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The Twins and Their Supposed "Outfield Depth"

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#1 Alex

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 09:07 AM

I just read Souhan's recent article, in which he suggests trading Span due to outfield depth. I thought about the fact that it is pretty widely accepted in a lot of places that the Twins have outfield depth, but do they really? I'm not sure what this means exactly in terms of how far beyond 2012 we're looking, but I guess the conclusion I came to is that we have a lot of young outfielders, but true outfield depth, imo, would be a situation where we have multiple outfielders that are fighting for playing time because they are high quality players. They certainly don't have that now, and I also don't see it in the next couple of years. Left field is the only solid spot for the next couple of years, with Willingham there and then Span in center (assuming he's not traded). After that, this team really doesn't currently have a legitimate RF and has a couple of #4 outfielders on the bench. I think that Revere could be starting for this team, but I'm not convinced he's a starting caliber outfielder yet. In the minors, people like to talk about Benson and Hicks as the promising future out there, but they are both currently at AA and they're looking anything but promising right now. Maybe Parmelee has had some promising stretches, but nothing convincing yet that he's an everyday player (it was nice to see him play well in AAA again and will be interesting to see what he does as he arrives back here). For comparison, take a look at Michael Cuddyer's minor league numbers and compare them to any of our current prospects. Cuddyer is a solid, maybe slightly above average, starter in the majors. Only one season in the minors did he post an OPS below .800, his first season in AA as a 20 year-old. For his remaining 3 years in the minors he proceeded to crush minor league pitching at the AA and AAA level. Setting aside whether we should trade Span (I think that's a different, though related debate), I know we like to look to the future thinking we have OF depth and then slot guys like Revere, Benson, and Hicks into the big league lineups a couple years down the road. However, I really think that we're overrating how much depth we have in the minors in the outfield, at least right now and for the immediate future.

Edited by Alex, 08 June 2012 - 09:19 AM.


#2 spideyo

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 09:21 AM

Cuddyer wasn't an OF in the minors, he didn't become a regular OF until I think his 2nd or third year at the bigs. Also, we may not have star caliber players, but we do have a lot of OF'ers who could fill in and/or platoon. Tosoni, Mastroianni, Thomas, Dinkleman, Plouffe, Parmelee, Carson, and Benson are all capable of playing at least a few games in OF at the bigs. They may not be superstars, but they could keep the spot warm this year, and this offseason there are quite a few potential OF free agents.

#3 Seth Stohs

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 09:27 AM

I wrote about that earlier this week, saying that it was a myth that the Twins had a lot of OF depth.

#4 cr9617

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 09:33 AM

Cuddyer wasn't an OF in the minors, he didn't become a regular OF until I think his 2nd or third year at the bigs.

Also, we may not have star caliber players, but we do have a lot of OF'ers who could fill in and/or platoon. Tosoni, Mastroianni, Thomas, Dinkleman, Plouffe, Parmelee, Carson, and Benson are all capable of playing at least a few games in OF at the bigs. They may not be superstars, but they could keep the spot warm this year, and this offseason there are quite a few potential OF free agents.


The list of players you mention just proved Alex's point. Half of the guys on that list are on their way out of baseball, or should be soon.
Each one of those guys, except Benson(hopefully), is a dime a dozen with practically no upside.

#5 Shane Wahl

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 09:35 AM

Depth they have, more prospects who are ready for the majors they do not have at the moment. "Trading Span because of OF depth" is a dumb, stupid, idiotic idea (but what do you expect from Souhan?). Trading Span because starting pitching is needed is another idea not dumb (though I disagree with it).

#6 Alex

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 09:39 AM

Depth they have, more prospects who are ready for the majors they do not have at the moment. "Trading Span because of OF depth" is a dumb, stupid, idiotic idea (but what do you expect from Souhan?). Trading Span because starting pitching is needed is another idea not dumb (though I disagree with it).


Well, I wasn't trying to be critical of Souhan in particular because I think it's a relatively accepted idea in the mainstream.

#7 Alex

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 09:40 AM

I wrote about that earlier this week, saying that it was a myth that the Twins had a lot of OF depth.


Doh! Sorry I missed this one Seth. Normally I try to keep track and even did a little search of the forums for a similar topic as I hadn't been around much this week.

#8 Shane Wahl

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 09:45 AM

Doh! Sorry I missed this one Seth. Normally I try to keep track and even did a little search of the forums for a similar topic as I hadn't been around much this week.


Your take was still a little different than Seth's so it is perfectly fine. And it gave me a chance to rip on Souhan some more, so that's a plus.

#9 CDog

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 10:03 AM

Your take was still a little different than Seth's so it is perfectly fine. And it gave me a chance to rip on Souhan some more, so that's a plus.


You need more/new reasons??? That doesn't seem likely.

#10 Shane Wahl

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 10:17 AM

You need more/new reasons??? That doesn't seem likely.


It might be envy. I envy people who have such jobs, saying things that are not very intelligent.

#11 Kirby_waved_at_me

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 10:41 AM

Maybe "depth" in the sense that there are more players at roughly the same level of effectiveness than there are at-bats to go around. They can't be all that deep if they only have two major-league ready starting Outfielders. It reminds me of when they had Bobby Kielty and Dustan Mohr sort-of platooning. That's not so much depth as it is not having anyone good enough to be the go-to starter. Lew Ford, Michael Restovich and Michael Ryan were all AAAA guys that weren't getting it done. So the Twins traded for Shannon Stewart and then they had *some* depth in that they could have Lew Ford come in when one of the Soul Patrol needed a day off. The current team is similar in the outfield to 2002/2003 but tilted more to Offense over Defense starting. Revere has been pretty good this second time around, he might end up being the guy to take that 3rd spot. It seems like he's going to be given the chance to do it.

#12 Fire Dan Gladden

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 10:58 AM

I am just embarrassed for all of you that read Souhan, much less try to put some credence to whatever spilled out of his fingers.

#13 cr9617

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 11:19 AM

I am just embarrassed for all of you that read Souhan, much less try to put some credence to whatever spilled out of his fingers.


Tip of the cap to you...

#14 DJSim22

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 11:40 AM

I am just embarrassed for all of you that read Souhan, much less try to put some credence to whatever spilled out of his fingers.


Completely agree. Souhan is an embarrasement.

#15 twinsnorth49

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 12:37 PM

I am just embarrassed for all of you that read Souhan, much less try to put some credence to whatever spilled out of his fingers.


Completely agree. Souhan is an embarrasement.


I long ago decided the only way to rid myself of Souhan loathing was to stop reading him, so I did. I am cleansed.

#16 spideyo

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 12:39 PM

If you consider some platooning situation of Plouffe, Parmelee, Doumit, and Mauer in RF a feasible solution, and you consider Revere to be an everyday starting CF, then we have INCREDIBLE depth for a bench-warming 4th OF who only plays about three innings a week.

#17 jokin

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 12:46 PM

I wrote about that earlier this week, saying that it was a myth that the Twins had a lot of OF depth.


Where do you think he stole the idea from?

#18 CDog

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 12:47 PM

I long ago decided the only way to rid myself of Souhan loathing was to stop reading him, so I did. I am cleansed.


I've been on the same treatment program for quite a long while...yet the loathing continues. Alas. Perhaps I need to go to some sort of "alternative medicine" type thing.

#19 Boom Boom

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 12:58 PM

The Twins don't have a lot of outfield depth. The difference between Span and Revere is not insignificant, but if you can improve your rotation enough to compensate for that difference plus some, I'd absolutely trade Span. It would have to be the right pitcher, though. A young guy with credentials that will be under team control for a few years.

#20 jokin

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 01:13 PM

Does the general consensus (with which I concur) about the Twins NOT having depth in the OF disclose future intentions of the club? They drafted Buxton and Walker with top picks this week and they have Arcia, Rosario and possibly Sano ready to become ML outfielders as early as 2015 (earlier?). Are they thinking about the post-Willingham and Span lineup and will cast off most of the rest of this list to prepare for an OF anchored by Revere in center and some combination of the aforementioned youngsters. Not saying it is the right or wrong thinking, just wondering if that is what the Twins are thinking. This would mean a rebuilding process with some growing pains, perhaps precluding a winner until 2016 or later.

#21 Alex

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 01:20 PM

Where do you think he stole the idea from?


Wow. It was an honest mistake and totally missed his post. No need to be a jerk about it. As mentioned, I browsed the recent forum topics as I hadn't read much here in a few days to try and avoid duplication. I didn't comb through the blogs, though.

As for the reading Souhan bit, it wasn't just him, but there were a lot of people on this site who were putting lineups together in a thread for 2014 or 15 or whatever that included Hicks, Revere, and or,Benson, as well as most of the discussion about Span being about traded because we have outfield depth. I definitely didn't mean to start a should we read Souhan or shouldn't we discussion.

#22 jokin

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 01:33 PM

Wow. It was an honest mistake and totally missed his post. No need to be a jerk about it. As mentioned, I browsed the recent forum topics as I hadn't read much here in a few days to try and avoid duplication. I didn't comb through the blogs, though.

As for the reading Souhan bit, it wasn't just him, but there were a lot of people on this site who were putting lineups together in a thread for 2014 or 15 or whatever that included Hicks, Revere, and or,Benson, as well as most of the discussion about Span being about traded because we have outfield depth. I definitely didn't mean to start a should we read Souhan or shouldn't we discussion.


Double-Wow! Alex this was a jab at Souhan, not you. I thought it was obvious within the context of the discussion. Your analysis is always thoughtful and well-appreciated by me.

Edited by jokin, 08 June 2012 - 01:37 PM.


#23 Alex

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 01:41 PM

Double-Wow! Alex this was a jab at Souhan, not you. I thought it was obvious within the context of the discussion. Your analysis is always thoughtful and well-appreciated by me.


Fair enough. As it was Seth replying to a thread I started, it seemed that the "he" in your thread was me. Thanks for the clarification.

#24 Shane Wahl

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 01:41 PM

Prospects/young non-prospects: AAA: Ramirez, and at some point this year (again . . .) Benson and Tosoni AA: Hicks, Herrmann (as 4th/5th OF on top of catching), and eventually Arcia A+: Morales, Ortiz, Ray, Rams A-: JD Williams, Leachman, Roberts Below: Byron Buxton, Dereck Rodriguez I still consider this overall OF depth.

#25 jokin

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 01:48 PM

Prospects/young non-prospects:

AAA: Ramirez, and at some point this year (again . . .) Benson and Tosoni
AA: Hicks, Herrmann (as 4th/5th OF on top of catching), and eventually Arcia
A+: Morales, Ortiz, Ray, Rams
A-: JD Williams, Leachman, Roberts
Below: Byron Buxton, Dereck Rodriguez

I still consider this overall OF depth.



I like the idea of Hermann becoming the next Doumit, IMO, the rest of this list is mostly "young non-prospects" rather than the former. Maybe, Benson comes around, I have high hopes for Arcia. I would still argue that the best two potential ML OFers at A- might be Rosario and Sano. Did you intentionally omit Walker from this list (DH only? He stole alot of bases for Jacksonville)?

#26 Shane Wahl

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 02:21 PM

I like the idea of Hermann becoming the next Doumit, IMO, the rest of this list is mostly "young non-prospects" rather than the former. Maybe, Benson comes around, I have high hopes for Arcia. I would still argue that the best two potential ML OFers at A- might be Rosario and Sano. Did you intentionally omit Walker from this list (DH only? He stole alot of bases for Jacksonville)?


Oops, no I just forgot to add Walker. I still think it is possible for Tosoni to be a contributor, and Ramirez could too. Hicks will be fine. Good, not great. Morales is a question mark, but Ortiz and Ray are young and promising.

I hope that Rosario makes it as a second baseman. And I think Sano probably becomes a first baseman.

Herrmann is a defensive upgrade over Doumit. I just hope he is ready by the beginning of next season!

#27 peterb18

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 02:38 PM

I have been as critical of Benson as most on this site. A very good athlete--but, is he a baseball player? However, he has big upside if it all comes together. Remember he was a full scholarship at Purdue in football, and it has always taken him a little longer to conquer a level than most high level players. As far as Hicks is concerned--(saw him play in Florida) and he has all the tools-size, strength, speed, etc to be a very good major leaguer-ala Tori Hunter. Both of these guys just need time-- it could all come together. Now Buxton is a different situation from the start. He is a baseball player(watch the videos) who just needs some seasoning. But, if all comes to fruition those three together will make a heck of an outfield. I think the Twins look at it that way!

#28 jokin

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 03:01 PM

I have been as critical of Benson as most on this site. A very good athlete--but, is he a baseball player? However, he has big upside if it all comes together. Remember he was a full scholarship at Purdue in football, and it has always taken him a little longer to conquer a level than most high level players. As far as Hicks is concerned--(saw him play in Florida) and he has all the tools-size, strength, speed, etc to be a very good major leaguer-ala Tori Hunter. Both of these guys just need time-- it could all come together. Now Buxton is a different situation from the start. He is a baseball player(watch the videos) who just needs some seasoning. But, if all comes to fruition those three together will make a heck of an outfield. I think the Twins look at it that way!


I also like the potential upgrade in athleticism this trio has to offer. For the first two, though, the clock is ticking, and the time for them being in the "development and projection" stage of their careers is coming near the end and the "hoping and wishing" stage is soon upon us- I think both you and I, and the Twins, agree with your last sentiment, right now the big word in that last sentence is not "fruition", it's "IF".

#29 James Richter

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 03:02 PM

If Benson had continued to progress at AAA, I would have said Span or especially Revere was expendable. With his demotion and DL time, though, I don't see him as someone the Twins can count on for opening day 2013. I'd hang onto all the outfielders until he's ready. Willingham, Span and Revere are all under team-friendly terms through at least 2014 - they'll be tradable next year, too. That said, if somebody's desperate this summer and wants to overpay, trade away.

#30 Shane Wahl

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 04:10 PM

For anyone doubting Hicks, take a look at Denard Span's numbers in New Britain. Hicks looks to be Span with more power, less contact, and better all-around defense.