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Article: What Does Aaron Slegers Have In Common With Jake Arrieta?

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#21 Tom Froemming

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 08:13 AM

 

I'd be interested to know what the bell curve off MLB average spin rate looks like.

Those two numbers don't really mean anything to 99.9% of people that follow baseball

In the sample of 315 pitchers Baseball Savant lists as starters, Arrieta ranked 73rd in average spin rate and Slegers 290th. But spin is kinda like velocity in that just because you have a high number doesn't mean you're going to be a good pitcher. Nik Turley had the third-best spin rate in that sample and Dallas Keuchel was 270th. 

 

Again I'm not a spin expert, but from what I understand there is such thing as effective spin. There may be a certain gap between your pitches you want to shoot for in terms of spin rate, so more spin isn't always a good thing. So to really break a guy down in terms of effective spin it seems you'd want to look at each of his individual pitches, which is a little out of my league at this point. But I think it's safe to say Slegers would likely benefit from more spin.

 

The good thing is we know guys can effectively mess around with these things to a point. The Twins most certainly learned some things from having Craig Breslow around last year. Maybe they can take some of those lessons learned and apply them to a guy like Slegers and see what happens.


#22 Tom Froemming

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 08:27 AM

 

/Interesting article and charts. How would you rank the importance to a pitcher of the following: Control, movement, speed, a smart catcher who is the best pitch framer in the majors and who studies the hitters and can call a good game mixing up pitches and location, a gold glove center fielder, release points, endurance, health?

Yes to all of the above.

 

I think the less stuff you have the more important it is to have control/command. Jose Berrios can afford to have some control/command concerns because he's so nasty. A guy like Slegers has to be an artist. He can't afford to miss spots and he's gonna get hammered if he falls behind in the count too often.

 

In his minor league career Slegers has a 2.0 BB/9 and only gave up 38 homers in 601 minor league innings (0.6 HR/9). I'd think that suggest that along with just not walking guys he's hitting his spots in the zone too. Just for reference, those are nearly the exact numbers Adalberto Mejia posted in the minors.

 

How many super tall guys get that part of their game figured out by the time they're 25? Basically what I'm saying is Slegers has the building blocks, now it's time to figure out how all those other things you mentioned can be manipulated to his advantage. Can they figure out how to use his unique release point/extension and tweak something to give his pitches a boost? Maybe, maybe not, but at least we know this guy can put the ball where he wants it to go. It's a good starting point.


#23 Carole Keller

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 10:33 AM

 

Slegers could be a solid 4th-5th type pitcher.Nothing wrong with that.He's still young and needs to learn how to pitch at the Big League Level.We all saw how long it took Barrios to adjust.I'd expect to see Slegers more then others do because of his consistency.You need someone to go to the mound and throw quality pitches, every time out.I think Slegers can do that.  

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#24 laloesch

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 10:42 AM

I think he's going to get some looks in 2018 by default especially if Falvey and Levine fail to acquire starters. 

 

Sure he doesn't feature a sexy high velocity FB with movement but he did manage to go 15-4 in 148 innings in AAA last season and certainly looked head and shoulders better than Turley or Hurlbut. 

 

We keep hearing that Gonsalves is just about ready and he might end up competing for an opening day job, but he's only pitched 22 innings in Rochester so far and i gotta imagine he'll spend a significant portion of the season there unless he hits the ground running in Minnesota. 

 

Nik Turley is gone from the organization and Jason Wheeler and David Hurlbut aren't major league starting material.So really the ranks of AAA ready starters are thin until Gonsalves gets a little more seasoning and guys like Enns and Littell are promoted from Chattanooga.

 

Santana

Berrios

Gibson

Meija 

? (maybe they should sign Colon again until one of the kids is ready to take the #5 spot)

Edited by laloesch, 12 December 2017 - 10:46 AM.


#25 Oldgoat_MN

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 11:02 AM

 

...

Santana

Berrios

Gibson

Meija 

? (maybe they should sign Colon again until one of the kids is ready to take the #5 spot)

 

You forgot the sarcasm emoji.

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#26 slash129

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 11:16 AM

Great article ... I enjoyed reading this comparison piece.

 

Of note: Arrieta pitched about 120 innings at a 5.34 FIP in his age 25 season. Now that was for a 69 win Baltimore team that could afford more patience, and I'm sure were all hopeful that Twins will fare much better than that.But, I don't think it would be ridiculous to project Slegers to top that age 25 season, if he's assigned the innings.


#27 laloesch

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 12:56 PM

 

You forgot the sarcasm emoji.

;)

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#28 howieramone2

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 01:04 PM

Interesting to note, Stewart, Eades, Gonsalves, and Slegers were drafted in the first 5 rounds of the 2013 draft. As I've posted before, at some point in time pitching comes down to a numbers game. I see Slegers as better emergency depth than we have had in the past.
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#29 ashburyjohn

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 01:58 PM

he did manage to go 15-4 in 148 innings in AAA last season

I'm not real fond of W-L, but Slegers did have himself a nice AAA. season. For a little closer look at the game-by-game results, Baseball-reference.com provides a version of Bill James's "Game Score" in their game log, where a score of 50 and above represents something fairly close to a quality start, and Aaron had 15 of those in his 24 starts at Rochester, 4 so-so games with scores 40-49, and 5 stinkers below 40. Perhaps more importantly, he got 4 of those 5 stinkers out of his system by early June, and compiled a nice streak of 11 games of 40+ scores, most of those being 50+. That's the kind of consistency I imagined the front office was looking for before they would call him up, and they did indeed add him to the 40-man for a spot start in August, and then invited him for September as well.

 

Come to think of it, 15 good starts and 5 stinkers comes pretty close to that 15-4 W-L, with the fluctuations happening to basically cancel out, but I still trust game scores a little better. :)

 

I don't hype him as a future ace, obviously, but I see his upside as rotation workhorse more than just fifth starter.

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#30 Deduno Abides

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 02:32 PM

Uh, Aaron Slegers is 12 letters.


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#31 Deduno Abides

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 02:37 PM

I think Slegers is interesting. I seem to recall a lot of talk with Alex Meyer about how very tall guys tend to develop later ala Randy Johnson. With Slegers consistency of release point that he already seems to have I am curious to see what the new regime pitching staff might be able to get out of him.


I think one of the problems with tall pitchers is that teams mess with their deliveries more than they do with other pitchers, in order to maximize downward plane. When teams accept the downward plane for what it is and train the taller pitchers like everyone else, natural skill comes out better. One of the interesting things about Tom’s article is it shows how Slegers didn’t get much experience when he was younger, so there may be more growth ahead.
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#32 Shane Wahl

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 03:07 PM

Wow, this is a pretty fascinating article. Thank you. It does explain his success in the minors. I do think he is destined for the bullpen which could maximize all of this even further. 

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#33 laloesch

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 06:32 PM

I think one of the problems with tall pitchers is that teams mess with their deliveries more than they do with other pitchers, in order to maximize downward plane. When teams accept the downward plane for what it is and train the taller pitchers like everyone else, natural skill comes out better. One of the interesting things about Tom’s article is it shows how Slegers didn’t get much experience when he was younger, so there may be more growth ahead.


I like that he is consistent with his control something a lot young pitchers seem to lack. If he can build on his AAA success and transfer that to the majors he's a good asset to have especially for a fifth round pick.
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#34 2wins87

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 09:51 AM

I always think of Chris Young as a comp for Aaron Slegers, both being 6'10" and throwing in the low 90's. (Young has been in the mid to high 80's for most of his career, but did throw in the low 90's his first few years.) 
 
I looked up Young's chart from this year and he's much more over the top, coming in from almost straight on but from an even higher point than Slegers and the others. Chart

 

Young is interesting because he had a knack for exceeding his fielding independent metrics year-in and year-out, which mostly seems to be due to his ability to generate tons of pop-ups.He induced tons of flyballs in general but had a low HR/FB ratio since most of those flyballs weren't squared up.

 

Slegers doesn't have the same crazy FB/GB split.His minor league track record does indicate that he can generate an above average pop-up rate though.His higher groundball rate likely comes from the fact that he throws a sinker about as often as his 4-seamer.

 

Anyway, that's my base case for how a guy with back of the rotation stuff can be a bit more than a back of the rotation starter.Young has had a long and reasonably successful career.

 

As a side note, if Slegers doesn't pan out it could be interesting to see if the 6'8" Tyler Wells follows a similar but more successful path.Right now he's just about all whiffs and pop-ups in single A, though his stuff doesn't get rave reviews either. 

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#35 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 15 December 2017 - 08:25 AM

interesting piece. Guessing the FO sees more in him that we do. That's fine I guess. I will say that he's prone to having some monster games from time to time, so perhaps there's something there. I'd like those K numbers to be a bit better, but if can figure out away to harness those mechanics and get them, he could be a very good pitcher.




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