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Eddie or Miguel or Byron or Max? You choose

Posted by mikelink45 , 11 November 2020 · 2,696 views

miguel sano byron buxton max kepler eddie rosario minnesota twins
Eddie or Miguel or Byron or Max?  You choose
  • Kepler sliding
  • Miguel Sano
  • Max Kepler
  • Sano
  • Eddie Rosario
  • eddie rosario twins
  • buxton
  • Byron

Since the main TD articles keep talking about Eddie Rosario being traded, cut, cursed or whatever you want to call it I thought it might be instructive to do a comparison of all the six year players on the roster. In a move that we all thought would make the future of the Twins we had Eddie, Byron, Miguel, and Max arrive the same year and it did not take long before they were part of a home run hitting behemoth and twice got to the playoffs where they, like their predecessors failed. (I chose not to include pitchers since there is no way to have equivalent values between pitchers and position players.) Now all the discussions are about Eddie being too expensive and not needed. Why?

Over the same six years here is there worth in Baseball Reference WAR -
  • Max Kepler 12..3
  • Byron Buxton 11.7
  • Eddie Rosario 11.6
  • Miguel Sano 7.6
That makes the case for Eddie a little stronger as his WAR is not far off the top two and Miguel is the bottom (he was -0.2 this year).

How about OBP?
  • Sano 332
  • Kepler 319
  • Eddie 310
  • Buxton 289
OBP seems to consistently be the knock on Eddie, but in comparison he is not looking as bad as all the articles seem to hint.

Okay let's try OPS and spruce up the data:
  • Sano 829
  • Eddie 788
  • Kepler 763
  • Buxton 719
Sano blows them all away, but look who is second!

Home Runs?
  • Sano 131
  • Eddie 119
  • Max 101
  • Byron 51
Eddie looks pretty good here too.

So being a traditionalist - what about RBIs? I know some of you do not believe in them, but what do you do when no one brings in the baserunners? I know - lose the playoffs.
  • Eddie 388
  • Miguel 344
  • Max 303
  • Buxton 172
Like I have commented elsewhere, Eddie has a knack for bringing in runners and in this lineup, who doesn't have an opportunity?

Another old tradition is BA - so let's check it out.
  • Rosario 277
  • Sano 241
  • Buxton 238
  • Kepler 237
What about scoring runs? Yes runs win games.
  • Rosario 400
  • Max 324
  • Sano 317
  • Buxton 204
So who stays on the field? Games played
  • Rosario 697
  • Max 601
  • Miguel 539
  • Buxton 432
I know - you can say just think of the stats that the others would have if they played the same number of games - the trouble is they didn't. Max missed more than the number of games in last years short season - actually he missed the equivalent of 1 1/2 of last years games. Miquel is 158 games short - close to a full season and Buxton is 265 games shore - one full season plus 100 more! Can we say that Eddie is dependable?

Someone will say, ya, but he can't field. I do not like a lot of fielding metrics but for the sake of this essay here is 2020 Fangraphs fielding for the four players
  • Buxton 2.5
  • Rosario 1.2
  • Kepler -0.7
  • Sano -2.2
Everyone told me that Kepler was such a valuable fielder and Rosario was terrible.

So baserunning - yep Rosario is a loose cannon here - I cannot justify his 2020 ranking
  • Kepler 2.3
  • Sano 2.3
  • Buxton 0.4
  • Eddie -2
So there are all the various listings that seem to be part of the discussions. That is 10 statistical comparisons - if I treat them all as equal - I leave it to you to argue - then the one with the least points (if someone finished 1st in all they would have 10 points) should rate highest. Here are the point totals
  • Rosario 20
  • Sano 23
  • Kepler 24
  • Buxton 29
At this point in their careers I would say Rosario was the most valuable of the four, but beyond statistics that is also my bias. Prove me wrong or agree with me, but don't just say I think!

  • Platoon, nclahammer, Doctor Gast and 1 other like this



Great read, Mike, thanks!

 

As you know, I have been a huge fan of Rosario since he was at Elizabethton however many years ago. 

 

Will be interesting to see what the Twins do. Have a feeling they may not think they have only two options, release him or go to arbitration. With all the unknowns in the World, they may just sit down and do a one or two year deal that both sides can live with.

 

The biggest question I have from your numbers is Kepler's D. I refuse to believe that he is negative defensively. Maybe he took a hit in 2019 when he played much of the season with various injuries because most of the others outfielders weren't available. 

    • mikelink45, nclahammer and Doctor Gast like this
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Nate Palmer
Nov 11 2020 03:00 PM

Very much enjoy this Mike. I have always held the opinion that Rosario isn't a bad player, the Twins just have a lot of players that can replace him when it comes to most numbers. 

 

At this point, the thing that may set Kepler and Sano apart from Rosario as far as how they will treated going forward is the contract situation. Although, in this offseason's market I also wouldn't be shocked if either of those two become trade assets likely changing the keep or let walk conversation with Rosario. 

 

As a fan, my internal struggle is I very much enjoy watching both Rosario and Cave. Eventually it will likely become difficult for both to exist on the roster with the young guys coming up behind them! 

    • mikelink45 likes this
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LA VIkes Fan
Nov 11 2020 03:09 PM

Kepler's negative defensive number is odd and doesn't seem to gibe with his overall WAR rating since he sure isn't getting a lot of WAR from his bat (except for 2019).Otherwise, the data kind of shows what one would expect; Rosario is the best offensive player of the group but he comes with some baggage on the basepaths and in the field. Buston has the most upside but hasn't shown it, Sano has upside but some glaring issues, and Kepler is consistent but is consistently meh at the plale (expect for 2019) while strong in the field. Kepler's 2017, 2018 and 2020 suggests that 2019 was the outlier and not a harbinger of things to come. Makes for a tough ranking. 

 

The one thing that may make the difference is that 3 of them are signed longer term and Rosario isn't. He may have played in a contractual cake walk and wound up without a chair. That shouldn't be the be and end all, and a longer term reasonable contract may make guys more tradable, but that may determine who stays and who goes. 

 

Personally, I'm coming around to the idea that we should trade Sano, play Kiriloff and Rooker at 1B/4th OF, and sign Rosario for 3 years, same money. That assumes Rosario would take 8-10m/yr and that there is some market for Sano given his 3 year deal and upside. Trade him to the NL if possible (Miami?)and try to get a couple of "real" pitching prospects. To me, that's a better alternative than waiving or non-tendering Rosario. 

    • TopGunn#22 and mikelink45 like this
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Doctor Gast
Nov 11 2020 03:19 PM

 

 With all the unknowns in the World, they may just sit down and do a one or two year deal that both sides can live with.

 

 

That has been my hope. But we`ll have to wait & see

    • mikelink45 likes this

 

Great read, Mike, thanks!

 

As you know, I have been a huge fan of Rosario since he was at Elizabethton however many years ago. 

 

Will be interesting to see what the Twins do. Have a feeling they may not think they have only two options, release him or go to arbitration. With all the unknowns in the World, they may just sit down and do a one or two year deal that both sides can live with.

 

The biggest question I have from your numbers is Kepler's D. I refuse to believe that he is negative defensively. Maybe he took a hit in 2019 when he played much of the season with various injuries because most of the others outfielders weren't available. 

I was surprised too

 

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tony&rodney
Nov 11 2020 05:59 PM

Count me as an Eddie fan. Good job with the comparisons here and keeping it simple too. I would guess that a detailed look from every possible angle would return similar rankings. The one item that jumps out is games played. Rosario is almost always available. I have nothing to back this up but he seems to play through injuries better than others, and i am not advocating for playing while injured at all. Sometimes Eddie played when the other options didn't exist. I am wondering, like everyone else, how the team will handle roster decisions this winter. It does seem like one spot should be available for the youth, but any number of shifts can take place from trades to inability to resign Cruz. Eddie Rosario is an exciting ballplayer and I would love to see him rake again next summer.

    • mikelink45 and nclahammer like this

Adding on to the comparisons:

 

Playoffs:

Rosario 6 games, .217/.250/.522 (.772 OPS)
Buxton 3 games, .167/.167/.167 (.333 OPS)
Sano 5 games, .105/.150/.263 (.413 OPS)
Kepler 6 games, .056/.320/.375 (.431 OPS)

 

Yuck. And Eddie's is with 0/7 vs the Astros!

 

I'm not all aboard the Rosario train, but he's certainly not a bad player. He should be a 1.5-3 WAR player again in 2021. I wouldn't give him a multi-year extension, but I wouldn't hate it if he was tendered. I would like to get him back if we lose Cruz, but I'm also comfortable with the future of the LF spot with Kiriloff and Larnach close to being ready.

    • mikelink45 and nclahammer like this

I love watching Eddie Rosario play baseball!!

 

That said, Kepler and Sano agreed to the Twins long-term deals so they don't have to go year to year with them. Rosario was offered similar deals at those times (I don't know which offseason or what the offers were, of course). He chose to go year-to-year and this becomes the downside of that... though he could become a free agent in a couple of weeks and maybe end up with a long-term deal from somewhere. 

 

And Buxton has another year beyond 2021 of arbitration. If 2021 doesn't go well for Buxton, there may be a tough decision on him a year from now. 

    • mikelink45 likes this
Mike, tremendous post! And really, despite endless OP's before on the front page, I'd like to see this one moved there.

I LOVE Eddie, even though he has made me pull my hair out many times or made me take an extra sip or two from my beverage of choice at times. I absolutely think he is a better player than given credit for at times. Like you, I've always chafed when some argue his RBI production and dismiss it as being in a good lineup and in a good spot. You still have to produce, right? And Eddie has, no doubt!

The problem is, with all due respect and love for Eddie, is there someone knocking on the door who could do it as well or better who is younger and cheaper?

We can compare Eddie and Max all day. Max is better defensively overall, younger, might have a higher ceiling, and might be better and more productive than he has been lower in the order instead of hitting #1. Also, it's really, really hard to look at the potential of Kirilloff, maybe Larnach, and NOT see better overall hitters who might not have the same "flair" but who are better overall "hitters". Power is awesome. Production is most important. Defense is really nice. But sometimes a younger player has as much or more ability to do all of that and maybe more.

We can't lose Eddie and Cruz in the same year. But we have, I think, at least one ready replacement for Eddie. And I think we are going to be very OK with our #1 option there. We might even be better, overall, very soon.

Kirilloff is going to be a stud!
    • TopGunn#22, mikelink45, dbminn and 1 other like this

Great article Mike !Still, I haven't changed my mind.Gotta keep Buxton because he's our CF'er.Kepler doesn't have the overall success with the bat that Eddie has, but he's a better overall player in my mind.I've been banging the drum all off-season and will continue throughout the winter It's time to TRADE Sano !! 

 

We have Kiriloff and Rooker who are ready and frankly will be more "consistent" offensive threats than Sano.They will have consistently "better" at bats.

 

Eddie is the odd man out.With Kiriloff, Rooker and Larnach he is not cost effective.The Twins need to use the money saved from moving on from Sano and Rosario on other areas.For Sano, Colorado and Miami would be a couple of GM's I'd be calling.For Eddie, it's time to just let him go.That doesn't mean we can't cheer him on while he plays for another team.  

 

However, the Twins cannot move on from Sano and Eddie AND fail to bring back Nellie Cruz.They need Cruz in that lineup more than ever before.If they have the courage to move on from Sano and Eddie, I think they will find a way to bring Nellie back. 

    • mikelink45 likes this

 

Great article Mike !Still, I haven't changed my mind.Gotta keep Buxton because he's our CF'er.Kepler doesn't have the overall success with the bat that Eddie has, but he's a better overall player in my mind.I've been banging the drum all off-season and will continue throughout the winter It's time to TRADE Sano !! 

 

We have Kiriloff and Rooker who are ready and frankly will be more "consistent" offensive threats than Sano.They will have consistently "better" at bats.

 

Eddie is the odd man out.With Kiriloff, Rooker and Larnach he is not cost effective.The Twins need to use the money saved from moving on from Sano and Rosario on other areas.For Sano, Colorado and Miami would be a couple of GM's I'd be calling.For Eddie, it's time to just let him go.That doesn't mean we can't cheer him on while he plays for another team.  

 

However, the Twins cannot move on from Sano and Eddie AND fail to bring back Nellie Cruz.They need Cruz in that lineup more than ever before.If they have the courage to move on from Sano and Eddie, I think they will find a way to bring Nellie back. 

I read your report and it makes sense, but it makes me sad

 

 A very good read that presents some very intriguing perspectives. I'm an Eddie Rosario fan, always have been, I would like to see the Twins sign him to a 1 year deal. He's on the field so much more than any other Twins outfielder and he has been consistently productive. I too have patches of hair that I've pulled out in frustration over his base-running miscues and errant throws when he missed the cutoff.Overall, I like his passion for the game and the way he produces.

    • mikelink45 likes this

Eddie has been a great player for the Twins. It's just time to move on -- more because of contract and depth than anything else. To be cliche, it's a business.

 

I'd rather not see him non-tendered, because I feel like that's a slight to his skill. But I won't be heartbroken if it happens either.

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stringer bell
Nov 13 2020 09:49 AM

Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Even after 4-5 years in the majors, players take different trajectories in their career. I have seen analysis that Eddie will not age well, I certainly don't know if that is true. It seems that being healthy in 2020, he was able to improve his overall stat line from 2019 and not many Twins were able to say that. 

 

Rosario is a free agent after this year and he plays a position where the Twins have many of their best prospects on the cusp of playing for the big team. The other three players won't be free agents until later and Buxton plays a key defensive position. Kepler and SanĂ³ both are under contract with cost certainty. 

 

 

    • mikelink45 likes this

 

Eddie has been a great player for the Twins. It's just time to move on -- more because of contract and depth than anything else. To be cliche, it's a business.

 

I'd rather not see him non-tendered, because I feel like that's a slight to his skill. But I won't be heartbroken if it happens either.

If he is non-tendered I would find the FO at fault for not getting some value from him.

 

Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Even after 4-5 years in the majors, players take different trajectories in their career. I have seen analysis that Eddie will not age well, I certainly don't know if that is true. It seems that being healthy in 2020, he was able to improve his overall stat line from 2019 and not many Twins were able to say that. 

 

Rosario is a free agent after this year and he plays a position where the Twins have many of their best prospects on the cusp of playing for the big team. The other three players won't be free agents until later and Buxton plays a key defensive position. Kepler and SanĂ³ both are under contract with cost certainty. 

I wonder what they use to judge players ability to age.I no of no metrics that are trustworthy on that judgment.Eddie is the one who plays, his health seems like less concern than Max, Byron and Miguel.

 

Nice article on a central issue for the Twins off-season / progress. It seems Sano or Kepler are the most valuable trade pieces with the most obvious replacements in-house.

 

Their contract status enhances their value - couple the return of assets they could bring with the likely production levels of Kirilloff, Larnach and/or Rooker in their place and a viable trade strategy emerges that enhances the roster.

    • mikelink45 likes this

Is Rosario too expensive? That seems to be the question. Can he be too expensive with a 2-3 year deal at this point, too?

 

Three of the four mentioned haven't really lived up to their potential.

 

Sano is always the elephant in the room. Do you look for a better third baseman? Do you look for a better first baseman? Is he the designated hitter the Twins need for life? Do we still shudder at the ghost of David Ortiz and fear a departing Sano will be the second coming of such a ghost. He is considre3d cheap for the current longer haul. And the ultimate, what is his worth to someone else at this point.

 

Buxton just can't stay healthy. Jeez. What a thing to be tagged with. We have seen Hunter leave. A run thru names like Span and Gomez and Revere and Hicks, most all have produced at times better than Byron. What is Byron besides a ground traveller? Does he have bigger power? Will he ever be a base stealing threat? He can go from first to home faster than anyone. The Twins managed to get that extra year, as well as cheaper hearings because of on field time. From just being in the line-up and playing a lesser field, Rosario has more worth, it seems.

 

Kepler. Man. I hated the fact that he batted leadoff in 2019 and moreso in 2020. I don't think he is a leadoff hitter, and is best placed in the lower portion of the order. He is mighty cheap, and IF he shines will have better trade value. Right now, he is more valuable to the Twins.

 

The question is where do you put Krilloff, Larnach, Rooker (and to a lesser extent names like Baddoo, Wallner, Celestino, Maciel - all of whom would probably be on par with any of our current guys in years to come). Throw in the mix the need to looks at Urbina or Soularie in the next 3-4 years. Plus, Royce Lewis could be an outfielder instead of an infielder.

 

Truth be told, I would take an option on getting Rosario signed for a team friendly 3-year-deal and move from there. I would entertain any offers for Sano or Kepler and even Buxton. Moreso hoping the value of all four of these guys will sky in 2021 and you can comfortably work in Kirilloff and Rooker with an open DH position (sorry Cruz) and Larnach later in the season, and still not hurt yourself offensively.

 

I hate the though of getting nothing for Eddie and just letting him walk. That's what we did with Ortiz - not that Eddie is Big Papi. 

 

The Twins have been lucky offensively that the team does play as a good team on the field and overall in the batting order. 2021 showed that there are weaknesses in these guys and no one, including Polanco and Arraez and Garver, are set for the longterm, but still offer team play - which is most important. No superstars, including these big four that promised so much.

    • mikelink45 likes this

 

Is Rosario too expensive? That seems to be the question. Can he be too expensive with a 2-3 year deal at this point, too?

 

Three of the four mentioned haven't really lived up to their potential.

 

Sano is always the elephant in the room. Do you look for a better third baseman? Do you look for a better first baseman? Is he the designated hitter the Twins need for life? Do we still shudder at the ghost of David Ortiz and fear a departing Sano will be the second coming of such a ghost. He is considre3d cheap for the current longer haul. And the ultimate, what is his worth to someone else at this point.

 

Buxton just can't stay healthy. Jeez. What a thing to be tagged with. We have seen Hunter leave. A run thru names like Span and Gomez and Revere and Hicks, most all have produced at times better than Byron. What is Byron besides a ground traveller? Does he have bigger power? Will he ever be a base stealing threat? He can go from first to home faster than anyone. The Twins managed to get that extra year, as well as cheaper hearings because of on field time. From just being in the line-up and playing a lesser field, Rosario has more worth, it seems.

 

Kepler. Man. I hated the fact that he batted leadoff in 2019 and moreso in 2020. I don't think he is a leadoff hitter, and is best placed in the lower portion of the order. He is mighty cheap, and IF he shines will have better trade value. Right now, he is more valuable to the Twins.

 

The question is where do you put Krilloff, Larnach, Rooker (and to a lesser extent names like Baddoo, Wallner, Celestino, Maciel - all of whom would probably be on par with any of our current guys in years to come). Throw in the mix the need to looks at Urbina or Soularie in the next 3-4 years. Plus, Royce Lewis could be an outfielder instead of an infielder.

 

Truth be told, I would take an option on getting Rosario signed for a team friendly 3-year-deal and move from there. I would entertain any offers for Sano or Kepler and even Buxton. Moreso hoping the value of all four of these guys will sky in 2021 and you can comfortably work in Kirilloff and Rooker with an open DH position (sorry Cruz) and Larnach later in the season, and still not hurt yourself offensively.

 

I hate the though of getting nothing for Eddie and just letting him walk. That's what we did with Ortiz - not that Eddie is Big Papi. 

 

The Twins have been lucky offensively that the team does play as a good team on the field and overall in the batting order. 2021 showed that there are weaknesses in these guys and no one, including Polanco and Arraez and Garver, are set for the longterm, but still offer team play - which is most important. No superstars, including these big four that promised so much.

Wonderful post.Full of great takes - one thing stuck out - Ortiz.What if Eddie was a DH and we did not talk fielding?Would he be a star?

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tony&rodney
Nov 21 2020 08:15 AM

We are looking for a shoehorn. Cruz, Sano, Rosario, Buxton, Kepler, Rooker, Kirilloff, and Larnach. Cave is a viable OF too. The Twins have five positions to allocate, a budget to consider, and two players too many. The idea of stashing Rooker, Kirilloff, and Larnach in the minor leagues no longer seems like a structurally sound plan. While only the Twins internal talent evaluations count, we have seen both Rooker and Kirilloff swing a bat already and Larnach is not a secret. Eddie Rosario has been a clear contributor for the Twins and I have not seen any dramatic changes to his talent. A three year offer to Eddie is a path forward for the Twins, as is a consideration of using him more often as a DH. This will be a tough winter for Falvine as they work through all of the roster possibilities. No matter what direction the team goes, we will miss the two players left standing when the music stops and the chairs are claimed.

    • mikelink45 likes this