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Minnesota’s Farm System is Key to Sustainable Contention

In Major League Baseball, one of the biggest keys to long-term success is developing a stable farm system that can produce consistent big-league caliber players. Minnesota’s current roster is full of players that were drafted or signed by the Twins and then those players were developed in the organization. What has the new front office done since taking over to make the farm system even better?
Image courtesy of © Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Back in 2016, the Twins revamped their front office by hiring Derek Falvey and Thad Levine. One of their biggest tasks in their first year on the job was preparing to have the number one overall pick in the 2017 MLB Draft. That draft was just the start of how they were able to add to Minnesota’s well stocked farm system.
Attached Image: Farm System Rankings.JPG
Minnesota’s current crop of regulars was moving through the system back in 2015-16 and that’s why the farm system ranked so highly. The new front office crew saw some of their impact after the 2017 MLB Draft and that continued into the following year’s draft. The results of their time at the helm are already being felt at the big-league level.

2017 Draft
There were multiple options with the top overall pick back in 2017 with names like Hunter Greene, MacKenzie Gore, Brendan McKay and Kyle Wright all in the discussion. Minnesota decided Royce Lewis was the best option and he has been the organization’s highest-ranking prospect since he was drafted. Last season, Lewis finished at Double-A and under normal circumstances, he might have made his big-league debut this season.

Lewis wasn’t the only strong pick in this draft. Brent Rooker was recently called up and he has been contributing to a team in the middle of a pennant race. Time will tell if he can develop into a big league regular, but his powerful swing should keep him on the roster. In the same draft, Minnesota had to offer Blayne Enlow a big signing bonus to lure him away from LSU and now he is one of the organization’s top pitching prospects. He might be a couple years away from debuting, but he add to the depth of the farm system.

2018 Draft
Coming off a surprise run to the playoffs, the Twins had a much lower draft pick in 2018, but that didn’t stop them from finding players to restock the farm. Trevor Larnach was the team’s first round selection and he has developed into one of the best hitting prospects in the organization. He was the Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Year and the Florida State League Player of the Year. He finished last year at Double-A and now he has been part of the team’s 60-man roster that is working out in St. Paul.

Another player from this draft, Ryan Jeffers, has played a pivotal role with the club due to Mitch Garver’s injury. When he was drafted, he was seen as a bat-only catcher, but he was given very little coaching on his catching defense throughout his collegiate career. Now, his 51.2% strike rate has him in the top-20 among all MLB backstops when it comes to catcher framing.

Trades Add Depth
Making trades is another way to stock a farm system and the Twins front office has already seen some of the rewards of those trades. Zack Littell was acquired back at the 2017 trade deadline as part of the Jaime Garcia trade and he has fit nicely into the Twins bullpen when healthy. At that same deadline, Minnesota added LHP Tyler Watson who pitched all last season at High-A with a 3.62 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP.

The 2018 trade deadline was where Minnesota was able to revamp the farm. Trading Eduardo Escobar to the Diamondbacks got the Twins back a trio of prospects including RHP Jhoan Duran, who is considered one of the team’s top pitching prospects. Also, Minnesota traded away Ryan Pressly for RHP Jorge Alcala and OF Gilberto Celestino. Alcala has shown electric stuff out of the Twins bullpen this year and Celestino could become a regular at the big-league level in the years ahead. For the Twins, this trade could pay dividends for multiple years into the future.

How do you feel about the Twins consistency in their farm system? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

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25 Comments

We will not know how well the team does in terms of building a good system for a few more years.The key is being able to keep reloading talent as they age and leave via FA or we trade them.Look at Cleveland on how they keep producing pitchers over and over to trade away.Now, they have failed to get good hitting over and over, and they have tried to using pitching depth in trades to load up hitting, but overall has not been all to great lately.  

 

Twins have seemed to find some diamonds in the rough lately for some good stints and that is also key to success.Not every top pick will be a MLB player, but finding some late picks to make up for that is always key.We also will not know for another year or two on how great the picks were.So far Jeffers looks MLB level ready and Rooker has had hot start.The rest will come next year or two. 

    • birdwatcher, mikelink45, DocBauer and 1 other like this

Although this article is about the farm system, Cody, you only talk about the draft and players acquired via trades.

 

Considering that four of their starting 9 position players are International Free Agents, that source if not most important is certainly as important as the draft. Where would this team be had their International scouts taken a vacation one July back in what was it, 2009, when they signed Sano, Polanco and Kepler? Although others were International players acquired in trades, I am guessing nearly half of this team were originally signed that way. 

    • ashbury, TopGunn#22, mikelink45 and 8 others like this

In terms of position players and relievers the Twins farm system has been a great pipeline of talent. Unfortunately, there has been a distinct lack of starting pitchers being able to establish themselves at the major league level. The only guy since Berrios who has had moderate success has been Dobnak and he an undrafted free agent signed out of an independent league. Way too many former top 100 prospects have flamed out in the last 5 years including Meyer, Stewart, Gonsalves, Jay, and Romero. I'm hoping the next crop of Duran, Balazovic, Enlow, Canterino, Sands, and Chalmers has more success.

    • birdwatcher, TopGunn#22, mikelink45 and 8 others like this

I can't say I'm surprised by Brent Rooker's success at the plate, given his consistent good AB's in the minors. What I'm hoping now is that he works his butt off to become at least average in a corner OF spot. 

 

Meanwhile, I'd love to see the team find some excuse to bring up Duran. Another horse? Let's find out, yea or neigh!

    • denarded, mikelink45, DocBauer and 2 others like this

"2020 Midseason Farm System Rankings"? Good one, MLB. What with 0 minor league games played.

    • rdehring likes this
Photo
rivertowncards
Sep 09 2020 05:43 PM

 

"2020 Midseason Farm System Rankings"? Good one, MLB. What with 0 minor league games played.

 

Yeah prospecting is becoming much more of an art than a science. National writers are going to struggle rating the 50th best prospect vs the 150th best prospect moving forward. Local writers will have to rely on word of mouth, and scouting grades more than ever. I'm gonna miss the minor league box scores.

    • Shaitan and Aichiman like this

OK I'll bite.I like a lot of things this front office has done from day one but I do wish they would have taken more pitching higher in the draft.KC, Detroit and the White Sox all have drafted high quality hurlers in the 1st round and I don't think the Twins have taken one since Tyler Jay which was a huge mistake.  

 

Looking at our competitions farm systems they all have a fair bit of top 100 pitching in the pipeline.Granted we have some guys with potential but Balazovic is the only pitcher we have in the top 100 and he is at the bottom end at 90.Yeah, yeah i know that doesn't mean anything as Cleveland can pull pitchers out their hat and the Twins appear to have done the same to some degree with Dobnak but to me the odds favor our rivals at this time.

 

While I get the strategy the Twins have used to try not to make mistakes in the 1st round the fact that they continue to load up on fairly slow footed\postionless hitters doesn't exactly give me confidence that they can put together a winner.The two guys they chose early that have 5 tool potential (Lewis, Cavaco) have the bat as their weak spot which could make them less effective if they ever do make it.It remains to be seen if the Twins stocking up on Left field, 1st baseman type hitters with hard hit rate turns out but IMO with so many of those types of players in the system I would have liked to see them take more chances on pitching.

 

While there are things I feel are weaknesses in their strategy I can say they have maintained a good farm system even while picking later in the draft.As Rdering mentioned I feel like they have been saved by their international signings as a lot drafts came up pretty dry in 2013, 14 and 15 and we really haven't seen much of anyone but Jeffers and Rooker from 2017 on so hard to say how to feel about those drafts just yet.

 

I will say I have enjoyed the Twins new approach to pitching development and have never felt better about that area than I do now. The thing is I believe our competition is a step ahead of us in that department and that might end up being the difference between making the playoffs out of the central or not.Here's hoping the FO has a few aces up their sleeves.

    • denarded, birdwatcher, TopGunn#22 and 3 others like this

The front office does seem more comfortable trading for minor league pitching prospects than drafting them. Duran, Alcala, Chalmers, Smeltzer and Valimont are decent acquisitions. As far as drafting Balazovic and Canterino look like their top selections. I do think they have added much needed depth to the farm system. This off season is critical in my opinion.A few of these prospects are reaching the play them or trade them time.

    • birdwatcher, mikelink45, ChrisKnutson and 1 other like this

"A few aces up their sleeve."This one put a smile on my face.

 

    • birdwatcher, Dman, PDX Twin and 2 others like this
While the jury is still out to be sure, I've been very impressed by their drafts thus far, as well as the overall changes in development philosophy. They also seem more aggressive in promotions. I don't want to start yet another debate about who was traded in a bad season, but it does appear they brought in a few guys who have real potential and some high ceilings when they did so. And let's not forget Dobnak came under their watch.

Right now, Dobnak, Alcala, Jeffers and Littell are part of this team and Acquired via the FO recent moves. Sure I'm forgetting someone. Maeda was acquired by actually moving a prospect, something we aren't used to seeing. I wish the best for Graterol, I really do. But right now, I can't imagine not having Maeda on this team. And I believe he's here for at least 3 more years.

There is another thread concerning Rosario that I don't want to get in to because that discussion should stay where it is. But I would make one point that references that discussion. Teams and rosters DO CHANGE. And they do so for many reasons. While I personally don't feel a championship contending team should be banking on prospects to replace a quality position player, with a wide window of opportunity, especially coming off a no milb season of normal development, how tantalizing is it to reflect and speculate on Rooker, Kirilloff and Larnach...with Celistino just behind...as future fixtures? (Or part of trade possibilities, of course). And not that there aren't other solid prospect behind them.

Teams change every year. And while there could be arguments for mostly keeping our current Twins team intact for 2021, changes WILL take place. How about Lewis, Gordon and Blankenhorn for infield additions soon?

I do share Dman's concern somewhat about a lack of top selections pitching wise in the draft. I'd like to believe this bas been a result of taking the best player available and a belief in their ideals of draft and development. The Cleveland way of doing things if you will. But then I see what Dobnak and Alcala are doing. (Completely different additions). I see the potential of Duran and Balazovic and maybe Chalmers. I wonder about Colina and Enlow and maybe Sands. I suddenly remember Celistino, recently added to the 60 man. And while I'm sure I'm leaving a few guys out, I'm starting to see the Twins version of a pitching pipeline potentially beginning.

Drafting, signing and trading for young talent and developing them IS the lifeblood of a successful organization. Isn't that what Falvey and Levine spoke of when hired? So far, so optimistically good I'd say.

Despite some really nice and even key veteran performers on the roster, there are a lot of still young players that make up our beloved Twins. And the window OP opportunity appears wide open to me with a ton of young talent ready to rise up over the next year or two to replace and augment the team. Not everyone will make it or stay with the the organization. But I am really excited for what we have and what is coming up.
    • beckmt, TopGunn#22, Dman and 2 others like this

https://www.mlb.com/prospects/twins/

 

9 of the current top 30 twins prospects on MLB.com were acquired by the previous regime. When you consider how long it typically takes a player to develop in the minor leagues that they have been able to keep supplementing the big league roster with talent and develop another wave of talent to follow so quickly speaks well to the farm system development over the last few years. 

 

It's not just the development of players in the minors but also how they keep improving once they reach The Show that determines the quality of a MLB organization. Just look at Shane Bieber's growth this year and all of their other pitchers over there in Cleveland that we are starting to develop here in Minnesota now. The whole reason they brought Falvey over from Cleveland was because of how he helped them develop their pitchers. So far so good with Canterino, Balazovic, Enlow, Duran all looking very promising and all the other relief pitchers and starting pitchers that have/are coming up in the system.

 

When you factor in the explosive growth in the Twins' offense and pitching last year and now their defensive improvements this year when they were able to put in place the coaching staff they wanted as opposed to inherited it is mind boggling to me that people don't realize how lucky we are to have them leading the organization.

 

For some examples to remind everyone: Duffey and Littel became relief aces last year when our pitching coach (more like pitching whisperer) Wes Johnson advised them on things to work on when they went down to Rochester. This year Thielbar and Wisler have become two more set up quality pitchers that Falvine got off waivers and near retirement for Wes to work with. Maeda has gone from a very good pitcher to an actual capital A - Ace pitcher after they changed his pitch mix. Dobnak was an undrafted free agent that has a 60+ GB% and his slider has become a real weapon this year.

 

Cody has illustrated well with his examples how well Falvine have done with the early returns from their drafts and trades so far. I've never been more excited as a Twins fan regarding the direction of the organization. Cheers!

    • birdwatcher, beckmt, TopGunn#22 and 5 others like this

I think it will be really interesting to see if Falvey can repeat the Cleveland success with pitcher drafting and development. One somewhat strange occurrence that should be worth following is that in 2019 the Twins drafted and signed 16 college pitchers in rounds 6-25.

    • birdwatcher, Dman and DocBauer like this

 

I think it will be really interesting to see if Falvey can repeat the Cleveland success with pitcher drafting and development. One somewhat strange occurrence that should be worth following is that in 2019 the Twins drafted and signed 16 college pitchers in rounds 6-25.

 

Yeah Gipson looks like he has pitches that miss bats but his pitch mix could likely use help. Legumina had decent numbers before getting hurt which makes me wonder if he is destined for the pen.I am not sold on Headrick but he is that crafty lefty all teams seem to like in the later rounds.Sean Mooney had some good stats before needing Tommy John so could be a good grab for a 12th round pick.Dylan Thomas looks like he has the strike out stuff to be a closer.Cody Laweyson had an impressive Minor league debut and could be one of those Dobnak type finds.So Yeah I agree with you they took a lot of bites of the apple getting lots of pitching in the lower rounds hoping a few of those guys work out.

 

The Twins also have a couple interesting young arms that came from international signings in Donny Breek and Anthony Escobar.Both of those guys have a ways to go but have shown very good potential and performed well to this point.So again to your point the well is not dry.

 

It just remains to be seen yet if Falvey can duplicate the no name pitcher success that Clevelend has been able to produce to this point.I guess we will all have to wait and see but given that our division looks to have some of the best pitching in baseball for the foreseeable future if these guys don't turn out then our chances for the playoffs are slim to none.  

 

 

    • birdwatcher, DocBauer, JoshDungan1 and 1 other like this
I see the development side as the FO strength. They have hired a number of talented people proven by how many were poached by other orgs. Only time will tell on the drafting side.
    • birdwatcher likes this

 

While the jury is still out to be sure, I've been very impressed by their drafts thus far, as well as the overall changes in development philosophy. They also seem more aggressive in promotions.
 

Totally agree. I like that they are promoting before players run out of options which seemed to happen more than I liked with the last administration.

    • DocBauer and JoshDungan1 like this
Photo
birdwatcher
Sep 10 2020 02:54 PM

Lots of really astute observations here.

 

My own theory is that, going forward, they are going to need to continue to be aggressive traders of redundant major league talent for the promising prospects from other systems. They no longer can claim any sort of substantial superiority when it comes to scouting and talent evaluation, although they may still have better relationships and connections in the DR and may still have a work culture that drives them to find a Dobnak and resurrect a Thielbar. Any advantage in the area of cutting edge development technology, innovation and expertise is likely somewhat short-lived or narrowed. And MLB success quickly allows others to catch up because of favorable draft order and larger bonus pools.

 

In my view, that leaves two primary ways to create separation. The best way, IMO, is to take advantage of other team's perceived immediate needs for MLB talent, where prospects offer a considerable future value discount compared to a current value for your expendable player. The second way is related, which is to keep enough dry powder ("financial flexibility") to take advantage of FA talent opportunities and cost squeezes.

 

I agree with others that, today, we're behind our ALC rivals when it comes to top notch pitching talent.

 

If I were the GM at the 2020 trade deadline, I would have solicited conversations about Rosario, May, Clippard, Romo, and Cave, and taken a prospect deal IF an overpay was available for any of them. I'd be an aggressive seller of MLB surplus 7/24/365.

 

In short, the three pillars should all be significantly above average and then exploited to further improve things: MLB talent, prospect talent, and available cash. I think the Twins are in pretty good shape in all regards, with the talent pipeline at the lower end of the preferred range for my liking.

    • Dman and JoshDungan1 like this

Yeah Gipson looks like he has pitches that miss bats but his pitch mix could likely use help. Legumina had decent numbers before getting hurt which makes me wonder if he is destined for the pen.I am not sold on Headrick but he is that crafty lefty all teams seem to like in the later rounds.Sean Mooney had some good stats before needing Tommy John so could be a good grab for a 12th round pick.Dylan Thomas looks like he has the strike out stuff to be a closer.Cody Laweyson had an impressive Minor league debut and could be one of those Dobnak type finds.So Yeah I agree with you they took a lot of bites of the apple getting lots of pitching in the lower rounds hoping a few of those guys work out.
 
The Twins also have a couple interesting young arms that came from international signings in Donny Breek and Anthony Escobar.Both of those guys have a ways to go but have shown very good potential and performed well to this point.So again to your point the well is not dry.
 
It just remains to be seen yet if Falvey can duplicate the no name pitcher success that Clevelend has been able to produce to this point.I guess we will all have to wait and see but given that our division looks to have some of the best pitching in baseball for the foreseeable future if these guys don't turn out then our chances for the playoffs are slim to none.


Arm talent and potential is harder to define than athleticism and bat potential, IMO. I don't think that is a hard stretch. In regard to pitching, especially SP, there are few "guarantees" when it comes to the draft. There are so few guys like Clemons, Verlander and Strasburg at the TOP of the draft you can have the luxury of drafting as a close to sure thing. The next best thing to do...NOT talking about major trades or major FA signings...is what the current FO is doing. That is, revamp coaching. Which they have done. Next, draft a guy who has 1 or 2 great pitches or qualities you see and develop them. I would call this the Cleveland/Dogers/Rays format. I think we all know throwing 95mph+ doesn't mean you can "pitch" and be successful. But what if you can throw 92 with a great change or curveball and the Twins staff can add velocity and help with command and teach you a slider, slurve or cutter?

The FO looks for arm talent, to be sure. While it's not talked about, I believe they are also looking for intelligence and the obscure "coachability" talent. Duran was obtained through trade, Vallimont through trade, Enlow and Sands via the draft. Dobnak came from the nether regions, lol. And I've left a lot of guys out, obviously. The point being they are astute at looking at coachability and projection. And not everyone will make it as a SP, or make it at all. But being a 1st round draft choice as a P guarantees little. It's about having as many arms as you can to work with and develop as you can.

Right now, I am so encouraged as to what may be coming up the next couple of years that i am giddy with anticipation. And yes, I did use the word "giddy". Lol
    • Dman, JoshDungan1 and rdehring like this

You never know what you have until they are in the big leagues for a year or three.Pipeline looks good at this time,we will know more a few years from now.Pitching if you are not the Yankees and just buy it, is the hardest commodity to find.Twins now look good in that area, but will have to see. 

Remember Oderizzi is not likely to return and good chance Hill and Bailey will not either.We are going to need the depth and hopefully we are like Cleveland and just keep churning them out.  

    • Dman and wabene like this

 

Arm talent and potential is harder to define than athleticism and bat potential, IMO. I don't think that is a hard stretch. In regard to pitching, especially SP, there are few "guarantees" when it comes to the draft. There are so few guys like Clemons, Verlander and Strasburg at the TOP of the draft you can have the luxury of drafting as a close to sure thing. The next best thing to do...NOT talking about major trades or major FA signings...is what the current FO is doing. That is, revamp coaching. Which they have done. Next, draft a guy who has 1 or 2 great pitches or qualities you see and develop them. I would call this the Cleveland/Dogers/Rays format. I think we all know throwing 95mph+ doesn't mean you can "pitch" and be successful. But what if you can throw 92 with a great change or curveball and the Twins staff can add velocity and help with command and teach you a slider, slurve or cutter?

The FO looks for arm talent, to be sure. While it's not talked about, I believe they are also looking for intelligence and the obscure "coachability" talent. Duran was obtained through trade, Vallimont through trade, Enlow and Sands via the draft. Dobnak came from the nether regions, lol. And I've left a lot of guys out, obviously. The point being they are astute at looking at coachability and projection. And not everyone will make it as a SP, or make it at all. But being a 1st round draft choice as a P guarantees little. It's about having as many arms as you can to work with and develop as you can.

Right now, I am so encouraged as to what may be coming up the next couple of years that i am giddy with anticipation. And yes, I did use the word "giddy". Lol

 

For the most part I agree with you.As we have literally witnessed starting pitchers no matter what round can be dangerous picks because you never know what injuries might happen to the arm or if they will develop into a viable major league pitcher,but here is the rub.Generally if you want to find an arm with "special" qualities you are going to find them in the first round.Lets take a trip through the division and I think you will see what I am talking about.

 

Lets start with the White Sox.While we have to go back in time a little and they did not personally pick all the pitchers they have they did trade a pitcher they got in the 1st round (Sale)for another pitcher taken in the first round Giolotto and I would say that has worked out pretty well for them.They also got another 1st round pitcher from Washington in Dunning and although it is small sample size he is off to good start.They also have the hard throwing and almost unhittable although also wild Michael Kopech waiting in the wings and he was a supplemental 1st round pick.Just this year they took Garret Crochet a lefty who can wing it up to 100 mph with the 11th pick in the draft so yet another 1st round arm.These are the type of arms that can make a difference, that can separate from a more average starter.Its not like Chicago spent all their draft capital on pitching as they arguably have the best lineup in the division as well and to top it all off they are a very young team with some of their best tied up for the next 6 years.Yes they took chances and they haven't won anything yet but they have the look of team that could win a world series and those 1st round arms look to play a big part in that.

 

Kansas City I believe tripled down on 1st round pitchers in 2020 and got Asa Lacy, and Brady Singer in the first round and they are in top 50 prospects in MLB and I believe Singer almost threw a no hitter yesterday.They also have Daniel lynch in the top 100 as yet another first round arm and that doesn't even include Jackson Kowar who didn't make the top 100 this year but certainly could in the near future.All high quality arms likely to impact their team soon.The pitching poor Royals look like they will be in good shape very soon all with those solid 1st round pitcher picks.

 

Detroit did the same thing taking Casey Mize and Matt Manning at the top of the draft is successive years.Guys with Ace like stuff and Multiple highly rated pitches.Mize has struggled in his debut but the high end talent is there and he seems likely to harness it in time.

 

So you can see that grabbing 1st round pitching can be important to finding guys that have potential to be better than average pitchers and often times that is where dominant pitching comes from.You can still do what the Twins do and grab a bunch a pitchers later but why not take a chance now and then on top shelf talent in the 1st round especially when you have so, so many Left field\1st baseman type hitters?Believe it or not there is a point where that strategy no longer makes sense.Right now and into the future they are locked and loaded for outfield, 1st base and DH.They could possibly use middle infield help and oh yeah they lack young high quality starting pitching.  

 

I like the potential of Balazovic and Duran but lets be honest they are not even close to stretched out yet so unlikely to help much even next year.The Guys behind them have potential but nothing like the 1st rounders I just mentioned for the other teams.So while we might be developing good pitching our competition might be developing great pitching and that might be the difference in where we end up the next 5 to 6 years,  

 

Now I know I left out Cleveland and I know Falvey is from that school of thought and maybe there is a trend in the making there but to this point most teams either get their pitching in free agency, trades or high draft picks.Yep lots of lower drafted guys make it too but that doesn't mean a team needs to skip trying to draft pitching in the first round.Especially a team that appears to have quite a few hitters in the pipeline as it is.I know the FO loves the pitching they have in the pipeline but I am skeptical it will be make enough of a difference versus the talent our competitors have.I hope I am wrong but I think based on what I have written above a case can be made that I am right as well.

    • birdwatcher, DocBauer and rdehring like this

For the next few years we will be drafting in the last 1/3 or last 1/4.That makes it difficult to find top of the rotation pitching.Here is hoping the FA can trade some assets this winter for high upside pitching, and more of the Twins draft picks come through.It can be done, just asking a lot.

    • birdwatcher likes this

 

For the most part I agree with you.As we have literally witnessed starting pitchers no matter what round can be dangerous picks because you never know what injuries might happen to the arm or if they will develop into a viable major league pitcher,but here is the rub.Generally if you want to find an arm with "special" qualities you are going to find them in the first round.Lets take a trip through the division and I think you will see what I am talking about.

 

Lets start with the White Sox.While we have to go back in time a little and they did not personally pick all the pitchers they have they did trade a pitcher they got in the 1st round (Sale)for another pitcher taken in the first round Giolotto and I would say that has worked out pretty well for them.They also got another 1st round pitcher from Washington in Dunning and although it is small sample size he is off to good start.They also have the hard throwing and almost unhittable although also wild Michael Kopech waiting in the wings and he was a supplemental 1st round pick.Just this year they took Garret Crochet a lefty who can wing it up to 100 mph with the 11th pick in the draft so yet another 1st round arm.These are the type of arms that can make a difference, that can separate from a more average starter.Its not like Chicago spent all their draft capital on pitching as they arguably have the best lineup in the division as well and to top it all off they are a very young team with some of their best tied up for the next 6 years.Yes they took chances and they haven't won anything yet but they have the look of team that could win a world series and those 1st round arms look to play a big part in that.

 

Kansas City I believe tripled down on 1st round pitchers in 2020 and got Asa Lacy, and Brady Singer in the first round and they are in top 50 prospects in MLB and I believe Singer almost threw a no hitter yesterday.They also have Daniel lynch in the top 100 as yet another first round arm and that doesn't even include Jackson Kowar who didn't make the top 100 this year but certainly could in the near future.All high quality arms likely to impact their team soon.The pitching poor Royals look like they will be in good shape very soon all with those solid 1st round pitcher picks.

 

Detroit did the same thing taking Casey Mize and Matt Manning at the top of the draft is successive years.Guys with Ace like stuff and Multiple highly rated pitches.Mize has struggled in his debut but the high end talent is there and he seems likely to harness it in time.

 

So you can see that grabbing 1st round pitching can be important to finding guys that have potential to be better than average pitchers and often times that is where dominant pitching comes from.You can still do what the Twins do and grab a bunch a pitchers later but why not take a chance now and then on top shelf talent in the 1st round especially when you have so, so many Left field\1st baseman type hitters?Believe it or not there is a point where that strategy no longer makes sense.Right now and into the future they are locked and loaded for outfield, 1st base and DH.They could possibly use middle infield help and oh yeah they lack young high quality starting pitching.  

 

I like the potential of Balazovic and Duran but lets be honest they are not even close to stretched out yet so unlikely to help much even next year.The Guys behind them have potential but nothing like the 1st rounders I just mentioned for the other teams.So while we might be developing good pitching our competition might be developing great pitching and that might be the difference in where we end up the next 5 to 6 years,  

 

Now I know I left out Cleveland and I know Falvey is from that school of thought and maybe there is a trend in the making there but to this point most teams either get their pitching in free agency, trades or high draft picks.Yep lots of lower drafted guys make it too but that doesn't mean a team needs to skip trying to draft pitching in the first round.Especially a team that appears to have quite a few hitters in the pipeline as it is.I know the FO loves the pitching they have in the pipeline but I am skeptical it will be make enough of a difference versus the talent our competitors have.I hope I am wrong but I think based on what I have written above a case can be made that I am right as well.

Brady Singer was drafted this year? Didn't realize that. Was really impressed when he threw against the Twins and then the near no-no last night. Wow!

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Channing1964
Sep 11 2020 03:29 PM
I was royally pi$$ed in 2018 when we basically tanked the second half by trading Escobar, Pressly and Dozier. I won't apologize for that but my opinions about the FO have proven to be wrong. After a series of well thought out moves I give them high marks overall. I am glad they came here and i see the results of their knowledge and experience. I know this thread isnt totally about the FO but the direction we are heading under their leadership is encouraging to see. Alcala, Jeffers, Rooker, Duran etc are all exciting young prospects. It will be interesting to see in the off-season if we can upgrade our starting pitching with some of these assets.
    • rdehring likes this

 

Brady Singer was drafted this year? Didn't realize that. Was really impressed when he threw against the Twins and then the near no-no last night. Wow!

Sorry I said 2020 but that is not right I think they got them in 2018 or 2019.I mistype'd that.

    • JoshDungan1 and Channing1964 like this
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Nine of twelve
Sep 11 2020 06:42 PM

Here's what it all comes down to: player evaluation and player development. We need to know which players to draft, which players to trade away, which players to trade for, and which players to sign as free agents. And we need to know how to get the most out of the players in our organization.If we do all this well we can be consistently strong and consistently affordable.

    • rdehring likes this

The Twins farm system has been steady but not spectacular in recent years.The pitchers coming up largely end up being relievers.The big studs end up showing potential and getting injured quite a bit.The Twins need to develop a couple of stud SP.The system is also weak at 3B and, to a lesser extent at 2B.I'm not so worried about 2B because I think Arraez will be around awhile but there is nobody to replace Donaldson if he gets injured or when he leaves.I'm wondering if Lewis will move to 3B, although I was hoping the Lewis would improve the defense at SS over Polanco.


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