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Twins Talent evaluation, new scouts?

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#1 minn55441

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 09:50 AM

The big question mark for the Twins to start 2012 was pitching. The first 26 games have done nothing to change that opinion. There was a serious lack of talent in both the starters and relievers at the major league level and I think most would agree the cupboard is bare of young arms in the system. We are currently looking forward to the promotion another teams cast off (Diamond) that already had a chance last year and failed. Is there a solution in sight? The only way to bring quality arms into the organization is to draft (they all end up needing Tommy John surgery), trade (Capps) or through the signing of free agents (Burton, Malony, Marquis and Gray). It's not working. This isn't about money. Take a step back and look at what is happening throughout the rest of the league. Some teams have truly emerged this year because of pitching. Take a look at any of the teams that were projected to finish at the bottom of their divisions and you will see that it is pitching that has kept them in the hunt so far. Just for discussion, look at the Oakland A's. Billy Bean was really questioned this off season for trading away all of the teams good young pitchers. They were said to be mailing in the season by fielding a triple A team and virtually conceding the division to Texas and the Angels. They have a team ERA of 3.43 (twins 5.69), opponent batting average for the team is .245 (Twins .290), as a team they have 162 strikeouts (twins 125). How much are we paying our pitching staff compared to many of these low budget teams? They are getting it done, day in and day out they are sending quality arms to the mound. Gardy make a similar comment in an interview recently "these teams keep bringing out these young pitchers that throw 93,94 mph, one after another. Where are they finding them?" Is it our scouting staff? Is it the way we develop them? Is it the way we coach them at the major league level? Is this something Terry Ryan can fix? Has a new level of talent evaluation been adopted by some teams and left us in the dust? I don't have the an answer to the cause but I think it is very apparent that we have a problem and I'm not sure Terry Ryan has the people in place to make the change.

#2 gunnarthor

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 11:02 AM

I think that's an interesting issue. Deron Johnson, who took over the draft after Ryan left, has drafted a number of big arms - Tootle, Bullock, Williams, Boyd, Boer, Hunt, Gibson. Some of those guys got hurt, others traded and others are still far away. Ryan mentioned that our old draft honcho - Mike Radcliff - will have a lot of influence on this draft. So I wonder if the Twins are moving away from Johnson's approach (he also drafted college hitters and HS pitchers more than Radcliff ever did).

#3 DJSim22

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 12:47 PM

Does anyone knw of any data that may suggest the amount of increased risk in power arms over the Twins type contact pitchers? It must play into their strategy, right?

#4 whydidnt

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 01:06 PM

I think the scary thing is that if you look at what the Twins are paying their starters, they are paying about the same or more for their rotation as every other team in the division. Yes, that includes Baker because that's a cost. This includes teams like the White Sox who are paying Peavy 17M and the Tigers with Verlander at 20M. The difference is those teams all have some young starters making just 2-3 million that are producutive, guys like Scherzer, Masterson and Danks. Unless you're the Yankees, Angels, etc. with very deep pockets you can't put together a decent rotation and stay within budget, without developing your own guys. The Twins have failed in this area, paying more for Blackburn, Liriano, Baker, etc. that the results they have received. Either the scouting, the development program, or the coaching staff (in both the majors and minors) has failed. Probably some combination. Starting Pitching is a scare commodity and you typically have to pay a premium in the market to obtain it. They need to fix whatever is broken or we are going to start looking like the Orioles of the last decade with year after year of losses and little hope due to lack of decent pitching.

#5 ashburyjohn

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 01:11 PM

Starting Pitching is a scare commodity


Where the Twins are concerned I'm afraid I have to agree. :)

#6 Nick Nelson

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 01:45 PM

Dating back to 2010 or so, this organization's scouting dept. has an incredibly poor success rate with bringing in players from the outside. Finding hidden gems in other organizations used to be a big strength for the Twins, but when you look at the list of guys who have come in and failed miserably – Dusty Hughes, Jim Hoey, Clete Thomas, Matt Maloney, Jeff Gray, Tsuyoshi Nishioka, Terry Doyle, etc etc – it's hard to have any faith in the guys making these evaluations. To me, that's the top area that needs to be addressed, because when you're trying to rebuild you've got to do a better job of finding quality players.

#7 Rosterman

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 02:05 PM

Well, if you look at the rotation on paper circa beginning of 2011, the Twins were actually thinkiing Baker would be the leader in 2013 with Blackburn filling a hole and the Twins proabably had every hope of siginng Lirinao to a decent contract.There was initial hopes that Kyle Gibson would be starting this year...with Wimmers or someone else coming in during 2013. Instead two promising rookies are all but out-of-site for a season or two, your heavy hitter is done, anotehr you can't afford or don't care, and one is signed longterm becuase he was better than nothing...so in 2013 the Twins basically have nothing. But back during the winetr of 2010/11 they were looking pretty good, along with a lot of others name in future plans: Hermson, Bromberg, DeBries, Slama, Guiterrez...not to mention able bodied guys like Manship, Brunett, etc. But the organization got hit hit by injuries, and a least one incompetent hurler.

#8 Thrylos

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 02:11 PM

Dating back to 2010 or so, this organization's scouting dept. has an incredibly poor success rate with bringing in players from the outside. Finding hidden gems in other organizations used to be a big strength for the Twins, but when you look at the list of guys who have come in and failed miserably – Dusty Hughes, Jim Hoey, Clete Thomas, Matt Maloney, Jeff Gray, Tsuyoshi Nishioka, Terry Doyle, etc etc – it's hard to have any faith in the guys making these evaluations. To me, that's the top area that needs to be addressed, because when you're trying to rebuild you've got to do a better job of finding quality players.


I'd probably say that this organization had that problem since Andy McPhail left, excluding Minnesota-born stars who wanted to finish their careers at home. Arguably they brought 4-5 decent players from the outside of the organization since 1994, among the 40-50 failures...
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#9 minn55441

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 04:35 PM

Well, if you look at the rotation on paper circa beginning of 2011, the Twins were actually thinkiing Baker would be the leader in 2013 with Blackburn filling a hole and the Twins proabably had every hope of siginng Lirinao to a decent contract.There was initial hopes that Kyle Gibson would be starting this year...with Wimmers or someone else coming in during 2013.

Instead two promising rookies are all but out-of-site for a season or two, your heavy hitter is done, anotehr you can't afford or don't care, and one is signed longterm becuase he was better than nothing...so in 2013 the Twins basically have nothing.

But back during the winetr of 2010/11 they were looking pretty good, along with a lot of others name in future plans: Hermson, Bromberg, DeBries, Slama, Guiterrez...not to mention able bodied guys like Manship, Brunett, etc. But the organization got hit hit by injuries, and a least one incompetent hurler.


This is exactly what I'm talking about. talent evaluation includes not only those outside the organization,but also those inside. Have we over valued our pitching? Try giving away, Liriano, Pavano, Blackburn, Slowy, Hendricks.... right now. Following the 2010 season, when we were on top of the division, should we have known that we had this much downside risk with out pitching? We let a good portion of our bullpen go and we decided to hold onto our starters. Was this a good call? Granted hindsight is 20/20 but who is making the evaluation on our current players and comparing it to what is available outside the organization. Don't even look at the position players, when was the last time we picked up a pitcher that turned out to be better than expected?

If the season continues as it is currently headed, what are we going to do for starters in 2013? Who is TR going to rely on to evaluate a possible trade or how agressive we need to be in acquiring a specific free agent? We will have money to spend, but will the money be spent wisely? I just don't have confidence that the people making the decisions over the last 4 to 6 years are going to suddenly get better at their jobs and identify value that no one else sees. Bartolo Colon has thrown 47 innings for the A's with a 2.83 ERA, opponents are only hitting .231 against him. Jason Hammel of the Orioles has spent 6 years with two different teams and the Orioles aquire him and he is currently 4-1 with a 2.09 ERA, batters are hitting only .196 against him in 38 innings? Who made that call? Our best pitching pickup has been Pavano and he certianly hasn't set the world on fire, especially for what he is making.

#10 spideyo

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 10:01 PM

I'd probably say that this organization had that problem since Andy McPhail left, excluding Minnesota-born stars who wanted to finish their careers at home. Arguably they brought 4-5 decent players from the outside of the organization since 1994, among the 40-50 failures...


Yeah, but the guys they DID bring in were Santana, Nathan, Liriano, Carlos Silva, Christian Guzman, Eric Milton, and Jason Bartlett. It's what they got when those guys left that's more unsettling.

We need more Knoblauch and Pierzynski-type trades.