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Thread: Ask Baseball America - The Rule 5 Draft and Max Kepler

  1. #41
    Senior Member Triple-A
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    Also, his full name is Maximilian.
    There is a reason I try hard not to get too funny when I post... I am really not very good at it (despite my delusional opinion otherwise)!

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by spycake View Post
    While I understand and mostly agree with your larger point (he's unlikely to be selected), I believe if added now, Kepler would be 24 when he "had" to stick in the majors. Ages 21-23 would be his three option years.

    From your list, it should be noted that Bartlett, Mientkiewicz, Koskie, and Jones were all college draftees. Those ages you list were generally their fourth full pro seasons, a level Kepler will be attaining next year (giving him a pass for his first "full" rookie ball season at age 17). Even if added to the 40-man now, Kepler would still be getting 6+ full seasons of minor league play.

    Also, Kubel only played 30 games in the minors after age 22, and probably only "needed" them due to injury. Morneau played 72 at age 23, arguably did not need them, and played none thereafter. Cuddyer played 55 at age 24, arguably did not need them, and played none thereafter.

    Guys who are capable of becoming MLB regulars are generally capable of sticking in the majors by age 23-24 (or, if college drafted, age 25).
    You can make all the excuses you want but it still stands that all those players were either not ready until 25 or were not good until 25. Kepler has long been considered very raw but talented. It should be no surprise if he doesn't start jumping levels quickly and instead takes him a while to put it all together. Taking an "if he isn't ready by 24 he should be cut anyways" attitude is to ignore reality (this wasn't necessarily your point but others have made it in this thread).

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oxtung View Post
    You can make all the excuses you want but it still stands that all those players were either not ready until 25 or were not good until 25.
    Jones hit his career average OPS+ at age 24. Morneau did it at 23. Cuddyer was basically a league-average hitter in his limited time at ages 23-24.

    What I keep coming back to is, if Kepler is good enough for the AFL now, he's probably good enough to protect on the 40-man now, and should reasonably be expected to "stick" as an average MLB hitter by 2017 if he is ever going to.

  4. #44
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    This is going to be a really difficult discussion if Kepler has a poor showing in the AFL, because I think we (mostly) would agree that he doesn't need to be protected. But I will still be highly agitated if he is picked. I know a good argument could be made that he won't stick, but each of the other 29 teams would have a shot at him before the Twins could get him back after waivers. Does anyone know if we could take him back and put him on OUR 25-man roster?

  5. #45
    Twins Moderator All-Star diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TRex View Post
    I think looking at who WAS taken as a comparator for whether Kepler WILL be taken is a bit of a non-sequitur.

    The real question (although much harder to answer) is how many 20 year old, $800,000 bonus babies that were already ranked as one of their teams top-10 prospects were left unprotected? That is pretty much the equivalent of the Twins not protecting Kohl Stewart next year. OK, maybe Torii Hunter is a better example to use after the .248/.330/.348 line he put up in his second full year (albeit in high-A).
    I'm not sure I'm getting what you are saying here. Stewart doesn't need to be protected for another four years. If all goes well, he's pitching in Minnesota by then. Kepler's issue is that he can in theory be taken now by another team.. However, if they protect him, he's likely going to have to make a Hicks like jump from AA to the majors with no options to protect him or the team should he get off to a Hicks like start.

    I personally have a tough time believing he's going to get taken in the major league portion of the rule V draft, though I suspect he's going to need to be put on the AA or AAA reserve rosters.

  6. #46
    Twins Moderator All-Star diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spycake View Post
    Jones hit his career average OPS+ at age 24. Morneau did it at 23. Cuddyer was basically a league-average hitter in his limited time at ages 23-24.

    What I keep coming back to is, if Kepler is good enough for the AFL now, he's probably good enough to protect on the 40-man now, and should reasonably be expected to "stick" as an average MLB hitter by 2017 if he is ever going to.
    That isn't how it works though. You are selectively looking at a few successful cases (who might I add were also not struggling to hit low A ball at the same age) and ignoring the countless number of guys who failed at that age. Have we forgotten about Hicks already? He's 23.

    Every player develops differently, and every player's development needs to be considered in the general context of how they are doing. To put in perspective, if they protected Kepler this season, he'd have to go Buxton on A and A+ ball next season to position himself for AA and possibly AAA the following year. I don't see him doing that.

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by darin617 View Post
    Why do you want the Twins to change the way they handle their prospects? Usually by the time a player that was drafted reaches AAA he is 26 and makes his pro debut at 28. Too bad we can't learn anything from Tampa and draft some quality arms.
    "Usually"? I assume you are being sarcastic.

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