What is Your Favorite Twins' Stereotype?
by, 03-13-2013 at 12:00 AM (696 Views)
Stereotypes are often based on some level of truth. But often becomes exaggerated to make arguments stronger or to put a negative light on the subject. In the Twins case, there are many stereotypes that have stemmed from some kind of truth but winds up becoming exaggerated to the point that some people just look silly.
Hitting the other way: It seemed to start when David Ortiz criticized the Twins for trying to get him to hit to the opposite field. I think one of his quotes from his book was "they wanted me to hit like a bitch." I'm paraphrasing a bit because I can't remember the exact words he used. Funny thing is, some of Ortiz' biggest hits have been to the left side of the field. JJ Hardy perpetuated things when he brought up some of the methods the Twins would use in BP. Having him spray balls around the field while his coaches in Baltimore encouraged him to go ahead and yank everything into the seats. He would later back off these claims and even credit Joe Vavra for helping reinvent his swing after a disastrous 2009 season. The damage had been done though. People went to the forums and used Vavra as another reason toe blast the Twins hitting methods. Twins' hitting coaches throughout the system teach pretty much the same way all high level coaches do. They want players to utilize their strengths and improve on their weaknesses. While using a balanced approach and having the ability to use the whole field.
Pitch to contact, don't go for strike outs: "pitch to contact" has become a focal point of ridicule for the Twins over the last few years. Some of it is deserved. Not because of the way they teach guys to pitch, but because they had acquired an army of pitchers who could do nothing BUT pitch to contact. However, I have read on forums and comment sections, people who are concerned that the strikeout pitchers the Twins have acquired lately (Alex Meyer, Trevor May, Jose Berrios) will be discouraged from striking people out. This is a preposterous claim that has stemmed from the "pitch to contact" stereotype. Rick Anderson recently got so tired of the criticism that he banned the term "pitch to contact" throughout the organization. I'm sure he wasn't serious but it just goes to show how annoyed he was with it. Anyway, any smart baseball mind should tell you that pitching to contact is not always such a bad thing if done properly. Just ask last year World Series Champions San Francisco Giants.
Twins are too slow promoting players: This is not entirely baseless, but it is often exaggerated. In the last 5 or 6 years, the Twins deserve some criticism for prospects moving slowly. Not because those prospects deserved to move faster, but because the Twins had so few players that deserved to move faster. This is a product of some poor drafting and lack of good international signings. Last year when Byron Buxton was drafted, I couldn't believe how many people expected him to take at least 5 or 6 years to reach the bigs. The truth is, if he performs, he will rise fast and could easily be up by 2015. Aaron Hicks was drafted in '08 and is expected to make the club this year. That is kind of slow for such a high pick. But who would argue that based on his production prior to last year, he should have moved faster? I have also read on more than one occasion that if Mike Trout was in the system, he would be in single or double A this year. Another claim based on virtually nothing. We have not had a position player dominate the minors at the same level Trout did. The last high drafted pitcher we had that really dominated, made his ML debut a year after he was drafted. That was in '06.
This is just a few. Anybody else have any Twins' stereotypes that they would like to share, positive or negetive?