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Monitor: Manager of the Year and Fired?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 03:39 AM
Aside from the first team to go from 100 losses to the playoffs (sort of), they may also be the first team to fire a manager just before...
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Article: Charting A Twins Playoff Rotation

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 03:10 AM
What once seemed unthinkable is now a crystallizing reality: The Twins are in all likelihood headed toward a one-game Wild Card showdown...
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Let's remember some "Twins guys" thread

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 01:16 AM
Best Minnesota trip in a long time for me, Vikes win, and Twins win (both big time!) in the midst of tonight's ass kicking started talkin...
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Kennys Vargas....yes again.

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 11:54 PM
Dont blame another Vargas article on me! Well...not entirely anyway. My mind seldom shuts off, sometimes works in weird and mysterious wa...
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Article: MIN 10, DET 4: Deja Vu All Over Again

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 10:30 PM
For the second straight game the Twins beat the Tigers by the score of 10-4. Jorge Polanco continued his second-half surge, hitting a dou...
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Looking Back: Recent Twins Drafts

Yesterday, Nick wrote about the early returns that we’ve seen from the Minnesota Twins 2017 draft class. Brent Rooker is already performing in Ft. Myers. #1 overall pick Royce Lewis recently was promoted to Cedar Rapids, becoming the fourth member of the 2017 draft class to play for the Kernels already. At this stage, Sean Johnson’s first draft looks great.

Early returns are great, but for today, I reviewed the previous six Twins drafts (2011 to 2016) to see what they showed. My intent was to look at the drafts from a very high level. Of course, it’s hard to know what the success of any draft is for probably ten years. There are many variables. There are high school players, junior college players and four-year college guys. There are guys drafted after their junior seasons in college, and there are senior draft picks. But even those in a same category can’t be judged the same. A 22nd round five year college relief pitcher’s development may be judged differently than a first-round pick out of high school.

But at the end of the day, a draft class is going to be judged by its big league success. Often the most visible member of that draft class is the first-round pick, but there is more to the draft than that.
Image courtesy of David McQueen (photo of Alex Kirilloff)
What I did was looked at six drafts. I counted how many players the team signed from each draft. I looked at which levels the players have advanced to, and of course, how many players from each class have been released. Some have chosen to retire. There have been some players drafted in the major league and minor league Rule 5 drafts. And, of course, there have been some players who have spent time with the Twins. There are also some top prospects and others who will eventually get there.


2016 Draft

Players Signed: 33
Players Releases: 5
Players at Ft. Myers: 5 (Tom Hackimer, Mitchell Kranson, Brandon Lopez, Sean Poppen, Clark Beeker)
Players at Cedar Rapids: 12 (Ben Rortvedt, Griffin Jax, Alex Schick, Shane Carrier, Ryan Mason, Tyler Wells, Tyler Beardsley, Dom Carlini, Caleb Hamilton, Colton Davis, Joe Cronin, Pat McGuff)
Players at Elizabethton: 4 (Jose Miranda, Akil Baddoo, Matt Albanese, Juan Gamez)
Players at the GCL: 6 (Jordan Balazovic, Tyler Benninghoff, Zack Featherstone, Kidany Salva, Matt Jones, Dane Hutcheon)

First-Round Draft Pick: Alex Kirilloff is not listed with any of the teams. He is rehabbing following Tommy John surgery in March.

The One That Got Away: In the 38th round, the Twins selected Brent Rooker. He went back to college, won the SEC Triple Crown, and the Twins used their Competitive Balance pick to take him. He’s already in Ft. Myers, but it does make me wonder what would have happened had he signed. He would have played 2016 in Elizabethton, and probably would have spent all of 2017 in Cedar Rapids. For him,going back to school was absolutely the best move for him.

Summary: The Twins surprised many with their strategy of taking high-ceiling prep players with their first four picks (Kirilloff, Rortvedt, Miranda, Baddoo). In addition, the took high school pitchers Jordan Balazovic and Tyler Benninghoff. Kirilloff was touted by many in the scouting world as the top hitter in the draft. Rortvedt struggled the first two months in Cedar Rapids before being pretty solid the last six weeks or so. Benninghoff had Tommy John surgery right after being drafted and just returned this week.

Hackimer, Poppen and Beeker were senior draft picks. So was Brandon Lopez, but they’ve all been good. Shane Carrier struggled early in Cedar Rapids, but after a stint in Elizabethton, he’s returned to the Kernels red hot.

Griffin Jax only had six weeks to pitch, but he made a good impression with the Kernels before heading to Cape Canaveral. Zach Featherstone was drafted as an outfielder/first baseman. He was transitioned to the mound a few weeks before the GCL season started.

Frankly, it’s just hard to judge this draft yet because of taking so many young players early. Those players are doing fine, of course, but all will need time.

2015 Draft

Players Signed: 27
Players Released: 6
Players at Chattanooga: 3 (Tyler Jay, LaMonte Wade, Alex Perez)
Players at Ft. Myers: 9 (Alex Robinson, Chris Paul, Sean Miller, Zander Wiel, Cody Stashak, Anthony McIver, Jaylin Davis, Andrew Vasquez, Brian Olson)
Players at Cedar Rapids: 6 (Travis Blankenhorn, Trey Cabbage, Lean Marrero, Logan Lombana, Hector Lujan, Max Cordy)
Players at Elizabethton: 2 (Jovani Moran, Kolton Kendrick)

First-Round Draft Pick: College reliever Tyler Jay was taken with the sixth overall pick. The Twins, and many other in the industry believed that he could be a starter in pro ball. In fact, when I talked to Keith Law in May, he was disappointed the Twins (and Jay) decided to move him back to the bullpen. He’s missed most of this season, though he pitched in the GCL in a rehab appearance on Wednesday.

Summary: Jay was a questionable and a questioned pick when it was made. Of course Andrew Benintendi being taken one pick later doesn’t help, although that is always a terrible way to judge a draft pick. If healthy (or hopefully when healthy), Jay has a chance to be a Glen Perkins-in-his-prime type of pitcher, which can be incredibly valuable. The jury is out on the rest of the draft. Most of the college players have advanced to Ft. Myers. Alex Robinson appears to have overcome some of his control issues and become a strikeout machine. Chris Paul, Zander Wiel, Cody Stashak and Anthony McIver have put up solid numbers the last couple of years. Jaylin Davis has provided a lot of power.

There is certainly some ceiling in Travis Blankenhorn and Trey Cabbage. Taken in the third and fourth rounds, respectively, they both are tremendous athletes with high ceilings, but still more to learn. Kolton Kendrick and Jovani Moran are still in Elizabethton. Both were very young, raw prospects when drafted, and both have shown some of that talent in 2017.

Two late-round college pitchers have become sleeper prospects this season. Drafted out of Westmont College, lefty Andrew Vasquez and right-hander Hector Lujan have done very nice jobs. Lujan has turned into the Kernels closer and throws 95-96 with two good secondary pitches. Vasquez has been a strikeout machine.

2014 Draft

Players Signed: 30
Players Released: 15
Players Retired: 2 (Mat Batts, Alex Real)
Players with the Twins: 1 (Trevor Hildenberger)
Players at Rochester: 2 (Jake Reed, John Curtiss)
Players at Chattanooga: 5 (Nick Gordon, Nick Burdi, Sam Clay, Max Murphy, TJ White)
Players at Ft. Myers: 4 (Keaton Steele, Randy LeBlanc, Tanner English, Michael Theofanopoulos)
Players at Cedar Rapids: 1 (Andro Cutura - TJ in May 2016)

First-Round Draft Picks: Nick Gordon was the Twins choice, and he’s become a consensus Top 40 prospect in all of baseball. Following a strong performance in the Arizona Fall League, he got a big league spring training invitation. He had a great first half, was named a Southern League All-Star, and participated in the Futures Game. Between he and Royce Lewis, the Twins have a 1-2 combo of top prospects who are very exciting.

Summary: Nick Gordon has become an elite prospect. You could have made a lot of money if you had said Trevor Hildenberger, drafted in the 22nd round after five years at Cal-Berkeley, would be the first player from this draft to get to the big leagues. And he looks like he could stick for a long time. Nick Burdi and Jake Reed would likely be in the big leagues now if not for injuries. Reed should be up in September. So should John Curtiss. If not, those two should be givens to be added to the 40-man roster in November. Sam Clay moved back to the bullpen this year, and he’s been terrific. Recently, he was moved to AA Chattanooga.

2013 Draft

Players Signed: 28
Players Released: 17
Players Retired: 1 (Alex Swim)
Players with the Twins: Zack Granite (14), Aaron Slegers (5)
Players at Rochester: 2 (Stephen Gonsalves, Mitch Garver)
Players at Chattanooga: 4 (Kohl Stewart, Ryan Eades, Brian Navarreto, Ryan Walker)
Players at Ft. Myers: 1 (Nelson Molina)
Rule 5 pick lost: Stuart Turner

First-Round Pick: Kohl Stewart was the #4 pick out of high school where he was a star quarterback, committed to Texas A&M. The Twins convinced him, with a lot of money, to forgo his football dreams to pursue pitching. He put up solid numbers throughout the lower levels of the minor leagues, though his lack of strikeouts concerned many. But he has advanced pretty quickly. This year, he missed a couple of months due to a knee injury. He’s returned, and he’s still in the Twins plans, as he should be. Kohl Stewart will pitch in the big leagues.

Summary: Zack Granite was hitting over .360 when he was promoted to the Twins. With Rosario, Buxton and Kepler in the daily lineup, Granite is back down in Rochester, but he’s ready to contribute when needed. Slegers was called up to the Twins to be the 26th man and start Thursday’s second game for the Twins.

But the top prospect from this group is certainly Stephen Gonsalves, their fourth-round pick. He may be in line to get his big league promotion for the Twins double- header on Monday. If not then, it will happen in the near future. Mitch Garver probably should be in the big leagues, but he’ll have to wait until the end of the Red Wings season to make his debut.

2012 Draft

Players Signed: 27
Players Released: 15
Players Retired: 1 (Dalton Hicks)
Players with the Twins: 5 (Byron Buxton (1), Jose Berrios (1s), JT Chargois (2), Tyler Duffey (5), Taylor Rogers (11).
Players at Rochester: 2 (Luke Bard, Mason Melotakis)
Players at Chattanooga: 2 (Zack Jones, DJ Baxendale)
Players at Ft. Myers: 1 (Alex Muren)
Players lost in Rule 5 draft: Zack Jones (to Milwaukee, but he was returned mid-season)
Players DFAd: 1 - Adam Brett Walker spent a season on the Twins 40-man roster before being DFAd last November.

First-Round Picks: Byron Buxton was the #2 overall draft pick, selected after Houston took Carlos Correa. He moved quickly the first two pro seasons, earning the title of baseball’s #1 prospect. He was likely going to be called up sometime in 2014, but it became an injury-riddled season for him. He debuted in 2015, likely far before he was ready. He’s struggled, including the first six weeks of this season. His defense is elite, and his offense has been pretty good since that slow start. Jose Berrios was taken with the 32nd overall pick. He put up numbers, and slowly his prospect rankings (among Twins raters, and national publications) continued to rise. He finally made his debut in 2016 and really struggled. He’s been much better since his call up in 2017, though it’s clear he’s still working to gain more consistency. Luke Bard was the second supplemental pick. He fought injuries from the time he was drafted until the 2016 season. He’s been quite good, a strikeout machine the last two years, and recently he was promoted to Rochester, just one step from the big leagues.

SUMMARY: The Twins went with youth and high-ceiling talent with their first two picks. After that, they went with a string of college relievers and attempted to convert some of them to starters. Tyler Duffey got to the big leagues as a starter, but has pitched out of the bullpen this year. The others moved to the bullpen full-time earlier. Injuries played a big role in a lot of that as well. Melotakis, Chargois, Zack Jones, Alex Muren have all missed significant time due to surgeries.

I think it would be hard to label the 2012 Twins draft as anything but successful. Buxton and Berrios have taken their lumps in the big leagues, but they’ve experienced success as 23-year-olds this year. Chargois and Duffey can both be very good relievers. Chargois just needs to be healthy. Duffey has success, but will need to be more consistent. Taylor Rogers has been reliable in the Twins bullpen and was fantastic in the first half this year. Also, guys like Luke Bard and Mason Melotakis could still surface with the Twins as soon as September.

2011 Draft

Players Signed: 33
Players Released: 26
Players Retired: 1 (Tyler Grimes)
Players selected in minor league portion of Rule 5 draft: 1 (Matthew Tomshaw)
Players with Twins (Jason Wheeler pitched twice for the Twins this year, then DFAd)
Players with Rochester: 1 (David Hurlbut)
Players with Chattanooga: 3 (Levi Michael, Travis Harrison, Dereck Rodriguez)

First-Round Picks: Levi Michael was drafted out of North Carolina with the 30th pick. While he had missed some time that year due to injury, many evaluators, including Keith Law, ranked him much higher than #30. Unfortunately, Michael was hurt much of his early career, and after spending a couple of years at Ft. Myers, he has spent the past three seasons in AA. He plays some second base, but mostly center field. Travis Harrison was drafted with the first of two supplemental picks. He moved up one level at a time, until 2014 when he hit AA. He’s still in AA Chattanooga. He’s moved from third base to the outfield. He is currently on the DL. The other supplemental pick was Hudson Boyd, and that just didn’t work out. He fought issues from weight to substance abuse (including a 50-game suspension). He was released in 2015.

Summary: I think it’s fair to say that 2011 was not a successful draft for the Twins. Six years later, the two remaining first round picks are still in AA. Jason Wheeler got to the big leagues, but after two games, they let him go and he was selected by the Dodgers. He’s now in the Orioles system. Davis Hurlbut was drafted by the Twins in 2010 and 2011. The 28th rounder has pitched quite well in Rochester the last two seasons. The fourth player remaining in the organization from that draft is Dereck Rodriguez. After three years as an outfielder, he was shifted to the mound where he’s done a nice job, and the Twins have been patient with him. He’s split this season between the Miracle and the Lookouts. These four players can become free agents following the World Series, unless they are put on the 40-man roster before then. Rodriguez is a possibility.



This was fun to research and write. I enjoyed remembering so many of the names of players who have been released that I've met over the years.

But hopefully you get something out of this. Maybe, if nothing else, an appreciation for how hard it is the get to the big leagues... and judging from the number of releases, you can see how hard it is to last even just three years in an organization before being released.

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27 Comments

Thanks Seth. This was a fun and enlightening read. Yes it does show how tough it is to get to Majors, but also how tough it is to even stay in the original organization or pro ball. Each draft could easily have one's replacement taking his place. I would venture to say that this would mirror other clubs drafts too.
    • birdwatcher likes this

Thanks!  Based on how bad the Twins were over the last 5+ years its hard to believe that only 3 guys have made it to the Big Leagues since 2013.  And all of them this year, none of them are really impact guys either.  Hildenberger could become one, but for now Granite, Slegers and Hildy are it.  Not great when you have been rebuilding team.  2012 is a better with Berrios, Buxton, Duffey etc.  

 

But man, that 2011 draft, Woof!

 

 

    • Danchat and caninatl04 like this

wasn't as bleak as I thought it'd be!

It was a fun read but Seth I'm onto you being a sleeper agent for the Twins. Based on this article, I expect no less than 3 trips to the World Series over the next 6 years or so. 

    • MN_ExPat likes this
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clutterheart
Aug 17 2017 09:25 AM

2016 Draft remains my fav. I just love the moonshots they took on all the high risk/high reward HS kids.  

Its doubtful anyone from that draft will be in the mix for the 25 man roster until at least 2020.  But that will be a fun to group to follow as they move up.  Based off their ages, the '16 draft will go a long way in determining if the MLB team is competitive in the 2021-2025 years.

 

(But I am very disappointed none of these kids will be playing an all-star game on Mars in 2025)  

 

    • Han Joelo, brvama, gagu and 1 other like this
Earlier this year I was thinking that we could have an entire Bullpen made up of the 2012 Draft. Still a possibility.

Based on how many big leaguers there are and 33% international players the expectation should be 1.5 players per draft will actually contribute.

    • birdwatcher likes this

The 2015 draft was so dependent on Jay. No second round pick b/c we signed Santana. Our other second round pick doesn't sign.The next player taken in Blankenhorn. 

 

2014 is probably my least favorite draft, at least on how we did it. Gordon was the guy I wanted but then we went really heavy on relief pitchers and that hasn't really gotten us anything. Obviously if Gordon and two relievers have successful careers, it's a good draft but I think I'd consider us lucky.

 

2013 was my favorite draft strategy draft. A couple high upside HS arms (Stewart, Gonsalves) along with a couple 'safe'-ish college arms (Eades and Slegers) and three catching prospects you could throw at a wall and expect one to make it (Navaratto, Garver, Turner).

 

I think the 2016 might push the 2012 draft for best draft in recent years. No Buxton in that draft but several guys I think can be top 100 prospects and solid MLers. I loved that draft.

    • birdwatcher, Mike Sixel, caninatl04 and 1 other like this

 

It was a fun read but Seth I'm onto you being a sleeper agent for the Twins. Based on this article, I expect no less than 3 trips to the World Series over the next 6 years or so. 

'

Which part of the article talks about that?? :)

When I first saw Trevor Hildenberger pitch for the Twins I thought he was a flash in the pan, that hitters would study a little video and then they'd be all over his little submarine curves and slow stuff. Boy, was I glad to be wrong. What Hildenberger appears to have is a very high level of command, especially of his change and his curve. He is legitimately a crafty, skilled pitcher whose bulldog attitude reminds me a little of Eddie Guardado. 

    • TRex, DocBauer, howieramone2 and 2 others like this

I look at this and think that the Twins had preferable drafting positions because of bad finishes and that should have produced more than what I am seeing in this summary.  I really appreciate the summary because it helps to put things in perspective, but I really find the success rate to be both a poor drafting and a poor development issue.  We have some really good players already in the majors, but look at the pitching - yikes.  

 

The idea of the draft is to help the poor teams and we really blew some opportunities. 

    • tarheeltwinsfan likes this

Shows how many of the drafted guys don't really pan out. You spend a lot of money here on potential. Man, put that 2011 behind us (and probably will when only one guy is kept on the 40-man, if even now, from that class).

 

As a side note, sometimes interesting to see what players have drifted to other organizations from these classes. Only notables are Tyler Jones and Kyle Barraclough from the class of 2011. A bit more than a dozen players from all those draft classes are playing, or signed, with different organizations.

I look at this and think that the Twins had preferable drafting positions because of bad finishes and that should have produced more than what I am seeing in this summary. I really appreciate the summary because it helps to put things in perspective, but I really find the success rate to be both a poor drafting and a poor development issue. We have some really good players already in the majors, but look at the pitching - yikes.

The idea of the draft is to help the poor teams and we really blew some opportunities.


I think the total hit rate on major leaguers is relatively typical, but the Twins haven't hit on elite guys in that stretch, which is such a squandered opportunity to supplement this emerging core.
    • USAFChief, Mike Sixel, mikelink45 and 1 other like this

I look at this and think that the Twins had preferable drafting positions because of bad finishes and that should have produced more than what I am seeing in this summary.  I really appreciate the summary because it helps to put things in perspective, but I really find the success rate to be both a poor drafting and a poor development issue.  We have some really good players already in the majors, but look at the pitching - yikes.  

 

The idea of the draft is to help the poor teams and we really blew some opportunities. 

Meh, that's overstated. They had four high picks (ignoring this last draft since it's too early to make a real call but the early return on Lewis looks good), Buxton, Stewart, Jay and Gordon. The last three are still in the minors. Gordon is a highly regarded prospect by everyone. Stewart is a HS arm, which is the riskiest pick you can make so I'm not sure we should be too upset about it. As mentioned above, Jay is the only controversial pick (and his arm injury is worrisome). But 4 top 6 picks in four years isn't expected to give you a 100% hit rate, especially if three of them are HS guys. Generally, I think the drafts have added about the amount of talent you'd expect - although the draft strategy has left something to be desired - but there has been some bad luck on injuries as well.

 

 

    • birdwatcher, howieramone2 and gagu like this
So far, I'm impressed with the last couple of drafts. Way, way too early, but impressed by potential and early returns.

2015 looks a bit like a crapshoot right now. I hate to say it depends on Jay, but it sort of does. If he gets healthy again, but if a long shot IMO based on the injury in question, even as a quality RP, I'd feel a lot better about it. Liked the Cabbage and Blenkenhorn picks, and still do, but it's a long road before we know if we have something there.

The jury is still out on 2014, despite Gordon. Hildenberger looks like a keeper! But Burdi, Reed, Curtiss and Clay have all shown real potential. I know drafting and finding RP doesn't sound sexy, but with development and some better luck health wise, a couple of these guys make it with Goron and Hildenberger, well done.

Even without Stewart, though I still hold some hope, Gonsalves, Granite and Garver actually make the 2013 draft look pretty good. Gonsalves was actually my favorite pick at the time, and I liked Garver over Turner initially. Those three guys could all easily be part of 2018 and beyond. Even without hitting on Stewart, it could go down as a solid draft.

With Buxton and Berrios, 2012 looks good the way it is. Melotakis and Bard, and their injury setbacks is a huge disappointment. Heres hoping for better luck. But Rogers looks like a keeper. Maybe Duffey, there sure is potential there. A healthy Chargois with Buxton, Berrios and Rogers makes this draft look really good.

2011? What's to be said other than OUCH!

A great write up! Thank you! Personal perspective? There are some really big disappointments, a couple guys who could still pay huge dividends if health is on their side, and several guys who are already paying dividends at the ML level and a couple more right on the cusp. Despite some of the lambasting of recent Twins drafts...mostly about high impact arms for a pitching starved franchise...we have a lot of guys already here or close. And there are some young guys with real potential and upside. I think this puts in perspective, despite not yet finding that young ACE or shutdown BP arm yet, that there is a lot to like about the past few drafts. A little better health luck, and there could be a lot to LOVE about a couple of these drafts.
    • NoCryingInBaseball likes this
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birdwatcher
Aug 18 2017 07:02 AM

 

Based on how many big leaguers there are and 33% international players the expectation should be 1.5 players per draft will actually contribute.

 

Let's examine this common thought of a successful draft netting a team 1.5 contributors, on average, and look back 15 years to 2001. Let's arbitrarily assign 3.0 WAR as the definition of a contributor. That's double FanGraph's number.

 

Of the 15 drafts from 2001 through 2016, making extremely conservative assumptions about the last two drafts, 2011 stands out as the only draft that didn't produce a single contributor. There were four drafts where they got a single contributor.

 

Using the standard of 3.0 WAR or better, by my quick calculations the Twins have averaged and are on pace to continue to average close to two players per draft.

 

As many of you know, I have the reputation of pushing back at the draft resistors who like to claim incompetence on the part of the organization's scouting department. This, to me, is more evidence that they have not been terribly deficient historically. And even if they were slightly overmatched by a few competitors, there are some clear signs that things have improved, perhaps from strategy, spending and technology standpoints if nothing else.

 

Mauer, Blackburn, Span, Crain, Neshek, Baker, Plouffe, Perkins, Swarzak, Garza, Slowey, Duensing, Tolleson, Valencia, Revere, Hicks, Gibson, Dozier, Rosario, Buxton, Berrios, Rogers, Duffey....and then from there we take the leap of faith to feel good about Gordon, Hildenberger, Garver, Gonsalves, Granite, Slegers, Curtiss, Reed Chargois, Bard, Melo, and the 2015 and 2016 collection.

 

My own conclusion is that the recent drafts are going to be extremely productive for at least three reasons: 1) the selections were influenced by the same competent talent evaluators (scouts) that have been in place for a long time; 2) favorable draft order, and 3) a more sound draft strategy, greater internal discipline regarding the process, and probably better information-gathering due to the introduction of and use of the new information. That said, I think that 1.5 players/draft standard is raised and we should expect more like 2 or 2.5/draft on average going forward.

    • howieramone2 likes this
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drivlikejehu
Aug 18 2017 07:22 AM

Evaluating "contributors" on a per-draft basis makes no sense - it's fine as a conceptual shorthand but doesn't tell you how the Twins did. Returns have to be evaluated on a per-pick basis, to account for years in which the club had supplemental or other additional picks (or the less common case where they lost a pick for signing a FA).

 

The Twins have not drafted very well in the 21st century . . . they weren't dead last but the most optimistic spin would be around average, and the more realistic assessment would be below average. 

 

Looking at the 2011-16 time-frame, we see one draft that completely busted, and another (2015) that is almost certainly a failure, though they may get a couple of relievers out of it. So it's already unlikely that the Twins total production from 2011-16 will be above average.

 

It's possible you could pick an arbitrary time-frame during which the Twins did somewhat better, essentially by excluding one or more of their complete whiffs (e.g., 2012-14), but that would be cherry-picking to avoid an accurate assessment of their drafting performance.

 

 

    • USAFChief and clutterheart like this
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tarheeltwinsfan
Aug 18 2017 07:22 AM

It wasn't all that long ago that many of these guys would have been drafted by a different draft -  the US Army. I think the draft of 1942 was the greatest draft year ever, followed closely by the drafts of 1950 and 1967. I'm thankful we are not in a major killing war today and I'm thankful there are sufficient brave men and women who volunteer to defend our country. God bless all the draftees from the 40's, 50's and 60's and God bless our volunteers from all decades, including this decade.

    • twinssouth and gagu like this
Yeah just tallying up contributors like that also doesn't differentiate between a 3 WAR career, and a 30 WAR career.
The Twins failing the last 10 years, IMO, has been lack of quality, not quantity.

I agree they've taken more upside the last 2 drafts, so hopefully that will change.
    • USAFChief and Vanimal46 like this

 

Yeah just tallying up contributors like that also doesn't differentiate between a 3 WAR career, and a 30 WAR career.
The Twins failing the last 10 years, IMO, has been lack of quality, not quantity.

I agree they've taken more upside the last 2 drafts, so hopefully that will change.

 

This is really what it boils down to. The Twins have been average to above average selecting players who eventually make it to the majors. They've been average to below average selecting players that out perform the slot they were drafted at. 

 

And, I realize this is a draft-specific thread, but no team can build a true contender on the draft alone. They also need to hit on international draft signings, trades, and free agency. 

    • USAFChief likes this

I think if you're going to look at the draft, it helps to look at in some context. From roughly 95-2007 our draft was run primarily by Radcliff and Ryan, both had strong scouting backgrounds. That period didn't have limits on signing bonuses and the Pohlad family was extremely cheap. During the 2001 draft, the Star Tribune mentioned that Carl thought he owed baseball a duty to fight back against the rising cost of draft signing bonuses. So I think it's important to remember that the Twins had budget handcuffs during this period. That said, they drafted pretty well and, along with some smart trades, put together a nice decade of ML competitiveness.

 

From 08-2011, the same financial limits were in place but now it was Bill Smith and Deron Johnson. Those drafts didn't work out. Lots of reasons why but they just didn't work out.

 

From 2012-2016 two things happened. First, and most importantly, the bonus slotting system was put into place.  That was huge. A guy like Buxton couldn't demand 8m now. And Ryan replaced Smith. Johnson remained in charge of draft (although I'm positive Radcliff had some input at least in 2012).  Those drafts, IMO, have been solid to great. The drafts that have been the strongest were the ones where the Twins had multiple picks early - 2012, 5 picks in the top 75, 2016 4 picks in the top 75 - and the weakest were the drafts with less options - 2015, 1 pick signed in the top 75.

 

And now in 2017 onward, it's Levine/Falvey/Sean Johnson. Loved the draft but way too early to tell.

 

 

    • diehardtwinsfan, howieramone2 and Original Whizzinator like this
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diehardtwinsfan
Aug 18 2017 09:59 AM

 

Evaluating "contributors" on a per-draft basis makes no sense - it's fine as a conceptual shorthand but doesn't tell you how the Twins did. Returns have to be evaluated on a per-pick basis, to account for years in which the club had supplemental or other additional picks (or the less common case where they lost a pick for signing a FA).

 

The Twins have not drafted very well in the 21st century . . . they weren't dead last but the most optimistic spin would be around average, and the more realistic assessment would be below average. 

 

Looking at the 2011-16 time-frame, we see one draft that completely busted, and another (2015) that is almost certainly a failure, though they may get a couple of relievers out of it. So it's already unlikely that the Twins total production from 2011-16 will be above average.

 

It's possible you could pick an arbitrary time-frame during which the Twins did somewhat better, essentially by excluding one or more of their complete whiffs (e.g., 2012-14), but that would be cherry-picking to avoid an accurate assessment of their drafting performance.

 

I still think their problem is more development than draft personally. I'd note that same span there has been an impressive class (2012) and one that is looking like it will be very impressive (2016)...so to that extent, it can average out a bit. I'm think I'd challenge you on the idea that it's unlikely that the total production will be above average...at least not yet. Both 2016 and 2017 are looking to be very impressive drafts when you look at the returns from the high ceiling guys the grabbed (specifically the HS players).

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drivlikejehu
Aug 18 2017 10:33 AM

 

I still think their problem is more development than draft personally. I'd note that same span there has been an impressive class (2012) and one that is looking like it will be very impressive (2016)...so to that extent, it can average out a bit. I'm think I'd challenge you on the idea that it's unlikely that the total production will be above average...at least not yet. Both 2016 and 2017 are looking to be very impressive drafts when you look at the returns from the high ceiling guys the grabbed (specifically the HS players).

 

Development is most likely a significant cause of the Twins' underwhelming draft results, but that's not something we can really evaluate in a meaningful way. Looking at the draft results as a whole still works, insofar as the organization both selected and then coached the players . . . we can't quantify those aspects but we can quantify the end results.

 

I ignored 2017 entirely as too recent and even 2016 should fall into that category . . . there certainly is zero evidence that the end results for the 2016 draft will be "very impressive." Kirilloff is hurt, Rortvedt has a .603 OPS, Miranda and Baddoo are in rookie ball where stats have little predictive value, Jax basically isn't going to be able to play because of the military rule change, Hackimer is a low-upside reliever, Balazovic is struggling in the GCL, Schick is hurt . . . 

 

None of that is to say that some of those guys won't make it. But nothing has happened to really improve the outlook of that draft, either. High-round selections should be expected to often do fairly well in the low minors. It takes more than that to change the overall outlook, and of course ultimately only MLB production is relevant.

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birdwatcher
Aug 18 2017 11:29 AM

 

Evaluating "contributors" on a per-draft basis makes no sense - it's fine as a conceptual shorthand but doesn't tell you how the Twins did. Returns have to be evaluated on a per-pick basis, to account for years in which the club had supplemental or other additional picks (or the less common case where they lost a pick for signing a FA).

 

The Twins have not drafted very well in the 21st century . . . they weren't dead last but the most optimistic spin would be around average, and the more realistic assessment would be below average. 

 

Looking at the 2011-16 time-frame, we see one draft that completely busted, and another (2015) that is almost certainly a failure, though they may get a couple of relievers out of it. So it's already unlikely that the Twins total production from 2011-16 will be above average.

 

It's possible you could pick an arbitrary time-frame during which the Twins did somewhat better, essentially by excluding one or more of their complete whiffs (e.g., 2012-14), but that would be cherry-picking to avoid an accurate assessment of their drafting performance.

 

Evaluating the quality of decisions on a per-pick basis makes much less sense. This is especially true when making a "per pick"  judgment about prospects in any round past the first. People ignore what other teams did with their selections immediately following their team's first round selection. Was Gibson a bad pick?

 

I can agree with your statement but would expand it to make it accurate: no major league team has drafted very well in the 21st century...and I can partially agree with your personal assessment that, were someone to do a credible analysis factoring in all the variables, the Twins would probably rank somewhere on one side or the other of average, both in terms of a qualitative measurement of their decisions and a quantitative measurement of their results, results of course being altered by uncontrollable factors like injury, individual lifestyle choices, etc.

 

I disagree with your premature conclusion about 2015, and believe the 2011-2016 drafts will eventually be regarded as "better than average".

 

Are you calling 2012-2014 complete whiffs? Or is simply mentioning Buxton Berrios, Duffey, Rogers, Chargois, Burdi, Bard, Melo, Granite, Slegers, Garver, Gonsalves, Gordon, Hildenberger, Curtiss, Reed along with the others dating all the way back to 2001 cherry-picking?

 

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drivlikejehu
Aug 18 2017 12:12 PM

 

Evaluating the quality of decisions on a per-pick basis makes much less sense. This is especially true when making a "per pick"  judgment about prospects in any round past the first. People ignore what other teams did with their selections immediately following their team's first round selection. Was Gibson a bad pick?

 

I can agree with your statement but would expand it to make it accurate: no major league team has drafted very well in the 21st century...and I can partially agree with your personal assessment that, were someone to do a credible analysis factoring in all the variables, the Twins would probably rank somewhere on one side or the other of average, both in terms of a qualitative measurement of their decisions and a quantitative measurement of their results, results of course being altered by uncontrollable factors like injury, individual lifestyle choices, etc.

 

I disagree with your premature conclusion about 2015, and believe the 2011-2016 drafts will eventually be regarded as "better than average".

 

Are you calling 2012-2014 complete whiffs? Or is simply mentioning Buxton Berrios, Duffey, Rogers, Chargois, Burdi, Bard, Melo, Granite, Slegers, Garver, Gonsalves, Gordon, Hildenberger, Curtiss, Reed along with the others dating all the way back to 2001 cherry-picking?

 

The per-pick assessment is not an exercise in hindsight - I only mean that expected production depends on the picks that were available (e.g., a team with 0 picks would expect 0 production). It was basically just stating the obvious, but in response to the idea that we should think about success in some other way. Of course, once a team does have picks, then some amount of production should be expected; just meeting that expectation isn't necessarily a great success.

 

The draft is a relative exercise - success or failure is only real in the context of the other 29 clubs. Of course most prospects don't pan out, but the simple fact is that some teams get more out of the draft than others. The Twins have generally been below average at getting production out of the draft, in my opinion, but the exact answer depends on how you frame the question. The Twins certainly have not been good enough at the draft to offset their payroll limitations, which ultimately is the most salient fact of all.

 

My point about 2012-14 was simply that the Twins appear to have done better in those years, so by omitting 2011 and 2015, I would be painting a rosier picture of their draft results. That's just an example of how one can cherry-pick results, if desired. 


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