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Niko Goodrum - 2014

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#1 2wins87

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 01:45 PM

Full Name: Cartier Niko Goodrum
Born: 02/28/1992 (22 years old) in Fayetteville, GA
Height: 6' 3" (listed) ~6' 4" (actual)
Weight: 170 (listed) ~190 (actual)
Bats: Switch
Throws: Right

Niko Goodrum was selected out of high school with the Twins second pick (71st overall) in the 2010 draft. In high school, he was a toolsy infielder with a lot of projection, though most observers didn't expect him to stick at shortstop, some expecting him to move to centerfield.

So far, the Twins have been patient with him at short stop where he's played the majority of his games as a professional. His arm is at least plus, but his foot and glove work have been a bit shaky in the past. He's managed to cut down on his errors at short a bit the last two seasons and showed enough potential for the Twins to keep him there.

While he's put on at least an inch and 20 lbs since being drafted, he's yet to fully grow into all of the potential that was seen in him when he was drafted. He's shown a good approach at the plate walking at 14% and 13% rates over the last two seasons. However his hit tool is still a question, as he's struck out at rates north of 20% in every season of professional ball and only managed averages in the mid .200s. While he's still got above average speed his power still hasn't developed. He sported a .109 ISO last year after posting a career best .179 ISO in his second year at Elizabethton.

So while the results haven't been stellar so far for a second round pick he's shown an ability to get on base, and has held his own in the field. He'll be starting at high-A Fort Myers this year having just turned 22 at the end of February which put's him just a tad under the average age for the Florida State league (which tends to average somewhere between 22.5 to 23 for hitters).

This will be a big year for Goodrum. If he can take a few steps forward he could be one of the top prospects in the system. If he continues to post solid but unspectacular numbers he may be destined to be a switch hitting utility guy, which could still make him reasonably valuable. We'll have to see what happens this year.

#2 2wins87

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 07:04 AM

Goodrum is off to a hot start at the plate this year.

In his first 7 games he's 8 for 25 (.381) with 4 walks and only 3 strikeouts. Most encouraging, he seems to be driving the ball well as half of his hits have gone for extra bases (3 doubles and a triple).

He's played all of his games at 3B so far this year as Jorge Polanco gets a shot to prove himself at short. He's already committed two errors (one throwing and one fielding), though he's only played 26 games at 3B in his professional career so we'll have to wait to see if he can improve with experience.

#3 gunnarthor

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 08:26 AM

He's certainly one of the nice potential break out guys this year. KLaw had said he's got the tools but needed lots and lots of at-bats but this is a really nice start.

#4 CwK

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 09:03 AM

He's played all of his games at 3B so far this year as Jorge Polanco gets a shot to prove himself at short. He's already committed two errors (one throwing and one fielding), though he's only played 26 games at 3B in his professional career so we'll have to wait to see if he can improve with experience.

This is one of those "nice problems to have," but I selfishly would like one to be promoted prematurely so that they both could get work at SS. I remember Goodrum getting the "best arm" award in the Twins' system one year. Would love if he could stick.

Edited by CK, 12 April 2014 - 09:04 AM.
Grammar


#5 2wins87

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 09:21 AM

In the second week of the season, Goodrum cooled off a bit from his hot start. In 6 games he went 6 for 24 with two doubles. He struck out 7 times and didn't walk at all. He also committed his third error on the season.

Overall his line still looks pretty good: .298 / .353 / .447 with a 7.8% BB rate and 19.6% K rate. The walk rate is a bit low for him but if he can maintain a strikeout rate below 20% it would be a career best and a nice step in the right direction.

Also, since I failed to mention it in the intro, you can follow Niko on twitter @NikoGoodrumTC, if you like to check up on the minor league guys that way.

#6 2wins87

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 07:26 AM

In the third week of the season Niko went 5 for 20 with 2 triples. He walked twice and struck out 5 times. He committed another two errors, but his range factor per game (a crude measure of fielding range, but about as good as we can get for minor leaguers) is one of the best in the league at 3.26.

He's showing off a good combination of gap power and speed, which has netted him a total of 5 doubles and 3 triples, and a respectable .172 ISO. I wouldn't expect an explosion of home runs in a league where they are very tough to come by, so for now this is encouraging.

His walk rate ticked down to 7.2% and his strikeout rate ticked up to 20.3%.

#7 Seth Stohs

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 08:09 AM

Niko Goodrum is not coming up short at third base: http://www.news-pres...-third/8331075/

Article by David Dorsey.

#8 2wins87

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 07:55 PM

That's a great article Seth, thanks for the link.

In other news from the diamond, Goodrum went 4 for 4 tonight with a double and a walk. He drove in 3 runs, scored once, and also swiped 2 bags. Fantastic game for Niko.

#9 2wins87

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Posted 21 May 2014 - 12:03 PM

It's been far too long since my last update, but I should be updating weekly for most of the rest of the season.

With a month and a half of the season under his belt his rate stats have started to level off so it's easier to tell what kind of season he's been having.

His overall line is at .292/.358/.417. If he can keep hitting around this level it'll be his best season at the plate thus far in his major league career.

Digging in a bit more, his 8.8% BB rate is fairly low for him, however, his 18.2% K rate is a career low. He seems to be putting the ball in play a lot more this year, and given that his plate discipline has always been one of his strong suits, the more aggressive approach this year seems to be a good change, as long as the results continue.

He's yet to hit a homerun in the notoriously pitcher friendly parks of the FSL, but he's been making plenty of solid contact and using his speed to stretch some of his hits. He hit his league-leading 5th triple of the season last night. His .125 ISO is up from .109 last season. He's also stolen 8 bases on the season, which ties him for 10th best in the league.

A lot of his value as a prospect will depend on him finding a defensive home. He continues to play almost every day at third base. While we've heard some encouraging things from Mientkewicz about his play, the few defensive statistics we have suggests it's been a somewhat difficult transition to 3B. He has the 5th best range factor per game out of the 12 starting third basemen in the league, but is 9th in fielding percentage at .916. Neither of these stats are great defensive stats, but suggest he's got solid range for a third baseman but is still having trouble consistently making plays.

Overall, it seems like the first month and a half of the season has been a step forward offensively for Niko, he continues to be an interesting player to watch as he still has potential for more as well.

#10 2wins87

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Posted 30 May 2014 - 08:46 AM

Goodrum's been a bit unlucky since my last update, going only 4 for 30 in the week+ span. However, one of those hits was his first home run on the season. He also notched another double, so he continues to do a pretty good job of driving the ball.

While the hits weren't falling in, he did show some of the plate discipline that has been one of his strengths, drawing 5 walks, but also striking out 8 times. His walk rate on the season is up to 9.8%, which is getting closer too his minor league average. His K rate is at 19.1% which continues to be lower than in any of his previous seasons.

#11 2wins87

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 09:41 AM

Goodrum is currently trying to pull himself out of the worst cold streak he's had this season. His 4 singles in his last 4 games (14 ABs) are encouraging but he hasn't had an extra base hit since May 27.

His slump has depressed his numbers, which now look pretty similar to his offensive output over the last few years. He has a .256 average with a .111 isolated slugging. The one main difference is that he does appear to continue to have a more contact oriented approach, with a 9.9% walk rate and an 18.8% K-rate, both of which are below his rates over the previous 2 seasons.