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NBA Offseason 2018

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Twins Daily Roundtable: Minnesota's All-Star Selection

Twins Daily Roundtable is a new weekly series. As part of this series, a question will be posed to the site’s writers and they will respond in 200 words or less. This will give readers an opportunity to see multiple points of view and then add their own point of view in the comments section.

It’s hard to believe the calendar will flip to June at the end of the week. Baseball’s season is roughly a third of the way complete. Teams are starting to see some separation in the standings and MLB’s Mid-Summer Classic is quickly approaching.

It won’t be long until your inbox gets flooded with promotional emails to start voting for baseball’s best players. Before that happens, let’s take a look at the All-Star candidates on Minnesota’s roster.

This week’s roundtable discussion question is: “Who should represent the Twins at the 2018 All-Star Game?"
Image courtesy of Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
John Bonnes
There isn’t a lot of separation. Eduardo Escobar has arguably been the most valuable position player, given his offense and his defensive position. Jake Odorizzi has the lowest ERA of the full time starting pitchers. Fernando Romero has been unbelievable, albeit for only five starts. And if Joe Mauer was healthy, I’d love to have him represent the Twins one last time.

However, to me, it comes down to Eddie Rosario versus Jose Berrios. They’re both very good - maybe a half stride better than any of the other candidates on the team - but I’m voting for both mostly because they’re going to be incredibly entertaining. Berrios might throw a curveball that makes John Smoltz' head explode and Rosario might do something so non-traditional/un-Twins-Way-like that it will make Jack Buck’s head explode.

That settles it. I’d rather see Jack Buck’s head explode. Eddie Rosario is the Twins representative.

Tom Froemming
All-Star Eddie Rosario, it just rolls right off the tongue. If there’s any one player who most deserves to represent the Twins in the Midsummer Classic, it’s Rosie.

Here’s the problem: Outfield is loaded in the American League. Mike Trout, Mookie Betts, Aaron Judge and J.D. Martinez are having insane seasons, and I’d be willing to bet Giancarlo Stanton will get voted in as a starter given the name recognition and Yankee-ness. With that being the case, it may be tough for Rosario to crack the roster, let alone Max Kepler, who also warrants consideration.

Eduardo Escobar may have a better case, given his defensive flexibility. That certainly helped Josh Harrison last year and Eduardo Nunez the year before that.

The Twins also have a few pitchers who deserve consideration. As of Tuesday afternoon, Jose Berrios ranked 12th in the AL in WAR among qualified starters and Fernando Rodney’s 11 saves put him in a tie for sixth in the league. There’s also a legit argument to be made that Ryan Pressly has been the best middle reliever in the AL.

But, with their record, I suspect the Twins may only have one representative. It should be Rosario.

Cody Christie
Every team gets a representative and few players on the Twins have separated themselves from the pack. According to FanGraphs, Jose Berrios leads the pitching staff in WAR with Kyle Gibson and Ryan Pressly currently sitting in second and third. Offensively, Eddie Rosario leads the team (1.3 fWAR) and he is followed by Eduardo Escobar (0.9 fWAR) and Max Kepler (0.9 fWAR).

On my list, I cross off Rosario and Kepler because of the depth of outfielders in the American League. Escobar has some position flexibility and some managers like this option for the late-innings. Pressly has been the team’s best relief option and managers have recently been more willing to use non-closers in the All-Star Games. I could see Pressly getting the nod or even Fernando Rodney because he is the team’s “proven closer.”

At the beginning of the season, I made some crazy predictions and not many of them are going to come true. However, I picked Jose Berrios to be an All-Star so it’s tough to go back on that early season prediction. He could be a dominant option out of the bullpen when he doesn’t have to hold anything back. Berrios played in multiple Futures Games including starting in front of the Target Field crowd back in 2014. For me, the future is now and I believe Berrios will be the club’s selection.

Jeremy Nygaard
If the teams were announced today, I'd have a hard time believing the Twins would be more than a one-bid team. I would think that Jose Berrios would get that bid.

A case could be made for Eddie Rosario, and deservedly so. He's 10th among qualifying AL outfielders in OPS, 8th in batting average and tied for 11th in home runs with only Betts, Trout and J.D. Martinez ranked higher in all three categories. But there are other bigger names that push Rosario down and probably out.

Fernando Romero has been lights-out for five starts and he'll have a chance to improve his case with another handful of starts as well. Only Justin Verlander has thrown more innings and has a lower ERA. But one subpar outing changes that stat in a hurry.

Which brings me back to Berrios. He's one of only ten AL starting pitchers - along with BarolofreakingColon - with a sub-1.00 WHIP, averages just short of a strikeout an inning and would be electric in a one inning relief role. While he struggled through a rough patch, he's still got the resume to suggest he's an All-Star... and hopefully an All-Star for many years to come.

Seth Stohs
With the All Star Game like six weeks away, it's really hard to predict who might represent the Twins. In large part, it's difficult to know how many Twins might be participants. Right or wrong, that is sometimes based on how well the team is doing. If they were to get hot now, they might have two or three. If not, they may end up with just one.

So, as of this date, I'll guess that the Twins will be represented in the All-Star Game by Jose Berrios. If they continue to play well as a team, then a case could (hopefully) be made for Eddie Rosario or Max Kepler at that time.

Ted Schwerzler
The Twins are facing a situation unlike 2017 when it comes to a representative at the All-Star Game. After Miguel Sano was nearly voted as the top player at 3B a year ago, Minnesota is looking at a likely skunking across the board in 2018.

Needing a representative in the contest, I think the honor gets split one of three ways. Eddie Rosario has been the team's best player, and you could make a very strong case for him to go. There's a significant number of big names when it comes to American League outfielders however, and Rosario's exploits pale in comparison to most of them. From there, the choice for me falls in between one of two pitchers.

Jose Berrios represents an up and coming star who's been much more good than bad. At times he's looked like a true ace, and an All-Star nod would hardly be a reach. If you'd like to go the relief route, it has to be Ryan Pressly. He's looked the part of a lock down type this season, and a continuation of this performance will quickly have him being named among the best in the game.

Steve Lein
Despite their overall record and performance as a team thus far, I think the Twins still have quite a few candidates to represent them at the All-Star Game.

On the position player front, Eddie Rosario stands out as an overall performer and is on par with many top players in left field. Eduardo Escobar leads all MLB shortstops in doubles, Max Kepler continues to have some great at-bats, and Miguel Sano even leads the Twins hitters in Win Probability added (WPA).
As far as pitchers go, I think cases could be made for Addison Reed and Ryan Pressly as set-up men. After a rough start, Fernando Rodney has been hardly an experience, now with eleven saves. Jake Odorizzi has had his moments as well.

But if I’m picking only one, and I would be with how the year has gone, the nod would go to Jose Berrios. He leads the team in innings pitched, strikeouts, WPA, WAR, has struck out nearly 9 per 9IP, and walked fewer than 5% of hitters he’s faced. He’s been electric most of the time this season, blossoming into the team’s ace, and should get his first of hopefully many more opportunities in this July’s summer classic.

Jamie Cameron
I think there are a few in consideration here. Kepler and Rosario have played really well, but they play at incredibly competitive positions. I'd have to go with Ryan Pressly. Pressly ranks 14th in MLB in fWAR (0.7). He's 18th in K/9 (12.18), 24th in xFIP (2.90). All of this while carrying a pretty inflated BaBIP of .348. This is even more impressive when you consider where Pressly was in 2017. Using the same categories, he put together an fWAR of 0.1, K/9 of 8.95, xFIP of 3.81, in spite of a stingy .264 BaBIP. You don't win awards for most improved, but Pressly has to have taken the biggest step forward of almost any relief pitcher at the big league level.

Pressly has always had the stuff, including one of the most devastating curveballs of all relief pitchers in the majors. He's put it all together and turned himself into a top 20 relief pitcher. He's a deserving All-Star.

Andrew Thares
At this point Jose Berrios is the clear cut favorite to represent the Twins in the All-Star Game. On merit alone Berrios might not be an All-Star as things stand today, but if he keeps up the way he has been pitching of late his All-Star selection will be well deserved. However, with the rule that each team must be represented Berrios should be the Twins representative. Really the only other player I see having a shot is Eddie Rosario if he can put together a big month in June.

If you missed any of the previous roundtable discussions, here are the links:
Romero’s Rotation Spot (Ervin Santana is on his way back)
Top Prospect Timelines

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23 Comments

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Physics Guy
May 29 2018 08:14 PM
John, pretty sure you meant Joe Buck. Jack passed back in 2002. As for having Joe Buck's head explode, I'm with you.
    • Don Walcott likes this

I think Ryan Pressley is an excellent choice.I would rate our choices in the following order.

 

  • Pressley
  • Berrios
  • Romero
  • Escobar
  • Rosario
Only one token rep for sure ... Maybe that token player can go on to work for FSN and have a caption under their name about being a 2018 All-Star
    • bighat likes this
Wow. Tough question.
    • USAFChief likes this

The only position player I can see getting considered at this point is Eddie Rosario, even though the AL outfield is loaded.He leads the team in runs, hits, AVG, HRs, and SBs. Yeah I know he should take more walks and his decision making at times can drive you crazy, but the stats are there.

 

    • Dantes929 likes this
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Don Walcott
May 30 2018 05:21 AM
I think the Twins get hot over the next few weeks and both of our Puerto Rican stars get recognized for how they’ve carried this team through a rough patch.

I think it's gotta be a pitcher. Pressly or Berrios (if he has a string of quality starts next month) would be fun picks, but as Cody and others noted, it could end up being Fernando Rodney, mainly because he's the closer and is racking up some saves.

    • caninatl04 likes this

None of our starters is top ten in fWAR, bWAR, ip or era.

 

On the hitting side, Mauer is 4th in OBP but hurt. Kepler and Rosario are both in the top 10 in doubles and Rosario is top 10 in fWAR among OFers. Frankly, after the top 4, the rest are all bunched together. You could make a claim that he's the fifth best OFer in the AL without looking too stupid (or tenth best). Given that he gives the AL a LH bench bat/pinch runner, I think he'll be the pick.

 

    • Mike Sixel and Dantes929 like this

If so many teams are playing for 2019's #1 pick, why mandate that every teams gets a player. I know, I know... It's still annoys me. It's the All Star game intended to showcase the best players. If your favorite team doesn't happen to have one of the leagues best 34 players on it, too bad. 

Berrios has been good but he's scheduled to face the Indians lineup twice in June.Eddie Rosario is on a hot streak and notoriously plays well mid-summer.I think he'll stay hot and take the Twins' lone spot as a reserve player.

 

Regarding the number of outfielders in the AL, for sure Mike Trout, Mookie Betts, Aaron Judge, and J.D. Martinez are going to be locks.There are several players who have better OPS than Rosario but I don't think will make the All Star game because of players ahead of them on the same team:

 

  • Brantley (Cleveland): 5th in OPS, but Kluber, Lindor, and Ramirez are ahead
  • Benintendi (Boston): 6th in OPS, but Betts, Martinez, Sale, and maybe Kimbrel are ahead
  • Haniger (Seattle): 7th in OPS, but I'd assume Segura and Paxton get the nod first, and Seattle has not been good enough to merit 3 players in the All Star game.
  • Castellanos (Detroit): 8th in OPS, but Candelario has a higher WAR and OPS, and I'm guessing the Tigers only get 1 rep.
  • Rosario (Twins): 9th in OPS
  • Springer (Astros): 10th in OPS, but Altuve, Correa, Verlander, and Cole all have higher WAR this season.

 

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nicksaviking
May 30 2018 11:42 AM

So far it's seemed like Mauer, Dozier, Escobar, Kepler and Rosario have taken turns carrying the team. We have over a month to go and Dozier or Sano are a .950 OPS/10HR month away from taking the lead in the race for the Twins All Star representative.

 

I'm putting my money on two Twins, Berrios and Dozier. Dozier mostly because the AL's going to have more than one 2B and currently the second best guy right now is Jed Lowrie. It's not going to take too much of a hot streak to vault him back to his usual spot behind Altuve.

    • Mike Sixel, Dantes929 and ThejacKmp like this

"Eduardo Escobar may have a better case, given his defensive flexibility. That certainly helped Josh Harrison last year and Eduardo Nunez the year before that." 

 

Maybe it helped Harrison but every single player for the Twins aside from Nunez and Grossman had horrendous seasons. There simply were no other choices and Nunez was playing quite well. 

 

This list is a little premature. Right now Rosario but 5 more starts from Romero like his first 5 and I think he has a chance.  

Given the recent performance, I think it would be insulting to name a hitter. Presley or Berrios
    • Mike Sixel and gunnarthor like this

For me, it's Berrios. His curve and fastball would look good on that stage. He may not have the consistency yet to really deserve it, but he has the talent. He can stand up to anybody.

 

But considering that it is stillseven weeks away, I think two other contenders have a good chance, if they have a hot streak.

 

If Dozier bangs out 15 homers in the next 7 weeks, he'd be an obvious choice, and he'd deserve it. And he has the talent to make that a real possibility.

 

And if Romero keeps up what he's been doing for seven more weeks, so would he. Managers would be drooling to call his name as a reliever.

 

Anyone else (barring a similar hot streak of course) could feel a bit forced, frankly, like a pity pick. Yes, Rosario is carrying the team offensively. But is he really one of the best outfielders in the game? Is Escobar really one of the best infielders in the game? Just doesn't feel right, to me.

 

But Berrios, Dozier, and Romero are all capable of dominating the league for weeks at a time. And I think there's a good chance one of them will, which would make the pick easy.

 

But if I was picking someone right now, I'd send Berrios. I'd love seeing him make an All-Star freeze or flail at his curveball. And I believe he could do it.

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the_brute_squad
May 30 2018 05:00 PM

As Rosario goes, so go the Twins. 

The unfortunate thing is if you based All-Star status on advance pub we'd have the entire outfield, pitching staff, and the starting 3rd basement for the AL.If only projections met reality in MN.... if only.

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Winston Smith
May 30 2018 05:30 PM

They could always send Tim Laudner.

As Rosario goes, so go the Twins.
The unfortunate thing is if you based All-Star status on advance pub we'd have the entire outfield, pitching staff, and the starting 3rd basement for the AL. If only projections met reality in MN.... if only.


Which publications had all those players projected as all stars? Certainly not any that I saw.
I'd have been shocked to see a publication projecting anyone in our rotation, except maybe Berrios, as an all star.

Most places had them projected as a roughly .500 team, give or take, so they are roughly right as projected.
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ashburyjohn
May 30 2018 08:35 PM

At the moment I'd choose Rosario. Hitting .300 with some pop is a nice All-Star portfolio in this era.

    • Doctor Wu likes this
Escobar has a shot if he gets hit again after his recent cold spell.

Berrios has a real shot due to ability, his hot start which got a lot of national publicity, and the fact that he's found himself again after a couple not so great performances.

Romero also has a real shot, his bad outing against the Royals tonight notwithstanding. He's not going to be Superman every night. But if he can keep it up.....

Dozier heating up soon could put him there, but with all due admiration and respect, he's a long shot IMO.

Rosario is the choice if you only get one guy, with Berrios a close second. Cringe if you will at a play here here and there Rosario will make, but man is this kid talented and dynamic!

 

At the moment I'd choose Rosario. Hitting .300 with some pop is a nice All-Star portfolio in this era.

I'd been thinking a pitcher would be the Twins lone representative, but the way Rosario keeps playing ... hmm, he might be the one. Then again, if this teams starts to put it together, having two All-Star picks wouldn't be so far-fetched either.

    • ashburyjohn likes this
Rosario is deserving and perhaps Berrios.
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ashburyjohn
Jun 05 2018 07:57 PM

having two All-Star picks

Wait, the rules allow that? :)

    • Mike Sixel likes this
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yarnivek1972
Jun 12 2018 08:02 PM
I guess the question is will the Twins get more than one.

I could see the players voting in a guy like Escobar.

I think Rosario might be a final vote candidate.

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