Jump to content

Providing independent coverage of the Minnesota Twins.
Photo

Article: Offseason Primer: Who Needs a First Baseman Anyways?

joe mauer tyler austin max kepler mitch garver brent rooker
  • Please log in to reply
141 replies to this topic

#21 ashbury

ashbury

    Twins fan, no joke!

  • Twins Mods
  • 23,592 posts
  • LocationNatick, MA

Posted 18 October 2018 - 08:29 AM

Dang it. 12 minutes. 

 

The over under was 10, and I took the under. For a hefty sum.

Took me 11 to think up the second sentence.

  • USAFChief, James, snepp and 1 other like this

So, in conclusion, what was your question again?


#22 yarnivek1972

yarnivek1972

    Cooperstown

  • Members
  • 6,071 posts

Posted 18 October 2018 - 08:35 AM

The decision on Mauer should not be with Mauer at this point. The FO is supposed to take charge of the team. If they want him back he will be back, if they do not want him back the decision should be out of Mauer's hands. At this point I would put Cave and Austin on 1B with Cave also as the fourth OF and if needed he moves in to regular OF rotation. Then as the season progresses it is up to Rooker to make the move, but I do worry that Austin and Rooker create another strikeout hole in the lineup.


Cave is barely 6’. Kepler is 6’4”. That is part of why he has been mentioned as a possibility. Much bigger target. He also has played a little at first in the minors and I believe once or twice in the bigs.
  • mikelink45 likes this

#23 Doomtints

Doomtints

    Minnesota Twins

  • Members
  • 3,660 posts

Posted 18 October 2018 - 08:42 AM

As long as the Twins don't dink around with Logan Morrison again, I think 1B will end up OK.

 

1B is a position they need to fill but this is the easiest job to hire for in all of baseball. (Unless you maybe think Logan Morrison is a good player ... then god help us.)

Twins Manifesto: Build for .500, hope for more.


#24 Rosterman

Rosterman

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 3,305 posts

Posted 18 October 2018 - 09:42 AM

So, what is important for a first baseman...a BIG BAT (homers) or a great glove.

 

They do have a need to hit, either for an above average average, or be a slugger of sorts.

 

But what do you really need? First, you have to have a good idea of who is on second and what is at shortstop. What kind of glove do you need (and stretching power) to field plays from those positions at the bag...some of the time. Also, urability for the same reasons is a plus. For that reason alone, a first baseman needs to hold down the bag on a more than regular basis. Plus, so pitchers know how the guy will field the occasional pickoff throw, too.

 

The Twins have: No one. Tyler Austin CAN play first, he's a good temporary fix. The Twins need to roster him in 2019. He can also DH and play some outfield. So look for him to make the team. Still not sure if he can hold down the position for the long haul.

 

Same with Miguel Sano. The guy IS comfortable at third base, moving to first puts you in the game a lot more. Does he have it to do that, or will he be best served being a designated hitter where he can spend ALL his time on working on hitting and studying the pitchers.

 

I ahd a thought of Max Kepler being the first baseman of the future. But at what point does a guy need time in training. He hits enough homers, his average is below average. But he has the make to be Dougie Baseball, which is fine unless you have a Justin Morneau in the wings.

 

Is Brent Rooker that guy, or better served as a corner outfielder in place of Kepler out there. Rooker is the question.

 

All of the above guys should be Minnesota Twins players in 2019. Probably all back in the fold the following season, too. So, barring a terrible terrible downslide (again) by Sano, Tyler AUstin being the Return of Kevin Maas or Chris Parmelee, and Max Kepler just being okay...we patch things for 2019 and look to see what Lewin Diaz and Luke Raley can offer to the mox.

 

But then, we still have the question...I don't know, third base!

 

 

 

  • lecroy24fan and Minny505 like this

Joel Thingvall
www.joelthingvall.com
rosterman at www.twinscards.com


#25 BBAM

BBAM

    Cedar Rapids Kernels

  • Members
  • 135 posts

Posted 18 October 2018 - 10:21 AM

So fill in until someone in the minors is ready?Cave, Austin, Kepler are not the players I would think of to replace Mauer.We may get a couple more HR's but we need way more than that.We need at least Rosario numbers there.


#26 BBAM

BBAM

    Cedar Rapids Kernels

  • Members
  • 135 posts

Posted 18 October 2018 - 10:23 AM

Didn't we get a new stadium so we could afford a few high level talented players?Maybe there is no one to get or no one that will come to MN.

  • Tomj14 likes this

#27 mikelink45

mikelink45

    Junior Member

  • Members
  • 2,544 posts

Posted 18 October 2018 - 10:29 AM

 

Cave is barely 6’. Kepler is 6’4”. That is part of why he has been mentioned as a possibility. Much bigger target. He also has played a little at first in the minors and I believe once or twice in the bigs.

As the article says - they can probably get anyone to play 1B.I like Cave's bat better than Austin.


#28 Jacksson

Jacksson

    Cedar Rapids Kernels

  • Members
  • 162 posts

Posted 18 October 2018 - 10:31 AM

Shirley you can't be serious.
 
Although, he is so good that they named an entire Fort after him.


That (Fort Myers), just goes to to show you what a great fit that is.
And don't call me Shirley!
  • ashbury and USAFChief like this

#29 Jacksson

Jacksson

    Cedar Rapids Kernels

  • Members
  • 162 posts

Posted 18 October 2018 - 10:39 AM

Okay, keep Sano. Try to get Myers or Goldschmidt (if he signed an extension) or Belt without including a key piece (from the Twins Standpoint).

#30 Halsey Hall

Halsey Hall

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 2,636 posts
  • LocationCurrently Hammond Stadium

Posted 18 October 2018 - 11:11 AM

I just don't believe in these big bold letters.

he gone!


#31 yarnivek1972

yarnivek1972

    Cooperstown

  • Members
  • 6,071 posts

Posted 18 October 2018 - 11:20 AM

So, what is important for a first baseman...a BIG BAT (homers) or a great glove.

They do have a need to hit, either for an above average average, or be a slugger of sorts.

But what do you really need? First, you have to have a good idea of who is on second and what is at shortstop. What kind of glove do you need (and stretching power) to field plays from those positions at the bag...some of the time. Also, urability for the same reasons is a plus. For that reason alone, a first baseman needs to hold down the bag on a more than regular basis. Plus, so pitchers know how the guy will field the occasional pickoff throw, too.

The Twins have: No one. Tyler Austin CAN play first, he's a good temporary fix. The Twins need to roster him in 2019. He can also DH and play some outfield. So look for him to make the team. Still not sure if he can hold down the position for the long haul.

Same with Miguel Sano. The guy IS comfortable at third base, moving to first puts you in the game a lot more. Does he have it to do that, or will he be best served being a designated hitter where he can spend ALL his time on working on hitting and studying the pitchers.

I ahd a thought of Max Kepler being the first baseman of the future. But at what point does a guy need time in training. He hits enough homers, his average is below average. But he has the make to be Dougie Baseball, which is fine unless you have a Justin Morneau in the wings.

Is Brent Rooker that guy, or better served as a corner outfielder in place of Kepler out there. Rooker is the question.

All of the above guys should be Minnesota Twins players in 2019. Probably all back in the fold the following season, too. So, barring a terrible terrible downslide (again) by Sano, Tyler AUstin being the Return of Kevin Maas or Chris Parmelee, and Max Kepler just being okay...we patch things for 2019 and look to see what Lewin Diaz and Luke Raley can offer to the mox.

But then, we still have the question...I don't know, third base!



I don’t give a darn.

#32 Winston Smith

Winston Smith

    2 + 2 = 5

  • Members
  • 2,946 posts
  • LocationOceania

Posted 18 October 2018 - 11:40 AM

The only reason Kepler plays now is his OF defense his bat doesn't by itself and certainly doesn't play at 1B. No to Myers just another mediocre player we have plenty of them. Anyone thinking about Myers look at his contract coming up.

  • Danchat and dbminn like this

If you don't know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.

 

Yogi Berra


#33 LA VIkes Fan

LA VIkes Fan

    Junior Member

  • Members
  • 1,687 posts

Posted 18 October 2018 - 12:45 PM

 

If you had an Austin/Kepler platoon at 1B, when lefty Kepler is at 1B, lefty Cave can be in OF for Kepler, adding another lefty bat. In a perfect world, I would prefer Kepler stay in RF and that he hit .300 with 25 HR...(and Buxton would bunt frequently). 

I like this idea with Cave getting time in CF and at DH as well. It's a good way to get his bat into the lineup while giving Kepler more itme to develop. Kepler hasn't shown a lot so far at the plate, frankly even regressing by OPS, so you dont want him to crowd out Cave who showed a lot more at the plate, albeit in a 1/2 season sample.

 

Bottom line is that Cave, Buxton, Sano, and Kepler all need 500+ ABs next year. Asutin shoudl get at least 400. Giving Kepler half of his at 1b is a good way to do that. 


#34 Lee-The-Twins-Fan

Lee-The-Twins-Fan

    Ft Myers Miracle

  • Members
  • 330 posts

Posted 18 October 2018 - 01:12 PM

Who is the best DEFENSIVE 1B in the organization? Or available via trade? Or available via free agency?

I disagree with posters who seemingly dismiss the value of a strong defensive 1B. !B handles the ball more often than anyone aside from the pitcher and catcher. A good one digs hurried throws out of the dirt and makes it look easy. I hope Mauer returns for this reason.

And don't move Sano from 3B. He is much better at 3B than anywhere else. He has a string arm, and has made some very nice plays there. 

Personally, I hope Mauer comes back and plays at least half-time at 1B.

  • Halsey Hall and Doctor Wu like this

#35 nicksaviking

nicksaviking

    Billy G.O.A.T

  • Twins Mods
  • 14,630 posts

Posted 18 October 2018 - 02:25 PM

 

Didn't we get a new stadium so we could afford a few high level talented players?Maybe there is no one to get or no one that will come to MN.

 

Well the free agent class is highlighted by Lucas Duda and Matt Adams. It's just not a strong position any longer. 

 

I'd guess it's because with today's technology and training the best athletes are typically the best hitters, and the best athletes don't waste their defensive talents at 1B. I'd think the fact that 1B has become a bit of a stale position is very correlated to the fact that shortstop is no longer an offensive black hole.

  • TheLeviathan and Original Whizzinator like this

#36 Mike Sixel

Mike Sixel

    Now living in Oregon

  • Members
  • 30,024 posts

Posted 18 October 2018 - 04:00 PM

Who is the best DEFENSIVE 1B in the organization? Or available via trade? Or available via free agency?
I disagree with posters who seemingly dismiss the value of a strong defensive 1B. !B handles the ball more often than anyone aside from the pitcher and catcher. A good one digs hurried throws out of the dirt and makes it look easy. I hope Mauer returns for this reason.
And don't move Sano from 3B. He is much better at 3B than anywhere else. He has a string arm, and has made some very nice plays there.
Personally, I hope Mauer comes back and plays at least half-time at 1B.


People that watch every play, and every throw and dig, year after year, disagree with you. This isn't random posters....

It's been a fun year so far, GO Twins. 


#37 Original Whizzinator

Original Whizzinator

    Wahoo

  • Members
  • 794 posts
  • LocationDuluth

Posted 18 October 2018 - 04:19 PM

People that watch every play, and every throw and dig, year after year, disagree with you. This isn't random posters....

This random poster likes watching Joe play first. TE size catch radius! His fellow infielders probably would agree. I like good defense in all sports nothing worse than those college football games where the last team with the ball wins. All that said this low A poster can't back that up with analytics
  • Mike Sixel, Kelly Vance, Halsey Hall and 2 others like this

#38 Hosken Bombo Disco

Hosken Bombo Disco

    Minnesota Twins

  • Twins Mods
  • 10,824 posts

Posted 18 October 2018 - 04:37 PM

People that watch every play, and every throw and dig, year after year, disagree with you. This isn't random posters....

This random poster likes watching Joe play first. TE size catch radius! His fellow infielders probably would agree. I like good defense in all sports nothing worse than those college football games where the last team with the ball wins. All that said this low A poster can't back that up with analytics

Because they don't exist. At least not readily or publicly.

#39 Platoon

Platoon

    Cooperstown

  • Members
  • 5,047 posts
  • LocationTwinsWorld

Posted 18 October 2018 - 05:36 PM

I echo Rosterman in that it makes a difference who you have in the IF in how good a first base glove you should have. Yes, it's a bat first position without a doubt. But in the existing possibility that someone in Twins management still thinks Polanco is a MLB SS, the glove part of the postion does grow somewhat. Hopefully everyone remembers Vargas' play at that corner, and how accepting everyone was of his leather shortcomings. And while his bat never did carry his glove, the comments on his defensive play will likely sound familiar come this summer. I am still trying to get the idea of Robbie Grossman at 1B out of my head. It's doubtful I will be able to sleep tonight, the thought is that disturbing! :(
  • Sconnie, Vanimal46 and Original Whizzinator like this
TwinsWorld: Did you hear we just updated the Stadium Club?

If I wanted balls and strikes called by a robot, I would get an Xbox!

#40 Danchat

Danchat

    Pro Bowl Armchair QB

  • Members
  • 4,972 posts

Posted 18 October 2018 - 05:41 PM

 

Who is the best DEFENSIVE 1B in the organization? Or available via trade? Or available via free agency?

I disagree with posters who seemingly dismiss the value of a strong defensive 1B. !B handles the ball more often than anyone aside from the pitcher and catcher. A good one digs hurried throws out of the dirt and makes it look easy. I hope Mauer returns for this reason.

And don't move Sano from 3B. He is much better at 3B than anywhere else. He has a string arm, and has made some very nice plays there. 

Personally, I hope Mauer comes back and plays at least half-time at 1B.

Gonna be honest here, when it comes to 1B, I really don't think defense should be much of a factor. The Twins badly needed somebody to power the offense from that spot and Morrison couldn't do it... plus with below-average bats like Buxton's and Kepler's in the lineup who are very good defensively, they could use a position to skimp on defense but pick up gains on offense.

 

We haven't seen Sano much at 1B, how can we say for sure that he's "much better" at 3B? He grades below average according to most defensive metrics I've seen, so he'd have to be pretty terrible at every other position.

  • diehardtwinsfan and Sconnie like this

Check out my work at Purple Pain, a Vikings forum: 

Analyzing the Past Decade of Vikings Offseasons




Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: joe mauer, tyler austin, max kepler, mitch garver, brent rooker