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Game Thread Twins @ Indians 9/15/19 12:10 PM CDT

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 02:36 PM
Good morning Twin fans! The Twins go for the sweep against Cleveland this afternoon. The Twins swept a day-night doubleheader to take a 5...
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Front Page: Twins Game Recap (9/15): Bad Defense Costs Tw...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 02:36 PM
The Twins lost the series finale to the Indians 7-5 after taking both games of the double header the day before. Leaving Cleveland with a...
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Are we done with Gibson? Once and for all

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 02:36 PM
I'm hoping this is one of last times we see Gibson. He has had one good year and every other year has been above 4 ERA. He actually broke...
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Front Page: Who is the Twins Team MVP?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 02:29 PM
2019 has been a bit of a Hollywood season for the Minnesota Twins. After finishing 2018 with a record below .500, and losing a player tha...
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Front Page: Wait, Ryan LaMarre Is On the Twins Again? And...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 01:46 PM
How did that happen? Am I being pranked?OK, this is nuts, but I swear that I just saw the starting lineups for tonight, and Ryan LaMarre...
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Twins Minor League Report (4/14): Miracle Bats Bust Out

Over their previous seven games, the Miracle had scored a combined 15 runs. A look through the batting averages of players in the lineup (besides the red-hot Lewin Diaz and his .480 batting average) showed that the bats were cold. On Sunday, they scored 12 runs on 21 hits and all nine starters had at least two hits in the game. .
Image courtesy of William Parmeter (photo of Ben Rortvedt)
Find out everything that happened happened in the Twins system on Sunday, starting with the transactions of the day

TRANSACTIONS
  • Infielder Drew Maggi promoted from Pensacola to Rochester.
  • Infielder Joe Cronin promoted from Cedar Rapids to Pensacola.
  • Hunter Lee promoted from extended spring training to Cedar Rapids.
UPDATE on the Transactions:


AWARDS
Each Sunday, the Twins announce their minor league hitter and pitcher of the week. This week, the awards went to:

Pitcher of the Week: Devin Smeltzer
Hitter of the Week: Travis Blankenhorn

RED WINGS REPORT
Rochester, Lehigh Valley
Box Score

Rains postponed this game. It will be made up as part of a doubleheader in July.

BLUE WAHOO BITES
Pensacola 4, Jacksonville 3
Box Score

A three-run bottom of the sixth inning gave the Wahoos a lead that they were able to hold on to the rest of the way.

Tanner English got the team on the scoreboard first. He hit a leadoff home run in the bottom of the inning. He added a single later in the game. Luis Arraez went 2-for-3 with a walk. Brian Schales went 2-for-2 with a walk and was hit by a pitch. The big hit of that sixth inning was a double off the bat of Jimmy Kerrigan.

Andro Cutura started and gave up three runs on eight hits over five innings. He struck out two batters. Sean Poppen came on and struck out four batters over two scoreless innings. Ryan Mason recorded his second save with two scoreless innings that included three strikeouts.

MIRACLE MATTERS
Ft. Myers 12, Clearwater 7
Box Score

The Ft. Myers offense has generally been struggling early this season. On Sunday, they broke out. All of them broke out. The Miracle had 21 hits, and all nine starters had at least two hits.

Ben Rortvedt, batting ninth, led the offense. He went 4-for-5 with two doubles and his first home run of the year. Trevor Larnach went 3-for-5 with a walk. Akil Baddoo and Royce Lewis were each 2-for-5 with a walk. Travis Blankenhorn extended his hitting streak to nine games as he went 2-for-5 with his third double. Ryan Costello went 2-for-5 and added his first homer of the year. Jose Miranda went 2-for-6. Michael Helman broke out a bit as he went 2-for-4 with a walk.

Charlie Barnes was the recipient of the great run support. The left-hander gave up five runs on six hits over the first 5 2/3 innings. He walked two and struck out four. Hector Lujan came on and gave up two unearned runs on two hits over 2 1/3 innings. Jacob Blank, called up on Saturday from extended spring training, made his first Miracle (and first full-season) appearance. He got one out, but he walked two batters. Alex Phillips came on and got the final two outs.

KERNELS NUGGETS
Cedar Rapids 2, Burlington 6
Box Score

It was a rough start for right-hander Andrew Cabezas in his second Midwest League start. The deliberate right-hander found himself in a lot of full counts. Because of it, he threw a lot of pitches. In just four innings, he gave up six runs on three hits. However, he walked five and hit two others. He did strike out five batters as well. Zach Neff came on. The lefty struck out five over three scoreless innings. Jose Martinez worked the final two innings without giving up another run.

Michael Davis had a bases-loaded single with one out in the bottom of the ninth to drive in a run. Hunter Lee hit a sacrifice fly to score Jacob Pearson. But that’s where the rally ended.

The Kernels offense mustered just six hits in the game. Gabe Snyder had two of them. Andrew Bechtold singled to extend his hitting streak to five.

Jeff Johnson from The Gazette in Cedar Rapids wrote his game story and included quotes from Gabe Snyder about his recent promotion to the Kernels.

TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY

Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day - Sean Poppen, Pensacola Blue Wahoos
Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Ben Rortvedt, Ft. Myers Miracle

PROSPECT SUMMARY

Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed:

#1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - 2-5, BB, 2 R, 2 K
#2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - Injured List
#3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Did Not Pitch
#4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) - 3-5, BB, R, RBI, K
#5 - Wander Javier (EST) - No Game
#6 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - Rained Out
#7 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Pitch
#8 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - Did Not Pitch
#9 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Did Not Pitch
#10 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - 2-5, BB, R, 2 RBI, K, SB(2)
#11 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Injured List
#12 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Injured List
#13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Play
#14 - Ben Rortvedt (Ft. Myers) - 4-5, 2-2B, HR(1), 2 R, RBI
#15 - Yunior Severino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List
#16 - Gilberto Celestino (Cedar Rapids) - 0-4, BB
#17 - Zack Littell (Rochester) - Did Not Pitch
#18 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - Rained Out
#19 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - Did Not Pitch
#20 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) - 2-6

SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS

Syracuse @ Rochester (5:05 CST) - LHP Justin Nicolino (0-0, 9.00 ERA)
Pensacola @ Biloxi (6:35 CST) - RHP Jorge Alcala (2-0, 1.80 ERA)
Ft. Myers @ St. Lucie (5:30 CST) - RHP Randy Dobnak (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids* (6:35 CST) - RHP Luis Rijo (0-1, 3.66 ERA)
  • The game is at Cedar Rapids, but Quad Cities will be the home team on the scoreboard. Quad Cities ballpark (Modern Woodmen Park) remains surrounded by floodwaters from the Mississippi River.



Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Sunday’s games.

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23 Comments

I have been waiting for that All-Star lineup at High A to break out and they finally did.Once those bats get rolling it is going to tough that group.  

 

All the guys I gave up on last year seem to be off to hot starts (i.e. Cabbage, Blankenhorn, Diaz, even English and Whiutefield seem to be surging).Here's hoping they keep it up and make this prospect group even better.

Seeing that the Rochester game was rained out leads me to believe that only a few HR were hit this time.

    • James and MN_ExPat like this
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drivlikejehu
Apr 14 2019 06:16 PM

I was at the Pensacola game. The stadium radar gun seemed legit, with Cutura sitting 88-90 and the Jumbo Shrimp starter in the same neighborhood.

 

Poppen sat 95-96 out of the pen with the fastball, and a hard slider 85-86. He has a low 3/4 delivery and good movement, but had so-so command. With some fairly modest improvement, he looks like an MLB middle reliever to me.

 

Arraez had really nice PAs. He has a good eye and made some hard contact. He looked more athletic than I was expecting.

    • jokin, PseudoSABR, bluechipper and 5 others like this

 

I was at the Pensacola game. The stadium radar gun seemed legit, with Cutura sitting 88-90 and the Jumbo Shrimp starter in the same neighborhood.

 

Poppen sat 95-96 out of the pen with the fastball, and a hard slider 85-86. He has a low 3/4 delivery and good movement, but had so-so command. With some fairly modest improvement, he looks like an MLB middle reliever to me.

 

Arraez had really nice PAs. He has a good eye and made some hard contact. He looked more athletic than I was expecting.

 

Yeah, I got an updated scouting report on Poppen the other day. When I saw him two years ago, he was 89-92 - which of course is enough velocity when combined with other stuff. He has a good slider and a changeup that is a work in progress... Now, as you pointed out, he is 94-96 with a really good slider (if sometimes a little inconsistent). He is definitely worth watching at this point. 

    • dbminn and MN_ExPat like this

I often demonstrate how the Twins minor league system is much more conservative in player movement than other organizations.Lots of people disagree, but I want to show side by side two players that pitched in yesterday's AA game:Devin Smeltzer and Cody Stashak.   

 

Here are links to their minor league stats to follow along:

 

http://www.milb.com/...tching/2019/ALL

 

http://www.milb.com/...tching/2019/ALL

 

Both players were college draft picks.Stashak by the Twins in the 13th round in 2013 and Smeltzer by the Dodgers' in the 5th round one year later.

 

They both pitched in their draft short season in the Rookie League.They both began their first full professional season in A ball.After 10 starts with a 3.78 ERA Smeltzer was promoted to A+ ball and made 15 more starts at that level.Stashak was likewise promoted to A+ level but after 17 starts at Cedar Rapids and only made 3 starts at A+ level.

 

It is here were they diverged.In his 3rd professional season, Smeltzer was promoted to AA and when the Twins acquired him in the Dozier trade they kept him at that level. 

 

In Stashak's 3rd professional season the Twins returned him to Ft Myers to repeat A+ level, calling him up to AA to make 3 relief appearances.

 

In Stashak's 4th season the Twins again started him in A+ ball, but this time moving him to AA after just 2 appearances to AA were Smeltzer would join him later after the trade. 

 

Of course, the Twins being the Twins, the kept Smeltzer at AA in his 4th and he is joined by Stashak, starting his 5th campaing. But Stashak is almost a full year older than Smeltzer and is pitching at the same level with significantly less experience at the level.Their minor league performance is very similar, if anything Stashak has a slightly better statistical profile.  

 

But, I would argue that if the players would have switched the teams that drafted them, Stashak would have advanced faster rather than Smeltzer,In Smeltzer's career, brief as it is, the Dodger's advanced him at least a level every season.The first season that Smeltzer did not advance a level from the year previous, he was in the Twins organization.  

 

Stashak followed the Twins normal:repeating levels and slow promotions.  

 

I get that some will claim I am "cherry picking", and I used this example just because both players pitched in the AA game yesterday.But, the fact is this is a consistent pattern the Twins organization uses.

    • jokin likes this

 

I was at the Pensacola game. The stadium radar gun seemed legit, with Cutura sitting 88-90 and the Jumbo Shrimp starter in the same neighborhood.

 

Poppen sat 95-96 out of the pen with the fastball, and a hard slider 85-86. He has a low 3/4 delivery and good movement, but had so-so command. With some fairly modest improvement, he looks like an MLB middle reliever to me.

 

Arraez had really nice PAs. He has a good eye and made some hard contact. He looked more athletic than I was expecting.

Thanks for the first hand report.

 

Good hearing about Arraez.I have a question for everyone hear at TD.Will Arraez hit for a .400 average at AA in 2019?Would like to see TD do a poll to see how many of us think it is possible.

 

Also great seeing Rortvedt hitting for some power.That and pitch framing, which Seth pointed out, appear to be two hurdles he needs to overcome to join Garver behind the plate for the Twins late next year or in 2021.

 

I often demonstrate how the Twins minor league system is much more conservative in player movement than other organizations.Lots of people disagree, but I want to show side by side two players that pitched in yesterday's AA game:Devin Smeltzer and Cody Stashak.   

 

Here are links to their minor league stats to follow along:

 

http://www.milb.com/...tching/2019/ALL

 

http://www.milb.com/...tching/2019/ALL

 

Both players were college draft picks.Stashak by the Twins in the 13th round in 2013 and Smeltzer by the Dodgers' in the 5th round one year later.

 

They both pitched in their draft short season in the Rookie League.They both began their first full professional season in A ball.After 10 starts with a 3.78 ERA Smeltzer was promoted to A+ ball and made 15 more starts at that level.Stashak was likewise promoted to A+ level but after 17 starts at Cedar Rapids and only made 3 starts at A+ level.

 

It is here were they diverged.In his 3rd professional season, Smeltzer was promoted to AA and when the Twins acquired him in the Dozier trade they kept him at that level. 

 

In Stashak's 3rd professional season the Twins returned him to Ft Myers to repeat A+ level, calling him up to AA to make 3 relief appearances.

 

In Stashak's 4th season the Twins again started him in A+ ball, but this time moving him to AA after just 2 appearances to AA were Smeltzer would join him later after the trade. 

 

Of course, the Twins being the Twins, the kept Smeltzer at AA in his 4th and he is joined by Stashak, starting his 5th campaing. But Stashak is almost a full year older than Smeltzer and is pitching at the same level with significantly less experience at the level.Their minor league performance is very similar, if anything Stashak has a slightly better statistical profile.  

 

But, I would argue that if the players would have switched the teams that drafted them, Stashak would have advanced faster rather than Smeltzer,In Smeltzer's career, brief as it is, the Dodger's advanced him at least a level every season.The first season that Smeltzer did not advance a level from the year previous, he was in the Twins organization.  

 

Stashak followed the Twins normal:repeating levels and slow promotions.  

 

I get that some will claim I am "cherry picking", and I used this example just because both players pitched in the AA game yesterday.But, the fact is this is a consistent pattern the Twins organization uses.

 

While I a do agree they seem to slow play some players, recently that doesn't seem to be the trend I am seeing.They aggressively promoted Rooker, Badoo, Miranda, Lewis, Graterol, Helman and probably others.If you truly prove you belong at the next level I believe the player will get there sooner rather than later in the Twins system. 

 

I think part of the reason some of our players are struggling to start the MiLB season is that the Twins have aggressively promoted so many of them.Most of the players doing well to start the season are those that were at that level last year (i.e. Cabbage, Diaz, Blankehorn). So there is a fine line when it comes to promotion as once confidence is ruined it can take a long time to get it back thus the caution to make sure a player is ready for the next jump.

 

I do agree with you that Aggressive promotion is the way to go for most players.The only way to get better is to face better competition the only way to face better competition is to move up.Why delay helping a player get better?If they can't step up to the next level were they ever going to no matter how long you waited? It is a fine line but I think being as aggressive as possible is best for the player and the organization.

    • Seth Stohs, luckylager, DocBauer and 2 others like this

 

While I a do agree they seem to slow play some players, recently that doesn't seem to be the trend I am seeing.They aggressively promoted Rooker, Badoo, Miranda, Lewis, Graterol, Helman and probably others.If you truly prove you belong at the next level I believe the player will get there sooner rather than later in the Twins system. 

 

I think part of the reason some of our players are struggling to start the MiLB season is that the Twins have aggressively promoted so many of them.Most of the players doing well to start the season are those that were at that level last year (i.e. Cabbage, Diaz, Blankehorn). So there is a fine line when it comes to promotion as once confidence is ruined it can take a long time to get it back thus the caution to make sure a player is ready for the next jump.

 

I do agree with you that Aggressive promotion is the way to go for most players.The only way to get better is to face better competition the only way to face better competition is to move up.Why delay helping a player get better?If they can't step up to the next level were they ever going to no matter how long you waited? It is a fine line but I think being as aggressive as possible is best for the player and the organization.

 

Correct. It's all about the individual's development. Stashak was more slow developing, and moved to the bullpen.

 

And, where they start a season doesn't matter, especially at the upper levels because sometimes that dictated by minor league signings that they want to keep around for a little bit to see how they do and if there are immediate needs. 

    • howieramone2 and MN_ExPat like this
Photo
terrydactyls1947
Apr 15 2019 07:35 AM
I would expect a fifth round draft pick to advance quicker than a 13th round pick. What's the big surprise?
    • Seth Stohs and howieramone2 like this
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clutterheart
Apr 15 2019 11:28 AM

 

Thanks for the first hand report.

 

Good hearing about Arraez.I have a question for everyone hear at TD.Will Arraez hit for a .400 average at AA in 2019?Would like to see TD do a poll to see how many of us think it is possible.

 

 

He has a knack for talking walks and sneaking GB's through the infield.So I think the more amazing feat would be if he can be the first ever with a .500 OB%

 

 

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diehardtwinsfan
Apr 15 2019 12:18 PM

 

I would expect a fifth round draft pick to advance quicker than a 13th round pick. What's the big surprise?

 

While I don't agree with mlhouse's premise (because yes, I think he's cherry picking), I think this is equally wrong. 

 

Your 13th round picks will almost always be college players who can be signed for the minimum bonus and not affect their draft capital or the occasional HS pick that becomes a fall back if there's more cap available than expected. Picks 1-10 will be a mix of college and HS guys, with the HS guys likely advancing slower. A college 5th round vs. 13th would in general be true, but even then they may have a guy there who can sign for the minimum so as to free up cap space for the HS guys drafted in other places....

 

This isn't really the NFL where you grab the BPA and go. Draft capital and signability are huge factors.

 

While I a do agree they seem to slow play some players, recently that doesn't seem to be the trend I am seeing.They aggressively promoted Rooker, Badoo, Miranda, Lewis, Graterol, Helman and probably others.If you truly prove you belong at the next level I believe the player will get there sooner rather than later in the Twins system. 

 

I think part of the reason some of our players are struggling to start the MiLB season is that the Twins have aggressively promoted so many of them.Most of the players doing well to start the season are those that were at that level last year (i.e. Cabbage, Diaz, Blankehorn). So there is a fine line when it comes to promotion as once confidence is ruined it can take a long time to get it back thus the caution to make sure a player is ready for the next jump.

 

I do agree with you that Aggressive promotion is the way to go for most players.The only way to get better is to face better competition the only way to face better competition is to move up.Why delay helping a player get better?If they can't step up to the next level were they ever going to no matter how long you waited? It is a fine line but I think being as aggressive as possible is best for the player and the organization.

 

I fail to see any "aggressive promotion" that you speak of. 

 

Baddoo? He spent two years at the Rookie level and then advanced one level a year in 2018 and 2019.Miranda?He spent two years at the Rookie level.He got promited to A+ second half of last year but then restarted there.

 

Here is news for you, this "aggressive promotion" isn't aggressive promotion.It is at best normal promotion.The task of minor league baseball lisn't that they "do well" at a level, it is to develop them as players.The Twins have done a piss poor job of that all the while moving their players slowly through the system.

 

While I don't agree with mlhouse's premise (because yes, I think he's cherry picking), I think this is equally wrong. 

 

Your 13th round picks will almost always be college players who can be signed for the minimum bonus and not affect their draft capital or the occasional HS pick that becomes a fall back if there's more cap available than expected. Picks 1-10 will be a mix of college and HS guys, with the HS guys likely advancing slower. A college 5th round vs. 13th would in general be true, but even then they may have a guy there who can sign for the minimum so as to free up cap space for the HS guys drafted in other places....

 

This isn't really the NFL where you grab the BPA and go. Draft capital and signability are huge factors.

 

Cherry picking?I can give you example after example of how the Twins system is absolutely glacial compared to other systems.

 

Correct. It's all about the individual's development. Stashak was more slow developing, and moved to the bullpen.

 

And, where they start a season doesn't matter, especially at the upper levels because sometimes that dictated by minor league signings that they want to keep around for a little bit to see how they do and if there are immediate needs. 

 

The problem is if you look at the two prospects statistically, Stashak was just as good, if not better.   

 

And, where they start the season does matter.The Twins are constantly making our prospects repeat levels even when they have completely dominated at the level.Look at a prospect like Stephen Gonsalves.His career started in 2013.This is how he was promoted:

 

2013 GCL(Rok)ELZ (Rok)

2014 ELZ(Rok)CR (A)

2015 CR(A)FTM (A+)

2016 FTM(A+)CHA (AA)

2017 CHA (AA)ROC (AAA)

2018 CHA (AA)ROC(AAA)TWINS

 

They made him repeat his level at the start of every fn season of his minor league career even though the only time he stumbled in his career was his initial late season promotion to AAA in 2017.  

 

When he was promoted to Elizabethton in 2013 from GCL TWins he completely dominated with a 1.29 ERA, 21 strikeouts in 14 innings (he had a 0.63 ERA at the lower rookie level).  

 

Yet, the TWins made him start 2014 season at short season Elizabethton again.WHY? Then they promoted him to Cedar Rapids where he pitched well in 8 starts.44 Ks in 36 innings, 3.79 ERA (his highest ERA stop of his career outside that 2017 promotion to AAA).

 

But, he starts the 2015 season in Cedar Rapids, dominates with a 1.15 ERA and then the move him late in the season to Fort Myers were he pitches very well with a 2.61 ERA over 15 starts.

 

But he starts the 2016 season back in Fort Myers, where he dominates with a 2.33 ERA over 11 starts before being promoted to Chatanooga AA team, where he dominates with a 1.82 ERA over 13 starts.

 

But he starts the 2017 season back n Chattanooga and again dominates with a 2.68 ERA in 15 starts before getting his first bad stop in AAA with a 5.68 ERA in 5 late season starts.  

 

But, he then again starts the 2018 season in Chattanooga.Even the Twins can't pretend this is a smart move for long and he dominates for 3 starts before going back up to AAA and pitching well over 100 innings with a 2.96 ERA.  

 

This is the pattern the Twins use with the vast bulk of their prospects.Claiming otherwise is not supported by the evidence.Despite all of his minor league success, the Twins moved Gonsalves along like a struggling prospect, making him repeat levels that most organization would have moved him on from.And what is absurd is that after all of this slow, conservative movement he arrives at the major league level basically unprepared and over-matched.  

 

After his first pro season in Rookie ball with a sub-1.00 ERA, he should have started the 2014 season in A and been promoted to A+ midway through.Then in 2015 he should have started in AA and spent the whole season at that critical developmental step.Then in 2016 at some time during the season he should have been in AAA and even got a late season promotion to the big league team that lost 103 games on the year.  

 

With that promotion schedule Gonsalves would have reached the critical evaluation steps much sooner.His major league debut would have been at 21 years of age and he would still have time to put the development he needed to become a solid MLB pitcher.Not everyone makes it, but the fact is by 2019 we would already know the answer with Gonsalves.Right now, he is a 24 year old pitcher that probably doesn't have much of a chance because he reached the majors so much later than he should have.

 

The problem is if you look at the two prospects statistically, Stashak was just as good, if not better.   

 

And, where they start the season does matter.The Twins are constantly making our prospects repeat levels even when they have completely dominated at the level.Look at a prospect like Stephen Gonsalves.His career started in 2013.This is how he was promoted:

 

2013 GCL(Rok)ELZ (Rok)

2014 ELZ(Rok)CR (A)

2015 CR(A)FTM (A+)

2016 FTM(A+)CHA (AA)

2017 CHA (AA)ROC (AAA)

2018 CHA (AA)ROC(AAA)TWINS

 

They made him repeat his level at the start of every fn season of his minor league career even though the only time he stumbled in his career was his initial late season promotion to AAA in 2017.  

 

When he was promoted to Elizabethton in 2013 from GCL TWins he completely dominated with a 1.29 ERA, 21 strikeouts in 14 innings (he had a 0.63 ERA at the lower rookie level).  

 

Yet, the TWins made him start 2014 season at short season Elizabethton again.WHY? Then they promoted him to Cedar Rapids where he pitched well in 8 starts.44 Ks in 36 innings, 3.79 ERA (his highest ERA stop of his career outside that 2017 promotion to AAA).

 

But, he starts the 2015 season in Cedar Rapids, dominates with a 1.15 ERA and then the move him late in the season to Fort Myers were he pitches very well with a 2.61 ERA over 15 starts.

 

But he starts the 2016 season back in Fort Myers, where he dominates with a 2.33 ERA over 11 starts before being promoted to Chatanooga AA team, where he dominates with a 1.82 ERA over 13 starts.

 

But he starts the 2017 season back n Chattanooga and again dominates with a 2.68 ERA in 15 starts before getting his first bad stop in AAA with a 5.68 ERA in 5 late season starts.  

 

But, he then again starts the 2018 season in Chattanooga.Even the Twins can't pretend this is a smart move for long and he dominates for 3 starts before going back up to AAA and pitching well over 100 innings with a 2.96 ERA.  

 

This is the pattern the Twins use with the vast bulk of their prospects.Claiming otherwise is not supported by the evidence.Despite all of his minor league success, the Twins moved Gonsalves along like a struggling prospect, making him repeat levels that most organization would have moved him on from.And what is absurd is that after all of this slow, conservative movement he arrives at the major league level basically unprepared and over-matched.  

 

After his first pro season in Rookie ball with a sub-1.00 ERA, he should have started the 2014 season in A and been promoted to A+ midway through.Then in 2015 he should have started in AA and spent the whole season at that critical developmental step.Then in 2016 at some time during the season he should have been in AAA and even got a late season promotion to the big league team that lost 103 games on the year.  

 

With that promotion schedule Gonsalves would have reached the critical evaluation steps much sooner.His major league debut would have been at 21 years of age and he would still have time to put the development he needed to become a solid MLB pitcher.Not everyone makes it, but the fact is by 2019 we would already know the answer with Gonsalves.Right now, he is a 24 year old pitcher that probably doesn't have much of a chance because he reached the majors so much later than he should have.

 

Yup, and as I've written many times, Gonsalves was OK with the plan and enjoyed going back to the level where he had made 10-12 starts the year before to allow him to work on the things he worked on in the offseason to help him get prepared for the next level. 

 

Do you think Gonsalves would have been MORE prepared for the big leagues if he had been up at 21 rather than 23-24? Whether or not he makes it has nothing to do with the age he came up. 24 isn't very old. 

    • howieramone2 likes this

 

Yup, and as I've written many times, Gonsalves was OK with the plan and enjoyed going back to the level where he had made 10-12 starts the year before to allow him to work on the things he worked on in the offseason to help him get prepared for the next level. 

 

Do you think Gonsalves would have been MORE prepared for the big leagues if he had been up at 21 rather than 23-24? Whether or not he makes it has nothing to do with the age he came up. 24 isn't very old. 

  

1.I think he would have been AS WELL prepared at 21 vs. 24.On a 103 loss team he should have been handed the ball every 5th start for at least half a season.What he learns there is worth 3 seasons of minor leagues.I would not have cared if he had a 6.50 ERA.Give him the ball.Let him develop his stuff against major leaguers rather than blowing away A and AA hitters.

 

2. 24 is ancient in a profession with such limited time frames andinjury risk.  Get your first taste of MLB at 21, maybe bounce a year or so, and then have Tommy John surgery, you still have a chance at a major league career.Wait until you are 23-24 years old to bounce up and down, then get injured you might not ever get back.

 

3. I am pretty happy with the Twins start, but I think that they finally figured out that they needed a younger manager to work with the younger players.I am not sure if Ron Gardenhire is a good manager or not, but what I did know was that he was an absolutely terrible manager for 95+ loss teams trying to rebuild. I think that Paul Molitor is actually a good manager, but not a very good manager on a rebuilding team requiring patience and development.I have argued that the Twins hire a manager like Rocco Baldelliand that they needed to adjust how they move young players in the rebuild process since 2012.The truth in my positions are proven by the results.

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howieramone2
Apr 16 2019 03:02 PM

 

I often demonstrate how the Twins minor league system is much more conservative in player movement than other organizations.Lots of people disagree, but I want to show side by side two players that pitched in yesterday's AA game:Devin Smeltzer and Cody Stashak.   

 

Here are links to their minor league stats to follow along:

 

http://www.milb.com/...tching/2019/ALL

 

http://www.milb.com/...tching/2019/ALL

 

Both players were college draft picks.Stashak by the Twins in the 13th round in 2013 and Smeltzer by the Dodgers' in the 5th round one year later.

 

They both pitched in their draft short season in the Rookie League.They both began their first full professional season in A ball.After 10 starts with a 3.78 ERA Smeltzer was promoted to A+ ball and made 15 more starts at that level.Stashak was likewise promoted to A+ level but after 17 starts at Cedar Rapids and only made 3 starts at A+ level.

 

It is here were they diverged.In his 3rd professional season, Smeltzer was promoted to AA and when the Twins acquired him in the Dozier trade they kept him at that level. 

 

In Stashak's 3rd professional season the Twins returned him to Ft Myers to repeat A+ level, calling him up to AA to make 3 relief appearances.

 

In Stashak's 4th season the Twins again started him in A+ ball, but this time moving him to AA after just 2 appearances to AA were Smeltzer would join him later after the trade. 

 

Of course, the Twins being the Twins, the kept Smeltzer at AA in his 4th and he is joined by Stashak, starting his 5th campaing. But Stashak is almost a full year older than Smeltzer and is pitching at the same level with significantly less experience at the level.Their minor league performance is very similar, if anything Stashak has a slightly better statistical profile.  

 

But, I would argue that if the players would have switched the teams that drafted them, Stashak would have advanced faster rather than Smeltzer,In Smeltzer's career, brief as it is, the Dodger's advanced him at least a level every season.The first season that Smeltzer did not advance a level from the year previous, he was in the Twins organization.  

 

Stashak followed the Twins normal:repeating levels and slow promotions.  

 

I get that some will claim I am "cherry picking", and I used this example just because both players pitched in the AA game yesterday.But, the fact is this is a consistent pattern the Twins organization uses.

This is a outstanding example of cherry picking and we are no more conservative in promoting than most teams. 

    • Seth Stohs likes this
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howieramone2
Apr 16 2019 03:06 PM

 

Cherry picking?I can give you example after example of how the Twins system is absolutely glacial compared to other systems.

So why did you only give one? Keep going, we have nothing better to do.

 

So why did you only give one? Keep going, we have nothing better to do.

 

 

I have literally given dozens at various times throughout this forum. I just included Stephen GOnsalves.

 

 

Again, to demonstrate the Twins vs. other organization lets compare Michael Reed, a guy we picked up but traded away and LaMonte Wade's career.

 

https://www.baseball...id=reed--002mic

https://www.baseball...id=wade--000lam

 

Reed was a high school draft choice in 2011 while Wade was a college draft pick in 2015.

 

In 2011 Reed played in ROK league and had an OPS of .670.

In 2012, as a 19 year old, Reed played in ROK+ league and had an OPS of .638 but taste of A+ and AA.

In 2013 A ball, improved walk totals and had OPS of .785.

In 2014 A+ OPS of .774

In 2015 he started in AA played well with .801 OPS, moved to AAA .732 OPS in 148 pa, then got late season debut with the Brewers as a 22 year old (6 plate appearances in 7 games).

 

I get that Wade was an olderplayer but lets compare his journey.

 

2015 ROK/A  .904 OPS

2016 A/A+ .841 OPS

2017 AA .805 OPS (this is a big leap for a Twins prospect)

2018 AA/AAA .739 OPS

 

While he was an older player than Reed, in his first four seasons in professional ball Wade completely outplayed Reed.Yet, the Brewers advanced a much younger player as quick or even quicker as the Twins advanced Wade, a college player.  

 

In the end, Michael Reed's minor league movement compares to Max Kepler's but Kepler performance was much superior.   

 

I fail to see any "aggressive promotion" that you speak of. 

 

Baddoo? He spent two years at the Rookie level and then advanced one level a year in 2018 and 2019.Miranda?He spent two years at the Rookie level.He got promited to A+ second half of last year but then restarted there.

 

Here is news for you, this "aggressive promotion" isn't aggressive promotion.It is at best normal promotion.The task of minor league baseball lisn't that they "do well" at a level, it is to develop them as players.The Twins have done a piss poor job of that all the while moving their players slowly through the system.

 

We probably see promotion differently.For Me aggressive promotion sometimes has more to with age than how long a player is at a level.Badoo is young for his current level and has been young for pretty much all levels so far.When most HS players are drafted they don't play much that first year so they typically have to repeat the level to show that they have some skill to move up. 

 

In the Appy league he showed a good eye at the plate and showed some power.He looked ready for A ball.In A ball he showed an OK eye at the plate but seemed to have contact issue as his K rate climbed.If his contact rate was better the first half of A ball I am sure the Twins would have moved him up just like they did with Miranda, but if you don't conquer the level why should you move up?He had a better second half but still has some contact issue's IMO.They moved him to A+ this year anyway to keep him moving.He is young for the level and struggling right now as a 20 year old.If he figures things out he will get moved to AA if not they will leave him where he is.I still think it is an aggressive promotion because he never really dominated A ball IMO.The Twins apparently believe the skills are there and want to challenge him with the next level.

 

I'm not sure what you want when it comes to promotion. While you can push players why push them if they are not ready?If they haven't dominated the level they are at why promote to them to a higher level where they are even more likely to fail?They have to dominate or at the very least be good at a level before promoting them.

 

Do the Twins slow play some players, absolutely yes.I don't understand the way they treat relievers at all.I think Gonasalves got mentioned and although he has dominated in both AA and AAA he did not handle MLB well at all.IMO if he throws strikes when he was brought up they would have let him keep pitching but a starting pitcher with his walk rate does not belong on a MLB team.He had more to work on so I think he proved the Twins correct for slow playing him.He needs to have better control to be succesful in MLB. Once he has the tools he will get his shot.AA and AAA get treated fairly similar so I don't think it matters too much where you play once you get there as the Twins have promoted from AA before.

 

In summary I think you can only aggressively promote players that are ready.They have to prove they are ready by consistently mastering the competition or the very least be better than average.If players don't do that how can you aggressively promote?While I like your examples and think you have a decent case we don't get to see these players, only the box scores so it is hard to know what warts they have despite having some success against their peers.  

 

Maybe the Twins are not the most aggressive team when it comes to promotion but I don't think they are the worst either.

 

 

We probably see promotion differently. For Me aggressive promotion sometimes has more to with age than how long a player is at a level. Badoo is young for his current level and has been young for pretty much all levels so far. When most HS players are drafted they don't play much that first year so they typically have to repeat the level to show that they have some skill to move up.

In the Appy league he showed a good eye at the plate and showed some power. He looked ready for A ball. In A ball he showed an OK eye at the plate but seemed to have contact issue as his K rate climbed. If his contact rate was better the first half of A ball I am sure the Twins would have moved him up just like they did with Miranda, but if you don't conquer the level why should you move up? He had a better second half but still has some contact issue's IMO. They moved him to A+ this year anyway to keep him moving. He is young for the level and struggling right now as a 20 year old. If he figures things out he will get moved to AA if not they will leave him where he is. I still think it is an aggressive promotion because he never really dominated A ball IMO. The Twins apparently believe the skills are there and want to challenge him with the next level.

I'm not sure what you want when it comes to promotion. While you can push players why push them if they are not ready? If they haven't dominated the level they are at why promote to them to a higher level where they are even more likely to fail? They have to dominate or at the very least be good at a level before promoting them.

Do the Twins slow play some players, absolutely yes. I don't understand the way they treat relievers at all. I think Gonasalves got mentioned and although he has dominated in both AA and AAA he did not handle MLB well at all. IMO if he throws strikes when he was brought up they would have let him keep pitching but a starting pitcher with his walk rate does not belong on a MLB team. He had more to work on so I think he proved the Twins correct for slow playing him. He needs to have better control to be succesful in MLB. Once he has the tools he will get his shot. AA and AAA get treated fairly similar so I don't think it matters too much where you play once you get there as the Twins have promoted from AA before.

In summary I think you can only aggressively promote players that are ready. They have to prove they are ready by consistently mastering the competition or the very least be better than average. If players don't do that how can you aggressively promote? While I like your examples and think you have a decent case we don't get to see these players, only the box scores so it is hard to know what warts they have despite having some success against their peers.

Maybe the Twins are not the most aggressive team when it comes to promotion but I don't think they are the worst either.


While I don't necessarily disagree with your overall position, I cringe when people use the "they are young for their league" argument to defend non promotions.
Actual prospects are nearly always going to be young for their league, no matter how slowly they are promoted.
The milb non prospect (which is the vast majority of players) lifers skew that average age up, as do mid to late round college filler picks.
    • ashbury likes this

 

While I don't necessarily disagree with your overall position, I cringe when people use the "they are young for their league" argument to defend non promotions.
Actual prospects are nearly always going to be young for their league, no matter how slowly they are promoted.
The milb non prospect (which is the vast majority of players) lifers skew that average age up, as do mid to late round college filler picks.

 

I understand your position as well and agree with you in many ways.Most superstar\really good players typically are young usually 21 or 22 by AA\AAA.College draft picks are already 20 when they come out so need to be promoted fast to hit that mark.I also agree with you that leagues have what I would call filler players who are quite old for the level they are playing at skewing the age numbers for the leagues.Still in my mind kids that are 20 and in High A are fast movers as there are not a lot of players that age at that level.

 

You do have to keep in mind that some late bloomers can be really good players as well.I am thinking Merrifield as a good example.Contributors come from every age group.It is the younger players that we get excited about though as they tend be difference makers and have the potential to help a team long term. We haven't seen enough of those types of players in the past but it seems like we have several in the system right now.


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