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Thread: Twins Bring Up 19 Year-Old Pitcher with 33 Games in Minors

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    Senior Member Triple-A Teflon's Avatar
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    Twins Bring Up 19 Year-Old Pitcher with 33 Games in Minors

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    After dominating the Florida Instructional League and Gulf Coast League as an 18 year-old fresh out of high school, (and getting a taste of Single A as well), this 3rd-round draft choice made the AAA roster as a 19 year-old where he made only 7 starts before getting called up to the Majors at the beginning of June. His team was 31-15 at the time and had a more than serviceable pitching rotation featuring the eventual Cy Young winner that season.

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    Clearly this young pitcher (Bert Blyleven) had the goods and history shows the right decision was made to bring him up when they did. Still, some risk of failure had to exist with that move, too.

    If Blyleven was an 18-year old today signing with the Twins, would he be given as quick a shot to the Majors or would today's process be more deliberative with his advancements?

    I surmise it would take Bert at least a full second season in the minors if for no other reason than it would take that long to reach the same amount of innings pitched. Also, money would be a bigger consideration today. Blyleven, a third round pick, said he signed for 10,000 dollars. Jose Berrios, the 32nd player taken in 2012 signed for 1.55 million. Not Byron Buxton money, but still an investment.

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    Senior Member All-Star
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    Nice retrospective article.

    Bert pitched 141 innings of pro ball after getting drafted in June. Kohl Stewart is sitting at 12.

    The Twins are not alone with this deliberate progression, but we all know there is no chance a 19-year-old pitches in a Twins uniform as things stand now. I seriously doubt a 2nd year pro drafted out of high school would even be considered at AA.

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    Senior Member Triple-A Thegrin's Avatar
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    The coach's looked at Bert's curve ball and said, "OMG. Can't nobody hit that ball." and his fastball and control warn't too shabby either

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    Senior Member Big-Leaguer Steve Lein's Avatar
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    Off the top of my head the only High-School drafted pitcher I know of who has made it to the majors in 2 seasons or less since I've been following prospects, is Clayton Kershaw.

    So if you put Bert in this era, no I don't think he gets to majors in 2 seasons.
    Scouting Report: Tools - Power: 30, Hitting: 50, Arm: 60, Defense: 40, Speed: 40. "Line drive swing and shows good contact and on-base abilities. Double's power at his peak. Strong arm from 2B or the OF, stiff hands. Not a fast runner, but above average instincts on the bases. Skinny body doesn't look the part, but can sneak up on you. ACL surgery sapped much of his athleticism." (Probably)
    Spring Training Regular since 2011.

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    Senior Member Big-Leaguer Monkeypaws's Avatar
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    Inter-generational comparisons are fun, but mean little. Today's 365 days a year athletes would probably make mincemeat of all but the best of guys from Bert's era, who actually needed spring training to get in game shape.

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    Senior Member All-Star Badsmerf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monkeypaws View Post
    Inter-generational comparisons are fun, but mean little. Today's 365 days a year athletes would probably make mincemeat of all but the best of guys from Bert's era, who actually needed spring training to get in game shape.
    It goes both ways. Put those guys in this era with the technology and knowledge and they would excel too. Bert wouldn't make it to the bigs as quickly as he did, but I would guess he still would have a great amount of success.
    Do or do not. There is no try.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Badsmerf View Post
    It goes both ways. Put those guys in this era with the technology and knowledge and they would excel too. Bert wouldn't make it to the bigs as quickly as he did, but I would guess he still would have a great amount of success.
    I tend to agree with this. I think the institutional knowledge and technology would likely elevate everyone, but the best would still be the best. In a sense that's why I can't get too worked up about PEDs, You still need the natural talent and ability that are independent of physical strength.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Lein View Post
    Off the top of my head the only High-School drafted pitcher I know of who has made it to the majors in 2 seasons or less since I've been following prospects, is Clayton Kershaw.

    So if you put Bert in this era, no I don't think he gets to majors in 2 seasons.
    Dylan Bundy pitched in the majors his first season of professional ball at 19. Of course then he blew his arm out...

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    Twins Moderator MVP USAFChief's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monkeypaws View Post
    Inter-generational comparisons are fun, but mean little. Today's 365 days a year athletes would probably make mincemeat of all but the best of guys from Bert's era, who actually needed spring training to get in game shape.
    I doubt there's much difference between today's players and players of Bert's era. The game has changed some, but not that much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by USAFChief View Post
    I doubt there's much difference between today's players and players of Bert's era. The game has changed some, but not that much.
    In objective sports; like speed skating, track and field, swimming, etc..., athleticism is continuously increasing. Records continue to fall as new techniques and training regimens are discovered or perfected. Why would this not be true in baseball as well?

    I think if you plucked a superstar out of '70's he would probably be able to play today but wouldn't be anything particularly special. On the other hand if you grabbed said superstar at birth and allowed him to grow up in todays culture I think he'd still be a very good player and possibly still a star.
    Last edited by Oxtung; 08-15-2013 at 11:06 PM. Reason: formatting

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    Senior Member Triple-A Teflon's Avatar
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    Bert has long said that he had great role models and pitching mentors when he got to the Twins in Jim Perry and Jim Kaat. Knowing those two could be counted on to guide Blyleven in the bigs had to have made it an easier decision to promote him in 1970, as well.

  12. #12
    Ty Cobb was interviewed after his playing days were over.
    - Mr. Cobb - if you were playing today what would you hit?
    - Two-seventy.
    - Really? Only two-seventy? (In disbelief.) How come?
    - Well you have to remember, Cobb said, I'm seventy f*****g years old.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Lein View Post
    Off the top of my head the only High-School drafted pitcher I know of who has made it to the majors in 2 seasons or less since I've been following prospects, is Clayton Kershaw.

    So if you put Bert in this era, no I don't think he gets to majors in 2 seasons.
    Kershaw benefited from the injury to Brad Penny and Greg Maddux having nothing left. I would guess that Kershaw was consistent in his pitches and showed a brain to go with the arm. Without looking it up, he was a better option than anything the had at AAA.

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    Senior Member Triple-A Don't Feed the Greed Guy's Avatar
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    Another interesting generational comparison is Rod Carew and Eddie Rosario. Carew jumped from A ball to the majors. No way Rosario makes that jump today, especially since he's being transformed from an outfielder to a middle infielder.

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    Owner MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snortwood View Post
    Ty Cobb was interviewed after his playing days were over.
    - Mr. Cobb - if you were playing today what would you hit?
    - Two-seventy.
    - Really? Only two-seventy? (In disbelief.) How come?
    - Well you have to remember, Cobb said, I'm seventy f*****g years old.
    That's not true. I think Cobb would have hit .600 in later generations once he realized the possibility of spiking a person of color every time he slid into a base.

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    Member Single-A E. Andrew's Avatar
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    Do you really want to give a guy a heart attack at 8 am? I thought we were calling up Berrios.

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    Senior Member Big-Leaguer Steve Lein's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oxtung View Post
    Dylan Bundy pitched in the majors his first season of professional ball at 19. Of course then he blew his arm out...
    Yup, you're right, he's another one. Like I said, off the top of my head... q
    Scouting Report: Tools - Power: 30, Hitting: 50, Arm: 60, Defense: 40, Speed: 40. "Line drive swing and shows good contact and on-base abilities. Double's power at his peak. Strong arm from 2B or the OF, stiff hands. Not a fast runner, but above average instincts on the bases. Skinny body doesn't look the part, but can sneak up on you. ACL surgery sapped much of his athleticism." (Probably)
    Spring Training Regular since 2011.

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    It's all about economics. When the Twins brought Bert to the majors they kept him under the reserve clause. With free agency you'll only see a player brought up if they're clearly better than a mediocre free agent. That's unusual for a 19 year old.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Triple-A Teflon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJL44 View Post
    It's all about economics. When the Twins brought Bert to the majors they kept him under the reserve clause. With free agency you'll only see a player brought up if they're clearly better than a mediocre free agent. That's unusual for a 19 year old.
    Good point.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    That's not true. I think Cobb would have hit .600 in later generations once he realized the possibility of spiking a person of color every time he slid into a base.
    No doubt he was a stone cold racist, but I think it's pretty fair to say that he was an equal opportunity hater and all around lout. I don't think he ever missed an opportunity to hurt, intimidate or humiliate anyone of any race- opponent and teammate alike- when they stood in the way to what he intended to do.

    From ESPN:

    "Q- Who was the most hated player in the history of baseball?"

    A_ "Ty Cobb by far. Not only did his teammates hate him, they once sent a gift basket of congratulations to a player on another team after they thought he beat Cobb for the batting title. Cobb would go to a place in the dugout where the infielders on the other team could see him, and sharpen his spikes. Cobb was called "the dirtiest player I ever saw" by the normally reserved Connie Mack.

    The best story is about a young pitcher who intentionally beaned him in his first plate appearance. Cobb took his base without saying a word. The next time he came up to bat, he dropped a bunt down the first-base line. When the pitcher went to field the ball, Cobb knocked him over, then spiked him on the chest. The pitcher was sliced open and had to leave the game. If you look up the definition of "dirty" in the dictionary, there's a picture of Ty Cobb."


    Which reminds me, I've got to finally get around to seeing "Cobb". Tommy Lee Jones seems like the perfect actor to portray him.
    Last edited by jokin; 08-17-2013 at 12:07 PM.

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