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Mauer/Sano: Double Standard on Strength/Conditioning?

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Article: Rundown: Cruz, Cahill, Soria and Ramos

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Article: Gleeman and the Geek, Ep 402:

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LEN3 Throws Cold Water on Hot Stove

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Harold Baines and Lee Smith are Hall of Famers

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MLB announced tonight that a 16-person committee decided that DH Harold Baines and RP Lee Smith are now Hall of Famers.   Here is th...
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2018 Minnesota Twins Midseason Top Prospect List: Recap

The true tragedy of the 2018 season?

How it's tarnishing the hopes of so many Minnesota Twins fans who've earnestly bought into the vision of this rebuild, framed around Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano as superstar cornerstones.

Watching these heralded can't-miss prospects flounder as they enter what should be their primes – dragging the franchise along with them – can be dispiriting, I know. But please, don't let it jade you on the merits of young talent. Plenty more is on the way, and things do not always go so awry.
Image courtesy of Finn Pearson
In advance of this week's All-Star Game, Baseball America published a fun retrospective piece recalling some of its historical prospect rankings and write-ups for the showcase's participants.

Among those who never appeared in BA's Top 100: Charlie Blackmon, Paul Goldschmidt, J.D. Martinez, Corey Kluber, Jose Altuve.

In fact, Altuve's highest placement on the site's organizational rankings for Houston was 28th. Twenty-eighth! The 28-year-old was 2017 AL MVP and is about to appear in his sixth All-Star Game.

What I'm trying to say is that great players come from all corners, and all levels of repute. But of course, those who are acclaimed and touted as they rise through the minors have much higher rates of success, and those outside the top prospect class who exceed expectations usually have at least one standout ingredient that propels them to superiority.

This is a big reason we've extended our Twins Daily midseason rankings out to 40. The system is as deep as it's been in memory, with conducive ingredients and raw tools stretching to that point and beyond.

Today we'll recap the full updated rankings while breaking down some trends and tidbits worth noting.

MINNESOTA TWINS MIDSEASON TOP 40 PROSPECTS 2018: SUMMARY

40. Aaron Whitefield – OF
39. Jaylin Davis – OF
38. Ricky De La Torre – SS
37. Lachlan Wells – LHP
36. Aaron Slegers – RHP
35. Tyler Watson – LHP
34. DaShawn Keirsey, Jr. – OF
33. Gabriel Moya – LHP
32. Andrew Bechtold – 3B
31. Jordan Balazovic – RHP
30. John Curtiss – RHP
29. Zack Granite – OF
28. Jake Cave – OF
27. Tyler Wells – RHP
26. Griffin Jax - RHP
25. Tyler Jay – LHP
24. Felix Jorge – RHP
23. Kohl Stewart – RHP
22. Landon Leach – RHP
21. Jose Miranda – 2B
20. Luis Arraez – 2B
19. Jacob Pearson – OF
18. Ryan Jeffers – C
17. Lewin Diaz – 1B
16. Yunior Severino – 2B
15. Ben Rortvedt – C
14. Lewis Thorpe – LHP
13. Travis Blankenhorn – 3B
12. LaMonte Wade – OF
11. Blayne Enlow – RHP
10. Zack Littell - RHP
9. Wander Javier – SS
8. Akil Baddoo – OF
7. Brent Rooker – 1B
6. Trevor Larnach – OF
5. Stephen Gonsalves – LHP
4. Nick Gordon – SS
3. Brusdar Graterol – RHP
2. Alex Kirilloff – OF
1. Royce Lewis – SS

BREAKDOWN BY POSITION

Catcher: 2
Infield: 11
Outfield: 10
RH Pitcher: 11
LH Pitcher: 6

METHOD OF ACQUISITION

Draft: Lewis, Kirilloff, Gordon, Gonsalves, Larnach, Rooker, Baddoo, Enlow, Wade, Blankenhorn, Rortvedt, Jeffers, Miranda, Leach, Stewart, Jax, T. Wells, Granite, Curtiss, Balazovic, Bechtold, Keirsey, Slegers, De La Torre, Davis

Trade: Littell, Pearson, Cave, Moya, Watson

International Signing: Graterol, Javier, Thorpe, Diaz, Arraez, Jorge, L. Wells, Whitefield

A HEALTHY PIPELINE

Premier assets at the top, plenty of quality sprinkled throughout, and low-key intrigue at the back end: It might not rank as a top-three farm system in baseball, but Minnesota boasts a deep and enviable collection of minor-league talent.

The beauty of this group, at present? I promise I'm knocking on wood before I type this, but... they're in really good shape, physically.

Yes, there was the very unfortunate preseason shoulder injury for Wander Javier, knocking him out for the year at a crucial point of development. And there have naturally been some bumps and bruises along the way, but for the most part, players in the Twins' system have been able to stay on the field.

That hasn't been entirely common lately, and is especially refreshing in contrast to the dinged up big-league club.

In fact, several prospects have shown very promising signs while trying to rebound from major health tribulations.

Alex Kirilloff has of course blasted back onto the scene brilliantly after Tommy John surgery cost him all of 2017. But developments on the pitching side have been even more vitalizing.

Graterol had logged only 51 total frames through his first four pro seasons due to health problems, but is already at 55 innings between Cedar Rapids and Fort Myers this year. Thorpe, too, has set a new career-high in innings pitched while rebuilding strength after a long layoff.

Toss in Fernando Romero (who has now graduated from his prospect status, but would otherwise be near the top of this list), and you've got three absolutely critical arms that – at least so far – have returned to the fold very successfully after losing multiple seasons to injury.

Many who go through such tumult never make it back successfully. And while nothing is promised, for now I'm appreciating a little good fortune on this front.

FIRST CLASS

Derek Falvey and Thad Levine inherited a good situation in their first year at the helm, with the first overall pick in the 2017 draft and four selections in the top 76. No one could deny they took full advantage, bolstering the system in one fell swoop.

All four players taken with those picks now sit among our top 40: Royce Lewis (1), Brent Rooker (7), Blayne Enlow (11), Landon Leach (22). So do a couple others they grabbed in their first draft: Andrew Bechtold (32) and Ricky De La Torre (38). Obviously the sample is small with all these players and their futures have yet to be written, but there's plenty to like in Falvey and Levine's initial class of recruits.

Their first two picks Lewis and Rooker, in particular, are looking like slam dunks. And we'll see about the second class but so far Trevor Larnach (6) and Ryan Jeffers (18) aren't looking too shabby.

SPEED AT THE TOP

There are some very special talents on this list, and in the top five especially, but Royce Lewis is in a class of his own. Promoted to High-A last week, about a month after his 19th birthday, he's on an even faster path than the franchise's last No. 1 overall pick, Joe Mauer, who reached the Florida State League at age 20 in his third pro season.

Mauer ended up skipping Triple-A entirely on his way to debuting in the majors at age 20. It's becoming reasonable to envision a similar ascent for Lewis. In fact, as long as he can stay healthy, Lewis is a pretty good bet to become the youngest Twin to reach the big leagues since the turn of the century, beating out Mauer and Jorge Polanco who were close to 21 when they made landing.

In his first full season, Lewis has flashed outstanding speed on the field, where he's 22-for-27 on steals in 77 games, and in his development, which continues to progress at an lightning-quick pace. He's currently sitting at No. 10 overall in Baseball America's live Top 100 Rankings, well ahead of all others the Twins considered taking with the first pick last June, so their decision is being roundly reaffirmed one year later.

A LINGERING WEAKNESS

From the positional breakdown a little further up, you can see that the system has a nice balance for the most part: 17 pitchers, 11 infielders, 10 outfielders. But the lack of depth at another position – one of the absolute most critical – sticks out like a sore thumb. There are only two catchers in the rankings, and neither is higher than 15th. Additionally, neither is expected to arrive in the majors before 2021.

Outside of marginal journeymen like Bobby Wilson, the Twins currently have only Mitch Garver, whose defensive aptitude seems in question based on Paul Molitor's usage, and 31-year-old Jason Castro, who will be returning from knee surgery for his final year under contract in 2019.

If there's one position that the Twins clearly need to address from outside, it's this one. I have my own ideas, but there are plenty of other routes to go.

IMAGINING A BUILT-FROM-WITHIN 2023 MLB ROSTER

What might a future 25-man Twins roster, assembled entirely from prospects currently in the system, look like? Subtracting current big-leaguers from the mix and taking a few liberties in terms of positional flexibility, here's a theoretical look at an internally produced lineup, bench, and pitching staff roughly five years down the line:

C - Ben Rortvedt
1B - Brent Rooker
2B - Nick Gordon
SS - Wander Javier
3B - Travis Blankenhorn
LF - LaMonte Wade
CF - Royce Lewis
RF - Alex Kirilloff
DH - Trevor Larnach

C - Ryan Jeffers
IF - Yunior Severino
IF - Luis Arraez
OF - Akil Baddoo
OF - Jacob Pearson

SP - Brusdar Graterol
SP - Stephen Gonsalves
SP - Zack Littell
SP - Blayne Enlow
SP - Felix Jorge

RP - Lewis Thorpe
RP - Tyler Jay
RP - Kohl Stewart
RP - Gabriel Moya
RP - John Curtiss
RP - Griffin Jax
RP - Tyler Wells

FURTHER READING
  • Catch up on the latest news and developments surrounding the system's top talents by reading through Tom Froemming's exhaustive Twins Prospect Pulse
  • Trey Cabbage, who ranks somewhere just outside the Top 40, was the subject of SD Buhr's latest column from Cedar Rapids
  • If you need a reminder that sometimes top prospects pan out beautifully, Jose Berrios will be participating in Tuesday night's All-Star Game at age 24, and up until the contest ends you can still sign up to a win a free baseball signed by Berrios

WEIGH IN!

What are your thoughts on the state of the Twins system here at the 2018 All-Star break? Did we miss anyone we should've included (other than high-profile international signing Misael Urbina, who came aboard after our ranking process had begun)? Do you have major quibbles with any placements? Let us know in the comments.

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25 Comments

Dispite all the handwringing I still think that if Sano gets his head on straight, he will be a big factor in the years to come.  

Buxton still has a floor as a very good 4th outfielder over the next 6 - 10 years.Guys like him (Rajia Davis) tend to stay around a long time. If Buxton can learn to hit as an average outfielder, he will be great.

I like the new direction, as the new FO seems to be looking for players with speed and contact type hitters.This will make the Twins more competitive with their AB's in the next several years. 

Pitching was the area the old regime did not ever seem to figure out, like very much the new pitchers the Twins are bringing up the ranks, in fact at the minor league levels the current Twins farm clubs seem to have more problems with hitting than pitching.That is a very big change for this orgainization (and a welcome one).

    • Minny505 likes this

Interesting reading. A couple of Twins Daily favorites over the past couple of years are missing from your 2023 25 man roster: no Fernando Romero or Zack Granite.What were your thoughts on them?

I'm surprised with what seems like a large number of people's eagerness to move Lewis off of short, this is only his second season playing shortstop, and he is progressing pretty well defensively.

It seems like catcher may be on the upswing.How about an article looking into thecatching depth with the introduction of Jeffers, Williams, Casanova, Weiss(of??), and Hale from this years' draft; Banuelos and Villalobos from trades; as well as holdovers Rortvedt, Navarreto, Kranson, Hamilton, and Grzelakowski.Who will stick at catcher?Who has the defensive ability to be a major league catcher?

    • birdwatcher, Dman, Minny505 and 1 other like this

 

I'm surprised with what seems like a large number of people's eagerness to move Lewis off of short, this is only his second season playing shortstop, and he is progressing pretty well defensively.

 

Defense is a bit of concern. 17 errors and a .938 FP at Cedar Rapids this season.For comparison's purpose Jorge Polanco's FP at Cedar Rapids was .956 at SS.The more positions he can play the better off the Twins are.

Interesting article and right on point – having two guys that we have been pinning our hopes on take huge steps back is a killer. The Twins have had more than their fair share of disappointments over the last few years, or does it just seem that way? It would be interesting to compare other teams or perhaps overall top 100 prospects from a few years ago and see how well they have done.

 

I ran across a list of top 100 prospects from Baseball Prospectus for 2013 preseason:

 

8) Buxton
21) Sano
46) Aaron Hicks
60) Oswaldo Arcia
64) Kyle Gibson
88) Alex Meyer

 

Hicks and Gibson are now doing well but of course Hicks isn’t helping the Twins and they didn’t get anything in return. Add in other things like Kepler not doing as well as hoped and top 10 draft picks Tyler Jay and Kohl Stewart being disappointing and I think Twins fans have a right to be disheartened.

 

Berrios and Rosario are doing great but overall a lot of guys that I had high hopes for over the last 3-5 years and not getting it done.

 

There will always be guys who don’t pan out but hopefully the hit rate on this group is much better than on the last one.

    • birddog and Minny505 like this

 

Interesting reading. A couple of Twins Daily favorites over the past couple of years are missing from your 2023 25 man roster: no Fernando Romero or Zack Granite.What were your thoughts on them?

 

I assume Romero is being treated as if he's on the current MLB roster, and Nick intentionally left all of them out. but I'm still not seeing Felix Jorge as the 5th starter even on this squad over someone like Thorpe or even Kohl Stewart.

 

Catcher and 3B are the thinnest spots in the minor league development pipeline, but there's been some effort to start working on that area. But it's definitely an area of weakness unless Sano can get it figured out or Escobar lands there permanently for a few years at 3B and catcher doesn't have guys that are likely close. I like Rortvedt, but he's still not there yet.

 

But that does happen in every system, and I'd rather be flush with guys that can play up the middle.

Photo
Nick Nelson
Jul 17 2018 08:30 AM

 

Interesting reading. A couple of Twins Daily favorites over the past couple of years are missing from your 2023 25 man roster: no Fernando Romero or Zack Granite.What were your thoughts on them?

Yea, what I really meant was that the projection only includes players who still have prospect status, I should've said that instead of current big-leaguers. I certainly expect Romero to be leading this rotation in five years. Granite just didn't make the cut, there were five OFs above him on the list. It wouldn't shock me if he falls off the 40-man roster soon to be honest. 

    • Dman, Vanimal46 and Original Whizzinator like this

Thanks for the update, Nick.

 

You have included several players that I am not too high on.I doubt that Wade, Littell, Jorge, Stewart and Jay will be starters five years from now, or even on the team. 

 

I also am amongst the group that believes Lewis will be the shortstop.Don't know what to think about Javier.Unfortunately, until he gets healthy and plays none of us will. 

 

My fifth starter would be Anthony Escobar.Yes, that's a real long shot and a lot can happen as he moves up the system.But a 17 year old doing what he's doing in the DSL is interesting, very interesting.Does anyone know if he was a big dollar signing last year?Or another mid-to-low dollar guy like Romero and Graterol?

How can we not be disappointed and even frustrated in the Buxton and Sano whoshowed up this year? Especially after the hype of can't miss prospects. It is getting tougher each year as Twins are once again sellers at the trade deadline to get excited about the prospects of getting more prospects. Yes, we have had some pan out but way too many fell out of the pan like fool's gold.

 

The only good news is that anyone who doesn't understand the concept of floor and ceiling now just has to look at Buxton's September 2017 as ceiling and his 2018 season as floor. If that floor has a basement I'm afraid CF is Cave's for the next decade.

If I was going to make a bet about the roster in five years, I'd put some money on Miranda and Balazovic.  But I don't really quibble with Nick's list either, kind of just highlights the depth of the system.

    • birdwatcher likes this

 

Interesting article and right on point – having two guys that we have been pinning our hopes on take huge steps back is a killer. The Twins have had more than their fair share of disappointments over the last few years, or does it just seem that way? It would be interesting to compare other teams or perhaps overall top 100 prospects from a few years ago and see how well they have done.

While not exactly answering your question, it was pointed out the other day that the Cubs had 5 top-10 draft picks between 2011 and 2015. They are all currently between the ages of 23 and 26, and they are all in the big-league starting lineup most days. They have combined for over 10 WAR already this season.

    • Dman, Vanimal46, Minny505 and 1 other like this
Some great prospects for sure. The pitching depth seems so much better than in the past, imagine if Stewart or Jay were doing better...

Thanks for the great coverage of the minors!
    • Minny505 likes this

Well Nick, nice try to put lipstick on a pig, but I for one don't buy it!Prospects are just that until they perform at least at a major league level.And the top teams are able to turn at least a few of their prospects into all stars.Just look at Cubs, Astros and Red Sox, not to speak of the big buck Yankees and Dodgers - all of whom are at or near the top of their divisions, not because of free agent signings or trades but because of successful drafting and development.

 

How many all stars has the Twins' farm system developed since 2000?One pitcher, Radke, and now Berrios(an improving youngster but by no means arrived yet).Better on position players but still aside from Mauer and Morneau, no one who regularly appeared on the all star teams.  

 

To me, the failure of Buxton and Sano is the ultimate indictment of the Twins scouting and coaching system over the years, mainly under Ryan, of course, but the wonder boys have yet to show a desire to get rid of the Ryan-era coaches, starting at the top and all the way thru the minor league system.Yes, a bit early to throw Falvey under the bus, but if this highly rated Buxton/Sano duo cannot be trusted to lead the next Twins' playoff run, why should we have any faith that all these other prospects should?

 

I'm sure there will be dissenting opinions onsuch a harsh indictment and hope is always eternal, but after this latest fiasco, what leads us to believe that these hot, low level players listed in the article (the AA and AAA rosters give little hope of any immediate injection of high performing major leaguers)will develop any better than Buxton and Sano in a Twins' system that has failed so miserably - a record that has produced one playoff series win in the last 26 years!

 

The Buxton/Sano ship has sailed.To count on either(no less both) in the future is shear foolishness.The next round of hot prospects, including Gordon, Gonzales, Jay, Romero(better chance but still questionnable) each have major question marks, meaning we now must await the Lewis/Rooker/Kiriloff/Graterol era - maybe in 3-4 years.Why should we expect a different result in a Twins' organization so long steeped in ineptitude??

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RaymondLuxuryYacht
Jul 17 2018 04:05 PM
The only thing I know of that qualifies as sheer foolishness is my last haircut.

Well Nick, nice try to put lipstick on a pig, but I for one don't buy it! Prospects are just that until they perform at least at a major league level. And the top teams are able to turn at least a few of their prospects into all stars. Just look at Cubs, Astros and Red Sox, not to speak of the big buck Yankees and Dodgers - all of whom are at or near the top of their divisions, not because of free agent signings or trades but because of successful drafting and development.

How many all stars has the Twins' farm system developed since 2000? One pitcher, Radke, and now Berrios(an improving youngster but by no means arrived yet). Better on position players but still aside from Mauer and Morneau, no one who regularly appeared on the all star teams.

To me, the failure of Buxton and Sano is the ultimate indictment of the Twins scouting and coaching system over the years, mainly under Ryan, of course, but the wonder boys have yet to show a desire to get rid of the Ryan-era coaches, starting at the top and all the way thru the minor league system. Yes, a bit early to throw Falvey under the bus, but if this highly rated Buxton/Sano duo cannot be trusted to lead the next Twins' playoff run, why should we have any faith that all these other prospects should?

I'm sure there will be dissenting opinions on such a harsh indictment and hope is always eternal, but after this latest fiasco, what leads us to believe that these hot, low level players listed in the article (the AA and AAA rosters give little hope of any immediate injection of high performing major leaguers) will develop any better than Buxton and Sano in a Twins' system that has failed so miserably - a record that has produced one playoff series win in the last 26 years!

The Buxton/Sano ship has sailed. To count on either(no less both) in the future is shear foolishness. The next round of hot prospects, including Gordon, Gonzales, Jay, Romero(better chance but still questionnable) each have major question marks, meaning we now must await the Lewis/Rooker/Kiriloff/Graterol era - maybe in 3-4 years. Why should we expect a different result in a Twins' organization so long steeped in ineptitude??


Who on earth has Tyler Jay as a hot prospect?

 

Well Nick, nice try to put lipstick on a pig, but I for one don't buy it!Prospects are just that until they perform at least at a major league level.And the top teams are able to turn at least a few of their prospects into all stars.Just look at Cubs, Astros and Red Sox, not to speak of the big buck Yankees and Dodgers - all of whom are at or near the top of their divisions, not because of free agent signings or trades but because of successful drafting and development.

 

How many all stars has the Twins' farm system developed since 2000?One pitcher, Radke, and now Berrios(an improving youngster but by no means arrived yet).Better on position players but still aside from Mauer and Morneau, no one who regularly appeared on the all star teams.  

 

To me, the failure of Buxton and Sano is the ultimate indictment of the Twins scouting and coaching system over the years, mainly under Ryan, of course, but the wonder boys have yet to show a desire to get rid of the Ryan-era coaches, starting at the top and all the way thru the minor league system.Yes, a bit early to throw Falvey under the bus, but if this highly rated Buxton/Sano duo cannot be trusted to lead the next Twins' playoff run, why should we have any faith that all these other prospects should?

 

I'm sure there will be dissenting opinions onsuch a harsh indictment and hope is always eternal, but after this latest fiasco, what leads us to believe that these hot, low level players listed in the article (the AA and AAA rosters give little hope of any immediate injection of high performing major leaguers)will develop any better than Buxton and Sano in a Twins' system that has failed so miserably - a record that has produced one playoff series win in the last 26 years!

 

The Buxton/Sano ship has sailed.To count on either(no less both) in the future is shear foolishness.The next round of hot prospects, including Gordon, Gonzales, Jay, Romero(better chance but still questionnable) each have major question marks, meaning we now must await the Lewis/Rooker/Kiriloff/Graterol era - maybe in 3-4 years.Why should we expect a different result in a Twins' organization so long steeped in ineptitude??

First of all, neither can be labeled a bust yet.Buxton rates to be at worst a 4th outfielder, and Sano if he gets his weight under control and fixes his swing, should be fine.I am sure a number of clubs would like to buy several of the Twins upper level players cheap.Just slow down and give it a year or two.

    • Tom Froemming likes this

Who on earth has Tyler Jay as a hot prospect?

 

Jay's name was added as an example of the Twins failure to convert a very high draft pick(#6) into a major league producer(forget an all star).He obviously is no longer a high level prospect

 

First of all, neither can be labeled a bust yet.Buxton rates to be at worst a 4th outfielder, and Sano if he gets his weight under control and fixes his swing, should be fine.I am sure a number of clubs would like to buy several of the Twins upper level players cheap.Just slow down and give it a year or two.

 

We're talking probabilities here.Other than two months, has Buxton ever shown he can hit major league pitching and yet he was the #2 drafted player and on many prospect lists rated #1. To date he can no longer hit AAA pitching.And yet you hope he'll be a #4 OF!!I'd say that is a monumental failure.

 

Sano has so many character and personal issues that one has to be a supreme optimist that he can ever live up to his potential.It's a very hard pill to swallow, I know, but its about time we faced the reality here, don't you think?

 

I don't mind waiting for another year or two if I had faith that the systemic problems of this organization have been corrected.Call me old-fashioned but Falvey's reliance on statistics, together with his lackluster hires for hitting and pitching coaches, gives me little cause for optimism that the wonder boys are on the right path.They're an improvement over Ryan, but just incrementally so far.Jim Pohlad is still pulling the (purse) strings - and that's a bad thing!

 

First of all, neither can be labeled a bust yet.Buxton rates to be at worst a 4th outfielder, and Sano if he gets his weight under control and fixes his swing, should be fine.I am sure a number of clubs would like to buy several of the Twins upper level players cheap.Just slow down and give it a year or two.

If Buxton turns out to be a 4th outfielder, he absolutely is a bust.2nd overall picks shouldn't be backups.

    • Mike Sixel likes this

Who on earth has Tyler Jay as a hot prospect?

Jay's name was added as an example of the Twins failure to convert a very high draft pick(#6) into a major league producer(forget an all star). He obviously is no longer a high level prospect

First of all, neither can be labeled a bust yet.Buxton rates to be at worst a 4th outfielder, and Sano if he gets his weight under control and fixes his swing, should be fine.I am sure a number of clubs would like to buy several of the Twins upper level players cheap.Just slow down and give it a year or two.

We're talking probabilities here. Other than two months, has Buxton ever shown he can hit major league pitching and yet he was the #2 drafted player and on many prospect lists rated #1. To date he can no longer hit AAA pitching. And yet you hope he'll be a #4 OF!! I'd say that is a monumental failure.

Sano has so many character and personal issues that one has to be a supreme optimist that he can ever live up to his potential. It's a very hard pill to swallow, I know, but its about time we faced the reality here, don't you think?

I don't mind waiting for another year or two if I had faith that the systemic problems of this organization have been corrected. Call me old-fashioned but Falvey's reliance on statistics, together with his lackluster hires for hitting and pitching coaches, gives me little cause for optimism that the wonder boys are on the right path. They're an improvement over Ryan, but just incrementally so far. Jim Pohlad is still pulling the (purse) strings - and that's a bad thing!


Sorry, I misinterpreted your post to allege that he was still considered a hot prospect.
Yes, there was a time when he was.

Hope does still spring eternal with me.  I think that is the whole reason I bother being a fan (and also a school teacher.). Player development is almost a sport in and of itself--it is less like chess, and more like ping-pong, than most people like to admit.  So many variables, but in the end sometimes the ball doesn't bounce your way.  The Twins obviously whiffed by taking Tyler Jay at 6 and passing on Benintendi.  Would the Red Sox have done the same thing if the spots were reversed?  Who knows, and who cares, really.  We only have this one reality to live in, and right now the Twins have a recent track record of top picks not working out...at least compared to some hand-picked teams.

 

I'm thrilled with the state of the farm system, and I'm starting to wonder if we aren't massively underrating Kiriloff.  A couple of years from now fans on other teams websites may be lamenting the failure of their front office to identify this kid.

    • Tom Froemming likes this

Depth is good.And the depth is good.Maybe a little better balance of high floor to go along with the high ceiling toward the top than we've had in the past?

 

There's a lot of randomness in development.The two guys taken ahead of Kirby Puckett in the January phase of the 1982 draft combined for career WAR of -0.3. Turns out Kirby developed more favorably.We're going to be the ones that get lucky every now and then.Keep the faith.

Not sure where andrew Vasquez is. That man will definitely be in the big league pen for years to come. Not sure I would bet on Felix Jorge anywhere. looks nice though. Thanks for putting this together, Nick.

 

If Buxton turns out to be a 4th outfielder, he absolutely is a bust.2nd overall picks shouldn't be backups.

That is what I consider his floor.His ceiling is much higher.Most likely to me at this time is that he is a slightly above average outfielder with a great defense and speed, and slightly below average hitting.I would not label that a bust. 

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Tom Froemming
Jul 18 2018 08:06 AM

 

Not sure where andrew Vasquez is. That man will definitely be in the big league pen for years to come. Not sure I would bet on Felix Jorge anywhere. looks nice though. Thanks for putting this together, Nick.

I had Vasquez at 44. That may sound low, but he was also the fourth reliever I have ranked, behind only Tyler Jay, John Curtiss and Gabriel Moya.

 

He's an interesting pitcher. Big, eccentric mechanics, good offspeed stuff but he doesn't throw hard. I'm pleasantly surprised by how well he's performing in Chattanooga. 


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