Win range for 2014:
Low - 72
High - 93
Best guess? 81
Win range for 2014:
Low - 72
High - 93
Best guess? 81
What I like about the Twins offense for next year is, they don't need everything to go right in order to improve. If Hicks doesn't return to form, maybe Rosario wins an outfield job. if Willingham doesn't return to form, maybe Kubel does. If Plouffe shows us nothing, maybe promote Sano early.
The best stat on that sheet, for me at least, is wRC+, which measures hitting and adjusts for league (and park, but only at the MLB level). In terms of pure hitting, Sano had a monster performance at AA, even relative to Harper and Stanton. 45% above league average at 20 years old is damn good. I really see a bright future for him, especially considering his BB%. With improved fielding allowing him to stay at third, Sano will be a huge part of the Twins future.
This time around should go better, but I would bet that he starts in Roc., and following his past history, will begin to demonstrate mastery of AAA and heat up as springtime temperatures move into the summer month weather.
I think the biggest decision on Hicks will be whether or not he remains a switch hitter.
Don't get me wrong on Sano.... optimism with him is totally justified. Problem is, what if Plouffe looks semi-OK at the plate to start, and so Twins then decide to sit on Sano 'till August? We're dealing with a very conservative club here. The question is all about when he comes up, and how the club makes that decision. I question MGMT.
He projects this line for Sano if he were to play in the majors in 2014:
.238/.315/.517 143 G, 600 PA, 37 HR, 80 R, 101 RBI, 55 BB, 210 K (and .309 BABIP and 4.5 WAR)
I'd take that line with the Twins for 2014.
Over at fangraphs Oliver has a 5 year projection that has him hit 51 HR with 128 RBI and 7.6 WAR in 2018 with a .269/.354/.634 slash line. That's before he reaches his prime too. Bonds' territory. And scary, most people do not think he is the best Twins' prospect...
But projections are just fancy (and fun) math exercises :)
His BABIP is comparable to Stanton's who is a slow power hitter as well (HRs are not Balls in Play btw) and a speedier guy like Harper will have a higher BABIP.
Besides the wRC+ number for Sano, which dwarfed the others (Harper was only league average @ 100), Sano's ISO was ridiculous relative to the other two- and unlike the other 2 who took a significant drop in ISO upon promotion- he actually INCREASED his ISO on the move up to AA.
Sano ISO for A+ and AA: .325/.335
Harper ISO for A+ & AA: .236/.140
Stanton ISO for A+ & AA: .283/.224
Bright future indeed. Hopefully, the future starts soon after the service time issues are resolved.
We're all hoping that Sano mashes out of the gate (getting over his current elbow problems). That makes a decision easy.
My worry is that with the traditional mindset of this org., you wind up with a stupidly sticky situation where (realistically) Sano has some adjustments to make , while Plouffe (briefly) focuses and produces, blocking Sano (in retrospect, but conservatively) for far too long.
Plouffe's defensive limitations are not a great fit for the utility role.
I agree that Plouffe would be a nice bench player that could play some corner infield and outfield. In a perfect world Willingham and Corriea will get off to good starts and can be traded. Then the Twins line-up might look something like this in August.
1. Hicks CF
2. Dozier 2B
3. Mauer 1B
4. Sano 3B
5. Kubel DH
6. Arcia RF/LF
7. Pinto C
8. Florimon SS
9. Presley/Plouffe/Parmalee LF/RF
Bench: Plouffe, Escobar, Suzuki, Parmalee
SP: Nolasco, Hughes, Pelfrey, Deduno, Gibson (I think Meyer is at best a Sept. call-up)
RP: Perkins, Burton, Fien, Duensing, Thielbar, Tonkin, Swarzak
And if he doesn't regularly play against LHP, he's a waste of a roster spot, because of the defense issues.
I imagine the range should be more like 68 to 88. I can't imagine this offense managing to win 90 games.
The next wave doesn't really have a DH just yet, or a super utility guy that could be used to give a guy a day off. I really think those roles are what Plouffe and Parmelee are fighting for in 2014 (and this really can be 1 position, not 2). Both have shown enough to tease you, but neither have proven they can consistently get the job done. The one that hits will find a role. If neither hit, they will be DFAd as soon as they get expensive. If both hits, you can consider a trade.
[QUOTE=John Bonnes;188501]ESPN's and Baseball Prospectus' Christina Kahrl just penned a story about how the Twins could surprise much like the Indians did last year. There's a lot she likes about the Twins, including the free agent signings this offseason....
When you are on the bottom there usually is no where to go but up. If the Twins win 15 more this season TR and Gardy look like a couple of geniuses.
Maybe I am weird or way off base but I don't want Sano or Buxton up until they are essentially overly ready. At 20 or 21 in six years when they hit the FA market at least one of them might be gone as the going rate for super stars seems to be around 25 mil per year. I don't want to train them in the Majors. I want them to be truly ready for the six years we have some control over them.