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Article: Twins Organizational Depth Chart - Third Base

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#1 Seth Stohs

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 11:17 PM

You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.co...hart-Third-Base

#2 jokin

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 12:25 AM

Is a return to New Britain to start out for Sano your gut feeling, or have you gotten some direction from the club? No one behind Sano in New Britain? Does that mean that Travis Harrison can move up quickly should he get off to a hot start in Ft Myers?


If the Twins decide to make a deal on Plouffe should he get off to a hot start, how close is Romero ready to man the position on an interim basis while waiting for Sano to arrive?

#3 Thrylos

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 08:45 AM

I know the Twins are playing Escobar at third, but it is his worse defensive position. He is about as good a third baseman as Plouffe is... I would love to see Escobar get an opportunity at the starting SS role over Florimon and push Florimon to the utility role.

Nate Hanson will likely start at New Britain as well withCorey Wimberly being the utility guy at Rochester. I can see them adding more minor leaguers at 3B because that is definitely a thin position in the upper minors.
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#4 Twins Fan From Afar

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 08:52 AM

I agree with Seth. I think Sano will start (but hopefully not stay very long) at New Britain.
The problem: aside from the power component of his game, the rest was inconsistent.

Yes, he had a great year overall, especially for his age and the enormous amount of pressure he's facing. But if I'm the Twins, I'd like to see more consistency.

#5 Thrylos

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 09:32 AM

I agree with Seth. I think Sano will start (but hopefully not stay very long) at New Britain.
The problem: aside from the power component of his game, the rest was inconsistent.

Yes, he had a great year overall, especially for his age and the enormous amount of pressure he's facing. But if I'm the Twins, I'd like to see more consistency.


Got to love that inconsistent .915 OPS ;)

Sano's BB% was higher in New Britain than Fort Myers. The only difference between Fort Myers and New Britain was his contact, that dropped his BA about 90 points from Fort Myers. Root cause: BABIP at AA was .265 vs .397 in A+ . His career BABIP has been in the mid-high .300s, so that .265 is artificially low. Add 100 points to his AA BABIP, and you see that BA hitting mid .300s and that OPS climbing close to 1.100 (and home runs are not Balls In Play, btw.) Unlucky. Not inconsistent.
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#6 Twins Fan From Afar

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 10:03 AM

Got to love that inconsistent .915 OPS ;)

Sano's BB% was higher in New Britain than Fort Myers. The only difference between Fort Myers and New Britain was his contact, that dropped his BA about 90 points from Fort Myers. Root cause: BABIP at AA was .265 vs .397 in A+ . His career BABIP has been in the mid-high .300s, so that .265 is artificially low. Add 100 points to his AA BABIP, and you see that BA hitting mid .300s and that OPS climbing close to 1.100 (and home runs are not Balls In Play, btw.) Unlucky. Not inconsistent.


Thry, those #s are all correct. But it's also important to note that High A to AA is generally regarded as the largest jump in the minors. I'm not sure it's accurate to say that Sano was simply unlucky with the BAPIP.
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#7 Kwak

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 10:03 AM

BABIP is more of a function of the pitch than "luck". It shouldn't be a surprise to learn that flat pitches are more soundly struck than pitches with considerable movement or those of a significantly different speed than the preceeding pitch. Ergo, better pitchers often change speed and movement more than lesser pitchers. The result is fewer base-hits.

#8 Seth Stohs

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 11:45 AM

It's my guess, but I also think it would be most beneficial for him. I agree that BABIP isn't completely luck. I think they have Sano start there, with Romero and/or others at Rochester. If Sano crushes and makes those little improvements at New Britain, he'll skip AAA. Or, when he moves up, it's not like he will fight for time with Romero.

Romero is a nice minor league player. he's not a big league regular, but he could be a solid replacement player for short-term.

#9 Lefty74

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 01:31 PM

It's my guess, but I also think it would be most beneficial for him. I agree that BABIP isn't completely luck. I think they have Sano start there, with Romero and/or others at Rochester. If Sano crushes and makes those little improvements at New Britain, he'll skip AAA. Or, when he moves up, it's not like he will fight for time with Romero.

Romero is a nice minor league player. he's not a big league regular, but he could be a solid replacement player for short-term.


I realize Mauer has just made the FT move to 1st base, but why couldn't he be a potential solution at 3rd? There is no question it is hard to switch positions, however, in my opinion, Mauer would be very likely to do a very good/excellent job at 3rd. If Sano continues to struggle defensively isn't this an option? Move him to 1st and let one of the top athletes to ever come out of Minny move to 3rd.

#10 Seth Stohs

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 02:08 PM

Sano has turned into a solid, adequate defender at 3B. I like Mauer as much as anyway, but I don't think that would be a pretty transition at all (personal opinion).

#11 Paul Pleiss

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 02:33 PM

Sano has turned into a solid, adequate defender at 3B. I like Mauer as much as anyway, but I don't think that would be a pretty transition at all (personal opinion).


I agree with Seth here, I don't think Mauer to third would be as beneficial as Mauer to first. At first he'll be able to use his size and ability to scoop and get balls in the dirt from errant throws coming his way from across the diamond. Also, with Sano coming up, why move Mauer to 3rd only to have Sano give up defensive ability so soon?

I initially thought Mauer to 3rd was a good idea, but the more I looked at it, the more I thought about it, the more 1st base made sense. I wish he could have stayed behind the plate for another few seasons, but wishing and hoping don't get you too far.

#12 jokin

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 04:50 PM

Sano has turned into a solid, adequate defender at 3B. I like Mauer as much as anyway, but I don't think that would be a pretty transition at all (personal opinion).


Hmmm. I think Joe Torre from C to 3B qualifies as a seamless transition.....he won the NL MVP the year he made the switch! And he's nowhere near the athlete that Mauer is. I get the strong suspicion that Mauer would be better than the "solid and adequate" that Sano offers at 3B.

What's done is done, and I understand the Twins thinking on this, but the Sano elbow injury should at least give them pause to rethink their options.

#13 jokin

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 04:55 PM

It's my guess, but I also think it would be most beneficial for him. I agree that BABIP isn't completely luck. I think they have Sano start there, with Romero and/or others at Rochester. If Sano crushes and makes those little improvements at New Britain, he'll skip AAA. Or, when he moves up, it's not like he will fight for time with Romero.

Romero is a nice minor league player. he's not a big league regular, but he could be a solid replacement player for short-term.


Thanks for the info.

And the Travis Harrison 2014 potential career track? Assuming Sano moves up quickly or is out for TJ, there doesn't appear to be too much blocking him from reaching AA in-season provided he gets off to a good start at Ft Myers. Your thoughts?

#14 Seth Stohs

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 05:23 PM

Thanks for the info.

And the Travis Harrison 2014 potential career track? Assuming Sano moves up quickly or is out for TJ, there doesn't appear to be too much blocking him from reaching AA in-season provided he gets off to a good start at Ft Myers. Your thoughts?


If he has a strong first half, he could move up in AA in the 2nd half. I personally think that he'll spend the full season in Fort Myers. Harrison is a very good prospect, but he's not in that Sano/Rosario class. He's got work to do defensively and offensively. Hopefully he comes out crushing, but i think Harrison is more of a one step at a time guy right now.

#15 Seth Stohs

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 05:33 PM

Hmmm. I think Joe Torre from C to 3B qualifies as a seamless transition.....he won the NL MVP the year he made the switch! And he's nowhere near the athlete that Mauer is. I get the strong suspicion that Mauer would be better than the "solid and adequate" that Sano offers at 3B.

What's done is done, and I understand the Twins thinking on this, but the Sano elbow injury should at least give them pause to rethink their options.


Of course none of us actually know what would happen. Torre and Johnny Bench had each played 3B in their past. It's not an easy position at all. It's reactionary. The play coming in is not easy for a guy who is 6-5. Sano's been a middle infielder his whole life and that play coming in is part of that. My opinion, and that's all it is, is that Sano will be much better at 3B than Mauer would be.

#16 jokin

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 06:15 PM

If he has a strong first half, he could move up in AA in the 2nd half. I personally think that he'll spend the full season in Fort Myers. Harrison is a very good prospect, but he's not in that Sano/Rosario class. He's got work to do defensively and offensively. Hopefully he comes out crushing, but i think Harrison is more of a one step at a time guy right now.


Thanks for the insights.

Given that Harrison becomes a Rule 5 guy in 2015, and that Sano is the heir apparent for the next decade at 3B, I hope that they manage Harrison's potential asset value prudently. From the day they drafted him, I imprinted a Corey Koskie-type prospect impression of Harrison in my mind. It turns out, Koskie was a year at a time guy, too. Only, Harrison is 2 years younger while on the same track, with the same power potential, and learning the defensive ropes the same, hard way.

One more question for you Seth,

given that the promotion of Sano from New Britain is inevitable, and that Harrison won't be ready, how do the Twins fill the depth need at 3B there? Is there any chance that Mr Everywhere, Aderlin Mejia, could fill the second Third Baseman/UTIL role with the Rock Cats? He certainly had a nice and unexpected year at Ft Myers in 2013.

#17 Seth Stohs

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 07:39 PM

Mejia could be a utility man long-term, but my guess is they would rather he be playing every day rather than sitting behind Sano, Santana and Rosario.

#18 Thrylos

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 07:44 PM

Mejia could be a utility man long-term, but my guess is they would rather he be playing every day rather than sitting behind Sano, Santana and Rosario.


Santana starts at Rochester. I cannot see him at AA any more. The guys who can play at SS at Rochester are utility types (yes including Beresford)
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#19 Sconnie

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 07:44 PM

Got to love that inconsistent .915 OPS ;)

Sano's BB% was higher in New Britain than Fort Myers. The only difference between Fort Myers and New Britain was his contact, that dropped his BA about 90 points from Fort Myers. Root cause: BABIP at AA was .265 vs .397 in A+ . His career BABIP has been in the mid-high .300s, so that .265 is artificially low. Add 100 points to his AA BABIP, and you see that BA hitting mid .300s and that OPS climbing close to 1.100 (and home runs are not Balls In Play, btw.) Unlucky. Not inconsistent.

I'm uneducated as far as minor league skill/talent goes. My assumption is that higher level equals more skill, both offensive and defensive. Therefore, I would assume that Sano's drop in Babip would be more due to improved defense level over level than luck. Is that not the case? Is the threshold for defensive prowess between AA and AAA?

#20 jokin

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 07:48 PM

Santana starts at Rochester. I cannot see him at AA any more. The guys who can play at SS at Rochester are utility types (yes including Beresford)



You've now set the table for a rather interesting article from Seth regarding the Twins SS depth chart, methinks. Anxiously anticipating it.

#21 jokin

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 07:50 PM

Mejia could be a utility man long-term, but my guess is they would rather he be playing every day rather than sitting behind Sano, Santana and Rosario.


So the alternative is that they go out sign another AAAA guy? Makes sense, I guess.

#22 mnfireman

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 09:45 PM

Right now Plouffe is the best option for the MLB club, whether its for half a year or a year and half. Many things could change that though. If Sano's elbow is not ready, if he struggles, if Plouffe gets hurt, or if he struggles. Another thing to look at is if Parmalee absolutely kills it, Willingham returns to 2012 form and Arcia improves on last year, maybe Mauer HAS to move to third to get Parm's bat in the line-up. Doubtful, but still.

If Plouffe can't handle it, maybe Dozier should move to third and Escobar gets second.

After Mauer, this team is hardly set. It should be open to playing whoever the hot hand is with the bat, and platoon/substitute accordingly.

#23 oldguy10

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 06:25 AM

To me Parmelee absolutely killing it is a far cry from reality as is Willingham returning to 2012 form. And why move Dozier to third and put Escobar at second? Wouldn't Escobar simply going to third be more logical? However, Arcia improving I can easily see.

#24 rhobbs

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 08:47 AM

It's my guess, but I also think it would be most beneficial for him. I agree that BABIP isn't completely luck. I think they have Sano start there, with Romero and/or others at Rochester. If Sano crushes and makes those little improvements at New Britain, he'll skip AAA. Or, when he moves up, it's not like he will fight for time with Romero.

Romero is a nice minor league player. he's not a big league regular, but he could be a solid replacement player for short-term.


Seth, why not sign Michael Young to an one year deal as a place holder for Sano and trade Plouffe for whatever you could get (realizing that isn't much)? Young is a better defender, better bat and a better clubhouse guy.

#25 Dantes929

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 04:46 PM

My opinion, and that's all it is, is that Sano will be much better at 3B than Mauer would be.

Seth I agree with your opinions a lot but the reactionary part is all in Mauer's favor. You don't get to be a Gold Glove at catcher without being quick and agile and at 6'5" he was an anomaly at that position as well. Great hand eye coordination, sure handed and strong arm make him ideal for 3rd base. He should have switched there a couple years ago and kept Ramos for catcher. I believe Mauer would be much better at 3rd base but also believe he would be way better than Sano at 1st base which is why you would keep him there rather than switching them. Not because Sano would be better at 3rd. Just my opinion.

#26 Dantes929

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 04:48 PM

Only reason to move Dozier anywhere is to shortstop if Rosario pushes him out of 2nd base. Won't happen this year and unless Hicks rebounds I see an outfield of Buxton, Rosario and Arcia for quite a while.

#27 Spth

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 07:45 PM

I realize Mauer has just made the FT move to 1st base, but why couldn't he be a potential solution at 3rd? There is no question it is hard to switch positions, however, in my opinion, Mauer would be very likely to do a very good/excellent job at 3rd. If Sano continues to struggle defensively isn't this an option? Move him to 1st and let one of the top athletes to ever come out of Minny move to 3rd.


Could Mauer play shortstop?

#28 Jim Crikket

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 07:52 PM

I've always believed the "Mauer to 3B" advocates significantly underestimate what it takes to learn to play even an adequate MLB-level 3B. Mauer's a great athlete with impressive instincts, but I don't think that means he would just pick up a fielder's glove, walk out to 3B and play on.

Sano is a pretty impressive athlete as well. He was playing shortstop before the Twins signed him. They immediately moved him to 3B in his first spring training and have worked with him pretty much constantly ever since. He's now, apparently, reached the point where he's playing a passable minor league level 3B.

I want both of those guys focusing as much of their attention as possible on hitting baseballs for as long as they are teammates with the Twins. Asking them both focus their attention on learning another new position just as they're finally about to play on the same field together seems like a bad idea to me.
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#29 Dantes929

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 09:17 AM

Jim Cricket. I advocated the switch for Mauer several years ago, but that was when Morneau was holding the 1st base spot. I no longer am in favor of it but I believe he could make the transition and be adequate in a short period of time. I also believe that if he had made the switch 3 years ago he would be way more than adequate by now. In other words I think he has the talent set to be a GREAT 3rd baseman just based on his talent set as catcher and his general athleticism. I consider skill set to be a different category and that is what would take time to develop and it just no longer makes sense so I agree it would now be a bad idea.

#30 Seth Stohs

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 12:30 PM

Maybe I'm biased because I played a lot of 3B in my younger days... It's not easy. Those reaction plays are tough and so is charging in on a ball.