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Article: The New Top Twins Pitching Prospect?

j.o. berrios alex meyer
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#21 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 09:31 AM

Meyer did miss two months last year with a shoulder injury.  I don't think any team would have brought him up in that circumstance.
 
This year it's a more open question but I think the Twins wanted to see him healthy and not worry about getting ML hitters out.

True. And intuitively I prefer the Twins more cautious approach to the National's approach, but look at the results they are getting compared to the Twins.

Washington seems to not have much concern about a pitcher undergoing TJ surgery but shoulder might be a different concern in their system. Don't know.

Hypothetically, also, if a guy like Trevor May had been in the Washington system, I think he would have gotten a look before now and doubt very much his ERA after four starts would be above 10.00. So I feel there's something more than injury rehab the Twins need to be concerned about.

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#22 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 09:43 AM

Using age as a reason to promote is not a good idea in my opinion.

For one, it ignores the reality that Meyer was hurt for a good chunk of last season, and from what I understand, has also had other injury issues in his career.

Second, it completely sets aside the concept of readiness. I get that very few people are truly ready in that the can come in and contribute, but if there's still quite a bit of learning that can be done in the minors, I'd think it's in the player and the team's best interest to allow that learning to be done in lower leverage/development type situations. I unerstand that he can be flat out dominant at times. We also saw this year that he's got some serious control issues that plague him at times. He didn't improve on that this season as he stepped up, and I fail to see how a promotion will somehow cure that and not exacerbate an already concerning issue.

Third, in this case, it ignores very real workload situations. Berrios successfully pitched 100 innings last year and 140 this year (not counting winter/fall ball, as I don't know what those totals were). Meyer has pitched less. He's an older prospect but is on roughly the same workload restrictions as Berrios, with next year looking at approximately 160-180 innings (assuming of course his inability to get loose isn't something bigger).

That sais, I still see Meyer as the better prospect, though not my much as that gap has closed. JO has done nothing but prove doubters wrong at every step, and I'm hoping that trend continues into 2015. If it does, he may find himself in Minnesota by the summer.
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#23 DAM DC Twins Fans

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 09:48 AM

No doubt Berrios had a great 2014 season and moved up the prospect list. He is 20 years old--no need to rush him. Start him in Rochester in 2015 and keep him there until the AS Break. He will hit the inevitable bump in the road sooner or later--if he doesn't in the first half of 2015, then maybe bring him up or let him refine his craft in AAA. He will turn 22 in 2016--he can come up then.

#24 jokin

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 10:06 AM

Using age as a reason to promote is not a good idea in my opinion.
 

 

Well, it's certainly an idea that has worked well for Washington. (#1 in team SP as rated by fWAR).

 

And yeah, I know their signing of Fister helps that number, but they've had an SP ERA every season in the low to mid 3s for the last half decade- largely made up of guys called up between 20 and 24, even with added FAs that hasn't worked out as well as Fister has.  And Miami has one of the most promising and very young staffs in all of baseball.  Something is wrong with the Twins drafting philosophy and/or developmental program, if all we have to show for budding young (24 and under) starting hurlers in the same time frame as Washington is the likes of Nick Blackburn and Anthony Swarzak.

 

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#25 ashburyjohn

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 10:28 AM

I like how St Louis sometimes gets prospective starters' feet wet with some time in their major league bullpen, as much as a full season, and I would like to see some of that here too.

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#26 Kwak

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 10:41 AM

Berrios is definitely ahead of Meyer--and likely several others.Meyer has been moved from "prospect" to "prayer" in the player rankings.If he can turn it around--great!But, pinning hopes on a shoulder-injured player who rarely pitches six innings?No, folks this guy is a prospect (at 24!) he is a prayer.I hope he makes it--but the probability as a dependible rotation guy is too long of a shot.No, I'm not advocating to "shoot this horse", but I'm not going to bet on him--nor should the Twins.Simply play him and hope (and pray).


#27 SD Buhr

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 10:48 AM

I like how St Louis sometimes gets prospective starters' feet wet with some time in their major league bullpen, as much as a full season, and I would like to see some of that here too.

 

I'm certainly no expert on the Cards' philosophy, but the question that always comes to my mind when I think about this approach is, "how does that work if you also have a policy of not allowing a young pitcher's innings to exceed their prior season's by more than X%?"

 

If we assume the Twins won't allow a Meyer or a May or a Berrios to exceed, say for example, 130% of the innings pitched the previous year, wouldn't putting that pitcher in a MLB bullpen for a year (or even half a season) lower his innings pitched that season to a level where he would be significantly limited whenever you did determine he should be a starter?

 

How do the Cards deal with this? Do they really have a promising potential starter throw 70-80 innings out of the pen one year and then plug him in to the rotation with no innings limit the next?

 

If we would want to see Meyer in the Twins' pen to open 2015 and, as a result, he throws maybe 100 innings (including some late season or spot starts), would he be limited then in 2016 to 130-140 innings? Is that what we would want?

 

I'm not taking a side on this argument. I genuinely want to know if that would be deemed a good approach.

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#28 twinsfan34

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 11:00 AM

I think Berrios is ahead of Meyer. And I don't think it's close. 20 year old vs 25 year old getting a start and starts at AAA.

 

Another interesting comparison would be Thorpe and Stewart.

 

Both at class A. One is 19, the other 18. One has fairly good command, not particularly high K/9 though. The other, has high K/9, but also high BB/9. Is there also some leveling out here as far as prospects go? Has Thorpe gained ground on Stewart? Has Stewart increased the gap? Or has it remained steady?


#29 tobi0040

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 11:12 AM

Well, it's certainly an idea that has worked well for Washington. (#1 in team SP as rated by fWAR).

 

And yeah, I know their signing of Fister helps that number, but they've had an SP ERA every season in the low to mid 3s for the last half decade- largely made up of guys called up between 20 and 24, even with added FAs that hasn't worked out as well as Fister has.  And Miami has one of the most promising and very young staffs in all of baseball.  Something is wrong with the Twins drafting philosophy and/or developmental program, if all we have to show for budding young (24 and under) starting hurlers in the same time frame as Washington is the likes of Nick Blackburn and Anthony Swarzak.

 

I think this is a case where causation and correlation get a little gray.Do the Nats have a good pitching system because of the way they handled their promotions?I think you can look at each separately and conclude otherwise.

 

They had the #1 pick in a draft in which the best pitching prospect in 10 years came out (many scouts opinions). He was going to be up 1-2 years from the draft when healthy.

 

Fister has a 2.66 ERA and was traded for after he was an established starter.

 

Gio has a 3.89 ERA and was also trade for after he was established.

 

This Roark guy did not see the big leagues until he was 26. He has a 2.91 ERA

 

Jordan Zimmerman came up a few days before he was 23. 

 

So at best this promoting early concept impacted 20% of the rotation and 23 is not super young.I think it says more about organizational philosophy.The Twins could trade right now for pitchers of the Gio and Fister caliber but we don't want to give up our prospects and/or turn around and pay a guy like Gio.

Edited by tobi0040, 03 September 2014 - 11:19 AM.

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#30 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 11:38 AM


Well, it's certainly an idea that has worked well for Washington. (#1 in team SP as rated by fWAR).

And yeah, I know their signing of Fister helps that number, but they've had an SP ERA every season in the low to mid 3s for the last half decade- largely made up of guys called up between 20 and 24, even with added FAs that hasn't worked out as well as Fister has. And Miami has one of the most promising and very young staffs in all of baseball. Something is wrong with the Twins drafting philosophy and/or developmental program, if all we have to show for budding young (24 and under) starting hurlers in the same time frame as Washington is the likes of Nick Blackburn and Anthony Swarzak.


Jokin,

You are changing the subject again. I don't think anyone here would disagree that the Twins drafting philosophy needed changing, and I think we'd both agree that it has changed over the last couple of years... That said...

Call me crazy if you must, but I don't see how the fact that Washington brought up their guys younger is a cause for their current fwar values. Correlation does not equal causation.

Strasburg, as an example, was a very highly thought of prospect (drafted 1st overall in 2010) and absolutely dominated the minors in ways Meyer never did. To compare how Washington handled him in comparrison to Meyer comes across as disengenious at best. These are two individuals who produced different results with different expectations.

What I find most amusing about it is that Meyer came over from Washington, and the Twins simply continued with the progression that he made during his tenure there. They didn't force him to repeat high A, they put him in AA where Washington would have put him. He started out well and got hurt and missed most of last year. The Twins promoted him in spite of that, at which point he's struggled for most of the season, as well as having to deal with a workload designed to strengthen him long term. I can see the case for him being called up at one point this season (which we obviously disagree on), but at the same time, he came over from Washington, who you are saying we should mimic, and they didn't handle him in this way. It really is quite possible that the front office knows what they are doing here.
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#31 Mike Sixel

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 12:36 PM

Miami, St. Louis, SF, etc.....it isn't just Washington that has a different approach. 

 

It is also possible the FO is wrong, given the track record here, one might even think that is likely. 

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I don't know, it is a site to discuss sports, not airline safety.....maybe we should take it less seriously?


#32 tobi0040

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 12:59 PM

Miami, St. Louis, SF, etc.....it isn't just Washington that has a different approach. 

 

It is also possible the FO is wrong, given the track record here, one might even think that is likely. 

 

I believe that organizations with better pitching either drafted better or signed players and that plays a role moreso than our development.Wainwright signed a 5 year, $97M deal.It is not clear to me that the Twins would have given that out.Matt Cain received a 6 year, $127M dollar deal. No way would have the Twins have given Lincedum a 2 year $37M dollar deal after he struggled for two years.

 

Regarding the young prospects, Gibson had TJ.Meyer had shoulder issues.Garza was up pretty young. Liriano was up at 21.Santana was a late bloomer.

 

I do think that other organizations would not sign #5 starters and stick with them at the rate the Twins do (Peflrey for example).That likely stalls when a guy like May or Meyer come up by a few months....but by and lare that is not the issue between the difference in skill between the Twins and other organizations.

Edited by tobi0040, 03 September 2014 - 01:09 PM.


#33 Kwak

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 01:16 PM

Miami, St. Louis, SF, etc.....it isn't just Washington that has a different approach. 

 

It is also possible the FO is wrong, given the track record here, one might even think that is likely. 

Consider the following evidence:Twins' developed starting pitchers that were promoted to the majors.Baker, Perkins, Slowey, Blackburn, and I will include Garza.All "had a major league arm", but lacked the consistent "finish-'em-off" pitch.Each of them had "enough" of a fast-ball, but the secondary pitches really didn't make the grade to elevate these guys to "the next level".Liriano, when he camr to MN, already had his FB and slider going for him--but the Twins system was never able to build on that. Gibson wasn'r really developed by the Twins--the MiL was simply a proving ground which he zipped through until his injury.

There was (still is?) a thread about Cedar Rapids being "in a bind" due to their SP reaching an innings limit--all were under 70 innings pitched!MLB SPs need to go 162 innings to "qualify".Pitchers will burn-out.But that's why teams sign so many of them every year.There is definitely a "survival of the fittest" element.But pitchers must be developed to succeed at the MLB level, not just get there.


#34 clutterheart

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 01:33 PM

Consider the following evidence:Twins' developed starting pitchers that were promoted to the majors.Baker, Perkins, Slowey, Blackburn, and I will include Garza.All "had a major league arm", but lacked the consistent "finish-'em-off" pitch.Each of them had "enough" of a fast-ball, but the secondary pitches really didn't make the grade to elevate these guys to "the next level". 

 

I think thats not right.  Baker had very good SO numbers before injury

Garza has nice SO numbers

Slowey had respectable SO numbers before injury.  I would say all 3 of those pitchers "made the grade." 

 

Injuries and bad scouting derailed the team.  


#35 SD Buhr

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 01:46 PM

There was (still is?) a thread about Cedar Rapids being "in a bind" due to their SP reaching an innings limit--all were under 70 innings pitched!MLB SPs need to go 162 innings to "qualify".  

 

As the person who probably started the thread regarding the Kernels' dilema re starting pitchers bumping up against inning limits, I think we need to understand one thing. The approx 70 innings that the 3 lefties involved (Thorpe, Gonsalves and Batts) have thrown is a bit misleading.

 

Batts threw something like 100 innings at UNC-Wilmington this spring, so he's north of 160 IP on the year.

 

The official innings count on Gonsalves and Thorpe didn't start until June when they joined E'town and CR, respectively. They didn't spend April and May playing soccer. They were in Extended Spring Training getting regular work in live situations. They just don't keep public/official stats for those outings, so there's no way for the public to really know how many innings they went before their official seasons started.

 

I think it's probably safe to assume they each threwat least 20 innings per month, putting them both at somewhere around 100 innings on the season right now. That's a fair amount more than what they threw a year ago when they both split time between rookie league rotations and bullpens.

 

It's the additional workload this year over the innings put on their young arms a year ago that the Twins are closely regulating.

 

All of that said, I think you can usually tell when a young pitcher is hitting a wall and should be shut down. (see Berrios, Jose, Aug 2013) and none of these 3 pitchers seems to be laboring all that much at all their last few starts, to my admittedly amateur eyes. Thorpe's pressed a bit with his command and ended up walking a couple more guys than usual in each of his last couple starts, but that's been about the only notable thing I've seen with any of them.

 

Anyway, my point really was simply that you can't just go by official IPs for guys whose seasons didn't start until June. They were pitching somewhere before that.

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#36 gunnarthor

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 01:55 PM

Miami, St. Louis, SF, etc.....it isn't just Washington that has a different approach. 

 

It is also possible the FO is wrong, given the track record here, one might even think that is likely. 

It's cyclical, Mike.  Miami's last winning season was in 09, Washington had 6 straight losing seasons (including being the worst team two years in a row), SF had 4 losing seasons before having 4 winnings seasons (and having another losing season last year).  Only St Louis seems immune from the typical w/l cycle that the Twins are going through (and they had a few things going for them in that run that the Twins didn't have).  

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#37 jharaldson

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 01:59 PM

I am a little conerned with the dramitic drop in his K/9 (10 -> 6) when going from A+ to AA.  That fact alone makes me think he is still lower on the rung than Meyer who has maintained a strong number.


#38 SD Buhr

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 02:14 PM

I think Berrios is ahead of Meyer. And I don't think it's close. 20 year old vs 25 year old getting a start and starts at AAA.

 

Another interesting comparison would be Thorpe and Stewart.

 

Both at class A. One is 19, the other 18. One has fairly good command, not particularly high K/9 though. The other, has high K/9, but also high BB/9. Is there also some leveling out here as far as prospects go? Has Thorpe gained ground on Stewart? Has Stewart increased the gap? Or has it remained steady?

 

For the little that it's worth, I believe the gap has narrowed a little, because Thorpe has been more impressive than I expected, while Stewart has been about right what I hoped he would be.

 

In November, I put out my personal "Top 15" Twins prospects. I had Stewart at 5 and Thorpe at 11. I haven't really given a lot of thought to this year's list yet, but just eyeballing, I'd guess Stewart will stay about where he was and Thorpe will move up 2-3 spots.

 

Stewart's year might normally warrant a little jump, but that's tough to do when guys like Buxton, Sano and Meyer didn't "graduate" from prospect status ahead of him, as we might have hoped 1 or 2 would have. Just means the top 5-6 guys this coming year are probably even stronger than the top 5-6 were coming in to the current season, and that's pretty encouraging.

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#39 jokin

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 02:15 PM

Jokin,

You are changing the subject again. I don't think anyone here would disagree that the Twins drafting philosophy needed changing, and I think we'd both agree that it has changed over the last couple of years... That said...

I can see the case for him being called up at one point this season (which we obviously disagree on), but at the same time, he came over from Washington, who you are saying we should mimic, and they didn't handle him in this way.

 

It really is quite possible that the front office knows what they are doing here.

 

With all due respect, I don't think I am changing the subject, in point of fact.  And while I agree that the it's possible that the FO knows what it's doing here, I think it's prudent to look at the Twins recent results, and then to look at other clubs who are not just succeeding, but flourishing, with a much different approach than the Twins (which includes calling up the other 9 pitchers you ignored in your comparison, but of whom I specifically highlighted in contrast to the Twins philosophy for any pitcher, let alone Meyer).

 

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."


#40 spycake

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 02:24 PM

If Berrios has a strong Spring Training, I would not be surprised to see him to north with the Twins.

I would be shocked if Berrios made the Twins out of spring training.Actually, I would be surprised if he even opened in AAA.I think he gets another couple months at AA first.

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