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Article: Twins Organizational Depth Chart - First Base

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#1 Seth Stohs

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 10:18 PM

You can view the page at http://www.twinsdail...hart-First-Base

#2 Miraclemat

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 06:25 AM

I hope I am wrong about Kepler...but I am not seeing him as a top 20 prospect. 5 years from now if he were to make the roster I can see his best(not average) year being 240 BA, 18 HRs. This would mean he would never play first base for the Twins before several of the other guys on this list. I think he has 4th outfielder written all over him...if he makes it at all.

#3 clutterheart

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 07:31 AM

I hope I am wrong about Kepler...but I am not seeing him as a top 20 prospect. 5 years from now if he were to make the roster I can see his best(not average) year being 240 BA, 18 HRs. This would mean he would never play first base for the Twins before several of the other guys on this list. I think he has 4th outfielder written all over him...if he makes it at all.



Chances are you are right. There are very few sure things when it comes to prospects.

But it would be interesting to know why you say that. Lots of folks who have seen him think he could be a good one. He's young, doesn't have much experience, good athlete and has shown a decent eye with some power. Staying healthy and getting AB's has been his challenge to date.

#4 Seth Stohs

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 09:15 AM

From the standpoint of Most Prospects Don't Become Stars, I understand this. But when it comes to tools and the things that prospect people look at, Kepler has them. He has the height, the strength, the quickness and athleticism, a good baseball acumen, quick hands and a great swing.

But of course at the end of the day, Kepler is more likely to become the next Laynce Nix than he is to become the next Josh Hamilton. In the same way, there's probably a 45% chance that Miguel Sano becomes the next Brandon Wood, a 45% chance he becomes the next Dean Palmer and a 10% chance he becomes the next Miguel Cabrera.

#5 Jim Crikket

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 09:52 AM

Understanding that the deck is stacked against any prospect who hasn't gotten out of A-ball yet, I don't see anything in Kepler that causes me to doubt his chances of ultimately becoming much more than a 4th outfielder.

I do have doubts whether he'll ultimately be with the Twins when he reaches the Big Leagues as a regular.

When you have to start using options on a guy who's still at Class A, the chances seem pretty good that you'll part ways before those options are gone.

Add to it the fact that, while Kepler can play multiple positions, those positions all are pretty deep with young talent ahead of him. Mauer's contract won't expire before Kepler's options are gone and guys like Vargas and perhaps even Sano could end up succeeding Mauer eventually. When Seth gets around to looking at the organizational OF depth, I think it will be clear that Kepler has his work cut out for him breaking through that pack, too.

Unless he makes some pretty remarkable accelerated progress up through the Classes, I think the most likely outcome will be that he's ultimately traded to an organization with less depth at OF/1B. Honestly, that probably wouldn't be the worst outcome for him, career-wise.

Edited by Jim Crikket, 09 January 2014 - 09:55 AM.


#6 Seth Stohs

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 11:10 AM

Don't forget that Kepler will (if needed) have a fourth option.

Also, his prospect status has nothing to do with how that fits into the organization's depth. That'd be like Miguel Sano being in the system with Adrian Beltre as the big league 3B... Sano isn't any less of a prospect just because there are good players above him.

Kepler's tools are unreal. Obviously he has a long way to go, a lot of development...

#7 birdwatcher

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 11:39 AM

I've never seen Kepler in person, and even if I had my opinion based on that would be worthless. Still, Kepler might be my pick for breakout player this season. This is based solely on all the comments about his athleticism. In an environment full of great athletes, he gets singled out as being uniquely athletic, doesn't he? Also, didn't we read something about the speed of balls hit off his bat being the best measured during the AFL? I don't think I imagined this, but...

#8 Blackjack

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 12:52 PM

But of course at the end of the day, Kepler is more likely to become the next Laynce Nix than he is to become the next Josh Hamilton. In the same way, there's probably a 45% chance that Miguel Sano becomes the next Brandon Wood, a 45% chance he becomes the next Dean Palmer and a 10% chance he becomes the next Miguel Cabrera.


Bite your tongue :)

We're looking for Sano=Cabrera; Kepler=Hamilton; Meyer=Glavine; Buxton=Mays!!!!

A person can always dream!!

#9 Blackjack

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 12:54 PM

Unless he makes some pretty remarkable accelerated progress up through the Classes, I think the most likely outcome will be that he's ultimately traded to an organization with less depth at OF/1B. Honestly, that probably wouldn't be the worst outcome for him, career-wise.


Thats not all bad, Terry Ryan has shown a knack for trading Twins surplus into some useful players. More young starting pitching would be a plus!!!

#10 cmathewson

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 01:36 PM

I doubt Kepler starts at Cedar Rapids, but, if he does, he'll end up at Fort Myers sooner rather than later this year. You don't send a guy to the AFL and watch him languish behind a 17th rounder.

#11 cmathewson

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 01:38 PM

I'd say, Meyer is closer to Smoltz than Glavin.

#12 chuchadoro

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 01:48 PM

I'm still optimistic on Kepler but the production needs to catch up to the tools in the next few years. Kepler not looking out of place in the AFL as a 20 year old is a good sign. He will be of average age for a low A player if he repeats at Cedar Rapids in 2014. I think Kepler takes a big step forward this year if he stays healthy.

#13 Thrylos

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 02:45 PM

Also, his prospect status has nothing to do with how that fits into the organization's depth. That'd be like Miguel Sano being in the system with Adrian Beltre as the big league 3B... Sano isn't any less of a prospect just because there are good players above him.


Sano will be much better player than Beltre. The above is a no-brainer situation, just like the Mauer/Pierzynski or the Morneau/Mientkiewitz situation. Sell high on the veteran and keep the younger better prospect.

But you cannot say the same for Kepler. There are 1B and OF prospects of similar age who are better than Kepler, will get to the big leagues earlier and stay longer.
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#14 Thrylos

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 02:49 PM

In the same way, there's probably a 45% chance that Miguel Sano becomes the next Brandon Wood, a 45% chance he becomes the next Dean Palmer and a 10% chance he becomes the next Miguel Cabrera.


No way :)

There is about 25% chance that Sano becomes the next Chris Davis, 25% chance he becomes the next Miguel Cabrera, 25% chance he becomes the next Harmon Killebrew and 25% chance that he is better than them all.

He is that good. Already better than Brandon Wood or Dean Palmer ever were. Chris Davis is his floor.
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#15 Thrylos

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 02:51 PM

I'd say, Meyer is closer to Smoltz than Glavin.


Meyer is pretty close to a right handed Randy Johnson, if anything
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#16 Winston Smith

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 03:03 PM

May all our prospects become all stars and the beer be free!

#17 Tibs

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 03:27 PM

May all our prospects become all stars and the beer be free!


I'm with Winston
I couldn't be a player because of bad eyesight, so I decided to be an umpire instead.

#18 jokin

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 05:01 PM

From the standpoint of Most Prospects Don't Become Stars, I understand this. But when it comes to tools and the things that prospect people look at, Kepler has them. He has the height, the strength, the quickness and athleticism, a good baseball acumen, quick hands and a great swing.

But of course at the end of the day, Kepler is more likely to become the next Laynce Nix than he is to become the next Josh Hamilton. In the same way, there's probably a 45% chance that Miguel Sano becomes the next Brandon Wood, a 45% chance he becomes the next Dean Palmer and a 10% chance he becomes the next Miguel Cabrera.



This assessment really surprised me coming from your normally optimistic prospect assessments (an area where we all tend to share higher levels of optimism, admittedly).

But to say that Sano has a 90% chance to end up as either the Next Big Bust, or just another 1-time All Star cog in the wheel seems a might pessimistic in my mind. There's certainly a zone of quality in-between Cabrera and Palmer for Sano's career to land- and most Twins fans would be happy for it to happen.....and as Thrylos stated, Chris Davis should be the floor of that, to coin a phrase, "Zone of Quality."

And ironically, Sano may still end up at 1B at some point in the near future, what with his current elbow situation.

Edited by jokin, 09 January 2014 - 05:10 PM.


#19 Rick Niedermann

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 06:53 PM

I guess Kepler's numbers don't show it. But when I saw him in Cedar Rapids the ball just jumped off his bat. And even though he has grown into his body I think he has enough talent to be a corner outfielder. I am more excited about his overall potential to be a regular in the bigs then Aaron Hicks. I'm anxious to see him healthy and hopefully at Fort Myers for a full year. I agree with Chucadoro and think he will be the breakout minor player of the year with big numbers at Fort Myers.

Edited by Rick Niedermann, 09 January 2014 - 06:55 PM.


#20 Seth Stohs

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 07:14 PM

jokin,
The only point I'm saying is that it's easy for the negatives to say that a prospect isn't going to be this or isn't going to be that because the reality is that most don't become what we hope that they could be. Most don't become Hall of Famers. Only a few turn into frequent All Stars. I think and hope and believe that Miguel Sano can become a frequent All Star. But until he does, we don't know that he will...

Likewise, it's easy to say Kepler is likely to become only a 4th outfielder. Well, as it relates to any minor leaguer, if he does become even a solid 4th OF, it's better than most will wind up. I believe he has the ability to be more than that.

#21 cmathewson

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 10:29 PM

jokin,
The only point I'm saying is that it's easy for the negatives to say that a prospect isn't going to be this or isn't going to be that because the reality is that most don't become what we hope that they could be. Most don't become Hall of Famers. Only a few turn into frequent All Stars. I think and hope and believe that Miguel Sano can become a frequent All Star. But until he does, we don't know that he will...

Likewise, it's easy to say Kepler is likely to become only a 4th outfielder. Well, as it relates to any minor leaguer, if he does become even a solid 4th OF, it's better than most will wind up. I believe he has the ability to be more than that.


Sano is no ordinary prospect. For the vast majority of prospects, I can see your point. But some prospects are as close to sure things as you can get, barring carreer-ending injuries. Sano is one of those. Put it this way, would you have said the same thing about Mauer12 years ago, siply because the law of averages says he had a chance to be a bust?
"If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

#22 Seth Stohs

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 10:39 PM

I wouldn't, but I also thought that Brandon Wood was going to be at least a very solid power hitter in the big leagues too.

#23 Thrylos

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 03:48 PM

I wouldn't, but I also thought that Brandon Wood was going to be at least a very solid power hitter in the big leagues too.


Wood had that one season at Rancho Cucamonga and several good but not great seasons elsewhere. That location and the California League are tricky. IIRC Dallas McPherson and Mike Napoli as well put monster numbers there. Other than that one season, Wood could not crack .300 isoP again. Even at the PCL. Sano cracked .300 isoP with 3 different teams in 3 different leagues (and not so much hitter leagues like the Eastern and FSL...)
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#24 Physics Guy

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 12:35 AM

Sano will be much better player than Beltre. The above is a no-brainer situation, just like the Mauer/Pierzynski or the Morneau/Mientkiewitz situation. Sell high on the veteran and keep the younger better prospect.

But you cannot say the same for Kepler. There are 1B and OF prospects of similar age who are better than Kepler, will get to the big leagues earlier and stay longer.


You do realize that Beltre is a borderline Hall of Fame candidate, right? I appreciate the positivity about Sano, but this might be pushing it. Besides his hitting accomplishments, he is a 4 time gold glove winner. Sano has the potential to be better, but I will be more than happy if he is close to Beltre.

As for Kepler, who are the better prospects (especially at 1B)? They may get there earlier only because they are a year or two or three older. Whether they can keep Kepler out of the position is another question entirely.

#25 Paul Pleiss

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 02:47 PM

Kepler's move to first base, if it indeed becomes his permanent home, is a little sad for me. I've been high on him for a couple years and will be a little bummed to see him limited positionally, especially with Baby Jesus holding down first base for the foreseeable future. Still a lot to like with Kepler, no matter where he plays.

#26 Thrylos

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 04:53 PM

As for Kepler, who are the better prospects (especially at 1B)? .


Vargas, Harrison, Minier for starters and depends on how it plays, DJ Hicks potentially.
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#27 Physics Guy

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 10:49 PM

Vargas, Harrison, Minier for starters and depends on how it plays, DJ Hicks potentially.


Kepler in E-town, age 19
269 PA, .297/.387/.539

Vargas in E-town, age 20
191 PA, .322/.377/.489

Harrison in E-town, age 19 (although he is a 3B)
253 PA, .301/.383/.461

Hicks in E-town, age 22
136 PA, .270/.382/.435

Did I ignore last year's stats? Yes, but he was hurt last year, so to compare his A stats is not fair. It is hard to compare Minier since he is still very young and is just starting. He does look like he has some power potential. Hicks had a nice year last year, but was 23 and spent about twice as much time at A as at A+. Vargas was a year older at A. Harrison is a close comparison by age and production, but I doubt they are willing to give up on him as a 3B. This is a big year for Kepler. He needs to stay healthy and show us that his year in E-town was not a fluke. Reports from the AFL were mostly positive. The only reason I can see for downgrading Kepler compared to the others was the fact that he didn't have great numbers last year, but clearly he was hurt. I don't disagree that the others are good prospects, I just think due to his age and relative inexperience that Kepler has the higher upside.

#28 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 10:06 AM

Just b/c Kepler was very good in E-Town doesn't mean he should be ranked higher. Prospecting is very much a "what have you done for me lately?" type thing. People are ranking Kepler lower because there's definitely more risk to him now than what there was last year at this time. That's fine in my opinion. I don't think anyone is arguing that the ceiling for Kepler is a very good major league player, but his first year in rookie ball was pretty disappointing after his start. Yes, injury had something to do with that... and yes, he held is own in the AFL against much tougher competition, but he needs to come out healthy and perform at this point to get bumped up. I'm fine with him being in the teens... He's in a deep system and I think his performance merits that. If he does well in Fort Meyers, he's going to be much higher on the lists given his age, athleticism, and performance.

#29 mike wants wins

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 12:41 PM

Seth, great series.....thanks.