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2019 2020 (non-Twins) off season

Other Baseball Today, 03:28 PM
My first prediction is that WA signs their two big possible FAs to extensions.   My next is that Cole goes to LAA.   The White...
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KMSP: From Uber to starting in the playoffs

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 03:20 PM
https://www.fox9.com...f7KmB0wC7co-Q8k   Jim Rich of KMSP got an 'uber' ride from Randy Dobnak and they talked about his remarkable...
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Mookie Betts & David Price on the Move!

Other Baseball Today, 03:28 PM
Holy cow, a blockbuster trade!
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Astros, Bauer, Pohlad's, Twins, Future of MLB

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 02:59 PM
BIG title right? But I think MLB is sitting at a unique precipice right now, and we, as baseball fans, should be concerned about everythi...
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Joe Schmidt - Rocco Baldelli feature

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 02:42 PM
This is a very enjoyable feature on the terrific person and leader we have in Twins Territory!     https://kstp.com/spo......
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Top 20 Minnesota Twins Assets of 2020: Part 2 (11-15)

The next portion of these rankings will introduce some difficult questions. For example, who's more important to the Twins' future: an established All-Star starter under control for one year, or a high-upside pitching prospect who has yet to debut? (Catch up on Part 1 here.)
Image courtesy of David Berding-USA TODAY Sports
First, to reiterate the parameters and stipulations:
  • Things that are factored into these rankings: production, age, upside, pedigree, health, length of team control, favorability of contract, positional scarcity (within the system, and generally).
  • Players are people. Their value to the organization, and its fans, goes well beyond the strictly business-like scope we're using here. But for the purposes of this list, we're analyzing solely in terms of asset evaluation. Intangible qualities and popularity are not factors. (Sorry Willians.)
  • The idea is to assess their importance to the future of the Minnesota Twins. In this regard, it's not exactly a ranking in terms of trade value, because that's dependent on another team's situation and needs. (For instance, Jake Cave and LaMonte Wade, Jr. would be more valuable to many other teams than they are to the Twins, who are rich with short-term and long-term corner outfield depth.)
  • This is a snapshot in time. Rankings are heavily influenced by recent trends and where things stood as of the end of 2019.
  • Current major-leaguers and prospects are all eligible. The ultimate goal here to answer this question: Which current players in the organization are most indispensable to fulfilling the vision of building a champion?
Any questions or quibbles, holler in the comments. Let's continue the countdown.

TOP 20 MINNESOTA TWINS ASSETS OF 2020 (11 through 15)

15. Jake Odorizzi, RHP
2019 Ranking: NR

Odorizzi is a challenging guy to rank. His situation is similar to that of Nelson Cruz, who I had two spots lower at No. 17. Both players are under contract for only one more year, which limits their asset value. But both are absolutely key to the 2020 outlook, and I would argue Odorizzi even more so given the relative depth of power-hitting, and lack of high-end pitching.

And unlike Cruz, who will turn 40 next year with a balky wrist, Odorizzi turns 30 in March with a fully clean bill of health. In 2019, he was an All-Star, ranked eighth among AL starters in fWAR, and held his own in an ALDS matchup against the Yankees.

14. Trevor Larnach, OF
2019 Ranking: NR

As a bat-first prospect who can't play a premium position, it's tough to climb up a list like this. Larnach was on the fringe last year as a first-round draft pick who impressed in his debut, but putting up numbers in rookie ball and Low-A is no rare feat for a slugger fresh out of college. In 2019, Larnach raised his distinction considerably.

He opened up in the pitcher-friendly Florida State League, where his .316 average and .842 OPS in 84 games led all players. Then he moved up to Double-A and hardly missed a beat, finishing with a .295/.387/.455 slash line as a 22-year-old at Pensacola. As a result of the monster campaign, he earned Twins Minor League Player of the Year honors and figures to make big jumps in 2020 preseason top prospect lists. As of right now, he's probably most valuable to Minnesota as trade collateral, but his imminent impact potential can help the team breathe easier about its uncertainty at first base.

13. Jhoan Duran, RHP
2019 Ranking: NR

Pitching prospects with high ceilings that are close to the major leagues are valuable to every franchise, and especially to the Twins in this moment. In 2019, Duran reached Double-A as a 21-year-old, becoming one of the youngest pitchers to throw in the league. Despite his youth, he overpowered hitters with a 16% swinging strike rate yielding a 41-to-9 K/BB ratio in 37 innings. This after he put up a 3.23 ERA and 11.0 K/9 in 78 innings at High-A.

Entering his age 22 season, Duran has already established himself in the high minors and built a strong workload baseline, with 100 and 115 innings pitched the last two years. His odds of sticking as a starter seem higher than most electric arms at his stage, which gives him a big boost here. As ever, though, the TNSTAAPP caveat applies.

12. Taylor Rogers, LHP
2019 Ranking: 10

With yet another phenomenal season out of the bullpen, Rogers further solidified himself as Minnesota's relief rock. In some ways, he was more essential than ever, serving as the safety valve in an oft-beleaguered unit and recording six-plus outs on nine different occasions. He ranked fifth among MLB relievers in Win Probability Added, fifth in fWAR, and second in K/BB ratio.

He doesn't feel quite as indispensable as he did a year ago, only because a few other trustworthy high-leverage options have emerged for the Twins, but no one can match what the lefty brings. He's durable, consistent, and matchup-proof. Best of all, he's still under team control for three more years (though his cost could rise quickly in arbitration if he keeps accumulating saves).

11. Miguel Sano, 3B
2019 Ranking: 14

No player roused more debate and disagreement in the last rankings than Sano. One year ago, he was shrouded in mystery, coming off an ugly season that included a "reset" demotion to Single-A and further issues with a surgically repaired leg. His run of mishaps carried over into the spring of 2019, when a questionably treated heel laceration cost him a quarter of the season, but upon returning Sano made his presence felt and restored his status as a deeply feared hitter.

In just 105 games, Sano hit 34 home runs with 79 RBIs. His .579 slugging percentage ranked 11th among big-leaguers with 400+ plate appearances. His average exit velocity and barrels per plate appearance % were both fifth-highest in baseball. In Cleveland, late in the season, Sano delivered the fatal blow in the AL Central race with a devastating grand slam.

He narrowly misses the Top 10 because of defensive shortcomings at third, and because durability concerns will persist until they don't (he still hasn't played more than 116 games in an MLB season). The Twins are down to two years of team control remaining.

RECAPPING THE RANKINGS SO FAR:

20. Ryan Jeffers, C
19. Eddie Rosario, OF
18. Michael Pineda, RHP
17. Nelson Cruz, DH
16. Tyler Duffey, RHP
15. Jake Odorizzi, RHP
14. Trevor Larnach, OF
13. Jhoan Duran, RHP
12. Taylor Rogers, LHP
11. Miguel Sano, 3B

Check back in tomorrow for Part 3.

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14 Comments

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theBOMisthebomb
Jan 06 2020 10:35 PM
"production, age, upside, pedigree, health, length of team control, favorability of contract, positional scarcity (within the system, and generally)" and Rogers drops from #10 in 2019 to #12?!? I fail to see how that's possible using the criteria you set forth.
    • mikelink45 likes this
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Nick Nelson
Jan 06 2020 10:46 PM

 

"production, age, upside, pedigree, health, length of team control, favorability of contract, positional scarcity (within the system, and generally)" and Rogers drops from #10 in 2019 to #12?!? I fail to see how that's possible using the criteria you set forth.

It's hard for a straight-up reliever to crack the top 10 on a list like this. Rogers did last year only because the team's scarcity of capable bullpen options meant he was basically the only thing separating them from a disastrous relief unit. (Could you imagine the first few months last year without him?)

 

Now, with guys like Duffey, May, Romo, Clippard and Littell in place, they aren't quite as dependent on him. That's the thinking, basically. 

    • Seth Stohs, birdwatcher, SwainZag and 7 others like this
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TwinsFan268
Jan 07 2020 06:36 AM

ODORIZZI 15????

WHY???????

I don't think I agree with these rankings very much.

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puckstopper1
Jan 07 2020 06:50 AM

 

ODORIZZI 15????

WHY???????

I don't think I agree with these rankings very much.

 

Where would you rank him?

    • SQUIRREL and EPEZRider like this

I find this to be a fun exercise and I still cannot really comment until I see the top 10.At the moment I think Rogers is too low because I am not a believer in May and Duffey, but that is not much of an argument.I am waiting to see where Lewis and Kiriloff and Balazovic rank because I would have them in the top ten.But then you create an interesting competition between starters and prospects with only one more pitcher in my expected top 10 - Berrios who I rank #1.Where would we be without him?And I know his contract is not as long as it should be. And we have no first baseman so that is not a position to worry about on this list:

 

My guess list

  • Berrios - because he is the closest to an Ace
  • Kepler - Long term contract and production and versatility
  • Polanco - long term contract and ability to hit
  • Kiriloff - valuable in trade, at 1B, and OF and he hits
  • Garver - getting older, not a long contract, but catchers have extra value
  • Buxton - the great "if only" player
  • Arraez - OBP is still a tremendous asset and he is versatile
  • Balazovic - his arm looks like it is real
  • Graterol - I would start him now
  • Lewis - has he turned the corner.We will need him
    • Seth Stohs, Mike Frasier Law, DannySD and 1 other like this

Interesting.Understand your explanation of Rogers' drop to 12 and don't disagree with it.On the other hand he sure seems like a top 10 guy to me, no matter what the formula is in determining who goes where.Of course I would also have Rosario in my top 10, regardless of his warts and length of control.

    • tarheeltwinsfan likes this
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Nick Nelson
Jan 07 2020 09:23 AM

 

ODORIZZI 15????

WHY???????

I don't think I agree with these rankings very much.

Too high or too low? 

    • SQUIRREL and EPEZRider like this
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tarheeltwinsfan
Jan 07 2020 09:28 AM

Really fun series Nick. Thanks for arranging the players according to the criteria stated. One take away is that MLB is geared more toward paying players based on past performances than on your well defined criteria of asset valuation. Ifteams attempted to pay the players according to your asset valuations, the Major League Players Association would have a fit. I wonder...what if we ranked the Twins payroll from the highest to the lowest and then assigned each payroll amount to the players according to asset valuation, using your criteria, we would expect to have a team with many over-paid young players and few older players on one year contracts. I tried to think of an analogy in the business world, but could not. It is rare to pay for future potential, plus there are so many variables that can alter a player's future production. Maybe the free market is the best determination of an asset's value. Fascinating series. Thank you Nick.

    • Nick Nelson and Seth Stohs like this
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MMMordabito
Jan 07 2020 09:37 AM

 

My guess list

  • Berrios - because he is the closest to an Ace
  • Kepler - Long term contract and production and versatility
  • Polanco - long term contract and ability to hit
  • Kiriloff - valuable in trade, at 1B, and OF and he hits
  • Garver - getting older, not a long contract, but catchers have extra value
  • Buxton - the great "if only" player
  • Arraez - OBP is still a tremendous asset and he is versatile
  • Balazovic - his arm looks like it is real
  • Graterol - I would start him now
  • Lewis - has he turned the corner.We will need him

 

 

Nice ... You just saved me time reading two articles.Actually, once I saw Duran and Odorizzi, the guessing games were complete for me.  

 

It's sad that the guy we drafted ahead of Aaron Nola isn't even in the top 20, and here were are wishing for impact pitching.

    • Mike Frasier Law, Lunger and Dman like this
I like to think of this as who would net the most in a trade if were to happen today.

I’m not sure that Arraez should be as high as he’s apparently going to be. I think Sano would return more “value” in prospects if traded today than Arraez.

I get it, fans love him (I thought we were leaving popularity out of this, though). He had a great year. But, how valuable is he really at this point? It’s extremely unlikely that he’ll sustain what he did last year. That’s not to say he won’t be a .300-.310 hitter over a major league career, but there’s just not a ton of value in that right now. Especially when you have no extra bass power, are mediocre (or worse) defensively, and have limited versatility (he should really only play second base).

Good player. He could be (is) a solid piece on a good team. But, despite the lengthy control, I have a hard time saying he’s more valuable than a one of the best RH power hitters on the planet right now (Sano). Sano is a guy who can carry a lineup for significant stretches. Rosario can do the same. Arraez just can’t do that. There are many hitters in the Twins lineup that generate fear in opposing pitchers. Nobody is scared of giving up a slap oppo-single to Arraez.
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Nick Nelson
Jan 07 2020 04:09 PM

 

I’m not sure that Arraez should be as high as he’s apparently going to be. I think Sano would return more “value” in prospects if traded today than Arraez.

This is a debate perhaps better saved for the installment Arraez appears in, but a few points to make regarding Sano vs. Arraez:

 

  • 2 years of team control vs 5 years
  • Corner IF vs middle IF
  • 26 years old vs 22 years old
  • $15m+ over the next two years vs ~$1m over the next two years
  • Health/durability

 

I think Arraez would return more in a trade right now personally, but zeroing in on the scope of this discussion, I think he's more important to the Twins because his OBP/discipline are more scarce to the team than Sano's aggressive power. But it's close (as you'll see) and a valid argument. 

    • Oxtung likes this

 

Especially when you have no extra bass power, are mediocre (or worse) defensively, and have limited versatility (he should really only play second base).

 

maybe he can play sax, since he doesn't have the extra bass. *runs away giggling*

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tony&rodney
Jan 07 2020 07:03 PM

This is a well done series, thank you.

My personal feelings are that Sano is underrated. I guarantee pitchers would rather face just about anyone else in baseball than Sano. He hits the ball so hard. It is not the distance it's the velocity. My judgement is that a secret poll of MLB pitchers would place Sano in the top dozen in all of baseball for fear factor. He is respected.

That said, this year is a big year for the big man because he must stay on the field, stay focused, and produce consistently.

Does the ranking of Sano change now that he has agreed to a longer term deal?

    • ashbury likes this

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