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The Myth - Twins unjustly hold players back in the minors

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#1 kab21

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 10:46 PM

The Twins are certainly conservative when promoting prospects but their seems to be this myth that Trout/Harper (and any other good prospect) would still be in A ball if they were in the Twins system. I don't believe this is true at all. One reason that the Twins haven't promoted prospects faster is that they have not had prospects that deserved to be promoted faster.

I want people to start naming names of prospects that should have been promoted faster. i'm not interested in guys that weren't promoted from AAA because of whatever reason (money, veteran manlove, etc...). i'm talking about guys that languished for too long in the low minors.

#2 Shane Wahl

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 11:34 PM

The Twins are certainly conservative when promoting prospects but their seems to be this myth that Trout/Harper (and any other good prospect) would still be in A ball if they were in the Twins system. I don't believe this is true at all. One reason that the Twins haven't promoted prospects faster is that they have not had prospects that deserved to be promoted faster.

I want people to start naming names of prospects that should have been promoted faster. i'm not interested in guys that weren't promoted from AAA because of whatever reason (money, veteran manlove, etc...). i'm talking about guys that languished for too long in the low minors.


Well this is going to depend on how one views the different levels in the system. I am one for pushing quickly to Beloit and then later certainly pushing from New Britain to Rochester. There are some players who I think languished and ended up not amounting to much, but who knows the effect that showing confidence in a player might have. Steve Singleton was an example for the past few years. I find it bizarre that Nate Roberts is still in Beloit right now. Matt Koch should have been promoted to Fort Myers. Chris Herrmann to Rochester. Benson and Parmelee should have been given some AAA time last year. And one could go on and on. I haven't even begun to discuss the pitchers.

#3 kab21

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 12:00 AM

Steve Singleton? Really?

You're talking about guys that profile as backups at the MLB level. This is the argument that elite prospects would still be in A ball?

#4 righty8383

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 12:01 AM

This is one of those misconceptions that you'll never be able to put to bed. Kind of like the notion that Twins hitters are instructed to slap the ball the other way.

#5 joeboo_22

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 12:31 AM

There are few examples, Garza, Slowey, Duensing. But at the same time I feel like the Twins hold some guys back to the point that they want them to struggle. Example would be Tyler Robertson, now Tyler Robertson was a guy who it seemed like every year he regressed. He was drafted out of high school, and finally made the majors this year. In Low A, Tyler Robertson had the second lowest ERA the Midwest (low A) league, the lowest was another 19 year old, Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw was expediated through the minors, where Robertson was held back. Now I'm not saying if Robertson would have been pushed he would have become Kershaw, but its a comparison.

The Twins also push rookie-ball and the 1 full year at low A followed by a sting at high A before they'd ever consider sending you to AA.

Now at the same point, I think some of this is just how bad some of the drafts have been the past 4 years.

2007 draft- Ben Revere- only one to make the majors, and as far as I can tell no one is knocking on the door and few are even still in the system.
2008 draft- no one is in the majors, a few "'prospects"= Hicks, Hermsen, and others. But looking at the list Hicks, Hermsen and Guitierrez (if healthy) are the only ones that I can see making, and contributing next year for the Twins
2009 draft- these were the top picks- Gibson (TJ Surgery), Bashore- (numerous arm problems, now in the Yankees system), Billy Bullock-(traded for Scott Diamond), Ben Tootle-(arm blewout), Derek McCallum- (never amounted to anything), a few others then Brian Dozier who was "rushed". You look at the draft class and its Gibson, Dozier, Herrmann and Watts as the ones who I can see as possibly making the roster next year.
2010- Alex Wimmers- TJ surgery, as far as I can tell no single player from this class in AA or higher.
2011-Levi Michael is in Ft. Myers, no one higher as far as I can tell either

So at the same time, the drafts have been pretty bad, which quite a bit of it was bad luck, but no one has been able to be "rushed"

#6 Seth Stohs

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 06:40 AM

I agree that it's a myth that the Twins move prospects slowly. They have certain strategies, and those strategies have proven successfully. They keep high school/Dominican players in Beloit (generally) a full year. They did that with Mauer and REvere, and those guys still went from high school to the majors in 2 1/2 - 3 1/2 years, which is pushing quickly! Top college pitchers taken can move up quite quickly. Duensing went from Beloit to New Britain in his first full season. Gibson went from Ft. Myers to Rochester. Garza went from Ft. Myers to the Twins.

Comparing Kershaw and Robertson isn't really fair, is it? They were such different pitchers in the Midwest League, no comparison. Kershaw threw hard and had just nasty stuff. Robertson, despite great numbers, didn't throw hard, and his delivery was always in question. Also, he's become a reliever.

Are there cases of guys that I think should be moved up? Of course, always. But not exceedingly.

#7 old nurse

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 06:55 AM

There are few examples, Garza, Slowey, Duensing.


You named pitchers that went through the low minors quickly, not held back as the myth would have it. Talent does move up in the system mid year. Various bloggers regularly posts on it.
One could debate if the Twins are developing the talent, but without separated at birth prospects to distinguish between systems it would stay a debate.

#8 birdwatcher

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 08:14 AM

We tend to glance at a few offensive stats and conclude that a player should be promoted. Look how often people have called for Sano to be promoted, he and his 42 errors. I would guess there is a reason to keep him in playoff-bound Beloit rather than promote him to languishing Ft. Myers. How would we know what's best for his development?

The Twins are making judgments about the development of players in whom they have serious investment. Dozens of professional eyes are focused on these players all season long. They see them in ways we don't.

#9 Thrylos

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 08:29 AM

I want people to start naming names of prospects that should have been promoted faster. i'm not interested in guys that weren't promoted from AAA because of whatever reason (money, veteran manlove, etc...). i'm talking about guys that languished for too long in the low minors.


The Twins have been pretty bad about signing a bunch of MiLB FAs to fill up the Rochester roster and keep their players stuck in New Britain (and some stuck at Fort Myers because of the Domino effect.) This season, about 50% of those free agents panned out. Last season was a disaster. I just cannot see a justification of having JR Towles in AAA and Chris Herrmann in AA at this point. (which has the Domino effect of Josmil Pinto to get stuck -until recently- in high A and Matt Koch in Beloit.) This season the Twins did better. I give them that. But, having a 28 year old FA 1B/DH in AA does not make much sense, does it? Or signing 27 year old ex-manager's kid (who is about as good a player as Toby was) and sticking him to AA instead of promoting (let's say Danny Santana). Just these little things. But, again, they are doing better this season.
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#10 kab21

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 08:30 AM

Robertson is probably the best example that has been mentioned but at the same time he was a 3rd rd pick that started in Beloit (skipping Etown) his first full season with the Twins. And he also missed time in Beloit (only 16 starts) and messed up his arm the following season in Ft Myers.

#11 Seth Stohs

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 08:42 AM

Robertson is probably the best example that has been mentioned but at the same time he was a 3rd rd pick that started in Beloit (skipping Etown) his first full season with the Twins. And he also missed time in Beloit (only 16 starts) and messed up his arm the following season in Ft Myers.


Actually, Robertson was supposed to pitch for Elizabethton that year but Beloit had some injuries and promotions that year so Robertson was pushed ahead. That's why he only made 16 starts.

#12 kab21

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 08:50 AM

Actually, Robertson was supposed to pitch for Elizabethton that year but Beloit had some injuries and promotions that year so Robertson was pushed ahead. That's why he only made 16 starts.


That sounds right now that you mention it but he still messed up his arm pretty bad the following season. I remember that ETown rotation since they were really tall (6'5"+) and they dominated the league.

#13 Vervehound

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 09:19 AM

i'd argue that the twins sometimes keep their prospects too long in rookie ball. it's not unusual for a player to do three years in our two rookie league affiliates and sometimes this can be damaging, imo. case in point: niko goodrum. his numbers were solid last year and he hasn't progressed this year but often times a guy will rise to the level around him when challenged. i think he's stagnated with a second year in e-town.

that said, holding players back before full season ball is often times a good thing as you can get a half season of instructionals in and start reworking their game in a low pressure environment. perfect example of this from this year is max kepler. instead of doing a better job identifying who would benefit from a challenge and who wouldn't, the twins tend to do this type of thing across the board.

why was holding goodrum back a bad thing and kepler back a good thing? goodrum held is own in 2011 in e-town, was from a baseball hotbed, and was age appropriate for the appy last year (for a prospect, at least) and the only way he was going to significantly improve on his offense was to start hitting for significant power (and get off to a better start), which wasn't his game and has likely led to him trying to do too much. kepler, on the other hand, was an 18 y.o. from germany with a miniscule slugging percentage who will have to grow into a power type to profile at a corner o.f. spot. i was surprised he didn't repeat the gcl. at any rate, holding him back was the right move, regardless of his numbers this year.

#14 Shane Wahl

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 09:57 AM

Steve Singleton? Really?

You're talking about guys that profile as backups at the MLB level. This is the argument that elite prospects would still be in A ball?


Who is saying that elite prospects would still be in A ball? You cannot deny, however, that the Twins have promoted the slowest in baseball (for position players, close for pitchers) at least through 2010. Yes, I do think it hampers players, especially if they are looking at the Toby Gardenhires and Rene Riveras of the world above them.

#15 greengoblinrulz

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 10:24 AM

Arguement that cant be won if you believe in your side.
Ill never beleive the Twins promote quickly. They dont use the minor leagues to develop players for the MLB team, they use it to field a minor league team. There was NO reason last year to keep Benson & Parmelee in New Brit all year or for them not to give Brian Dozier some AAA time or a Sept callup.
There is the New Brit lineup this year. Ill never buy into prospects being blocked by Rene Rivera's/Clete Thomas types. I know you need organizational depth, but guys of this ilk do nothing to an organization this late in the year. I agreee on DSantana also as there is no weak playoff excuse in Ft Myers, but he's blocked by Shawn Roof!!!
Promotions dont have to always be prospects either ala Singleton. They keep guys in a level 2/3 yrs when its obvious they have done what they need to do to be promoted.
I also think they keep some players down in a level too long that they lose that 'prospect' type label. In his 22/23 yr old yr, Rene Tosoni was Futures Game MVP & had a .271/.360/.454 line at New Brit & what happenned.....he got a 2nd yr there. Twins claim/was proven that he had shoulder problems that needed surgery, but they were NEVER gonna allow him to show he could handle AAA in 2010 because he was blocked by Jacque Jones!!!! By 2011, he was old for a first time AAA 'prospect' IMO.
There sometimes is a difference between high school/college/16 yr old Latin signing tho. If you can play, you can play.....get em up.
Guys like me wouldnt be so upset also if guys who DONT deserve promotions quit getting em....Steve Liddle for ex, Danny Lehmann this year over Hermann, etc.

#16 kab21

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 10:32 AM

I think you think that there is this massive difference between AA and AAA. There isn't.

#17 greengoblinrulz

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 10:44 AM

I think you think that there is this massive difference between AA and AAA. There isn't.

Im in the arguement that there isnt either, but the organization believes it.....but then why not keep Rivera/Thomas/Ramirez types in AA if there isnt much difference (move em up & down accordingly for roster space).
We've heard the same arguement from front office on Tosoni/Benson/Parmelee after 2 'full' AA yrs....they need AAA ABs. The organization coulda got them those at bats in their 2nd AA yrs, but chose NOT to. Same with Dozier last yr & Arcia this yr....they say these players 'need' the AAA ABs but dont give them to em after even dominating AA. Different if they did.

#18 mgraves

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 12:54 PM

I don't understand the obsession with having guys get ABs in AAA. I was always under the impression that your high quality prospects make the jump from AA because AAA is so much of a holding pen for AAAA guys (I'm looking at you Clete Thomas). Radke is the example that springs most readily to mind, although I doubt he would have stuck with the big club if the big club hadn't been so bleeding awful. Some guys do need seasoning at AAA, but these aren't likely game-breaker prospects. I'm not saying that guys who move up a level at a time cannot be useful ballplayers, but they seem less likely to be "stars".

On a completely unrelated note--looking at Radke's rookie stats--3.7K/9--gives me hope that Diamond can bump it up a notch in the K department next year (Radke improved by 2K/9 to 5.7K/9 and peaking at 6.5K/9 the year he finished 3rd in the CYA).

#19 Seth Stohs

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 01:37 PM

I'm sure we all can find examples of players who moved too slowly in our minds or too quickly in our minds. In general, I don't care as long as the prospects are moving appropriately. The Twins certainly aren't holding back Oswaldo Arcia, are they? Aaron Hicks. Does anyone think he's been moved too slowly?? What about his performance until this year says he should have been moved more quickly. I know lots wanted Sano promoted to FM earlier, but I think it's fair to say that spending the full season in Beloit is what's best for him. Brian Dozier went from an 8th round draft pick to the Twins starting lineup in less than 3 years. He was pushed pretty quickly, and yet, we could all agree that he could have used a couple more months. Chris Parmelee certainly wasn't hurt by getting to stay with the New Britain Rock Cats until they missed the playoffs. Aside from Anthony Slama, there just isn't one right now that I think it's where it is best for him.

#20 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 02:09 PM

I think the argument can be made that the Twins move players cautiously. They rarely jump people a level above where they should be at the time. Do they move the occasional player along more slowly than other teams? Probably. Is that a problem? Very rarely, in my opinion.

#21 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 02:30 PM

The only player that I can presently think of that's being held back right now is Anthony Slama, who clearly should be in MN.

Some of the names mentioned here are pretty interesting. With Robertson, there was alwasy skepticism regarding his talent level and they pretty much brought him along one level at a time. Garza played in 3 levels one year, and Slowey rocketed up the system too.

#22 greengoblinrulz

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 02:57 PM

My frustration is, what I posted a bit earlier, the unnecessary repeat years and being blocked/passed over by an inferior player.
Granted, this year they jumped BJ Hermsen extremely quick & it proved to be correct. Oswaldo Arcia was promoted correctly but shouldnt spend any time next year in AA. Very rare that they jump a guy a whole league also.
David Bromberg is a prime example. He's a guy MN thought enough of to protect on 40 man AFTER reaching AAA in 2010 & having success there (9 starts 52IP 3.98era 47k). He gets sent back to AA , start decently (3.63era in 22.1IP), gets hurt & is sent back to AA in 2012. Even this year with success in limited AAA gms (2.75era 19.2IP), he STILL sits in AA.
Ill also get frustrated when a player is promoted mid season, has solid success at the next level but isnt promoted the next yr to start the season. MN gives that 'prove it to me again' attitude. Michael Tonkin, at Ft Myers, is someone I think should start next yr in AA after spending large parts of 3 seasons at Low A ball.

#23 joeboo_22

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 04:26 PM

I guess looking at it, I see 2 problem areas with how the Twins use the system. 1 is rookie ball, my opinion on rookie ball should be- that years draft class (with the new deal, they will sign in time to play as well), plus the international signings and tose that are dealing with an injury. No one else should repeat rookie ball, being a 22 year old college draftee dominating Elizabethton does no good. The E-Twins are great every year, yet it hasn't really translated up the latter much.

The other is how they handle AAA, now some of this no doubt has to do with the Twins. But having numerous guys (Clete Thomas, Ray Chang, and numerous pitchers), while others are at AA.