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Thread: Pleskoff: Athletic Kepler boasts broad skill set

  1. #21
    Senior Member All-Star Thrylos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lightfoot789 View Post
    Kepler is a very solid outfielder and can be a better than average 1st baseman with his athleticism and size. That being said: What do the Twins do as a system with Vargas; Hicks; M. Gonzalez; & Kepler; as potential 1st basemen this year? Who starts in Cedar Rapids (if anyone)? Who starts in Ft. Myer? Who starts in New Britian? Does Harrison end up at 1st base long term? Whoever is penciled in at 1st Base will have another 4-5+ years to unseat Mauer anyway. Will that be considered a wasted prospect (letting them age and mis-used to their fullest)?
    Here is my take:

    AAA: Colabello/Rodriguez
    AA: Vargas/Ziegler
    A+: DJ Hicks/Gonzalez
    A: Kepler/Haar

    With Vargas, Hicks and Kepler getting mid season promotions. You can flip Ziegler and Rodriguez but since Colabello started at AA, I suspect Ziegler will do too...

    Potentially Harrison moves to 1st base in Fort Myers, with Goodrum moving to third and Polanco to short. We shall see. I don't think that Mike Gonzalez will be a Twin for long... If Colabello is gone, you can move Ziegler and Gonzalez up a spot.

    Still too early to tell.
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  3. #22
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    Makes sense

  4. #23
    Twins Moderator All-Star diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
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    I think you have to put Kepler in A+ ball.

  5. #24
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    I'm pretty sure that Kepler was fluent in English when the Twins signed him.

    I also think he starts in Ft Myers playing OF/DH/1B. He will start almost every day but he will move around since the OF is crowded and Hicks might start there.

  6. #25
    Owner MVP Seth Stohs's Avatar
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    I think Kepler spends a short time in Cedar Rapids, unless they're going to play him in LF. Then again, Buxton will start in New Britain, so the OF in Fort Myers will likely include Walker, maybe Ray again, and Murphy, so Kepler could be in that group too. He's going to play, wherever he is, and there is zero need to rush him.

    And yes, Kepler spoke five languages fluently by the time that he signed with the Twins.

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  8. #26
    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    Why in the world would they send him back to Cedar Rapids? This is his first option year. He has three. He needs to progress.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

  9. #27
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer Steve Lein's Avatar
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    ^ Agree. While his performance up to this point may say keep him in Cedar Rapids at least a month or two, i think they need to push him because of the options. As I mentioned prior, I think they mistakenly held him back in E-town for the second year already.

    He played in the AFL this year, and while it may just have been to get him at-bats, he did okay for his age and the competition he was facing.

    Put him in Fort Myers and rotate him in LF/DH/1B.
    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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  11. #28
    Twins News Team All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    I hope my fancrush on him turns out better than the last athletic outfielder I had a similar fancrush on. (Benson....ugh)

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  13. #29
    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    I hope my fancrush on him turns out better than the last athletic outfielder I had a similar fancrush on. (Benson....ugh)
    You and me both (Hicks)
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

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  15. #30
    Senior Member Triple-A DocBauer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Lein View Post
    ^ Agree. While his performance up to this point may say keep him in Cedar Rapids at least a month or two, i think they need to push him because of the options. As I mentioned prior, I think they mistakenly held him back in E-town for the second year already.

    He played in the AFL this year, and while it may just have been to get him at-bats, he did okay for his age and the competition he was facing.

    Put him in Fort Myers and rotate him in LF/DH/1B.
    Agreed. I hope his progress and time at CR and exposure in the AFL means he's ready for Ft Myers. My only caveat is that with time missed to start last season, I wonder if he might not be better served to tear up CR for a month or so to get his legs under him and then move up.

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  17. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Lein View Post
    ^ Agree. While his performance up to this point may say keep him in Cedar Rapids at least a month or two, i think they need to push him because of the options. As I mentioned prior, I think they mistakenly held him back in E-town for the second year already.

    He played in the AFL this year, and while it may just have been to get him at-bats, he did okay for his age and the competition he was facing.

    Put him in Fort Myers and rotate him in LF/DH/1B.
    I'm not sure you can consider it mistakenly holding him back in ETown for a second season. I have a hard time believing that he wouldn't have been completely overmatched in Beloit a season earlier.

    I always liked Benson but I'm pretty sure I always pegged him as a .240-.250 hitter that had the ultimate upside of hitting .275. Ultimately it was the K's (the basis of the low avg projection) that doomed him. I have also have had Hicks projected as a low BA hitter for similar reasons. The thing that gives me more optimism on Kepler's offense is that he has done well keeping the K's in check. Of course he needs more offense since there are no illusions that he's going to be a CF'er.

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  19. #32
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer Steve Lein's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kab21 View Post
    I'm not sure you can consider it mistakenly holding him back in ETown for a second season. I have a hard time believing that he wouldn't have been completely overmatched in Beloit a season earlier.
    That's fair, and a thought I'm sure many share with you. But I outlined prior why I believe he didn't need a second trip through that league.

    But I'm glad you brought up the K-rate, I've always cited that and his IsoD as reasons for optimism with him.

    And he's not a Center Fielder, hasn't been for a few seasons now. Even though he's played it some both of the past few seasons, you could see he grew out of it 2 years ago.
    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.

  20. #33
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    Based on his splits, the Twins will get him ABs and experience no matter where he's at. He played LF, CF, RF, 1B, and DH with Cedar Rapids.

    With the AFL experience (sorta like a AA+), I would also guess he'll start at A+.

  21. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Lein View Post
    That's fair, and a thought I'm sure many share with you. But I outlined prior why I believe he didn't need a second trip through that league.

    But I'm glad you brought up the K-rate, I've always cited that and his IsoD as reasons for optimism with him.

    And he's not a Center Fielder, hasn't been for a few seasons now. Even though he's played it some both of the past few seasons, you could see he grew out of it 2 years ago.
    He was merely okay in 2013 in full season ball and he wasn't very good in the appy league in 2011 so I really don't understand how you think he should have been promoted (even in hindsight). yes, there is the option clock ticking but the first priority is player development.

    My CF comment had to do with Hicks/Benson offering defensive value whereas Kepler doesn't offer much so he needs to hit better than them.

  22. #35
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    More than anything else, Kepler needs at bats. Another early season injury would be a major bummer.

  23. #36
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer Steve Lein's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kab21 View Post
    He was merely okay in 2013 in full season ball and he wasn't very good in the appy league in 2011 so I really don't understand how you think he should have been promoted (even in hindsight). yes, there is the option clock ticking but the first priority is player development.
    Because, as I posted earlier, I'm not basing my thoughts on him strictly by the stats he's put up. It's the old 'Scout' vs. 'Stats' argument, haha!

    I understand your thoughts, I just think they've taken it slow with him. I know he's young and has had injuries, but the 'young' part is based solely on the fact he was signed at 16 years old. He's been in the system just as long as Miguel Sano and Eddie Rosario, for example. And now that he's had to be protected on the 40-man, it becomes imperative that the Twins push him in to see if he can swim, otherwise they'll never even get the opportunity to use him if and when he were to make it to the majors, because those options will already be used up by then.
    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.

  24. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Lein View Post
    Because, as I posted earlier, I'm not basing my thoughts on him strictly by the stats he's put up. It's the old 'Scout' vs. 'Stats' argument, haha!

    I understand your thoughts, I just think they've taken it slow with him. I know he's young and has had injuries, but the 'young' part is based solely on the fact he was signed at 16 years old. He's been in the system just as long as Miguel Sano and Eddie Rosario, for example. And now that he's had to be protected on the 40-man, it becomes imperative that the Twins push him in to see if he can swim, otherwise they'll never even get the opportunity to use him if and when he were to make it to the majors, because those options will already be used up by then.
    He's simply not Sano and he's 1.5 yrs younger than Rosario with a limited pre-professional baseball experience.

    You can't just promote guys based on that. He still has 3 options left. He could do 1 level/yr still although hopefully he can jump two levels in one season.

  25. #38
    Senior Member Triple-A raindog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rosterman View Post
    He came over here young, can't speak the language.
    He speaks perfect English. He went to an American school in Berlin.

  26. #39
    Senior Member All-Star Shane Wahl's Avatar
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    There is no reason to keep him in Cedar Rapids. They put him in the AFL, for crying out loud. He will be in Fort Myers.

  27. #40
    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    I was going to say the same thing Shane did. You don't send a kid to the AFL and then back to low A ball. And they do push top prospects regardless of whether they put up numbers at particular levels. Span, Plouffe and Parmelee, for example, got moved along despite putting up so so numbers at some levels.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

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