Article: A History Lesson: Twins Pitching - Draft Edition
Posted 09 May 2012 - 05:25 AM
Posted 09 May 2012 - 06:20 AM
Posted 09 May 2012 - 07:20 AM
To be fair, if not for injury, Kyle Gibson would be up right now, but you're not wrong. It actually looks to me like there was an "Organizational change in philosophy" that started in 2007 which looked to drafting college pitchers... To be also fair, it was injuries that cost Gutierrez, Gibson, Bashore and now Wimmers... It's hard to say they were bad picks because we don't know. And, no one could have predicted the level of struggle that Shooter Hunt had, even though he was a little more wild his junior year at Tulane. And certainly no one could have predicted it from Alex Wimmers last year. I agree with your general premise in this blog, but it's hard for me to argue with the selections. I mean, it's like this year, fans want a college pitcher. The Twins have definitely taken college pitchers early the last few years. And, finally, there's no reason to completely give up on Gibson, Wimmers and even Gutierrez yet. All three could still have long, productive careers with the Twins!
Quite true Seth and thank you for commenting on this one - I figured of all the people in the Twins blogosphere, you would have the most insight since you follow the minor leagues so closely. I agree with you that Gibson, Wimmers and Gutierrez could still go on to contribute at the Major League level and I think I gave a short caveat in my comments that it's a little too soon to tell on draft picks made in the last couple of years. In addition to that, I suspect the Twins will do a better job this year and next year due to the simple fact that they are going to have higher picks in the draft. That said, plenty of good teams have build solid farm systems without having to endure a string of losing seasons. I guess my overall point with the piece was to suggest that perhaps the scouting dept. bears more responsibility for the lack of Minor League pitching talent than does the philosophy of this organization.
Posted 09 May 2012 - 09:02 AM
In addition to that, I suspect the Twins will do a better job this year and next year due to the simple fact that they are going to have higher picks in the draft. That said, plenty of good teams have build solid farm systems without having to endure a string of losing seasons
I don't know how many teams have built solid farm systems without a string of losing seasons, but it is probably fewer than you suggest. Most of the top rated systems right now and in the recent past are teams that did get a string of high draft choices because of losing records. The Twins "dismal" record of drafting pitchers in high rounds seems pretty close to major league averages.
The fail rate for highly drafted pitchers is pretty high. There are so few truly dominant pitchers, especially dominant pitchers who remain dominant for more than a year or two. If you manage to draft or acquire several young dominant pitchers like Tampa Bay, San Francisco or Washington did, you have had a certain amont of good fortune.
Even franchises like Kansas City and Pittsburg who picked high in the draft year after don't usually end up with more than one dominant pitcher at any one time on their staff.
I am not making excuses for the Twins. This year the Twins will almost certainly take at least 3 college pitchers in their first 6 picks. These will all be highly scouted picks, and most "experts" will likely congratulate the Twins on a good job. It probably will be a good job too, if those picks just stay healthy.
Posted 09 May 2012 - 09:11 AM
Posted 09 May 2012 - 09:18 AM
Posted 09 May 2012 - 09:27 AM
That said, plenty of good teams have build solid farm systems without having to endure a string of losing seasons.
Name some of these teams.
I'm not sure this tells us all that much. The Twins have used homegrown talent throughout this decade (Liriano should be included in your list) and found many good pieces later in the draft - Neshek, Duesning, Blackburn. And not all drafts were created equal. Look at the 07 draft - we had the 28th overall pick and then the 92nd (lots of supplemental picks there). It was a weak draft overall - Revere right now has the 16th highest WAR of any of the 64 first round picks. And we also have to remember that the Pohlads put spending limits on these drafts as well. The FO might have wanted to sign someone but needed to draft Revere, who signed for under slot.
I'm not quite ready to go ballistic on the Twins recent drafts. I'm still a big believer in Hicks and the Gibson pick was the right one, even with the injury risk. Last years draft was a nice haul. We've managed to grab a few underrated players later, including Rosario and Dozier in later rounds and have turned a few of our recent second round picks into ML players in trades for Cabrera and Diamond. I didn't like the Wimmers pick but smarter people than I did thought it was fine. This draft we have 5 picks in the first 75 (or so). In 07 we had 2 in the first 92, in 10 we had 2 in the first 71. Those drafts really don't tell us that much about how this draft will work.
Posted 09 May 2012 - 10:00 AM
Posted 09 May 2012 - 10:32 AM
Add that up and you get a short cycle in the minor league which hasn't been fed for five years, leaving it nearly destitute. That drought was seemingly self-inflicted early (anyone remember why the Twins went away from college pitcher in those drafts?) followed by a combination of bad luck and busts. The way to get through that is to get some arms from lower rounds or trades. The former has NEVER been a strength and the latter only worked through he early part of the decade.
2006 - They picked high school bats with their first two picks. Chris Parmelee in the first round and Joe Benson in the second round. Until a couple of weeks ago, I think most Twins fans were pretty excited about them. In the third round, they took a high school pitcher from California named Tyler Robertson who is pitching in AAA right now.
2007 - They went with Ben Revere, who skyrocketed through the system and was in the big leagues in 2010.
They had really good luck with college pitchers in 2002-2004 in Crain, Baker and Perkins, although Fox was hurt right away and took a long road to recovery. I think he's in Tacoma right now (Mariner's AAA). But they also had college pitchers in Adam Johnson and Ryan Millws in previous years and those didn't pan out.
Have high school pitchers had better success? JD Durbin dind't pan out. Neither did Scott Tyler Jay Rainville had to retire with his arm issues. Kyle Waldrop is just getting to the big leagues thanks to a 2007 surgery. Swarzak has been solid.
The hope is in guys like Bromberg who was a JC guy in 2005 and signed in 2006. BJ Hermsen was a 6th rounder. Adrian Salcedo is a an international signing, as are guys like Stuifbergen and Soliman, etc.
The other hope, as I said earlier is that Gutierrez, Gibson and Wimmers can be healthy.
Posted 09 May 2012 - 12:13 PM
Posted 09 May 2012 - 12:15 PM
Posted 09 May 2012 - 12:34 PM
Blogging Twins since 2007 at The Tenth Inning Stretch
Posted 09 May 2012 - 12:47 PM
Understood that there is a philosophical issue with the organization drafting and developing pitch to contact pitchers, shying away from wilder power arms and teaching the sinker until there is no tomorrow. IMHO, no matter what you draft, unless you realize that your pitchers are all different and try to play to individual strengths and work on weaknesses you are not going to succeed....
EXACTLY. It's like teaching . . . applying universal standards and methods across all students will lead to a disaster.