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Article: Josh Willingham Traded To Royals for Minor League Pitcher

josh willingham jason adam
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#31 Badsmerf

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 10:30 PM

Wow you are all acting like this is a God send move and Ryan has done an amazing job this season. These trades have been good. Let's not get carried away with the "normal tr standards" stuff. He's still part of the reason they are in this mess.

Anyway. I'm happy for Willingham and the royals. I'll be pulling for them the rest of the season. It will be nice to have fresh blood in the playoffs. They have the pitching to do well, and Willingham will help them score runs. I thought this would be a good fit a few weeks back.
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#32 SpiritofVodkaDave

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 10:44 PM

Wow you are all acting like this is a God send move and Ryan has done an amazing job this season. These trades have been good. Let's not get carried away with the "normal tr standards" stuff. He's still part of the reason they are in this mess.

Anyway. I'm happy for Willingham and the royals. I'll be pulling for them the rest of the season. It will be nice to have fresh blood in the playoffs. They have the pitching to do well, and Willingham will help them score runs. I thought this would be a good fit a few weeks back.

I think Ryan has done pretty damn well overall, I give him an A- for the trades he has been able to make this year, and a A- for the trades he has made in the past 2 years to help bolster this teams future (see: May/Meyer) and a B or B+ for the Free agents he was able to bring in this year. Hughes has been a great success and will be a key moving forward, the Suzuki signing was perfect this year (the extension is TBD but still a very low risk move IMO) Snagging Fuld and then flipping him was great. I am still a fan of the Nolasco signing, hopefully he can be healthy from here on out and earn his contract. The Pelfrey signing is a bust at this point, but I think he has a shot to be at least a bullpen arm for us (a high upside one potentially at that) and its not like he is breaking the bank.

 

I am very excited to see what TR can do this off-season, he has a decent amount of cash and less theoretical holes to fill as the rotation has 7 or 8 guys ready for the start of 2015 (Hughes, Gibson, Milone, Nolasco, Meyer, May, Pino etc) and SS, catcher, 3B and CF all are have or have someone on the way very quickly. Just need to figure out how to get a nice corner OF in the mix.

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#33 Paul Pleiss

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 12:50 AM

Hopefully Hammer Time happens frequently in KC. I'd love to see Hammer help get the Royals the AL Central crown over Detroit. Anyone but Detroit. Well, anyone except the 3itchSox.

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#34 troyhobbs

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 05:24 AM

I think these trades are pretty fair, it's nice to shed the contracts and to get something for guys that were on their way out but I don't see anyone that they've acquired as being major players in the twins revival.

#35 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 06:41 AM

I like the move. I was hoping more lower minors, but this kid has a ceiling and is more of a buy low type guy. Trevor May was a buy low guy, and bad debut aside, he looks promising. Worst case, another solid option. Best case, an above average starter. I'll take it.

#36 spycake

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 06:43 AM

Don't know if it has been said explicitly here, but Jason Adam is not currently on a 40-man roster.  However, as a 2010 high school pick, he will need to be added to the 40-man by November or thus be eligible for selection in the 2014 Rule 5 draft.


#37 spycake

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 07:30 AM

I like the move. I was hoping more lower minors, but this kid has a ceiling and is more of a buy low type guy. Trevor May was a buy low guy, and bad debut aside, he looks promising. Worst case, another solid option. Best case, an above average starter. I'll take it.

Trevor May was quite a bit better -- one year removed from being a #50-#70 ranked prospect in all MLB, control issues but a K/9 that suggested potential bullpen dominance even if he didn't make it as a starter.

 

Jason Adam feels like more of a Sean Gilmartin type -- modest peripherals, got hit hard in the minors (Gilmartin at AAA, Adam at AA).  Given his right-handedness, Adam seems like an even longer shot to make it, but hopefully he can get things straightened out and take over as a depth guy in place of our AAA graduates.  Fine return for an expiring contract.

 

Will be interesting to see where we send him (AA or AAA) and in what role.

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#38 Dman

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 07:35 AM

Don't know if it has been said explicitly here, but Jason Adam is not currently on a 40-man roster.  However, as a 2010 high school pick, he will need to be added to the 40-man by November or thus be eligible for selection in the 2014 Rule 5 draft.

 

Yeah this team is going to have some interesting 40 man decisions this year and the years after,  They have so many bullpen arms that appear close to Major league ready that I wonder if they can trade some of the guys they already have to make more room.  There are going to be some tough decisions on the farm in the future.

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#39 gunnarthor

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 07:47 AM

http://www.baseballa...per-willingham/

 

Baseball America's article goes into pretty good depth on Adam but I'd point out one thing:

 

"Adam’s success or failure is largely tied to his delivery. When he gets too upright in his delivery and gets too mechanical he leaves his fastball up, it straightens up and becomes quite hittable. He has three games of seven or more runs allowed this year and he had five games of seven runs or more allowed last year.

But when he drives off the mound and gets extension, he gets just as much if not more velocity (92-95 mph) and generates good sink on his fastball while locating down in the zone. Adam added a slider this year, although at its best, his downer curveball is more effective and is usable both as a strike early in the count or as a bigger breaker when he’s ahead of hitters."

May had a similar problem when we got him - while tall he pitched short and the ball came in high on a straight plane, letting hitters square up better and/or letting the ball fly out of the zone.  It took a couple years, and repeating AA, but May has gotten a lot better with that.  Perhaps the Twins see a similar tweek in Adam and can turn him into a solid starter.  BA also wrote that "The Twins are getting a great lottery ticket. At his best, Adam shows two plus pitches (his fastball and curveball) as well as an average changeup and a slider that could develop into an average pitch and he does it all with potentially average control."

We have three more seasons where we can stash him in the minors while he works on mechanics/control.  

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#40 kab21

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 07:55 AM

Trevor May was quite a bit better -- one year removed from being a #50-#70 ranked prospect in all MLB, control issues but a K/9 that suggested potential bullpen dominance even if he didn't make it as a starter.

 

Jason Adam feels like more of a Sean Gilmartin type -- modest peripherals, got hit hard in the minors (Gilmartin at AAA, Adam at AA).  Given his right-handedness, Adam seems like an even longer shot to make it, but hopefully he can get things straightened out and take over as a depth guy in place of our AAA graduates.  Fine return for an expiring contract.

 

Will be interesting to see where we send him (AA or AAA) and in what role.

 

Adam is nothing like the soft tossing Gilmartin.  He's more like Pressly (Rule 5), Welker, Pryor, Hoey, etc...  Interesting bullpen arm that throws hard but hasn't gotten good results yet.

I look forward to the day that a pitching prospect is truly blocked by good pitchers.


#41 spycake

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 08:04 AM

Adam is nothing like the soft tossing Gilmartin.  He's more like Pressly (Rule 5), Welker, Pryor, Hoey, etc...  Interesting bullpen arm that throws hard but hasn't gotten good results yet.

I was thinking more prospect ranking and stats, rather than pitching style (or handedness, which I noted).  He's more like Gilmartin than May in that regard.  Pressly's not a bad comp either -- he got hit hard as a starter in AA, fared better after a move to the pen.  Good to get someone similar without the Rule 5 strings attached!

 

The others you mention were career relievers, big K/9 but also big BB/9 too.  Welker and Hoey in particular were suspiciously old, Pryor is more interesting on age and level advancement alone.

 

Adam's profile suggests pretty stable and modest peripherals, maybe getting hit a little hard but perhaps some bad FIP luck too?


#42 mike wants wins

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 08:15 AM

No doubt they try to make him a starter. I say go hire the Pirates' pitching coaches to do it....

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. :)


#43 iTwins

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 08:26 AM

I enjoyed watching Willingham play with the Twins, but it was time for him to move on. With his less than stellar numbers this season and defensive woes, I was surprised the Twins got the return they did. Jason Adam is a solid addition to a team that could use as much pitching depth they could get.

 

Worst case scenario, he's organizational depth in AAA.

Likely scenario, he's a solid right handed option out of the pen.

Best case scenario, he works on his third pitch and becomes a reliable starter.

 

Not bad for an expiring contract slugger who hasn't "slugged" so much the last two years.

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#44 Teflon

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 08:37 AM

Based on SMASH, (my new favorite thing) Josh WIllingham was the 6th strongest Twin of all time.

 

1. Don Mincher

2. Harmon Killebrew

3. Jim Thome

4. Tim Laudner

5. David Ortiz

6. Josh WIllingham

 

SMASH is simply SLG divided by BA. It measures the average number of bases associated to each hit. The ranking is based on the highest peak season SMASH value for each hitter.


#45 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 08:56 AM

I really do hope TR has another trade or two in the works for some bullpen arms... at this point, I'd be happy with cash considerations as the team needs to get guys like Tonkin up and getting PT.


#46 beckmt

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 09:27 AM

Twins at least are not selling low.  They are getting some prospects for players sent(some lottery tickets), but better than nothing or org filler.  Adam looks like another one of these, good job TR.

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#47 spycake

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 09:45 AM

Likely scenario, he's a solid right handed option out of the pen.

I agree with your overall take, but a "likely scenario" as a plus major leaguer is a bit too generous right now.  At this point, his most likely / mean outcome is probably fringe AAA starter / MLB reliever (think Swarzak outside of 2013).  Fien/Burton/Duensing would be an outcome a step or two above that.


#48 birdwatcher

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 01:47 PM

Anderson should have no trouble fixing Jason Adam.

 

Ducking now...


#49 Kirby_waved_at_me

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 01:58 PM

Based on SMASH, (my new favorite thing) Josh WIllingham was the 6th strongest Twin of all time.

 

1. Don Mincher

2. Harmon Killebrew

3. Jim Thome

4. Tim Laudner

5. David Ortiz

6. Josh WIllingham

 

SMASH is simply SLG divided by BA. It measures the average number of bases associated to each hit. The ranking is based on the highest peak season SMASH value for each hitter.

 

Laudner is pretty suprising to see on that list, but I suppose he really wasn't a contact hitter, was he? I would have guessed Kirby, Hrbek, Oliva, and Bruno before Laudner... That's neat.

 

Hammer is still the all-time leader for homers at Target Field, yes? Plouffe is right behind him, right?


#50 birdwatcher

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 02:26 PM

Jason Adam slid from being the 9th best prospect to the 16th best in KC. I'm wondering if he's even the 16th best PITCHER in our system. 

 

Where does he slot in?

 

1. Meyer

2. Stewart

3. Berrios

4. Thorpe

5. May

6. Burdi

7. Tonkin

8. Jorge

9. Romero

10. Goncalves

 

And then, lots of guys more comparable to him? Which of these guys would you have given up for him? Gilmartin, Hu, Darnell, Johnson, Olivares, Rosario, Jiminez, Landa, Cedaroth, Rogers, Duffy, Lee, Jones, Melotakis, Eades, Slegers, Wheeler, Reed...

 

Who's his best comp among our prospects?


#51 jokin

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 03:14 PM

Jason Adam slid from being the 9th best prospect to the 16th best in KC. I'm wondering if he's even the 16th best PITCHER in our system. 

 

Where does he slot in?

 

1. Meyer

2. Stewart

3. Berrios

4. Thorpe

5. May

6. Burdi

7. Tonkin

8. Jorge

9. Romero

10. Goncalves

 

And then, lots of guys more comparable to him? Which of these guys would you have given up for him? Gilmartin, Hu, Darnell, Johnson, Olivares, Rosario, Jiminez, Landa, Cedaroth, Rogers, Duffy, Lee, Jones, Melotakis, Eades, Slegers, Wheeler, Reed...

 

Who's his best comp among our prospects?

 

 

Adam just turned 23 a week ago.  Though he's perceived to have taken a step back in 2014, look at what the Royals did for him.  They moved him to AAA as a reliever, and he's had some very good success in the hit-happy PCL.

 

I think the comp here is not that far off from Trevor May. Let's compare Adam's age-22 year in AA this season with May's 22-year old season with the Phillies AA club:

 

Trevor May ERA/FIP/SIERA 4.87/4.88/4.00

Jason Adam ERA/FIP/SIERA 5.03/3.65/3.74 

 

Trevor May WHIP 1.45 K/9 9.1  BB/9 4.7

Jason Adam WHIP 1.39 K/9 8.1 BB/9 2.7

 

Trevor May  BABIP .300   Slash line:  .219/.350/.410/.760

Jason Adam BABIP ..338  Slash line:  .281/.336/.419/.755

 

 

Trevor May repeated three times, at the A level, A+ level and the AA level.  Jason Adams has only repeated AA, and even that involved a promotion to AAA, although in a relief role.  I think if the Twins can continue the process of teaching Adams how to "pitch" to avoid more bats, the guy has demonstrated that he has projectabiliy- solid control, a decent FB between 91 and 95, touching 97 and a good slider.  For Adams to reach his ceiling as a mid-rotation starter like May also projects, the Twins also have to help him develop a more effective third pitch.

 

As you can tell, I am high on Adam's potential.

Edited by jokin, 12 August 2014 - 04:05 PM.


#52 drjim

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 03:20 PM

I'll take May (barely) in that profile, but thanks for providing the statistical comparison. Definitely a worthwhile arm to add to the system and a very solid return for 50 games of Willingham.

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#53 Badsmerf

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 04:05 PM

Jokin, Adam and May are nowhere even close to each other. First of all in your comparison May struck out 1 per 9 better and walked almost double the batters.... yet had similar results. That tells me he has better stuff, but control was an issue. Also, May had a k/9 of 12 the previous season. These two are not comparable, May is/was a much better prospect. 

 

That doesn't take away that Adam has a shot to be an MLB pitcher.  Swarzak struck out more guys than he did in the lower minors. However, looking at their age 22 season and Swarzak's next few seasons, they don't look like much. Swarzak really grew after a few seasons with the Twins, so Adam certainly could do that. 

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#54 jokin

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 04:55 PM

Jokin, Adam and May are nowhere even close to each other. First of all in your comparison May struck out 1 per 9 better and walked almost double the batters.... yet had similar results. That tells me he has better stuff, but control was an issue. Also, May had a k/9 of 12 the previous season. These two are not comparable, May is/was a much better prospect. 

 

That doesn't take away that Adam has a shot to be an MLB pitcher.  Swarzak struck out more guys than he did in the lower minors. However, looking at their age 22 season and Swarzak's next few seasons, they don't look like much. Swarzak really grew after a few seasons with the Twins, so Adam certainly could do that. 

 

No question that May has better stuff, but as we saw on Saturday, control is always going to be a major issue for him.  I merely demonstrated very similar results for the two pitchers to this point in time.  My point was that Adam is likely not simply to be dismissed as merely the "#16 Twins pitching prospect" in the system.  K rates are an important indicator of success, but shouldn't be considered strictly in a vacuum. Unlike May and Swarzak who have seen progressive declines in K rates in their minor league careers, to the contrary, Adam, as a starter, has increased his K/9 rate for 5 straight years, even as he has continued to climb the minor league levels.  To this point, Adam has both superior K/9 and BB/9 rates to Swarzak's AA total.  Swarzak took a noticeable dropoff in AAA- his K/9 was 5.5 and BB/9 was 2.7. May was 8.6-K/9 and 3.6-BB/9 in AAA this year.  Based on his history of year over year improvements at sucessive levels, Adam has a decent shot to beat or match both the K/BB numbers of May and Swarzak when he gets his shot at Rochester in 2015.  With the results that Adam has gotten to this point in time, with his control already firmly established, it suggests that he has a decent shot to get to the similar ceiling to May with proper development from the Twins staff.  He is going to have to get that third pitch going to keep hitters from sitting on his flattish fastball, missing bats, not lack of control, looks like it's going to be Adam's main focus for improvement.  

 

After checking this a little further, this is what most analysts suggest, ie, that of mid-rotation starter ceiling.  This was a good trade, certainly not like Revere for Worley/May, but not Liriano for Hernandez/Escobar.  This guy has a legitimate shot at a career well above Swarzak mop-up level.

Edited by jokin, 12 August 2014 - 05:02 PM.


#55 LaBombo

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 06:25 PM

Laudner is pretty suprising to see on that list, but I suppose he really wasn't a contact hitter, was he? I would have guessed Kirby, Hrbek, Oliva, and Bruno before Laudner... That's neat.

 

Hammer is still the all-time leader for homers at Target Field, yes? Plouffe is right behind him, right?

Yup.  Laudner gets a boost relative to the names you mentioned because they get penalized by that stat (which is fun by the way, and a nice addition to the recap of Willingham's Twins career) for every single they hit.

 

When you switch to isolated power, which measures bases per AB, all your names finish ahead of Laudner.  His approach at the plate epitomized the "Swing hard in case you hit it" philosphy.

 

It's difficult to imagine a more stark contrast between a hitter like Laudner and his successor, Brian Harper.  Laudner hit 77 homers in about 2200 PA's for the Twins, but struck out in nearly 25% of them.  Harper hit just 48 home runs in roughly 2700 PA's with the Twins, but struck out in only about 5% of them.


#56 The Greatest Poster Alive

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 06:50 PM

The recent trades are why i wasn't worried when the Twins didn't make a big deadline splash.  Everybody who needed to be moved got through waivers... Ryan is wise to get something for a guy out the door.  Hopefully Willingham helps the Royals make the playoffs for the first time since the 80's.  




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