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Drafting a catcher?

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#1 uno321

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 08:28 AM

Lot's of chatter about how Mike Zunino is a possibility at #2 overall to the Twins in the draft. As much as I would like a top flight starting pitcher, I'm starting to think this guy might be the best pick, particularly as there doesn't seem to be much consensus on who the top pitcher would be. It sounds like Zunino's defense is fairly strong, but his bat is even better. Hopefully he would be advanced enough that within a year or two, he could be ready to play in the bigs. By that time, Mauer might be ready to move away from catcher on a more regular basis. Regardless, I hope the Twins take whoever they feel has the highest upside in the draft, whether it's a pitcher, catcher, OF, whatever. They simply need more high-end talent in the system.

#2 gunnarthor

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 08:34 AM

Yeah, BPA is the right idea. I think KLaw listed the Twins as interested in Gausman/Zimmer at #2. Buxton seems like a Twins type pick but apparently we haven't been showing a lot of interest in him. Zunino makes a lot of sense for us, Sickels had us picking him and then using the rest of our early picks on pitchers. That might happen. Zimmer misssed his last start and Gausman has control issues. Twins might pass on both and go for the sure® thing in Zunino. We'll see. Whoever we pick should move fairly fast through our system. Not as sexy, but our other later picks will be what makes or breaks this draft for us. Obviously we won't know that for years.

#3 mike wants wins

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 08:36 AM

You are suggesting the Twins would draft a player, and have him in the majors in a year or two? Not. Gonna. Happen. Not most teams, and certainly not this team. I don't care if there is a consensus on who the best pitcher is, I care if they think one of them can be a legit number 2 or not. If so, you take him. btw, I think there are a lot less than 30 number 1 pitchers, so being a legit number 2 puts you at the top of most rotations....

What I just typed is probably an opinion, not a fact. I mean, I'm usually right, so you should maybe assume it is or will be a fact soon, but that's up to you. :)


#4 gunnarthor

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 08:45 AM

You are suggesting the Twins would draft a player, and have him in the majors in a year or two?


Off the top of my head, Baker, Garza, Slowey, Perkins all made their ML debut a year or two of being drafted. Gibson clearly would have if he didn't get injured. It happens. If we draft a college kid, I think it's fairly likely that they'll make an appearance within two years. (Esp with signing being moved up and a lot of these guys will get MiLB experience this year).

#5 uno321

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 08:52 AM

Right, within a year or two is probably not realistic, but the point I was going for is that with a guy like Zunino, he should be advanced enough where he could make an impact relatively quickly. With the Twins, we're used to having all of our draft picks be in the minors for at least 4-5 years before even sniffing the majors. But unless I'm forgetting someone, all of the hitters they've chosen in the first round recently have been out of high school so as 18 year olds, unless they are some kind of supreme talent like Bryce Harper, it's natural to expect that they'd be in the minors for at least 4-5 years. The Twins haven't had a pick this high since Mauer. I don't think it's completely crazy to think that if they took Zunino, who has been compared to Buster Posey as far as his hitting skills, that he would move through the system alot faster than other Twins prospects (assuming he was playing well obviously). And as far as drafting college hitters in the first round, I just remembered Levi Michael from last year. But he obviously isn't even in the same conversation talent-wise of someone like Zunino.

#6 mike wants wins

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 09:04 AM

Lots of people post here saying it is "inevitable" that the Twins farm system won't be as good as it was, or as Washington's or Tampa's, because the Twins have had late picks for a decade. Yet, every time we have a "who should they draft" thread, people say they can find good to great pitching outside the top picks, which is it? I'm not saying don't take a hitter, though if there are starters they think are legit #2s, I'd take one of them. Just read an insider article that there are maybe 10-15 number 1 starters at any one time, so passing on a guy because you don't think he's a number 1 doesn't make a lot of sense....

What I just typed is probably an opinion, not a fact. I mean, I'm usually right, so you should maybe assume it is or will be a fact soon, but that's up to you. :)


#7 CDog

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 09:21 AM

Off the top of my head, Baker, Garza, Slowey, Perkins all made their ML debut a year or two of being drafted. Gibson clearly would have if he didn't get injured. It happens. If we draft a college kid, I think it's fairly likely that they'll make an appearance within two years. (Esp with signing being moved up and a lot of these guys will get MiLB experience this year).


I can think of a catcher that was drafted in the top couple of picks who made it to the big leagues pretty quickly, too. And he came from high school. And no, I'm not suggesting to expect the same path or even close to the same results, but just echoing the point that sometimes the player can make a quicker ascent happen. I'd say even if it was a three-year plan that it wouldn't be terrible considering the big league club has a very good catcher who should be able to stay there for at least a few more years. Hopefully.

#8 Shane Wahl

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 09:34 AM

As there are other pitchers besides those top 3 college pitchers, there are also plenty of other catchers to draft.

#9 YourHouseIsMyHouse

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 10:07 AM

I've been advocating for Zunino for sometime now. Simply put, he's the safest and best pick available. He has the 4 tools you'd want from a catcher (minus speed). He has consistently put up big numbers in his career at Florida and is a leader on one of the best college teams in baseball. While a SP may be tantalizing given the situation, Zunino is the above and beyond the best choice. If not Zunino then I'm hoping for Kyle Zimmer.

#10 Thrylos

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 12:23 PM

The Twins have a decent C pipeline. Herrmann (AA), Pinto (A+) and Koch (A) are all developing pretty nicely. Unfortunately the retirements of Phil Chapman and Matt Parker and the conversion of Tobias Streich to P, thined it a bit, but these three I mentioned all have starter potential in the majors. Herrmann can be ready as soon as 2013. The starting P in this organization is really lacking and there are not many SPs who are missing bats. Even Gibson and Wimmers are more like Hendriks-types. At this point, the organization does not have a strikeout starting pitcher above the rookie leagues (and not sure that they have one there; maybe Hudson Boyd, maybe Josh Burris if they convert him to a SP.) That's why I somewhat want them to take a flyer on Giolitto, if his arm checks out. He could be the most MLB-ready pitcher (even from the college pitches) and he is a strikeout pitcher. Another name for the supplementary round who might be a bargain is Matt Smoral (if he is going to last by then) who is a big 6'8" lefty HS P with mid 90s FB but is out of the season with a brocken foot... I think they got to go SPs and SPs with fast fastballs who miss bats. They need that really badly
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#11 YourHouseIsMyHouse

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 01:48 PM

The Twins have a decent C pipeline. Herrmann (AA), Pinto (A+) and Koch (A) are all developing pretty nicely.


I disagree 100% on that. None of those players are MLB caliber. Regardless of how fast Zunino were to ascend through the minors and affect organization depth, I think we can all agree Doumit isn't going to last long and Mauer (or any catcher for that matter) can't crouch for 162 games. Even with that being said the draft isn't about team needs. It's about grabbing the best possible players available. Zunino's consistent ability to destroy college ball pitchers shows he, of all draftees, probably has the best chance of panning out and making the MLB team.

#12 nicksaviking

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 02:10 PM

The Twins have a decent C pipeline. Herrmann (AA), Pinto (A+) and Koch (A) are all developing pretty nicely. Unfortunately the retirements of Phil Chapman and Matt Parker and the conversion of Tobias Streich to P, thined it a bit, but these three I mentioned all have starter potential in the majors. Herrmann can be ready as soon as 2013. The starting P in this organization is really lacking and there are not many SPs who are missing bats. Even Gibson and Wimmers are more like Hendriks-types. At this point, the organization does not have a strikeout starting pitcher above the rookie leagues (and not sure that they have one there; maybe Hudson Boyd, maybe Josh Burris if they convert him to a SP.)

That's why I somewhat want them to take a flyer on Giolitto, if his arm checks out. He could be the most MLB-ready pitcher (even from the college pitches) and he is a strikeout pitcher. Another name for the supplementary round who might be a bargain is Matt Smoral (if he is going to last by then) who is a big 6'8" lefty HS P with mid 90s FB but is out of the season with a brocken foot... I think they got to go SPs and SPs with fast fastballs who miss bats. They need that really badly


Good call on Giolitto, someone's going to take him much higher than expected. He's still the most talented player in the draft, his only knock is he's had the most recent injury. I don't think Zunino will be too close to MLB ready. He's leading his team in strikeouts which in the Twins system means you have to repeat levels. I've also read he has a level and compact swing generating little loft. Twins batting instructors do seem to like that, but as we've seen in Target Field, no loft equals no HR.

#13 Rosterman

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 04:23 PM

We had the perfect Mauer replacement catcher set for, like, 7 years - but sent him to the Nationals. They need to draft someone who can come up quick. That's the given. I'm not sure about drafting the best player compared to drafting for your needs. Is that fact or fiction in baseball.

#14 J-Dog Dungan

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 04:29 PM

I think the Twins already have several in-house candidates for catcher, including Hermann and Lehmann. Why would they waste a draft pick that they could use on starting pitching on a catcher, even if he is as good as Zunino?

#15 J-Dog Dungan

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 04:35 PM

Why, YourHouse, would you say that the Twins don't have a good catching pipeline? Hermann especially, when he is ready, looks like he will be better than Mauer at hitting for average and show some power as well. While the Twins might say that they are going to get the best player available, a) it doesn't make sense for them to draft a catcher, because they already have several, and B) This is a draft where the Twins really have to pick a helluva lot of pitching. Here's to me hoping that the best player available when the Twins are called is a college pitcher.

#16 tcarlic

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 05:17 PM

Good call on Giolitto, someone's going to take him much higher than expected. He's still the most talented player in the draft, his only knock is he's had the most recent injury. I don't think Zunino will be too close to MLB ready. He's leading his team in strikeouts which in the Twins system means you have to repeat levels. I've also read he has a level and compact swing generating little loft. Twins batting instructors do seem to like that, but as we've seen in Target Field, no loft equals no HR.



He's only got 29 k's in 170 at bats... Thomas had 14 in like 25... This kid seems to be a legit batter. Even though he leads the team in stikeouts, he's leading the team in RBI's, slugging percentage, and tied in home runs

#17 darin617

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 06:12 PM

Why, YourHouse, would you say that the Twins don't have a good catching pipeline? Hermann especially, when he is ready, looks like he will be better than Mauer at hitting for average and show some power as well. While the Twins might say that they are going to get the best player available, a) it doesn't make sense for them to draft a catcher, because they already have several, and B) This is a draft where the Twins really have to pick a helluva lot of pitching. Here's to me hoping that the best player available when the Twins are called is a college pitcher.


"better than Mauer at hitting for average?" So how many batting titles will Hermann win? That even cracks me up so he will win 5-6 titles in the majors, I could say I was not very impressed with his BA in the minors so far in his minor league career.

#18 YourHouseIsMyHouse

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 06:25 PM

Why, YourHouse, would you say that the Twins don't have a good catching pipeline? Hermann especially, when he is ready, looks like he will be better than Mauer at hitting for average and show some power as well. While the Twins might say that they are going to get the best player available, a) it doesn't make sense for them to draft a catcher, because they already have several, and B) This is a draft where the Twins really have to pick a helluva lot of pitching. Here's to me hoping that the best player available when the Twins are called is a college pitcher.


Herrmann isn't even half the player Mauer is. Mauer was a two time #1 prospect and a #1 draft pick. Herrmann can barely hit .250 in AA as a 24 year old. Mauer is a career .323 hitter. When you look at the numbers I find it hard to believe that you think he could hit for average better than Mauer has. I don't think there is anything special about Chris and the other catchers below him.

#19 J-Dog Dungan

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 06:59 PM

Fair enough, but he still is hitting better than Butera and has more potential too.

#20 ashburyjohn

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 07:18 PM

Fair enough, but he still is hitting better than Butera and has more potential too.


So he's somewhere between Butera and Mauer in the batting average department. That pretty well narrows it down.

#21 DJSim22

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 07:47 PM

So he's somewhere between Butera and Mauer in the batting average department. That pretty well narrows it down.


lol. My 11 yr old is a better hitter than Butera. It doesn't even narrow it down in the general population. ;)

#22 DJSim22

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 07:53 PM

The Twins have a decent C pipeline. Herrmann (AA), Pinto (A+) and Koch (A) are all developing pretty nicely. Unfortunately the retirements of Phil Chapman and Matt Parker and the conversion of Tobias Streich to P, thined it a bit, but these three I mentioned all have starter potential in the majors. Herrmann can be ready as soon as 2013. The starting P in this organization is really lacking and there are not many SPs who are missing bats. Even Gibson and Wimmers are more like Hendriks-types. At this point, the organization does not have a strikeout starting pitcher above the rookie leagues (and not sure that they have one there; maybe Hudson Boyd, maybe Josh Burris if they convert him to a SP.) That's why I somewhat want them to take a flyer on Giolitto, if his arm checks out. He could be the most MLB-ready pitcher (even from the college pitches) and he is a strikeout pitcher. Another name for the supplementary round who might be a bargain is Matt Smoral (if he is going to last by then) who is a big 6'8" lefty HS P with mid 90s FB but is out of the season with a brocken foot... I think they got to go SPs and SPs with fast fastballs who miss bats. They need that really badly


While I agree this organization needs a couple pitchers who can miss bats, but I do not want them to draft a kid who already has arm problems. I think Goilitto will be a wasted pick.

#23 darin617

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 11:01 PM

Fair enough, but he still is hitting better than Butera and has more potential too.


[h=1]Stevie Wonder would have a better average than Butera. Just cut your losses J-Dog and tap out.[/h]

#24 Shane Wahl

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 11:41 PM

Chris Herrmann will be the guy to take over for Ryan Doumit, but he can catch more and will be a better overall batter than Doumit is. Mauer is NOT going to be removed from catching altogether. This conversation has gotten ridiculous. The Twins should, again, look at Kevin Plawecki for pick 42 and draft two pitchers in their first two picks.

#25 Shane Wahl

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 11:47 PM

Plawecki's stats: 156 AB, .372/.459/.583 with 17 doubles, 2 triples, and 4 homers. He has walked 20 times and struck out only 6 times. And he is a good defensive catcher. Plawecki has a higher OPS than Zunino. Less power, yes, but the BB/K rate difference is pretty vast.

#26 gunnarthor

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 08:15 AM

Plawecki's stats:

156 AB, .372/.459/.583 with 17 doubles, 2 triples, and 4 homers. He has walked 20 times and struck out only 6 times. And he is a good defensive catcher. Plawecki has a higher OPS than Zunino. Less power, yes, but the BB/K rate difference is pretty vast.


Seems like a guy to keep an eye on but you shouldn't compare stats between the SEC and Big 10 leagues (I think I have my leagues right). SEC is a much better baseball conference.

#27 Riverbrian

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 01:24 PM

I have no idea who is good and who is not. I know or at least assume that the #2 pick should be pretty nice value. That said... I understand BPA... I'm Ok with BPA... However... from a value standpoint... You have to draft Pitching and lots of Pitching... You have to stockpile it. Here's why: 1. Pitchers are always ending up with arm problems... You need excess to replace the inevitable injuries. 2. Pitchers are always ending up with arm problems on other teams so they are always looking for pitching. 3. If you have excess pitching... you can trade it for the position players that you didn't draft in the first place. 4. Pitching... Pitching and more Pitching. You can do BPA for that #2 draft spot... if the next Evan Longoria is on the board but I'd draft about 15 pitchers in the next 15 slots if that's the case.

#28 Montecore

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 01:40 PM

How has Tampa done it? And, Washington, now? Hard Throwing Starting Pitchers. That's their spastic imperative.