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Minnesota and Big Contracts

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How high would you go for Cole?

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Chasing Madison Bumgarner Thread

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Looks like the market is heating up for Bumgarner now, and the Twins are in. Post rumors and thoughts as they arise, please:  
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Excellent Plate Discipline Emphasizes Why Luis Arraez Deserves Starting Spot on 2020 Twins

In a season where records were set with the long ball, Luis Arraez made a name for himself with his discipline at the plate and contact hitting. The rookie made his debut on May 18 and showed why he deserves the starting spot next season.
Image courtesy of © David Berding-USA TODAY Sports
Arraez showed his discipline at the plate throughout the season, but my favorite example came in a home game against the New York Mets. Some of you might already know which at-bat I am talking about. Arraez inherited an 0-2 count as he entered the game in the ninth inning to replace Jonathan Schoop, who pulled a muscle in his abdomen.

Coming cold into a game down one run in the ninth inning isn’t any player's forte, especially being down 0-2. But, Arraez drew an eight-pitch walk like it was normal to him. He fouled off four pitches — three fastballs that were all north of 98.5 MPH and a slider — before the crowd erupted after his battle.



That wasn't the only time Arraez impressed with his plate discipline. According to Baseball Savant, out of the 1,471 pitches that Arraez saw, he either fouled off or swung and missed at just 12.4% of pitches out of the zone.

There were only four Twins players that had a lower percentage. Mitch Garver and Jason Castro were two of them with a 9% and 11.5% in the 1,502 and 1,146 pitches they saw. The other two players were Ryan LaMarre (10.4%) LaMonte Wade Jr. (5.9%) but they combined for a total of just 371 pitches.

This stat referenced above includes swings at balls outside of the zone when there are two strikes, so it could be a little misleading, as Arraez could be expanding his zone to protect. With less than two strikes, his percent drops down to 5.3.

In addition to his excellent plate discipline, Arraez also keeps teams from shifting against him. He has the ability to hit to any part of the field, with 26 of his hits going to the pull side, 45 up the middle and 38 to the opposite field.

In the box, Arraez also showcases a new approach during the pitch. Instead of waiting back in the box for the ball, at times he would actually scoot up in the box as the pitch was coming.

Here is a video of him using this approach in the minors:



Twins fans got to see a lot of what Arraez has to offer this year, and it is just the start of his exciting career. Though he doesn’t bring much power to the Bomba Squad, he is a very reliable hitter.

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17 Comments

My wife has become a big Twins fan this summer. One of the reason's is Arraez. She loves watching him hit.

Also, she thinks Cruz is a big teddy bear.:)as well as being a great hitter and a wonderful example to the younger players.:)

    • Aerodeliria likes this
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Kelly Vance
Oct 21 2019 09:52 PM

Luis is the prototypical #2 hitter. Carew like. Puts the ball in play, moves the runner over. 

2b is his spot to lose.

    • birddog, PDX Twin, MN_ExPat and 2 others like this

Twins were already set up with a young core and several high end minor leaguers, and then Luis comes along and looks like he will be a key piece for several years to come. That’s a huge windfall. His power should only go up from here (though Altuve-like would be a reach) and hopefully he can make some improvements at second base to turn into an all-star. He will also allow the Twins to be patient with Royce and potentially move him to CF, depending on Buxton’s injury status and willingness to resign in a few years

    • Oldgoat_MN, DocBauer, wabene and 1 other like this
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theBOMisthebomb
Oct 22 2019 05:31 AM
Arraez is a nice counterbalance to today's swing for the fences or strikeout culture. Arraez is a professional hitter who is a treat to watch. His ABs are reminiscent of a simpler time when working the count, drawing a BB, and playing strategically were valued. The way he moves/struts around the batter's box on a close take is entertaining as well.
    • Oldgoat_MN, Otwins, DocBauer and 4 others like this
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diehardtwinsfan
Oct 22 2019 05:35 AM

I think it will be a "competition" between him and Gordon, but it's his job to lose. 

He could play in every era. I loved watching him play. He reminded me of both Carew and Red Schoendienst.
    • DocBauer, MN_ExPat, rdehring and 1 other like this

 

He could play in every era. I loved watching him play. He reminded me of both Carew and Red Schoendienst.

Well that's a name (Schoendienst) I haven't seen for awhile, a long while.Did you watch him while with the Cards or the Braves?

Take a look at some video of Tony Gwynn hitting. That's my comp. They way he uses all fields, slapping line drives.
    • justinone likes this

I can't even execute the ol step-up-in-the-box-mid-pitch move when I play softball. Sheesh. 

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Battle ur tail off
Oct 22 2019 09:41 AM

Hoping it continues and that I'm not jinxing him by saying this. But he is the best pure hitter on this team hands down. 

 

Great eye at the plate, ability to really work counts. He won't swing at junk and is great at spoiling great pitches made by the opposing hurler. 

 

He is also extremely fun to watch, I love the "nope" head shakes when he takes a close pitch that is called a ball. I think it is a forgone conclusion that not only is he a starter next year, but that is firmly entrenched into the 1 or 2 spot in the lineup until he does something to lose it or get hurt. 

 

It is also kind of baffling to me how we didn't hear more about this guy coming up through the system. Yes, there is not a ton of power there, but that kind of plate discipline and control of the strikezone is rare and as good as I've seen. 

    • Aerodeliria likes this

I definitely see Carew, Wade Boggs, and Gwynn in Arraez. I expect him to get better every year until he becomes a perrenial league batting title contender. I don't see competition from Gordon any longer and expect him to be traded. I hope he develops more power as he may be our best option at 3B, though I like him anywhere. Nice to see how a prospect who was not a top ten has become a major contributor

    • DocBauer, Battle ur tail off and Aerodeliria like this

If he works on his 2B skills, we could see him in the 2020 All Star Game?

 

It is also kind of baffling to me how we didn't hear more about this guy coming up through the system. Yes, there is not a ton of power there, but that kind of plate discipline and control of the strikezone is rare and as good as I've seen. 

 

I think part of it was that in addition to his lack of power there's been some (reasonable) concerns about his defense. It's an area that he need to keep working on.

 

but beyond that, he's a young guy who rose very quickly with limited experience. He had a really nice 2016 season at age 19 in Low-A, but basically didn't play for the twins in 2017 (3 games at Ft. Myers). 2018 he did well enough at Ft. Myers to earn a mid-season promotion, but showed a real power deficit in 1/2 a season at AA. Then he made a fast jump from AA to MLB at age 22. The missing season is probably the biggest reason he wasn't on as many people's radar, and then suddenly he's in MLB tearing the cover off the ball.

 

I'm thrilled with his progress and there's no question he's the starting 2B next season. His approach means he should continue to have success getting on base and hitting for a high average, both very useful skills. But let's remember, the August version of Arraez (which is probably what a lot of people thought he might be after 2018) is just kind of another guy. While everyone has a slump or three, we need July or Sept Aaraez for him to be a real force in the lineup.

    • DocBauer and Battle ur tail off like this

It is also kind of baffling to me how we didn't hear more about this guy coming up through the system. Yes, there is not a ton of power there, but that kind of plate discipline and control of the strikezone is rare and as good as I've seen.

it is a little crazy. A few years ago, BA said he had the best strike zone recognition out of all the Twins in the minors Think he was listed for best average too.

That’s when I started paying attention because from studies done it seems like a lot of the best players in baseball usually are on the strike zone recognition list at some point in their career in the minors.

Arraez knock was power and defense. If he didn’t have those issues he probably would have been mentioned a lot more because he’s always had a good bat. If you’ve got a guy who can do them all, well, he’s probably named Mike Trout.

Think Wade was the 2019 pitch recognition guy. Again, knock on him is power which makes people put him in the 4th OF pile.
    • Battle ur tail off likes this

I don't think this is even debatable. He will be a starter in 2020 barring some complete meltdown in ST. He's fun to watch and he's very young so he can only improve.

Both he and the Turtle compensate for some of the free swingers who whiff a lot. Need guys who can put bat on ball regularly.

Have to admit I was shocked to see Castro in that low swing and miss category. He was a veritable strikeout machine over the last month. His offense totally disappeared.

I kind of laugh when I hear the Gwynn comparisons. Gwynne was an OF, had pretty decent speed despite a build that wouldn't dictate such and developed some power over time. If memory serves correctly, like Boggs, he was asked to slj3de down in tbe lineup one year and showed even more power. But like Boggs, his other batting numbers slipped. But then I shake my head and reflect and realize the comparison is very just.

His look, his confidence, his image ability to see the ball, make contact with it, and spray it all over the field is very comparable! We talk at times about "pitchability", a made up word we all understand. But some guys, like Arraez, just have a natural "hitability" factor. He doesn't need "power", though it would be nice. He just needs legitimate "pop" for doubles and solid line drives to keep defenses and pitchers honest. Not yet 23yo, we've already seen some "man muscle" begin to develop.

Defensively, he is a work in progress. Not surprising. But I have seen nothing to tell me he can't be a fine 2B. In fact, despite a few errors here and there, I watched him at 2B/SS/3B/LF, and saw enough really good plays to wonder what all the concern was.

For those who wonder how be flew under the radar, no offense, but you simply not follow the milb system as close as some of us do. His missed season clearly messed with his rankings. And not playing an "elite" defensive position like SS/CF/C probably lowered his rankings as well. But he has produced since day one.

Kid is real and a gem.
    • justinone, JLease and Aerodeliria like this
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Aerodeliria
Oct 22 2019 10:19 PM

 

I kind of laugh when I hear the Gwynn comparisons. Gwynne was an OF, had pretty decent speed despite a build that wouldn't dictate such and developed some power over time. If memory serves correctly, like Boggs, he was asked to slj3de down in tbe lineup one year and showed even more power. But like Boggs, his other batting numbers slipped. But then I shake my head and reflect and realize the comparison is very just.

His look, his confidence, his image ability to see the ball, make contact with it, and spray it all over the field is very comparable! We talk at times about "pitchability", a made up word we all understand. But some guys, like Arraez, just have a natural "hitability" factor. He doesn't need "power", though it would be nice. He just needs legitimate "pop" for doubles and solid line drives to keep defenses and pitchers honest. Not yet 23yo, we've already seen some "man muscle" begin to develop.

Defensively, he is a work in progress. Not surprising. But I have seen nothing to tell me he can't be a fine 2B. In fact, despite a few errors here and there, I watched him at 2B/SS/3B/LF, and saw enough really good plays to wonder what all the concern was.

For those who wonder how be flew under the radar, no offense, but you simply not follow the milb system as close as some of us do. His missed season clearly messed with his rankings. And not playing an "elite" defensive position like SS/CF/C probably lowered his rankings as well. But he has produced since day one.

Kid is real and a gem.

Great assessment. I couldn't add a word to it to make it any better.


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