wonder if Mr. Ryan and most of the Twins higher-ups don't lack that same appreciation.

mike wants wins
07-12-2012, 09:54 AM
This explains why slama is not valued....he is a one inning guy.

nicksaviking
07-12-2012, 10:03 AM
TR: "We draft people that our scouts recommend. And if they’re recommending them, they got their name on them. They’re going to be accountable whether the guy succeeds or fails."

I don't know enough about the Twins scouts. Anyone know of any scouts getting the axe recently? The organization just seems like an old boys club and jobs are pretty secure rain or shine. With the poor development over the past seven years or so, you'd think there would be a lot of scout turnover but I've never heard about an overhaul. Can anyone back up Ryan's claim of scouts having accountablity with their draft picks?

twinswon1991
07-12-2012, 10:06 AM
I appreciate that Terry stated the so called "Twins Way" is a farce. The Twins don't do things other teams aren't already aware of. The Twins were lucky to be in a horrific division where they could use their limited resouces to win in the regular season even if they knew the y had zero chance of winning a post season series. This strategy was an extremely smart business plan but it only proved they were happy being mediocre instead of "going for it".

However, now that the Twins have drafted poorly for 5 + years they don't have the reinforcements to plug in with cost controlled deals. Add in the albatross Mauer contract and wasted funds on Blacky/Capps/Nishi/Carroll/Morneau this franchise is in big trouble.

It all starts with the draft and this team much get better!

DPJ
07-12-2012, 10:13 AM
Yeah, don't bother to actually read the article or anything just go with your gut feeling! Here's a direct quote, "You know, we do not take many strikes. If there’s a strike there, we encourage our hitters to go get it. Get good pitches to hit, and go ahead and take a whack at it." Now you can believe that isn't true which is of course your prerogative but at least read the article before responding...sheesh.

He says the team doesn't take many strikes, they encourage the minor league guys to swing away at anything in the zone. How did I misread the article?

Outside of Mauer and Metro-dome Span the Twins haven't had any any hitters that can patiently work the count and get themselves into a favorable count. I don't think that's by mistake when the GM of the team comes out and says they teach the kids in the minors to "swing away"

John Bonnes
07-12-2012, 10:20 AM
Great article. I started out frustrated by the generality and ended up loving hearing about the philosophies.

DPJ
07-12-2012, 10:21 AM
Recently that doesn't seem to be the case. How many of our "strike throwers" have had TJ surgery or just gone on the DL in general? Seems like a bunch. Have we just been unlucky or are other teams even more inflicted?

You can look at it as unlucky or you can look at it as a issue within the organization. When a few guys go down maybe it's ****ty luck. But like the Royals when your entire crop of good young pitchers elbows are exploding, that's something that needs to be investigated deeply.

For the Twins has been been unlucky what's happened, or more and more as we hear about the morons in the Twins medical staff does it mean there's a deeper issuse at hand.

Boom Boom
07-12-2012, 10:26 AM
I wish the interviewer had brought up the contradiction in hitting and pitching philosophies that Ryan mentioned.

He said the Twins like strike-throwers first... and they teach their hitters to get a strike and swing away. If walks were so dangerous to pitchers, why would you not teach your hitters to work the count?

And if getting a strike and hitting it is a good approach to hitting, why would you teach your pitchers to fall right into that trap?

Brock Beauchamp
07-12-2012, 10:42 AM
I wish the interviewer had brought up the contradiction in hitting and pitching philosophies that Ryan mentioned.

He said the Twins like strike-throwers first... and they teach their hitters to get a strike and swing away. If walks were so dangerous to pitchers, why would you not teach your hitters to work the count?

And if getting a strike and hitting it is a good approach to hitting, why would you teach your pitchers to fall right into that trap?

Because these guys are human. You can only teach so much. "Take a hack at a good pitch" is about all some of them will understand. It's not as if it's possible to turn every hitter into Joe Mauer with his pitch recognition and baseball smarts just by telling him to "take hacks at good pitches and hold off on bad ones". And it's not as if the Twins have been bad at taking walks, not like they were in the early 2000s. The past 5 years, they've been a very good OBP team.

And when you're teaching pitchers, you don't teach them to miss the plate. That has "bad idea" written all over it. You tell them to throw it over and as their stuff develops, you hope their stuff gains (or already has) movement. Once they can throw it over, hopefully they can start moving the ball around the plate.

In short: basics first, complicated stuff later.

Intramural Legend
07-12-2012, 10:55 AM
I wish the interviewer had brought up the contradiction in hitting and pitching philosophies that Ryan mentioned.

He said the Twins like strike-throwers first... and they teach their hitters to get a strike and swing away. If walks were so dangerous to pitchers, why would you not teach your hitters to work the count?

And if getting a strike and hitting it is a good approach to hitting, why would you teach your pitchers to fall right into that trap?

It seems to me he is saying don't take called strikes. If it is a good pitch, don't take it just to take it. This is what everyone complains Mauer is doing when he takes the first pitch fastball down the middle.

minn55441
07-12-2012, 10:57 AM
Thanks for the link Snepp. Lots of good info. Nice closing statement.

We’ve got pretty good people here and we’ve struggled, so now you start to look at it like, “OK, what are we doing wrong? What should we change?” We’ll make some changes as we go through this thing, but I don’t believe there are many shortcuts in getting to the point here of getting back to a winning club. You get good people, and you get decent players. You teach them and point them in the right direction, and you’ve probably got a pretty good chance to get it right. It’s fairly simple.

Terry is down to earth. It's pretty simple. If you do your job, you win games. If you lose games, something has failed along the way. His job is to find out where that failure is. The problem is that we won't see the impact of those changes at the major league level for some time. Drafting, player development all take time to see the results.

CDog
07-12-2012, 10:58 AM
The Twins used to force EVERYBODY to try to go opposite field, which was why there was animosity with former hitters like JJ Hardy ...

From Pioneer Press March 8:


But Hardy said Wednesday that he wasn't trying to disparage his former team. He, in fact, credited Twins hitting coach Joe Vavra with fixing the flawed swing he brought to Minnesota in 2010.
"If anything," Hardy said, "a lot of credit goes to Joe." (End quote)

There was a more in-depth series of quotes explaining and expanding on how Hardy thought Vavra helped resurrect his swing the following day in the Star Tribune, but it won't let me copy for some reason. Google "jj hardy vavra" and it will be one of the top two results. Not exactly "animosity" as I understand the word.

CDog
07-12-2012, 11:01 AM
It seems to me he is saying don't take called strikes. If it is a good pitch, don't take it just to take it. This is what everyone complains Mauer is doing when he takes the first pitch fastball down the middle.

Sigh. Here we go again.

Oxtung
07-12-2012, 11:05 AM
Working the count, preaching patience at the plate to young hitters...no just go hack at anything in the strike zone.

TWINS BASEBALL


He says the team doesn't take many strikes, they encourage the minor league guys to swing away at anything in the zone. How did I misread the article?

Outside of Mauer and Metro-dome Span the Twins haven't had any any hitters that can patiently work the count and get themselves into a favorable count. I don't think that's by mistake when the GM of the team comes out and says they teach the kids in the minors to "swing away"

Those seem to be contradictory statements. The first seems to contradict the statement made by TR about swinging at strikes. Perhaps I'm misunderstanding your first post. If so I apologize.

Boom Boom
07-12-2012, 11:09 AM
From Pioneer Press March 8:


But Hardy said Wednesday that he wasn't trying to disparage his former team. He, in fact, credited Twins hitting coach Joe Vavra with fixing the flawed swing he brought to Minnesota in 2010.
"If anything," Hardy said, "a lot of credit goes to Joe." (End quote)

There was a more in-depth series of quotes explaining and expanding on how Hardy thought Vavra helped resurrect his swing the following day in the Star Tribune, but it won't let me copy for some reason. Google "jj hardy vavra" and it will be one of the top two results. Not exactly "animosity" as I understand the word.

Hardy was backtracking from his previous comments. You can believe that he was taken out of context the first time, or that he changed his tune because he didn't want to make a public stink about how the Twins coached him like David Ortiz did.

SpiritofVodkaDave
07-12-2012, 11:11 AM
The Twins have the 5th most BB in baseball this year, and the 4th most in 2010. Its not exactly like they are "swinging away" at everything.

snepp
07-12-2012, 11:18 AM
The Twins currently have the 3rd lowest swing % in the league.

mike wants wins
07-12-2012, 11:21 AM
Strategy and execution are not the same thing.....

PseudoSABR
07-12-2012, 11:23 AM
I wish the interviewer had brought up the contradiction in hitting and pitching philosophies that Ryan mentioned.

He said the Twins like strike-throwers first... and they teach their hitters to get a strike and swing away. If walks were so dangerous to pitchers, why would you not teach your hitters to work the count?

And if getting a strike and hitting it is a good approach to hitting, why would you teach your pitchers to fall right into that trap?
You're not exactly working the count if you're letting strikes go by you. Both philosophies make sense, and of course, they are counters to one another.

Oxtung
07-12-2012, 11:24 AM
I found something Terry Ryan said interesting that I had not heard before and I was wondering if this was common knowledge and I am unaware or if any actual analysis had been done on this issue:

"...usually when you get strike-throwers, that means they’ve got pretty good mechanics and pretty good deliveries. That usually means they stay healthy."

Recently that doesn't seem to be the case. How many of our "strike throwers" have had TJ surgery or just gone on the DL in general? Seems like a bunch. Have we just been unlucky or are other teams even more inflicted?

I unnecessarily muddied my post by including that comment about the recent Twins history. I understand that throwing in general and pitching specifically is an unnatural movement that leads to stresses that arms were just not built for thus leading to a large number of injuries. My real point/question is do "strike throwers" with "pretty good mechanics" actually get hurt less often than "non-strike throwers" or than those with "bad mechanics"? Intuitively the mechanics makes sense. If your throwing motion puts more stress on your arm than is typical then logic says your more likely to injury yourself. However, intuition and "logic" are often times incorrect. For example there has been some recent statistical work done that shows that companies should actually base their promotions not on merit or hiring managers intuition but rather on pure chance. It has been shown that if you randomly promote workers your company will be better off with more appropriate and solid workers at every level. Now that is a pretty counter-intuitive idea. So, getting back to baseball, I'm wondering if there is any work actually corroborating the "better mechanics/strike thrower" with "less injuries" or if this is just a gut feeling. If this is just a gut feeling/intuition how pervasive is this idea? Do more teams than just the Twins believe this?

Boom Boom
07-12-2012, 11:28 AM
You're not exactly working the count if you're letting strikes go by you. Both philosophies make sense, and of course, they are counters to one another.

I get what you're saying, but it sounds counterintuitive to teach your pitchers that allowing walks is the worst thing you can do, and then from the other side of your mouth tell your hitters to swing aggressively.

If the hitters in the low minors don't have great strike zone command anyway, telling them to "get a pitch and swing" might result in young players swinging at more pitches than they really should be swinging at.

Paul
07-12-2012, 11:30 AM
Fantastic interview. Very bright, very ethical man. The Twins are lucky to have him.

As to the kerfuffle about not taking stikes...he was talking about the low MINOR leagues. Not the Major league. The goals are different. The goal in the Majors is to win games. The goal in the Minors is to get to the Majors. You want your kids learning how to drive a thrown strike, or at least go get it. They're taught zone recognition as well, but as a separate advanced skill.

Brock Beauchamp
07-12-2012, 11:32 AM
If the hitters in the low minors don't have great strike zone command anyway, telling them to "get a pitch and swing" might result in young players swinging at more pitches than they really should be swinging at.

Given how the Twins minor leaguers have done over the past decade, I think it's safe to say that the Twins are no longer breeding hackers at the plate. It's one thing to say "find your pitch and take it" and entirely something else to say "swing like a man".

Paul
07-12-2012, 11:34 AM
"It has been shown that if you randomly promote workers your company will be better off with more appropriate and solid workers at every level. Now that is a pretty counter-intuitive idea."

Sounds like a bizzare way to offset the Peter Principle.

CDog
07-12-2012, 11:35 AM
Hardy was backtracking from his previous comments. You can believe that he was taken out of context the first time, or that he changed his tune because he didn't want to make a public stink about how the Twins coached him like David Ortiz did.

Backtracking or clarifying? His original comments were essentially: In Minnesota, they emphasized going the other way. In Baltimore, they encouraged me to pull more.

The second round of comments were essentially: I needed that intermediate step to fix my swing. The Star Trib article that I couldn't copy and paste is a little more clear and emphatic on Hardy's part, and he even said he was quite sure he'd have had a much improved year in Minnesota in '11 compared to '10 (although he qualified that the ballpark itself may have dampened some results).

I still don't see how the second round of quotes undoes or backtracks anything from the first. They simply clarified and added context that he seemed to go out of his way to make sure got out there. And again...that seems quite far from animosity to me.

Top Gun
07-12-2012, 11:39 AM
Sounds like alot of bs to me.

chopper0080
07-12-2012, 12:08 PM
My biggest issue with the Twins hitting has been their approach. The Twins seem to develop hitters who aren't great at working counts to their favor and then making the most of their opportunities. Maybe this is because for a while now, the Twins have never stacked a lineup with solid hitters, top to bottom, like the Yankess. It always frustrates me when our players "miss" mistake pitches and foul them off or hit short fly balls. Even Mauer takes a ton of fastball strikes that I believe he could crush, but he is a good enough hitter to be effective with two strikes and not a lot of hitters are.

roger
07-12-2012, 12:10 PM
However, now that the Twins have drafted poorly for 5 + years they don't have the reinforcements to plug in with cost controlled deals.

I see comments like this all the time, yet is it true?

2007...Ben Revere taken in the first round is developing into an exciting outfielder and lead off hitter. Rams and Morales second and third haven't panned out. Not a great draft, but it did have a very good one in the first round.

2008...Gutierrez should be here by now and Hunt was a disaster. Hicks still has the potential to be special, but is coming along more slowly, somewhat like Hunter did. Hermsen was an excellent pick in the sixth round and Pugh and Tonkin both are intiguing lower round picks. A sub-par to average draft based on how Hicks develops.

2009...Gibson projects as a #2 starter who had his development delayed by TJ surgery. Bashore was lost because of injuries. Bullock was used to obtain Scott Diamond. Chris Herrmann remains a solid prospect with Brian Dozier, who is starting for the Twins, having the potential to be a starter for a long time. With Gibson, Diamond, Herrmann and Dozier, certainly above average while losing a first round pick to career ending injury. If Gibson reaches his potential, a very good draft with three starters including Diamond.

2010...Certainly to early to tell, however, having Wimmers go down with another injury hurts. But you can't project most injuries. Goodrum, Rosario, and JaDamion Williams were high school picks who we won't know the outcome for years, however, all could be special. Dean and Darnell were both college lefties who are moving up the ladder as expected for guys taken after the first round. Toss in several pitchers, Achter, Gallant and Hauser, and you have a class that could be average or very special should Rosario and Goodrum reach their potential with Wimmers getting healthy.

2011...Don't need to say anything more than Boyd and Harrison. Two young kids taken high who are doing very well in their first exposure to professional ball. Add Boer, Williams and Summers and you have three college pitchers who could all make it. Then there is Burris and Malinowski who are two more young kids doing very well out of the chute at ETon. When you take a lot of high school kids you won't know for five or more years what the draft was like. Certainly too early to say this was a poor draft, however.

Will any of these classes be above average? 2009, 2010 and 2011 all have a real chance of being very good. If not, they should be at least average? Have they drafted poorly in the last five years? I would have to disagree with that statement, although 2007 will likely only contribute Ben Revere.

Oxtung
07-12-2012, 12:21 PM
"It has been shown that if you randomly promote workers your company will be better off with more appropriate and solid workers at every level. Now that is a pretty counter-intuitive idea."

Sounds like a bizzare way to offset the Peter Principle.

That is exactly the driving force behind the idea. They just looked at it from a statistics angle.

DPJ
07-12-2012, 12:25 PM
I see comments like this all the time, yet is it true?

2007...Ben Revere taken in the first round is developing into an exciting outfielder and lead off hitter. Rams and Morales second and third haven't panned out. Not a great draft, but it did have a very good one in the first round.

2008...Gutierrez should be here by now and Hunt was a disaster. Hicks still has the potential to be special, but is coming along more slowly, somewhat like Hunter did. Hermsen was an excellent pick in the sixth round and Pugh and Tonkin both are intiguing lower round picks. A sub-par to average draft based on how Hicks develops.

2009...Gibson projects as a #2 starter who had his development delayed by TJ surgery. Bashore was lost because of injuries. Bullock was used to obtain Scott Diamond. Chris Herrmann remains a solid prospect with Brian Dozier, who is starting for the Twins, having the potential to be a starter for a long time. With Gibson, Diamond, Herrmann and Dozier, certainly above average while losing a first round pick to career ending injury. If Gibson reaches his potential, a very good draft with three starters including Diamond.

2010...Certainly to early to tell, however, having Wimmers go down with another injury hurts. But you can't project most injuries. Goodrum, Rosario, and JaDamion Williams were high school picks who we won't know the outcome for years, however, all could be special. Dean and Darnell were both college lefties who are moving up the ladder as expected for guys taken after the first round. Toss in several pitchers, Achter, Gallant and Hauser, and you have a class that could be average or very special should Rosario and Goodrum reach their potential with Wimmers getting healthy.

2011...Don't need to say anything more than Boyd and Harrison. Two young kids taken high who are doing very well in their first exposure to professional ball. Add Boer, Williams and Summers and you have three college pitchers who could all make it. Then there is Burris and Malinowski who are two more young kids doing very well out of the chute at ETon. When you take a lot of high school kids you won't know for five or more years what the draft was like. Certainly too early to say this was a poor draft, however.

Will any of these classes be above average? 2009, 2010 and 2011 all have a real chance of being very good. If not, they should be at least average? Have they drafted poorly in the last five years? I would have to disagree with that statement, although 2007 will likely only contribute Ben Revere.


Roger you just poured alot of syrup on **** and called it pancakes.

Brock Beauchamp
07-12-2012, 12:27 PM
My biggest issue with the Twins hitting has been their approach. The Twins seem to develop hitters who aren't great at working counts to their favor and then making the most of their opportunities.

Actually, as has been mentioned previously in this thread, the Twins have been quite good in recent years at working walks and not hacking away at bad pitches.

diehardtwinsfan
07-12-2012, 12:33 PM
Roger you just poured alot of syrup on **** and called it pancakes.

Seems to me that if you can get 2 or 3 major leaguers from a draft class, you did a decent job. Am I missing something? His assessment seems fairly accurate.

Brock Beauchamp
07-12-2012, 12:37 PM
Seems to me that if you can get 2 or 3 major leaguers from a draft class, you did a decent job. Am I missing something? His assessment seems fairly accurate.

If you can get two major league regulars from each draft, you're doing very well for yourself.

People like to polarize the Twins' drafts. It's not that simple. They haven't been world-beating drafts but they haven't been horrible, either. But as a mid-market team, they have to do better than that in drafting to stay competitive.

And frankly, anyone who complains about anything the Twins did in 2010 or later is just blowing smoke. It's waaaaaay too early to judge a draft as a whole until those guys spend over two years in the minor leagues.

DPJ
07-12-2012, 12:47 PM
Seems to me that if you can get 2 or 3 major leaguers from a draft class, you did a decent job. Am I missing something? His assessment seems fairly accurate.

2007- As much as I hate Revere and the overdraft, I'll give it a C-. Getting nothing else not to mention the low ceiling the one player who made it kills alot of it for me.

2008- Gutierrez and Hunt have bombed, I still love Hicks and hold out hope but the team bombed on two first rounds pick in Gut and Hunt. If Hermsen can turn that Blackburn-like K-rate into MLB success I'll be gd shocked.

2009 - Loved the Gibson pick but the bottom line is he's been hurt and hasn't done **** at the major league level. The Twins made a smart move for Diamond but I need a bit more before I proclaim him a MLB starter for years to come. Dozier hasn't done **** to prove he's a major league player so that's in wait in see mode.

2010- Hated the Wimmers pick at the time, hate it now and I'll hate him forever. First he's wild now he's hurt...not looking good.

I'm not even gonna comment on any draft newer then 2010. So at the moment we have 1 MLB player in Revere and 1 backend pitcher in Diamond and it's even early IMO to label them that.

Paul
07-12-2012, 01:01 PM
That is exactly the driving force behind the idea. They just looked at it from a statistics angle.

Hence the bone I have to pick with the local stat geeks. When stats are viewed in a vacuum of understanding you get wierd solutions like this. This exact thing prompted my "lace 'em up" crack a while back, that proved to be so unintentionally inflammatory.

Bojangles
07-12-2012, 01:40 PM
I'm not even gonna comment on any draft newer then 2010. So at the moment we have 1 MLB player in Revere and 1 backend pitcher in Diamond and it's even early IMO to label them that.
Dozier clearly a lost cause though. Glad you left him out.

twinswon1991
07-12-2012, 01:52 PM
Dozier clearly a lost cause though. Glad you left him out.


Utility players are a dime a dozen and I doubt he would make the big in his career in a strong organization. However I give the Twins some credit for developing a replacement level guy so they can avoid giving multi year deals to Carroll types in the future

drjim
07-12-2012, 04:02 PM
I loved this interview. I found it a little funny that people were pushing back on the accountability aspect. Does Terry Ryan strike anyone as the kind of person who would like discipline or firings of lower level staff? Or would he ever use someone as a public scapegoat? This interview affirmed to me just how no nonsense he is. I imagine he is the type of guy who treats everyone with respect but will light someone up if they aren't doing their job or are taking shortcuts or being lazy.

I also really appreciated his answer on statistical analysis. In my mind he pretty much nailed it.

diehardtwinsfan
07-12-2012, 04:09 PM
Utility players are a dime a dozen and I doubt he would make the big in his career in a strong organization. However I give the Twins some credit for developing a replacement level guy so they can avoid giving multi year deals to Carroll types in the future

Dozier's career minor league OPS is .795 and he put up a pretty nice season last year as well. His floor at this point (though very realistic) is a utility guy. But he could be a cheap starter that gets somewhere near an .800 OPS and plays average defense. That would be a very nice commodity on just about any team.

UCLA_YANKEE_COLA
07-12-2012, 04:33 PM
That's my bone to pick with those who "laced 'em up". They think the stat geeks only look at fangraphs and don't actually watch the games. Stats are part of the story. A more reliable part of the story than any "well, when I played" antecdote someone who laced them up can offer.

Also, what exactly is a vacuum of understanding? Is it a Kirk Van Houten lyric?

chopper0080
07-12-2012, 05:26 PM
Actually, as has been mentioned previously in this thread, the Twins have been quite good in recent years at working walks and not hacking away at bad pitches.

My issue is with their approach at the plate, not their plate discipline. My issue is that Twins players consistently struggle to work opposing pitchers into fastball situations, and when they do, they either miss it or take it to progress the count. I have never thought the Twins taught a free swinging approach, but I do feel they have failed to instill the desire and ability to crush mistake fastballs in hitter's counts.

drjim
07-12-2012, 05:46 PM
My issue is with their approach at the plate, not their plate discipline. My issue is that Twins players consistently struggle to work opposing pitchers into fastball situations, and when they do, they either miss it or take it to progress the count. I have never thought the Twins taught a free swinging approach, but I do feel they have failed to instill the desire and ability to crush mistake fastballs in hitter's counts.

What are you possibly basing these generalities upon? Most of this comes down to talent.

DPJ
07-12-2012, 07:35 PM
Dozier clearly a lost cause though. Glad you left him out.

I said I'm in wait and see mode with Dozier but he hasn't proven **** at the major league level yet.

Seth Stohs
07-12-2012, 08:38 PM
If an 8th Round pick becomes even a big league utility player, that was a successful draft pick. I don't understand what some above expect. As others have said, if you get 2 big league contributors per draft, you're doing well... I read comments saying that the Twins need to be better than everyone else. OK... Do they need to be 10% better? If so, that means that if they have 2.2 players per draft get to the big leagues. That would be one player every five drafts. I don't know how to measure "better."

Again, 8th round picks that get to the big leagues are huge successes. 12th round picks that get to AAA are huge successes! Successes can't be solely measured by big leaguers either.

Badsmerf
07-12-2012, 08:59 PM
If an 8th Round pick becomes even a big league utility player, that was a successful draft pick. I don't understand what some above expect. As others have said, if you get 2 big league contributors per draft, you're doing well... I read comments saying that the Twins need to be better than everyone else. OK... Do they need to be 10% better? If so, that means that if they have 2.2 players per draft get to the big leagues. That would be one player every five drafts. I don't know how to measure "better."

Again, 8th round picks that get to the big leagues are huge successes. 12th round picks that get to AAA are huge successes! Successes can't be solely measured by big leaguers either.
Who is getting 2 MLB contributors per draft? I wouldn't have an issue with the Twins drafts if they were doing this, but they aren't. Their first round picks have been ok (considering 1st round picks in the MLB), but other than that there hasn't been much. I like this last draft better than any since I've been following this team. There are a few picks that I questioned (not hated by any means), but overall it was a very good draft from my prospective. Helps they had a high pick...

USAFChief
07-12-2012, 09:06 PM
If an 8th Round pick becomes even a big league utility player, that was a successful draft pick. I don't understand what some above expect. As others have said, if you get 2 big league contributors per draft, you're doing well... I read comments saying that the Twins need to be better than everyone else. OK... Do they need to be 10% better? If so, that means that if they have 2.2 players per draft get to the big leagues. That would be one player every five drafts. I don't know how to measure "better."

Again, 8th round picks that get to the big leagues are huge successes. 12th round picks that get to AAA are huge successes! Successes can't be solely measured by big leaguers either.

"Becoming a big league utility player" isn't the goal, no matter where you draft someone. Becoming a good big league utility player is the goal. The fact that a player from a draft reaches the big leagues doesn't make that a successful draft pick.

Every team is going to have 25 players on the big league roster, every day. Some portion of that 25 man roster is going to come from your minor leagues, whether they deserve to be there, or help you win, or not. Every team is going to promote players from the minors to the big leagues, pretty much every year.

The trick isn't getting players to the big leagues. Every team does that. The trick is getting good players to the big leagues.

clutterheart
07-12-2012, 11:59 PM
No question the system is not the strongest in top shelf talent at the high levels. I don't think anyone disputes that. This is due to missing on guys Danny Rams and in general a very conservative philosophy on pitchers. But you cannot discount the fact that despite their overall system-wide weakness they have drafted guys who have made the majors and one or two of them like Revere could be good ones.

Further its to the organizations credit that they have adapted and altered their draft strategy. They have some VERY interesting young arms, they have gone after the non "pitch-to-contact" types and they are being aggressive in the international market.

Sure, they had some misses but give Ryan credit for recognizing the misses, owning up to them and coming up with a plan to fix them

As a fan, what else can you ask for?

Kobs
07-13-2012, 12:12 AM
As far as I can tell, and correct me if I'm wrong, the Twins have drafted and signed one player since Joe Mauer who is making more than $6,500,000 a year right now. The drafting has been bad for much longer than five years.

chopper0080
07-13-2012, 12:35 PM
What are you possibly basing these generalities upon? Most of this comes down to talent.


The facts are that hitting fastballs in fastball counts is one of the easier things to do as a major league hitter. The difficulty is putting pitchers in positions where have to throw a fastball which only happens if players have a solid approach at the plate. In the end, it comes down to recognizing the situation you are in and executing accordingly. Willingham is good at this which is why he drives in runs and hits home runs. Twins hitters IN GENERAL are not. They work counts and take pitches to get into these situations, and then seem surprised when they get the pitch they should be expecting. I agree this may come down to this team not having very good hitting talent, but this wasn't the case when our team was being called piranhas and we were competitive 5 or so years ago. Now, we are rolling over and hitting into double plays or hitting high pop fly outs.

old nurse
07-13-2012, 01:15 PM
If an 8th Round pick becomes even a big league utility player, that was a successful draft pick. I don't understand what some above expect. As others have said, if you get 2 big league contributors per draft, you're doing well... I read comments saying that the Twins need to be better than everyone else. OK... Do they need to be 10% better? If so, that means that if they have 2.2 players per draft get to the big leagues. That would be one player every five drafts. I don't know how to measure "better."

Again, 8th round picks that get to the big leagues are huge successes. 12th round picks that get to AAA are huge successes! Successes can't be solely measured by big leaguers either.

Of the 40 player that have played for the Twins so far this year there were 17 that a were drafted or signed by the Twins and 8 that were received in trade for prospects , somebody like what you drafted better than what they drafted. There are currently 9 players who have played in the majors that came up through the Twins . There were 5 minor leaguers the Twins traded for, come up with the Twins , and are still in the majors.
The Twins talent evaluators picked 38 players who played some time in the Twins minor leagues, and snatched a Santana, who put some time in this year in the majors. That would probably put them in the middle of the pack in terms of developing players. Do they need to be better? If the Twins do not continue to trade established players and prospects for prospects that work out to some degree they will have to get better at drafting.

Brock Beauchamp
07-13-2012, 01:51 PM
The facts are that hitting fastballs in fastball counts is one of the easier things to do as a major league hitter. The difficulty is putting pitchers in positions where have to throw a fastball which only happens if players have a solid approach at the plate. In the end, it comes down to recognizing the situation you are in and executing accordingly. Willingham is good at this which is why he drives in runs and hits home runs. Twins hitters IN GENERAL are not. They work counts and take pitches to get into these situations, and then seem surprised when they get the pitch they should be expecting. I agree this may come down to this team not having very good hitting talent, but this wasn't the case when our team was being called piranhas and we were competitive 5 or so years ago. Now, we are rolling over and hitting into double plays or hitting high pop fly outs.

The 2006 Twins were 3rd in MLB in GIDP and 4th in 2007. I stopped looking at that point.

The 2006 Twins batted .006 higher with RISP than they did overall. The 2012 Twins are batting .001 higher.

I could go on all day. Players and teams end up playing to their talent level with or without runners on base. By the end of a season, the stats tend to progress/regress to the mean.

The Twins offense is a mid-pack offense. They play like a mid-pack offense.

For all the love of those damned "piranhas" the best Twins offense of the past 20+ years was the 2010 team by a large margin.

birdwatcher
07-13-2012, 02:21 PM
DPJ,

You accused roger of pouring syrup on **** and calling it pancakes for making a solid argument that the last five drafts are better tha most of you think. Your retort? Pretty much pouring **** on ice cream and calling it a sundae. But there are two distinct questions, really. First, what is the comparative quality level of the system. And second, are the Twins any good at evaluating and drafting players? If you fail to acknowledge that there is an appreciable disadvantage to drafting in the second half, and often bottom third, in the draft order for a decade, then you might conclude that the Twins, with a system most pundits rank as barely in the top half of its peers, are crappy drafters. I think the pundits are right in ranking the system where they have, and that many of you think it's much worse. I think the system may instead be slightly better than most pundits because of the east coast effect and the top ten draftee effect. And I think the Twins are better than average as drafters.

twinswon1991
07-13-2012, 02:54 PM
You have to be careful calling a draftee successful just because they made the bigs. The Twins have been a terrible team for 2+ years now and it is doubtful that guys like Dozier, Blacky, Plouffe, Devries, Parmelee, Butera, and others would ve played an inning for a .500 team this year. Plouffe never gets that 2nd or 3rd chance to go off for a good team which is fortunate for both him and the Twins.

DPJ
07-13-2012, 03:05 PM
DPJ,

You accused roger of pouring syrup on **** and calling it pancakes for making a solid argument that the last five drafts are better tha most of you think. Your retort? Pretty much pouring **** on ice cream and calling it a sundae. But there are two distinct questions, really. First, what is the comparative quality level of the system. And second, are the Twins any good at evaluating and drafting players? If you fail to acknowledge that there is an appreciable disadvantage to drafting in the second half, and often bottom third, in the draft order for a decade, then you might conclude that the Twins, with a system most pundits rank as barely in the top half of its peers, are crappy drafters. I think the pundits are right in ranking the system where they have, and that many of you think it's much worse. I think the system may instead be slightly better than most pundits because of the east coast effect and the top ten draftee effect. And I think the Twins are better than average as drafters.

Two major league starters in Revere and Diamond (and it might be a little early to already call them that) in the last handful of years isn't good. That's not having a thinner pool of talent to work with cause they're drafting later in the first, it's called poor talent evaluation. The Twins have done a very poor job in the draft over the last couple seasons, some bad lucky with injures but that's part of the game.

If the Twins had done a better job of infusing this team with cheap young talent we wouldn't be seeing the 100 million dollar abomination we are today.

Badsmerf
07-13-2012, 04:25 PM
You have to be careful calling a draftee successful just because they made the bigs. The Twins have been a terrible team for 2+ years now and it is doubtful that guys like Dozier, Blacky, Plouffe, Devries, Parmelee, Butera, and others would ve played an inning for a .500 team this year. Plouffe never gets that 2nd or 3rd chance to go off for a good team which is fortunate for both him and the Twins.

Maybe not for a team like that, but definitely for someone else.

birdwatcher
07-13-2012, 05:36 PM
Nope, DJP, it IS because of having a thinner pool of talent to work with. And it IS because you refuse to give an ounce of credit to them for, among others, Plouffe and Dozier (both starters along with Revere and Diamond) , and any of the other dozen contributors from AAA so far this year. Or any OTHER starter "in the last handful of years", like Span or Burnett. The opposite is true: they are VERY GOOD talent evaluators and have done a VERY GOOD job in the draft over the past couple of years, although this has yet to be proven out for your view or mine.

DPJ
07-14-2012, 10:39 AM
Nope, DJP, it IS because of having a thinner pool of talent to work with. And it IS because you refuse to give an ounce of credit to them for, among others, Plouffe and Dozier (both starters along with Revere and Diamond) , and any of the other dozen contributors from AAA so far this year. Or any OTHER starter "in the last handful of years", like Span or Burnett. The opposite is true: they are VERY GOOD talent evaluators and have done a VERY GOOD job in the draft over the past couple of years, although this has yet to be proven out for your view or mine.

How do you reason getting 2 viable MLB starters (and once again I'll say it's maybe still early to call Revere and Diamond that) outta the last 6 years of drafts very good talent evaluation?

twinsarmchairgm
07-14-2012, 12:24 PM
How do you reason getting 2 viable MLB starters (and once again I'll say it's maybe still early to call Revere and Diamond that) outta the last 6 years of drafts very good talent evaluation?
You said in your own post that we cannot comment on anyone newer then 2010 so the 6 year sample you are looking at is 2004-2010 so you would have to add Garza, Plouffe, Perkins, Swarzak, Slowey, and Duensing to players who have been major league contributors over the last six years and it's still too early to write off Parmelee, Benson, Hicks, Wimmers, Gibson, and Michael to say they are bad drafters.

twinswon1991
07-14-2012, 03:44 PM
You said in your own post that we cannot comment on anyone newer then 2010 so the 6 year sample you are looking at is 2004-2010 so you would have to add Garza, Plouffe, Perkins, Swarzak, Slowey, and Duensing to players who have been major league contributors over the last six years and it's still too early to write off Parmelee, Benson, Hicks, Wimmers, Gibson, and Michael to say they are bad drafters.

Umm....I dare you to try to find a team with a worst draft record from 2004-2010. ZERO all-star players and zero players that can view viewed as foundation players going forward. Plouffe has been hot but is hardly a for sure bet. Perk appears to be a good RP but they are a dime a dozen. Garza is a good player but the Twins are such good talent evaluators (like you say) that they traded him for Delmit Young! The rest of the players you listed would be totally off the radar in any organization other than the depleted Twins organiation. Wow, they sure are great talent evaluators!

old nurse
07-14-2012, 07:36 PM
Umm....I dare you to try to find a team with a worst draft record from 2004-2010. ZERO all-star players and zero players that can view viewed as foundation players going forward. Plouffe has been hot but is hardly a for sure bet. Perk appears to be a good RP but they are a dime a dozen. Garza is a good player but the Twins are such good talent evaluators (like you say) that they traded him for Delmit Young! The rest of the players you listed would be totally off the radar in any organization other than the depleted Twins organiation. Wow, they sure are great talent evaluators!
Two different GM's in that time period. Smith made trades Ryan never would have. Ryan did a better job of finding other team's players to take part as the foundation.

Since you would want to be comparing Ryan's drafts and not Smith drafts to other teams you would have to look at 2004-2007 for teams that stunk at drafting. First team to look at, the Mets. Second the Cubs. The Oakland drafts in that time period were nothing to brag about.

DPJ
07-16-2012, 10:31 AM
Since you would want to be comparing Ryan's drafts and not Smith drafts to other teams you would have to look at 2004-2007 for teams that stunk at drafting. First team to look at, the Mets. Second the Cubs. The Oakland drafts in that time period were nothing to brag about.

Ryan and Smith's drafts are the same cause neither of them are drafting anyone.

It's all Johnson running that show.

chopper0080
07-16-2012, 10:53 AM
The 2006 Twins were 3rd in MLB in GIDP and 4th in 2007. I stopped looking at that point.

The 2006 Twins batted .006 higher with RISP than they did overall. The 2012 Twins are batting .001 higher.

I could go on all day. Players and teams end up playing to their talent level with or without runners on base. By the end of a season, the stats tend to progress/regress to the mean.

The Twins offense is a mid-pack offense. They play like a mid-pack offense.

For all the love of those damned "piranhas" the best Twins offense of the past 20+ years was the 2010 team by a large margin.

So, in the end, it is almost purely a talent issue then. Good to know.

We really need Morneau to bounce back next year. Looking at our lineup, him hitting again would make a world of difference. Hey, maybe a David Ortiz farewell tour could be in the works for Minnesota. (I doubt it, but it might be worth the 13 mil).

Paul
07-16-2012, 02:43 PM
That's my bone to pick with those who "laced 'em up". They think the stat geeks only look at fangraphs and don't actually watch the games. Stats are part of the story. A more reliable part of the story than any "well, when I played" antecdote someone who laced them up can offer.

Also, what exactly is a vacuum of understanding? Is it a Kirk Van Houten lyric?

First, let me say I'm not trying to insult or injure you or anyone.

"That's my bone to pick with those who "laced 'em up". They think the stat geeks only look at fangraphs and don't actually watch the games."

Apparently you're talking about me. If you are, you are wrong. I am certain you look at fangraphs AND watch the games. (I've only seen 5 or 6 games this year so I'm sure you are much better informed on the current state of the Twins than I am.)

"Stats are part of the story. A more reliable part of the story than any "well, when I played" antecdote someone who laced them up can offer."


I agree 100% with this statement. But the phrase "laced 'em up" is not referring to anecdotes. It's referring to empirical data. Something, I believe, most scientists weigh a little more heavily than some local baseball stat guys. Why is it so hard for some to understand that experience informs. There are thousands of finer points and subtleties in the simplest of endeavors. I understand that the baker, mechanic, roofer, carpenter, accountant, doctor, banker, lawyer and stat geek know more about baking, fixing cars, roofing, building houses, accounting, healing, banking, law and stats than I do. Why do some not understand this? Especially with something as complicated as baseball?

"Also, what exactly is a vacuum of understanding?"

I'm guessing this is a rhetorical question. If I'm wrong I'd recommend the "World Book" dictionary. (You might also want to look up the word "figurative".)

"Is it a Kirk Van Houten lyric?"

I'm guessing this is also a rhetorical question. I am unfamiliar with the reference. Let me know if you consider it pertinent to our discussion and I will research it.

Brock Beauchamp
07-16-2012, 03:06 PM
I agree 100% with this statement. But the phrase "laced 'em up" is not referring to anecdotes. It's referring to empirical data. Something, I believe, most scientists weigh a little more heavily than some local baseball stat guys. Why is it so hard for some to understand that experience informs. There are thousands of finer points and subtleties in the simplest of endeavors. I understand that the baker, mechanic, roofer, carpenter, accountant, doctor, banker, lawyer and stat geek know more about baking, fixing cars, roofing, building houses, accounting, healing, banking, law and stats than I do. Why do some not understand this? Especially with something as complicated as baseball?

If I was asking about a hitting stance, the proper grip on a two-seam fastball, or how to swing a bat, I'd absolutely ask a baseball "professional". It's what they do for a living and they certainly know more about it than I do.

On the other hand, the "laced 'em up" comment came during a somewhat abstract argument on the concept of "clutch hitting". That's not a tangible thing that can be taught or even observed and then declared as truth and most of people siding with "clutch hitting exists" rely completely on anecdotal data to confirm their bias. The same way I wouldn't ask a baker about the molecules and atomic structure of yeast, I wouldn't ask a baseball "professional" about conceptual theory in the sport. It's not "in their wheelhouse", for lack of a better term. I also wouldn't ask a home builder about architectural theory and the physics that go along with complex load-bearing structures. They probably wouldn't have much of a clue about how it works, despite the fact that they build houses every day. The same goes for the mechanic. He can certainly repair an engine but can he design one?

These professionals have limited scope in their experience. While they certainly know their trade very well, they should not necessarily be relied upon for the more abstract, peripheral aspects of their career choice. And that's why some of us took umbrage to the "laced 'em up" comment. The conversation itself wasn't even really about baseball; it was about how humans deal with pressure situations and whether it's humanly possible to "step up their game" in a tangible, scientifically observable manner.

Paul
07-16-2012, 04:09 PM
If I was asking about a hitting stance, the proper grip on a two-seam fastball, or how to swing a bat, I'd absolutely ask a baseball "professional". It's what they do for a living and they certainly know more about it than I do.

On the other hand, the "laced 'em up" comment came during a somewhat abstract argument on the concept of "clutch hitting". That's not a tangible thing that can be taught or even observed and then declared as truth and most of people siding with "clutch hitting exists" rely completely on anecdotal data to confirm their bias. The same way I wouldn't ask a baker about the molecules and atomic structure of yeast, I wouldn't ask a baseball "professional" about conceptual theory in the sport. It's not "in their wheelhouse", for lack of a better term. I also wouldn't ask a home builder about architectural theory and the physics that go along with complex load-bearing structures. They probably wouldn't have much of a clue about how it works, despite the fact that they build houses every day. The same goes for the mechanic. He can certainly repair an engine but can he design one?

These professionals have limited scope in their experience. While they certainly know their trade very well, they should not necessarily be relied upon for the more abstract, peripheral aspects of their career choice. And that's why some of us took umbrage to the "laced 'em up" concept. The conversation itself wasn't even really about baseball; it was about how humans deal with pressure situations and whether it's humanly possible to "step up their game" in a tangible, scientifically observable manner.

Thank you for your reply, and especially for the tone of your words.

First, let me save you the trouble of reviewing my comments and again clearly state my position on the clutch thing. As I recall we are basicly in agreement.

I believe what the observer sees as "stepping up" in high pressure situations is in reality not stepping up, but rather "not stepping back" with the competition. In other words, some people handle pressure better than others. Ask the carpenter if the boss has a guy he would call on to get the job done under an unreasonable deadline. Ask the baker if he's got a guy he can count on under any circumstances.

This is what you are asking the BB player. Do you see that some players are better in the clutch for some reason? Not about the molecules and atomic structure of a bat. Or the load bearing physics of leather from various locations on the cow or kangaroo. Or the magnus effect on the ball. Or asking him to design a new and better pitching machine. I'm guessing you'd be hard pressed to find any pros that would say no.

It's my postion that this is most definitely tangible and can be taught and observed. It's as tangible as happiness. As confidence. As certainty. As knowing. It comes from reps. Drilling. Experience. Learning to deal with the endocrinological issues of pressure. In fact, because baseball is a game of mistakes, it seems to me that that might just be the major focus.