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amjgt
08-22-2013, 12:32 AM
BA - .395
OBP - .495
SLG - .616
OPS - 1.111
SB - 16
wRC+ - 226

:shoot:

wagwan
08-22-2013, 02:21 AM
amazing AA next year and Twins roster in sept

jokin
08-22-2013, 02:40 AM
BA - .395
OBP - .495
SLG - .616
OPS - 1.111
SB - 16
wRC+ - 226

:shoot:

Thanks for the update. More evidence demonstrating that Buck's silencing remaining doubters, he's clearly made his adjustments to High A ball, overcome a nagging injury.... and is now ready to climb the next baseball mountain. I hope the Twins are wise enough to assign him to his next mountain and tab him for AFL play. No secret that a lot of us are all-in on the kid, but anyone with a Buxton mancrush has plenty of justification on his side. This kid is driven to fully use his God-given talents, staying focused on the big picture, no ego-confusion like some of the other Twins rising stars are still coping with..... and he has the special knack that all big-timers have to frequently rise to the occasion when most needed. I expect we'll see another quantum jump in his development next spring, inevitably forcing the issue on the Twins by summer, 2014.

The club has never seen anything like him athletically. Ben Revere, he of deadly smile and pop-gun arm and bat, was famous for the BEST feature of his game, blazing speed, as he had 44 SBs at age 20 in a full year of low-A ball....and 45 SBs at age 21 in a full year of high-A ball. Buxton has 52 SB on the year so far at age 19, combined (2 steals of 3rd last night)- with at least 13 games remaining on Ft Myers' schedule. And he doesn't even know all the proper techniques on HOW to steal bases yet- it's the WORST feature of his game, the only area of his game that he receives a low grade from evaluators.

josecordoba
08-22-2013, 06:01 AM
I'm not sure if I agree with this position, but Marc Hulet mentioned last week that he would not send Buxton to the AFL. Hulet's point was to let Buxton's season end on a high note. Buxton will be making a big step up next spring to NB. Hulet thought that Buxton would be better spent resting and working out to get ready for this move.

cmathewson
08-22-2013, 06:04 AM
Thanks for the update. More evidence demonstrating that Buck's silencing remaining doubters, he's clearly made his adjustments to High A ball, overcome a nagging injury.... and is now ready to climb the next baseball mountain. I hope the Twins are wise enough to assign him to his next mountain and tab him for AFL play. No secret that a lot of us are all-in on the kid, but anyone with a Buxton mancrush has plenty of justification on his side. This kid is driven to fully use his God-given talents, staying focused on the big picture, no ego-confusion like some of the other Twins rising stars are still coping with..... and he has the special knack that all big-timers have to frequently rise to the occasion when most needed. I expect we'll see another quantum jump in his development next spring, inevitably forcing the issue on the Twins by summer, 2014.

The club has never seen anything like him athletically. Ben Revere, he of deadly smile and pop-gun arm and bat, was famous for the BEST feature of his game, blazing speed, as he had 44 SBs at age 20 in a full year of low-A ball....and 45 SBs at age 21 in a full year of high-A ball. Buxton has 52 SB on the year so far at age 19, combined (2 steals of 3rd last night)- with at least 13 games remaining on Ft Myers' schedule. And he doesn't even know all the proper techniques on HOW to steal bases yet- it's the WORST feature of his game, the only area of his game that he receives a low grade from evaluators.

All this is supremely impressive. One stat that stands out is the triples--16(!). That's Guzman speed.

TRex
08-22-2013, 07:13 AM
Perhaps this is as good a place as any to have this discussion... as noted by jokin above, Buxton stole 3rd base twice last night.

I am a little conflicted overall about steals of 3rd base. While stealing 3rd base is supposed to be easier than second, the overall risk is higher because getting a runner in from 2nd is much easier than from first. However, some players (e.g. Billy Hamilton and Ricky Henderson before that) are really able to ?padded? their SB numbers with steals of third. There is also a significant risk associated with stealing any base (e.g. jammed fingers) and my biggest concern for Buxton's development is health, so I had been watching Buxton's stats for a long while and this is the first time I can recall him stealing 3rd. Does this seem correct to others... can you recall anything from his time at CR SDBuhr?

Badsmerf
08-22-2013, 07:34 AM
Having 52 SB he has almost certainly stole 3rd more than twice.

I'm on board with letting the kid rest (along with Sano). The baseball season is long, and this is his first full season. I'm sure by the end of it he will be tired. Offseasons are huge IMO. That is where he can make gains in the weight room and heal nagging injuries, some of which might take months.

It all depends on the player though. I have confidence that Buxton would make good choices over the winter to improve as a player. If management doesn't share that opinion it might be better to throw someone in a league to keep them occupied and out of trouble.

cmathewson
08-22-2013, 07:36 AM
Perhaps this is as good a place as any to have this discussion... as noted by jokin above, Buxton stole 3rd base twice last night.

I am a little conflicted overall about steals of 3rd base. While stealing 3rd base is supposed to be easier than second, the overall risk is higher because getting a runner in from 2nd is much easier than from first. However, some players (e.g. Billy Hamilton and Ricky Henderson before that) are really able to ?padded? their SB numbers with steals of third. There is also a significant risk associated with stealing any base (e.g. jammed fingers) and my biggest concern for Buxton's development is health, so I had been watching Buxton's stats for a long while and this is the first time I can recall him stealing 3rd. Does this seem correct to others... can you recall anything from his time at CR SDBuhr?

It's situational. If he's on second with less than 2 outs, stealing third is a good option. Otherwise, not. One reason he hasn't stolen third much is he has almost as many triples as doubles. Why steal third when you can take it on hits that would otherwise be doubles?

Shane Wahl
08-22-2013, 08:56 AM
I wouldn't send him to the AFL. That place is often for some players who we might have legitimate doubts about at least one aspect of their game. Not the case for Buxton. He starts at AA next year and that is fine with me.

mike wants wins
08-22-2013, 09:03 AM
I also would not AFL him.....give him some time off....send him to AA next year....keep him going.

amjgt
08-22-2013, 09:08 AM
I forgot to mention, in those 22 games, he has gotten on base at least twice in 18 of them

MichiganTwins
08-22-2013, 09:19 AM
Beast.

Jeremy Nygaard
08-22-2013, 10:08 AM
In my mind, I've gone back and forth about whether or not sending Buxton to the AFL would be a good choice or bad choice.

On the negative side, I see a kid who is playing in his first year of full-season ball (where guys typically hit a wall), has exceeded all expections and, fingers-crossed, has remained healthy. Give him a break and be aggressive with his assignment to AA next year. It doesn't change his trajectory at all.


Also if he goes and doesn't perform well, does that affect his mental state for the next four months? Aaron Hicks got off to a hot start in the AFL in 2011 and then tired and wasn't very good. And he's a guy who had played a few years of full-season ball.

But Buxton isn't Hicks.

On the plus side of things, here's a guy who has proven to fit in the rarest age-defying category of recent prospects. Guys like Harper and Trout. Harper played in the AFL at 18 and 19. Trout played soon after turning 20. (Buxton turns 20 shortly after the season concludes.) Like those two, there is a good chance that he will fit right in and maybe exceed expectations again.

Of course, even if that happens does that change his path? I've said for the good part of four months that Buxton's path will lead him to the Futures Game in the Cities next July and that I think he will stick around after that game to start his Major League career. Would a good (or bad) AFL change those expectations? I can't imagine it would. If he tears it up, the Twins won't move him right to the majors anyway.

I'm guessing there has been plenty of internal debate - whether the Twins will admit it or not - and that the discussion ends when the Twins realize that there are better reasons to not send him than there are to send him.

cmathewson
08-22-2013, 10:50 AM
I would not have thought it possible prior to the season for him to make the AFL (or the Futures Game, for that matter). But he seems ready to me. The AFL is like AA without the oldsters. There are plenty of raw guys with huge upside there, and he certainly would hold his own.

The only other concern is fatigue/injuries. Again, any other player I would say, go home and rest. But something tells me he can handle it. I recall an interview with TR in ST when he said (to paraphrase), he looks like he put on 20 pounds of muscle in the offseason and could run a marathon. He certainly isn't showing signs of fatigue. Far from it. So I would not be averse to challenging him. It could be a stepping stone experience that he can draw upon in AA next year. Worst case, he struggles and learns from it.

jokin
08-22-2013, 11:04 AM
In my mind, I've gone back and forth about whether or not sending Buxton to the AFL would be a good choice or bad choice.

On the negative side, I see a kid who is playing in his first year of full-season ball (where guys typically hit a wall), has exceeded all expections and, fingers-crossed, has remained healthy. Give him a break and be aggressive with his assignment to AA next year. It doesn't change his trajectory at all.


Also if he goes and doesn't perform well, does that affect his mental state for the next four months? Aaron Hicks got off to a hot start in the AFL in 2011 and then tired and wasn't very good. And he's a guy who had played a few years of full-season ball.

But Buxton isn't Hicks.

On the plus side of things, here's a guy who has proven to fit in the rarest age-defying category of recent prospects. Guys like Harper and Trout. Harper played in the AFL at 18. Trout played soon after 20. (Buxton turns 20 shortly after the season concludes.) Like those two, there is a good chance that he will fit right in and maybe exceed expectations again.

Of course, even if that happens does that change his path? I've said for the good part of four months that Buxton's path will lead him to the Futures Game in the Cities next July and that I think he will stick around after that game to start his Major League career. Would a good (or bad) AFL change those expectations? I can't imagine it would. If he tears it up, the Twins won't move him right to the majors anyway.

I'm guessing there has been plenty of internal debate - whether the Twins will admit it or not - and that the discussion ends when the Twins realize that there are better reasons to not send him than there are to send him.

Great analysi, as usual Jeremy.

1) "Buxton isn't Hicks". This needs to be drilled and re-drilled into Twins fans' and Twins managements' heads. Buxton has at least twice the work ethic as Hicks- there's absolutely no sense of "entitlement" around him- a usually inevitable character trait of most ultra-talented people, at least 3X the talent of Hicks, 5X the internal drive to succeed and looks to be at least 10X faster at adjusting to new challenges and circumstances.

2) "On the plus side of things, here's a guy who has proven to fit in the rarest age-defying category of recent prospects. Guys like Harper and Trout. Harper played in the AFL at 18. Trout played soon after 20. " I've been arguing since spring training that Buck is more than talented enough to be on the Trout Timeline. As of now, Buck is exceeding what Trout did in his second year of pro ball, playing in the toughest A+ level league (although Trout was a year younger). Meanwhile, Harper put up comparatively pedestrian numbers while playing both A and AA in his first year of pro ball, that certainly didn't dissuade the Nats from calling up Harper to the big club. Unless Buxton is significantly banged up from all of his sliding and crashing into walls, his incredible work ethic, goal-driven, 19 year old body can only benefit from the new challenge in AA-AAA level of competition in the perfect playing conditions in Arizona.

3) "I've said for the good part of four months that Buxton's path will lead him to the Futures Game in the Cities next July and that I think he will stick around after that game to start his Major League career."
Agreed, it's what I've hoped the Twins have been shooting for all along, and they have Trout, Harper and Machado as examples to assure them that it won't be a disaster by doing so.. The gaping hole in CF for the Twins will still be gaping in July. Buck will be starting in CF after his Futures coronation in front of a record-breaking throng, and will immediately go to work thereafter in helping to re-energize and re-invigorate the club amidst yet another long, lackluster season.


4) "I'm guessing there has been plenty of internal debate - whether the Twins will admit it or not - and that the discussion ends when the Twins realize that there are better reasons to not send him than there are to send him."

Only health-related issues or time better spent working individually on strength and fundamentals qualify as reasons for not sending him. To me anyway, seeing live AA and AAA pitching for the first time in AZ and giving him a small leg up going into the spring, plus, learning more about dealing with the assembled national media as he would be prominently in the spotlight as the #1 prospect in all of baseball, would trump the negatives.

ashburyjohn
08-22-2013, 11:08 AM
Perhaps this is as good a place as any to have this discussion... as noted by jokin above, Buxton stole 3rd base twice last night.

Big deal. Germany Schaefer once stole 1st base; let's see Buxton try that.

As for the AFL or not, I don't think it matters either way, given that his character is supposed to be high so that he won't spend the winter watching Tosh.0 reruns and eating Cheetos.

mike wants wins
08-22-2013, 11:16 AM
Very unfair to question Hicks' work ethic, imo.

jokin
08-22-2013, 11:19 AM
All this is supremely impressive. One stat that stands out is the triples--16(!). That's Guzman speed.

We've talked and gushed about it before at the time of the FSN game. Buck's triple that day has to be seen to be disbelived. Still on YouTube, he cruised into Third Base in a little over 10 seconds (Bo Jackson was supposedly fastest ever at around 11.5 seconds).

jokin
08-22-2013, 11:25 AM
Very unfair to question Hicks' work ethic, imo.

I'm not questioning it specifically- just drawing logical conclusions about a guy 6 years into his professional career- still with holes big enough in his game to drive a truck through. It's certainly not personal, just a pointed point on how rare a guy like Buxton is. Talented guys in general, generally don't see the need to work hard. By the same token, we've never read an article or quote from Hicks related to how hard he works and his internal motivations to succeed like we have about Buxton

MichiganTwins
08-22-2013, 11:37 AM
However, Buxton seems to have a lot more talent than Hicks. I still believe in Hicks, but it is doing no good comparing him and his struggles to the dominance of possibly the best prospect in Twins history. Hicks also was never the number one overall prospect.

Larsbars08
08-22-2013, 12:07 PM
A couple nitpicks:

The only real negative trend has been that his ISO has gone down a bunch since his promotion to A+. I'm guessing it has more to do with the large stadiums in the Florida State League. Hammond Stadium, where the Miracle play is an awful park for right-handed power hitters (according to park factors). Sano's 80 power made short work of it, but Buxton's power is still developing.

His K% spiked when he was first promoted, but since then, he's been taking a lot more walks, and the K% is falling.

I'm eager to see how he responds to his first offseason after a full season of baseball. Every profile I've ever seen has trumpeted his character and work ethic, so I doubt he'll slack. I've got a soft spot for Miguel Sano, because his signing was what got me interested in prospect watching, but at this point, I've got a huge mancrush on Buxton. I would have been happy with Correa, but Buxton is absolutely incredible. Thank you Houston.

mike wants wins
08-22-2013, 12:16 PM
I'm not questioning it specifically- just drawing logical conclusions about a guy 6 years into his professional career- still with holes big enough in his game to drive a truck through. It's certainly not personal, just a pointed point on how rare a guy like Buxton is. Talented guys in general, generally don't see the need to work hard. By the same token, we've never read an article or quote from Hicks related to how hard he works and his internal motivations to succeed like we have about Buxton


could not disagree more, elite players are elite because they are athletes, and because they work hard, not because they "don't see the need to work hard".

And, lack of articles about someone does not imply that it isn't happening. More importantly, we've never read that Hicks is not a hard worker.

This team is HYPING Buxton, so you are reading every positive thing you can about him. They have such little else to sell to us right now.....

jokin
08-22-2013, 12:43 PM
could not disagree more, elite players are elite because they are athletes, and because they work hard, not because they "don't see the need to work hard".

And, lack of articles about someone does not imply that it isn't happening. More importantly, we've never read that Hicks is not a hard worker.

This team is HYPING Buxton, so you are reading every positive thing you can about him. They have such little else to sell to us right now.....

Couldn't disagree more, and I usually agree with you. The team isn't hyping Buxton much at all. The hype he's getting is largely coming from the national media outlets, and mostly because Buxton appears to deserve the hype he's receiving. This has been an ongoing and well-documented story line about the kid's make-up and Georgia small school country-boy ways back from at least a year before the 2012 draft And I'm not just reading every positive thing about him, it's just that so much of what he's about is positive in nature. Certainly, he has weak spots in his game and maturity issues that he will have to overcome.

You are just wrong about elite athletes (in general). I have been around, played with and coached them my entire life. It is by nature very difficult to instill the need to work harder in someone for whom something already comes easy. The ones who overcome the natural urges to coast (and head to Delmon Young-type careers) are the ones who become truly great. There are so many, many great athletes you never hear of because they flame out, are afraid of success, or afraid or too lazy to make the commitment to becoming, or staying, successful. (I've documented previously about a guy I knew in college who ended up pitching for the Giants for a couple years, he simply screwed around on his college team and had a very mediocre college career. He always had the talent and athleticism to be a big league pitcher, but he never once put in the extra time to maximize his full potential- had he worked harder during his developing years he certainly might have pitched in the big leagues for a lot longer than just 2 seasons).

Certainly there are a lack of articles about Hicks, and we've never read that he isn't a hard worker. But, he was a 1st round draft pick, anointed early on and California-cool and laid back. He has demonstrably been slow to adjust to each successive level of play, and this season, simultaneously exposed for all to see his incredible God-given natural athleticism and the holes in his game that 5 years of hard work (or the lack thereof) in the minor leagues still need refinement and even more work to fix.

I still have high hopes that Hicks can stick permanently next time around and I'm most certainly not hating on him. If you are a fan of his, I understand where you're coming from, and I think we all want to see him succeed to the utmost level of his ceiling. I am hoping to read an article this winter on how hard Hicks is working and has learned a most valuable lesson on preparedness from his first go-round in the big time.

drjim
08-22-2013, 12:47 PM
Very unfair to question Hicks' work ethic, imo.

Yes. That is quite the smear if there is nothing to back it up.

Celebrity Weddings!
08-22-2013, 01:00 PM
It's certainly not personal

To clear matters up, questioning somebody's work ethic is definitely personal.

The continued difficulties in Hicks' development have, in all likelihood, occurred for the same reason that the vast majority of prospects don't develop or develop really slowly:

baseball is hard

You don't know Aaron Hicks or anything about how hard he works. Making assumptions based on his MLB success is deeply uncharitable.

PseudoSABR
08-22-2013, 01:05 PM
Certainly there are a lack of articles about Hicks, and we've never read that he isn't a hard worker. But, he was a 1st round draft pick, anointed early on and California-cool and laid back. He has demonstrably been slow to adjust to each successive level of play, and this season, simultaneously exposed for all to see his incredible God-given natural athleticism and the holes in his game that 5 years of hard work (or the lack thereof) in the minor leagues still need refinement and even more work to fix. Drawing any conclusion about Hick's work ethic from his observable career is totally specious and speculative, dude. And while this is just more speculation from me, I seriously doubt the Twins would start a rookie in CF who skipped AAA if he had work ethic problems.

jokin
08-22-2013, 01:10 PM
A couple nitpicks:

The only real negative trend has been that his ISO has gone down a bunch since his promotion to A+. I'm guessing it has more to do with the large stadiums in the Florida State League. Hammond Stadium, where the Miracle play is an awful park for right-handed power hitters (according to park factors). Sano's 80 power made short work of it, but Buxton's power is still developing.

His K% spiked when he was first promoted, but since then, he's been taking a lot more walks, and the K% is falling.

I'm eager to see how he responds to his first offseason after a full season of baseball. Every profile I've ever seen has trumpeted his character and work ethic, so I doubt he'll slack. I've got a soft spot for Miguel Sano, because his signing was what got me interested in prospect watching, but at this point, I've got a huge mancrush on Buxton. I would have been happy with Correa, but Buxton is absolutely incredible. Thank you Houston.

Good post. The really good ones make quick adjustments. Buck's proven he's a quick study, as he has made multiple quick adjustments at 2 levels with his in-season promotion. Kids this age, with this ability, but especially this aptitude, can simply explode in their performance level from one year to the next, which is why I hope they keep the developmental pedal to the medal (provided he's really 100% healthy).

And you're spot-on about the FSL- it's not a place for faint-of-heart baseball-hitting egos. Sano laid some nice statistical groundwork to prove it isn't impossible, even at a tender age, to put up big numbers in this pitcher's league. I'm pretty skeptical in general on prospects. Mauer was the one guy I saw locally in high school who we all knew was special. Buxton is in the same category- not hype for Mauer, not hype for Buck, they're both the real deal.

jokin
08-22-2013, 01:29 PM
Drawing any conclusion about Hick's work ethic from his observable career is totally specious and speculative, dude. And while this is just more speculation from me, I seriously doubt the Twins would start a rookie in CF who skipped AAA if he had work ethic problems.

Speculating about my own admitted speculation, and then wildly speculating on how and why the Twins came about starting Hicks in CF is what's specious.

I never said that Hicks had "work ethic problems". I did say we've never heard about Hicks and how hard he worked, except in terms that he frequently had underperformed in the minors and had dropped out of the Top 100 rankings and possibly as a legit prospect. His performance in 2013 has shown that there are significant areas of his game that need a lot more work, work that many assured had already been completed in his 5 year minor league sojourn- in Spring Training, he was deemed "Major League Ready". Does anyone still hold that opinion? I said that Buxton's work ethic is off the charts, that he is adapting and adjusting quickly to new challenges, and by contrast, that whatever work Hicks has put in over the last 5 years has obviously not been enough- somehow you find those facts "specious and speculative"? Hicks no doubt has worked hard to catch up after continued initial struggles at each successive level. Perhaps he'll work harder and smarter in the upcoming offseason now that he knows how far behind he is in becoming a permanent full-time major leaguer.

And what's with the "dude" and "specious" attack characterizations? Clearly a personal attack in violation of the TD policies. Please take a chill pill.

jokin
08-22-2013, 01:36 PM
To clear matters up, questioning somebody's work ethic is definitely personal.

The continued difficulties in Hicks' development have, in all likelihood, occurred for the same reason that the vast majority of prospects don't develop or develop really slowly:

baseball is hard

You don't know Aaron Hicks or anything about how hard he works. Making assumptions based on his MLB success is deeply uncharitable.

I do know that whatever work he's put in hasn't been nearly enough for his given natural talent level. Baseball is hard. But it is easier for those with enormous athletic gifts like Hicks.

And my questioning and speculating is not personal. I don't even know tha man, how can it be personal? I do know what I see, and I see an exceptional athlete who needs to keep working just a little bit harder to maximize his full potential. It's not uncharitable at all, I have no doubt that he's receiving just such a "tough medicine" type of message in Rochester and from the Twins FO.

jokin
08-22-2013, 01:40 PM
Yes. That is quite the smear if there is nothing to back it up.

Now my admitted speculation on Hicks relative to Buxton is "quite the smear"? If I had called him "lazy"- that would be a smear. Why is everything taken to absurd extremes on the internet?

Just to make it official: "Hicks is not lazy".

cmathewson
08-22-2013, 01:40 PM
Couldn't disagree more, and I usually agree with you. The team isn't hyping Buxton much at all. The hype he's getting is largely coming from the national media outlets, and mostly because Buxton appears to deserve the hype he's receiving. This has been an ongoing and well-documented story line about the kid's make-up and Georgia small school country-boy ways back from at least a year before the 2012 draft And I'm not just reading every positive thing about him, it's just that so much of what he's about is positive in nature. Certainly, he has weak spots in his game and maturity issues that he will have to overcome.

You are just wrong about elite athletes (in general). I have been around, played with and coached them my entire life. It is by nature very difficult to instill the need to work harder in someone for whom something already comes easy. The ones who overcome the natural urges to coast (and head to Delmon Young-type careers) are the ones who become truly great. There are so many, many great athletes you never hear of because they flame out, are afraid of success, or afraid or too lazy to make the commitment to becoming, or staying, successful. (I've documented previously about a guy I knew in college who ended up pitching for the Giants for a couple years, he simply screwed around on his college team and had a very mediocre college career. He always had the talent and athleticism to be a big league pitcher, but he never once put in the extra time to maximize his full potential- had he worked harder during his developing years he certainly might have pitched in the big leagues for a lot longer than just 2 seasons).

Certainly there are a lack of articles about Hicks, and we've never read that he isn't a hard worker. But, he was a 1st round draft pick, anointed early on and California-cool and laid back. He has demonstrably been slow to adjust to each successive level of play, and this season, simultaneously exposed for all to see his incredible God-given natural athleticism and the holes in his game that 5 years of hard work (or the lack thereof) in the minor leagues still need refinement and even more work to fix.

I still have high hopes that Hicks can stick permanently next time around and I'm most certainly not hating on him. If you are a fan of his, I understand where you're coming from, and I think we all want to see him succeed to the utmost level of his ceiling. I am hoping to read an article this winter on how hard Hicks is working and has learned a most valuable lesson on preparedness from his first go-round in the big time.

Buxton isn't Hicks because Buxton is the Adrian Peterson of prospects and Hicks is not. I still like Hicks, but having seen him for a half season, i can say he has a problem that neither work nor coaching can fix. He struggles to make solid contact. If anthing, he has maximized his ability given this usually tagic flaw for a baseball layer by being patient and hitting the ball hard when he does make contact. That takes effort. Hicks is very hard working. he just doesn't have the skills that Buxton has. Few players do.

PseudoSABR
08-22-2013, 01:48 PM
And what's with the "dude" and "specious" attack characterizations? Clearly a personal attack in violation of the TD policies. Please take a chill pill.I've clearly crossed the line!

Specious refers to your reasoning, not your character. Dude is not a pejorative.

Celebrity Weddings!
08-22-2013, 02:04 PM
And my questioning and speculating is not personal. I don't even know tha man, how can it be personal?

The question you should be asking, since you don't know the man, is why you felt the need to comment on his character at all.

drjim
08-22-2013, 02:06 PM
Keep digging jokin. It is so easy to praise Buxton without engaging in any of your wild speculation regarding Hicks.

jokin
08-22-2013, 02:15 PM
Buxton isn't Hicks because Buxton is the Adrian Peterson of prospects and Hicks is not. I still like Hicks, but having seen him for a half season, i can say he has a problem that neither work nor coaching can fix. He struggles to make solid contact. If anthing, he has maximized his ability given this usually tagic flaw for a baseball layer by being patient and hitting the ball hard when he does make contact. That takes effort. Hicks is very hard working. he just doesn't have the skills that Buxton has. Few players do.

I agree that Hicks doesn't have Buxton's skills, which was why I stated in my OP that Buxton was 3X the talent as Hicks. But Hicks is still a First Round pick, a truly elite athlete. He has had a good enough eye at the plate to maintain a high OBP throughout his minor league career with a pretty reasonable K%. That should still project him as a major league leadoff hitter. Further, his exciting adventures and misadventures in CF and some of his substandard defensive metrics show he wasn't Major League Ready.

And that was the overall impression I got from Hicks' first year- that he physically was very, very impressive, but also, especially, that he looked, way, way, too RAW to be in his 6th year of professional ball- more like some 19 year old, utterly lost at times at the plate, and kind-of making it up as he went along in the field. Hard work involves better preparation and attention to detail- I would mark both of those down as Areas for Improvement on his year-end performance review.

jokin
08-22-2013, 02:18 PM
The question you should be asking, since you don't know the man, is why you felt the need to comment on his character at all.

Haven't commented on his character specifically in any way, shape, manner or form. Only that Buxton is more prepared and focused on becoming a major leaguer at 19 than Hicks is at 24. This is pretty indisputable.

Steve Lein
08-22-2013, 02:19 PM
I'm on board with letting the kid rest (along with Sano). The baseball season is long, and this is his first full season. I'm sure by the end of it he will be tired. Offseasons are huge IMO. That is where he can make gains in the weight room and heal nagging injuries, some of which might take months.


I'd almost say it's a "for-sure" situation that Buxton does NOT play in the AFL because it is his first full season. As for Sano, he'll be back in the Dominican Winter League. His team didn't pick him Round 1, Pick 1 last year so he wouldn't play for them. (also just an FYI since I've seen people wondering about him in the AFL: Sano can't play in the AFL unless his DWL team lets him go, which they absolutely will not, as he's such a big attraction for them).

I've said this elsewhere, but I think Buxton will join the "20/20/20/20 club" (look it up) eventually, which would put him him in extremely rare and elite company. And think he's more likely to do that consistently than end up a consistent 30/30 guy like many here envision.

jokin
08-22-2013, 02:19 PM
Keep digging jokin. It is so easy to praise Buxton without engaging in any of your wild speculation regarding Hicks.

Except the speculation on my part isn't wild and it isn't a "smear" as you characterized it. Time to lighten up a bit, don't you think?

jokin
08-22-2013, 02:21 PM
I'd almost say it's a "for-sure" situation that Buxton does NOT play in the AFL because it is his first full season. As for Sano, he'll be back in the Dominican Winter League. His team didn't pick him Round 1, Pick 1 last year so he wouldn't play for them. (also just an FYI since I've seen people wondering about him in the AFL: Sano can't play in the AFL unless his DWL team lets him go, which they absolutely will not, as he's such a big attraction for them).

I've said this elsewhere, but I think Buxton will join the "20/20/20/20 club" (look it up) eventually, which would put him him in extremely rare and elite company. And think he's more likely to do that consistently than end up a consistent 30/30 guy like many here envision.

I'd happily settle for either, and we may see a little of both as his career evolves.

Thegrin
08-22-2013, 02:23 PM
Here are 2 facts:
1) Buxton's running game is advanced. Buxton had 32 SB with 11 CS in CR. He has 20 SB with 6 CS in FtM.
2) Hick's is not. Hicks had 9 SB and 3 CS in 281 AB. In 2012 Hicks had 32 SB with 11 CS.

With Hick's natural speed, should he be doing better than that?

jokin
08-22-2013, 02:26 PM
I've clearly crossed the line!

Specious refers to your reasoning, not your character. Dude is not a pejorative.

Still qualifies as an attack and unnecessarily uncivil language in addressing someone- all merely because we disagree about baseball players who we both want to see reach their full potential. So yes, together with your opening bit of sarcasm this time around concerning "line-crossing", you've been unnecessarily disrespectful and crossed the line on what we all wish to be a friendly forum to exchange viewpoints, not score attack points.

jokin
08-22-2013, 02:30 PM
Here are 2 facts:
1) Buxton's running game is advanced. Buxton had 32 SB with 11 CS in CR. He has 20 SB with 6 CS in FtM.
2) Hick's is not. Hicks had 9 SB and 3 CS in 281 AB. In 2012 Hicks had 32 SB with 11 CS.

With Hick's natural speed, should he be doing better than that?

Buck's numbers are advanced and his CS% is rapidly improving. Suggests he's worked hard to improve this perceived area of weakness that all the scouts had noted in his game.

SpiritofVodkaDave
08-22-2013, 04:03 PM
LOL, if that is what you consider a personal attack.I am glad an otherwise potentially solid thread just got hijacked again due to a person making an outrageous claim and then 30 other posts discussing it.

cmb0252
08-22-2013, 04:08 PM
LOL, if that is what you consider a personal attack.I am glad an otherwise potentially solid thread just got hijacked again due to a person making an outrageous claim and then 30 other posts discussing it.

Seems to be the normal now of days. This post isn't about Hicks but how great Buxton is. The fact he most likely will start next year in AA is amazing. This is the most excited I have been about a Twins prospect since Mauer.

iastfan112
08-22-2013, 04:34 PM
Aaron Hicks struggled there's no denying that but I tend to agree with statement that it seems the very opposite of "the Twins way" to have a guy like Hicks skip AAA if he wasn't a hard worker. It's not shocking that he struggled in his first taste of the majors either, that happens, it's the toughest jump and he skipped a step along the way. I remember Dozier looking very similar last season yet this year he's rebounded both offensively and defensively(excluding the circus that was last night). I still think Aaron Hicks will be a useful major league player and though admittedly more for his defense than his bat.

Thrylos
08-22-2013, 04:50 PM
I'm not questioning it specifically- just drawing logical conclusions about a guy 6 years into his professional career- still with holes big enough in his game to drive a truck through. It's certainly not personal, just a pointed point on how rare a guy like Buxton is. Talented guys in general, generally don't see the need to work hard. By the same token, we've never read an article or quote from Hicks related to how hard he works and his internal motivations to succeed like we have about Buxton

As far as Hicks goes:

a. His coaches, managers, GM and minor league directors have done him a disservice by letting him switch hit. Period. His OPS+ as a RHB in the majors is 92, which is higher than Doumit, Plouffe etc.
b. He is 23. Span and Hunter were busts at 23 as well. Give him some time.
c. Hicks is one of the nicest and most humble ball players that you can ever meet. He works hard and he keeps his mouth shut. A lot like Buxton as a matter of fact. But he is a really quiet guy, so do not expect quotes from him. He is not Mike Cuddyer...

Mr. Brooks
08-22-2013, 04:59 PM
I have no way of knowing one way or the other about Hicks' work ethic.
But, FWIW, I will say that after we drafted him I read many scouting reports raving about his "amazing" work ethic. I am positive that they used that word too, "amazing" work ethic. I know for sure I remember this , because that draft class was when I first started paying attention to prospects, and I looked up as much info as I could find on our first few picks.
That doesn't necessarily make it true, many of those "scouting reports" are amateurish at best, but I do recall reading that in more than one of them.

jokin
08-22-2013, 05:12 PM
As far as Hicks goes:

a. His coaches, managers, GM and minor league directors have done him a disservice by letting him switch hit. Period. His OPS+ as a RHB in the majors is 92, which is higher than Doumit, Plouffe etc.
b. He is 23. Span and Hunter were busts at 23 as well. Give him some time.
c. Hicks is one of the nicest and most humble ball players that you can ever meet. He works hard and he keeps his mouth shut. A lot like Buxton as a matter of fact. But he is a really quiet guy, so do not expect quotes from him. He is not Mike Cuddyer...

The switch hit thing was one of the alarming things we all first noticed in April. Hence, one of the reasons that led in part to my surprise at how RAW he looks as a major leaguer. Hicks turns 24 in about 5 weeks. I have high hopes that he will be much better next year. He clearly has all the tools to eclipse the career of Span, and maybe even Hunter. His debut season has certainly raised questions about his major league readninexx that hopefully can and will be addressed in the offsesason.

He does seem like a nice guy and will be easy to rally around with some sustained success. Buxton hasn't talked about himself publicly, either, maybe there's a good chance that their personalities will really click playing alongside each other next summer and they could push each other by doing the same workout routines together. Until then, I'd love and welcome for Aaron to publicly call himself out and challenge himself to making the improvements in his game requisite to becoming the leader that he is capable of becoming in turning this franchise around in the right direction.

And you're right on the Twins management and coaching staff and their role in this. Has he spent 5 years focusing a good chunk of his time and energy feebly trying to bat left-handed with this result? More help and hard work focusing and polishing up the elements of his game and letting Hicks do what Hicks does best would be time well spent.

Monkeypaws
08-22-2013, 05:40 PM
And what's with the "dude" and "specious" attack characterizations? Clearly a personal attack in violation of the TD policies. Please take a chill pill.

You're being very un-Dude here.... :)

Kwak
08-22-2013, 05:59 PM
Yes. That is quite the smear if there is nothing to back it up.

The only "evidence" presented was his struggle. Hicks was never "disciplined" as a "distraction" which indicates that his character was strong enough to withstand failure, I find it "this evidence of entitlement" to be completely without merit. Maybe Hicks just isn't skilled enough for the majors instead of "having a poor work ethic".

Buxton's image doesn't need the smear of Hicks--his image stands on its own.

"...[the Twins don't tout] Buxton's abilities enough"? !! What?! Just because they haven't placed 50 life-size statutes of him around the Twin Cities doesn't mean Buxton wasn't hyped. Buxton's "hype" is included in the "we have the best minor league system" tome because the Twins are trying to reassure their fanbase that the FO is doing a good job and better things are just around the corner.

USAFChief
08-22-2013, 07:39 PM
As I recall, Hicks was a very promising prep golfer, good enough to have major college interest. IMO a kid doesn't have that advanced of a golf game without a solid work ethic. Golf isn't a game that can be faked through natural talent alone.

i think it's safe to say the Dude abides.

Beezer07
08-22-2013, 08:06 PM
Soooooo excited for Buxton to get to the majors and succeed. Just can't wait for someone so highly touted to actually play for my favorite team, for once!

And I hope Hicks turns it around. Talk about an amazing defensive outfield.

Jeremy Nygaard
08-22-2013, 08:34 PM
Doogie says - through a team source - that there is a "good shot" Buxton plays in the AFL.

IdahoPilgrim
08-22-2013, 08:57 PM
As I recall, Hicks was a very promising prep golfer, good enough to have major college interest. IMO a kid doesn't have that advanced of a golf game without a solid work ethic. Golf isn't a game that can be faked through natural talent alone.


I agree. I play golf myself, and to excel requires work. The only way to fake golf is to wait until nobody else is looking.;)

70charger
08-22-2013, 11:17 PM
I agree. I play golf myself, and to excel requires work. The only way to fake golf is to wait until nobody else is looking.;)

Why don't you improve your lie a little, Judge Smails?

launchingthrees
08-23-2013, 02:04 PM
As far as Hicks goes:

b. He is 23. Span and Hunter were busts at 23 as well. Give him some time.


That dog don't hunt. These players weren't nearly as bad as Hicks at 23.

Monkeypaws
08-23-2013, 03:00 PM
That dog don't hunt. These players weren't nearly as bad as Hicks at 23.

Hard to compare, when Span didn't even make it to the bigs until he was 24.

Hicks arguably had the best season as a 22 year old of the three of them. He showed flashes of being a solid center fielder and hitter this season. In retrospect, some time at AAA at the start of the season would have probably done him good.

cmb0252
08-23-2013, 03:03 PM
People do realize this is a thread about Buxton and not Hicks right?

launchingthrees
08-23-2013, 04:11 PM
Hard to compare, when Span didn't even make it to the bigs until he was 24.

Hicks arguably had the best season as a 22 year old of the three of them. He showed flashes of being a solid center fielder and hitter this season. In retrospect, some time at AAA at the start of the season would have probably done him good.

He was one of the worst players in baseball this year. His fielding was bad, and his hitting was historically bad. Players who have a season like he had don't go on to do well.

iastfan112
08-23-2013, 04:50 PM
He was one of the worst players in baseball this year. His fielding was bad, and his hitting was historically bad. Players who have a season like he had don't go on to do well.

He had a .600 OPS, that's not historically bad, certainly not good but a number of Minnesota Twins players do that each year. Writing a player off because of half a season of poor production in his first taste of major league action. Its been Hick's general modus operandi to struggle a bit in his first year of a league and then adjust and improvement with time. As I mentioned before, Dozier had similar struggles last year. Another example of a guy who struggled significantly in his early career as well and has put together a very fine last couple is Chris Davis, he had negative WAR's(both f and b) 3/4 of his seasons in the majors. Raw guys with tools sometimes take awhile to put everything together, giving up on them, especially when your team is already bad is extremely foolish.

launchingthrees
08-23-2013, 07:48 PM
He had a .600 OPS, that's not historically bad, certainly not good but a number of Minnesota Twins players do that each year. Writing a player off because of half a season of poor production in his first taste of major league action. Its been Hick's general modus operandi to struggle a bit in his first year of a league and then adjust and improvement with time. As I mentioned before, Dozier had similar struggles last year. Another example of a guy who struggled significantly in his early career as well and has put together a very fine last couple is Chris Davis, he had negative WAR's(both f and b) 3/4 of his seasons in the majors. Raw guys with tools sometimes take awhile to put everything together, giving up on them, especially when your team is already bad is extremely foolish.

How many players with Hick's production at 23 with 300+ PAs have become good over the past 20 years?

iastfan112
08-23-2013, 09:42 PM
How many players with Hick's production at 23 with 300+ PAs have become good over the past 20 years?

Guys like Brandon Crawford and Carlos Gomez are other examples of guys who's been pretty lost at the plate and turned it around. Hick's value lies mostly in his defensive ability, he wasn't great in his first taste of the majors in that area either but I'm not going to let a few months of struggle outweigh years and years of universally positive defensive reports.

Beezer07
08-23-2013, 10:43 PM
He was one of the worst players in baseball this year. His fielding was bad, and his hitting was historically bad. Players who have a season like he had don't go on to do well.

Are you being serious when you say this? A bad 1/2 season = will never be good?

kab21
08-24-2013, 12:19 AM
There should be no issue sending buxton to AFL unless he is getting worn down. It certainly doesn't look that way considering the way that he is playing. I don't remember who suggested but the AFL is not for flawed players. It's like a AA all-star league and the Twins usually have to send flawed players because they don't have much for talent in the upper minors.

Hicks had a historically bad month and followed by 3 decent months although there are some big concerns in the plate discipline area. He will be option A for CF next year with Mastro as a backup and Buxton probably being a midseason callup.

glunn
08-24-2013, 02:22 AM
1) "Buxton isn't Hicks". This needs to be drilled and re-drilled into Twins fans' and Twins managements' heads. Buxton has at least twice the work ethic as Hicks- there's absolutely no sense of "entitlement" around him- a usually inevitable character trait of most ultra-talented people, at least 3X the talent of Hicks, 5X the internal drive to succeed and looks to be at least 10X faster at adjusting to new challenges and circumstances.



This comment about Buxton having "5X the internal drive to succeed" is unsupportable and inflammatory. Understandably, some people called you out on this then you got defensive and the thread got sidetracked.

Let's all try to be more careful not to make comments that are unsupportable and inflammatory. And if such comments are made, then please report the offending post by clicking on the triangular icon with the exclamation point in the middle. If this post had been reported, I would have deleted it.

This could have been a much more fun and interesting thread if not for the hijacking. There are lots of interesting things to say about Buxton without casting unfounded aspersions about Hicks.

AM.
08-24-2013, 05:32 AM
To update this thread, Buxton has now hit over .400 through 24 August games, with an OPS over 1.000, despite not hitting any homers this month. His K/BB is 11/13 on the month. He's also been moved down to batting third in the lineup.

To defend jokin a bit, I think there is truth to the point that there are athletes who have natural talent who don't have the continual drive to always improve because everything has always come easy to them. Players who are fast moving prospects in the minors have been the best hitters and pitchers on their teams for years (as well as likely the best football players, soccer players, and golfers).

But I think attributing that to Hicks is extremely hard to do, though, and I'd stay away from it with a ten-foot pole.

I hope Hicks is the Twins CF next year until Buxton arrives in late 2014 or 2015, and then slides over to LF and puts up Carl Crawford-like defensive performances in a corner OF spot for years...with more HRs and higher OBP than Crawford, albeit lower average.

Shane Wahl
08-24-2013, 08:37 AM
Buxton should not be in the AFL. What's the point of that? The AFL isn't a place for prospects like that since Buxton has nothing to prove. James Beresford? Something to prove. Matt Hauser? Something to prove.

Shane Wahl
08-24-2013, 08:44 AM
My apologies . . . I consistently forget that Beresford is an Aussie and will play winter ball there. I wish there was a way to get around that.

Anyway, there is little justification for doing anything with Buxton besides starting him next year at New Britain.

kab21
08-24-2013, 09:14 AM
Buxton should not be in the AFL. What's the point of that? The AFL isn't a place for prospects like that since Buxton has nothing to prove. James Beresford? Something to prove. Matt Hauser? Something to prove.

I don't think you really understand the AFL. It's full of top prospects.

Bob Sacamento
08-24-2013, 09:49 AM
Here's a view from an outsider. I'm a Cubs fan but live in Ft. Myers and have had season tickets for the Miracle this year. Buxton is the real deal, there is no Twins hype, he is honestly one of the best prospects I've ever seen. Not only is he a legit 5 tool player but he's extremely refined and polished on the field especially when you consider his age. But off the field, he is usually the first player to the facility and one of the last ones to leave; his work ethic is off the charts plus he's very humble and approachable. Buxton is a once in a lifetime talent, you guys should all chip in and send Houston a card for not drafting him first overall!

As for sending him to the AFL, he's already logged a whole season, did plenty of work in Instructionals and has the FSL playoffs ahead.

ashburyjohn
08-24-2013, 02:13 PM
I'm a Cubs fan but live in Ft. Myers and have had season tickets for the Miracle this year.

Please keep the FSL reports coming. Well, the season's almost over, but you know what I mean.

iastfan112
08-25-2013, 01:35 PM
Buxton should not be in the AFL. What's the point of that? The AFL isn't a place for prospects like that since Buxton has nothing to prove. James Beresford? Something to prove. Matt Hauser? Something to prove.

Stasburg, Harper, Trout, Stanton, and Heyward(among others) all passed through the AFL all in positions, in the prospect rankings, as Buxton is now. I could see the justification behind not sending him but to say that prospects with nothing to prove(I would argue all prospects have something to prove) don't go there is demonstrably false. It's a great place to send him because so much talent goes down there, most the pitchers Buxton sees at Fort Myers won't make the majors, a significantly higher proportion in the AFL will.