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  • Twins trade Denard Span for Nationals' 2011 first round pick

    The Twins announce that they have have traded Denard Span to the Washington Nationals for pitcher Alex Meyer, a 2011 first round draft pick (23rd overall).

    The big-bodied Meyer, 6'9" and 220, spent last year split between A and High-A, striking out 26.6% of batters faced, walking just 8.6% and produced a 2.86 ERA which led to an invite to the Futures Game.

    Fangraphs.com had an excellent write-up on Meyer, noting that his 97-98 MPH fastball is very impressive in addition to his slider - which Baseball America considered the system's best after the 2011 season. From the Fangraphs.com's article, here's Mike Newman's (Scouting the Sally) scouting report on Meyer's secondary stuff:

    Meyer mixed in an upper-80′s slider with tight, late break. At its best, his arm action was identical to that of his fastball and it profiled as at least an above-average pitch. However, Meyer’s inconsistent mechanics caused him to intermittently drop his elbow or collapse his back leg leading to at least a handful of “hangers” up in the zone. Repetition and experience may help to iron these issues out, but once again, Meyer’s size and previous track record leaves questions as to how seamless those adjustments will be.

    The most surprising aspect of Meyer’s outing was a changeup which was significantly better than expected. At 87-88 MPH, it was a harder change, but his arm action and late drop leaves the projection of an average third pitch — a key for projecting a starting pitcher. Once again, his command was inconsistent causing him to leave the pitch up and out to right-handed hitters too often, but it’s a strong starting point to build from.
    Newman went on to say that the name that popped into his head the most was "Matt Clement" - a promising pitcher who never lived up to the hype.

    Following his draft in 2011, Baseball America's Aaron Fitt said this about the right-hander, noting caution of mechanical issues which plagues taller pitchers:

    Talk about a guy with huge upside, that is Alex Meyer. I saw him at the Houston College Classic this year. I believe the Nationals director of scouting, Kris Kline, was there also. His fastball was hitting the mid-90s and he can run it up to 97-98 mph with life, and he has an explosive breaking ball.

    It was a power knuckle-breaking ball. He called it a knuckle-curve. It really looks more like a slider most of the time. It is a mid-80s mph pitch that can just be a wipeout offering. It is one of the better breaking balls that you will see out there when he has got it going.

    He is making progress as a pitcher. There is risk with this guy. He is 6-foot-9 and like many tall pitchers there are a lot of moving parts. There is a lot going on in that delivery. It takes a lot for those guys to put it all together.

    He reminded me a lot of Andrew Brackman, who was a basketball player at N.C. State who also played baseball. When Brackman was on in college, he was dominant. But again, there is a lot you've got to harness with those tall guys."

    Clement and now Brackman? Uff. Not the most impressive comparables. Still, as Fitt said, there is high-upside there, potential to be a top-of-the-rotation guy - something the Twins don't have now, nor deeper in the farm system. Given his age (23 in January), there's an outside possibility that Meyer could be ready to join the rotation sometime in 2014.

    In trading Span, the Twins free themselves of a $4.75 million commitment for 2013 and $7 million in 2014 ($6.5M plus a $500,000 buyout).
    Comments 321 Comments
    1. mikeee's Avatar
      mikeee -
      This pops in my head after watching the video about taming meyer....
      Maybe after the Nats had Mike Mcdougal for awhile, and saw this guy, they ran!!!! lol
      As a Twins fan, I always loved it when Mcdougal came in to save it for the Royals. He never, ever, ever got
      himself really figured out.

    1. Riverbrian's Avatar
      Riverbrian -
      Laughing out loud... If anyone has any doubt about how difficult it is to be a GM in the court of public opinion. Read this thread and then read almost any thread on this website.

      I'm sure everyone realizes that we have disagreements between multiple posters on just about every topic.

      Now imagine trying to be that GM who everyone is going to love. No matter what he decides to do. Someone is guarenteed to piss all over it.

      If anyone hates Terry Ryan... That's OK I Guess... But please understand that if you were the GM... Someone is going to hate you to.

      You can't please everyone.
    1. mikeee's Avatar
      mikeee -
      wikipedia says Mcdougal could hit 103mph.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Wow, taking things a little too personally, or what?

      You are well aware that you are in violation of poster decorum for your perjoratives, right?

      I never said "nobody likes it". I merely quoted one talking head second-guessing the trade, without editorial comment, and you jump all over me because we have a slight disagreement ( I actually will remain optimistic about Meyer until proven different).

      Regarding Hoey, you didn't read my whole post, a post in which I clearly stated that Ryan made out better than Smith when trading a proven up-the-middle position player for a minor league hard-throwing pitcher.

      I also published the comps at the same age and level of development, there was no attempt at correlation on the current state of each player and I clearly pointed out the Meyers numbers were accomplished as a Starting Pitcher.

      Time for a cleansing breath.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by SpiritofVodkaDave View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
      That and it insures the club continues marching towards its inexorable drop to a $65M payroll in 2014, which sadly appears to be the club's prime imperative at this point.
      Yeah, that simply isn't true nor will you provide one shred of evidence stating such.
      There is no need to provide any more shreds of evidence, it's already ubiquitously abundant, from the Twins own mouths and actions.
    1. shs_59's Avatar
      shs_59 -
      I love the trade

      Meyer is a B+ guy for me.

      Gibson and Berrios are only B's

      I'd have Meyer right behind Sano and Buxton #3 in our system.

      what bugs me a bit, is the fact we only got just 1 prospect for DENARD SPAN one of the better lead-off hitting CF's in BASEBALL. and his team friendly contract.

      I would of liked to have Sammy Solis or Rick Hague or Jeff Kobernus in this deal as well. But its more of a quibble.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by shs_59 View Post
      I love the trade

      Meyer is a B+ guy for me.

      Gibson and Berrios are only B's

      I'd have Meyer right behind Sano and Buxton #3 in our system.

      what bugs me a bit, is the fact we only got just 1 prospect for DENARD SPAN one of the better lead-off hitting CF's in BASEBALL. and his team friendly contract.

      I would of liked to have Sammy Solis or Rick Hague or Jeff Kobernus in this deal as well. But its more of a quibble.
      THIS. You nailed it. I will quibble though, Span's team-friendly contract alone should have been valuable enough to throw in a secondary ML arm or Middle Infield prospect to the deal.
    1. PseudoSABR's Avatar
      PseudoSABR -
      Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
      Terry Ryan and PPMPPPP

      In the category of "Payroll Paring Moves of Proven Players at Premium Positions", Ryan definitely has Smith beaten and deserves some credit. Hardy for Hoey ranks near an all-time low in Twins trading annals. Span for Meyer looks somewhat better, on paper anyways.

      Let's look at some comparable numbers:

      Jim Hoey 6'6"/205#s
      Hoey combined numbers at age 23 playing at 3 levels (A/A+/AA):

      IP 51/ERA 2.28/WHIP 1.11/K^9 12.9/BB^9 3.2

      Alex Meyer 6'9"/220#s
      Meyer combined numbers at age 22 at 2 levels (A/A+):

      IP 129/ERA 2.86/WHIP 1.10/K^9 9.7/BB^9 3.1

      Obviously, Meyer achieved the bulk of his numbers as a starter, so the comp is less than exact, but still... both pitchers come advertised with major mechanics issues.
      Totally disingenuous comparison, and yet another reason not to take you seriously.
    1. twinstalker's Avatar
      twinstalker -
      Keith Law is more respected than Dave Cameron? I think that is probably true among people who don't understand sabermetrics as well. In the same way Souhan is probably more respected than Gleeman.
    1. TheLeviathan's Avatar
      TheLeviathan -
      Quote Originally Posted by puckett1992 View Post
      Based on comments from Ryan on 1500espn on Monday and earlier in the offseason, he doesn't want to enter a prolonged rebuilding operation, so I would assume other moves are coming. Other than just possibly re-signing Liriano.
      Ryan's definition of "prolonged" may be a tad different than others. If you shave his last rebuild in half it's still 3-4 years. In the midst of these ridiculous offseason predictions floating around here I've always felt it's better to build around your best nucleus of talent. Mauer is an elite hitter, but he, by himself, is not a nucleus. The group that was around him has fallen apart for a variety of reasons. Clutching to some faint hope of that isn't in the organization's best long-term interests. Ryan is sharp and I think the moves so far this year indicate his conclusion about the direction to take this team. Three years isn't a terribly long rebuild, especially since many of the Twins future nucleus could be seen for extended looks as soon as a year and a half into his tenure.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by PseudoSABR View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
      Terry Ryan and PPMPPPP

      In the category of "Payroll Paring Moves of Proven Players at Premium Positions", Ryan definitely has Smith beaten and deserves some credit. Hardy for Hoey ranks near an all-time low in Twins trading annals. Span for Meyer looks somewhat better, on paper anyways.

      Let's look at some comparable numbers:

      Jim Hoey 6'6"/205#s
      Hoey combined numbers at age 23 playing at 3 levels (A/A+/AA):

      IP 51/ERA 2.28/WHIP 1.11/K^9 12.9/BB^9 3.2

      Alex Meyer 6'9"/220#s
      Meyer combined numbers at age 22 at 2 levels (A/A+):

      IP 129/ERA 2.86/WHIP 1.10/K^9 9.7/BB^9 3.1

      Obviously, Meyer achieved the bulk of his numbers as a starter, so the comp is less than exact, but still... both pitchers come advertised with major mechanics issues.
      Totally disingenuous comparison, and yet another reason not to take you seriously.
      Elaborate please on what is disingenuous about the comparisons, specifically.
    1. kab21's Avatar
      kab21 -
      Quote Originally Posted by twinstalker View Post
      Keith Law is more respected than Dave Cameron? I think that is probably true among people who don't understand sabermetrics as well. In the same way Souhan is probably more respected than Gleeman.
      I think sabermetrics would say that Dave Cameron is significantly overrated. And this is coming from someone that understands and uses sabermetrics a lot.
    1. lightfoot789's Avatar
      lightfoot789 -
      Love the Trade. I love the idea of having a solid young team from 2014 thru 2020 with complete control of most of my young contracts. It beats piecing players together every year like the Twins have been doing for recent years. The Brewers built their team with Fielder; Weeks; Hart; Giardo; & Hardy; (young guys) and found gems like Braun in later draft. The Twins can form a very solid team in 2014 with young prospects and continue to build thru free agency because they will have the money to pay top level FA's in 2014; 2015 & 2016. Great Trade & Start to rebuilding Twins organization.
    1. beckmt's Avatar
      beckmt -
      I also like the trade. It is a shot, but you win with pitching and the Twins do not have enough. Hope it works out, but room also has to be cleared for the outfielders on the way up. No saying if Hicks or Arcia or others can be better than Span, but this trade is the type the Twins should be making
    1. lightfoot789's Avatar
      lightfoot789 -
      The Cardinals are another organization who stays great thru the draft 1st. Twins are getting there. Twins also have some hidden Gems in minors who can become stars (M. Kepler; J. Palanco; N. Roberts; R. Jiminez; A. Walker; T. Harrison; Clement; and all those young pitchers have a chance to be special). Give the change in philosophy a chance.
    1. John Bonnes's Avatar
      John Bonnes -
      Mark Sheldon, who is MLB.com's Reds beat writer (and used to be the Twins) wrote a bit about the trade. Basically, he's surprised that the Reds, who he thinks have arms that are closer to major-league ready, didn't make this move. He opines that the Twins must have really liked Meyer. It was an interesting though. His write-up is here:

      http://marksheldon.mlblogs.com/2012/...nals-in-trade/
    1. SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
      SpiritofVodkaDave -
      Quote Originally Posted by kab21 View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by twinstalker View Post
      Keith Law is more respected than Dave Cameron? I think that is probably true among people who don't understand sabermetrics as well. In the same way Souhan is probably more respected than Gleeman.
      I think sabermetrics would say that Dave Cameron is significantly overrated. And this is coming from someone that understands and uses sabermetrics a lot.
      +1

      Also Keith Law knows plenty about sabermetrics.... we aren't exactly talking about Joe Morgan here.
      I like Cameron and all, but I don't think he is even close to the end all be all on the subject, he puts a ton of personal bias into the majority of his articles, which is fine, but again like Kab says he is a over rated quite a bit.
    1. Teddy's Avatar
      Teddy -
      Wikipedia, mikeee? Really? Yeah, because that's such a bastion of gospel truth.
    1. birdwatcher's Avatar
      birdwatcher -
      Sickels ranked Meyer #28 among his pitching prospects in 2012. Detroit, Chicago, and Cleveland did not have a single name on the list of 50 prospects. The only AL West prospect on his list is KC's Jake Odorizzi, rated slightly higher than Meyer.
    1. spycake's Avatar
      spycake -
      You can see Meyer's college stats here:

      http://www.thebaseballcube.com/playe...P=alex-meyer-3

      His previous high innings total was 101, so perhaps he tired later this season in high-A. He was "shut down" at 129 innings, Strasburg-style. I like that he's already made progress with control -- hopefully the Twins can keep his K rate up.

      Here's a cool article about him and his pitches:

      http://www.milb.com/news/article.jsp...milb&fext=.jsp
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