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Timeline for Top Prospects: 2021 Edition

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 05:50 AM
The Minnesota Twins will enter 2021 as one of the best teams in baseball, and whether they’re projected to win the AL Central or not, a f...
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Hopefully Simmons "issues" are not like Romero...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 12:08 AM
Per multiple sources, new Minnesota Twins shortstop Andrelton Simmons has been delayed to the team's camp by visa issues. The exact detai...
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Twins Daily 2021 Top Prospects: Recap

Twins Minor League Talk Yesterday, 10:36 PM
What did we learn while updating our annual Twins top prospect rankings after a year that offered no minor-league games, and very little...
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A Good Comp for Jhoan Duran and His Splinker

Twins Minor League Talk Yesterday, 11:54 PM
Getting one’s head around the unusual profile of Twins pitching prospect Jhoan Duran can be tricky. It might be helpful to use a starter...
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Twins Daily 2021 Top Prospects: #7 SS Keoni Cavaco

Twins Minor League Talk Yesterday, 11:54 PM
Yes, we are still high on Keoni Cavaco, our #7 Twins prospect for 2021. Let's take a look at what's to like (a lot), what's to work on (a...
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Recent Blogs


Notebook: Busy Day for Possible Twins Targets

There were a plethora of updates on players that could help fill some gaps in the Twins roster, but first, we remember Hammerin’ Hank Aaron.
Image courtesy of Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
Hank Aaron passes away at 86

Hank Aaron, most well known for hitting the 2nd most homeruns in MLB history, obviously has a plethora of other records and achievements throughout his 23-year-career. He is a member of the 3,000 hit club, won the MVP and World Series in 1957 and received at least one MVP vote in 19 of 23 seasons while also earning Rookie of the Year votes in 1954. He was a 25-time all-star, a two time batting champion, a three time gold glove winner, and was enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982. To top it off the Hank Aaron Award, given to the top offensive performer in each league, was established in 1999. He continued to have an impact on baseball and the Atlanta Braves organization as he served as an assistant to the Braves president.

Here are some reactions from around the Twins Daily community:







The Twins “are not finished this off season

The Twins remained quiet today but there were a fair amount of moves and updates on players that would fill some of their neeeds.

Starting Pitching Updates
The Twins were reported as being believed to be in the mix for Trevor Bauer by Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. That lasted about a half hour. He provided an update that noted the Twins are not in the mix for Bauer. It was fun while it lasted.


I think the Twins need to add another arm that’s on the same level or better as Odorizzi, including Jake Odorizzi himself. I like the J.A. Happ addition as a #4 in the rotation but that still leaves us giving the ball to an unproven pitcher every fifth day. Our own Parker Hageman did a nice job of instilling some optimism after the Happ signing, meanwhile other TD writers were going back and forth on the matter. My take is simple: if Happ ends up being anything more than our fourth-best starter then I think that means something went wrong with one or more of Kenta Maeda, Michael Pineda, or Jose Berrios and it won’t matter how good of a season Happ had.


Arrieta isn’t an arm I would qualify as “same level or better as Odorizzi” or anywhere near that level. Like Doogie suggests, they’re doing their homework on the former Cy Young winner which is a good thing. That said, I don’t think this will lead to anything and would prefer one of our unproven arms over Arrieta who has proven to be on the downturn of his career.

Relief Pitcher Updates
Anthony Bass signs with Miami Marlins
Bass gets a two-year $5MM guarantee plus extras with a third year team option, per Jon Heyman, and will likely fill-in at the back end of the bullpen. The details on the extras, team option, and buyout have yet to be released.

Recently, I wrote an article on why the Twins shouldn’t spend up for relief pitchers much to the dismay of many fans despite the mathematical and historical evidence that supports the opinion. Twins Daily’s own Cody Pirkl Although Bass is not the Twins prototype pitcher, relying on his sinker to induce ground balls, he’s been a solid middle innings relief arm for the last three years and does use a slider as his second pitch. At just $2.5AAV and a team option, I’m really not sure how they can pass up on someone who would fill-in nicely as a 6th - 8th inning guy and could close if needed. In short, the Twins missed an opportunity to add a value arm here.

DH Updates


Our own Matthew Taylor dove into Ozuna v. Nelson Cruz in his “Free Agent Faceoff” series, and provides good cases for and against both players. I don’t want to spoil anything other than to say that I agree with Mr. Taylor, so go ahead and take a look for yourself!

SS/Utility Updates




The aforementioned Taylor also compared Hernandez and Tommy La Stella in his series. I’ll let you look at his take on Kike.

Here are my thoughts on Profar...he had a solid year in 2020, specifically the second half of the shortened season, but his Baseball Savant profile suggests the second half might be the exception and not the norm:
Attached Image: profar.png

Profar’s name had been kicked around on Twins Daily, but I never saw a report saying that Twins had shown interest themselves. I’d assume they had done their homework, but I have to imagine that asking for multiple player options would be a huge turn off. I think this is a deal that the Padres will ultimately regret despite his Marwin Gonzalez-esque versatility.

I talked about Simmons in yesterday’s Notebook after the news yesterday that the Reds are also kicking the tires on him. Maybe the Twins will show interest as Profar and Hernandez are now off the board.

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26 Comments

I actually had the chance to meet Hank Aaron and interview him for a radio station in Rochester I was working for right out of college in 1981 (KWEB Radio).I had to drive to Mankato to do it.I was young, and I was nervous, but Aaron answered all my questions.I shook his hand afterwards and as I drove home I couldn't help think "I just met, interviewed and shook the hand of HANK AARON !Man, is his 1971 Stat-O-Matic card awesome !!"I know, stupid thought from a star-struck 22 year old.

    • denarded, ScrapTheNickname, Danchat and 6 others like this
Even though Hank played before I was born, he is still my sons namesake. True legend for sure. Also the true homerun leader.
    • mikelink45 and rdehring like this
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ScrapTheNickname
Jan 23 2021 01:29 AM

 

I actually had the chance to meet Hank Aaron and interview him for a radio station in Rochester I was working for right out of college in 1981 (KWEB Radio).I had to drive to Mankato to do it.I was young, and I was nervous, but Aaron answered all my questions.I shook his hand afterwards and as I drove home I couldn't help think "I just met, interviewed and shook the hand of HANK AARON !Man, is his 1971 Stat-O-Matic card awesome !!"I know, stupid thought from a star-struck 22 year old.

We graduated the same year. I never met Hank Aaron though. Great honor!

Non-tendering Eddie Rosario and then signing essentially the same player in Marcell Ozuna for a greater sum over a longer commitment would be a pretty bad look.

    • alphanumeric, mikelink45 and Dman like this

 

Non-tendering Eddie Rosario and then signing essentially the same player in Marcell Ozuna for a greater sum over a longer commitment would be a pretty bad look.

I’m not sure they’re the same player. And I’m a big Eddie Rosario fan but look at the markets for Ozuna and Rosario. It doesn’t seem Eddie is drawing much interest. Heck, I’d rather have both Kirilloff and Eddie and Eddie would be far superior, IMO than the inevitable significant time from Cave and Wade each year, mostly Cave.

Hank Aaron was insanely great. To be so consistently great for so long is just unbelievable. He won an MVP and deserved it, but could have easily have won several more (biggest barrier: Willie freakin' Mays). Top 10 in MVP finishes 13 times, including 8 top 5.

 

More all-star nods than anyone, and again: deserved them (19 of the 21 were legit all-star caliber seasons, which is nuts). Led the NL in HRs at 23 and at 33 (with 2 others in between). Aaron was as good a hitter as anyone in baseball at age 37, his 18th year in baseball. He won RBI crowns, batting titles, gold gloves...just an amazing player.

 

It's hard to believe we'll ever see a player like Hank Aaron ever again in baseball.

    • mikelink45, DocBauer and rdehring like this

 

Hank Aaron was insanely great. To be so consistently great for so long is just unbelievable. He won an MVP and deserved it, but could have easily have won several more (biggest barrier: Willie freakin' Mays). Top 10 in MVP finishes 13 times, including 8 top 5.

 

More all-star nods than anyone, and again: deserved them (19 of the 21 were legit all-star caliber seasons, which is nuts). Led the NL in HRs at 23 and at 33 (with 2 others in between). Aaron was as good a hitter as anyone in baseball at age 37, his 18th year in baseball. He won RBI crowns, batting titles, gold gloves...just an amazing player.

 

It's hard to believe we'll ever see a player like Hank Aaron ever again in baseball.

With all due respect to Hank Aaron, who is in the discussion for GOAT, I'd suggest we have another candidate in our midst, and his name is Mike Trout.

 

With all due respect to Hank Aaron, who is in the discussion for GOAT, I'd suggest we have another candidate in our midst, and his name is Mike Trout.

I would take Aaron - no doubt about it.  

    • Rigby, rdehring and CharlieDee like this

I keep seeing players signing with clubs and wonder if we have missed key signings.I really do not see much in the SP market that really raises the bar for me.I would prefer number 5 be a group of young pitchers who can compete for that and for the replacement of Happ and Pineda in another year.

 

I have to add these numbers from todays Minneapolis Tribune - HANK AARON BY THE NUMBERS

755 The number most associated with Hank Aaron: His career home runs. He memorably broke Babe Ruth’s record with his 715th home run on April 8, 1974, in Atlanta off the Dodgers’ Al Downing.

47 The most homers Aaron ever hit in a single season, 1971; he hit at least 40 homers seven times but never reached 50.

3,771 Career hits; take away his home runs and he still has 3,016 hits. He has the more hits batting righthanded than anyone else in major league history. The only players with more hits are Pete Rose (4,256) and Ty Cobb (4,19).

1,477 Career extra-base hits, tops in major league history. Aaron hit 624 doubles and 98 triples in addition to his home runs.

6,856 Total bases — and no one else in major league history comes close. Stan Musial is No. 2 with 6,134.

.305 Career batting average; Aaron won NL batting titles in 1956 (hitting .328) and 1959 (.355).

2,297 Career RBI, still the most of any player in major league history, 83 more than Ruth. The Angels’ Albert Pujols, who turned 41 last week, is third with 2,100.

0 Times Aaron struck out 100 times in a season; in 23 seasons he struck out 1,383 times, an average of 60 per season.

25 All-Star Games, the most of any player in major league history. The only other players chosen at least 20 times are Willie Mays (24), Stan Musial (24) and Mickey Mantle (20).

97.8 Percentage of the vote Hank Aaron got from baseball writers in 1982 to make the Hall of Fame on his first ballot.

    • ashbury and VOMG like this

 

I have to add these numbers from todays Minneapolis Tribune - HANK AARON BY THE NUMBERS

755 The number most associated with Hank Aaron: His career home runs. He memorably broke Babe Ruth’s record with his 715th home run on April 8, 1974, in Atlanta off the Dodgers’ Al Downing.

47 The most homers Aaron ever hit in a single season, 1971; he hit at least 40 homers seven times but never reached 50.

3,771 Career hits; take away his home runs and he still has 3,016 hits. He has the more hits batting righthanded than anyone else in major league history. The only players with more hits are Pete Rose (4,256) and Ty Cobb (4,19).

1,477 Career extra-base hits, tops in major league history. Aaron hit 624 doubles and 98 triples in addition to his home runs.

6,856 Total bases — and no one else in major league history comes close. Stan Musial is No. 2 with 6,134.

.305 Career batting average; Aaron won NL batting titles in 1956 (hitting .328) and 1959 (.355).

2,297 Career RBI, still the most of any player in major league history, 83 more than Ruth. The Angels’ Albert Pujols, who turned 41 last week, is third with 2,100.

0 Times Aaron struck out 100 times in a season; in 23 seasons he struck out 1,383 times, an average of 60 per season.

25 All-Star Games, the most of any player in major league history. The only other players chosen at least 20 times are Willie Mays (24), Stan Musial (24) and Mickey Mantle (20).

97.8 Percentage of the vote Hank Aaron got from baseball writers in 1982 to make the Hall of Fame on his first ballot.

I also read that in the Strib this morning, Mike.

 

My question, who are the 2.2% of writers who didn't vote for him?

 

Still remember seeing him cruise around County Stadium back in the late 50's. What a team...Aaron, Matthews, Spahn and others.

    • ashbury, mikelink45 and MN_ExPat like this

I also had the joy of meeting Hank Aaron. I was managing a restaurant in Vierra, Florida that was nearly right next to the Marlins spring training site. Hank Aaron came in for lunch along with several other folks from the Braves. It was busy so I had my job to do and didn't't get to be a fanboy. As they were leaving I saw Mr Aaron talking to one of our young busboys. I heard him ask the kid if he liked baseball. The kid said sure. Mr Aaron asked him if he had ever heard of Henry Aaron. The kid looked perplexed and said no. Mr Aaron and his party started to leave and I approached the kid and asked him if he ever heard of Hank Aaron and he said heck yes. I told him that was who he was just talking to. I thought he was going to lose it. I hurried out to find Mr Aaron do my manager version of fanboy. I told him what the kid had said. He laughed, and then returned to the dining room to talk to the kid. He shook the kid's hand, talked to him like a grandfather and gave him tickets to the next game. He walked out laughing again. I shook his hand and thanked him for coming and also for the visit with the busboy. He was extremely gracious and just a very nice man. He was the GOAT and still is (hat tip to mike Trout).

    • mikelink45, VOMG, MN_ExPat and 1 other like this

 

I also read that in the Strib this morning, Mike.

 

My question, who are the 2.2% of writers who didn't vote for him?

 

Still remember seeing him cruise around County Stadium back in the late 50's. What a team...Aaron, Matthews, Spahn and others.

That is ridiculous - but the idea of a unanimous vote was not as big a deal then as it is now.When you see Mays and Aaron not getting a unanimous vote it helps us realize the flaws in the Hall of Fame system. 

    • rdehring likes this

As much as we appreciate Mike Trout - Jason Stark in the Athletic had these gems:

 

"But Hank Aaron? He had an OPS+ that good over 20 seasons!

His average season over those two decades, incidentally: .311/.379/.572/.951, with 36 home runs. Mike Trout, who has had his moments, has had exactly one season in his career in which he beat that slash line, with that many home runs. And Hammerin‘ Hank had 20 seasons as That Guy. Wild."

 

"Hank Aaron played in 25 All-Star Games. Yeah, 25. Granted, it helped that four of those games came at a time when baseball was holding two All-Star Games a year. Nevertheless …

Those 25 All-Star Games are the most in history. But there’s also this:
The three active players who have appeared in the most All-Star Games are Mike Trout, Clayton Kershaw and Justin Verlander. They’ve played in eight apiece. Which means …
The three most celebrated All-Stars of this era have played in fewer All-Star Games combined (24) than Aaron played in all by himself."

 

 

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Today we can subtract Garret Richards from possible SP and Enrique Hernandez from our utility possibilities - please don't sign Marwin again. 

That is ridiculous - but the idea of a unanimous vote was not as big a deal then as it is now. When you see Mays and Aaron not getting a unanimous vote it helps us realize the flaws in the Hall of Fame system.


I think there should be a sports writers hall of fame and former players get to vote on who gets in and who doesn't. That would be interesting.
    • mikelink45 and DocBauer like this

 

I think there should be a sports writers hall of fame and former players get to vote on who gets in and who doesn't. That would be interesting.

It would be fun to know how that would turn out

 

 

I would take Aaron - no doubt about it.  

Through their age 28 seasons, Trout is better than Aaron was, and it's not particularly close.

Trout's lowest OPS+ (other than his 40 game call-up at age 19) was 168 (9 seasons).Aaron had an OPS+ >/= 168 8 times in his career, only twice from age 20-28. 

Trout already has more MVPs (3-1), more MVP runner-up (4-0), more MVP top-5 finishes (9-8).  

Aaron was better from age 29-38 than he was from 20-28, and there is no guarantee Trout will do that (odds are against it), but he has a decent lead right now, and he certainly could end up topping Aaron.

 

I would take Aaron - no doubt about it.  

Trout has only played 10 years and is 28. In that time, he's been league MVP 3 times and finished second 4 times. Aaron won 1 MVP and never finished second. Trout's 1.000 career OPS is far better than Aaron's .928; Aaron's OPS was over 1.000 5 times; Trout has already topped that 3 times (and had other years of .991 twice and .993 last year). Aaron's greatest achievement was consistent high performance, but for peak performance, Trout is already topping him and probably has another 7-8 years of very high level play. 

 

With all due respect to Hank Aaron, who is in the discussion for GOAT, I'd suggest we have another candidate in our midst, and his name is Mike Trout.

 

Trout is an amazing player and the best in the game right now. But he's a different player than Hank Aaron. If Trout can be this kind of player though his 30's like he was in his 20's...then he's the greatest of all-time. but Hank Aaron was legitimately great through his entire 30's too.

 

It's so hard to be great for so long. And Trout, for all his brilliance has never had to deal with the same kind of crap that Hank Aaron endured

    • rdehring likes this
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Major League Ready
Jan 24 2021 09:52 AM

 

Non-tendering Eddie Rosario and then signing essentially the same player in Marcell Ozuna for a greater sum over a longer commitment would be a pretty bad look.

 

He would not get "a greater sum over a longer commitment" if MLB GMs believed this was even remotely accurate. Rosario’s best OPS+ for a season was 117. That is one point better than Ozuna’s 3rd best season. Ozuna’s best OPS+ (2020) was 179 which was 3rd in all of MLB. He also produced an OPS+ of 143 in 2017 which was the same year as Rosario’s best (117). Rosario had a couple stretches where he was truly great but he has never done it for more than half a season. I seriously doubt the contracts they each get reflect that MLB teams think they are the same player.

 

Depending on cost, it could make sense to go Ozuna instead of Cruz. He can help in LF until our prospects take over.

One part of article that stuck out to me was, "that still leaves us giving the ball to an unproven pitcher every fifth day."I do not understand this sentiment.If you only want proven pitchers in your rotation then you will never have home grown pitchers.You will bring people through your system to pitch, because you will say, "well they are not proven so we better not put them out there."They will forever sit in the minors until they go to another team and get a chance.  

 

I am not saying who we have are ready to go, they may not be, i am not in the system knowing how close they are.My point is, at some point you need to have unproven pitchers in your rotation, and really if you can do it just one at a time I think that is a good plan. 

 

Would I be upset with a big pitching signing, no not at all, we need as much depth as possible.However, I would be fine with using some of our young guys to get a chance. 

    • DocBauer and rdehring like this

One part of article that stuck out to me was, "that still leaves us giving the ball to an unproven pitcher every fifth day." I do not understand this sentiment. If you only want proven pitchers in your rotation then you will never have home grown pitchers. You will bring people through your system to pitch, because you will say, "well they are not proven so we better not put them out there." They will forever sit in the minors until they go to another team and get a chance.

I am not saying who we have are ready to go, they may not be, i am not in the system knowing how close they are. My point is, at some point you need to have unproven pitchers in your rotation, and really if you can do it just one at a time I think that is a good plan.

Would I be upset with a big pitching signing, no not at all, we need as much depth as possible. However, I would be fine with using some of our young guys to get a chance.


Yeah, for whatever reason Cleveland keeps bringing up dudes that have no experience and they seem to do well. On the other hand Cleveland has always had about 3 dudes in their rotation that you knew were going to win every 5th day, such as Bieber etc.... So I think it wasn't so worry some to bring in new blood for the 5th spot every year. But they seem to be able to do it. I kind of agree that we need to give one of the kids a shot to succeed. If you never give them a chance they seem to rot away. It doesn't seem like we ever bring up 24 and 25 year olds that are polished with 5 years of minor league ball. Just never seems to work that way. Maybe in the Twins case it would be better to bring one of the youngsters up and let Wes be their coach. Once he gets his hands on them if they struggle send them back down, but at least now they know what they have to work on and bring up another dude and let Wes work with them. Seems to me that it would be better for the organization to be working with a 21 year old (Duran, Balazovic) with their best pitching coach than with some 40 year olds (Hill, Bailey) etc.... Now you don't want to rely on like 3 young dudes but saving a spot in the rotation for one seems legit. But it would be nice to have a super stud like Shane Bieber leading your staff as you are doing these things which the Twins don't seem to have.
    • rdehring likes this

He would not get "a greater sum over a longer commitment" if MLB GMs believed this was even remotely accurate. Rosario’s best OPS+ for a season was 117. That is one point better than Ozuna’s 3rd best season. Ozuna’s best OPS+ (2020) was 179 which was 3rd in all of MLB. He also produced an OPS+ of 143 in 2017 which was the same year as Rosario’s best (117). Rosario had a couple stretches where he was truly great but he has never done it for more than half a season. I seriously doubt the contracts they each get reflect that MLB teams think they are the same player.

 

Depending on cost, it could make sense to go Ozuna instead of Cruz. He can help in LF until our prospects take over.

I don't do many hawt taeks but I won't deny I'm a contrarian with regard to Ozuna.

 

Up and down years, with a BABIP close to .400 in 2020, leads me to forecast him more like an .800 OPS, which is about where Steady Eddie has sat for the last several years. I see Ozuna's bat in the same class as Rosario's, not Cruz's (historically).

 

I don't think either Ozuna or Rosario has a well regarded defensive game - Atlanta thought so highly of Marcell's LF prowess that they DHed him 39 games out of 60 when given the one-season opportunity for that lineup slot.

 

Ozuna for me is the anti-Cruz. With him you'll be paying in part for something you don't want to have to use, and what you do want isn't quite what it's cracked up to be. When talking about veterans, pure DH is a much better use of money.

 

I was OK with trying to trade Eddie and then letting him go (he'd be an expensive fourth OF), but I believe whoever gets him will both use him similarly and wind up with fewer regrets.

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Major League Ready
Jan 24 2021 02:55 PM

 

I don't do many hawt taeks but I won't deny I'm a contrarian with regard to Ozuna.

 

Up and down years, with a BABIP close to .400 in 2020, leads me to forecast him more like an .800 OPS, which is about where Steady Eddie has sat for the last several years. I see Ozuna's bat in the same class as Rosario's, not Cruz's (historically).

 

I don't think either Ozuna or Rosario has a well regarded defensive game - Atlanta thought so highly of Marcell's LF prowess that they DHed him 39 games out of 60 when given the one-season opportunity for that lineup slot.

 

Ozuna for me is the anti-Cruz. With him you'll be paying in part for something you don't want to have to use, and what you do want isn't quite what it's cracked up to be. When talking about veterans, pure DH is a much better use of money.

 

I was OK with trying to trade Eddie and then letting him go (he'd be an expensive fourth OF), but I believe whoever gets him will both use him similarly and wind up with fewer regrets.

 

I am with you with regards to which Ozuna do you get which is why I added the "depending on cost". If he gets paid based on huge production last year during a 60 game season, I am with you on there being room for considerable regret. However, isn't that the case with a lot of free agents. They tend to get paid based level achieved not a sustained level.

 

BTW ... I am assuming his defensive liability will lead to a discounted value but we will see.