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Keith Law Mideseason Top 5 Farm Systems

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#1 drjim

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 01:14 PM

http://insider.espn....ms?refresh=true

Twins #2 behind the Cubs. No real surprise.

Though it was interesting that he thinks there is a pretty big gap after #4.
Papers...business papers.

#2 TheLeviathan

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 02:30 PM

Hard to keep the top spot when your top two have horrific injury luck.

#3 SpiritofVodkaDave

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 02:31 PM

keith law hates the twins


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#4 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 06:02 PM

From what I've heard, there's a big gap after 2 as well. The Cubs have a bit more ceiling, but the Twins system is very balanced, with much better pitching from what I understand.

#5 DocBauer

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 08:21 PM

Surprisingly, considering where we thought we were a couple seasons ago, the biggest hole in the minors right now might be in the OF. Now, I'm not saying we are destitute there, but we are painfully short in the upper levels right now. To be fair, some of this is due to the "graduation" or Arcia, the injury to Buxton prevented him being at AA, Hicks is trying to get straightened out after not being ready, and Rosario's suspension also slowed his progress to AAA this year.

Just about every other top to decent OF prospect in the system is in A ball. Kvasnika in AA was a top draft choice for a reason. He's found new life with the Twins. And while it seems doubtful he has any special tools to set him apart, he may find a role as a versatile bench player. Nate Roberts should be in AA by now. Sometimes there are those talented ball players that, for whatever reason, simply can't escape the injury bug. And it's really too bad that Roberts may just be one of those players. He has the talent to be a solid ML OF who can play left or center and be a spark plug at the top of the order. At worse, he could be a very valuable resererve. I just don't know if he's ever going to be healthy enough to reach his potential. Once in a while, there are certain players who finally shake those old snake-eyes and finally arrive, often after being jettisoned and latching on to a different organization. I hope Roberts will be one of those guys, but kept within the Twins organization.

Max Kepler is similar to Roberts. I think we all knew, considering his background, that despite enormous talent, athleticism and potential, that he could take a little longer to reach his potential. But the injury bug is starting to get a hold of him as well. Here's hoping he can shake that bug and get back on track soon.

Walker has tremendous power potential and potential in general. He moves well for a big man, has more speed than expected, can steal a base here and there, (at least for now), reportedly has a very good arm. The ball reportedly comes off his bat in that special way with that special sound, and he's shown a legitimate ability to hit in the clutch, hits, power and even sac flys, and that's not a talent to be ignored. But he's at A ball for a reason still, looking for more consistent contact.

Harrison May be an option, though I'm still a little unsure why he's been moved off 3B so quickly. All reports indicate he also has big power potential. But even if he stays in the OF, he's still a long ways away at this time.

And there are others, this is a short list. And with a little bit of luck, Buxton and Hicks and Rosario will get it together quickly and be factors soon. I'm just surprised at the lack of depth and options available at the moment.

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#6 TheLeviathan

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 10:31 PM

Don't forget about Rosario, he's in the upper minors and (as of now) is still an OF.

#7 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 06:45 AM

[SIZE=2][SIZE=3]The system is actually loaded with CF types, but it's lacking in corner types. Fortunately, that's probably the easiest type to fill via FA... But yeah, I wouldn't mind an LF with a decent average, 20-30 home run power, and can play average defense. There's nothing like that in the high minors.

On the flip side, between Buxton, Hicks, Rosario, Kanzler, and potentially English and Murphy, the system is pretty loaded with guys who look to be decent CFs that could be flipped for a good corner OF or moved if their bats develop. [/SIZE][/SIZE]

#8 birdwatcher

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 07:09 AM

Curious about where Law ranked Kansas City.

#9 jorgenswest

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 07:50 AM

It would really be better to rank teams based on talent under 25 years old. I think it is more telling of the hope for the future.

BP did one just prior to the season and the Twins were 13th.

It helps their farm system ranking to have Meyer and May waiting in the wings. I would be better to have them finding success in the majors.

It was great to have Meyer, May and Vargas on the futures roster until you realize that they are among the 5 oldest players and one of the other two is a recent Cuban defect and in the minors less than a year.

At some point, the Twins need to decide the future is now.

#10 twinsfan34

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 08:29 AM

It would really be better to rank teams based on talent under 25 years old. I think it is more telling of the hope for the future.

BP did one just prior to the season and the Twins were 13th.

It helps their farm system ranking to have Meyer and May waiting in the wings. I would be better to have them finding success in the majors.

It was great to have Meyer, May and Vargas on the futures roster until you realize that they are among the 5 oldest players and one of the other two is a recent Cuban defect and in the minors less than a year.

At some point, the Twins need to decide the future is now.


I agree. May is on the 40-man...I don't understand why he hasn't gotten even so much as a spot start while Darnell, Pino, and Johnson have.

He's 24 this year, 25 before next year.

Another guy, Chad Christensen, like the guy a lot. Tons of versatility. He's in A-ball and he's 23 now and turns 24 this Fall. So...25 at A+ next year...maybe gets to AA at 25...turns 26 that Fall. 2016...starts at AA...maybe AAA...he's 27 before he even gets a cup of coffee?

Have a feeling May and Meyer are on paths to get turn 25 before they get 5 MLB starts in.

I'd be curious how many pitchers were successful in MLB who didn't have 5 MLB starts by age 25.

#11 birdwatcher

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 08:33 AM

It would really be better to rank teams based on talent under 25 years old. I think it is more telling of the hope for the future.

BP did one just prior to the season and the Twins were 13th.

It helps their farm system ranking to have Meyer and May waiting in the wings. I would be better to have them finding success in the majors.

It was great to have Meyer, May and Vargas on the futures roster until you realize that they are among the 5 oldest players and one of the other two is a recent Cuban defect and in the minors less than a year.

At some point, the Twins need to decide the future is now.


Buxton, Sano, Meyer, Stewart, Gordon, Berrios, Rosario, Polanco, Burdi, Thorpe, May, Tonkin, Pinto, Vargas, Walker....

Which of these 15 is too old for your tastes? Every one of these guys would make almost very team's top 10 prospect list. Many of the guys are one of the youngest players at their current level. The facts just don't fit your complaint.

It would be nice to "decide" that the future is "now", but it just isn't. Yet.

#12 nicksaviking

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 08:39 AM

I'd be curious how many pitchers were successful in MLB who didn't have 5 MLB starts by age 25.


http://www.baseball-...johnsra05.shtml

But I agree, waiting this long isn't doing the player or the game any favors. I am more interested in SABR type stats these days, but I love baseball history. There wouldn't be many 3K hitters, 500 HR sluggers and 300 win pitchers if teams made their players wait until they were a polished 25-year-old to play in the majors.

To be fair, the Twins don't seem to require the same amount of polish for hitters as they do pitchers, but their seeming insistance that Gibson, May and Meyer have to rub off all their rough edges before they can debut is frustrating.

Edited by nicksaviking, 23 July 2014 - 08:41 AM.


#13 jorgenswest

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 08:58 AM

Buxton, Sano, Meyer, Stewart, Gordon, Berrios, Rosario, Polanco, Burdi, Thorpe, May, Tonkin, Pinto, Vargas, Walker....

Which of these 15 is too old for your tastes? Every one of these guys would make almost very team's top 10 prospect list. Many of the guys are one of the youngest players at their current level. The facts just don't fit your complaint.

It would be nice to "decide" that the future is "now", but it just isn't. Yet.


I didn't give them the middling ranking in young player talent. BP did. The players you mention (other than Gordon) helped them achieve the ranking at number 13. I do wonder if that ranking dropped considering key under 25 players in Buxton, Sano, Arcia, Pinto, Hicks, Rosario and Meyer have not had stellar seasons.

My point was that it is far better to compare our young players against the young players in other organizations regardless of their minor or major league status. It is nice to have the number two ranked farm system. It would be better to be ranked number 2 among young players. In that context, the Twins find themselves in the middle.

#14 Celebrity Weddings!

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 09:33 AM

I'd be curious how many pitchers were successful in MLB who didn't have 5 MLB starts by age 25.


Randy Johnson was, like Meyer, an extraordinarily tall pitcher drafted out of college who needed additional development time to get all those long limbs moving in the right direction and therefore didn't pick up five starts by age 25.

#15 twins1961

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 09:40 AM

I agree. May is on the 40-man...I don't understand why he hasn't gotten even so much as a spot start while Darnell, Pino, and Johnson have.

He's 24 this year, 25 before next year.

Another guy, Chad Christensen, like the guy a lot. Tons of versatility. He's in A-ball and he's 23 now and turns 24 this Fall. So...25 at A+ next year...maybe gets to AA at 25...turns 26 that Fall. 2016...starts at AA...maybe AAA...he's 27 before he even gets a cup of coffee?

Have a feeling May and Meyer are on paths to get turn 25 before they get 5 MLB starts in.

I'd be curious how many pitchers were successful in MLB who didn't have 5 MLB starts by age 25.


A couple of names come to mind. Recently, Randy Johnson won 300 games after turning 25. Going back in time, Warren Spahn won 363 after turning 25. So maybe there is hope for May and Meyers.

#16 Seth Stohs

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 09:44 AM

Still don't understand this rush to get players to the big leagues before they turn 24. Sure, it's nice to see the top prospects get there at that age, but when a guy's ceiling is 5/6 starter, maybe reliever, bench bat, does it matter if they get up at 24 or 28?

#17 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 09:58 AM

keith law hates the twins



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Does Keith Law hate the Twins as much as Jim Pohlad does? :)

#18 birdwatcher

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 10:02 AM

I didn't give them the middling ranking in young player talent. BP did. The players you mention (other than Gordon) helped them achieve the ranking at number 13. I do wonder if that ranking dropped considering key under 25 players in Buxton, Sano, Arcia, Pinto, Hicks, Rosario and Meyer have not had stellar seasons.

My point was that it is far better to compare our young players against the young players in other organizations regardless of their minor or major league status. It is nice to have the number two ranked farm system. It would be better to be ranked number 2 among young players. In that context, the Twins find themselves in the middle.


Sorry, but, despite whatever one "ranking" says, your point isn't valid. That BP ranking must be flawed. There are way too many credible rankings that dispute that. There just isn't this big pool of top prospects age 26 and above. So, these other rankings in fact DO compare our younger prospects to other team's younger prospects, without question. You can take a look at Seth's or Aaron's rankings of as many as 40 Twins prospects and be hard-pressed to find 5 prospects on them over the age of 26. Of our 6 prospects ranked among baseball's best 50, Meyer is by far the oldest and the other 4 have been the youngest player in their league at some point in the last year, average age about 20.5.

#19 spycake

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 10:05 AM

Still don't understand this rush to get players to the big leagues before they turn 24. Sure, it's nice to see the top prospects get there at that age, but when a guy's ceiling is 5/6 starter, maybe reliever, bench bat, does it matter if they get up at 24 or 28?


It's not really about rushing them. It's just another indicator of the quality of the players themselves, and our confidence in projecting their futures. The Twins may have a better farm system than the Angels, but it sure would be nice to have a Trout, or at least a Skaggs on the big league club right now.

Put another way: a top farm system, particularly in the lower minors, can easily be a worse organization with a lower future projection than a team with a worse farm system, but more recent MLB graduates. That's why I too like the "25 and under" rankings better than farm system ones.

Also, correct me if I am wrong, but our MLB promotion discussion has mostly been about Meyer and May, who are both 24 and will be 25 before next spring. And their ceilings are hopefully better than "5/6 starter, maybe reliever".

#20 birdwatcher

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 10:07 AM

My bad, jorgenswest, I just caught the fact that they're incorporating the MLB roster and attempting to rank organizational talent, not prospects only. Now it makes sense.

#21 Oxtung

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 10:43 AM

I agree with Jorgenswest. Prospect rankings are great but what really matters is players under a particular age (25 seems like a good cutoff). Does anyone think that Michael Wacha is worth less going forward than Meyer? Or that Giancarlo Stanton doesn't matter but Sano does? The Cardinals, Rangers, Marlins, for example, would "rank" much higher when looking at under 25.

#22 jorgenswest

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 11:49 AM

Innings pitched for players 25 and younger in the AL Central

309.2 White Sox
295.2 Tigers
288.0 Royals
233.1 Indians
15.1 Twins

The Twins rank 30th. The Marlins (473), Cardinals (400.2) and Mariners (328.1) are the top 3.

#23 SD Buhr

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 11:53 AM

Another guy, Chad Christensen, like the guy a lot. Tons of versatility. He's in A-ball and he's 23 now and turns 24 this Fall. So...25 at A+ next year...maybe gets to AA at 25...turns 26 that Fall. 2016...starts at AA...maybe AAA...he's 27 before he even gets a cup of coffee?


Picking nits, perhaps, but while your overall point may be the same, you seem to be taking some liberties with the math to make that point.

Christensen turns 24 this fall (in October). How does that make him 25 while at A+ level next year?

He'd be 24 all of the 2015 season and turn 25 that fall, not 26.

In the end, given that Christensen, while having an excellent year, isn't a guy found on any Twins "top prospects" list, if he's 26 (or even, as you projected using the faulty math, 27) years old when he reaches the big leagues, is that so terrible?

What's the average age of a 25th round draft choice position player when he reaches the big leagues?

Expecting most of your college age draftees to reach the majors by 25 is just unrealistic, imo.

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#24 spycake

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 12:08 PM

The Twins rank 30th. The Marlins (473), Cardinals (400.2) and Mariners (328.1) are the top 3.


And zero IP for starters 25 and under! Dodgers are the only other club with that distinction so far in 2014. Even back in 2010 our 25 and under starters managed 6 IP (god bless you, Jeff Manship!).

The Twins rank 10th in MLB for most PA by hitters 25 and under, although we are behind the White Sox and Royals again. Of our 5 under 25 hitters, two (Pinto and Hicks) are back in the minors; the other three are Escobar, Santana, and Arcia.

Our 25 and under PA ranks since 2010: 17, 16, 17, 13, now 10. Improvement!

Our 25 and under IP ranks since 2010: 30, 24, 18, 21, now 30. Not so much...?

#25 Beezer07

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 12:18 PM

I agree with Jorgenswest. Prospect rankings are great but what really matters is players under a particular age (25 seems like a good cutoff). Does anyone think that Michael Wacha is worth less going forward than Meyer? Or that Giancarlo Stanton doesn't matter but Sano does? The Cardinals, Rangers, Marlins, for example, would "rank" much higher when looking at under 25.


In a conversation about the strength of farm systems and prospects, why would we look at guys who, by and large, have already "made it" in the majors?

#26 spycake

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 12:26 PM

Expecting most of your college age draftees to reach the majors by 25 is just unrealistic, imo.


Well, Christensen was a 25th rounder, and almost 23 years old when he was drafted. Actually wouldn't expect him to reach the majors at all! But yeah, if those guys make it, they're probably 26 when they debut (Lew Ford). Not really evidence of anything.

But I would guess that most decently-regarded college draftees, if they are going to be MLB players, should debut by age 25, no problem.

Alex Meyer was a first rounder and only 21. Garza was a 21 y.o. first rounder too. Baker and Slowey were 21 y.o. 2nd rounders. All reached MLB by age 23. Gibson was a 21 y.o. first rounder too, and was on track to debut at age 23 before his surgery (which has probably unfairly contributed to the perception of the Twins as slow to promote).

Trevor May was an 18 y.o. 4th rounder out of high school. I know his prospect stock fell in the middle years, but it's a little crazy to think he may just sneak in his debut (hopefully!) before turning 25 despite no major injuries.

#27 spycake

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 12:31 PM

In a conversation about the strength of farm systems and prospects, why would we look at guys who, by and large, have already "made it" in the majors?


Including them would just be a more accurate predictor of a club's future MLB success.

When you think about it, it's actually a little weird to exclude young guys just because they "graduate" to MLB. How meaningful is a farm system ranking, when successfully graduating a player to MLB actually makes your ranking worse?

#28 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 01:06 PM

Still don't understand this rush to get players to the big leagues before they turn 24. Sure, it's nice to see the top prospects get there at that age, but when a guy's ceiling is 5/6 starter, maybe reliever, bench bat, does it matter if they get up at 24 or 28?


I think it's an issue of getting the effect before the cause. People note (rightfully so) that the best players in MLB typically got up before the age of 24/25. Therefore, we should be getting our best guys up at the same rate.

That's probably a bit of an oversimplification.

The counterpoint is that most players don't make it up at that point, and there's a reason for that. The ones that do are their b/c they are special talents, and cherry picking one or two guys out of an org misses the fact that most orgs dont' have that much special talent. I don't think that's a reason to rush anyone, that's for sure. You get 6 years of team control, I'd rather they learn as much as they can in the minors prior to coming up...

#29 Beezer07

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 01:29 PM

Including them would just be a more accurate predictor of a club's future MLB success.

When you think about it, it's actually a little weird to exclude young guys just because they "graduate" to MLB. How meaningful is a farm system ranking, when successfully graduating a player to MLB actually makes your ranking worse?


If the conversation were about top players below 25, then I agree excluding guys who are in the majors would be foolish. But in a conversation about "which teams are best suited to improve from within," it makes sense that if you have fewer guys below the majors who might contribute meaningful innings any time soon, you would be ranked lower.

#30 SD Buhr

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 02:27 PM

I dunno, but it seems to me like all the "no MLB talent under 25" stuff is just a re-hashing of what we all already knew - that the Twins had some very unproductive drafts for a stretch. They were drafting late in the first round and missed with some guys, compounding the problem, and did little-to-nothing to compensate for it in the free agent pitching market.

Not much debate about that, really.

But to bring it all back up in a slightly different guise like "no under 25 MLB talent," in a thread topic focused on the organization's farm system ranking, feels a bit like just trying to turn a positive point in to another discussion critical of the FO based on the same failures that have been pointed out and conceded elsewhere.

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