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Twins Hire Minor League Pitching Coordinator

minor league pitching coordinator
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#1 Parker Hageman

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 03:55 PM

The Minnesota Twins reached into the collegiate ranks to find their next minor league pitching coordinator. 

 

According to D1Baseball.com's Aaron Fitt, the Twins have hired Duke Baseball's Pete Maki

 

 

Maki has an extensive college coaching background, first with the University of New Haven followed by eight years at Columbia University. He joined the Blue Devils program in 2015 and was reportedly instrumental in helping the team reach the College World Series Regionals after a 55-year drought for the school. In his time, Maki's staff recorded ERA of 3.29 in 2015, 3.83 in 2016, and 4.84 in 2017 in a very tough conference.

 

Maki replaces Eric Rasmussen, who held the position for nine years before being fired in September.

 

“I was blindsided,” Rasmussen told the News-Press's David Dorsey in September. “Right now, I’m looking forward to seeing what I’m going to do with my life. Looking backward doesn’t sit well with me right now. I felt like I did a pretty good job. There’s a new focus in the front office. Now they’re going to make changes and bring in their own people."

 

There is not a lot available regarding Maki's methods or philosophies on pitching, but there is some insight to his practices on Facebook, such as making sure his pitchers retain athletic movements through fielding/throwing like an infielder

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#2 Tom Froemming

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 04:23 PM

Thanks for passing this along. Those quotes from Rasmssen are surprising. Blindsided? I don't wanna pile on a guy who just got fired, but the track record wasn't exactly sterling and he had to have some suspicion the new guys were going to start bringing in fresh faces at some point.

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#3 nicksaviking

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 05:29 PM

I'm happy to have fresh eyes on an area that hasn't produced enough lately.

Honestly though, my first reaction was "Oh crap" as major college programs are notorious for abusing pitchers, but that's probably not fair and that's probably most excusively on the manager.

#4 drjim

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 06:25 PM

I'm happy to have fresh eyes on an area that hasn't produced enough lately.

Honestly though, my first reaction was "Oh crap" as major college programs are notorious for abusing pitchers, but that's probably not fair and that's probably most excusively on the manager.


Would be a more relevant fear 5-10 years ago.
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#5 Thrylos

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 06:30 PM

 

Thanks for passing this along. Those quotes from Rasmssen are surprising. Blindsided? I don't wanna pile on a guy who just got fired, but the track record wasn't exactly sterling and he had to have some suspicion the new guys were going to start bringing in fresh faces at some point.

 

Yeah.How about this quote:

 

"Looking backward doesn’t sit well with me right now. I felt like I did a pretty good job."

 

And not above, but in the article he continues:

 

"“I don’t think you could say this was performance-based, by any means, because our pitchers have been excelling."

 

Talking about being either dishonest or delusional, and I do not know what is worse at this point...

 

Other than maybe Berrios (who has had his moments of excellence), I don't see many Twins' pitchers "excelling" once in the majors, which is the job of a pitching coordinator.Not winning in the minors.

Edited by Thrylos, 05 December 2017 - 07:00 PM.

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#6 Thrylos

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 06:37 PM

This is from Maki's previous jobs at Duke & Columbia:

 

At Duke (2nd Season | 2015-Present): Assistant coach Pete Maki joined the Duke baseball staff in July of 2015 and enters his second season with the Blue Devils in 2016-17, serving as the team's pitching coach.

Maki's influence was felt immediately in 2016 as Duke earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, ending a 55-year drought. Duke's pitching staff ranked fourth in the ACC with a 3.79 ERA, while three Blue Devil pitchers -- Bailey Clark, James Ziemba and Brian McAfee -- were selected in the 2016 MLB Draft.

In 2016, Duke was the only program with two pitchers ranked among the ACC's top five in fewest walks allowed per nine innings in McAfee and Kellen Urbon. In addition, McAfee earned ACC Pitcher of the Week accolades following a 94-pitch shutout versus then-No. 14 Virginia.

In addition to strong starting pitching, the Blue Devils also used a core group of seven relievers who each made 15 or more appearances out of the bullpen. That group posted a combined 2.95 ERA over 146.1 innings, while Mitch Stallings ranked fourth in the ACC with nine saves.

At Columbia (8 Seasons | 2008-15): Maki joined the Blue Devils after eight seasons as the pitching coach and recruiting coordinator at Columbia University. He joined the Lions as an assistant coach in 2008 and was promoted to associate head coach in 2012.

 

Pete Maki joined the Lions as an assistant coach in 2008 and was promoted to associate head coach during the summer of 2012. Maki serves as Columbia's pitching coach and recruiting coordinator.

The Columbia pitching staff has been a model of success under Maki's leadership. In three of the last four seasons in Ivy League-only games, the Lions have held the lowest team ERA (3.34-2012, 1.89-2013, 2.51-2014), held opposing batters to the lowest batting average (.250, .213, .204), racked up the highest number of strikeouts (140, 153, 158), and given up the fewest hits (151, 123, 119).

“First and foremost, Pete is an excellent teacher,” notes Boretti. “I like his style of communication, and he has been a great fit for our program and the young men with whom we work.”

Maki previously served as an assistant coach at the University of New Haven from 2006-07. Maki oversaw the pitching staff that led the East Coast Conference in earned run average and strikeout/walk ratio in both 2006 and 2007. In those two seasons, three of his pitchers went on to play professionally.

Maki graduated from Franklin & Marshall with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology. During his senior season, he earned six saves as a closer, and posted a team-best 3.42 ERA. He was named the team’s “Cy Young” award winner.

“Pete was a very smart player who overcame a lot of adversity (injuries) to make himself into an excellent pitcher,” Boretti adds. “He pitched at the highest levels of college baseball, including the Cape Cod League.”

Maki, who hails from Woodbury, Connecticut, graduated second in his class at Nonnewaug High School, and was an all-state academic choice in his senior year.He and his wife, Lisa, live in Durham with their sons (Will and Cal)

 

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#7 70charger

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 08:42 PM

 

there is some insight to his practices on Facebook, such as making sure his pitchers retain athletic movements through fielding/throwing like an infielder.

 

Quite interested in this. Seems like a great idea, honestly.

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#8 Han Joelo

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 06:55 AM

 

 

"First and foremost, Pete is an excellent teacher,” notes Boretti. “I like his style of communication, and he has been a great fit for our program and the young men with whom we work."

 

 

 

This is the most important part to me.  Doesn't matter if you know how to throw 150 mph, you got to be able to teach someone else how.

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#9 ashburyjohn

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 07:36 AM

 

Yeah.How about this quote:

 

"Looking backward doesn’t sit well with me right now. I felt like I did a pretty good job."

 

And not above, but in the article he continues:

 

"“I don’t think you could say this was performance-based, by any means, because our pitchers have been excelling."

 

Talking about being either dishonest or delusional, and I do not know what is worse at this point...

 

Other than maybe Berrios (who has had his moments of excellence), I don't see many Twins' pitchers "excelling" once in the majors, which is the job of a pitching coordinator.Not winning in the minors.

Mod note: I bumped up the older thread on Rasmussen here in the minor league forum area. It's perhaps a worthwhile tangent, but let's please keep it out of the discussion on the new guy.

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#10 rdehring

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 08:20 AM

Didn't Falvey play his college ball in Connecticut.Maki is from Connecticut and began coaching there.Did they meet or work together back then and this is a long-term relationship?

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#11 Parker Hageman

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 10:42 AM

 

Didn't Falvey play his college ball in Connecticut.Maki is from Connecticut and began coaching there.Did they meet or work together back then and this is a long-term relationship?

That's a good question.

 

Maki played at Franklin & Marshall from 2001-2004, which is the same conference as Thad Levine/Jeremy Zoll's Haverford, but he was playing well after Levine and shortly before Zoll's time.

 

Falvey was rostered on the Trinity (DIII) team roughly the same time as Maki (2002-2004) but it doesn't appear that the teams ever faced each other. By the time Maki was coaching at University of New Haven (2007), Falvey was scouting the Cape Cod League. It's possible they made some connection there. 

 

Another interesting note on Maki's background, before he landed he University of New Haven job, he interned for a local independent league team and tried to contact MLB teams for work but didn't get any offers. 

 

Maki’s resume includes an internship with the New Haven County Cutters independent baseball team and long-term aspirations of landing a front-office position with a major league organization.But unfortunately that was short-lived.“I heard back from the Angels, A’s and Blue Jays, but nothing positive,” noted Maki.“They said thanks for inquiring and we’ll keep you in mind.”He dabbled in the business world as an agent at Drakeley Real Estate in Woodbury, but never lost his passion for the diamond.

 

 

It was his former college coach (now coaching at Columbia) who helped get him a job at New Haven. Not long after that, that coach brought him on at Columbia. 

"You spend a good piece of your life gripping a baseball and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around all the time." -- Jim Bouton, "Ball Four"


#12 Mike Sixel

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 11:11 AM

 

Would be a more relevant fear 5-10 years ago.

 

?

 

Plenty of major colleges still abuse arms. Not sure what this post means.

 

But, I can find no evidence that is true in Duke, lately, so in this case it is probably not a fear.

I remain hopeful on Buxton and Sano.....but I'd not bet the franchise on them.


#13 clutterheart

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 11:15 AM

Interesting hire. The Twins didn't go after a former player, a current organization guy, or a known commodity at all.Instead they plucked someone from the college ranks.

 

Is it common for college coaches from big time programs to transition to the MiLB coaching ranks?I don't recall seeing this happen to often.  

 


#14 drjim

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 11:23 AM

 

?

 

Plenty of major colleges still abuse arms. Not sure what this post means.

 

But, I can find no evidence that is true in Duke, lately, so in this case it is probably not a fear.

 

It is greatly overstated, and to continue the narrative proponents of this really need to stretch more and more for examples each year. There is of course value in pointing out the handful of exceptions that prove the rule. And it was good that they pushed it so hard 5 years ago because it really cleaned up a problem.

 

I'm not saying it never happens anymore, but the vast, vast majority of college programs do it right all the time.

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#15 Parker Hageman

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 11:27 AM

Is it common for college coaches from big time programs to transition to the MiLB coaching ranks?I don't recall seeing this happen to often.

 

 

It does happen from time-to-time. There are some people who have bounced between minor league player development roles and college coaching positions. Jeff Pickler was University of Arizona's assistant coach before landing a job with the Dodgers.

 

I will add that Maki seems to be one of the few who did not have an extensive college career nor played affiliated baseball. That is a new twist.

"You spend a good piece of your life gripping a baseball and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around all the time." -- Jim Bouton, "Ball Four"


#16 rdehring

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 11:41 AM

 

It does happen from time-to-time. There are some people who have bounced between minor league player development roles and college coaching positions. Jeff Pickler was University of Arizona's assistant coach before landing a job with the Dodgers.

 

I will add that Maki seems to be one of the few who did not have an extensive college career nor played affiliated baseball. That is a new twist.

Another interesting aspect of this move is who he will be responsible for.In college, Maki was the pitching coach for players between the ages of 18 and 22.What is the age of most prospects in the organization, at least rookie ball through AA?Not too much different then the ages of the kids he was working with at Duke.  

 

Know absolutely nothing about him, but if he really connected with the kids at Duke he may be a great fit for this position.


#17 old nurse

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 11:47 AM

What seems to be in the reports is pitchers being successful for their level. What seems to be missing is the one that was hugely successful at the highest level.I am not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing.


#18 clutterheart

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 04:05 PM

 

What seems to be in the reports is pitchers being successful for their level. What seems to be missing is the one that was hugely successful at the highest level.I am not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing.

 

Looking at his career at Columbia University, I see he coached 2 pitchers who were drafted.But looking at his years at Duke, he helped get 9 pitchers drafted. This was a big increase from past Duke years.

 

But I am not sure if any of that is meaningful or not. I think whats more important is his philosophy and how gets through to the talent he has.  

Edited by clutterheart, 06 December 2017 - 04:07 PM.




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