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OF situation thus far, and looking ahead.

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#1 DocBauer

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 09:21 PM

OK, here we go.

What we know:

Arcia is immensely talented, and no doubt part of our future. He's very, very young. SO's may always be troublesome, no big surprise for a power hitter. And there's no question his early season injury set him back in his development this season. Seemingly a season long curse of many of the Twins top young hitters. His defense is below average at times, though his range isn't bad, and then he makes a great couple of plays and really shows off his arm on a big play or two. I don't think anyone doubts him to be a fixture moving forward, and this defense and arm, over time, should mark him as at least an average OF defensively. With time, work, and a little brighter lightbulb, the potential is there to be above average. Remember how young he is? Don't forget.

Willingham looked dead in ST. Then, the first few games of the season, he hit before getting injured. Upon his return, he provided a spark, followed by a dive. And yet, he's still provided some real value. And he poses some veteran power and RBI potential for a contending team the second half of the year. The simple reality is he doesn't fit in the Twins long term prospectus, and will be moved soon providing someone sees real value, and offers something above a bag of balls.

Parmelee has been a huge surprise! After being essentially dumped by the Twins after ST, where he was made available to all teams, he went to Rochester and tore things up. He looked good when brought up, then sunked, then rebounded to the point where he's actually looking like a real, viable ML hitter. His defense is actually a bit underrated, partially from being bounced a bit, but offers a decent OF/1B defensive option who can...and I want to initially smack my typing fingers on the table...even provide an emergency option in CF. If the resurgence Parmelee is showing is real, he would join the likes of Cuddyer and Plouffe as top prospects to take time to find themselves.

Colabello was a revelation in April, playing a lot of mediocre OF, but leading the team in production. The great story lost his gift, went down the minors to get his stroke again, before coming back up to offer some production again in a limited time frame. If he can keep things up, he offers a decent RH bench bat who can fill in at 1B and occasionally in the OF.

The biggest mystery is CF. Forgetting poor decisions by the FO to address the situation properly the past two off seasons, we are sitting with Fuld, an OK option who has probably been producing above his career norm, Hicks who is a complete mystery at this point, and Santana who has been a huge surprise. Is he a true CF despite a few appearances in the minors? Absolutely not. But has he been better than expected and actually shown improvement? Yes.

Where we are:

Willingham in LF, being as productive as possible until gone.
Arcia in RF, playing every day, getting his opportunities, and growing.
Parmelee moving around and hopefully continuing his sudden development.
Santana and Fuld patrolling CF with Santana also seeing time at SS.

Where we will be:

Willingham will be gone.
Arcia is a lock, and should be.
CF??? Santana will continue to see time in CF. He's not the long term solution there to be sure, but could be an important fill-in, with a future in LF, or back at SS full time, with the ability to play CF as a backup, or even as a muti-positional utility player if someone else stakes a better claim to SS.

Buxton has been slowed, though the sky is still the limit. Hicks still has tremendous talent, as does Rosario, also slowed this season, both at AA at this time. Walker has a potentially excellent future, but is in high A.

So where does this leave us in the short term for the balance of this season and 2015?

"Nice catch Hayes...don't ever f*****g do it again."

 

--Lou Brown


#2 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 06:44 AM

I'm guessing they will pick someone up for a 1 year contract to man CF in 2015 to split time with Fuld. People won't like it too much, because for a 1 year contract, it's going to be a reclamation project or a pretty mediocre player, but the 3 CFs in the high minors won't be ready by spring of 2015.

#3 tarheeltwinsfan

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 07:24 AM

Sam Fuld has been a pleasant surprise. BA .285...10 SB...few SO's...some speed in CF. He's having a typical Span year, when Span batted lead-off for the Twins. What about moving him to batting second in the lineup...or even lead-off? He has prototypical lead-off numbers at this point in the season.

#4 DJL44

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 08:16 AM

Denard Span would be a pretty nice stopgap if he doesn't have his option picked up by Washington.

#5 Lakeside

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 08:37 AM

Sam Fuld has been a pleasant surprise. BA .285...10 SB...few SO's...some speed in CF. He's having a typical Span year, when Span batted lead-off for the Twins. What about moving him to batting second in the lineup...or even lead-off? He has prototypical lead-off numbers at this point in the season.


Don't get me wrong because I like Fuld, but last I looked he was hitting .269. He does play a good CF and gives you speed at the bottom of the order. I'm suggesting he is the CF until Buxton arrives.

Santana--if we have Buxton, is Santana not a shortstop and should we just start playing him there.

Arcia--like the raw power, like the enthusiasm, can he play consistently at the MLB level is the question that has to be asked. I say give him some time because he has succeeded at every other level.

Plouffe--if Sano is the 3B of the future. . . do we move him (Flouffe) to OF. Plouffe has talent but drives me crazy with his "streaky" play.

Hicks--talented. . need to be careful we don't "Gomez" him and give up on him just as he matures and understands what has to be done. I think Hicks has a MLB future.

Rosario--generally has hit everywhere. . .having some troubles this year. . but his past indicates he will hit in MLB

Parmelee--showing promise. . . but a little like Plouffe in that he is streaky. . . when's the last time he hit a HR?

Colabello--Is he a MLB hitter. . we should know at the end of this season. . plus he will be 31. Don't thik he will be with us next year.

Willingham--taking for granted that he will be moved this July

Morales-see Willingham

Nunez--can play outfield okay and all infield positions, plus he can hit, which IMO makes him a great player to carry on the roster.

Here's my take for the "end" of the 2015 Season. . .
1B-Mauer
2B-Dozier
SS-Santana
3B-Sano (if not then Escobar/Nunez)
LF-Plouffe/Rosario/Hicks
CF-Buxton/Fuld
RF-Arcia/Parmelee/Hicks
C-Pinto
DH-Vargas

*This does not address any trades, which may be coming. . We have some good infield prospects in the low minors that could bring a MLB hitter to this fold.

*This line-up is truly HR power hitting challenged especially if Sano is not ready. We will save about $28 million annually if Willingham, Correia, Suzuki, Burton, Morales are gone. I'm pretty bullish that our SP will be improving with Meyer and Mays. So, my question is, How do we spend that $28M that will help us scoring more runs?

#6 Buck Nasty

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 08:37 AM

Denard Span would be a pretty nice stopgap if he doesn't have his option picked up by Washington.


I agree with this. With Buxton losing a year of development and Hicks taking a step back, we probably have a full year and maybe two to cover before Buxton takes over for good. If Buxton/Hicks force their way into the line up earlier - great! Span becomes a very good 4th OF or could even hold a corner spot if he's playing well.

#7 gmarais66

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 08:38 AM

Denard Span would be a pretty nice stopgap if he doesn't have his option picked up by Washington.


Span's numbers, so far this season: .269/.319/.385... Not exactly an upgrade over Santana/Fuld...

#8 Brandon

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 09:14 AM

I think they should off a 1 year deal to Ichiro this offseason. If nothing else, lets kick it old school with Hunter.

In all seriousness I think we have enough stop gap solutions. Santana and Fuld can handle it for a year or 2 and Hicks will likely get another chance. Buxton is on the way. If we really want Santana at SS then we get a stop gap like the 2 mentioned above.

#9 nicksaviking

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 10:06 AM

I'm sure Span will be back next year, but is there going to be room for any youngsters with Hunter and Cuddyer manning the other corner spots?

#10 spycake

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 11:00 AM

Span's numbers, so far this season: .269/.319/.385... Not exactly an upgrade over Santana/Fuld...


Over Fuld, yes Span is an upgrade. Span has done that (or better) consistently over 7 seasons, near 4000 PA. Fuld's got 150 PA at his current level. Plus, Span is 2 years younger than Fuld.

Santana might be able to stabilize at a similar offensive level (95 OPS+), but he has limited experience in CF and might be needed more at SS very soon.

All three could be useful parts of next year's roster.

#11 Lakeside

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 11:03 AM

I'm sure Span will be back next year, but is there going to be room for any youngsters with Hunter and Cuddyer manning the other corner spots?


How about Allan Craig (Cardinals) in RF. Cardinals are looking to move him with Tavares coming up. . . .Can Dozier continue to hit HR's at his current pace. If he does, a long0term contract with $$$$ may be an issue for the Twins.

We have middle infielders Santana, Polanco, Michael, and Rosario in the minors to cover 2B. . How about a trade of Dozier for Craig and a pitching prospect?

Dozier's value may never be higher and Craig's lower (off year . . looking for room for Tavares).

#12 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 11:09 AM

Can Dozier continue to hit HR's at his current pace.


As unlikely as it seemed even three months ago, I think the answer to that has to be "yes".

Over the past 365 days, Dozier has 28 home runs. He's been a masher for roughly 13-14 months now. I think it's safe to say that this is who Brian Dozier is now. He's a low average, high discipline masher at a premium position.

Unless the offer is "holy crap, yeah, I'll take the #4 prospect in baseball" good, there is no reason to trade Brian Dozier, particularly for a guy owed a bunch of money over the next handful of years (Allen Craig).

I don't understand why people are in a rush to get rid of Brian Dozier. He's a 2.5-4 WAR player right now. That's a really valuable piece and the return better be amazing if he's moved and it needs to be a lot better than Craig, a defensively-challenged OF/1B type who is owed $25m in the next three years. Trading Dozier seems a lot like shuffling deck chairs. You're closing one hole so you can open another. It doesn't actually improve the team in any capacity.

#13 twinsnorth49

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 11:14 AM

I think they should off a 1 year deal to Ichiro this offseason. If nothing else, lets kick it old school with Hunter.

In all seriousness I think we have enough stop gap solutions. Santana and Fuld can handle it for a year or 2 and Hicks will likely get another chance. Buxton is on the way. If we really want Santana at SS then we get a stop gap like the 2 mentioned above.


Actually I think this is the most likely scenario if Santana continues to play well through this season. Fuld and Santana next spring, possibly Hicks by June with Santana moving to SS and Escobar to a full time utility role and Fuld as 4th outfielder.

It gets cloudy when Buxton and Sano arrive, pushing Hicks and Plouffe into bench roles presumably.

#14 jokin

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 11:16 AM

Don't get me wrong because I like Fuld, but last I looked he was hitting .269. He does play a good CF and gives you speed at the bottom of the order. I'm suggesting he is the CF until Buxton arrives.


Tarheel was correct....Fuld is batting .285 while appearing as a MN Twin. I also like Fuld, but not as a starter, but a nice 4th OF. It would be helpful to see if Rosario might be ready next year with a August call-up if he resumes raking in AA this month. But I think they can get by with Santana and Fuld in CF until Buxton arrives, with Santana continuing to split duty at both SS and CF. In the meantime, the Twins should be taking advantage of their waiver wire position and make claims on DFAs who project as another Bonifcaio, to build up some OF depth.

Edited by jokin, 15 July 2014 - 11:19 AM.


#15 jokin

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 11:22 AM

Actually I think this is the most likely scenario if Santana continues to play well through this season. Fuld and Santana next spring, possibly Hicks by June with Santana moving to SS and Escobar to a full time utility role and Fuld as 4th outfielder.

It gets cloudy when Buxton and Sano arrive, pushing Hicks and Plouffe into bench roles presumably.


IMO, with the maturity of Plouffe's bat this year, as well as in the field (he actually has a positive dWAR ranking, both this year and last), he's making a case for becoming the Super Util guy that some of us have envisioned- perhaps playing regularly at the IF and OF corners

#16 mike wants wins

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 11:58 AM

If only there was a player on the roster that could play 3B sometimes this year, so Plouffe could work the OF occassionally......

#17 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 12:04 PM

If only there was a player on the roster that could play 3B sometimes this year, so Plouffe could work the OF occassionally......


Escobar could fill that role once Santana comes back from rehab.

#18 spycake

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 12:10 PM

IMO, with the maturity of Plouffe's bat this year, as well as in the field (he actually has a positive dWAR ranking, both this year and last), he's making a case for becoming the Super Util guy that some of us have envisioned- perhaps playing regularly at the IF and OF corners


Have you checked Plouffe's numbers lately? His AVG, SLG, and K rate all seem perfectly consistent with years past. His OBP is about .010 higher than last year, but mostly thanks to April (isolated discipline .058 since May 1st, was .062 from 2011-2013).

And he's starting to get more expensive, $2.35 mil this year as a Super-2 player. Given his starting history, he's probably on his way to $3-4 mil arbitration awards the next few years, regardless of his future role. Which we can obviously afford, but it doesn't look like that's a particularly great value for what would essentially be a 90-100 OPS+ corner player. (If he could backup middle IF again, it could be a different story!)

If his defense really is average or better at third, he might have more value in trade if someone else sees him as a viable 3B patch.

#19 beckmt

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 12:13 PM

Maybe this is not the spot for this discussion, but I view Dozier as a Brandon Phillips type, with more walks and maybe a little less defense. Is this good, yes, but in 3-4 years we will owe him a pile of money to keep him, with Polanco, if he makes it, as a superior defensive player and less power and more average. What does this leave, get a big package for Dozier now, as the package may go down over the next two years. We have 2-4 prospects, (Polanco, Rosario, Gordon, Micheal) to possibly fill the 2B spot. Take the chance now.

#20 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 12:40 PM

What does this leave, get a big package for Dozier now, as the package may go down over the next two years. We have 2-4 prospects, (Polanco, Rosario, Gordon, Micheal) to possibly fill the 2B spot. Take the chance now.


Barring injury or extreme production drop-off, Dozier's value will still be very high in two years and at that point, this theoretical replacement will be closer to the big leagues and more of a viable option to actually replace Dozier and be productive.

Teams can't trade off solid, productive players due to irrational fear of collapse... if they operated in that fashion, they'd trade every. single. player. on their roster the moment they got good at hitting or throwing baseballs.

Teams can't win if they continually trade off their good players without viable replacements on hand. It's that simple.