Jump to content

Providing independent coverage of the Minnesota Twins.
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

The Forums

Adrianza signing elsewhere?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 05:24 PM
Ehire Adrianza posted a Thank You message to the Twins and their fans on his Instagram page earlier today. Can't find any reports yet on...

Does Aaron Make It In All-Time Best Outfield?

Other Baseball Today, 05:24 PM
He makes my all time outfield: Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Henry Aaron. But think of whom is left out - Roberto Clemente, Ted Williams, Willie...

R.I.P. Hank Aaron

Other Baseball Today, 04:25 PM
Hank Aaron passed away this morning. He was 86 years old. Feels like we're losing MLB legends every week, unfortunately. 

Who do you think is the Twins best/worst Free agent that...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 10:34 AM
Who do you guys think is the one who got away? Was a free agent and the Twins let them walk? No not Johan Santana as they traded him, I...

Winter league update

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 07:34 AM
All the usual winter leagues are playing baseball, but there is not a lot of news.   Jose Miranda has played 15 games for the Crioll...

Photo

What Has Arraez Played Himself Into?

Posted by Ted Schwerzler , 26 August 2019 · 2,685 views

minnesota twins miguel sano jorge polanco luis arraez royce lewis
Through 64 games and just shy of 250 plate appearances, he owns an .836 OPS and is batting .335. He’s never going to be a power hitter, and if he ever puts 10 balls out of the park in a single season any team would be ecstatic. What he can be though, is an ideal leadoff hitter with great average skills and elite on-base production thanks to plate discipline that’s otherworldly. He handles the bat to the point that Tony Gwynn would be proud of, and his approach at the plate in unwavering.

It is for those reasons that he’s played himself into the starting second basemen role when Opening Day comes knocking. Nick Gordon hasn’t yet made his major league debut, and as his chief competition, it isn’t surprising to suggest that Arraez would have a leg up. From a second base perspective alone, it’s worth wondering if that spot isn’t more circumstantial than anything else for Arraez.

Eventually the hope would be that Royce Lewis would make his MLB debut and take over as Minnesota’s starting shortstop. Jorge Polanco is not long for that position, even though he’s made strides this year. The arm is still questionable there, and Polanco has gone through bouts of inconsistency as he works through his throwing process. Signed to a long-term extension, Polanco isn’t like to move out of the organization any time soon, and an up-the-middle-tandem seems to be destined for Lewis and Polanco.

There also has always been the idea that Miguel Sano is not long for third base. Although he’s hung around the average-to-slightly-below mark this season, a body that big seems to profile more on the other corner. Thad Levine recently suggested that Minnesota doesn’t see Sano as an ideal fit at 1B presently, and they see third as an easier avenue to keeping him engaged in the action. As necessity pushes him from the spot though, they may need to re-evaluate their plans.

So, assuming Polanco slides over at short is filled, Arraez could find himself at the hot corner. This is all assuming the hit tool continues to play, but the position makes some sense. He’s almost always been a second basemen on the farm, and his time there has tripled the third action with the Twins. In 282 innings at second however, he owns a -6 DRS and -1.7 UZR. The 100-inning sample at 3B is incredible small, but he’s been worth 0 DRS and a -0.5 UZR. Minnesota will get plenty more data to evaluate prior to decision making time, but it’s a narrative to monitor.

If everything develops on an expected and linear track (which is to essentially say this won’t happen at all), then Lewis and Polanco man the middle for Minnesota by late 2020. At that point Sano could then move to 1B or DH (after Nelson Cruz is gone) and Arraez slides into the hot corner. Maybe Luis won’t continue to hit (seems unlikely) or maybe he’ll be dealt (not sure that’s probable), but second base doesn’t seem like the guaranteed long-term fit for the Venezuelan and I’m not sure there’s anything wrong with that.

For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz

  • nclahammer likes this



One of the greatest OBP for a player that neds up batting 6th or 7th most days. When you figure that out please let me know.

 

You also don't win games in the playoffs without table setters to get bigger innings going and to get to the pen earlier.

    • Madisonsdad, Ted Schwerzler and David HK like this

Arraex right now should be batting leadoff.

 

We have another year of Cron. So maybe Sano will be at 1st base in 2021...if the Twins sign him long term

 

Can Gordon, Polanco, Lewis, Arraez play third base? Do you want them to play third? Any names in the system strike as third abse material?

 

At this point, we can say the Twins are pretty set for second base with Gordon maybe offering a challenge to Arraez for 2020. Lewis is still 2021 at the earliest. You can also trade Polanco (or Gordon for that matter).

 

Then, again, some have talked of Lewis as an outfielder.

Photo
tarheeltwinsfan
Aug 26 2019 06:31 PM

Where does Kiriloff play if Sano is at 1B?Kepler, Buck and Rosario seem pretty reasonable in the OF. These are good problems to have, aren't they?

    • David HK likes this
Photo
Ted Schwerzler
Aug 26 2019 06:53 PM

Where does Kiriloff play if Sano is at 1B?Kepler, Buck and Rosario seem pretty reasonable in the OF. These are good problems to have, aren't they?


I’d be pretty motivated to move Rosario if I were the Twins
    • Sconnie, cjj td, David HK and 2 others like this
Arraez is a second baseman or (maybe) a super utility guy. Even as good as he’s been, he’s one week of bad BABiP from being a sub-800 OPS guy. (Current BABiP is in Carew territory...and as good or better than most of Gwynn’s seasons...this is as good as we could reasonably expect over large samples.) The bat plays much better at second (or in a super utility role). His OBP is a great fit for the current lineup which is full of guys who can SLG...future Twins lineups? We’ll see.

Also, why would you say Cave has a smaller sample size than Arraez? For this year, I guess...but why wouldn’t last year mean anything? Cave has a larger sample. Cave is OPS+’ing 115 for his career (112 last season) across more than 450 plate appearances.

This is a good talker for us, but too many things need to play out including health and performances and the profile of the opposition’s pitching. I expect the staff won’t spend too much thought on this until shortly before those decisions need to be made.
Photo
LA VIkes Fan
Aug 26 2019 11:10 PM
I think we should all take a deep breath on Arraez. He’s hitting .231/.286/.269 over the last seven games, .278/.322/.407 over the last 15. He may be a .280 hitter with a .340 OPS next year, and he’s better than Schoop, but he’s a long way from an MLB .300 hitter. The league has caught on and now a lot of those liners to left are now being caught by well positioned fielders so his BABIP is going down. Remember when Astudillo was the second coming and then turned out to be just a guy with a .665 OPS that doesn’t really belong on a 25 man roster? Arraez is a nice player who should start at 2B next year but we’re a long way from knowing if he can lead off on a contending team. Let’s just leave him in the 6 or 7 hole and let him develop.
    • Brandon, TNTwinsFan, In My La-Z-boy and 1 other like this
Photo
Ted Schwerzler
Aug 27 2019 07:51 AM

 

I think we should all take a deep breath on Arraez. He’s hitting .231/.286/.269 over the last seven games, .278/.322/.407 over the last 15. He may be a .280 hitter with a .340 OPS next year, and he’s better than Schoop, but he’s a long way from an MLB .300 hitter. The league has caught on and now a lot of those liners to left are now being caught by well positioned fielders so his BABIP is going down. Remember when Astudillo was the second coming and then turned out to be just a guy with a .665 OPS that doesn’t really belong on a 25 man roster? Arraez is a nice player who should start at 2B next year but we’re a long way from knowing if he can lead off on a contending team. Let’s just leave him in the 6 or 7 hole and let him develop.

While you can look at the smaller sample sizes over the past week or two, I think you need to separate from Astudillo a bit as well. Willians never had a process conducive to success. He was a guy who didn't strike out or walk because he made contact. He has bat control. but not plate discipline. Arraez has the league's lowest strikeout rate, but also a strong chase rate, and makes contact on pitches he should WANT to, not just those he can. I don't know that he'll hit .330 his whole career, but this is a guy that owns a process lending itself towards a consistent .300 average.

 

We can discuss the merits of that being a bit futile with next to now SLG viability at all.

    • Brandon likes this

I visualize Arraez as a #2 hitter able to move the leadoff guy along and setting the table for 3-5.  I also project Buxton as leadoff despite his comfort at 9. 

 

I don't so Arraez as a prototypical leadoff merely because he isn't the most fleet at foot. Ideally, I'd like someone (like Buxton) to stretch out from 1st to 3rd on a single to right. 

    • Brandon likes this
Photo
Ted Schwerzler
Aug 29 2019 11:35 AM

 

I visualize Arraez as a #2 hitter able to move the leadoff guy along and setting the table for 3-5.I also project Buxton as leadoff in spite of his comfort at 9. 

 

I don't so Arraez as a prototypical leadoff merely because he isn't the most fleet at foot.Ideally, I'd like someone (like Buxton) to stretch out from 1st to 3rd on a single to right. 

Speed isn't as much a requirement for leadoff as it once was. Arraez should always be superior to Buck in the OBP department, which matters most. I think Buxton will SLG at his best.

from the article it looks like we will have the opportunity to trade talent at peak value for good prospects to keep the talent pipeline going from the farm.With us becoming contenders it will be harder for us to build through the draft and farm without being able to acquire good prospects too.