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John Bonnes
02-27-2013, 07:46 PM
Tom Powers of the Pioneer Press has a feel-good story about 20-year-old Twins prospect Max Kepler.


When he was 16, the Twins offered him $800,000 to sign a professional contract. And now the young man projects as a middle-of-the-order slugger with a sweet swing that is the talk of the organization. Say hello to Maximilian Kepler-Rozycki -- that's Max Kepler to you.

What is a successful year for Kepler this year? Does he need to have a big year in Cedar Rapids? Is it a step backwards if he doesn't end the season in High-A?

Tom Powers: Minnesota Twins' German prospect considered wunderbar - TwinCities.com (http://www.twincities.com/sports/ci_22681504/tom-powers-minnesota-twins-german-prospect-considered-wunderbar)

mnfanforlife
02-27-2013, 07:58 PM
What is a successful year for Kepler this year? Does he need to have a big year in Cedar Rapids? Is it a step backwards if he doesn't end the season in High-A?


I opine that...
1) .280/.360/.450
2) He needs to produce the numbers above, and play steady defense. A big year is not necessary.
3) Apparently, no one gets out of a full year at low-A for this organization. So, no. It would be normal. (Yawn) Which is more reason he does not need to have a big year in CR. He will be playing in the FSL in 2014 (probably the whole year, unless our corner OF's get traded)

Crossing fingers he plays in AA during 2014

Badsmerf
02-28-2013, 07:38 AM
I'm excited to see his results this season. I think we will really get a picture of what we got with him. Its near impossible to throw out stat lines since the jump in levels is pretty significant. I'm hoping for a .900 OPS with 20 SB lol. That would be fun.

gunnarthor
02-28-2013, 09:30 AM
Mike Newman at fangraphs loves Kepler. Thinks he's a better prospect than Bubba Starling. God, I hope that's true. Sickels compared him to a young Morneau. (Sorry I can't find the link). Klaw said he thinks he'll be on his top 100 list next year (ditto).

I think he'll have a break out year and be on most top 100 lists next season. The things that hold prospects back the most (IMHO) is strike zone judgement and he seems to have great discipline.

Shane Wahl
02-28-2013, 09:43 AM
He needs a solid season at Cedar Rapids. I would love for him to get a taste of A+ baseball near the end of the season, but that is doubtful. With even a .800 OPS he will be jumpiing up on prospect lists.

mnfanforlife
02-28-2013, 10:39 AM
He needs a solid season at Cedar Rapids. I would love for him to get a taste of A+ baseball near the end of the season, but that is doubtful. With even a .800 OPS he will be jumpiing up on prospect lists.

Yeah, nobody gets out of a full-year at low-A, right?

diehardtwinsfan
02-28-2013, 11:10 AM
Yeah, nobody gets out of a full-year at low-A, right?

See Arcia, Oswaldo.

zenser
02-28-2013, 11:10 AM
I had a chance to ask Paul Molitor what he thought about Kepler and he said he wasn't as high on him as a lot of other people in the organization are high on him. He said he is pretty soft yet and needs to toughen up. He thought he might only become a 15-20 homer guy but with a lot of doubles. He also said that could change because he is still a kid.

mnfanforlife
02-28-2013, 11:14 AM
See Arcia, Oswaldo.

There are exceptions to every trend! Thank you, I have hope for Max

FrodaddyG
02-28-2013, 10:26 PM
See Arcia, Oswaldo.
It also took an Arcia injury rehab stint in Ft. Myers with the Twins basically saying "screw it, let him stay there now that he's healthy" to get him there.

Seth Stohs
03-01-2013, 09:55 PM
I think what Arcia did in his month in Beloit made it pretty clear he could move up. But the trend is correct, very few young players move past the Midwest League. So of course it would not be taking a step back to not get up to Hi-A.

One thing that will be interesting will be to see if the Twins protect him following the season. He, Sano and Polanco were the high profile international signings that year. Sano is a given, but will Kepler do enough to force the Twins to protect him, and/or would another team really take him at this stage of his career.

I ranked Kepler #10, but I'm not the highest on him either. I've seen/heard a lot of what Molitor is talking about. That said, he has the tools and the athleticism, the genes and potentially the skills. I dont' expect an .800 OPS in Cedar Rapids in 2013, but probably close. Not a lot of homers, maybe 10. His double count will be what I will be watching. He's got talent, but I think we'll need to temper expectations. He is not in the Arcia, Rosario, Sano class of hitting prospect by any means. Maybe he will get there in 2014.

diehardtwinsfan
03-02-2013, 07:51 AM
I missed something, but after 2013 will it have been 5 years that they need to be protected?

kab21
03-02-2013, 09:40 AM
I think what Arcia did in his month in Beloit made it pretty clear he could move up. But the trend is correct, very few young players move past the Midwest League. So of course it would not be taking a step back to not get up to Hi-A.


Isn't the whole 'Twins don't promote young players' schtick getting old? The Twins have had very few young players that have actually deserved midseason promotions in the last decade. I've asked before but nobody has come up with a good list of players that were undeservedly held back in the low minors.

It will be interesting to see how many HR's Kepler can hit. Early scouting reports had him to getting a lot of loft on the ball and projected him as a GB/LD hitter. I kind of compared him as a lesser Joe Mauer except that he'll player in a corner OF spot.

Seth Stohs
03-02-2013, 10:27 AM
Isn't the whole 'Twins don't promote young players' schtick getting old? The Twins have had very few young players that have actually deserved midseason promotions in the last decade. I've asked before but nobody has come up with a good list of players that were undeservedly held back in the low minors.

It will be interesting to see how many HR's Kepler can hit. Early scouting reports had him to getting a lot of loft on the ball and projected him as a GB/LD hitter. I kind of compared him as a lesser Joe Mauer except that he'll player in a corner OF spot.

The only one I can think of is Slama. He could have moved up much quicker. Other than that, I don't remember any in the last decade. An argument could be made for Nate Roberts, but his numbers at Beloit in half seasons weren't completely overwhelming.

TwinsFanInPhilly
03-02-2013, 10:34 AM
With Kepler's background it makes too much sense to go slowly with him. The point is to maximize the development of young players, not to have a race to the majors.

mnfanforlife
03-02-2013, 10:46 AM
Isn't the whole 'Twins don't promote young players' schtick getting old? The Twins have had very few young players that have actually deserved midseason promotions in the last decade. I've asked before but nobody has come up with a good list of players that were undeservedly held back in the low minors.

It will be interesting to see how many HR's Kepler can hit. Early scouting reports had him to getting a lot of loft on the ball and projected him as a GB/LD hitter. I kind of compared him as a lesser Joe Mauer except that he'll player in a corner OF spot.

I could not agree with the "lesser-mauer" comp more....Kepler could hit more bombs than Joe, maybe. The only reason they would not add him to the 40-man, is if he is traded or flops face first in low-A, in my opinion

kab21
03-04-2013, 09:23 AM
The only one I can think of is Slama. He could have moved up much quicker. Other than that, I don't remember any in the last decade. An argument could be made for Nate Roberts, but his numbers at Beloit in half seasons weren't completely overwhelming.

The whole thing with Slama is confusing but he was already old. He doesn't exactly strengthen the 'if Trout was a Twin he would still be in High A' argument.

Steve Lein
03-06-2013, 06:17 PM
I love Kepler as a prospect. He is the guy I'm looking forward to watching again the most next week while I'm down at Spring Training.

Halsey Hall
03-06-2013, 09:06 PM
Max Kepler is a great young fellow. It looks like he's quit growing and is maturing. He's got a nice swing, and is learning the k zone. He's good defensively. I can see him at CR for the entire year, and think he'll just keep improving. I see no sense in hurrying him along. He'll get there.

tellis205
03-19-2013, 08:27 PM
I just spent the past week watching all the prospects down in Ft. Myers. The one who impressed me the most was Mr. Kepler. I remember him from 4 years ago when he arrived as a tall skinny kid who I laughed at when he made some futile attempts at bunting a baseball down there. However, even back then, he had some impressive raw power. When I saw him this year he was all filled out and raking. During the first game that I saw him play, he hit a ball up the middle about a foot to the left of the pitcher. I kid you not, if that ball was straight on at the pitcher there is no chance in hades that he would have been able to react. The kid would have been in a world of hurt. It appears to me that the outfield in Cedar Rapids will be Kepler, Buxton, Walker. I was also impressed by his speed and now he bunts real well. However I don't think you'll see him bunt much. Very interested to see how he fares this year.

stringer bell
03-19-2013, 08:37 PM
I saw Kepler in FtM and liked his swing. The ball sounds different when he hits it compared to most of the others (except Sano) and he is both good-sized and athletic. It looks like he has good speed. I hope to make it to Cedar Rapids at least once this summer as there are a lot of good prospects there.

Halsey Hall
03-20-2013, 05:52 PM
Max went on the DL yesterday, but nothng to worry about, just a sore arm. He said he'd be fine in a few days. If you want to see him in CR go early, as he's expected to jump up according to TR.

Mr. Brooks
03-20-2013, 05:58 PM
Max went on the DL yesterday, but nothng to worry about, just a sore arm. He said he'd be fine in a few days. If you want to see him in CR go early, as he's expected to jump up according to TR.

Maybe its a procedural thing that I dont understand, but if he's going to be fine in a few days, why DL him?

kab21
03-20-2013, 09:47 PM
Max went on the DL yesterday, but nothng to worry about, just a sore arm. He said he'd be fine in a few days. If you want to see him in CR go early, as he's expected to jump up according to TR.

Is there a source for this? Or is this a 'I heard from a guy that heard from a guy' comment?

Jim Crikket
03-21-2013, 09:02 AM
While it would run a bit against the Twins' MO to promote a guy like Kepler mid year, it really wouldn't surprise me. Everyone seems to expect Kepler, Buxton and Walker to man the Kernels OF all season, but they aren't the only outfielders the Twins are going to want to see get Class A experience this season. Romy Jimenez could (and probably should) start the season in CR, too. I could see the Twins wanting to have guys like Jeremias Pineda or even Dereck Rodriguez see Class A before the end of the year, as well. To do any of that, there will have to be some promotions to Fort Myers and if the Twins do need to make a 40-man roster decision about Kepler after the season, I could see them wanting to get a look at him against higher level pitching before that decision has to be made.

Halsey Hall
03-21-2013, 02:28 PM
I stated my source, TR. As far as putting him on the dl, I don't know why they do that if it's only going to be a few days.

Buxton made a nice throw from center today, on the fly to get the runner at home plate. Runner was tagging from 3rd on a fly.

diehardtwinsfan
03-21-2013, 03:01 PM
I stated my source, TR. As far as putting him on the dl, I don't know why they do that if it's only going to be a few days.

Buxton made a nice throw from center today, on the fly to get the runner at home plate. Runner was tagging from 3rd on a fly.

Could you link it? This is very much unlike TR.

Halsey Hall
03-21-2013, 03:22 PM
Link it? He told me. Max would move up this year to Ft Myers. TR tells me alot, and has thru the years.

lightfoot789
03-21-2013, 04:11 PM
Since you were at the minor league games today:
I heard that several MLB Twins played in minor league games today. Were there any bombs hit today? How were their performances in these games and did any minor leaguer stand out?

Halsey Hall
03-21-2013, 05:20 PM
Fein and Burton pitched well. I didn't watch Burnett throw. Plouffe and Morneau were on one field and Doumit and Willingham on another. I didn't see any of them get hits, but easily could have missed something. Did see Buxton throw out a runner at home. Other than that, nothing really stood out. I left about the 6th innings or so.

Mr. Brooks
03-21-2013, 07:49 PM
Link it? He told me. Max would move up this year to Ft Myers. TR tells me alot, and has thru the years.

Interesting that performance doesnt matter. They have already predetermined that he is moving up?
(I'm not doubting your source, I'm new here, don't know who you are, just honestly find that interesting. I'd be curious to know if that is unique to the Twins or if other organizations do that as well.)

TRex
03-21-2013, 08:12 PM
What part of 'expected to move up' comes across to you as pre-determined? I would imagine that they expect success for most of their top prospects.

tellis205
03-22-2013, 07:18 PM
I was down there all of last week and I saw Mr. Ryan quite a bit standing between the fields during games. He greeted and spoke with quite a few fans down there. I did not talk to him personally but I did talk to someone who did. He repeated a few impressions that Mr. Ryan gave in regards to a couple players. Nothing earth shattering or anything. I didn't bring it up because I didn't talk to him personally. So when someone says they talked to him personally down at Spring Training, I don't doubt that one bit.

kab21
03-22-2013, 09:06 PM
Link it? He told me. Max would move up this year to Ft Myers. TR tells me alot, and has thru the years.

I'm not sure why you are a little angry about anyone questioning the validity of a TR quote. The internet is full of misinformation from unverified sources. In November we had an 'inside' source telling us that Baker was imminently signing a contract. They were just working out the details. there are a 1000 more examples like this.

I like to see sources in print from reliable writers. I don't know you and you could be basically anyone. The other problem is that the specific quote could be changed. The words could/might can easily be rewritten as expected especially if expected was used elsewhere in the conversation. My guess is the quote was more like 'We really like Max. We expect him to have a very good season and he could move up to Ft Myers this year.'

I can see one reason for pushing Max up to Ft Myers. I think Ft Myers has been his home since he signed at age 16. I think he moved there with at least one parent and finished HS while going to the Twins training complex.

mnfanforlife
03-22-2013, 11:14 PM
Link it? He told me. Max would move up this year to Ft Myers. TR tells me alot, and has thru the years.

Haha! Hey no link required, buddy.

mudcat14
03-24-2013, 07:53 PM
I would guess as was posted earlier, that the OF in CR could be pretty crowded this summer and they may look to push someone up a level to open up playing time. TR probably feels that Maxie is the most capable candidate. In addition, since he signed four years ago, it might behoove them to step-up his timetable a bit.