Jump to content

Providing independent coverage of the Minnesota Twins.
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email
Photo

Premium Defensive Outfield

rosario buxton hicks high wall throwing
  • Please log in to reply
40 replies to this topic

#1 stringer bell

stringer bell

    In the Twilight of a Mediocre Career

  • Twins Mods
  • 8,036 posts
  • LocationElgin, MN

Posted 13 August 2015 - 08:30 PM

The speculation has gone on for well over a year. If only we could get Buxton, Hicks, and X in the outfield not many balls would drop. We Twins fans are getting close to the day when this speculation will be reality. Buxton is hitting well in Rochester and looks to be a cinch to be recalled at least by the time rosters are expanded. Hicks and Eddie Rosario have manned center field and a corner for more than half of the season. All three players are healthy, so at least by Labor Day, the Twins should have the best defensive outfield they have had in quite some time. Could it be better than the "Soul Patrol" (Hunter, Jones and Lawton)? I think so, Jones never had a great throwing arm and Lawton graded out as average on the corners and worse than that in center.

 

The Twins group could be special. All three have above-average speed and good throwing arms. Of course, they would need to hit to stay in the lineup. Buxton could be the gem, with his game-changing speed, fine instincts and good arm.

 

I think Eddie Rosario has shown, despite more than his share of errors, that he can be a fine defensive corner outfielder. I am particularly impressed with his throwing. While his arm strength doesn't match Hicks or Buxton, he charges balls very well, plays balls off the wall adroitly and the arm is accurate. Because of this, and the smaller right field at Target Field, I think the configuration should be Hicks in left, Buxton in center and Rosario in right.

  • SwainZag and d-mac like this

#2 Bark's Lounge

Bark's Lounge

    Too Weird to Live. Too Rare to Die.

  • Members
  • 4,485 posts
  • LocationKerguelen Island

Posted 13 August 2015 - 09:10 PM

All three of those guys come with question marks. I will leave Buxton out of it, because he did not have enough time up here to really be judged properly. I believe the baseball people who think he will be a game changer are probably correct.

 

Hicks has been really dynamic the last 1.5 - 2 months. He has been a reason for me to tune into the games lately. It could be a mirage, but the guy has the talent - I hope it is falling into place for him and is permanent.

 

Rosario has impressed me also. He does not seem overwhelmed, it looks like he feels he belongs. He can be an exciting player also. In a perfect world, you would like to see his OBP higher, but he wouldn't be the first guy who didn't walk too much but had a good/great career. I think we get too nitpicky with certain stats sometimes and as he adjusts those numbers you hope will creep up.

 

As for the power concern from Hicks and Rosario playing corner outfield positions. Let's face it the game has changed. It's not like it was 10 years ago or even 4-5 years ago. I certainly see double digit home runs coming from their bats. I can envision them both hitting 20 at some point, and I do not say that from an annual standpoint. From my perspective, if you have a corner outfielder who hits 25 home runs you are a very fortunate franchise.

 

Those are the three guys who I would like to roll with at this juncture in time. I love them defensively!

 

We know Arcia can be dynamic with the bat and Kepler is an intriguing talent and hopefully we can find a place for them to have an impact, but that would require throwing trade scenarios out there and the Twins benching certain players... things I do not care to get into right now.

Edited by Bark's Lounge, 13 August 2015 - 09:14 PM.

Major League Baseball is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side.


#3 spinowner

spinowner

    Minnesota Twins

  • Members
  • 3,995 posts

Posted 13 August 2015 - 09:15 PM

 

The speculation has gone on for well over a year. If only we could get Buxton, Hicks, and X in the outfield not many balls would drop. We Twins fans are getting close to the day when this speculation will be reality. Buxton is hitting well in Rochester and looks to be a cinch to be recalled at least by the time rosters are expanded. Hicks and Eddie Rosario have manned center field and a corner for more than half of the season. All three players are healthy, so at least by Labor Day, the Twins should have the best defensive outfield they have had in quite some time. Could it be better than the "Soul Patrol" (Hunter, Jones and Lawton)? I think so, Jones never had a great throwing arm and Lawton graded out as average on the corners and worse than that in center.

 

The Twins group could be special. All three have above-average speed and good throwing arms. Of course, they would need to hit to stay in the lineup. Buxton could be the gem, with his game-changing speed, fine instincts and good arm.

 

I think Eddie Rosario has shown, despite more than his share of errors, that he can be a fine defensive corner outfielder. I am particularly impressed with his throwing. While his arm strength doesn't match Hicks or Buxton, he charges balls very well, plays balls off the wall adroitly and the arm is accurate. Because of this, and the smaller right field at Target Field, I think the configuration should be Hicks in left, Buxton in center and Rosario in right.

I respectfully disagree with your last point. You try to get your best arms in center and right, and only half our games are played in Target Field. Besides, Rosario certainly has enough speed to manage left field there. Otherwise I agree that those three have the potential to be the best defensive outfield in baseball.

  • Cap'n Piranha likes this

#4 Twins7

Twins7

    Cedar Rapids

  • Members
  • 52 posts

Posted 13 August 2015 - 09:17 PM

Agreed, I think we'll have an elite defensive outfield in 2016 if we go with Hicks, Buxton, and Rosario. That leaves out Arcia and Kepler, who won't be as good defensively but will ostensibly bring big bats. I have to imagine that TR will be looking to capitalize on this position of strength...

Perhaps we can move (Rosario or Kepler or hicks) + plouffe for a good catcher (the giants and mets have extra talent at C if I remember correctly). That would leave two talented outfielders for the corners (though Kepler may not be quite ready, which could be contextually important), allow Sano to move over to 3B, and Arcia/Vargas to fill the DH position. This post seems like it would bleed into the trade threads, but I think it would be interesting to discuss the arguments for/against OF trades in the context of outfield defense. Should we try to maximize outfield defense, while lowering the potential gain at the catcher position? Could we acquire a good talent at catcher without giving up Rosario or hicks? I'm not sure how these trades would work out, but I'm interested to hear what those who have ears closer to the grapevines think.

#5 Willihammer

Willihammer

    Nostrombolimus

  • Members
  • 7,252 posts
  • LocationSaint Paul

Posted 13 August 2015 - 10:47 PM

Rosario is really growing on me. Today was a microcosm of the things he brings to the table and yet frustrate you at the same time. 

 

Aggressiveness on the bases. Basically stole home when Escobar got himself into a pickle. The throw beat him, predictably, but he evaded the tag through some kind of ninja breakdance slide and scored.

 

Aggressiveness in the outfield. He charged a liner to his throw-hand side that he probably should have backed off and played on a hop, only to scoop the ball on a short hop and held the runner to a single. It was a ball that could have gone for an inside the parker had he missed that scoop. Risky plays but he's so athletic, they both paid off.

 

Edit: Oh and gunning down what's his name with a strike from right field. 

 

Then he lashed a 97 mph fastball from a sidewinding lefthander off the guy's butt. He's supposed to strike out on that pitch.

 

There's a lot to like about Rosario. If he can hold a 100 OPS+ while running and fielding as he does, that's going to be tough for anyone else to beat. If he could only take a walk now and then he would be a slam dunk starter IMO.

Edited by Willihammer, 13 August 2015 - 10:53 PM.

  • big dog, dbminn and d-mac like this

Well, there's that.

-Dark Star, RIP


#6 TheLeviathan

TheLeviathan

    Twins News Team

  • Members
  • 14,964 posts

Posted 14 August 2015 - 05:01 AM

Rosario has impressed me also. He does not seem overwhelmed, it looks like he feels he belongs. He can be an exciting player also. In a perfect world, you would like to see his OBP higher, but he wouldn't be the first guy who didn't walk too much but had a good/great career. I think we get too nitpicky with certain stats sometimes and as he adjusts those numbers you hope will creep up.


Great point Bark. We too readily dismiss free swingers, but a guy like a Rosario can do just fine with his plate coverage. Yeah, he could improve his plate discipline, but that weakness alone isn't reason to write him off.
  • Bark's Lounge likes this

#7 Teflon

Teflon

    "That" Guy

  • Members
  • 560 posts

Posted 14 August 2015 - 07:16 AM

When I look at the number of plays made, the fielding percentages, the rate of assists and double plays, (did a sort of power average of these) the Twins outfield defense that stands out (surprisingly) was the trio of Bobby Mitchell, Gary Ward, and Tom Brunansky circa 1982 and 1983. (Even more so than the 2000 outfield of Lawton, Hunter, and Jones which showed up next) You'd think the addition of Puckett in 1984 would have been an improvement from '82 and '83 squads but Puckett's arrival also coincided with Mickey Hatcher and Randy Bush getting more outfield playing time. The '84 outfield of Pucket, Brunansky and Hatcher still comes in 3rd, however.

 

Other top performing outfield defenses were the '96 grouping of Marty Cordova, Roberto Kelly, and Rich Becker (Becker had 17 outfield assists that year and fielded .993) and the '90 trio of Puckett, Dan Gladden, and Shane Mack.

 

The best unit from the Metropolitan Stadium days I could find was the 1971 outfield of Cesar Tovar, Jim Holt and Tony Oliva - although only middle of the pack overall in Twins history.

  • Willihammer likes this

#8 DocBauer

DocBauer

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 4,309 posts

Posted 14 August 2015 - 07:33 AM

Throw Kepler in to the mix and we go from the 3 Amigos to the 4 Musketeers. (Feel free to groan)

Between the three OF spots, DH and maybe some 1B, (especially if Plouffe ends up moved), starting time and AB's enough for all four of these guys. I believe that while all 4 are different and have their various strengths, that Alamo 4 are 30 doubles, and double digit HR and SB guys. I believe Kepler has the most HR power. Kind of a toss up between Buxton and Rosario as to has the second most. But down the road, always felt getting acclimated, gaining a little more "man muscle", Rosario might just develop in to a consistent threat.

"Nice catch Hayes...don't ever f*****g do it again."

 

--Lou Brown


#9 Brock Beauchamp

Brock Beauchamp

    Owner

  • Administrators
  • 20,221 posts

Posted 14 August 2015 - 07:36 AM

 

Rosario is really growing on me. Today was a microcosm of the things he brings to the table and yet frustrate you at the same time. 

Agreed. I also have to admit the kid is kinda winning me over.


#10 Shane Wahl

Shane Wahl

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 6,031 posts

Posted 14 August 2015 - 07:42 AM

 

Agreed. I also have to admit the kid is kinda winning me over.

 

The best part is that he really isn't a regression candidate for 2016. He isn't *great* or even *very good* at the plate right now. This is not Danny Santana all over again (the two were never comparable anyway, but whatever). I can see .290/.325/.460 next year as a pretty solid prediction.

  • Dantes929 likes this

#11 halfchest

halfchest

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 328 posts

Posted 14 August 2015 - 08:21 AM

 

The best part is that he really isn't a regression candidate for 2016. He isn't *great* or even *very good* at the plate right now. This is not Danny Santana all over again (the two were never comparable anyway, but whatever). I can see .290/.325/.460 next year as a pretty solid prediction.

 

I was just thinking about this with Rosario . . . is he playing over his head at all?Is there anything about his current numbers that seem like he's getting lucky?HI BABIP seems a bit high but a quick glance at his minor league numbers and it's kinda the norm. 

 

I'm no sabermetrician so I'm the wrong guy to analyze his numbers but high K% and low BB % leaves some cause for concern but that's also probably normal for a fairly raw rookie. 

 

The overall post I totally agree with, looks like the Twins have a great shot at a very good defensive outfield that can contribute more than enough offensively. 


#12 Thrylos

Thrylos

    Twins World Champions in 2019

  • Members
  • 9,614 posts
  • LocationLehigh Valley, PA, USA
  • Twitter: thrylos98

Posted 14 August 2015 - 08:53 AM

 

I was just thinking about this with Rosario . . . is he playing over his head at all?Is there anything about his current numbers that seem like he's getting lucky?HI BABIP seems a bit high but a quick glance at his minor league numbers and it's kinda the norm. 

 

I'm no sabermetrician so I'm the wrong guy to analyze his numbers but high K% and low BB % leaves some cause for concern but that's also probably normal for a fairly raw rookie. 

 

The overall post I totally agree with, looks like the Twins have a great shot at a very good defensive outfield that can contribute more than enough offensively. 

 

Rosario is not playing over his head.Regard his 2014 season (other than the AFL part) as a waste.Surprised a bit by the HR power, but he is 23, so he is developing.He will not walk, and he strikes out more than usually, but he does not get many fastballs, like he did in the minors.He has been a .300 hitter most of his career and he will do that in the majors.Lots like Ben Revere type of a player, with less speed and glove but more pop and better arm.Somewhat like a Denard Span with better contact tool and similar concentration lapses.You are looking at a .300/.350/.480 type of player with 15 HR and 20+ SB in a good full season. 

 

Remember, he was a perennial Twins' top 10 prospect and BP had him as high as 60 in baseball before 2014.His stock dropped by the move to the OF (that slash line above makes a good OF, but an All-Star second baseman) and by the suspension.After 2013, I had ranked him as the Twins' 4th best prospect (behind Sano, Buxton and Meyer.)

 

As far as that OF goes (Rosario, Buxton, Hicks,)I see 2 issues: 

 

One is obvious:Buxton may or may not arrive.Has good size holes in his hitting game, and he needs to fix them.

The other is not that obvious:This team sorely needs some LH power.Corner infield positions are pretty much taken for the foreseeable future.So opportunities for LH power (and I am talking 30 HR power) are at DH and corner OF.In the organization only Arcia and Vargas have such power (Kepler has doubles power;) on the other hand you have Sano, Mauer and Plouffe in some combination of 3B, 1B and DH.Lefties have a .661 OPS against RHPs and .658 OPS against LHPs.This is a problem that has to be fixed and I don't see many places other than the OF to fix it...

 

  • Dman and HitInAPinch like this
-----
Blogging Twins since 2007 at The Tenth Inning Stretch
http://tenthinningst...h.blogspot.com/
twitter: @thrylos98

#13 HitInAPinch

HitInAPinch

    Look deeply into mine eyes....

  • Members
  • 5,202 posts

Posted 14 August 2015 - 09:37 AM

I liked Rosario since spring training.I got to see very few of his AB's, but it was everything that Molitor said about Rosario:his aggressiveness,doing the little things and learning as SP progressed.And a pretty darn nice year hitting,.

 

Hicks surprised me the most.Something finally clicked in his head.His defense seems to be better; no question his offense is.

 

Buxton:I'm not sure about "game changing defense".Given a choice, I'd rather see "game changing offense"  :)

 

Like Thrylos posted above, Buxton has a problem there, but I believe it's completely fixable.Like Puckett [and now Hicks ] before him, Buxton needs to commit to planting that front foot.It doesn't have to be the dramatic step of Puckett or even Hicks.

Edited by HitInAPinch, 14 August 2015 - 09:43 AM.

It's not my fault !


#14 Willihammer

Willihammer

    Nostrombolimus

  • Members
  • 7,252 posts
  • LocationSaint Paul

Posted 14 August 2015 - 09:44 AM

Yeah, I hope Buxton isn't given a scholarship. He has done well in the minors but as far as I'm concerned is clearly the 2nd choice to Hicks right now and probably Arcia and Rosario too. He needs to show he canhit AAA first IMO.

Well, there's that.

-Dark Star, RIP


#15 TheLeviathan

TheLeviathan

    Twins News Team

  • Members
  • 14,964 posts

Posted 14 August 2015 - 10:19 AM

I know it isn't quantifiable, but this team has long needed some grit. He brings a dynamic this team just didn't have.

#16 Dantes929

Dantes929

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 2,116 posts

Posted 14 August 2015 - 10:35 AM

"While his arm strength doesn't match Hicks or Buxton, he charges balls very well, plays balls off the wall adroitly and the arm is accurate"I know this is the current thought and follows the scouting reports but what I have seen is a fantastic throwing arm from Rosario. Maybe my television doesn't give me the greatest perspective and I haven't seen Buxton throw much but hard to believe he or Hicks have better arms than Rosario.   Throw Danny Santana in that mix as well.They all have cannons.  

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff ... and it's all small stuff.

#17 Thrylos

Thrylos

    Twins World Champions in 2019

  • Members
  • 9,614 posts
  • LocationLehigh Valley, PA, USA
  • Twitter: thrylos98

Posted 14 August 2015 - 10:41 AM

 

"While his arm strength doesn't match Hicks or Buxton, he charges balls very well, plays balls off the wall adroitly and the arm is accurate"I know this is the current thought and follows the scouting reports but what I have seen is a fantastic throwing arm from Rosario. Maybe my television doesn't give me the greatest perspective and I haven't seen Buxton throw much but hard to believe he or Hicks have better arms than Rosario.   Throw Danny Santana in that mix as well.They all have cannons.  

 

Hicks threw 94 mph as a P in high school.He has an arm.

-----
Blogging Twins since 2007 at The Tenth Inning Stretch
http://tenthinningst...h.blogspot.com/
twitter: @thrylos98

#18 diehardtwinsfan

diehardtwinsfan

    Twins Moderator

  • Twins Mods
  • 12,409 posts
  • LocationThe charred ruins of BYTO

Posted 14 August 2015 - 10:46 AM

 

Hicks threw 94 mph as a P in high school.He has an arm.

That and most teams wanted to draft him as P, not an OF. 


#19 nytwinsfan

nytwinsfan

    Junior Member

  • Members
  • 1,685 posts

Posted 14 August 2015 - 10:50 AM

I just think we need to make room for Kepler. I know a lot of people here are skeptical, but I'm not. If he plays 1B, then great, but Mauer makes that a problem. If he plays corner outfield, even better, although then it means Rosario and/or Hicks will either be traded or, preferably in my book, only playing part time (e.g., Hicks plays against lefties and righties with 3.50+ ERAs).

  • twinssouth likes this

#20 drjim

drjim

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 8,783 posts
  • LocationSt. Paul

Posted 14 August 2015 - 10:56 AM

 

I just think we need to make room for Kepler. I know a lot of people here are skeptical, but I'm not. If he plays 1B, then great, but Mauer makes that a problem. If he plays corner outfield, even better, although then it means Rosario and/or Hicks will either be traded or, preferably in my book, only playing part time (e.g., Hicks plays against lefties and righties with 3.50+ ERAs).

 

I don't think many are skeptical long term, just in the immediate.

 

Makes a ton of sense to start next year with Rosario in LF, Buxton in CF, Hicks in RF, a veteran part time corner OF/DH on the bench and Kepler in AAA providing quality depth.

Papers...business papers.



Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: rosario, buxton, hicks, high wall, throwing