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Nick Gordon article on Fangraphs

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#1 drjim

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 10:57 AM

http://www.fangraphs...t-expectations/

Interesting read. Some mention of some Appy pitchers and Max Murphy as well.

I personally think you gain very little from scouting same year high school guys in rookie leagues - especially everyday guys.
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#2 nicksaviking

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 11:16 AM

Great article about Gordon and Murphy. I hope Gordon is better than your run-of-the-mill SS but I also wasn't happy with the low ceiling approach to the draft. Finding a 2-3 regulars or one star would make any draft class a roaring success, but I think you need to take more risk on upside and that means drafting and signing more than 4 HS kids.

#3 drjim

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 11:53 AM

Great article about Gordon and Murphy. I hope Gordon is better than your run-of-the-mill SS but I also wasn't happy with the low ceiling approach to the draft. Finding a 2-3 regulars or one star would make any draft class a roaring success, but I think you need to take more risk on upside and that means drafting and signing more than 4 HS kids.


I generally agree, but I wonder if the new slot rules are limiting the number of high school guys that are willing to sign, especially guys with high ceilings.

If the Twins (rightly or wrongly) are committed to taking Gordon and it costs full slot to sign, it does limit what they can do later on for high school guys. Doesn't mean they have to take 7 straight college relievers, but I don't think it is quite as simple as "take more high school guys".
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#4 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 11:55 AM

FWIW, I was pretty against the Buxton pick and he performed worse than Gordon did in his rookie league debut, so I think there's still good reason to think that Gordon could get off to a decent start in rookie leagues, though I won't put Buxton level expectations on him. The Twins, however, seemed pretty infatuated with him, as they were with Buxton... so who knows.

One thing he didn't mention, that I think is important is that most of these hitters are also adjusting to using much heavier wooden bats. That is something that many hitters struggle with in the rookie leagues. I think that plays heavily into the fatigue as well, as they are playing more baseball than they have in the past and they are now using heavier bats.

#5 Seth Stohs

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 01:26 PM

This is just one opinion based on 3 games, so it's just one data point. I prefer to think of him as an 18 year old playing against a lot of 20-22 year olds that have had 3-4 years of college experience or 2-4 years of pro experience... and he's holding his own. He certainly has a lot of development to do, but the Twins took him knowing that. He's not a finished product.

I don't think that the bats are any more expensive. I spent a lot of time talking bats with Aaron Hicks at his locker one day in spring training. Obviously it depends on what hitters used in high school. But, I used a 34-31 bat in high school. The bats he showed me that he was using were like 34-30, 33-30, 34-31. He said that some guys use bats that are 33 to 34 ounces, but I don't think that would be the issue.

#6 nicksaviking

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 01:36 PM

I generally agree, but I wonder if the new slot rules are limiting the number of high school guys that are willing to sign, especially guys with high ceilings.

If the Twins (rightly or wrongly) are committed to taking Gordon and it costs full slot to sign, it does limit what they can do later on for high school guys. Doesn't mean they have to take 7 straight college relievers, but I don't think it is quite as simple as "take more high school guys".


Yeah, they are more costly and the Twins taking a full or near slot HS kid with their first pick three years in a row can hurt your chances of getting HS kids leter in the draft. Still, it sounds like they left 200K available money on the table. Maybe the HS kids they did draft later weren't worth that money, but that tells me they should have drafted some that were, like guys who went in the first 10 rounds.

Also for the record, Gordon wasn't my choice at #5, but I like what I've seen and heard about him much more than the author. I think the odds are good that he is one of the top 5 players from this draft.

With Max Murphy being #1 of course.

#7 twinsfan34

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 02:12 PM

Great article on Gordon....but what stuck out to me the MOST out of that read was this:

"the Twins’ pitching staff leading the league in strikeouts..." (ELZ Twins)

#8 iTwins

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 02:26 PM

Great article on Gordon....but what stuck out to me the MOST out of that read was this:

"the Twins’ pitching staff leading the league in strikeouts..." (ELZ Twins)


That's exactly what I came here to post. I don't put much (read: zero) weight into projections for an 18 year old kid getting his first taste of professional ball. I enjoyed reading the article on Gordon but the highlight was the quote about strikeouts.

The Twins' pitching staff leading the league in strikeouts.

It just looks so nice on the page! (Especially when it's not a punchline...) Good signs for the future all around!

#9 drock2190

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 02:30 PM

So the author wasnt that impressed with Gordon? None of his tools stick out to me, hes above average except for power.

But hes held his own so far.

#10 Dman

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 02:43 PM

I think the author was just calling it like he saw it straight up. No account for age difference etc just what he saw. I thought it was an honest refreshing read. As others have noted you can't put a lot of stock in his observations as Buxton was worse and then much better the next year.

A lot of analysts had Gordon high. Maybe not all top 5 high but he was 20 and up pretty early on. Personally I think his talent was bigger than just bloodlines but what do I know? I wanted a pitcher or the other high school hitter but I think Gordon will work out in the end.

#11 PseudoSABR

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 09:25 PM

Just my take: I think the article suggest more about its author than its subject.

#12 jokin

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 10:07 PM

Just my take: I think the article suggest more about its author than its subject.


Yep, agreed, and in this case "more" is less.

#13 B Richard

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 11:08 PM

Several disclaimers and qualifiers came along with the article. The author himself admitted his own lack of expertise. This was rather refreshing, just a blunt opinion. Like all scouting reports, it should be taken with a grain of salt. I have no problem with Gordon's performance, especially considering the fatigue factor and age difference.
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#14 drjim

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 06:33 AM

Just my take: I think the article suggest more about its author than its subject.


I agree, but I think it would be an interesting comparison if one of us went and watched him. We would know who he is, be aware of his high draft status, but probably not think to much of him (at this point).
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#15 tarheeltwinsfan

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 07:04 AM

To those of you who are disappointed in Gordon...would you have preferred Brady Aiken?

#16 Seth Stohs

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 07:31 AM

To those of you who are disappointed in Gordon...would you have preferred Brady Aiken?


Well, yes... but he wasn't going to be there at 5, and the Twins got a really good one. No one should be disappointed in Gordon at this point.

#17 Jeremy Nygaard

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 06:20 AM

Just my take: I think the article suggest more about its author than its subject.

 

Well, this isn't just some bum who's never seen a baseball game. 

 

He's obviously onto something because he realizes Max Murphy is going to be a stud. (I've driving the Murphy pimptrain, and there is room for the author.)


#18 Thrylos

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 06:49 AM

Hold it for a sec :)

I thought that this was actually a positive write up.

I read this:

 

 

 

More likely, he’s in the Erick Aybar/Yunel Escobar mold,

 

I don't know about you, but if Gordon is as good as Aybar or Escobar with the stick and better with the glove, I would be very happy. Aybar's career average is .277/.317/.388.  Escobar's is: .276/.348/.382   Does anyone remember the last Twins' shortstop who played more than 2 seasons in the position with a better career line? (Hint: he is a broadcaster now and he had an iron glove.)

 

I think that the writeup was fair and I agree with the author that Gordon was a reach at that spot.  This does not mean that he is a bad prospect (actually I think that he is the second best Twins' SS prospect right now behind the kid that is gathering frequent flyer miles from RSW to MSP.)  He just was not the fifth best player in this draft 

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#19 Seth Stohs

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 06:56 AM

Hold it for a sec :)

I thought that this was actually a positive write up.

I read this:

 

 

 

 

I don't know about you, but if Gordon is as good as Aybar or Escobar with the stick and better with the glove, I would be very happy. Aybar's career average is .277/.317/.388.  Escobar's is: .276/.348/.382   Does anyone remember the last Twins' shortstop who played more than 2 seasons in the position with a better career line? (Hint: he is a broadcaster now and he had an iron glove.)

 

I think that the writeup was fair and I agree with the author that Gordon was a reach at that spot.  This does not mean that he is a bad prospect (actually I think that he is the second best Twins' SS prospect right now behind the kid that is gathering frequent flyer miles from RSW to MSP.)  He just was not the fifth best player in this draft 

 

Well said. I think there's a thought that the #5 overall pick has to be the next Troy Tulowitzki. Obviously that would be great, but if you can get your next shortstop who can be  a little above average and play strong defense for  6-8 years, you've done well. While he's in the minors, we can hope for me.

 

Nathaniel Stoltz has done this type of reporting/scouting for fangraphs for awhile and does a really good job.


#20 Willihammer

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 07:49 AM

If Gordon's ceiling is Aybar or Escobar then that is very disappointing. That is a whole lot of losing just to come away with a player that can be gotten for under 10/m year on the FA market

 

edit: re-reading the quote, the author says Gordon is "more likely" in the Aybar/Escobar mold, which suggest those might be his floor. If true, that's more re-assuring.


#21 Celebrity Weddings!

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 10:21 AM

This was such a strange article. It actually works pretty well to kind of poke at some of the epistemological issues that come along with scouting amateurs, but its focus on Gordon meant taking a big pass at those big ideas in exchange for ... something else. In any case, there's a big question in the middle of this that he straight passes on. 

 

When Gordon was picked, not even two months ago, he wasn't regarded as an overdraft by any of the usual sources. In that time, he's signed and held his own in an aggressive early assignment for an 18 year old. 

 

It's a really odd thing for Stoltz to call in the support of some scouts he talked to and who supported his overall "meh" evaluation without answer the question of what, precisely, he thinks happened in the not-yet-two-months. I'm open to the idea that it's something. But it has to be something for this to be worth writing, doesn't it? That he showed up and all the tools just play a little less loudly then they did on the showcase circuit. That his solid performance so far should be even better. Instead we get "It’s funny how things change so much right after the draft, though."

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#22 Dman

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 10:35 AM

This was such a strange article. It actually works pretty well to kind of poke at some of the epistemological issues that come along with scouting amateurs, but its focus on Gordon meant taking a big pass at those big ideas in exchange for ... something else. In any case, there's a big question in the middle of this that he straight passes on. 

 

When Gordon was picked, not even two months ago, he wasn't regarded as an overdraft by any of the usual sources. In that time, he's signed and held his own in an aggressive early assignment for an 18 year old. 

 

It's a really odd thing for Stoltz to call in the support of some scouts he talked to and who supported his overall "meh" evaluation without answer the question of what, precisely, he thinks happened in the not-yet-two-months. I'm open to the idea that it's something. But it has to be something for this to be worth writing, doesn't it? That he showed up and all the tools just play a little less loudly then they did on the showcase circuit. That his solid performance so far should be even better. Instead we get "It’s funny how things change so much right after the draft, though."

 

I agree with you here.  A lot of top analysts had Gordon high in the end.  Some as high as number 3.  So there obviously is something there that they liked beyond blood lines.  Also there is a huge difference between 18 and 21.  Gordon won't even be playing in the Appy league at 21 so comparing him to the loud tools Max is showing seems unfair.  He will grow as a player with experience and put on muscle that will help him develop those loud tools everyone thinks he will develop.  It is way to early to determine how good he will be.


#23 cmb0252

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 10:51 AM

In Law's mid season update he had Gordon ranked #25, only behind Rodon for 2014 draftees, so there is upside. Gordon just seems to get knocked because he doesn't have any flashy tools like Buxton's 80 speed or Sano's 80 power. What is wrong with a guy that can do everything well? A plus defensive SS who can hold his own at the plate is a 3 WAR player.
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#24 kab21

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 11:57 AM

People need to remember that the early version of Yunel Escobar was really good even if he wasn't acknowledged for it.  His first 3 seasons he had an .800 OPS.  Things went downhill fast when he approached 30 though.  If gordon hits .290/.375/.425/.800 with more SB's and better defense then the Twins have an all star SS.