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Who will be on first

Posted by mikelink45 , 05 September 2018 · 1,483 views

mauer austin twins first base
Who will be on first Okay, we know Joe is on first, but we do not know if Joe wants to stay there or go home and be a dad. Actually we do not know how Mrs Joe feels about this. Joe is the perfect compliment to our existing infield, not because he hits well, he and Robbie Grossman are the walk guys if you like that for your batters. But right now it is Joe's glove that is saving this rather mediocre group of fielders.

First base is a nice place for Austin or Sano or Grossman, but we do not have the greatest fielders and they can use the security of a really good fielding first baseman. Ask the pitchers what they think.

So Joe can play the I am not sure card and the FO can say we traded for Austin and Cave and have Sano and others ready for 1B and all can provide the tradition 1B power. Have fun with the negotiations - Joe is not coming back cheap.

So who wins? Fielding and nostalgia or power and youth? I am not sure. This is the list of possible 1B for 2019 - how would you arrange them?
  • Joe Mauer
  • Tyler Austin
  • Miguel Sano
  • Robbie Grossman
  • Jake Cave
  • Brent Rooker
Or do you sign a FA and set back all the young guys? The infield is not as strong as the outfield, the answers are much more complicated - defense versus batting.

  • nclahammer likes this



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Winston Smith
Sep 05 2018 05:05 PM

Grossman? Why?

 

Grossman? Why?

Because someone sure loves him on this FO/Mgmt team.

1. I am optimistic that Brent Rooker may one day be a good MLB player. However, he has posted a .255/.333/.465 (.798) line in AA. He is not ready.

2. Jake Cave is, and please don't get too upset about this, our best hitting outfielder not named Rosario. Sadly, I don't see any Twins outfielder in the organization swinging a bat well enough to force him to change his position.

3. Sano loses value when he moves to first. It would also open a hole at third. And so far this year Sano has not hit as well as Mauer. It remains to be seen if he will provide above average value at any position.

4. Grossman has a lower BA, OBP and SLG than Mauer. He's also not as good a fielder. I understand you are just trying to start a conversation, but I'm not sure he belongs on this list.

5. Tyler Austin may have some promise, but the Yankees let us have him even as their current first baseman is sporting a .670 OPS. What do they know that we don't yet know?

 

Of the 25 1B with a 'qualified' number of plate appearances in MLB this year, 9 of them have a lower fWAR than Joe Mauer. FanGraphs rates 15 of them as poorer fielders than Mauer (using their Defensive Runs above Replacement metric).

 

I understand that people want the 2006 version of Justin Morneau at first base for the Twins next year, but we don't have one of those. If the Twins sign Mauer for another year, I will not feel that this means they are 'giving up' on 2019. 

 

Hopefully someone young and awesome will step up and force their way into the lineup at first base in the not-too-distant future. In the meantime, Mauer is a better option than several other teams have managed to put on the field.

 

While frustrating, I believe this to be the truth of the situation.

    • LA VIkes Fan, mikelink45, tarheeltwinsfan and 1 other like this

 

1. I am optimistic that Brent Rooker may one day be a good MLB player. However, he has posted a .255/.333/.465 (.798) line in AA. He is not ready.

2. Jake Cave is, and please don't get too upset about this, our best hitting outfielder not named Rosario. Sadly, I don't see any Twins outfielder in the organization swinging a bat well enough to force him to change his position.

3. Sano loses value when he moves to first. It would also open a hole at third. And so far this year Sano has not hit as well as Mauer. It remains to be seen if he will provide above average value at any position.

4. Grossman has a lower BA, OBP and SLG than Mauer. He's also not as good a fielder. I understand you are just trying to start a conversation, but I'm not sure he belongs on this list.

5. Tyler Austin may have some promise, but the Yankees let us have him even as their current first baseman is sporting a .670 OPS. What do they know that we don't yet know?

 

Of the 25 1B with a 'qualified' number of plate appearances in MLB this year, 9 of them have a lower fWAR than Joe Mauer. FanGraphs rates 15 of them as poorer fielders than Mauer (using their Defensive Runs above Replacement metric).

 

I understand that people want the 2006 version of Justin Morneau at first base for the Twins next year, but we don't have one of those. If the Twins sign Mauer for another year, I will not feel that this means they are 'giving up' on 2019. 

 

Hopefully someone young and awesome will step up and force their way into the lineup at first base in the not-too-distant future. In the meantime, Mauer is a better option than several other teams have managed to put on the field.

 

While frustrating, I believe this to be the truth of the situation.

I agree with you.I am trying to look at this position along with the other infield question marks because I am not seeing any plans for the future and the comments I keep reading make him 50/50.Since the other options are so poor I would keep him for his glove alone.

    • Oldgoat_MN likes this
Mauer if he accepts a one year for $6 million or less. Otherwise Austin. In 2020, whoever is further along between Rooker or Kirilloff (or some surprise player who starts 2019 in AA). By the way, thanks for starting these, MikeLink.
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Winston Smith
Sep 06 2018 12:14 PM

Is it time to start one of these on who could be the next manager IF (that's a big if) Molly is fired?

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LA VIkes Fan
Sep 06 2018 02:49 PM

I agree. Is Mauer a top tier 1B? No overall, definitely no at the plate. Is he the best of the present and likely alternatives? Absolutely YES.Better than Austin, better than Kepler, better than Sano, better than Vargas, better than Cave, etc... Thosw who think we should move on to Austin because he supposedly is better now than Mauer should put down the crack pipe and chill. 

1B, like every other position on the team with the possible exception of LF, is a position up for grabs in 2019. This is not a playoff team, as set, in 2019. I wouldoffer Joe the position for 2019 if this was a playoff contender. They have done nothing this year to show that 2019 will be the year so why plan on Joe as the firstbaseman? He won't be there 2, 3 or 4 years from now when this team is more likely to be a playoff contender. So for next year why not start with Austin or someone else there? 

 

I would have liked Sano, Buxton, Polanco or Kepler to supprt their claim on a position, but for this year anyway only Rosario has laid claim to a position, be it Lf or Rf.

    • Oldgoat_MN likes this
I love all the comments and interactions. I have to post this on each of my blog. I'm currently guiding a trip in Michigan in the u p and it does not allow me to comment on your individual postings but I really appreciate all the thoughts

Who's on first? Well, considering a fairly weak free agent class (works to Mauer's advantage) and NO ONE in the system ready, the Twins are stuck with...Joe Mauer. Tyler Austin CAN play first like he CAN play the outfield.So basically, you have Tyler AUstin as DH and Mauer at 1B and the two can spell each other. Good for 2019. Possibly good for 2020.

 

But Austin is still a question mark. We hope he can produce better than, say, Logan Morrison did in 2018. But we really don't know.

 

Who else? Should the Twins have given Kennys Vargas another chance by adding him to the 40-man (instead of a couple of others who WON'T BE HERE in 2019 for sure? Of course, Vargas is not the guy you would put on first everyday. But by adding him to the 40-man, you could've played him and kept him on the 40-man and make a decision to remove him if you bring back Mauer. Considering he is going to walk anyways, you could've brought some time.

 

Do we know Sano can play first base? Fulltime? Or is he just another soul that you rotate with a guy like Austin in the DH role? If you seriously are thinking of Sano in 2019 at first base, you should've started playing him here NOW. Considering you now have Petitt to play third, right?

 

Catching is considered the weak position for depth in the organization. Sadly, the same can be said for first base. No true FIRST BASE candidates exist. Most are capable of playing adequately another position (outfield) as well as first base, and probably just as well as, say, Austin. Names like Rooker and Weil and Diaz and Rodriguez are in the pipeline.

 

So, looks like Mauer will return. Combine him with Austin, maybe give Sano some time, and you are set. If Sano can be comfortable at first base and proves to be the prospect we all think he is, then he will play until he can't. 

 

You mention Grossman? Trying to find another play for Robby? I would almost rather see trying Kepler at first base (he played there a bit in the low minors) and opening an outfield position for a hungry Buxton or any of the other young guys who MAY be here in 2020.

 

But when do you try Kepler, if you think you can. 

 

I spent this whole season seeing Joe Mauer as the guy screwing everything up...where to play him, where to bat him, how long do you keep him. Now that the Twins have an opportunity to NOT sign him, Miguel Sano becomes the same huy. Where to play him, where to bat him, do you keep him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kennys Vargas?
Max Kepler?

 

Kennys Vargas?
Max Kepler

Vargas AAA OPS - .752

Mauer- .721

That isn't endorsement for Mauer, that is a huge He!! no on Vargas.

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stringer bell
Sep 08 2018 12:16 PM

I want Kepler in the conversation at first. It seems his weakest tool as an outfielder is his arm, which would be minimized at first. He's tall, surehanded and a lefty, with some experience in the minors. It would give Jake Cave more playing time and putt together a pretty formidable lineup against RH pitching. 

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puckstopper1
Sep 11 2018 09:11 AM

 

 

3. Sano loses value when he moves to first. 

 

Yup - Sano's value goes from nearly none to almost none if he makes this transition.

 

If they can't get Mauer at a reasonable price, resign Esco to be your everyday 3B and see if Sano can handle a IB/DH combo.