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What if the Twins had drafted Prior or Teixeira instead of Mauer?

Posted by notoriousgod71 , 26 December 2017 · 1,903 views

What if the Twins had drafted Mark Prior or Mark Teixeira instead of Joe Mauer?
Key Players Affected by Alternate Draft Choices
2002 Prior WAR: 2.6 ERA 3.32 FIP 3.16 xFIP 3.04
2003 Prior WAR: 7.5 ERA 2.43 FIP 2.47 xFIP 2.92
2004 Prior WAR: 2.7 ERA 4.02 FIP 3.53 xFIP 3.64
2005 Prior WAR: 2.8 ERA 3.67 FIP 3.85 xFIP 3.38
2006 Prior awful
2002 Mauer xxx
2003 Mauer xxx
2004 Mauer WAR 1.2 .308/.369/.570 wRC+ 139
2005 Mauer WAR 3.4 .294/.372/.411 wRC+ 108
2006 Mauer WAR 6.2 .347/.429/.507 wRC+ 141
2007 Mauer WAR 3.1 .293/.382/.426 wRC+ 114
2008 Mauer WAR 5.9 .328/.413/.451 wRC+ 133
2009 Mauer WAR 7.7 .365/.444/.587 wRC+ 170
2010 Mauer WAR 5.3 .327/.402/.469 wRC+ 136
2010 Ramos WAR .3 .278/.305/.405 wRC+ 91
2004 Pierzynski WAR 1.1 .272/.319/.410 wRC+ 88
2005 Pierzynski WAR 1.8 .257/.308/.420 wRC+ 88
2006 Pierzynski WAR 2.0 .295/.333/.436 wRC+ 93
2004 Nathan WAR 3.2 ERA 1.62 FIP 2.16 xFIP 3.24
2005 Nathan WAR 2.7 ERA 2.70 FIP 2.21 xFIP 2.81
2006 Nathan WAR 3.2 ERA 1.58 FIP 1.68 xFIP 2.39
2007 Nathan WAR 2.1 ERA 1.88 FIP 2.65 xFIP 3.17
2008 Nathan WAR 2.0 ERA 1.33 FIP 2.79 xFIP 2.90
2009 Nathan WAR 2.0 ERA 2.40 FIP 2.88 xFIP 2.95
2006 Liriano WAR 3.8 ERA 2.16 FIP 2.55 xFIP 2.38
2007 Liriano xxx
2008 Liriano WAR 1.5 ERA 3.91 FIP 3.87 xFIP 4.25
2009 Liriano WAR 1.0 ERA 5.80 FIP 4.87 xFIP 4.48
2010 Liriano WAR 5.7 ERA 3.62 FIP 2.66 xFIP 2.95
2004 Blanco WAR 0.4 .206/.260/.368 wRC+59
2006 Bonser WAR 1.3 ERA 4.22 FIP 4.55 xFIP 4.08
2007 Bonser WAR 1.4 ERA 5.10 FIP 4.91 xFIP 4.40
2008 Bonser WAR 1.2 ERA 5.93 FIP 4.19 xFIP 4.13
2002 Lohse WAR 1.8 ERA 4.23 FIP 4.77 xFIP 4.72
2003 Rogers WAR 3.1 ERA 4.57 FIP 4.25 xFIP 4.38
2003 Teixeira WAR 1.9 .259/.331/.480 wRC+105
2004 Teixeira WAR 4.0 .281./370/.560 wRC+129
2005 Teixeira WAR 5.9 .301/.379/.575 wRC+147
2006 Teixeira WAR 3.2 .282/.371/.514 wRC+ 121
TOTAL 2002 +1.7 (subtract half from Lohse)
TOTAL 2003 +4.6
TOTAL 2004 -1 (starts to get speculative as we'd have had to have had someone closing Guardado .2 Hawkins 1.2 Crain becomes the closer we envisioned when we drafted him). AJ stays instead of Blanco/Mauer
TOTAL 2005 -1.5 (again we'd have had someone closing for us) Crain effective despite terrifying peripherals, Guardado .2 Hawkins .8
TOTAL 2006 -12.9
TOTAL 2007 -6.6
TOTAL 2008 -9.1
TOTAL 2009 -9.7
TOTAL 2010 -11
If the Twins drafted Mark Prior:
2002: Jones lf Guzman ss Koskie 3b Ortiz dh Hunter cf Mientkiewcz 1b Kielty/Mohr rf Pierzynski c Rivas 2b
Radke, Milton, Reed, Prior, Lohse/Mays CL: Guardado
2003: Stewart lf Rivas 2b Mientkiewciz 1b LeCroy dh Hunter cf Koskie 3b Jones rf Pierzynski c Guzman ss
Prior, Radke, Reed, Lohse, Mays/Santana CL: Guardado
2004: Stewart lf Jones rf Koskie 3b Morneau 1b Hunter cf LeCroy dh Pieryznski c Guzman ss Rivas 2b
Prior, Santana, Radke, Silva, Lohse CL: Guardado/Hawkins/Crain
2005: Stewart lf Bartlett ss Hunter cf Morneau 1b Cuddyer 3b LeCroy dh Pierzynski c Jones rf Punto 2b
Prior, Santana, Radke, Silva, Lohse CL: Guardado/Hawkins/Crain
2006: Castillo 2b, Punto 3b, Cuddyer rf Morneau 1b Hunter cf Pierzynski c White dh Tyner lf Bartlett ss
Santana, Radke, Silva, Lohse, Baker CL: Who knows? Crain?
2007-2010 would have obviously been terrible without Mauer and Nathan (also Liriano in 2010)
Silver lineing Ramos trade unlikely
Prior career 2.31 postseason ERA
Side note: Gardy would not have taxed Prior so hard so it's possible that Prior doesn't flame out. Then again it's quite possible that he does and we get less usage out of him. Also I am terrified that Gardy would use Prior out of the bullpen in 2002, meaning we'd have Johan and Prior as mop up men. Also quite likely Prior would have toiled away in AA and not been called up until 2004.
If the Twins drafted Mark Teixeira:
2003: Stewart lf Guzman ss Teixeira 3b LeCroy dh Hunter cf Mientkiewciz 1b Jones rf Pierzynski c Rivas 2b
Radke, Reed, Lohse, Rogers, Mays/Santana CL: Guardado
-option of trading Koskie or Doug to fill holes
2004: Stewart lf Jones rf Teixeira 3b Morneau 1b Hunter cf LeCroy dh Pierzynski c Guzman ss Rivas 2b
Santana, Radke, Silva, Lohse CL: Guardado/Hawkins/Crain
2005: Stewart lf Bartlett ss Teixeira 3b Morneau 1b Hunter cf Cuddyer rf LeCroy dh Pierzynski c Punto 2b
Santana, Radke, Silva, Lohse, 5th CL: Guardado/Hawkins/Crain
2006: Castillo 2b, Tyner lf Teixeira 3b Cuddyer rf Morneau 1b Hunter cf White lf Pierzynski c Bartlett ss
Santana, Radke, Silva, Lohse, Baker CL : Who knows? Crain?
TOTAL 2002 wash
TOTAL 2003 -3 if trade Koskie -1.7 if trade Mientkiewicz
TOTAL 2004 -1.4 if trade Koskie .3 if trade Mientkiewicz
TOTAL 2005 -.2 if trade Koskie 1.6 if trade Mientkiewicz
TOTAL 2006 -9.3 if trade Koskie -9.3 if trade Mientkiewicz
Teixeira would have had to stick at third base if we traded Koskie.
Predictions: 2002 If Prior starts that means Joe Mays doesn't. Mays won the only game against Anaheim so we likely still lose series 4-1. Better guess is Prior isn't even on the roster, toiling away at AA or AAA. Same results.
-Teixeira does not play. Wash.
2003: Terry is excited at not having to sign Kenny Rogers when Milton goes down in spring training. The season is a success because of that. Santana injured himself in Game 1 of ALDS but would likely have been able to make next start. Prior and Santana give Twins 2-0 lead, Santana/Prior closes out Game 5. Run into Boston team that was loaded offensively. Would have been a great series but gut is that Boston would have won in 6 or 7. Pedro would have tossed Wayne Hattaway to the ground and we'd all hate Pedro. Or would Corey Koskie have become the Aaron Boone of the Twins?
-Teixeira is called up mid-season when Ryan trades either Koskie or Doug. If Teixeira plays first we have a pretty potent lineup but it's not enough to beat Yankees. If Ryan trades Koskie, could it have been to the Yankees??? Reds didn't get anything of note for Boone. Who knows what would have happened but I'd have been pissed at trading with the Yankees again, especially with us in the middle of a pennant race. Hopefully we traded Doug and kept Teixeira at third.
2004: Twins barely edge out Chicago/Cleveland- get swept by Yankees
-Teixeira is enough to help Twins make playoffs. If playing first base, Morneau moves to DH. Twins and Yankees go 5. Anything can happen. A.J. Strikes out and runs to first, the aura of A.J. Is enough to keep Koskie's double in play. A.J. Somehow motors around to score game winning run. Nathan doesn't blow save. Twins go up 2-0.
2005: Twins do not come close to .500- let the rebuilding begin
-Teixeira shining light on a horrible team
2006: Depending on who was signed during FA (and we saw how White and Batista turned out) this would have been an awful team. Twins started 25-33 in real life and it would have just been a downward spiral from there. Likely would not have traded for Castillo before season. Scott Tyler and “what's his name” play key roles for team.
-Punto never becomes a Piranha as he has no place to play.... unless Gardy decides he'd rather DH Morneau. Then Tyner never becomes a piranha. Team is still awful without a key offensive contributor, half season ace, and closer.
2007: more awfulness- Santana and Hunter get traded during the season
-Teixeira is traded. Who knows who Ryan would have targeted from Atlanta. My gut (based on nothing but my own contempt for Ryan) is that we acquire Francouer, Salty, and Joey Devine.
2008: way to far out in the future and much depends on who we ended up with at catcher and closer
2009: same
2010: same
In conclusion, the Twins would have been slightly better in 2002, quite a bit better in 2003, and similar in 2004 depending on who we settled on at closer. From 2005 through 2010 we are much, much worse had they selected Prior instead of Mauer.
-Teixeira, no change in 2002, 2003 depends if we trade Koskie or Mientkewicz. If Koskie the same, if Doug better. 2004 would have been helpful depending on closer situation. 2005 would have been wasting his talent. 2006 would have been awful without Liriano, Nathan, Mauer.
2007 trade Teixeira for prospects. Rinse, wash, repeat.
In retrospect, it is obvious the Twins made the correct choice to select Mauer in the 2001 MLB draft. A different choice would have given the Twins a marginally better chance to win in 2002-2004 but post-2004 would have been disastrous. Kudos to Mr. Ryan for making the correct choice!

  • ashburyjohn and h2oface like this

The public relations value to the franchise for many many years was priceless.


    • gil4 likes this
Dec 27 2017 12:24 AM
Mauer has contributed nothing postseason-wise so maybe taking a gamble at a 2002-2004 World Series run would have been worth it. It has been a long time since 1991 and a title in the early 2000s would have really dulled some pain. Mauer is a borderline HOFer so it is hard to argue against his long term impact to this franchise - it's just that it has amounted to no postseason success and no World Series titles.

If the Twins drafted Mark Prior he may still be pitching in the majors. Dusty Baker destroyed his & Kerry Wood's careers. The Twins would have taken the normal Twins way with Prior & he would have made it to the majors 2-3 later than he did with the Cubs.


Sad part would be the Twins would have dealt him after 5 seasons since he would not want to stay in Minnesota...

Dec 28 2017 08:05 AM

With how often Teixeira was traded and how he was always in demand, it would be interesting to see what kind of pieces the Twins would have gotten back for him after his inevitable trade. The roster would have likely had some serious reconfiguration.

"Nathan doesn't blow save. Twins go up 2-0" This is where you lost me.Nathan was great and much of the time it was to the Yankees credit that they came back in the 9th innings but I can create an alternative outcome on series if Nathan simply closes out all the games against the Yankees. If he closes out all his chances against New York everything is different including the monkey on the Twins back about losing to New York.