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Article: Twins Minor League Report (5/5): Littell Impresses in Triple A Debut

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#21 Mike Sixel

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Posted 06 May 2018 - 04:21 PM

There is zero reason why Wade couldn't play every day on the MLB team, then go back down when Buxton gets back.
Also, Buxton, Kepler and Rosario are all here at least 3 more years. What is his future here, if not 4th outfielder?


Correct. That last sentence is the key.

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


#22 DocBauer

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Posted 06 May 2018 - 04:21 PM

There is zero reason why Wade couldn't play every day on the MLB team, then go back down when Buxton gets back.
Also, Buxton, Kepler and Rosario are all here at least 3 more years. What is his future here, if not 4th outfielder?


Not pretending to be "in the know" here by any means, but I'd offer a point and counter-point here:

Pont: He's coming off a fine season at AA, tearing things up there again, and he should already be at Rochester. His defense has to be better than Grossman, he offers, potentially, as good or better offense, and he could play almost daily until Buxton is back allowing for better roster/lineup flexibility.

Counter-point: He's only 24, about the right age for AA, is only beginning his 3rd full season of milb, seems to be developing more power this season, would require another 40 man roster move, there may be some small issues in regard to defense or beginning and the like the Twins are waiting to show improvement. (I may be mistaken, but wasn't he a little light vs LHP last season?)

Not arguing for or against his being brought up at this time. I'm glad to see Gonsalves and Littrell up at AAA quickly, and hope to see Gordon and Wade both join them very soon. (I think the Twins have been very aggressive with Romero). I just think there are a lot of moving parts and scenarios to be considered other then "promote him and play him as a regular for the short term because he could do better than what's filling in now." Not even sure we'd be having this conversation if not for the unfortunate injury to Granite.

If the Twins have been slow in promotions this season in any way, I'd say it's in regard to the pen. I just don't have long term faith in Magill or Hughes and I think I'd rather rotate through the AAA roster for those final 2 spots until someone takes hold of the job.

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

 

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#23 DocBauer

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Posted 06 May 2018 - 04:24 PM

Still probably 3-4 weeks out.


Seth, I've always had the feeling Jorge was one more refined pitch away from being a legitimate mid to back end rotation starter. But the way things stack up NOW, and the time he's missing this season, would you agree it seems more likely now he projects as a quality RP option?

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

 

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#24 DocBauer

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Posted 06 May 2018 - 04:26 PM

Correct. That last sentence is the key.


Agreed. I believe he will soon pass Granite as the best and most likely 4th OF on the team, barring any trade options, of course. But I think you'd agree you don't want him as a 4th OF NOW. Maybe as a fill-in, but not a "full time" reserve.

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

 

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#25 Seth Stohs

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Posted 06 May 2018 - 08:16 PM

 

Seth, I've always had the feeling Jorge was one more refined pitch away from being a legitimate mid to back end rotation starter. But the way things stack up NOW, and the time he's missing this season, would you agree it seems more likely now he projects as a quality RP option?

 

I don't think that this injury effects his status as a pitcher at all. He's still seen as the possible back of the rotation option... His prospect status is similar to that of Slegers, in my opinion. Probably could be a 4-5 starter, but that may mean long relief. Jorge is a good pitcher. His injury shouldn't effect his status... 


#26 Seth Stohs

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Posted 06 May 2018 - 08:24 PM

 

What is it about this individual that says, "have him repeat AA"?

 

Wade - maybe they worked on some power development or something.

Gordon - he had a tough second half last year, struggled against lefties and defense continues to be a work in progress. 

 

I don't know if those are the things... As I've said, I think they could be OK in AAA... but I don't think a couple months at AA hurts either. Especially when they could just as easily be called up from AA too. 

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#27 Tomj14

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Posted 07 May 2018 - 09:56 AM

 

Yeah, I think Littell can be a #4 starter. Looking at his minor league track record, I'm thinking he's going to need to spend most the season at AAA.

 

For 2019, we'll have Berrios, Pineda, Gibson (final year of arb.), Odorizzi (final arb.), Romero, Mejia, and possibly Littell and Gonsalves all poised to be able to start. Based on the arbitrary starter 'number' comparisons, I'd say we have:

 

#1: None

#2: Berrios, Romero

#3: Gonsalves

#4: Odorizzi, Gibson, Littell, Pineda, May (could be higher, but he's been gone for so long)

#5: Mejia, Slegers (maybe AAAA)

 

I really like the depth, but there's still no clear #1 starter. Oh, and they should be able to DFA Hughes at some point. 

If Graterol continues to pitch this well the rest of the year and moves up a few levels, I don't understand why he couldn't be ready sometime next year.


#28 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 07 May 2018 - 11:01 AM

If Graterol continues to pitch this well the rest of the year and moves up a few levels, I don't understand why he couldn't be ready sometime next year.


Graterol has 2 starts above rookie ball.
He has no chance of any MLB consideration next year, and a small chance of getting a look in 2020.
Realistically, around this time 2021 is about the time we have a chance to see him debut.
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#29 Tomj14

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Posted 07 May 2018 - 12:13 PM

 

Graterol has 2 starts above rookie ball.
He has no chance of any MLB consideration next year, and a small chance of getting a look in 2020.
Realistically, around this time 2021 is about the time we have a chance to see him debut.

So a guy that throws in the upper 90s and hasn't had an issue with control needs to spend 6-7 years in the minors. He has already had Tommy John and this will be his first full year back if he can get to AA this year there should be no reason he can't pitch in the majors at 20. The reports are he has a plus slider, with that and his fastball he should be able to work on his curve and change in the majors and successful. (I reserve the right to change my mind if he struggles this year getting guys out in the low minors)

The average starter in the majors only pitches a little bit over 5 innings anyway,


#30 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 07 May 2018 - 01:55 PM

So a guy that throws in the upper 90s and hasn't had an issue with control needs to spend 6-7 years in the minors. He has already had Tommy John and this will be his first full year back if he can get to AA this year there should be no reason he can't pitch in the majors at 20. The reports are he has a plus slider, with that and his fastball he should be able to work on his curve and change in the majors and successful. (I reserve the right to change my mind if he struggles this year getting guys out in the low minors)
The average starter in the majors only pitches a little bit over 5 innings anyway,


His slider projects as a plus pitch. It's not there now.
His change up is going to need a couple years, I'd guess, to become a viable third pitch.
We also have no idea what his command is going to look like when he gets to the upper minors where guys don't swing at everything.
His scouting reports suggest that his stuff has masked his command issues at rookie ball. I'd expect some speedbumps along the way.

Finally, I'd assume the Twins want him to start until they think he can't. If you mean come up as a reliever, sure, he could probably do that next year some time.
As a starter? I don't think so. He needs a third pitch if he's going to start in MLB. The major leagues aren't the place to develop a third pitch on the fly.

Do you have any (recent) examples of non college startes going from rookie ball to MLB in less than two years? It just doesn't happen. Pitching in mlb is really hard, he's a very intriguing prospect, but I don't think he's anywhere near ready to pitch to big league hitters.
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#31 jokin

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Posted 07 May 2018 - 07:58 PM

 

If Graterol continues to pitch this well the rest of the year and moves up a few levels, I don't understand why he couldn't be ready sometime next year.

 

I'm all for quick progression of the best prospects as much as anyone, but Mr Brooks is absolutely spot on- 2021 for Graterol's debut is the most realistic scenario at this point in time.

 

Joyous, fact-based and tireless Twins fan for 40+ years, who unfortunately has been characterized as-

 

"forcing Twins fans to endure more bitter, baseless, and tiresome cheap shots about the Twins FO."


#32 Tomj14

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 06:01 AM

Do you have any (recent) examples of non college startes going from rookie ball to MLB in less than two years? It just doesn't happen. Pitching in mlb is really hard, he's a very intriguing prospect, but I don't think he's anywhere near ready to pitch to big league hitters.

Julio Urias, Clayton Kershaw, Mike Soroka, Dylan Bundy, Rick Porcellocome to mind. I am sure there are more.

So 2021 will be 7th year with the organization and he will be 22. I just don't understand wasting guys with arms like his in the minors.

 


#33 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 12:42 PM

Julio Urias, Clayton Kershaw, Mike Soroka, Dylan Bundy, Rick Porcello come to mind. I am sure there are more.
So 2021 will be 7th year with the organization and he will be 22. I just don't understand wasting guys with arms like his in the minors.


You are only wasting them if they are ready.
If you think he's ready, you're entitled to your opinion.

#34 Tomj14

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 12:57 PM

 

You are only wasting them if they are ready.
If you think he's ready, you're entitled to your opinion.

I didn't say he was ready. I said

"If Graterol continues to pitch this well the rest of the year and moves up a few levels, I don't understand why he couldn't be ready sometime next year."

 

Obviously if he doesn't continue to pitch lights out in all levels he pitches this year and next, he wouldn't be ready. I just don't understand the philosophy that a pitcher has pitch in the minors for 6 or 7 years prior to being called up.If a kid can throw upper 90's with another plus pitch for strikes he could/should be able to help the major league club.


#35 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 01:08 PM

I didn't say he was ready. I said
"If Graterol continues to pitch this well the rest of the year and moves up a few levels, I don't understand why he couldn't be ready sometime next year."

Obviously if he doesn't continue to pitch lights out in all levels he pitches this year and next, he wouldn't be ready. I just don't understand the philosophy that a pitcher has pitch in the minors for 6 or 7 years prior to being called up. If a kid can throw upper 90's with another plus pitch for strikes he could/should be able to help the major league club.


Well I disagree, and I think the FO probably does too, that a starter can just develop a third pitch after they come up.

And no, not every starter needs 6 or 7 years pitching in the minors, but Graterol has 1 season in the minors - unless you count the 11 innings he threw in 2015.

If he comes up this time in 2021, when I think he will, he'll only have 4 years in the minors.

I'd be all for these guys coming up faster, if they are ready. I like pushing prospects, constantly. But I'm not responding what I think is right or what I'd do, I'm responding with when i think he will come up.
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