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View Full Version : Article: It's All Good in the Outfield



Nick Nelson
08-08-2012, 12:09 AM
You can view the page at http://www.twinsdaily.com/content.php?895-It-s-All-Good-in-the-Outfield

Twins best friend
08-08-2012, 01:09 AM
I'm not sure if I ever would have classified Span as an "elite" top of the order bat but i would definitely call him an above-average offensive and defensive player. The solid production from Revere and the strong seasons Hicks and Arcia are having in AA really have me feeling optimistic about the Twins future. I'm excited everyday to see what those two produce. Any chance either would be a candidate for a September call-up? I realize that the Rock Cats are in the playoff race and that Arcia started the year in Ft. Myers but should the get a debut in another lost year for the Twins?

CK
08-08-2012, 06:53 AM
How close are the Rock Cats to securing a playoff bid? I'd like to see Hicks get as much time as possible and play in AA post-season. And maybe avoid what happened to Benson last year (overmatched). Thoughts?

Twins Fan From Afar
08-08-2012, 07:19 AM
The Rock Cats are in second place in their division in have a 1.5 game lead over the third place team (the top two teams in each division go to the playoffs).

Brock Beauchamp
08-08-2012, 07:32 AM
I'm not sure if I ever would have classified Span as an "elite" top of the order bat but i would definitely call him an above-average offensive and defensive player.

Span had two pretty elite seasons. Any time your leadoff guy is getting on base 39% of the time, posts an OPS+ over 120, and plays above average up-the-middle defense, that's pretty elite. You can argue that his 2009 campaign wasn't elite due to his defensive slide but his 2008 was definitely elite, as he posted over a 4 WAR in 400 ABs.

It's unfortunate that it doesn't look like he'll ever be that player again.

DPJ
08-08-2012, 07:42 AM
Span had two pretty elite seasons. Any time your leadoff guy is getting on base 39% of the time, posts an OPS+ over 120, and plays above average up-the-middle defense, that's pretty elite. You can argue that his 2009 campaign wasn't elite due to his defensive slide but his 2008 was definitely elite, as he posted over a 4 WAR in 400 ABs.

It's unfortunate that it doesn't look like he'll ever be that player again.

Metrodome Span was elite...TF Span is just pretty good.

TheLeviathan
08-08-2012, 08:08 AM
Metrodome Span was elite...TF Span is just pretty good.

Road Span looks like Rich Becker.

Brock Beauchamp
08-08-2012, 08:27 AM
Metrodome Span was elite...TF Span is just pretty good.

Yep. Even though he's posting stupid home/road splits, I think TF has hurt him more than most.

stringer bell
08-08-2012, 08:50 AM
Target Field Span is an All-Star. Road Span is Rich Becker. How can you say that Target Field has hurt Span when he has hit great there all three years? Span's home/road split in OPS since 2010: .761 H .602 R in 2010 .728 H .660 R in 2011 and .937 H and .545 R this year.

DPJ
08-08-2012, 08:50 AM
Yep. Even though he's posting stupid home/road splits, I think TF has hurt him more than most.

Metrodome OPS .863
Target Field OPS .688

I don't know if it was the turf or whatever, but Metrodome Span was a 4 win player.

I'd love to see that return.

Brock Beauchamp
08-08-2012, 08:54 AM
Target Field Span is an All-Star. Road Span is Rich Becker. How can you say that Target Field has hurt Span when he has hit great there all three years? Span's home/road split in OPS since 2010: .761 H .602 R in 2010 .728 H .660 R in 2011 and .937 H and .545 R this year.

I think he's had to change his play to accomodate TF. He was on track to become a 10-12 homer player in the dome and that number was crushed with the move to TF. I think that change of style has been a cause of his pretty bad road splits. There's nothing about Target Field that makes Span a better offensive player while there's a lot to dislike about the park as a lefty.

Jim Crikket
08-08-2012, 09:42 AM
For me, the exciting thing about the current (and future) outfield is the ground they can cover. With pitchers that don't miss a lot of bats and generous power alleys at TF, that's critical. I never understood the rationale for trading Hardy before 2011 being a supposed desire to improve team speed on offense to take advantage of the expansive outfield at TF, while at the same time doing nothing about the lack of any speed at all in either corner OF position defensively.

Having Span and Revere both in the line up has certainly helped the team offensively, but having them both in the OF has been just as critical to the Twins improvement since mid May. If a Benson or Hicks becomes MLB-ready, that's great. But if not, I'm sorry, but I just can't get excited about a Willingham-Revere-Parmelee outfield defensively.

minn55441
08-08-2012, 09:49 AM
Like the element of speed in our lineup that we haven't had in years past. Punto and the piranha's are nothing compared to what Revere and Masty have done on the bases. Every time they get on base, you know something is going to happen. They put pressure on the opposing defense. I really like our blend of speed and power. It is mainly brought by our 3 outfield positions.

Shane Wahl
08-08-2012, 09:57 AM
For me, the exciting thing about the current (and future) outfield is the ground they can cover. With pitchers that don't miss a lot of bats and generous power alleys at TF, that's critical. I never understood the rationale for trading Hardy before 2011 being a supposed desire to improve team speed on offense to take advantage of the expansive outfield at TF, while at the same time doing nothing about the lack of any speed at all in either corner OF position defensively.

Having Span and Revere both in the line up has certainly helped the team offensively, but having them both in the OF has been just as critical to the Twins improvement since mid May. If a Benson or Hicks becomes MLB-ready, that's great. But if not, I'm sorry, but I just can't get excited about a Willingham-Revere-Parmelee outfield defensively.

Exactly. I want nothing to do with Parmelee in the OF. Please no.

Steve Penz
08-08-2012, 10:34 AM
Having Span and Revere both in the line up has certainly helped the team offensively, but having them both in the OF has been just as critical to the Twins improvement since mid May. If a Benson or Hicks becomes MLB-ready, that's great. But if not, I'm sorry, but I just can't get excited about a Willingham-Revere-Parmelee outfield defensively.

Agreed. Willingham will only get slower next year. I think it would be very exciting if, in 2014, the OF line up included 2 or 3 of the outfielders from New Britain's current lineup. I look forward to Parmalee being a regular bat in the lineup but surely there is very good reason why he has not played more outfield in his career.

Siehbiscuit
08-08-2012, 02:06 PM
Hopeful 2014 lineup (with Gardy out there may be some platooning):

C- Joe Mauer/Ryan Doumit
1B - Chris Parmalee/Mauer
2B - Eddie Rosario
SS - Who knows??? Niko Goodrum/Brian Dozier/Levi Michael/FA
3B - Trevor Plouffe
RF - Aaron Hicks
CF - Ben Revere
LF - Oswaldo Arcia/Joe Benson/Willingham
DH -Josh Willingham/Doumit

Seems promising in most areas. Plus, Sano should be on his way shortly after 2014 begins and maybe Buxton early 2015. Span and Morneau are moved for in the 2014 and 2013 offseasons for pitching....

...and then I woke up and Gardy is still here and the Twins re-sign Blackburn to a two year extension.

John Bonnes
08-08-2012, 02:33 PM
I think we should note that Willingham, according to UZR, has cost the Twins less than four runs compared to the average left fielder. He's about average per that metric.

I think our perception of him as worse than that is because he's bad at something it doesn't measure - picking up balls on the ground. But he's not bad at getting to balls in the air, which is probably a more valuable skill. That costs outs AND bases, whereas not picking up a ball cleanly just costs bases.

DPJ
08-08-2012, 02:35 PM
I think we should note that Willingham, according to UZR, has cost the Twins less than four runs compared to the average left fielder. He's about average per that metric.

I hate UZR and most defensive metrics.

When it doubt go to the eye test and my eye says Willingham is a brutal defender...but as long as he hits you can live with it.

Oxtung
08-08-2012, 03:05 PM
I don't think anybody sees Parmelee as a long term solution at OF. It is more a solution to many short term problems the Twins have currently.

1) Pitching- In order to acquire more pitching the Twins need to trade somebody. OF is a position of depth currently in the organization making players here logical trade bait.

2) IF Span/Willingham get traded this offseason there will be a spot open in the OF until Hicks/Arcia/Benson are ready to fill it. The Twins aren't going to count on Hicks/Arcia/Benson being ready to fill that hole to start 2013. They might get looks in spring training but the Twins will need to have a plan in place incase none are ready to handle that position.

3) Parmelee will be 25 before next season and has absolutely destroyed AAA. He seemingly has nothing left to learn at AAA AND he is a potential impact bat for the lineup. His natural position of 1B likely won't be open until the trade deadline 2013 (or Morneau gets re-signed in which case Parmelee is trade bait) so he needs to find another spot to make this team.

You put those 3 together and Parmelee in RF for half a year makes sense.

y2jjj54
08-08-2012, 03:51 PM
I don't really understand why people are in such a hurry to get a spot open for Chris Parmelee. At best I see him being a Lyle Overbay type player. Which to me is a below average first baseman. I would rather extend Morneau for a reasonable deal.

Jim Crikket
08-08-2012, 04:15 PM
I think we should note that Willingham, according to UZR, has cost the Twins less than four runs compared to the average left fielder. He's about average per that metric.

I think our perception of him as worse than that is because he's bad at something it doesn't measure - picking up balls on the ground. But he's not bad at getting to balls in the air, which is probably a more valuable skill. That costs outs AND bases, whereas not picking up a ball cleanly just costs bases.

I think there's some truth to this, John, but being even just a little below average (and certainly unlikely to get BETTER as he ages) in a roomy outfield like TF has can be problematic when combined with a pitching staff that doesn't miss bats. My point was that I don't want TWO OFs like that in the corners.

I don't think Willingham is brutal (thanks to Delmon Young, I may never think another Twins OF ever meets that definition again). I certainly believe Willingham's bat (as long as it remains close to current productivity) is worth having his glove in one OF corner. I simply am not anxious to start seeing what seems like every ball hit in the general vacinity of an OF gap go for extra bases like last season (and this season, prior to Revere and Span consistently making up 2/3 of the OF).

jimbo92107
08-12-2012, 09:41 AM
Target Field Span is an All-Star. Road Span is Rich Becker. How can you say that Target Field has hurt Span when he has hit great there all three years? Span's home/road split in OPS since 2010: .761 H .602 R in 2010 .728 H .660 R in 2011 and .937 H and .545 R this year.

I think he's had to change his play to accomodate TF. He was on track to become a 10-12 homer player in the dome and that number was crushed with the move to TF. I think that change of style has been a cause of his pretty bad road splits. There's nothing about Target Field that makes Span a better offensive player while there's a lot to dislike about the park as a lefty.

Span used to get lots of infield hits on high-bouncing balls he'd pound into the Dome turf. Subtract all those hits at Target Field, and his average goes down below .300.

jimbo92107
08-12-2012, 09:49 AM
Ben Revere's throw from CF in Saturday's game was a revelation. That was at least mlb average velocity, and he put that ball right on the money. Granted, he had his weight moving into the throw, but that's part of how you're supposed to do it. I was also impressed by how he cranked his scapula, finishing his throw with his left elbow pointing directly away from the target.

Much better form, Mr. Revere. Now if somebody will teach him to throw a fast cartwheel and a shoulder roll, he can start really getting his legs into it. There's no reason an athlete with his body can't uncork a 90mph throw, or better.