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Article: Suddenly, Shortstops!

danny santana eduardo escobar
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#41 Oxtung

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 01:46 PM

I guess I think Escobar is more valuable. He's an above average SS both offensively and defensively. I'd echo what others said in that presently, he's got a few question marks that would be answered by one more decent season, but I do think that that he'd net something better than Kepler or Walker. Both of them fit in the high risk/high reward mold presently.

 

Escobar's OPS/BABIP by month:

 

Month: OPS: BABIP

April: .769, .400

May: .865, .406

June: .585, .260

July: .642, .311

Aug: .733, .389

 

I don't see an above average offensive player there.I see a guy who has had 3 months with a lot of lucky bounces, 1 month of unlucky bounces and 1 month of "normal" bounces.It seems to me an OPS of .650 is a very reasonable seasonal expectation going forward.YMMV obviously.

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#42 alskntwnsfn

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 01:49 PM

I am not a huge Floriman fan but he is hitting .260 in AAA. Any chance he could carry some of that to the bigs despite his woeful track record and should we give him the chance?

Chummin'... :)

 

But seriously, have you seen him pick it? Way better than that other guy. 


#43 USAFChief

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 02:06 PM

I don't view Escobar as "above average" defensively. In fact, I think average is a stretch.
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#44 ericchri

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 02:37 PM

Escobar's OPS/BABIP by month:

 

Month: OPS: BABIP

April: .769, .400

May: .865, .406

June: .585, .260

July: .642, .311

Aug: .733, .389

 

I don't see an above average offensive player there.I see a guy who has had 3 months with a lot of lucky bounces, 1 month of unlucky bounces and 1 month of "normal" bounces.It seems to me an OPS of .650 is a very reasonable seasonal expectation going forward.YMMV obviously.

I'm not exactly disagreeing with you, but isn't that sort of what you'd expect to see from anybody who posts a good offensive season?Some months where they have better numbers from the bounces going right, and some where they don't?I would find it very strange to post month after month of numbers that conform to standards.

 

Mostly I find his ability to post multiple entire months worth of good hitting (on either side of a couple poor-to-average months) somewhat encouraging.He didn't tailspin out of the season, he came out of it and settled into decent hitting again.I don't have high expectations for him, per se, but I don't find it too far-fetched to see him being capable of basically league average offense and defense for a SS.If somebody can push him out, great, but the stability is nice.I'm not troubled by seeing EE at short, and I certainly haven't been able to say that about the guy who's been manning the position at any given moment much over the last few years.

Edited by ericchri, 20 August 2014 - 02:40 PM.

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#45 Oxtung

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 03:07 PM

I'm not exactly disagreeing with you, but isn't that sort of what you'd expect to see from anybody who posts a good offensive season?Some months where they have better numbers from the bounces going right, and some where they don't?I would find it very strange to post month after month of numbers that conform to standards.

 

Mostly I find his ability to post multiple entire months worth of good hitting (on either side of a couple poor-to-average months) somewhat encouraging.He didn't tailspin out of the season, he came out of it and settled into decent hitting again.I don't have high expectations for him, per se, but I don't find it too far-fetched to see him being capable of basically league average offense and defense for a SS.If somebody can push him out, great, but the stability is nice.I'm not troubled by seeing EE at short, and I certainly haven't been able to say that about the guy who's been manning the position at any given moment much over the last few years.

 

It's not the fluctuation in his BABIP that is a red flag, it's how dependent his "league average offense" is on an unsustainably high BABIP.When you look at his stats without that high BABIP they aren't pretty.

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#46 Brandon

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 03:37 PM

I think both should be kept with Escobar playing some 3rd and LF and some back up 2b while Santana should get a lot of time in CF.both still get lots of time at SS and at other positions while we wait for the 2 super prospects to arrive. 


#47 stringer bell

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 03:55 PM

I think both should be kept with Escobar playing some 3rd and LF and some back up 2b while Santana should get a lot of time in CF.both still get lots of time at SS and at other positions while we wait for the 2 super prospects to arrive.

I don't know about any more of Esco in the outfield, especially if Nunez and Santana are on the roster as infielders. Perhaps a position sharing could be worked out, but good continuity is important between the middle infielders. Changing almost daily from Santana to Escobar and back again doesn't help.

Who are the "2 super prospects" the Twins have to play short. I think that Gordon might be considered a great prospect, although he has only played a couple months. I'm not ready to label Polanco in such a manner. He was good, but I wouldn't say dominant at Fort Myers. He hasn't been even good at New Britain, and for the record he already has eight errors. IMHO, Polanco is on track to get back to the majors, but I wouldn't project him to be a regular player, much less a star or superstar.

Edited by stringer bell, 20 August 2014 - 03:56 PM.


#48 naobermiller

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 04:30 PM

One thing to note about Santana, is after languishing in the minors for a a few years, he seemed to find his stride a couple years ago.There are several reports of a maturation that occured, both in the field and at the plate.While I don't expect him to be a .330 hitter year in year out, I don't think a .280-.300 is out of the question

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#49 Monkeypaws

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 05:08 PM

A competent 25 year old SS is nothing to sneeze at. Escobar has been my #1 surprise this season. Santana has been pleasant surprise #1. He seems pretty mature for his age. His athleticism is a nice match for short.

 

Given that we have a top SS prospect in Gordon, and all the rest (Polanco, Michael), I agree with Nick, suddenly shortstops indeed.

 

So so glad we got Burdi instead of Stephen Drew and his .170 BA.

 

BTW, just checked, Burdi's numbers so far: 16 IP 11H 31K.:)

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#50 Thrylos

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 05:09 PM

I like what Escobar's doing but let's cool the "sell high" chatter. He had a .587 OPS in the majors prior to this season, and a career .675 OPS in the minors

 

I think that his majors' OPS in sporadic duty before this season does not really matter. Same with his OPS in the VSL 6 seasons ago. I think that, like Dozier, turned the corner when he got some consistent playing time.D. Santana's minors OPS (.708) is in the same ballpark.And I have seen enough of Santana play shortstop the past 4-5 seasons in the minors to think that he is the one better suited as a bench player.

 

Would Escobar be the SS of the future? Not sure, but If I were to bet, I would bet on Polanco, Vielma and Gordon, in that order... I think that Polanco (who has probably the best contact tool of any prospect in the organization) should be ready to start for the Twins around 2016, which makes this a 2015 conversation.  

 

But, indeed, a good problem to have for the Twins.

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#51 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 05:52 PM

If Sano does not come through the Twins are not going to be a contender. He's also very low risk of being a failure. Are they building a contender or a .500 ballclub?

 

Plouffe may be at least league average but he's also at best league average. Better a year too early than a year too late.

 

I couldn't disagree more.

Prospects with Sano's skillset (80 power, but a lot of K's, and no other tools), are about the riskiest prospects their are. 

Sano is the definition of high risk/high reward.


#52 Linus

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 07:22 PM

I think that his majors' OPS in sporadic duty before this season does not really matter. Same with his OPS in the VSL 6 seasons ago. I think that, like Dozier, turned the corner when he got some consistent playing time.D. Santana's minors OPS (.708) is in the same ballpark.And I have seen enough of Santana play shortstop the past 4-5 seasons in the minors to think that he is the one better suited as a bench player.

 

Would Escobar be the SS of the future? Not sure, but If I were to bet, I would bet on Polanco, Vielma and Gordon, in that order... I think that Polanco (who has probably the best contact tool of any prospect in the organization) should be ready to start for the Twins around 2016, which makes this a 2015 conversation.  

 

But, indeed, a good problem to have for the Twins.

This is how teams get in trouble.Prospects are suspects until they actually do it.All the other SS prospects are so far away from the big leagues that to predict how they fit into the future in the big leagues is pure guessing (most will never even make it).Polanco is a second baseman, Michael has about two good months in the minors and is closer to Santana in age than people realize and the rest are years away from the majors.Other than Gordon, my prediction is that none of the others achieve in the majors what Escobar or Santana has done this year.That's why you keep them both - to make sure you have something decent to run out there for the foreseeable future.


#53 drjim

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 07:42 PM

I couldn't disagree more.

Prospects with Sano's skillset (80 power, but a lot of K's, and no other tools), are about the riskiest prospects their are. 

Sano is the definition of high risk/high reward.

 

I think he has more hit tool than you are giving him credit for, and he did have a 70 arm...

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#54 Thrylos

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 07:50 PM

This is how teams get in trouble.Prospects are suspects until they actually do it.All the other SS prospects are so far away from the big leagues that to predict how they fit into the future in the big leagues is pure guessing (most will never even make it).Polanco is a second baseman, Michael has about two good months in the minors and is closer to Santana in age than people realize and the rest are years away from the majors.Other than Gordon, my prediction is that none of the others achieve in the majors what Escobar or Santana has done this year.That's why you keep them both - to make sure you have something decent to run out there for the foreseeable future.

 

The question one needs to ask is whether they are starting shortstops in a championship team.The Twins have not had a decent team in 4 seasons, including in 2014.Are they part of the solution?Who knows? I agree, you keep them until better prospects come up. 

 

However, if every single current player is not part of the problem, how come the Twins are having a problem?  

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#55 tobi0040

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 07:57 PM

I think he has more hit tool than you are giving him credit for, and he did have a 70 arm...

 

And also 65 and 80 BB's in 120 games his last two years. Which led to a .373 and .382 OBP to go along with a ridiculous slugging and ISO.  I see a floor resembling Adam Dunn (assuming he is a DH or terrible OF like Dunn was).  Dunn will receive HOF votes.  He won't get in, but 28th all time in doubles, 36th in HR's (will likely get over 500), and 42nd in BB's.

 

My guess would be Sano's offensive game resembles Dunn, although Sano will likely have a better career average and have fewer walks

Edited by tobi0040, 20 August 2014 - 08:05 PM.


#56 tobi0040

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 08:10 PM

The question one needs to ask is whether they are starting shortstops in a championship team.The Twins have not had a decent team in 4 seasons, including in 2014.Are they part of the solution?Who knows? I agree, you keep them until better prospects come up. 

 

However, if every single current player is not part of the problem, how come the Twins are having a problem?  

 

I agree. I think the Twins have some good pieces right now (or appear to).  Guys like Gibson, Hughes, Dozier, a healthy and typical Mauer, etc.  But we really lack elite players that drive championships.  The hope is Buxton, Sano, and Meyer come up and reach their potential and can be those guys.

 

For the sake of argument, Mauer has been elite in the past.  But the question remains if 31-36 year old Mauer will prove to be an elite 1B.  The jury is out on that one.


#57 DocBauer

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 08:24 PM

I'm also firmly on board with keeping both. And not simply because one good season from Escobar isn't enough to gain a quality return in trade. Let's all be honest and admit that what Escobar has done this year, offensively and defensively, is far above anything we've had for years now. If we could have been assured before the season began that he would do exactly what he's done, we'd of been ecstatic! And not just this year, but every year going back to what, Guzman leaving? Further, there is no guarantee he will regress, or how far. He may even improve. This is his first real shot at playing every day, and he's only 25. His "utility" label thus far is mostly earned by being promoted early, too early, at only 21, and used as a utility player by the Sox before coming to the Twins. Pure talent and explosiveness, Santana is the better potential player. And I have no problem with his continuing to play some SS and "auditioning" to a degree for 2015 and beyond. May the best man win. And may the other provide great utility play, or in Santana's case, possibly a role in the OF. Depth, options and roster potential is a very good thing to have, and something the Twins need more of, not less. Great point on Vielma from SD, though he's a ways away, just as Gordon is. I think it's WAY to early to corner Polanco as a 2B only. The overall talent and athleticism is there. Errors come with young players, especially infielders, being groomed and developed. Michael I'm not so sure yet. He seems to have finally begun to find himself offensively. Better late than never. He's going to have continue the development he's shown this season in 2015. If he does, he might be a solid option somewhere, but I think we're a season away from knowing for sure. Again, there is talent, and there are skills there, that made him worthy of a 1st round pick initially.

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#58 Thegrin

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 09:41 PM

Escobar is hitting doubles. 32 doubles at last count and tied with Plouffe. This means his BABIP is going to be higher than the average slap hitter.This also indicates that Escobar's hitting improvement is likely to be permanent.He is unlikely to face a "Sophomore Jinx" like Santana may next season.Escobar has earned the starting SS job until he proves his 2014 play is a fluke.


#59 Paul Pleiss

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 11:23 PM

Santana's bat had fewer questions than his defense as he came up through the system. His bat has shown up, but those questions about his defense remain, at least at SS. He could very well be the stop-gap to Byron Buxton in CF (Hopefully Bux can put this season behind him, get healthy and get back to tearing up MiLB levels in 2015).

 

I hope Aaron Hicks can be that stop gap. Which brings us back to Santana at SS. Can he be an everyday SS? If he bat stays hot and he stays healthy then he can and should play at SS, but he's a candidate for some SERIOUS regression in 2015. I'm done waiting for him to fall back to earth, but it's got to happen, right? I'm not sold on Santana as a long-term SS, but if he can provide a level of offense defense similiar to what Eduardo Escobar is doing this season, there's no reason to not play Santana everyday.

 

And that brings us to Escobar. I love what he's done this season, doubles machine, solid (not great) defense at SS. He makes the plays he should but doesn't get to much else, and although he passes the eye test, I'm not sure he's an elite level defender. But he's 25 and seems to have figured some things out offensively. The twins should definitely not give up on this guy, and his versatility makes him even more valuable. I think he profiles best as a utilitiy guy on a contending team, but the Twins don't have a contending team, so if someone can play a passable CF and Santana plays good D, Escobar could be a great third-baseman. And if Aaron Hicks stinks it up again, or moves to a corner, leave Danny out in CF and let Escboar play SS.

 

It's a great problem to have.

 

But I still don't think it would be out of the question for the Twins to look at bringing in a veteran SS on a short contract (3 years or less).Why not?

 

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#60 Oxtung

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 12:00 AM

Escobar is hitting doubles. 32 doubles at last count and tied with Plouffe. This means his BABIP is going to be higher than the average slap hitter.This also indicates that Escobar's hitting improvement is likely to be permanent.He is unlikely to face a "Sophomore Jinx" like Santana may next season.Escobar has earned the starting SS job until he proves his 2014 play is a fluke.

 

Do you have any statistics to back up your BABIP assertion?I look at the BABIP leaderboard and can't discern any obvious patterns regarding power and BABIP.Here's an anecdote; Miguel Cabrera (no speed but lots of power), Dee Gordon (no power but lots of speed) and JJ Hardy (not much power not much speed) all have the same BABIP this season.

 

Why exactly would Santana face regression and not Escobar? Santana has hit for more power and is faster than Escobar.....

Edited by Oxtung, 21 August 2014 - 12:00 AM.




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