Jump to content

Providing independent coverage of the Minnesota Twins.
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

The Forums

Good Cuts.

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 12:00 PM
Mark Salas blocked the heck outta that plate.  
Full topic ›

Helfand: “early June start appears out of picture”

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 10:36 AM
https://www.twinciti...florida-orders/
Full topic ›

Recent Baseball America Milb Organization Rankings

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 06:47 AM
Since I'm not giving everything away, assuming it's OK to just mention the Twins here. BA ranks the Twins 8th going in to the 2020 season...
Full topic ›

Athletic article on the 2019 postseason baseball

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 10:11 AM
For those who have a subscription to the Athletic, there is a very interesting article I saw that was a deep dive into the 2019 postseaso...
Full topic ›

Get to know each other

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 05:48 PM
I did this once about 2-3 years ago, but it was during the offseason and well, it's been a long time ago... Let's get to know each other...
Full topic ›

Recent Blogs


3 Twins Prospects Impacted By Josh Donaldson's Signing

Josh Donaldson’s signing with the Twins sent shockwaves through much of the fan base for a variety of reasons. Minnesota had never signed a free agent to a larger contract, and many assumed he would wind up back in Atlanta since he had voiced that as his preference. His signing is a franchise-altering moment and there will be ramifications for years into the future. One impact will be felt by other players in the farm system as their path to the big-leagues could now be altered.
Image courtesy of Pensacola Blue Wahoos (Alex Kirilloff)
Here are three players whose path to the major leagues could be altered because of Donaldson’s signing.

Brent Rooker, OF/1B
Rooker was Minnesota’s supplemental first-round pick back in 2017 and his college experience helped to push him all the way to Triple-A last season. He was limited to 67 games due to a right groin contusion. Prior to the injury, he was having one of his best professional seasons as he was hitting .281/.398/.535 while being nearly three years younger than the competition at Triple-A. Rooker is already on the 40-man roster so there is certainly a chance he makes it to Target Field this season. With the addition of a 26th roster spot for 2020, he would be an intriguing option as a bench bat later in the season.

Donaldson Impact: With the addition of Donaldson, there would likely need to be multiple injuries for him to get an extended look at the big-league level.

Alex Kirilloff, OF/1B
Like Rooker, Kirilloff missed time during the 2019 campaign due to injury. A wrist injury kept him out for the first month of 2019 and it continued to bother him throughout parts of the season. He told MiLB.com, “It takes a little bit more time to warm it up and get it going than usual…Just being able to mentally tell yourself and your body that your wrist is completely fine again is another step to take as well.” Kirilloff is widely considered one of the organization’s top prospects, but he will likely spend 2019 between Double- and Triple-A. He’s still a prospect to watch during the up-coming season.

Donaldson Impact: Kirilloff could have been a candidate to take over at first base, but now he can prove he’s healthy and swing his way onto the 40-man roster.

Trevor Larnach, OF
Minnesota made Larnach the 20th selection in the 2018 MLB Draft and he spent little time making his mark on the organization. During his first full professional season, he hit .309/.384/.458 with 44 extra-base hits on his way to being named the Twins Minor League Player of the Year. The Florida State League is usually considered a tough hitting environment and Larnach posted an .842 OPS across 84 games. Larnach, along with the names above, are a trio of prospects more known for their bats than their defense. If Rooker and Kirilloff are healthy, they could get a big-league opportunity before Larnach has a chance.

Donaldson Impact: If Minnesota is higher on Rooker and Kirilloff than Larnach, he could be the key prospect included in a deal to acquire a starting pitcher before the season’s start or at the trade deadline.

If you want to learn more about the players discussed above, make sure to pick up a copy of the 2020 Twins Prospect Handbook. There are profiles and scouting reports on nearly 170 players in the Twins farm system along with articles and prospect rankings.

MORE FROM TWINS DAILY
— Latest Twins coverage from our writers
— Recent Twins discussion in our forums
— Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email

  • Blake, mikelink45 and DannySD like this

  • Share:
  • submit to reddit
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

58 Comments

Rooker is not on the 40 man roster, none of the 3 discussed had to be added yet. 

    • IAMNFan likes this

 

Rooker is not on the 40 man roster, none of the 3 discussed had to be added yet. 

 

No, but they're all within about a half-season of being big-league ready. 

 

And at that point, you never know where a need might be. 

    • Sconnie, JoshDungan1 and MN_ExPat like this
1] Raley. So many dismiss him because he wasn't a top 5-10 prospect at time of trade with the Dodgers and because he didn't come up through the Twins system.

He had a really nice 2018. He had a nice early start to 2019, (was used a lot in ST games by the Twins, including time in CF to see what he looked like out there), before injury and finished the AFL on a high note. He may be more ready than the other 3 listed, but no mention. Mistake.

2] Hopeful if a bit naive assumption that over the next year plus all 3-4 actually prove themselves to be actual, viable ML ready, Cruz will probably be done/gone, Rosario may be traded or lost after 2021, that leaves room for 2 to make an impact, possibly 3 with a bench spot. This also leaves further trade possibilities.

Impacted? Hmmm...how about the word "affected"? Seems to be more accurate to me.
    • TNTwinsFan, alphanumeric, Sconnie and 6 others like this
Photo
Richard Swerdlick
Jan 22 2020 04:46 AM

Anyone of our 3rd base prospects such as TB has certainly been affected.

    • jkcarew and IAMNFan like this

1] Raley. So many dismiss him because he wasn't a top 5-10 prospect at time of trade with the Dodgers and because he didn't come up through the Twins system.

He had a really nice 2018. He had a nice early start to 2019, (was used a lot in ST games by the Twins, including time in CF to see what he looked like out there), before injury and finished the AFL on a high note. He may be more ready than the other 3 listed, but no mention. Mistake.

2] Hopeful if a bit naive assumption that over the next year plus all 3-4 actually prove themselves to be actual, viable ML ready, Cruz will probably be done/gone, Rosario may be traded or lost after 2021, that leaves room for 2 to make an impact, possibly 3 with a bench spot. This also leaves further trade possibilities.

Impacted? Hmmm...how about the word "affected"? Seems to be more accurate to me.


Raley is a legitimate outfielder, not a first base candidate, IMO.
I would assume that's why he wasn't mentioned.
    • alphanumeric and IAMNFan like this

Anyone of our 3rd base prospects such as TB has certainly been affected.


Travis Blankenhorn's upside is backup/utility infielder, IMO. Not starter. So I don't think he's affected by the Donaldson signing.
    • DannySD and IAMNFan like this
Here is how it should work, if a team is trying to win and develop.

When an injury occurs at the major league level.

The front office should look at all of the players available and call up the guy who can contribute and then the team should let the player contribute regardless of the position he plays.

If it's Wade... Call him up and play him. If it's Rooker... Add him to the 40 man roster, call him up and play him. You call up the player who is ready to contribute and whoever that is... You play them.

If 2B or SS gets hurt, do we just call up Gordon just because he is a 2B or SS, even if Gordon is hitting .200 at Rochester and Rooker is hitting .400 at Rochester?

We shouldn't call up Rooker because the club could never get past Donaldson, Sano, Rosario, Buxton and Kepler every day and if we did call up Rooker instead of Gordon due to talent, he has to sit on the bench because Donaldson, Sano, Rosario, Buxton and Kepler have to play every day. It's like last year never happened and we are back to Terry Ryan.

Do the math. How often would each player have to sit if you had 7 guys for 6 positions.

If Rooker, Kiriloff or Larnach are held back because they can't find playing time because of Rosario, Buxton, Kepler, Cruz, Donaldson and Sano and they just can't figure it out. We might as well trade the three of them now and prepare to sign Cozart types in the future.

BTW... If anyone in the front office labels Blankenhorn as utility or backup. Please remove Blankenhorn from the 40 man roster or trade him now. Because if the front office feels that Blankenhorn is only utility or a backup... that's all he will be, the front office will guarantee that Blankenhorn is only utility or backup by not allowing him to rise above it.

Blankenhorn is officially 40 man roster space waste with that designation... please don't place it on him.
    • Blake, mikelink45, DocBauer and 4 others like this

Great situation for all three.They get to begin their season in the minors, working on whatever each needs to work on.When an injury opens a spot on the Twins, whomever is playing the best gets the call.And yes, one of the three who could open a spot, Donaldson, Sano, Cruz, will get injured at some point this season giving Player X, Y, or Z his chance.

    • DocBauer and SF Twins Fan like this

Let's hope Rosario has a good first half so we can get more when we trade him.

    • Twins33 and alphanumeric like this

Here is how it should work, if a team is trying to win and develop.

When an injury occurs at the major league level.

The front office should look at all of the players available and call up the guy who can contribute and then the team should let the player contribute regardless of the position he plays.

If it's Wade... Call him up and play him. If it's Rooker... Add him to the 40 man roster, call him up and play him. You call up the player who is ready to contribute and whoever that is... You play them.

If 2B or SS gets hurt, do we just call up Gordon just because he is a 2B or SS, even if Gordon is hitting .200 at Rochester and Rooker is hitting .400 at Rochester?

We shouldn't call up Rooker because the club could never get past Donaldson, Sano, Rosario, Buxton and Kepler every day and if we did call up Rooker instead of Gordon due to talent, he has to sit on the bench because Donaldson, Sano, Rosario, Buxton and Kepler have to play every day. It's like last year never happened and we are back to Terry Ryan.

Do the math. How often would each player have to sit if you had 7 guys for 6 positions.

If Rooker, Kiriloff or Larnach are held back because they can't find playing time because of Rosario, Buxton, Kepler, Cruz, Donaldson and Sano and they just can't figure it out. We might as well trade the three of them now and prepare to sign Cozart types in the future.

BTW... If anyone in the front office labels Blankenhorn as utility or backup. Please remove Blankenhorn from the 40 man roster or trade him now. Because if the front office feels that Blankenhorn is only utility or a backup... that's all he will be, the front office will guarantee that Blankenhorn is only utility or backup by not allowing him to rise above it.

Blankenhorn is officially 40 man roster space waste with that designation... please don't place it on him.


Backups and utility guys that make the league minimum have value.
I understand you think they should all play, but I couldn't disagree more. Some players are better than others. Playing someone worse and sitting someone better is just throwing away production, IMO.
Even in a 7 for 6 spots rotation, like you mentioned, that's still 23 times per season, for EACH of the 6 spots that you are sitting a better player so that the 7th best of those 7 can play equally.
That's the equivalent of losing a better player for the entire season, those games add up.
    • USAFChief, chpettit19, JoshDungan1 and 1 other like this
And just because I think Blankenhorn's upside is utility player, doesn't mean he's a waste of a 40 man spot.
In addition to my argument in the previous post about those guys having value, there is also a chance he exceeds expectations and develops into a league average starter somewhere.
    • Minny505 likes this

Backups and utility guys that make the league minimum have value.
I understand you think they should all play, but I couldn't disagree more. Some players are better than others. Playing someone worse and sitting someone better is just throwing away production, IMO.
Even in a 7 for 6 spots rotation, like you mentioned, that's still 23 times per season, for EACH of the 6 spots that you are sitting a better player so that the 7th best of those 7 can play equally.
That's the equivalent of losing a better player for the entire season, those games add up.

Backup guys who don't play are the very definition of no value. You can't trade them for anything of value because you've labeled them as not good enough and if they don't play they don't help you win immediately and when you have to play them due to injury, they were already determined to be not good enough so you are purposely playing lesser talent and if they are good enough to play... sitting them just kills them anyway.

As for the math. Are you sure that the 6 players we have are better? How much better? .300 OPS better or are they .50 OPS better? If you have Mike Trout on your team and he is .300 OPS better, I agree with you. He should play everyday.

Will you bench a 23 year old for .50 ops? How do you know if the 23 year old isn't the guy who is .50 OPS or .300 better? If the 23 year old is .50 OPS better do you now bench Rosario and throw him away?

It's your choice... you can increase value of 13 players or 9. If you choose 9 you better choose right because you have removed all cushion.
    • Minny505 likes this

And just because I think Blankenhorn's upside is utility player, doesn't mean he's a waste of a 40 man spot.
In addition to my argument in the previous post about those guys having value, there is also a chance he exceeds expectations and develops into a league average starter somewhere.


How does he exceed expectation? If he is viewed as backup at best?

 

Here is how it should work, if a team is trying to win and develop.

When an injury occurs at the major league level.

The front office should look at all of the players available and call up the guy who can contribute and then the team should let the player contribute regardless of the position he plays.

If it's Wade... Call him up and play him. If it's Rooker... Add him to the 40 man roster, call him up and play him. You call up the player who is ready to contribute and whoever that is... You play them.

If 2B or SS gets hurt, do we just call up Gordon just because he is a 2B or SS, even if Gordon is hitting .200 at Rochester and Rooker is hitting .400 at Rochester?

We shouldn't call up Rooker because the club could never get past Donaldson, Sano, Rosario, Buxton and Kepler every day and if we did call up Rooker instead of Gordon due to talent, he has to sit on the bench because Donaldson, Sano, Rosario, Buxton and Kepler have to play every day. It's like last year never happened and we are back to Terry Ryan.

Do the math. How often would each player have to sit if you had 7 guys for 6 positions.

If Rooker, Kiriloff or Larnach are held back because they can't find playing time because of Rosario, Buxton, Kepler, Cruz, Donaldson and Sano and they just can't figure it out. We might as well trade the three of them now and prepare to sign Cozart types in the future.

BTW... If anyone in the front office labels Blankenhorn as utility or backup. Please remove Blankenhorn from the 40 man roster or trade him now. Because if the front office feels that Blankenhorn is only utility or a backup... that's all he will be, the front office will guarantee that Blankenhorn is only utility or backup by not allowing him to rise above it.

Blankenhorn is officially 40 man roster space waste with that designation... please don't place it on him.

Marwin allows the Twins to be very flexible with injury call ups.

    • Mike Frasier Law, Riverbrian and Minny505 like this

Marwin allows the Twins to be very flexible with injury call ups.


Exactly and so does Adrianza and even Arraez. If a middle infielder goes down we don't have to force a struggling middle infielder on to the roster to replace them. It can truly be the guy who is raking in Rochester.

It could be Rooker or Kiriloff.
    • Blake, jrod23 and IAMNFan like this

Backup guys who don't play are the very definition of no value. You can't trade them for anything of value because you've labeled them as not good enough and if they don't play they don't help you win immediately and when you have to play them due to injury, they were already determined to be not good enough so you are purposely playing lesser talent and if they are good enough to play... sitting them just kills them anyway.

As for the math. Are you sure that the 6 players we have are better? How much better? .300 OPS better or are they .50 OPS better? If you have Mike Trout on your team and he is .300 OPS better, I agree with you. He should play everyday.

Will you bench a 23 year old for .50 ops? How do you know if the 23 year old isn't the guy who is .50 OPS or .300 better? If the 23 year old is .50 OPS better do you now bench Rosario and throw him away?

It's your choice... you can increase value of 13 players or 9. If you choose 9 you better choose right because you have removed all cushion.


I didn't say they should never play.
I'm saying they shouldn't play on an equal rotation.
It doesn't matter if a player is .300 or .050 OPS better. The better player should play.

How does he exceed expectation? If he is viewed as backup at best?


Because the cream rises to the top.
Even backups will get their chances over 162 games. If they outplay their expectation, they'll get more playing time. If they continue to perform during the course of that additional playing time, they'll move into one of those starting spots. Or, they'll have trade value.

I don't think we're suggesting vastly different things.
It's just that you suggest "forcing" the issue, whereas I suggest letting it come naturally.

No two players have equal talent and ability. If it appears they do, then they simply aren't being evaluated with enough digits after the decimal point. There is no such thing as a true "tie" in a race. If you keep adding past the decimal point, you'll eventually find that one participant was faster than the other.
I want the faster guy in the race, even if he's only .0001 seconds faster.

26 guys of equal ability just isn't realistic.

Things are definitely crowded in the outfield no question about it.The 40 man is full of talent as well. If you drop some of the younger guys off of it with the exception of Raley and Chalmers you are essentially dropping a top 20 prospect and gifting that player to another organization.Wisler and Harper are about the only true flexibility left IMO.

 

That being said if injury in the outfield or 1st base I have to beliave Raley gets the first shot.He is on the 40 man and they need to see what he can do to either make it or clear a spot.Next in line is probably Rooker he is older and needs to be on the 40 next year anyway to be protected from the Rule V draft. If Rooker is injured or having a down year then Kirilloff would be up as he needs to be added next year as well.Larnach is likely the odd man out unless he is just killing it and doing much better then the players mentioned above.

 

If no injuries it is going to be very tough for anyone from the minors to find a spot on the 40 man.Even with injuries they might get passed over so that we don't lose someone else.Personally I think the FO lets them play this year and try's to decide who to keep and who to trade to strengthen the team around the deadline.They will have more information on the state of the farm to make better decisions by then.

    • DocBauer and SF Twins Fan like this

I didn't say they should never play.
I'm saying they shouldn't play on an equal rotation.
It doesn't matter if a player is .300 or .050 OPS better. The better player should play.

I'm not saying that either. I'm using equal rotation as a starting point to show that players don't have to be diminished if they are performing. You can roster more than 9 talented players and make it work.

The whole reason for doing this is to avoid playing Logan Morrison everyday with only Ryan LaMarre to turn to and keeping the pipeline turning or to avoid giving Buxton or Hicks a job out of spring training with no safety net or to avoid wasting a 23 year old on the bench over .50 OPS points.

If Rooker gets called up and struggles... send him down and call up the next guy.

Its 2020 and we just watched Arraez grab the ball and run with it. If Arraez comes up as a backup and plays once a week we probably resign Schoop or Dozier this off season.
    • DocBauer, Tomj14 and railmarshalljon like this
Photo
MMMordabito
Jan 22 2020 10:30 AM

 

I didn't say they should never play.
I'm saying they shouldn't play on an equal rotation.
It doesn't matter if a player is .300 or .050 OPS better. The better player should play.

 

I agree that the best players should play, but Baldelli's management style with all the built-in rest probably lends itself to Riverbrian's playing time idea.In a perfect world, it would mean 10 guys with 145 games, instead of 9 with 162 games.Of course, there will be injuries and decline that will change those numbers. Also, the catcher position is going to be it's own animal.I'd bet that the well-rested 10/11 will collectively give you a better outcome, than the superior yet physically drained 9/10.

    • Riverbrian, DocBauer and MN_ExPat like this
I want Rosario to do great. He does great, we do great. However, I’d love to see Kirilloff or Larnach come up and force the issue. See if one of them can somehow outplay and leave Rosario Arraez’d out of left field. All while maintaining Rosario’s trade value. That’d be too perfect. I like Raley, Blank, and Rooker, but not as much as the formers.
    • SF Twins Fan likes this

I agree that the best players should play, but Baldelli's management style with all the built-in rest probably lends itself to Riverbrian's playing time idea. In a perfect world, it would mean 10 guys with 145 games, instead of 9 with 162 games. Of course, there will be injuries and decline that will change those numbers. Also, the catcher position is going to be it's own animal. I'd bet that the well-rested 10/11 will collectively give you a better outcome, than the superior yet physically drained 9/10.


Ok, but even 10 guys rotating 9 spots leaves a couple of backups that aren't playing every day.
That's my only argument is that Riverbrian tells me if a guy is likely a backup then just cut him now. That tells me he wants 13 guys all playing equal time.
I would also mention how Donaldson's signing affects Thorpe and Smeltzer. Since Signing Donaldson probably keeps us from getting a high dollar starter making it more likely one of them with Dobnak make the rotation.
    • MMMordabito likes this

There's zero evidence Kirilloff was every anything more than a fall-back option at first-base for 2020. It's not like his bat was knocking on the door last year...it wasn't...or even like he's ever been primarily a first-baseman in the minors.

 

Meahwhile, the organization had Rooker and Larnach play a grand total of zero innings at first base in 2019.

 

So what were these guys going to do for the 2020 Twins prior to the JD signing? Not going to DH, not going to be given bench roles...why would any prospects be given bench roles before they're out of options...let alone before they've even needed to be rostered? All of these guys figured to be depth options in 2020...options to be called up if there were injuries or catastrophic performance issues...which is exactly what they remain post JD signing.

 

Longer-term, there's a chance this makes the outfield even more crowded...but then, you might have Rosario leaving, you might have Sano at DH instead of first, you might have made some trades, you might have long-term injuries, etc., etc., etc.

    • Minfidel, DocBauer, KidBro and 2 others like this
Photo
clutterheart
Jan 22 2020 12:35 PM
Maybe I have been spoiled by the usual quality on this site but this article feel like something written by a content farm.
You dont mention more obvious guys who are on the 40 man like Gordon, Blakenhorn and Raley while Rooker isn't even on the 40 man.
    • twins_89 likes this

Similar Articles


by Cody Christie , 02 Apr 2020
Photo


by Cody Christie , 29 Mar 2020
Photo


by Seth Stohs , 09 Mar 2020
Photo


by Nick Nelson , 04 Mar 2020
Photo


by Cody Christie , 03 Mar 2020
Photo