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Cole Hamels is one of the best starting pitchers on the open market and teams are definitely looking into him. It is rumored that 13 team...
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The Future Value of Luis Arraez

Major League Baseball has rookies every season that are deemed as the next wave of stars. However, this rarely comes to fruition as plenty of players can have success over a small sample size and then fade after repeat exposure at the big-league level. Luis Arraez might be the exception to the rule. He has hit at every level throughout his professional career and he looks like he might have more big-league value than originally thought.
Image courtesy of © Jordan Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Prospects break into the big leagues every season and there was no shortage of big names on this year’s list of breakthrough prospects. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Fernando Tatis Jr., Yordan Alvarez and Eloy Jimenez are just a few of the players from the current rookie class to find early success. Guerrero and Tatis were two of the top prospects in the game and they didn’t slow down after their call-ups.

MLB.com released their list of rookies with the most potential value moving forward. After the breakout season from Arraez, it seemed like a no-brainer to have him high on the list. According to FanGraphs, Arraez has been the been the ninth most valuable rookie in all of baseball. However, MLB.com doesn’t see his future value as being so high. As a 22-year old, he barely cracks the top-30.

There isn’t exactly a cornucopia of well-known players ahead of Arraez on MLB’s list. Other second baseman on the list near him include Tampa’s Brandon Lowe, Miami’s Isan Diaz and Pittsburgh’s Kevin Newman. All these players could have great careers ahead of them, but Arraez might have a little something more to add to the equation.

Few MLB players have been able to do what Arraez has done in his first 300 plate appearances. Only three players rank better than him in batting average among 22-year-olds in the past 100 years Among the other players on the list include Ted Williams, Stan Musial, and Joe DiMaggio. This isn’t exactly a random list of players that had good seasons as a young player. All three of these names are inner circle Hall-of-Fame members that are among some of the best all-time hitters.

Value can come on both sides of the ball for a player. In the case of Arraez, his defensive value seems limited, but he has shown the ability to play multiple positions. He seems destined to be Minnesota’s second baseman. That doesn’t mean he can't play left field, with over 130 innings out there and over 120 innings at third base. His bat will play no matter what position he is playing in the field.

Arraez may never reach the level of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. or Fernando Tatis Jr. This still doesn’t take anything away from what he has been able to do at the big-league level. There aren’t 28 rookies better than Arraez this season and he will prove his value in the years ahead.

How valuable do you think Arraez can be in the years to come? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

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119 Comments

I think what he could provide - in one form or another - is an opportunity to upgrade the pitching staff.

 

I think it's still TBD whether that means including him in a package for pitching, or if it allows them to move Gordon or Rosario as pieces for something. 

 

If all of the big pieces stay put (and healthy), I see him as a super utility guy ... unless his glove improves at second, in which case I'd want him to have the job.

    • LA VIkes Fan and bighat like this

I think it's interesting that Terry Francona said he wouldn't be surprised to see Arraez win a batting title some day.

High praise from a guy who knows the game and didn't have to offer that at all.

I'm optimistic.

    • glunn, scottz, beckmt and 14 others like this

His plate discipline is currently best on the team at age 22. 

 

He's 22 so his power is still developing. 

 

I don't care what the defensive metrics say. I've watched almost every game... I can't recall any moment where he could be perceived as a defensive liability at any of the positions he has played. 

 

I'm buying stock. 

    • luckylager, glunn, birdwatcher and 31 others like this

I think we'll see more power from Arraez in future seasons. He has the build for it and a great ability to put the big part of the bat on the ball. I had my doubts at times during the season about his long term potential, but I think he'll be a key part of the Twins lineup for many years to come.

    • glunn, Huffmental, Jham and 3 others like this

He kind of reminds me of Jeff McNeil. 

McNeil came up for the Mets as a second basemen who they moved all around the field last year and just hit everything. He added some power and has become a legit star this year. 

    • glunn, Huffmental, Sconnie and 4 others like this

Only response to this is...

 

The kid can flat out hit. Knows the strike zone very well. Puts the ball in play all over the field. He doesn’t have any other above average skill but can play multiple positions. I think he is our 2b next yr and we can go move nick Gordon
    • glunn, denarded, birdwatcher and 12 others like this
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twinssporto
Sep 17 2019 10:54 PM

I'm all in on Arraez. The kid is a gamer. He will be our starting 2nd baseman next year. 

 

It will be fun to watch how he does during the playoffs. I think he'll eat the Yankees pathetic pitching staff for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

    • glunn, Twins33, Kelly Vance and 8 others like this

 

His plate discipline is currently best on the team at age 22. 

 

He's 22 so his power is still developing. 

 

I don't care what the defensive metrics say. I've watched almost every game... I can't recall any moment where he could be perceived as a defensive liability at any of the positions he has played. 

 

I'm buying stock. 

Exactly. If Arraez has any weakness as a defender, it's footwork, the exact same thing Polanco needed to work on last season. This season, Polanco looks good at SS. Next season, Arraez will have perfectly good footwork, at second base. 

 

Gotta keep a bat like that in the lineup. For the next decade. The future value of Arraez is going to be a solid 2B, with one of the league's highest average bats. He will set the plate for a thousand RBI, and knock in a thousand himself. 

    • glunn, Huffmental, tarheeltwinsfan and 8 others like this

Still really like Polanco offensively, but ... https://www.foxsport...page=1&statID=0

 

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3balls2strikes
Sep 18 2019 01:04 AM

Arraez is here to stay. Gordon has been reduced to trade bait. Arraez is simply clutch and has the "it" factor. To have the plate presence that he does at his age is incredible. He will prove to be a huge contributor for the Twins for years. He's nearly as loveable and fun to watch as Astudillo. 

    • glunn, birdwatcher, Kelly Vance and 9 others like this
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Thebigalguy
Sep 18 2019 02:15 AM

Methinks this young man is a batter to conjure with. How did he put that spin on the ball that fooled the holy bejesus out of the Cleveland third baseman? Magic, my fellow rubes. Magic. I would argue against trading him unless his defense becomes an embarrassment. I would even argue that using him leadoff is worth thinking about. 

    • birdwatcher, PDX Twin, gagu and 1 other like this

Where did Arraez rank as a prospect in TD off-season prospect list??

    • mikelink45 and jrod23 like this
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diehardtwinsfan
Sep 18 2019 05:40 AM

His real draw back is his power or lack of it.. He had a freak knee injury in the minors too that has probably dropped his stock a bit. 

 

Like others, I'm buying this stock. I think MLBhas him rated too low. This kind of contact/plate discipline is pretty rare, and I think the Twins have their lead off hitter for the forseable future.

 

If he can develops some power and can remain an average defender, he'll be one of MLB stars.

    • Twins33, tarheeltwinsfan, twinssporto and 5 others like this
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diehardtwinsfan
Sep 18 2019 05:42 AM

 

Where did Arraez rank as a prospect in TD off-season prospect list??

 

I think he was in the 20s or 30s... to be fair though, he played all of 3 games in 2017 because he shredded his knee... and he couldn't even crack an .800 OPS in his 2018 season. He took a while to get back from that injury. 

    • Huskertwin likes this
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MMMordabito
Sep 18 2019 06:23 AM
I don't understand why Rocco doesn't have him batting leadoff every game. He takes the best at-bats on the team. He gets on. He takes pitches allowing others to see pitches.

Starting every game with a 42% chance of immediately putting the opposing pitcher into the stretch seems like a good idea to me. I'd like to watch that for the next ten years or so.

I'm a fan. #29, my ass
    • beckmt, Kelly Vance, gagu and 8 others like this

I'm in on him as well. He seems to have earned the umpires respect as well, getting the calls to go his way on close pitches he's taken. And he's getting better the longer he's been up, so the pitchers haven't figured out a solid way to get him out.

 

I'd like to see him stick at second base and also spell Sano at 3rd on his off-days. He's much better there than in left field. The Twins have gotten lucky with him out there so far. Seems that when he plays out there, not may balls get hit his way. Stats look good, but he just doesn't get to a lot of balls in the outfield that a major league OF should and he doesn't have a strong OF arm. But he could work on that over the off-season, but infield would seem a better fit for now. But his bat is needed in the lineup.

    • birdwatcher, Kelly Vance, Dman and 2 others like this

I may have said it before Francona....this guy has batting champ potential. No WAY he is a utiltyman. He needs to get 600 AB's to develop his full ability.. Right now there isn't a more dangerous guy in the lineup when you need someone to put bat on the ball. He will make Schoop expendable and probably Gordon too, especially if Twins are shopping for pitching. Adrianza is the swing utilityman and he's a good one too.

 

Twins have a pretty potent infield array of players. I could even see them move Cron and make Gonzo their 1Bman.

    • jz7233 likes this

I have always liked Arraez's bat but I am still not a big fan of his defense.I think he can probably play close to average at 2nd base and that is where he should stay.I really don't like his arm at third at all.When he throws the ball over I swear it looks like it is going in slow motion. When Sano throws a ball over it gets to first in a hurry.I really believe that on a close play the throw from Arraez would be just late instead of just in time.I don't like him in left field either as he isn't real fast and again doesn't have a real strong arm.Is he better than Josh Willingham, sure but you still lose defensive value when he is out there IMO.

 

I can see why fangraphs and other scouts are somewhat down on him as he lacks power and at his best is average at 2nd base defensively.The hit tool is as good or better than most all the rookie prospects IMO it is an elite tool.I keep expecting him to regress with the bat and he just keeps on hitting.With the great approach at the plate he has I think Francona is right he looks like someone who will challenge for batting titles in the future.

 

Like many have already said I like him a lot as our future 2nd baseman.I think he will grow into some power and round out the hit tool and make it to some All Star games.I think his future is bright and am happy the Twins found an under rated player that has the best hit tool on the team.

    • gagu, rdehring, HrbekRules and 1 other like this
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puckstopper1
Sep 18 2019 07:02 AM

#29 on the list is too low.

 

He appears to possess some of the same gifts at the plate as the player pictured in my member photo, so in that case #29 is good!

    • Kelly Vance and MMMordabito like this
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terrydactyls1947
Sep 18 2019 07:04 AM

 

Where did Arraez rank as a prospect in TD off-season prospect list??

 

For questions like this, I turn to my handy copy of the Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook for 2019 (available every spring).Here is where Arraez ranked:

 

Seth Stohs - 22

Cody Christie - 21

Tom Froemming - 25

Jeremy Nygaard - 14

    • birdwatcher, Sconnie, gagu and 3 others like this
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Tom Froemming
Sep 18 2019 07:08 AM

To be fair, it's really difficult to project aliens. I'm happy he is no longer a prospect and I don't have to try and figure this out anymore.

 

He's the most unique hitter in baseball. Not only does he lead the league in line drive % (min. 300 PAs), it's almost 11% above league average. That's fueling an insanely high BABIP, but at the same time he's also in the bottom 3% in hard hit %, bottom 8% in in barrel % and bottom 16% in exit velo. He also grades out as one of the worst defensive second basemen in baseball and is only an average runner at 22.

 

I can see why the projections would still be lukewarm on him.

 

If nothing changes and he maintains that ability to hit line drives, however, he's still going to continue to be amazing. If pitchers can find a way to attack him, he's a slower version of Ben Revere who doesn't provide defensive value. If he can take his incredible foundational skills (plate discipline, hand-eye coordination) and prioritize power, he could have a Jose Altuve-like unforeseen power breakout.

 

He's an alien. Nothing is off the table in my mind. He could be an afterthought two years from now, they could be retiring his number 20 years from now or anything in between. I'm just going to enjoy the ride and appreciate this. It's a privilege to be able to watch an incredibly unique hitter who so clearly has worked hard at honing his craft.

    • USAFChief, denarded, birdwatcher and 20 others like this
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Lenny Green
Sep 18 2019 07:13 AM

 

I don't understand why Rocco doesn't have him batting leadoff every game. He takes the best at-bats on the team. He gets on. He takes pitches allowing others to see pitches.

Starting every game with a 42% chance of immediately putting the opposing pitcher into the stretch seems like a good idea to me. I'd like to watch that for the next ten years or so.

I'm a fan. #29, my ass

 

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Lenny Green
Sep 18 2019 07:14 AM

At #29 I'm pretty sure they were pointing out the similarities between Arraez and HOFer Rod Carew.....

    • birdwatcher, Kelly Vance, gagu and 1 other like this
Is there really enough defensive data to fairly label him as anything defensively?

This narrative is being repeated over and over again and it really doesn’t match the eye test.
    • denarded, Blake, Sconnie and 2 others like this

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