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Shane Wahl
10-24-2013, 11:45 AM
Sort of an anti-climatic AFL season so far given the Buxton injury, but I thought this would be a good place to just jabber about day-to-day stuff happening there. Odd that more people aren't talking about it . . . .

Anyway:

Eddie Rosario and Alex Meyer are impressive. Max Kepler is doing ok in a league that is advanced for him. Trevor May is also ok. A.J. Achter is good. Zach Jones is struggling.

Also, NICK WITTGREN, that guy who is from Lafayette, IN, went to Purdue, and who I raved about and hyped his draft chances in earlier rounds . . . is just dominating. He has been completely dominant for two years and it is continuing in the AFL. 11 Ks in 5 1/3 innings. The Twins drafted L.J. Mazzilli instead . . .

gunnarthor
10-24-2013, 01:25 PM
Sort of an anti-climatic AFL season so far given the Buxton injury, but I thought this would be a good place to just jabber about day-to-day stuff happening there. Odd that more people aren't talking about it . . . .

Anyway:

Eddie Rosario and Alex Meyer are impressive. Max Kepler is doing ok in a league that is advanced for him. Trevor May is also ok. A.J. Achter is good. Zach Jones is struggling.

Also, NICK WITTGREN, that guy who is from Lafayette, IN, went to Purdue, and who I raved about and hyped his draft chances in earlier rounds . . . is just dominating. He has been completely dominant for two years and it is continuing in the AFL. 11 Ks in 5 1/3 innings. The Twins drafted L.J. Mazzilli instead . . .

Yeah, we aren't talking about the AFL enough. Wittgren is a nice late pick on your part but I'm not going to kill the Twins for not taking a college reliever. For all I know, he could be the next Anthony Slama. After the first few rounds, the draft is pretty tough to predict.

diehardtwinsfan
10-26-2013, 07:20 AM
Buxton, Jones, and Kepler are all playing talent that sits higher than where they played this season. I think the expectations are a bit high if we were expecting them to dominate. This is more a learning situation for them. They now know what they have to be better at next year. I see that as a positive. If you remember, Buxton didn't exactly light the world on fire in rookie ball last year. Apparently, however, it inspired him to go back home and work harder that offseason... and look what happened. I suspect this will be a good thing long term (at least for Buxton).

Chance
10-26-2013, 08:25 AM
Well, Buxton did homer yesterday. His second in the AFL. I think he will continue to heat up as he gets more familiar with the league.
Kepler accually seems to be keeping up for the most part which is encouraging.

Oldgoat_MN
10-26-2013, 11:00 AM
....

Also, NICK WITTGREN, that guy who is from Lafayette, IN, went to Purdue, and who I raved about and hyped his draft chances in earlier rounds . . . is just dominating. He has been completely dominant for two years and it is continuing in the AFL. 11 Ks in 5 1/3 innings. The Twins drafted L.J. Mazzilli instead . . .

The Marlins picked this guy up on the 9th round?
Their scouts must just be way better than ours.
Sadly, Wittgren is not an isolated incident.

Twins Twerp
10-26-2013, 11:25 AM
The Marlins picked this guy up on the 9th round?
Their scouts must just be way better than ours.
Sadly, Wittgren is not an isolated incident.

Marlins scouts are at least 8x better than ours. We passed on this guy 8-9 times. Oh wait, so did 29 other teams.

diehardtwinsfan
10-26-2013, 12:12 PM
Marlins scouts are at least 8x better than ours. We passed on this guy 8-9 times. Oh wait, so did 29 other teams.

Yeah this. The average draft is going to get you what, 40-60 major leaguers? It would be awesome if the Twins managed to get 10-20 of them with their draft but that's just unrealistic. From about the 3rd round down, just about everyone picked is a complete crap shoot. It would have been great to get Wittgren, but every team is saying that right now. They all passed him up.

Oldgoat_MN
10-26-2013, 12:17 PM
Yeah this. The average draft is going to get you what, 40-60 major leaguers? It would be awesome if the Twins managed to get 10-20 of them with their draft but that's just unrealistic. From about the 3rd round down, just about everyone picked is a complete crap shoot. It would have been great to get Wittgren, but every team is saying that right now. They all passed him up.

No argument there, but the Marlins and Rays seem to wind up with excellent prospects without going through the string of bad luck years like most other MLB teams.

They are doing something better than the other teams. Year after year is not a coincidence. They are seeing something different. Teams should be trying to figure out what it is that they are doing different.

That was the point of, 'Wittgren is not an isolated incident.'

I refuse to believe that people in Florida are just smarter than everyone else.

Shane Wahl
10-26-2013, 03:06 PM
Keep in mind that I was jabbering about Wittgren for months before that 2012 draft, so that's why I brought him up in the first place. This wasn't just some guy it was one guy who I thought was going to be fantastic and even picked in round 4!

Jim H
10-27-2013, 09:34 AM
Wasn't Achter a 10th or 11th round choice? The Marlins and Rays must be really slipping to let him fall that low.

roger
10-27-2013, 10:50 AM
Achter as actually the 46th round pick in 2010.

Shane Wahl
10-27-2013, 12:10 PM
I want nothing more than to just end this thread now.

Brock Beauchamp
10-27-2013, 02:28 PM
I want nothing more than to just end this thread now.

Well, you're going to get that response quite often when you bash a team for not picking a guy that 29 other teams also passed over several times. We've all had our pet picks that went to another team and saw success. It's part of the game.

Had you phrased it "I wish the Twins had picked this guy, he's flat-out dominating" instead of taking an opportunity to slam the team in the process, it's probable that the response would have been vastly different.

Shane Wahl
10-27-2013, 03:47 PM
Well, you're going to get that response quite often when you bash a team for not picking a guy that 29 other teams also passed over several times. We've all had our pet picks that went to another team and saw success. It's part of the game.

Had you phrased it "I wish the Twins had picked this guy, he's flat-out dominating" instead of taking an opportunity to slam the team in the process, it's probable that the response would have been vastly different.

Are you being serious here? I mention Wittgren and say "the Twins drafted L.J. Mazzilli instead . . . "

That is "bashing" the Twins?

What is going on around here?

Shane Wahl
10-27-2013, 03:50 PM
The exuberant defenders of all-things-Twins are pretty sensitive, seeing "bashing" and "slamming" when it isn't there. It's no wonder there are complaints about one-sidedness in infraction giving.

Twins Twerp
10-27-2013, 04:54 PM
The exuberant defenders of all-things-Twins are pretty sensitive, seeing "bashing" and "slamming" when it isn't there. It's no wonder there are complaints about one-sidedness in infraction giving.

Defensive much??

big dog
10-27-2013, 05:32 PM
What can you tell us about Mazzilli? I remember them drafting him but I don't remember any details. Or we can forget this because it isn't related to the AFL, either way.

I would like to see Buxton get back on the field ASAP.

Shane Wahl
10-27-2013, 05:50 PM
What can you tell us about Mazzilli? I remember them drafting him but I don't remember any details. Or we can forget this because it isn't related to the AFL, either way.

I would like to see Buxton get back on the field ASAP.

He didn't sign with the Twins and was not likely too do so. I believe he was drafted in the 4th round this year.

Buxton is back. In his first plate appearance back, he smacked a homer.

big dog
10-27-2013, 05:59 PM
Thanks, I had quit checking MiLB.com so I missed the Buxton HR. Very glad to hear it.

snepp
10-27-2013, 06:00 PM
The exuberant defenders of all-things-Twins are pretty sensitive, seeing "bashing" and "slamming" when it isn't there. It's no wonder there are complaints about one-sidedness in infraction giving.

Speaking of infractions. :p

http://twinsdaily.com/minnesota-twins-talk/8837-revised-comment-policy-september-2013-a.html#post164885


Interrupting a thread with discussion of forum moderation also constitutes thread-jacking. While you may have questions or concerns regarding moderation action, it is not appropriate to interrupt a baseball thread to address these issues. PM one of the moderators instead as we are more than willing to discuss this with you.

This policy is not an attempt to stifle conversation about moderation; its purpose is to improve baseball-related discussion and prevent thread-jacking. If you wish to publicly discuss the moderation at Twins Daily and help us improve the site, feel free to create a thread in the "Questions About the Site" forum and open a discussion.

And...


Defensive much??

Not helping, at all, brush up on the trolling section of that link. :)


Back to the AFL discussion in this thread, thanks.

Brock Beauchamp
10-27-2013, 07:42 PM
Are you being serious here? I mention Wittgren and say "the Twins drafted L.J. Mazzilli instead . . . "

That is "bashing" the Twins?

What is going on around here?

Wittgren went in the ninth round. Why bring up LJ Mazzilli at all? The Twins drafted ten guys before Wittgren went to the Marlins.

Whether you intended it or not, how people read your posts are going to dictate their reactions to your post. My comment was not meant as any disciplinary action nor was it saying that you violated any sort of comment policy; the point of my comment was "if you don't like how a half dozen people responded to your thread, you may want to consider that it might have something to do with how you phrased your statement in the first place". After all, the comment elicited virtually the same response from multiple people. At that point, it probably ain't them, it's probably your post.

goulik
10-27-2013, 08:30 PM
Thank you Snepp.

Overall AFL impressions, which Twins Prospect(s) if any are really shining, who is really disappointing? (Besides all the minor injury concerns)

Shane Wahl
10-27-2013, 09:30 PM
It is not clear why I would go and start an AFL thread, mention how the guys are playing and then be said to be "lashing out" and "bashing" the Twins. I apologize for mentioning the guy who the Twins picked several selections before Wittgren.

Anyway, goulik, Meyer and Achter are doing very well. Zach Jones and Trevor May are having some troubles, and all of the hitters are a little in over their heads (no one with a .700 OPS or better right now).

Paul Pleiss
10-28-2013, 05:51 AM
Meyer seems to be doing well down in the AFL, May, not so much. With the small sample size of the AFL, even after a full season, what are you most looking for in the stat lines? For me, it's what the youngsters are doing. Guys like Buxton and Kepler, they're clearly in advanced territory here, so to see them do well is exciting for me. What about you gus?

Jim Crikket
10-28-2013, 09:21 AM
I haven't paid as much attention the past few games, but if, as Shane points out, Buxton, Rosario and Kepler are all at or below .700 OPS, it's hard to say they're really doing well. Buxton and Kepler are both playing above their Class A levels, so just being able to keep from being overmatched is encouraging for them. I hoped for a bit more from Rosario.

Do I recall correctly that the AFL is traditionally known as a hitters' league, with the hitters assigned generally being higher level prospects than the pitchers? If so, then I might have hoped to see the hitters put up a little better numbers. Achter and Meyer, though, are very encouraging.

Wookiee of the Year
10-28-2013, 10:01 AM
...I might have hoped to see the hitters put up a little better numbers. Achter and Meyer, though, are very encouraging.
Yeah--I'm mostly just encouraged to see Meyer doing so well. We had full, impressive minor league seasons from Buxton and Rosario, so I'm not terribly worried about their AFL performances. It'd be nice to see Kepler do something, but as previously pointed out, he'd be expected to be over his head in the AFL.

My biggest question I was hoping the AFL could answer is how Meyer is looking, and if he's bouncing back from his shoulder injury. The positive results we're seeing there are far more encouraging to me than the subpar performancese of the hitters are disheartening.

mike wants wins
10-28-2013, 10:21 AM
Meyer is number 1 on my AFL interest. Long term, not worried about Rosario or Buxton. The others, if they do great, it's a bonus to me. Well, it would be nice if May showed growth.....

gunnarthor
10-28-2013, 11:41 AM
No argument there, but the Marlins and Rays seem to wind up with excellent prospects without going through the string of bad luck years like most other MLB teams.

They are doing something better than the other teams. Year after year is not a coincidence. They are seeing something different. Teams should be trying to figure out what it is that they are doing different.


They really aren't. Neither team has a great farm system right now - I believe both are middle of the road. From 2008 on, the Rays have had 2 players drafted make the majors, they combined for 57 games and 0.1 WAR. They did have some better drafts before then, although they constantly picked in the top 10, they didn't get great results either - Townsend, Young, Brazelton, Niemann and Hamilton were all first round picks that didn't do much, although Hamilton got pretty good after leaving and they made a good trade in Young. Niemann and Baldelli got hurt. Bad luck there. This years Rays' team only had 8 players play a game for them that were drafted by the org. (They made some smart trades).

Marlins made some better recent picks - Fernandez and Yelich in the first rounds, Stanton in the 2nd but they've had a lot of bad drafts - usually picking in that ugly 11-20 area. From 02-12 drafts (ie, not the Mauer draft), the players drafted by the Marlins have accumulated 75.7 WAR, players drafted by the Twins have accumulated 101.5 WAR. (Interesting comparison, the Rays in the same time amassed 174 WAR but the 06 and 07 drafts are nearly the entire difference - 76.8 WAR from those two drafts, which netted Longoria, Jennings, Cobb, Moore and Price).

Brock Beauchamp
10-28-2013, 12:00 PM
They really aren't. Neither team has a great farm system right now - I believe both are middle of the road. From 2008 on, the Rays have had 2 players drafted make the majors, they combined for 57 games and 0.1 WAR. They did have some better drafts before then, although they constantly picked in the top 10, they didn't get great results either - Townsend, Young, Brazelton, Niemann and Hamilton were all first round picks that didn't do much, although Hamilton got pretty good after leaving and they made a good trade in Young. Niemann and Baldelli got hurt. Bad luck there. This years Rays' team only had 8 players play a game for them that were drafted by the org. (They made some smart trades).

I've been harping on this for a long time. I think the Rays are an extremely well-run franchise but before we crown them Kings of All Things Baseball, they need to draft lower in the pecking order and continue to succeed.

The Twins turned into a good team in the early 2000s and continued to draft well for 3-4 years after that point. I haven't seen the Rays do that yet, though they've absolutely been killing it with trades.

mike wants wins
10-28-2013, 12:25 PM
The Rays are also good because they shift and platoon and do other things well. Success is driven by end to end processes working in unison.

TheDean
10-28-2013, 12:25 PM
Yeah--I'm mostly just encouraged to see Meyer doing so well. We had full, impressive minor league seasons from Buxton and Rosario, so I'm not terribly worried about their AFL performances. It'd be nice to see Kepler do something, but as previously pointed out, he'd be expected to be over his head in the AFL.

My biggest question I was hoping the AFL could answer is how Meyer is looking, and if he's bouncing back from his shoulder injury. The positive results we're seeing there are far more encouraging to me than the subpar performancese of the hitters are disheartening.

This is pretty much exactly how I see it. I'm too new to this all to understand what most organizations use the AFL for, but it seems to provide an opportunity to save some of what could have been a lost year for Meyer. The hitters on the other hand get to see some more advanced approaches from pitchers. Even if they struggle a bit, I feel like it's a low-risk sneak peak at what they might see from pitchers next year.
The sample size is so small that the statistics probably don't mean much. My guess is that it helps with some "intangibles" in terms of pitch recognition. I wonder if those kinds of skills are the type that take some time to present themselves in statistics, whether the results are positive or negative.

gunnarthor
10-28-2013, 12:51 PM
This is pretty much exactly how I see it. I'm too new to this all to understand what most organizations use the AFL for, but it seems to provide an opportunity to save some of what could have been a lost year for Meyer. The hitters on the other hand get to see some more advanced approaches from pitchers. Even if they struggle a bit, I feel like it's a low-risk sneak peak at what they might see from pitchers next year.
The sample size is so small that the statistics probably don't mean much. My guess is that it helps with some "intangibles" in terms of pitch recognition. I wonder if those kinds of skills are the type that take some time to present themselves in statistics, whether the results are positive or negative.

Yeah, the stats don't mean much but the approach, stuff etc is what the scouts are looking for when facing higher talent than before and playing a longer season. And teams also push players to either highlight for possible trades (I think the Twins could be doing this for both Rosario and Kepler) or to make a decision on rule v protections.

Brock Beauchamp
10-28-2013, 12:52 PM
The Rays are also good because they shift and platoon and do other things well. Success is driven by end to end processes working in unison.

Sure, they do a lot of little things right that add up to a quality MLB team.

But I see people talk about drafting and development... Are the Rays really that good at drafting and developing players? We simply don't know because they hit it big in a couple of drafts and they had the luxury of picking in the top five for almost a decade straight.

If, in two years, they're producing loads of good players from the 08 and beyond drafts, then we'll know that their system truly is superior.

VandyTwinsFan
10-28-2013, 01:06 PM
Anyone have some stats available for any of the twins representatives? I didn't think they kept track but even some basic stuff such as "2 HR in 30 AB" would be nice.

Ricola
10-28-2013, 01:14 PM
Anyone have some stats available for any of the twins representatives? I didn't think they kept track but even some basic stuff such as "2 HR in 30 AB" would be nice.
Stats are kept on the MiLB website
Winter Leagues: Arizona Fall League: Statistics | MLB.com: Events (http://mlb.mlb.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?t=t_ibp&sid=l119&cid=454)

Steve Penz
10-28-2013, 01:36 PM
Brock- nice point on Tampa. That is something to think about.

Question for the group- Why is May getting so little playing time? Have I missed something? He has 1 start and has appeared in 3 games for 5 total innings. Jones and Achter have more innings than May. It seems like he should have more time on the mound or why go?

VandyTwinsFan
10-28-2013, 01:42 PM
Thanks. I believe I was thinking of the instructional league. I was going to copy the stats to get them in the thread but I got a character limit. Now I feel like a noob and will go find a nice corner to think about what I've done.

gmarais66
10-28-2013, 01:53 PM
Brock- nice point on Tampa. That is something to think about.

Question for the group- Why is May getting so little playing time? Have I missed something? He has 1 start and has appeared in 3 games for 5 total innings. Jones and Achter have more innings than May. It seems like he should have more time on the mound or why go?

May has a sore arm (tendinitis)... He may not pitch the remainder of the AFL...

Steve Penz
10-28-2013, 02:41 PM
May has a sore arm (tendinitis)... He may not pitch the remainder of the AFL...

Thank you.

Oldgoat_MN
10-28-2013, 05:45 PM
...
although they constantly picked in the top 10...


Good response to my post, though above I am only highlighting one of your reasonable points.

I was thinking about these guys:
Rays pitchers 2000 Draft & later
Pitcher >100 ERA+
James Shields 6 of 7 years
David Price 4 of 5 years
Matt Moore 3 of 3 years
Jeremy Hellickson 2 of 3 years
Alex Cobb 2 of 3 years

But it is also true that every MLB team has struck out on their first round draft pick more than once.

gunnarthor
10-28-2013, 06:32 PM
Good response to my post, though above I am only highlighting one of your reasonable points.

I was thinking about these guys:
Rays pitchers 2000 Draft & later
Pitcher >100 ERA+
James Shields 6 of 7 years
David Price 4 of 5 years
Matt Moore 3 of 3 years
Jeremy Hellickson 2 of 3 years
Alex Cobb 2 of 3 years

But it is also true that every MLB team has struck out on their first round draft pick more than once.

I have no idea where you were able to find or do that search. How'd you do it?

MC
10-28-2013, 08:47 PM
I went to the AFL game on the 15th and it was a treat. Buxton went 2/4, Kepler had a couple of hits and got to see Meyer, May, and Achter pitch... Here was my overall impressions:

1) Buxton's got great ++ speed. His first hit was in IF single to the short... in his second at bat, he beat out a double play hit to the third baseman with runners on first and second. Both were sure outs by less gifted ball players. His homer was a no-doubter... We're all going to be very happy to watch this guy play when he makes the show.
2) Meyer made Pro's look silly... He struck out all 3 in the first with Swing and Miss stuff and he induced weak contact to get outs in the next inning. None of the hitters really looked like they had a chance. I know it's SSS but I walked away thinking he's our best starter, right now.
3) May was hit hard, even on his outs.

Overall, it was a great experience... there were less than 400 people there... you could sit anywhere and just absorb the game. We sat right next to the on deck circle and just soaked it all in. I can't recommend it enough... although, don't plan to eat there. Due to limited attendance, there was also limited offerings for concessions... Thinking I'll visit my inlaws more often in October going forward. The golf was great too (pre-peak season so not as highly price as it is in Nov-March)!

cmb0252
10-28-2013, 09:02 PM
I went to the AFL game on the 15th and it was a treat. Buxton went 2/4, Kepler had a couple of hits and got to see Meyer, May, and Achter pitch... Here was my overall impressions:

1) Buxton's got great ++ speed. His first hit was in IF single to the short... in his second at bat, he beat out a double play hit to the third baseman with runners on first and second. Both were sure outs by less gifted ball players. His homer was a no-doubter... We're all going to be very happy to watch this guy play when he makes the show.
2) Meyer made Pro's look silly... He struck out all 3 in the first with Swing and Miss stuff and he induced weak contact to get outs in the next inning. None of the hitters really looked like they had a chance. I know it's SSS but I walked away thinking he's our best starter, right now.
3) May was hit hard, even on his outs.

Overall, it was a great experience... there were less than 400 people there... you could sit anywhere and just absorb the game. We sat right next to the on deck circle and just soaked it all in. I can't recommend it enough... although, don't plan to eat there. Due to limited attendance, there was also limited offerings for concessions... Thinking I'll visit my inlaws more often in October going forward. The golf was great too (pre-peak season so not as highly price as it is in Nov-March)!

Thanks for first hand account. Always enjoy reading them.

big dog
10-29-2013, 08:52 AM
Buxton 1-4 last night w/ an RBI and hit by a pitch. Also had an error. I don't really care how he does (as long as he doesn't get hurt), it won't change my opinion and it's great for him to get the experience.

Kepler 1-3 with a double, an RBI and a walk.

Meyer started, went 5 innings with 4 runs (3 earned) on 6 hits, 2 walks, 6 strikeouts. 77 pitches in 5 innings.

5 batters HBP in the game. Wildness or interesting back story?

spycake
10-29-2013, 01:39 PM
Do I recall correctly that the AFL is traditionally known as a hitters' league, with the hitters assigned generally being higher level prospects than the pitchers? If so, then I might have hoped to see the hitters put up a little better numbers. Achter and Meyer, though, are very encouraging.

Don't know that I had heard that previously, but it seems to make intuitive sense. By the time pitchers reach AA and striking distance of MLB, innings limits seem to be more attractive than expanded seasons. Seems like only special circumstances (like Meyer's shortened season) would put a quality advanced starting pitching prospect in the AFL.

Looking at Wikipedia, only one pitcher has won the AFL MVP award, and only 3 of the 26 players in the AFL "Hall of Fame" are starting pitchers (and none of those 3 pitched in the AFL after 1998).

Chance
10-29-2013, 05:28 PM
Buxton hit a homerun today (3) while going 2-5.

Rosario added another hit and has posted a .277 average, thus far.

Zach Jones continued to struggle. He failed to complete one inning of work. Jones gave up 2 hits, 2 walks and 2 homeruns. He also had one strikeout.

AJ Achter pitched another perfect inning with a strikeout. He now has 7 shutout innings in the AFL.

Oldgoat_MN
10-29-2013, 06:11 PM
I have no idea where you were able to find or do that search. How'd you do it?

It was a bit tedious.
I thought the Rays seemed to have good pitchers so I went through them.
At Baseball-Reference.com I entered 2006 Rays. Picked the ones I remembered did well (Kazmir as a 22 YO, Shields as a 24 YO), counted their ERA+ years >100, then skipped ahead a couple of years.
Also checked to make sure they were actually drafted by the Rays.

I may have missed one or two.
Not saying the Rays are the best ever and everyone else sucks. I just believe they have done an excellent job in their pitcher selections.

Most teams get lucky once in a while with a late round draft pick. I think they do that more than most others.

Shane Wahl
10-29-2013, 08:56 PM
Yeah Jones is imploding in almost every appearance.

Steve Penz
10-30-2013, 08:47 AM
Yeah Jones is imploding in almost every appearance.

Is this simply case of being over matched due to the AFL being hitter-rich and that he is used to A-ball talent? Dude was dominating in the FSL so one would not think it would be this bad.