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Article: Twins Minor League Report (5/25): Vargas and Berrios Continue Their Strong Months

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#1 Steve Lein

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 04:56 AM

You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.co...r-Strong-Months

Scouting Report: 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)


#2 Deduno Abides

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 11:47 AM

Steve, thanks for the report.

It's time for Vargas to go to AAA. He needs a better challenge and the organization would send good messages about opportunity and rewards. If he succeeds in AAA, he could play with the Twins in 2014.

Achter should be the next pitcher up to the majors. I'd rather see what he can do against major league hitters than see the final puff of the cigar butt that remains of Matt Guerrier's productive years. (Depending on how Vargas does against AAA pitching, could probably say the same thing about Vargas vs. Kubel.)

#3 Jaykay

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 03:31 PM

What are they waiting for with Vargas?

Is Brad Nelson, the 32 year old with a .527 OPS, too irreplaceable for Vargas to take his spot?

#4 orangevening

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 07:03 PM

What are they waiting for with Vargas?

Is Brad Nelson, the 32 year old with a .527 OPS, too irreplaceable for Vargas to take his spot?


Patience. First run for Vargas through AA. See how he adjusts when pitchers adjust to him. Sano,Rosario andBuxton wern't promonted until post- all star game last year

#5 jokin

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 07:40 PM

Patience. First run for Vargas through AA. See how he adjusts when pitchers adjust to him. Sano,Rosario andBuxton wern't promonted until post- all star game last year


Vargas is older than Arcia and he's a grown man. And he's been adjusting and staying well ahead of EL pitchers since April 20. His K%=BB% since that date- both very, very good numbers at 12.4%, and his splits have remained consistently solid, as well. And he's doing it without support in the NB lineup. AA is supposed to be a potential launching pad to the major leagues for some prospects. He's ready to move up to AAA.

#6 Deduno Abides

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 07:56 PM

Vargas is older than Arcia and he's a grown man. And he's been adjusting and staying well ahead of EL pitchers since April 20. His K%=BB% since that date- both very, very good numbers at 12.4%, and his splits have remained consistently solid, as well. And he's doing it without support in the NB lineup. AA is supposed to be a potential launching pad to the major leagues for some prospects. He's ready to move up to AAA.

Jokin, you have to understand. The Twins Way now is that it is preferable to be disappointed by players who had a chance to be All-Stars five or six years ago than to take a chance on someone with the potential to be an All-Star sometime in the next five years. Generally, the only exceptions are when there is no other choice, like Hicks, or when someone is getting to be older than other teams' rookies, like Pinto and Dozier.

A mediocre veteran doesn't play well: "He's good in the clubhouse." A young player with potential doesn't play well: "Rip him in the papers."
"Where's the Crede?"

#7 Steve Lein

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 07:17 AM

Steve, thanks for the report.

It's time for Vargas to go to AAA. He needs a better challenge and the organization would send good messages about opportunity and rewards. If he succeeds in AAA, he could play with the Twins in 2014.

Achter should be the next pitcher up to the majors. I'd rather see what he can do against major league hitters than see the final puff of the cigar butt that remains of Matt Guerrier's productive years. (Depending on how Vargas does against AAA pitching, could probably say the same thing about Vargas vs. Kubel.)


Thanks for stopping by!

As others have said, there should be no rush with Vargas right now. He's going to get promoted at this rate, and I'm sure New Britain would appreciate having him around a little while longer!

Scouting Report: 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)


#8 mike wants wins

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 07:38 AM

"rush" is a loaded word, isn't it? It implies that moving him up is bad. We don't know that. Perhaps he is ready for AAA.
Lighten up Francis....

#9 Steve Lein

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 08:20 AM

"rush" is a loaded word, isn't it? It implies that moving him up is bad. We don't know that. Perhaps he is ready for AAA.


Yes it is, and I'm not trying to use it in the way you're thinking! Could he be ready for AAA? Sure. Do they [ever?] know this for sure? I don't think so. Therefore you're not harming anything by being deliberate with and sticking to your process for promotions.

Scouting Report: 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)


#10 mike wants wins

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 08:26 AM

I don't accept that their process works, given the results lately. But I understand that others disagree with me on that.
Lighten up Francis....

#11 Seth Stohs

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 08:39 AM

I think Vargas has made an adjustment. His walk to strikeout rate is very good. After a slow start, he's adjusted well to the Eastern League. Now, I would see if he can maintain it for a month and move him up. He's not coming to the Twins this year (at least until September), so let him get the 1/2 season in New Britain, then Rochester can release Nelson and call up Vargas for another half season of adjusting.

#12 mike wants wins

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 09:12 AM

Why can't he come to MN this year? If that is true, they have zero plans to bring him here, I guess I don't care when he gets to Rochester.
Lighten up Francis....

#13 jokin

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 09:25 AM

Yes it is, and I'm not trying to use it in the way you're thinking! Could he be ready for AAA? Sure. Do they [ever?] know this for sure? I don't think so. Therefore you're not harming anything by being deliberate with and sticking to your process for promotions.


I would think that Vargas' agent would have a bone to pick with you on this one. And the only way to know "for sure" is to find out, particularly when the player has reached physical maturity, and that mastery has been demonstrated at the current level.

#14 jokin

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 09:29 AM

Why can't he come to MN this year? If that is true, they have zero plans to bring him here, I guess I don't care when he gets to Rochester.


I care, in the context that it kicks out one more rung of support from under the Twins go-slow approach. What are the Twins afraid of? Presumably, they put Vargas on the 40-man roster in the offseason for good reasons.

#15 Steve Lein

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 09:50 AM

I would think that Vargas' agent would have a bone to pick with you on this one. And the only way to know "for sure" is to find out, particularly when the player has reached physical maturity, and that mastery has been demonstrated at the current level.


This is how it works in every organization. They all spell out goals and milestones for players. Yes, there are cases where players push those timetables (Buxton did last year), but this is not the norm. I also think you vastly overestimate the power an agent has for a Minor League player in influencing when these things happen (literally zero).

Scouting Report: 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)


#16 Seth Stohs

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 11:49 AM

I do find it funny that the two big topics of conversation today appear to be Aaron Hicks and Kennys Vargas. Aaron Hicks had a full season at AA and was moved up to the big leagues, yet the conversation is that the Twins moved him up too quickly. Kennys Vargas has had five tremendous weeks at AA and he's being held back. There's just no harm in letting him prove his numbers and prove that plate approach.

And yeah, maybe he could move up to the Twins a little bit before September, but they have to figure out what they're doing with Willingham and Suzuki/Pinto and several others before they push Vargas up there.

#17 mike wants wins

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 12:29 PM

I would like him in AAA sooner, to get more data on if our when he could be ready. I am not arguing he should be in the majors.

#18 jokin

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 12:42 PM

This is how it works in every organization. They all spell out goals and milestones for players. Yes, there are cases where players push those timetables (Buxton did last year), but this is not the norm. I also think you vastly overestimate the power an agent has for a Minor League player in influencing when these things happen (literally zero).


I disagree with you here. Other organizations get their best players in a position to help the team as soon as possible- challenging them at times and pulling them back when it's obvious that pulling back on the reins is warranted, but all along with the intent on maximizing their peak years for the major league team, as is humanly possible. Vargas isn't going to change anymore, physically, his approach at the plate in AA has proven to be very successful, mature to the point of almost being uniquely good. The Twins should have him in a position to take a spot on the big team as the Willinghams, Kubels, Colabellos and Parmelees potentially fall by the wayside, due to whatever circumstance (trade, DFA, retirement or ineffectiveness) makes the move necessary. There is a load of dead weight in Rochester, that wouldn't be missed when Vargas is promoted.

#19 Steve Lein

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 01:07 PM

Other organizations get their best players in a position to help the team as soon as possible- challenging them at times and pulling them back when it's obvious that pulling back on the reins is warranted, but all along with the intent on maximizing their peak years for the major league team, as is humanly possible.


Oh...

Scouting Report: 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)


#20 jokin

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 01:44 PM

Oh...


Incredulous? Do you need actual examples from other teams? I can supply a bushelful.

Vargas will be 24 in just 2 months. Is it wrong to have a guy going full-bore in his major league career at ages 25, 26, 27, 28 (ie, his physical peak years) when he's demonstrating minor league competence, other smart teams have the apprenticeship years of many of their top prospects practically completed by age 25. I fear that Vargas won't get serious consideration for even sticking on the roster full-time and just beginning his "apprenticeship" until some time in 2016, just short of his 26th birthday. He's already years behind where Ortiz was called up, I'd like to see him become a stud reminiscent to Ortiz before his 30th birthday, not after (that would put his career track to studliness to around the year 2020).

And utmost, I prefer that the Twins pursue all means to avoid their version of the fan-suffering involved in "The Long March" of the prospects, reminiscent to the early 80s and late 90s.

Let's increase the pace of the rebuild, severely cut back on the over-30 veteran signings, and turn this thing over to the future team leaders, whomever they turn out to be.

#21 Steve Lein

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 02:18 PM

Just to further counter this idea: by the logic you're implying the Twins don't use, there should be several other players around the minor leagues on other teams that have been promoted due to performance by now, yes?

Well, taking into account top 10 OPS leaders in each league of the minors as a reference point, here is the complete list of those players that have been promoted:

Chris Parmelee (to MLB)
Jesus Aguilar (to MLB)
Kevin Pillar (to MLB)
Jemile Weeks (to MLB)
Nick Franklin (to MLB)
Eric Campbell (to MLB)
Ryan Schimpf (to AAA)
Travis Shaw (to AAA )
Micah Johnson (to AAA)
Zach Wilson (to AA)
Patrick Valaika (to A+)

Based on whom was deemed ready for their first promotion to the next league on performance so far this season, and are a relevant prospect, there are 5 total players out of that list of 11 players, and 5 out of 100 from the OPS leaderboards I sampled. That percentage would go far more toward zero if I surveyed the entirety of the minors, so I don't know where you get this idea that all other teams promote significantly faster, or in a somehow more meaningful way, than the Twins do.

Also keep in mind, that among these top 10 OPS leaders are many players more highly regarded than Vargas and/or performing even better than he has thus far, such as Mookie Betts, Joey Gallo, Courtney Hawkins, and Brandom Nimmo and none of them has been promoted yet.

Scouting Report: 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)


#22 Steve Lein

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 03:00 PM

Vargas will be 24 in just 2 months. Is it wrong to have a guy going full-bore in his major league career at ages 25, 26, 27, 28 (ie, his physical peak years) when he's demonstrating minor league competence, other smart teams have the apprenticeship years of many of their top prospects practically completed by age 25.


I don't have any problem with this line of thinking, provided they've earned it at that pace. I would argue Vargas has earned it at the exact rate he has been promoted. And he may turn 24 soon, but he is also younger than the average player for the league he's in.

Scouting Report: 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)


#23 jokin

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 07:25 AM

I don't have any problem with this line of thinking, provided they've earned it at that pace. I would argue Vargas has earned it at the exact rate he has been promoted. And he may turn 24 soon, but he is also younger than the average player for the league he's in.


Based on my explanation before, his age relative to the Eastern League is the least compelling argument for keeping him down. As I stated, physically, he's already in the fully-developed body he's going to have for the rest of his career. But more importantly, his approach at the plate is mature beyond his years, and beyond his relative lack of minor league PAs. Check the Eastern League stats, he ranks at 7th overall in wOBA for the season....and since he flipped the switch on April 20, he's 2nd in the EL to Orioles prospect, Christian Walker, with a 1.067 OPS and .470 wOBA.

As Nick Nelson stated in his most recent article, Jason Kubel may very well be on the way out, as early as today. That would make the Twins down a slugging left-handed bat, and they are already down a right-handed bat- Vargas fills both bills! It wouldn't hurt having Vargas one step closer to the majors, especially if Colabello can't get it together at the plate, and/or if Mauer goes down again with his chronic back problem.

#24 Seth Stohs

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 08:33 AM

I think that people can argue all they want. There are different philosophies on promotion pace and reasoning, and for each team there will be examples for and against their philosophy. The Twins aren't afraid to push a player if they are ready. Buxton, Sano, Arcia. They're just some of the examples of guys who have pushed up the system.

I think one thing I believe is that each team is looking player by player and trying to determine what is the best thing for each player. Not some over-riding philosophy based on age or anything else. When is a player ready for the next level? There is no 100% right or 100% wrong answer for that.

The Twins seem to believe Vargas can do something more, and maybe that's just continue to show the process at the plate that he has for the last 6 weeks for another couple of weeks. Nothing wrong with a couple of week delay to what you think is right. He'll move up at some point.

Yes, we all want him up from 25-30... but not everyone is ready at that pace. Dozier wasn't quite ready at 23, but he was sure ready at 25 and 26. There is no cookie cutter way to promote.

#25 Steve Lein

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 04:18 PM

^ What he said!

Scouting Report: 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)


#26 mike wants wins

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 03:50 PM

Not everyone needs to move slowly, and "prove" they have conquered one level before moving on.....and wait for past the ASG to move up.
Lighten up Francis....

#27 jokin

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 04:52 PM

Not everyone needs to move slowly, and "prove" they have conquered one level before moving on.....and wait for past the ASG to move up.


Especially a player like Vargas, who happens to be in his 6th year in the Twins program (his suspension, notwithstanding).

#28 TRex

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 10:11 PM

While I understand that this is Vargas' sixth year in the minors, he has still only accumulated ~1200 ABs (which I think is a more important indicator than chronological age). In contrast, Miguel Sano, who I think we all agree was moved up aggressively, has already racked up ~1400 ABs in 4 minor league seasons.

#29 mike wants wins

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Posted 30 May 2014 - 07:54 AM

My point was, if Seth is right, and not everyone is the same.....that means not everyone needs to play at least half the year at one level before moving up.....nothing more or less than that.
Lighten up Francis....