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Article: Offseason Primer: The Core Seven (?)

jorge polanco max kepler miguel sano jose berrios byron buxton
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#21 ChrisKnutson

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Posted 16 October 2018 - 04:55 PM

I know this may be off-topic and also seem like we’d be selling low since it doesn’t involve DeGrom or Thor, but does anyone think would it reasonable for the FO to trade Sano to the Cardinals for Jordan Hicks, Luke Weaver, and a lottery ticket??? The Cards are already drowning in pitching depth and could use a cheap/controllable impact bat at 1B/3B, so the match seems at least possible.

#22 DocBauer

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Posted 16 October 2018 - 05:05 PM

I agree with the general sentiment that these guys are the core. And I would also include Garver in the group now. These are the guys we need to show up and play to their capabilities. We've seen it. Now show it more consistently. (Though Rosario has).

Of course, there's another potential "core" group arriving in a season or two to add to this group we should all be pretty excited about.

I'm a little touchy on Mejia even though I like him. Touchy only because he was slowed the first half, took a while to get going, and has had issues with pitch counts. So while I like his potential still as a SP, I just have this feeling he may be destined for the bullpen. Teaming hum with Rogers wouldn't be a bad thing though.

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#23 Thrylos

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Posted 16 October 2018 - 05:50 PM

 

 

 

My core six - Rosario, Berrios, Garver, May, Rogers, Romero.The others have potential, but have not shown enough.

 

So 27 year old Garver (career 98 OPS+) has shown more than 25 year old Miguel Sano (career 117 OPS+)?

 

I love Romero, but he is the poster boy for having potential, but have not shown enough: 55-2/3 IP. 4.69 ERA, 4.45 FIP, 1.4 WHIP, 7.3 K/9 (lower than any other starter with more than 50 IP)Not sure that this is enough...

Edited by Thrylos, 16 October 2018 - 05:51 PM.

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#24 ewen21

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Posted 16 October 2018 - 06:01 PM

I have trouble initiating Kepler. Sano and Buxton into "core status" after what went down last season.All three were disappointments., but Sano and Buxton went well beyond that.A week or so ago there was a thread about perhaps needing to pivot away from Sano and Buxton and here they are building blocks for the future.

 

I have not completely given up on Sano and Buxton, but I am not wagering on them,Buxton is not a good hitter and when he struggles he presses.Once that happens he becomes a mess.Will he ever get past that?I don't know.I don't have a crystal ball.I will say that because Torii Hunter or whomever struggled some when they were young and got it together it doesn't mean the same will happen with Buxton.Plus, Hunter never struggled as mghtily as Buxton has.Not by a longshot.Furthermore, I can't chalk up Buxton's seasons to injuries.He was off to a slow start before he went on the DL.The other thing about his injuries is that they will compound and get worse over time if he doesn't wise up and alter his approach.As far as Sano is concerned, the guy is a mess right now.I don't care if they reported what happened in the DR was an accident.I have trouble with the fact that stupid things seem to happen when he is around.What the heck is he doing getting behind the wheel after leaving a club at 3AM?THat is stupid.I am sorry.FOr a guy with all the resources in the world at his fingertips he never ever should be in that situation.Between Sano and Buxton we have two guys who can implode at any moment."Core players" give a team stability.These two do not in any way, shape or form.

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#25 mikelink45

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Posted 16 October 2018 - 06:53 PM

 

So 27 year old Garver (career 98 OPS+) has shown more than 25 year old Miguel Sano (career 117 OPS+)?

 

I love Romero, but he is the poster boy for having potential, but have not shown enough: 55-2/3 IP. 4.69 ERA, 4.45 FIP, 1.4 WHIP, 7.3 K/9 (lower than any other starter with more than 50 IP)Not sure that this is enough...

Yes - at this point Garver is on a projection upward while Sano is floating in limbo.I will rely on Garver next year and hope Sano gets straightened out.But Sano has not achieved enough in the last seasor or two to be a core player for me.  

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#26 HrbieFan

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Posted 17 October 2018 - 07:17 AM

Mejia seems like a guy that could benefit from an opener in front of him. He often time is sitting with high pitch counts in the 5th or 6th and rarely goes beyond that. He has some nasty stuff that needs to be harnessed to become a true starter
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#27 IaFan1

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Posted 17 October 2018 - 08:59 AM

Certainly the success of 2019 will hinge a large part on the hopeful comebacks of Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton. Without a resurgence by them we will see pretty much the same as this year at around 78 wins. Well unless we sign Manny Machado. Ha.The pitching can be put into three groups. Major League Capable, Solid prospects and Fringe prospects.For starters I placed Berrios, Gibson, Pineda and Odirizzi in the 1st group, Mejia, Gonsalves, Romero, Thorpe in the 2nd group and Fringe starter are DeJong, Littell, Slegers, Stewart. I still don't see a number one starter in that group and I think that will haunt the Twins every year until they develop, sign a top FA or trade for that type of pitcher. A la Jack Morris. 

In Relief the group is filled with Fringe pitchers. MLB capable I listed May and Rogers. That's it!I guess you could say Moya and Vasquez are solid prospects. But look at this long list of fringe prospects we need to help next year, many of whom have ML experience and haven't shown a lot. Busenitz, Drake, J. Reed, McGill, A.Reed. Add in a couple of prospects that have done well all the way up the ladder only to get their cup of coffee and look lost. John Curtiss, Alan Busenitz, and Tyler Duffey. How has our pitching from the minors to the majors turned so many good arms to fringe prospects. I'd be getting with my analytics staff for help on answering that if I was Falvine.So turning to position players the outfield will be the same as the beginning of last year if they are healthy. Team MVP Eddie Rosario in LF, Buxton getting what may be a last chance in CF and Max Kepler in RF as we wait for the long hoped for breakout season that just hasn't happened. Jake Cave has won a spot on this roster and will have to be the backup plan to Buxton if he becomes the bust that he was this year. I think Robbie Grossman has earned another year for the Twins unless some trade brings in a Solid DH option. I sure don't want to see anymore of the Taylor Motters, Johnny Fields, or Ryan LaMarres on a Twins roster. If we can't do better then that you will never win more then 78 games. The infield has to start with Sano at 3B. I guess a lot of that will depend on him coming in to the season in shape and healthy. Like Buxton, he can be a star or a bust. It's up to him.I still like Polanco at SS. And his bat is a real boost at the position. I'd rather not sign a SS that hits .215 and move Polanco to 2B even if the SS can field the hell out of the position. I'd really be taking a long, long look at Luis Arraez in spring training. This man is a hitting machine. And if you can get production at second and short you really add to your offense. Otherwise I guess you could look at bring back Forsythe on a one year deal. I think the Twins need to commit to Tyler Austin at 1B. His D would be tough on fans after watching Mauer scoop everything over there the last few years. But again I am trading a Bat for a little defense. Austin looks to be 30 homer guy and that is what you want at 1st base. If he can hit .260 he'd have close to 100 RBI's to go with those homers. Sure he will strike out. But isn't that ok in this day and age if the guy can hit those homers? Ehire can be our Super Utility along with C-Super Utility Willans Austudillo.At Catch we have a nice platoon if Castro comes back healthy. Otherwise I think Mitch Garver has shown he can be an everyday catcher and help a lot with his bat. As usual you hope you have some surprises in the Minors that push their way to the Twins. Guys like Tyler Jay, Luke Raley and Cody Stashak who when he was switched to the BP he performed really well. We have some nice prospects to offer up in trade for a top pitcher. Guys other then Lewis and Kiriloff, like Nick Gordon, Brent Rooker, Zander Wiel, Steven Gonsalves or Trevor Larnach.So I hope the Twins are active in free agent BP market this year and sign one decent bat.


#28 nicksaviking

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Posted 17 October 2018 - 09:42 AM

I like the idea of identifying a "core" but not at this particular moment. It seems to me core players are typically only identified after the team wins. We can identify who the core players were in 1987 and track them back through the struggles of the seasons before. Same with the clubs from early this century. 

 

Gary Ward, Tim Teufel, Matt Lawton and AJ Pierzynski probably would have been considered core players if we did this exercise during those building processes. Not to dismiss the idea, I just would prefer not to get wrapped up in worrying about selling low or making certain guys untouchable when the team isn't yet built to win.


#29 JLease

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Posted 17 October 2018 - 10:49 AM

 

Right now it sort of feels like Berrios and Gibson are Scott Baker-types. This isn't terrible but it's rather meh.

 

I have been high on Berrios and I hope he continues to improve, but I'm also rather bored of typing around here that I hope someone on this team will continue to improve.

 

But back to the topic ... yes, these are the guys who have to perform well for the team to have a chance.

 

I think you're undervaluing Berrios rather significantly. He was in the AL top 10 or just outside it in a number of significant pitching categories this season and has improved his performance every year he's been in MLB. He looks like a pitcher on the rise.

 

Baker might have been on this level, until he got hurt. he had his best season at 26 (Berrios of course is only 24), slid back over the next two years, looked to be having a rebound season before getting hurt. He was never the same. Berrios has developed faster and appears to have a higher ceiling. If he stays healthy, he ain't Scott Baker.

 

Gibson is probably a fairer comp to Baker: later development, with issues of consistency. But Gibson has never had issues with his health and just had his best season as a pro at age 30. Baker was already done as an effective player. If you get the healthy version of Scott Baker to be your #3 starter you're probably in decent shape. If he's your #2, you're praying it's an up year and not a down one.

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#30 yarnivek1972

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Posted 17 October 2018 - 02:21 PM

Mejia seems like a guy that could benefit from an opener in front of him. He often time is sitting with high pitch counts in the 5th or 6th and rarely goes beyond that. He has some nasty stuff that needs to be harnessed to become a true starter


He was taken out of his last two MLB starts after 5 IP with a sub 80 pitch count. Maybe he would have struggled after that, maybe not. Part of developing players is allowing them to find out, particularly in a lost season.
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#31 Einheri

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Posted 17 October 2018 - 05:02 PM

I like Meija.  If healthy, he should be an above-average pitcher.  Right now I'm not certain if he'll be a starter or a reliever.  He's probably best suited right now as our long man with an occasional spot start, or in conjunction with/or as an Opener.


#32 Darius

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Posted 17 October 2018 - 06:56 PM

I’d reluctantly concede a Core 3 at this point: Berrios, Gibson, Rosario.

I’m not sure you can even call that “a core.” I’m not sure any of them are at an elite level, or ever will be. Berrios may be eventually, but there are still plenty of inconsistencies there. They’re really just the “Pretty Good 3.”

Sano might be out of the league by this time next year. There are risks there in regards to behavior, health, conditioning, and performance. Frankly, he can’t be counted on for anything st this point.

It doesn’t really look like Buxton will ever figure things out offensively. It doesn’t really look like he’ll ever be to stay healthy, either. Banking on him for anything outside of half a season of great defense from the 9-hole is a prayer. Certainly not anything you want to build around long-term.

Kepler appears to be a solid role, unspectacular role player, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Time is starting to run out to prove that he’ll fulfill the expectations created by his minor league career. Good guy to have around, but hardly a franchise cornerstone.

Polanco is a black market Dominican supplement away from his second offense....and isn’t really that great of a defensive shortstop to begin with.

If we’re considering Mitch Garver a “core” player, we’re in trouble.

Who knows it Romero will ever pitch 100+ innings effectively in a major league season. He seems to fade hard every year, even in the minor leagues. How many more years does a guy need to ramp up?

There is nobody else worth mentioning that had stepped foot on a major league diamond. It’s probably time to start thinking about the next “core.”

#33 Mike Sixel

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Posted 17 October 2018 - 09:16 PM

I don't see Kepler as a "core" player given his consitent mediocrtiy for three (!) full time seasons. He was outplayed by Cave last year - Cave, 13 HRs, .269/.318/.481 (.797) 1.5 WAR in one half seasonr, Kepler .224/.319/.408 (.727) 2.6 WAR in a full season. Kepler doesn't deserve to start next year unless he moves to 1B and/or beats out Buxton for a starting OF job. I really don't understand why this board is still so high on him. I understand why everyone was 2 years ago or even going into last year but he hasn't taken that necessary step forward at the plate to be starting on a good team. Guys who perform like Kepler has the last 3 years are the 4th OF on a good team and we may have found someone better in Cave. We need to find out what Cave can do - we may already know what Kepler can do and it's not good enough unless he takes a major step forward.

Conversely, I could see Garver as a "core" player as a better than average bat at a premium position. He has to work on his defense but it did get better over the season.I still would love to trade AAA pitching for Realmuto but that's probably a pipe dream.


Kepler was 13th in RF war. If he's a fourth outfielder, there must not be as many teams as I think there are.
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I remain hopeful on Buxton and Sano.....but I'd not bet the franchise on them.


#34 Mike Sixel

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Posted 17 October 2018 - 09:26 PM

For example, the Yankees had five hitters put up more WAR than that. Were all the other players backups, not good enough to start for a great team?

The Brewers had four.

Teams don't have nine starters that put up very good war.

Edited by Mike Sixel, 17 October 2018 - 09:27 PM.

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


#35 beckmt

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Posted 18 October 2018 - 12:55 AM

Players develop at their own rate, and some fail.To those of you who are impatient, I would love to be an opposing GM (like in a fantasy league) who could get a decent player for very little by waiting out the impatient GM.Aaron Hicks is the poster child for this type of player.He played his way into the doghouse and was traded for a player of much less upside and value.  

I put much of this on the coaches the Twins have had and the inability to bring out the best in players.It can be done, we just have to find the correct coaches to help.Buxton and Sano have to be given every opportunity to succeed, if they fail then he have the problem of what to do with them.  

The biggest difference I have seen in the playoffs, is the pitching is much better, whether it be starting for some clubs or the bullpen for others, or in the case of Houston some of both.  


#36 hatz0008

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Posted 19 October 2018 - 10:47 AM

As far as the Yankees go, wasn't Posada a part time player until 2000 when Girardi retired and then he hit his stride?I think Pettite was more so that core four piece since he debuted in 1995 and led the league in wins in 1996 on that historic team.


#37 yarnivek1972

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Posted 19 October 2018 - 05:21 PM

As far as the Yankees go, wasn't Posada a part time player until 2000 when Girardi retired and then he hit his stride? I think Pettite was more so that core four piece since he debuted in 1995 and led the league in wins in 1996 on that historic team.



Posada started 52 games at catcher in 1997. Then 85, 98 and 136 in 2000. So, the Yankees eased him in to the full time role, but he was the primary catcher as early as 1998.

#38 DrNeau

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Posted 21 October 2018 - 06:40 AM

1. C- Garver
2. DH -
3. LF - Rosario
4. CF - Buxton
5. RF - Cave
6. 3B - Sano
7. SS - Polanco
8. 2B -
9. 1B - Austin
-- Bench --
10. OF - Kepler
11. C - Astudillo
12. IF -

-- Pitchers --
13. SP - Berrios
14. SP - Gibson
15. SP - Pineda
16. SP -
17. SP -
18. RP - Rogers
19. RP - May
20. RP -
21. RP -
22. RP -
23. RP -
24. CP -

 

Anyone not on this list is expendable.

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#39 Major Leauge Ready

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Posted 22 October 2018 - 07:47 AM

 

I agree with the general sentiment that these guys are the core. And I would also include Garver in the group now. These are the guys we need to show up and play to their capabilities. We've seen it. Now show it more consistently. (Though Rosario has).

Of course, there's another potential "core" group arriving in a season or two to add to this group we should all be pretty excited about.

I'm a little touchy on Mejia even though I like him. Touchy only because he was slowed the first half, took a while to get going, and has had issues with pitch counts. So while I like his potential still as a SP, I just have this feeling he may be destined for the bullpen. Teaming hum with Rogers wouldn't be a bad thing though.

 

I am not sure I go along with Rosario being consistent. His OPS was .622 for the 2nd of 2018. He was more consistent in 2017 but the league has figured out they don't need to throw it over the plate. Rosario was among the very worst in all of MLB in terms of swinging at pitches outside the strike zone. He is going to be an elite hitter if he develops plate discipline but I seriously doubt he is ever consistent going forward unless he becomes a more professional hitter. Many of his ABs the 2nd half were absolutely horrible.

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#40 old nurse

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Posted 22 October 2018 - 08:12 AM

 

1. C- Garver
2. DH -
3. LF - Rosario
4. CF - Buxton
5. RF - Cave
6. 3B - Sano
7. SS - Polanco
8. 2B -
9. 1B - Austin
-- Bench --
10. OF - Kepler
11. C - Astudillo
12. IF -

-- Pitchers --
13. SP - Berrios
14. SP - Gibson
15. SP - Pineda
16. SP -
17. SP -
18. RP - Rogers
19. RP - May
20. RP -
21. RP -
22. RP -
23. RP -
24. CP -

 

Anyone not on this list is expendable.

If the deal is right, they are all expendable.

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