There are plenty of reasons to celebrate this impending Phil Hughes deal as a coup for the Twins. After all, Hughes is a relatively young pitcher who has potential upside and, as a fly ball pitcher, he finally gets to leave the launching pad in the Bronx (not to mention, away from the beasts of the east). For an average annual value of $8M per year, a value he has eclipsed in three of the past five seasons according to Fangraphs.com, it is hard to find a downside.
There is a baseball adage among scouts and evaluators that you get fooled in spring training and in September.
In both cases, teams are giving opportunity to evaluate younger, inexperienced players to often face other younger, inexperienced players. Have a big Grapefruit League performance, like outfielder Aaron Hicks, and suddenly you may find yourself with a starting position in April. Similarly, have a big September call-up performance, as Chris Parmelee
At the end of May, Minnesota Twins second baseman Brian Dozier was batting a sad .214/.259/.299 and providing little reassurance that he would be able to consistently hit major league pitching. Since then, however, Dozier has been on fire offensively and has posted a robust .254/.340/.492 line with 10 home runs in his last 270 plate appearances.
This turnaround has been amazing for Dozier, but it has not been entirely unexpected. In the spring, Dozier showcased
Stop me if you have heard this already but Bryon Buxton is doing stupid good stuff on the baseball field.
Already Buxton has proven that he is far and above the competition level in the Midwest League. He is leading the league in on-base percentage (.431), slugging (.561), runs scored (65) and weighted on-base average (.422). More conventionally, he is second in batting average (.344) and triples (8), and third in walks (40). That does not even begin to
Last year, as Brian Dozier’s offensive season sank deeper in the abyss, Andrew Bryz-Gornia at TwinkieTown pointed out how many different stances Dozier displayed.
While the frequent changes in his batting stance acted as a visual barometer to his overall hitting struggles – the constant alteration a sign that he never was comfortable at the plate – his front side mechanics may have been one of the sources that led to his poor numbers.
In 2012, Dozier’s swing contained a
As Spring Training approaches, we’ve hashed and re-hashed Prospect Lists. We’ve dissected the signing of Kevin Correia many times over. We’ve projected lineups of every affiliate.
There are few things more informative than talking with those that are behind the information. So today let’s do something else. Let’s talk scouting with West Coast Scouting Supervisor Sean Johnson.
First off, huge thanks to Sean! As baseball is starting to get rolling, he took
There is no shortage in interest of Miguel Sano among Minnesota Twins fans.
Last weekend, extended lines stretched around the Dome of people waiting to secure an autograph of a player who is still several years away from making his big league debut. This week, MLB.com announced their Top 100 prospects and labeled Sano the best third base prospect in baseball as well as the 12th overall in the game. He’s all the rage.
Rarely do I field any question more from Twins fans
When the Minnesota Twins traded Ben Revere to the Philadelphia Phillies, they acquired one pitcher who can help the team immediately, Vance Worley, and another who is expected to contribute in the future in Trevor May.
Because Worley is the known commodity who will be a member the starting rotation right away, let’s focus on him first and breakdown May next week.
Affectionately known as “Vanimal” to the Phillie fan base, the 25-year-old Worley
After punishing spring training pitchers and promoting himself this offseason, Danny Valencia’s output in the regular season has left something to be desired. Coming off a down year in 2011 and made promises of rebounding and rededicating himself for this season. Rather than coming out the gates to a hot start, he now finds himself on the hot seat poised to lose starts.
What has gone wrong for the Twins third baseman?
In 2011, I attributed his
On Friday night’s Fox Sports North broadcast of the Twins game, Dick and Bert talked about some things the coaching staff had relayed to them about Francisco Liriano and his upcoming start. Pitching coach Rick Anderson said that the key to getting Liriano back to his spring training form in which he was producing a lot of strikeouts and keeping from walking hitters was to ease up on throwing his two-seamed fastball so much.
Interestingly enough, the Twins insistence a year ago for
After the split series in New York - one in which the bullpen absorbed 70% of the innings in four games - the Minnesota Twins relievers head to Tampa feeling more taxed than the Dutch population.
(Yeah, that’s right: tax humor.)
On Thursday, Anthony Swarzak, a rotation fill-in who is lobbying for a more permanent position, coaxed Ron Gardenhire out of the dugout once again prematurely, ending his night without getting out of the third inning.
Swarzak, in his
Following a spring in which he struck out 33 and walked just five opponents, for three straight starts Francisco Liriano has failed to demonstrate much command over the strike zone.
After posting a 49.2% first-pitch strike rate in 2011, the worst mark in baseball, the Twins left-handers has come out of the gate attempting to best that by throwing a first-pitch strike just 42.9% of the time. Meanwhile, as the rest of the league has peppered the strike zone with bullets 49% of the time
Just two seasons into Target Field’s existence and already the ballpark’s environment had drawn as much consternation from hitters as an expanded strike zone or moving the mound ten feet closer to the plate. Departing Twins took shots at the venue as they left the team, suggesting that the way the field plays makes players alter their swings to avoid long fly outs to the gaps.
Rather than continuing to jam square pegs into a round hole, the Twins made an offseason signing that is
On Saturday, Joel Zumaya, the Twins key bullpen addition of the offseason, prepared to throw live batting practice for the first time in the spring.
After 13 pitches, he was headed off the mound and into an MRI machine.
News broke on Sunday that the injury, a snapped UCL, would require Tommy John surgery and that it would end his 2012 Comeback Player of the Year campaign, his time with the Twins and, very likely, his career. Because of his extensive history with injuries,