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Future Outfield

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#1 stringer bell

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 07:21 PM

All of the discussion about Aaron Hicks has gotten me to think what the Twins outfield will look like one scant year from now.

I foresee Buxton installed as center fielder by the end of May. Flanking him would be a combination of Trevor Plouffe, Chris Parmelee, and Oswaldo Arcia. While the corner defense would not be great, there is mashing potential.

This assumes the promotion of Sano as well as Buxton. I can't see a future for Hicks as a corner outfielder.

#2 Sconnie

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 07:34 PM

I'm with you, best case scenario for Hicks with this team is 4th outfielder, even if Buxton never materializes.

#3 DocBauer

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 08:39 PM

I'm really believing to believe Plouffe has a future with the Twins. The next Cuddyer? Hmmmm. Wait and see about that.

Like your idea here Stringer, see where you're headed. But I'm not convinced that Sano, even fully healthy which I expect, will be ready to take over 3B immediately. Think Plouffe may still be there.

I still maintain real belief that Buxton will rake enough the rest of this season to warrant a real shot at the starting CF job next season. Arcia will definitely flank him. Call me an optimist, but have a really good feeling about Parmelee turning a corner and maybe being the other corner OF.

#4 PseudoSABR

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 09:59 PM

Buxton by May 2014? This May?

#5 stringer bell

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 03:47 AM

Buxton by May 2014? This May?

In the first paragraph, I said "one scant year from now", so I meant May 2015.

Edited by stringer bell, 24 May 2014 - 12:29 PM.


#6 CRArko

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 05:23 AM

In the first paragraph, I said "one scant year from now", so I meant May 20215.


He'll only be 18000 years old, so that's probably enough time in the minors. :)
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#7 twinsfan34

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 06:44 AM

I'll take no more injuries and lay off the weed until (if it ever) is legal in the US/MLB.

New Britain was supposed to be the best ticket for a Twins baseball fan.

Buxton
Rosario
Vargas
Sano

Instead it's been a one man show - Vargas.

Well, Rosario returns next week. Vargas' injury doesn't appear to be serious. And maybe Buxton will return in 2 weeks.

Anyone know any updates on Sano's recovery? The scenario in which I believe Sano could start or by mid 2015 actually make it to MLB is if he is healthy enough to play every day in the AFL. If he plays there, then maybe the DWL and has enough momentum in ST - he could make the team.

Buxton needs to hit .300+ at New Britain with plate discipline. And at least 50 games of that. Then I could see some contingencies for him being in MN by May 2015 - elsewise I'd believe it'd be late 2015.

I think Arcia should be up soon. IMO, he's a better option than Colabello and just as good as Kubel. They both strike out 30% of the time (Arcia is similar) but Arcia is a better defender and has more power. I also think his 'moxy' would help the team in those close games. He believes he will win mentality.

#8 mike wants wins

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 06:51 AM

Buxton won't be up until he's more consistent (i.e., after super 2 date). Rosario will hopefully be your LF. Arcia in right. Hicks in CF until Buxton is up. That's my hope.
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#9 nicksaviking

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 07:10 AM

I don't like the idea of Rosario in the OF as his offensive capabilities don't look like they'll be an asset in a corner position, but unless the Twins try Dozier at SS again, I don't know where else he's going to play.

#10 kdrupp09

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 07:11 AM

I think unless Buxton for some strange reason misses the whole season, he is up by the All-Star break in 2015.

#11 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 10:13 AM

While Buxton is an excellent prospect, I do think it's wise to temper expectations a bit. He hasn't even been exposed to AA yet. Once his wrist heals, he will get there, but May of 2015 essentially means he destroys AA like he did A and A+, which may be wishful thinking. Given his season is rapidly becoming ruined due to injury, I wouldn't be surprised if he ends up spending more time in the minors.

#12 mike wants wins

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 10:15 AM

Maybe Rosario should be in CF on his return......his bat plays there, and Buxton's plays in a corner (which is kind of funny.....if you are willing to have Rosario in CF and Buxton in LF, but their D matches better up the other way......).
Lighten up Francis....

#13 SwainZag

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 11:15 AM

I'm with you, best case scenario for Hicks with this team is 4th outfielder, even if Buxton never materializes.


Best case scenerio? I know a lot of people are down on him, but best case scenario to me is he turns it around with the bat and becomes a productive corner OF.

#14 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 11:17 AM

Best case scenerio? I know a lot of people are down on him, but best case scenario to me is he turns it around with the bat and becomes a productive corner OF.


Yep. "Best case scenario" for Aaron Hicks is All-Star centerfielder. That hasn't changed. It has become less likely but it's still a possibility. The guy has 438 MLB PAs.

#15 Tibs

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 11:47 AM

Maybe Rosario should be in CF on his return......his bat plays there, and Buxton's plays in a corner (which is kind of funny.....if you are willing to have Rosario in CF and Buxton in LF, but their D matches better up the other way......).


I don't have a problem with Rosario potentially in LF. I don't see why his bat doesn't play there, but I don't put much stock in the idea of each position has certain expected offensive outputs. Get your best players on the field.
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#16 Siehbiscuit

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 12:16 PM

Next year's starting OF will be Arcia in LF (.815 OPS), Hicks in CF (.735 OPS), Parmelee in RF (OPS .800). Buxton won't be up unless he absolutely FORCES his way up. If he does, Arcia, Parmelee and Mauer rotate at DH and Hicks moves to RF.

#17 Beezer07

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 01:08 PM

Maybe Rosario should be in CF on his return......his bat plays there, and Buxton's plays in a corner (which is kind of funny.....if you are willing to have Rosario in CF and Buxton in LF, but their D matches better up the other way......).


Your best defensive CF should play in CF, all other things being equal. There is no reason for offensive output to determine defensive positions.

#18 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 01:12 PM

Your best defensive CF should play in CF, all other things being equal. There is no reason for offensive output to determine defensive positions.


Yep. The net outcome is the same offensively. You put your best defenders at the key positions.

#19 Shane Wahl

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 01:39 PM

Hicks-Buxton-Rosario and Hicks-Buxton-Arcia are the most likely candidates. Rosario, Plouffe, and Parmelee are the most likely trade baits in the next 12 months.

#20 S.

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 02:03 PM

I have no tangible evidence to support this thought, but I feel like Hicks may end up as the more likely trade candidate than Plouffe. Plouffe's bat currently plays better in a corner OF spot than Hicks and Plouffe has a lot more utility in that he also provides the team with a back up 3B, which gives Gardy lot more flexibility to give Sano some days off or time at DH once he's up with the team.

#21 mike wants wins

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 02:45 PM

Your best defensive CF should play in CF, all other things being equal. There is no reason for offensive output to determine defensive positions.


that's kind of my point, right? If you would be happy with the offense from Rosario and Buxton, why do you care if one is in CF and one is in LF?

I have come to the belief Rosario should be in CF, not 2B, in AA. Move him to AAA or LF when Buxton is ready. He isn't playing 2B for this team, and I can't think of a better LF alternative than him in the entire system right now (since I am assuming he will hit better, much better, than Hicks).
Lighten up Francis....

#22 mike wants wins

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 02:46 PM

Hicks-Buxton-Rosario and Hicks-Buxton-Arcia are the most likely candidates. Rosario, Plouffe, and Parmelee are the most likely trade baits in the next 12 months.



I think Arcia is a near lock for RF, with Vargas/Pinto/Mauer at DH duties. There just isn't room for Arcia at DH.
Lighten up Francis....

#23 Beezer07

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 02:59 PM

that's kind of my point, right? If you would be happy with the offense from Rosario and Buxton, why do you care if one is in CF and one is in LF?

I have come to the belief Rosario should be in CF, not 2B, in AA. Move him to AAA or LF when Buxton is ready. He isn't playing 2B for this team, and I can't think of a better LF alternative than him in the entire system right now (since I am assuming he will hit better, much better, than Hicks).


I care if Rosario is the starting CF when Buxton would be a much better defender there (hypothetically). You and I agree, I assume, that it doesn't matter who plays where from the offensive side of things. The 9 best offensive players = the best offense, obviously. But this talk of "his bat plays better in LF" is just nonsense. There's no requirement that certain defensive positions produce at certain offensive levels, other than the "that's how it's always been done" requirement.

#24 dgwills

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 03:25 PM

He'll only be 18000 years old, so that's probably enough time in the minors. :)

Typical Twins. Always keeping their prospects in the minors too long.

#25 Thrylos

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 03:55 PM

Yep. "Best case scenario" for Aaron Hicks is All-Star centerfielder. That hasn't changed. It has become less likely but it's still a possibility. The guy has 438 MLB PAs.


I'd say that Torii Hunter might be a good potential comparable at this point. Hunter did not hit over 100 OPS+ or had WAR higher than 0.1, until his age 25 season. Also, Hicks' BABIP (unlike Hunter's) in his early MLB career is about 50-100 points less than his MiLB BABIP. Is the game too fast for him and at some point will slow down? Who knows? But I think that it is way too early to give up on him.
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#26 stringer bell

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Posted 24 May 2014 - 12:35 PM

Hicks-Buxton-Rosario and Hicks-Buxton-Arcia are the most likely candidates. Rosario, Plouffe, and Parmelee are the most likely trade baits in the next 12 months.

I simply cannot see any way that Hicks bat will play in a corner OF spot. He had a little power spike last year, but he has a grand total of 5 XBHs in 130 plate appearances. My point of this thread was that flanking Buxton will be two slower guys most of the time.

#27 cmathewson

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Posted 24 May 2014 - 02:24 PM

I don't have a problem with Rosario potentially in LF. I don't see why his bat doesn't play there, but I don't put much stock in the idea of each position has certain expected offensive outputs. Get your best players on the field.


Yep. There's no rule proclaiming that corner outfielders need to be slow sluggers. If he hits .300/.380/.420 and plays good defense, he can play LF. That was Shannon Stewart's line when he was going good.
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#28 cmathewson

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Posted 24 May 2014 - 02:27 PM

I simply cannot see any way that Hicks bat will play in a corner OF spot. He had a little power spike last year, but he has a grand total of 5 XBHs in 130 plate appearances. My point of this thread was that flanking Buxton will be two slower guys most of the time.


Prior to last night, Joe Mauer had six XBHs in more PAs than Hicks. Not to compare them. Just seems like a weak argument for a kid who is barely getting going. He has more power than he's shown thus far.
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#29 DocBauer

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Posted 24 May 2014 - 09:22 PM

Love threads like this as we are rebuilding, filled with hope, and I love playing with lineups.

I think Plouffe might have potential as an OF for us, if not a DH and super-sub at several positions. Parma just might be figuring out and could be a starting OF, platoon partner, DH, even a LH 3 position super-sub similar to Plouffe. And I believe with all of my heart is a very good player to potential stud who will make his mark at one of the corner OF spots for two reasons. One being he's WAY too young and talented to say he's only a DH at this point. Give him a little time. The kid has already flashed a ML bat at 21 for goodness sake.

Hate to be the cautionary voice of reason here, but, I am going to be anyway.

Sano's injury stinks big time! But it is not the kind of injury, generally speaking, that should be alarming for a young position player. But it has set his development time frame back. And to expect him to be the starting 3B in May 2015 is probably unrealistic. Which keeps Plouffe there for now.

There is nothing serious about Buxton's wrist injury, just nagging and disappointing. I'm not saying he can't be our starting CF by May next year, but he's never had a single game or AB above high A thus far. He's the top prospect in baseball for a very deserved reason. Let's just be a little realistic, let him get healthy, get his legs under himself, get his timing down, and conquer AA first. No matter impatient I am to see him patrolling CF at Target field, I'd honestly be happy to see him kick butt at AA this year, maybe with a cup of coffee at AAA to end the season. As of right now, Hicks is your starting CF to begin the 2015 season.

And while on the subject of Hicks, the last thing I'm going to do here is rehash every argument about him that's already been stated by myself and over half the contributors here at TD the past week or so. He got promoted too soon. He's a very talented former to
100 prospect who was untouchable just a year ago. His career has been compared to, almost eerily in comparison to Hunter and Gomez. Carew has been in his ear, as has been Antony and Gardy recently. And don't kid yourself, so has been Bruno and Molitor. We've seen a few early results. Let's see how it plays out. But again, WAY too early to give up on or pigeon hole this kid.

Now, Rosario IS an interesting thought. I don't want to mess with Dozier, but I'm also not opposed to the now established Dozier taking a shot at SS if Rosario shows something at 2B. And when the suspension is lifted, I would keep him at 2B for now. Why wouldn't you?
He could end up there. He could have increased trade value at 2B if that's the direction we move. Or he could end up being an OF who can also cover 2B. But even if he converts fully to the OF and never plays 2B again, what do you lose be playing him there for now? A conversion back to the OF should be short and easy.

And I absolutely disagree that he doesn't have the bat for the OF, or corner OF. He will only be 22 this season. He has advanced a full level every season through only 4 seasons, and has never repeated a season at any level. His quad slash over those is a very impressive: 308/359/517/876. The only negatives you could possibly find with his numbers is a little higher OB to compare to his batting average, and the ability to translate his quality speed to a few more SB's. But these are also things that can be coached and worked on. He's an excellent athlete who can flat out hit. I've read articles where some doubt his power potential. 21 HR's in 2011 at Elizabethton when he went head to head with Sano for league leading numbers. He had 13 in 2012. Is he a true power hitter? Probably not. But again, only 22, ready to hit AA again soon, then hopefully AAA, never repeating a level, I'm not sure we know yet what his power potential may be.

Like Sano and Buxton, I'm being realistic and not expecting to be ready for May 2015. But all the tools are there to be a big contributor, all around offensively. It has never been written that a corner OF has to be a bomber to be a major offensive contributor. In fact, I'm reminded fondly of Micky Hatcher in the 80's doing a fantastic job in LF as the Twins #2 hitter. He produced Avg., OB, some extra base power, and the ability to move runners. Rosario could be this and much, much more. But again, it takes some time.

For 2015, to start at the very least, Arcia in a corner, Hicks in CF, thinking Parmalee might actually be figuring things out, might be at least a part of the equation. This leaves room for a Colabello, or a Plouffe depending on lineup.

Thinking we might be a half season away from having the primary OF we want.

#30 TheLeviathan

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Posted 24 May 2014 - 09:30 PM

Prior to last night, Joe Mauer had six XBHs in more PAs than Hicks. Not to compare them. Just seems like a weak argument for a kid who is barely getting going. He has more power than he's shown thus far.


Does that say more about Hicks or about Mauer right now? Not sure that's a good example for your position.