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Article: Arcia, Vargas and Rebellion

oswaldo arcia kennys vargas
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#21 spycake

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 10:20 AM

I find it interesting that Arcia is actually younger than Vargas, by about 9 months.


#22 tobi0040

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 10:38 AM

I'm sorry, but Arcia is a very very ordinary player right now. He'd be well-served to close his mouth and open his ears.

 

He has a career OPS + of 101 and his 650 at bats have come at ages 22 and 23. If you view those 650 at bats as one full year, he has a .240 avg, 25 HR, .730 OPS.

 

He strikes out more than I would prefer and the OBP of .303 is nothing to write home about.But at 22-23 he is a league average corner OF. Every young player could listen more, but most kids his age are in AA or AAA, so I struggle to call him ordnary.

 

It will be an interesting time.We seemed to only draft or sign pitchers with good control and no k's and hitters that were slap style guys and that has changed.As these players are developed, will this coaching staff look to have Meyer and May throw in the zone more and pitch to contact?Get Arcia and Vargas to pull less, hack less, and walk more?

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#23 TheLeviathan

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 10:44 AM

I don't get why we have to dog Arcia and Vargas for something that comes with their game.  They are under 25 years old - one of their best strengths is turning and driving the ball.  We should be celebrating that the Twins are working to build on strengths and improve weaknesses rather than trying to completely reinvent every guy into Slappy McGoTheOtherWay.  

 

Yeah, Arcia and Vargas aren't all-star finished products.  Give em some damn time and be thrilled at how they are managing to drive the ball with authority.  David Ortiz pointed, more than anything else, at the mental relief to not feel pressure to be something he was not.  He still had to learn to improve his game, but he also felt free to play HIS game.

 

Let's be happy these kids are coming up, playing to their strengths at a young age in MLB, and finding some success.

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#24 Parker Hageman

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 11:07 AM

Owing to his intimidating presence in the batter's box, Vargas has often been compared to David Ortiz. As we all know, Ortiz became a star quickly after leaving Minnesota, and later went on to criticize his former organization for pressing him to alter his hitting approach.

 

 

 

I wrote about this the other week but someone has already gotten to Vargas to alter his swing:

 

http://twinsdaily.co...-watching-r2950

 

I'm hoping one of the beat writers will address this. 

"You spend a good piece of your life gripping a baseball and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around all the time." -- Jim Bouton, "Ball Four"


#25 gunnarthor

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 11:09 AM

Threads like this seem to have two purposes - 1) to report on a simple statement made which may or may not have much impact on reality and 2) to remind people yet again that PED Ortiz didn't hit many home runs in MN.  I'm really not sure what the point is.  As to #1, the numbers show that Vargas isn't pull happy, despite the statement (and while Arcia doesn't go to left field much, he does have a good number of hits back up the middle so he's not entirely pull happy).  Additionally, there isn't a lot of reason to believe that the Twins, for years now, have been an collection of hitters who use the entire field.  This (like a lot of other memes on TD) has fueled a false narrative about "The Twins Way."  

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#26 Seth Stohs

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 11:10 AM

Arcia's OPS+ of 101 is solid, and encouraging. If he can use the whole field better and cut down on the strikeouts, that number should continue to rise. The fact that he's not a very good hitter right now, yet still puts up adequate-to-solid overall numbers should be very exciting for what he could become if he listens and learns. 

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#27 gunnarthor

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 11:14 AM

Arcia's OPS+ of 101 is solid, and encouraging. If he can use the whole field better and cut down on the strikeouts, that number should continue to rise. The fact that he's not a very good hitter right now, yet still puts up adequate-to-solid overall numbers should be very exciting for what he could become if he listens and learns. 

That's a good point.  IIRC, young Morneau had a bit of the same problem in using the whole field.  But by 06, 21 of his 34 home runs went to CF or LF.  Good power hitters use the entire field, even if they are usually pull happy.  They just have to learn to what to do with certain pitches the pitchers want them to try and pull.  Arcia will get there sometime.

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#28 SwainZag

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 11:20 AM

Threads like this seem to have two purposes - 1) to report on a simple statement made which may or may not have much impact on reality and 2) to remind people yet again that PED Ortiz didn't hit many home runs in MN.  I'm really not sure what the point is.  As to #1, the numbers show that Vargas isn't pull happy, despite the statement (and while Arcia doesn't go to left field much, he does have a good number of hits back up the middle so he's not entirely pull happy).  Additionally, there isn't a lot of reason to believe that the Twins, for years now, have been an collection of hitters who use the entire field.  This (like a lot of other memes on TD) has fueled a false narrative about "The Twins Way."  

Regardless if he didn't hit many HR, in his last season for the Twins he was still average 1 HR per 20 AB, which comes out to 30 HR per full season.  He was always often injured while in a Twins uniform, it's too bad they didn't try and stick with him.

 

Either way, I'm hoping that Arcia and Vargas get to start for the rest of the season and see what kind of numbers they can put up with regular at bats.

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#29 nicksaviking

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 11:26 AM

 there isn't a lot of reason to believe that the Twins, for years now, have been an collection of hitters who use the entire field.  This (like a lot of other memes on TD) has fueled a false narrative about "The Twins Way."  

 

I assume that is you mean they hit to no fields?

 

I agree that something did seem to change once Hardy left.The Twins let Willingham grip it and rip it to LF and Plouffe did the same two years ago.Plouffe isn't using that approach any longer, but without more info, we probably won't be able to say if it's because of his perogative or the team's.

 

Still, I'd like someone in the organization to remain vigiliant against cookie cutter hitting regardless of how many instructors, front office personell or coaches prefer that idea.It may be one, or it may be most, but no matter, someone's got to speak up for common sense even if common sense is in the majority these days.

25 under 30 ™


#30 drivlikejehu

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 11:30 AM

For a subpar corner OF defender, Arcia's offensive numbers are not good at all. I've long been a big Arcia fan, but he clearly is having trouble adapting to what MLB pitchers are able to do. There's no kind of swing that works against a ball in the dirt.

 

His advice for Vargas is definitely problematic. Despite his size, Vargas isn't a classic power hitter at all. He's a switch hitter that is line-drive oriented, as opposed to consistently lofting the ball. Vargas' upside is something like his AA line of .281/.360/.472 - and to hit for that kind of average, he will need to make consistent (quality) contact.

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#31 gunnarthor

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 11:35 AM

 

 

Still, I'd like someone in the organization to remain vigiliant against cookie cutter hitting regardless of how many instructors, front office personell or coaches prefer that idea.It may be one, or it may be most, but no matter, someone's got to speak up for common sense even if common sense is in the majority these days.

But, aside from PED Ortiz' accusation from a decade ago (which didn't actually fit the facts), is there any evidence that the Twins have a "cookie cutter approach"?  

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#32 tobi0040

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 11:39 AM

Just a little perspective on Arcia, who has a career .730 OPS at ages 22-23:

 

                         First full year OPS        Career OPS                        Age of first year

Torii Hunter             .689                               .799                                          23

Carlos Gomez         .657                               .730 (.840 last 2 years)              22

David Ortiz              .817                              .925                                            22

Joe Mauer               .783                             .863                                             22

 

If you add roughly 100 points to Arcia's .730 OPS you have a very nice player.You will probably see years in the .900 range in career years

 

To hear that Arcia's numbers are "not good at all" and that "he is a very, very ordinary player right now" begs the question, what would good numbers be for a corner OF that is 22/23?

Edited by tobi0040, 18 August 2014 - 11:48 AM.


#33 tobi0040

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 11:44 AM

But, aside from PED Ortiz' accusation from a decade ago (which didn't actually fit the facts), is there any evidence that the Twins have a "cookie cutter approach"?  

 

I may be wrong here, but I believe both Gomez and Ortiz made comments suggesting the Twins tried to change their approach.It appears, based on Arcia's comments that he has heard the same thing, enough so that he went out of his way to warn another young player.


#34 jokin

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 11:49 AM

Just a little perspective on Arcia, who has a career .730 OPS at ages 22-23:

 

                         First full year OPS        Career OPS                        Age of first year

Torii Hunter             .689                               .799                                          23

Carlos Gomez         .657                               .730 (.840 last 2 years)              22

David Ortiz              .817                              .925                                            22

Joe Mauer               .783                             .863                                             22

 

If you add roughly 100 points to Arcia's .730 OPS you have a very nice player.

 

To take this one step further, Ortiz got his first 615 PAs over his first four seasons, along with trips to the minors, 1997-2000 (All Star break), ages 21-24:

 

Here are his numbers in that time frame vs. Arcia (with 649 PAs over two seasons), ages 22-23:

 

Ortiz: BA- .263 SLG- .425  OPS- .784  ISO- .162 HR- 10 XBH- 54

 

Arcia:  BA- .240 SLG- .427 OPS- .730 ISO- .187 HR- 25 XBH- 57

Edited by jokin, 18 August 2014 - 11:56 AM.

 

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"forcing Twins fans to endure more bitter, baseless, and tiresome cheap shots about the Twins FO."


#35 drivlikejehu

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 12:06 PM

To hear that Arcia's numbers are "not good at all" and that "he is a very, very ordinary player right now" begs the question, what would good numbers be for a corner OF that is 22/23?

 

The problem is that you're cherry-picking after the fact. Most young players never achieve a big breakout, either because they were good right away or because they didn't develop further. Arcia certainly has the talent, but historically speaking it is incorrect to assume that a player will massively improve just because he entered MLB at a young age.

 

Arcia's lack of defense is a big part of the problem - it puts a ton of pressure on his bat from an overall production standpoint.

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#36 jokin

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 12:09 PM

 

 

To hear that Arcia's numbers are "not good at all" and that "he is a very, very ordinary player right now" begs the question, what would good numbers be for a corner OF that is 22/23?

 

Giancarlo Stanton is the gold standard.  I don't think that Arcia will ever match Stanton's bat, and obviously, his glove, but it's an extreme overreaction to characterize him as "not good at all".  Given his rapid rise through the Twins system, his ML numbers at such a young age show the promise of potential multiple 35 HR, 130-140 OPS+ seasons as he reaches his peak years in his late 20s.

Edited by jokin, 18 August 2014 - 12:17 PM.

 

Joyous, fact-based and tireless Twins fan for 40+ years, who unfortunately has been characterized as-

 

"forcing Twins fans to endure more bitter, baseless, and tiresome cheap shots about the Twins FO."


#37 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 12:16 PM

The problem is that you're cherry-picking after the fact. Most young players never achieve a big breakout, either because they were good right away or because they didn't develop further. Arcia certainly has the talent, but historically speaking it is incorrect to assume that a player will massively improve just because he entered MLB at a young age.

 

Arcia's lack of defense is a big part of the problem - it puts a ton of pressure on his bat from an overall production standpoint.

 

Massively improve? No.

 

But should we expect improvement from a 23 year old player as he approaches his prime seasons? Absolutely.


#38 B Richard

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 12:19 PM

While you are right that a high K-rate alone isn't everything, it is important to note that neither Arcia nor Vargas are high-strikeout players.  Arcia's strikeout rate in A+ and AA was 19.7 and 20.1%, respectively, while Vargas struck out at a 20.2% rate in A+ and a 16.8% rate in AA.  As a result, striking out at roughly a 30% rate in the major leagues isn't business as usual for Arcia and Vargas; to me at least, it's a signal that they might be in over their heads.

 

That's a fair point-- BB% is just as important to look at as well, however. Arcia has raised his rate by about 2% up from last year. To me, this is a positive sign to weigh against his contact struggles.

 

We'll see how Vargas adjusts going forward, right now in SSS he has a 4.5% BB rate. I'm going to be watching that rate just as closely as his K%. 

 

Overall these guys are still early in their careers- there's plenty of room for adjustments going forward. This is a very exciting time to be a Twins fan

Edited by B Richard, 18 August 2014 - 12:19 PM.


#39 Dman

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 12:38 PM

I don't think anyone is saying Arcia is horrible and will never be any good but several are questioning an approach based solely on hitting the ball over the fence.  If a HR is the only goal then even if he hits 50 of them in a season he will bat .100 or less.  

 

The issue is instead of looking at what a team is giving you defensively and trying to take advantage, his suggestion is don't change your approach at all.  Hit into the teeth of defense that is playing you to pull the ball, but wait no worries just put it over the fence or in Arcia's case just strike out and never put the ball in play at all.  That will show them.

 

 If I am a pitcher just throw Arcia a couple of balls in the dirt and something low and away and it is an easy out.  Most of his home runs have come when the other team is way ahead or behind and they decide to actually challenge him and throw legitimate strikes.  When guys are on base too often he is an easy out usually via a K.

 

Having said all that I like the guys enthusiasm. He really seems to enjoy the game and certainly swings with everything he has.  His Fielding seem like it has improved but still needs some work but I think he can be average in the field.  He seems a lot like Gomez when he came up so maybe he gets it in the next couple of years.  I sure hope so because we need him.  Right now I don't care for his approach.

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#40 tobi0040

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 12:40 PM

The problem is that you're cherry-picking after the fact. Most young players never achieve a big breakout, either because they were good right away or because they didn't develop further. Arcia certainly has the talent, but historically speaking it is incorrect to assume that a player will massively improve just because he entered MLB at a young age.

 

Arcia's lack of defense is a big part of the problem - it puts a ton of pressure on his bat from an overall production standpoint.

 

I looked up five players, the only ones I could think of that came up with the Twins at a young age and played along time.I listed four of those players, the other was Cuddy but I felt he didn't really apply becuase his first full year was at age 25.At 25 he had a .779 OPS, career .810 OPS.He had 2 years with an OPS over .900 and 2 more over .850.

 

It is very, very rare that you see a guy make the big leagues at age 22, have a long career and not improve upon those numbers. Typically, they k less, BB more, and develop more power as they age.My point is, if you start with a .730 OPS you may end in a very good spot. 

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