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Article: Twins Select OF Alex Kirilloff with 15th Overall Pick

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#81 tobi0040

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Posted 16 June 2016 - 01:19 PM

He felt he was picked in about the right spot.
 
It isn't just about positional value.....


I think it is largely about positional value. The name of the game is maximizing value with the resources that are available to you. To the extent you focus your draft picks on position players you need to spend your free agent dollars on pitchers and vice versa.

Nelson Cruz and Ervin Santana signed about the same contract. For that matter, Cruz signed for only $2m more per year than Ricky Nolasco. I don’t think I am cherry picking here. 4/50-55 on the free agent market does not get you a #1 or #2 starter and by nature they will be a guy that is 29+, which tends to be past peak for a pitcher. Heck, look at the contract Mike Leake signed.

Cruz had WAR of 9 leading up to free agency in the previous three years. Has a career OPS+ is 125 with seasons of 124 and 135 into FA.

Nolasco’s ERA+ in his previous three years was 84, 91, and 101. His career number was I believe 91. His WAR from the previous three seasons was 3.6.

Ervin’s three years were 74, 90, and 103. His career ERA+ was right about league average (currently 98). His WAR for the previous seasons was 2.2.

We would have better luck signing Nelson Cruz, taking the additional value and rolling the dice at drafting a pitcher and hoping he turns out to be league average than using the same amount of money to sign a league average pitcher (before the decline) and hope a guy like Alex Kiriloff turns out to be Nelson Cruz.

Edited by tobi0040, 16 June 2016 - 01:20 PM.


#82 gunnarthor

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Posted 16 June 2016 - 01:39 PM

 

Personally, I would like to see us aim higher than that with our first round picks. It seems like the premium positions are C, SS, 2B, 3B, CF, and SP (times five). Aiming for an above average player at those positions may make sense at #15.

If the guy has some shot at hitting 35-40 HR like Bryce Harper or Stanton, aim there for a RF. If that guy is not available, use your picks elsewhere.

I'm not sure there were any at 15.  Certainly no catcher or second baseman.  The next SS and 3B off the board were Gavin Lux and Will Craig.  Neither seem like better players than Kirilloff.  A few of the HS arms might have higher ceilings on draft day but might not, as well.  And they have much bigger bust potential.  I think generally the Twins did ok in this draft.  A bunch of their early picks are very young with high upside.  A couple are still 17.  It was a solid pick.

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#83 tobi0040

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Posted 16 June 2016 - 02:13 PM

I'm not sure there were any at 15.  Certainly no catcher or second baseman.  The next SS and 3B off the board were Gavin Lux and Will Craig.  Neither seem like better players than Kirilloff.  A few of the HS arms might have higher ceilings on draft day but might not, as well.  And they have much bigger bust potential.  I think generally the Twins did ok in this draft.  A bunch of their early picks are very young with high upside.  A couple are still 17.  It was a solid pick.


I looked at the highest 20 SP and position players by WAR last year. Hoping to gain some insight into where these guys are drafted and similarities.

17 of the SP were drafted and 3 were signed. 9 of the 17 that came from the draft were taken in the first round, including 4 of the top 5. 2 were taken in the second round.

First round. Kerhsaw. Price. Scherzer. Sale. Greinke. Cole. Bumgarner. Harvey. Hamels.

Second round. Lester and Ross.

Later rounds. Arrieta (5th). Kuechel (7th). Kluber (4th). deGrom (9th). McHugh (18th).

Signed. Carrasco. Cueto. And Quintana.

I ran the same exercise for position players.

First round (8). Harper, Trout, Machado, AJ Pollack, Bryant, Mccutchen, Heyward, and Posey. Of those 8, Trout, Machado, Posey, Mccutchen, and Pollack play a premium position (CF, SS, 2B, 3B, or C). Bryant has played 3B slightly more than half of the time. Call it 5.5 of the 8. A pretty high ratio. The non-premium position players in the first round are Heyward and Harper. The odds of Kiriloff hitting like Harper or fielding like Heyward are pretty low.

Supplemental/second rounds – Donaldson, Votto, and Kipnis.

Later rounds – Goldschmidt (8). Cain (17). Davis (17). Kiermeyer (31). Rizzo (6). Carpenter (13). Granderson (3). Martinez (20).

Signed. Cespedes.

The big take away for me is that the positon players tend to fall into one of two buckets. They either play a premium position (like 5.5 of the 8 first rounders), or they absolutely mash like Harper, Goldschmidt, Davis, Votto. That is my frustration with taking a guy who does not play a premium position and is unlikely to hit like one of these guys. Similar to taking a Ben Revere or Alex Wimmers in the first round, you have used your best tool you have to build a team on a guy that has virtually no chance of being one of the better players in the league.

#84 70charger

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Posted 16 June 2016 - 02:50 PM

 

The big take away for me is that the positon players tend to fall into one of two buckets. They either play a premium position (like 5.5 of the 8 first rounders), or they absolutely mash like Harper, Goldschmidt, Davis, Votto. That is my frustration with taking a guy who does not play a premium position and is unlikely to hit like one of these guys. Similar to taking a Ben Revere or Alex Wimmers in the first round, you have used your best tool you have to build a team on a guy that has virtually no chance of being one of the better players in the league.

 

Your analysis is reasonable, but you're way overselling your conclusion. Literally nobody is "likely to hit like [Harper]." If there was a guy like that in the draft, I didn't see him. We also picked 15th, not first. 

 

Also, top 20 in WAR is a pretty high bar for "one of the better players in the league." I'd say that's more like one of the superstars. A guy like Kiriloff can absolutely be one of the better players in the league, and for a long time too. 

 

I think the idea that position doesn't play any part in their draft planning is a little ridiculous. You balance premium defense with premium hitting, and you do what you can do at 15. And that's what I'm 100% willing to bet that they did. All things considered (and I mean that literally), they thought this was their best choice.

 

But hey, what do I know? I would have nabbed a pitcher.

Edited by 70charger, 16 June 2016 - 02:50 PM.

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#85 tobi0040

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Posted 16 June 2016 - 03:26 PM

Your analysis is reasonable, but you're way overselling your conclusion. Literally nobody is "likely to hit like [Harper]." If there was a guy like that in the draft, I didn't see him. We also picked 15th, not first.

Also, top 20 in WAR is a pretty high bar for "one of the better players in the league." I'd say that's more like one of the superstars. A guy like Kiriloff can absolutely be one of the better players in the league, and for a long time too.

I think the idea that position doesn't play any part in their draft planning is a little ridiculous. You balance premium defense with premium hitting, and you do what you can do at 15. And that's what I'm 100% willing to bet that they did. All things considered (and I mean that literally), they thought this was their best choice.

But hey, what do I know? I would have nabbed a pitcher.

My premise is that World Series caliber teams have multiple all star caliber players. That is how you win in this league. The 2015 Royals had five all stars and the 2014 Giants had four. Both of those teams had other players who may make all star games in others years (some have).

My other premise is that the Twins are at a huge disadvantage with regards to signing an all star caliber player in free agency. We may get lucky here or there but otherwise it won't happen.

So if we draft guys whose ceiling is "above average RF" in the first round, how are we going to gather 3-5 all stars? Ben Revere. Wimmers. Waldorp. These guys were not going to be all stars

Edited by tobi0040, 16 June 2016 - 03:58 PM.


#86 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 16 June 2016 - 04:20 PM

Is his ceiling Jason Kubel?

#87 70charger

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Posted 16 June 2016 - 05:01 PM

 

My premise is that World Series caliber teams have multiple all star caliber players. That is how you win in this league. The 2015 Royals had five all stars and the 2014 Giants had four. Both of those teams had other players who may make all star games in others years (some have).

My other premise is that the Twins are at a huge disadvantage with regards to signing an all star caliber player in free agency. We may get lucky here or there but otherwise it won't happen.

So if we draft guys whose ceiling is "above average RF" in the first round, how are we going to gather 3-5 all stars? Ben Revere. Wimmers. Waldorp. These guys were not going to be all stars

 

Now your analysis is breaking down. I don't think a ceiling of "above average RF" is correct. And I think the massively flawed All-Star voting process is hardly a useful proxy for talent.

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#88 tobi0040

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Posted 16 June 2016 - 08:08 PM

Now your analysis is breaking down. I don't think a ceiling of "above average RF" is correct. And I think the massively flawed All-Star voting process is hardly a useful proxy for talent.

I was going off the comment from Keith Law posted by someone else as far as above average OF. Defensively Fangraphs thinks he will be an above average defensive first baseman or a below average corner OF "if he sticks there". Multiple reports question his bat speed.

As far as the all star voting. It is flawed. But the examples I cited of the last two WS champs is valid as is the broader point. Each of those teams have 3-5 all star caliber players. The Royals had position players with a WAR of 7.2, 4.4, 3.6, and 2.8 in addition to Salvador Perez who had the second highest WAR among catchers in the AL. Then they had Wade Davis and his sub 1.00 ERA and 444 ERA+.

And they had five other players that have played in an all star game at least once. Volquez, Cueto, Young, Herrera, and Holland

Edited by tobi0040, 16 June 2016 - 08:16 PM.

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#89 Brandon Warne

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Posted 16 June 2016 - 11:20 PM

 

KLAW stated today his he thinks his upside is above average RF with power.

 

Ha, that was my question.

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#90 Mike Sixel

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Posted 17 June 2016 - 07:39 AM

 

Ha, that was my question.

 

At least he answered yours.......

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It's been a fun year so far, GO Twins. 


#91 laloesch

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Posted 17 June 2016 - 09:08 AM

 

Appel is one example of pitchers that could have fulfilled the Twins' need. Giolito (the best pitcher available in that draft, and the one I wish the Twins took), Wacha, Stroman, Gausman are others.  

 

Can you say that the Twins would have been better off last season with Buxton over (let's say) Wacha?I seriously doubt.If they had Wacha they could have been in the post season.

 

That draft is too recent to reach conclusions.Give it 10 years or so.Up until 2006, Prior was clearly a better pick than Mauer in the 2001 draft...

 

 

I said that a couple of years ago.  Twins could have taken Giolito but it would have meant we wouldn't have gotten Berrios.


#92 spycake

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Posted 17 June 2016 - 09:13 AM

 

I said that a couple of years ago.  Twins could have taken Giolito but it would have meant we wouldn't have gotten Berrios.

How so?  We would have had to draft Giolito instead of Buxton, no?  Seems like we could have still gotten Berrios at #32.


#93 laloesch

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Posted 17 June 2016 - 09:20 AM

 

How so?  We would have had to draft Giolito instead of Buxton, no?  Seems like we could have still gotten Berrios at #32.

Oh that's right he was drafted 16th.  So no Buxton.  My bad.


#94 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 18 June 2016 - 07:14 AM

 

My premise is that World Series caliber teams have multiple all star caliber players. That is how you win in this league. The 2015 Royals had five all stars and the 2014 Giants had four. Both of those teams had other players who may make all star games in others years (some have).

My other premise is that the Twins are at a huge disadvantage with regards to signing an all star caliber player in free agency. We may get lucky here or there but otherwise it won't happen.

So if we draft guys whose ceiling is "above average RF" in the first round, how are we going to gather 3-5 all stars? Ben Revere. Wimmers. Waldorp. These guys were not going to be all stars

 

There's ceiling and there's likelihood to make it there (something that I suspect Kirilloff has over any of the pitchers).All of that factors in.There's also the whole slot thing which clearly the Twins were thinking about.I personally would have went with one of the pitchers here, but I also wanted them to play the slot game.It's quite possible the pitchers wouldn't play it (haven't looked up the other signings). It's also quite possible that they saw the talent they had at P in the low minors and don't think it matches up well to the talent they have at hitting in the low minors and so they wanted to round that out a bit more. 

 

I wanted to see a strategy that went out and got a bunch of HS talent.They did that, which makes me very happy about this draft.I'm not going to get too upset when they ended up with a HS OF at #1 whose ceiling is an above average RF (which isn't a bad ceiling) when I was hoping for a pitcher.In that type of thing, I will trust the scouts.Finding talent doesn't seem to be an issue in Minnesota.Developing talent is a different story, and I suspect we will see some pretty significant changes in that area very soon.

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#95 tobi0040

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Posted 18 June 2016 - 07:33 AM

There's ceiling and there's likelihood to make it there (something that I suspect Kirilloff has over any of the pitchers). All of that factors in. There's also the whole slot thing which clearly the Twins were thinking about. I personally would have went with one of the pitchers here, but I also wanted them to play the slot game. It's quite possible the pitchers wouldn't play it (haven't looked up the other signings). It's also quite possible that they saw the talent they had at P in the low minors and don't think it matches up well to the talent they have at hitting in the low minors and so they wanted to round that out a bit more.

I wanted to see a strategy that went out and got a bunch of HS talent. They did that, which makes me very happy about this draft. I'm not going to get too upset when they ended up with a HS OF at #1 whose ceiling is an above average RF (which isn't a bad ceiling) when I was hoping for a pitcher. In that type of thing, I will trust the scouts. Finding talent doesn't seem to be an issue in Minnesota. Developing talent is a different story, and I suspect we will see some pretty significant changes in that area very soon.

This is a year where I would have been okay with college players. Because to be honest I trust the folks at Vanderbilt, LSU, etc to better develop players than I do the Twins.

Hopefully the entire staff is overvalued and new people are in charge of development.

Keith Law was critical of the Twins a few years ago about taking lower ceiling players in first round and relievers early. That is when I started researching it a bit and looked back at past drafts and frankly I think he is spot on. I think we are really blowing our best avenue to acquire talent. It isn't about one pick neccesarily, it is about an all encompassing strategy or lack thereof. Aiming too low and focusing on non premium/positions with abundant supply of talent and has played a role in our teams struggles.

Edited by tobi0040, 18 June 2016 - 07:37 AM.


#96 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 18 June 2016 - 08:07 AM

 

This is a year where I would have been okay with college players. Because to be honest I trust the folks at Vanderbilt, LSU, etc to better develop players than I do the Twins.

Hopefully the entire staff is overvalued and new people are in charge of development.

Keith Law was critical of the Twins a few years ago about taking lower ceiling players in first round and relievers early. That is when I started researching it a bit and looked back at past drafts and frankly I think he is spot on. I think we are really blowing our best avenue to acquire talent. It isn't about one pick neccesarily, it is about an all encompassing strategy or lack thereof. Aiming too low and focusing on non premium/positions with abundant supply of talent and has played a role in our teams struggles.

 

Interestingly enough, we have opposite conclusions for the same reasons.I wanted HS guys b/c we need talent in the low minors and because I suspect that the org is going to be overhauled pretty significantly this offseason.I'd rather have higher ceiling HS guys in place for a new org that will be better focused on developing them.The Twins did precisely what you're being critical about.They took a bunch of higher ceiling players.If they had taken the college guys, then they would been taking lower ceiling players.I can see your point on non-premium positions, but as others noted, there really weren't good options there (with the exception of pitching). 

 

Getting back to the org issue, I'm not even sure that their problem is with the development staff in the minors (most of it at least).I think they could use some fresh coaching blood in the higher minors, but I really think their problem is rushing hitters through the high minors, not bringing pitchers up through them fast enough, and never really giving the kid a shot once he hits the majors, regardless of position.I can see that if you're in contention, but not when you're one of the worst teams in the league. 

 

There certainly may be a few coaching changes in the minors that could help the development out, but they seem to have no problems with talent performing in the high minors, but once they hit the majors... well that's a problem, and it's one with too many data points at this point to ignore.Either way, I don't think there will be a lot of coaching hold overs come 2017.Pohlad will clean house at the top this offseason, and plenty of dominoes will fall after that.Get the ceilings and let whomever handles this next work with them.They did that. 


#97 AlwaysinModeration

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Posted 20 June 2016 - 07:55 PM

And he signed, at slot. Hope he does well as he starts his career as a Twin. It's a long slog ahead of him. Looking forward to tracking his progress.

#98 Seth Stohs

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Posted 04 June 2018 - 03:50 PM

Do you remember your initial thoughts when the Twins drafted Alex Kirilloff two years ago?


#99 gunnarthor

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Posted 04 June 2018 - 05:44 PM

Apparently I was ok with the pick.




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