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Article: Arbitration Decisions Looming

jake odorizzi kyle gibson miguel sano byron buxton max kepler
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#41 Tomj14

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Posted 30 November 2018 - 03:32 PM

 

Pretty much the only reason that a team wouldn't offer arbitration to a starter like Odorizzi is if they had an absolutely stacked rotation where there was a better option. His stats are unimpressive but nothing kills a season faster than having 2-3 revolving doors in the rotation.

I am not a huge Ordorizzi fan.

But he was 26th in the American league in innings, 20th in K's, 24th in ERA, and 49th in WAR (including relief pitchers)

in 2018 that that places him in a low end #2 or high end #3 role in the American league, I find it interesting on how Twins fans some how magically think the twins prospects are going to be anywhere close to as good as that, history shows that doesn't happen.

I also find it interesting with all the stats out there, no one wants to look one of the most important ones and that is the percentage of prospects that don't live up to the hype.

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#42 Danchat

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Posted 30 November 2018 - 04:36 PM

I am not a huge Ordorizzi fan.
But he was 26th in the American league in innings, 20th in K's, 24th in ERA, and 49th in WAR (including relief pitchers)
in 2018 that that places him in a low end #2 or high end #3 role in the American league, I find it interesting on how Twins fans some how magically think the twins prospects are going to be anywhere close to as good as that, history shows that doesn't happen.
I also find it interesting with all the stats out there, no one wants to look one of the most important ones and that is the percentage of prospects that don't live up to the hype.

I think many fans got sick of how many times he reached 100 pitches in the 5th inning. Plus there was a stretch over the summer where many of us wanted him demoted due to a few short starts... the lack of good starters makes Odorizzi look better than he actually pitched, but I will concede that he is a asset they should retain.
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#43 Seth Stohs

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Posted 30 November 2018 - 06:13 PM

Robbie Grossman was non-tendered.

 

Along with Adrianza, the Twins also reached a deal with CJ Cron at $4.8 million. 

 

The other eight players were all tendered 2019 contracts. 


#44 ND-Fan

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Posted 01 December 2018 - 04:23 PM

C.j. Cron signing I believe will be another signing similar to last years Morrison signing by this front office the stat numbers look great but when we get on the field his numbers won't hold up for the Twins. I find it ironic that same club had both these players and both times they just let them go even with there stats line. This telling me if Tampa is not willing to sign them again with the numbers they had it means there's something they know more about the players and it probably not going to be good signing. This Front office is all about numbers but you also have sight evaluation of the players too.I think people here are so already sold on couple of players here for next year and my impression is we had short sample size for these players to already being ready to project them as future stars. The first is Cave he hit for average but I look at his major league numbers one thing that pops out to me is that he struck out nearly 1/3 of time with his at bats up with the Twins. If you would put it in full season he will strike out nearly as many times as Sano has been striking out. I just can't see how Twins have the at bats for type of hitter Cave is with that kind of strike out rate. Austin is other player he hits for power but that's about it he doesn't get on base much otherwise has low on base percentage he doesn't walk much you have all or nothing hitter. Probably why NY game up on him he needs work and they have plenty other candidates in the wings and I believe same to be true with the Twins. I just don't see how we have improved our selves with these moves for the coming year we have team to me is way to loaded with strike out potential all way through the line up. The loss of Grossman to me is who in this Twins line up can give you a professional at bat now. The two best we have is Polanco and Kepler and if the fans have there way Kepler would be gone now because he hasn't improved as much as everyone though he might this past year. Everyone thinks your past your prime if you haven't reached it by 25 but truth is most players don't hit there prime until 27 to 32 years in the majors. Look at Hicks it took to his 27 year to breakout become the star we thought he would when we drafted him. The sad thing there is we didn't get the playerback in trade because we were looking for catcher to fit are financials and one that had team control. Here again the numbers looked good for small sample size but didn't prove out when we played regularly. I just don't see where were improving this club at the major league level it may be better down in lower parts of the organization but we still won't know for number years on this either. I don't think were going to sign much for free agents this winter either were in holding pattern to determine where Sano and Buxton are before any investment is made in this club.   


#45 tarheeltwinsfan

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Posted 01 December 2018 - 06:31 PM

Thank you Robbie Grossman. Once a Twin, always a Twin. I appreciate your efforts. Good luck in your future endeavors with another team(s). 

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#46 yarnivek1972

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Posted 01 December 2018 - 07:07 PM

Grossman has a long track record of solid on base skills. You don’t need to value that skill but partial season slash stat splits are not enough sample to support an different conclusion. He can get on base. That skill has value. He might not bring enough other value but I don’t see many guys on this team that will work a count and draw a walk.

If the plan is to bring in a guy with power and on base skills I am all in.


Ironically, one guy who does that pretty well is also a guy that many on this forum want benched: Max Kepler. His BB rate was second only to Grossman’s. His K rate was also lowest among all Twins hitters with more than 25 at bats except for Willians Astudillo.
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#47 DocBauer

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Posted 01 December 2018 - 09:33 PM

Ironically, one guy who does that pretty well is also a guy that many on this forum want benched: Max Kepler. His BB rate was second only to Grossman’s. His K rate was also lowest among all Twins hitters with more than 25 at bats except for Willians Astudillo.


A great point.

I'm a Kepler fan and hopeful believer. In my mind, all that talent and potential is just about to break out and we'll see even splits, with power, and discipline.

I could see him hit anywhere from 1-6 depending on final roster construction. I get we're unsure yet, and he could be a nice piece in a trade. But I'm hopeful he is back and we see in 2019 what he can be.
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#48 jorgenswest

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Posted 02 December 2018 - 09:21 AM

Ironically, one guy who does that pretty well is also a guy that many on this forum want benched: Max Kepler. His BB rate was second only to Grossman’s. His K rate was also lowest among all Twins hitters with more than 25 at bats except for Willians Astudillo.


Looking at the Steamer projections, Kepler is projected for the most WAR among the batters and has a WOBA projection second on the team following Cron. I definitely am not in favor of benching Kepler for the same reason I was hopeful about Hicks. It is really hard to improve the plate discipline skill at the major league level. Hicks had that skill and needed to learn how to jump on pitches he could attack rather than work the count every time. Kepler is in that same place.
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#49 Sconnie

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Posted 18 December 2018 - 11:49 AM

Looking at the Steamer projections, Kepler is projected for the most WAR among the batters and has a WOBA projection second on the team following Cron. I definitely am not in favor of benching Kepler for the same reason I was hopeful about Hicks. It is really hard to improve the plate discipline skill at the major league level. Hicks had that skill and needed to learn how to jump on pitches he could attack rather than work the count every time. Kepler is in that same place.

Kepler’s strike out rate was 15% and his hard hit rate 34.5% as is his fly ball rate 46% Babip at .236 with HR/FB at 9.9%. Seems to me like he’s jumping on the right pitches and crushing them, but getting underneath them.

Sounds to me like Rowson has an opportunity to look like a rockstar if he can help make a slight correction to Keplers swing.

Edited by Sconnie, 18 December 2018 - 11:52 AM.

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#50 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 18 December 2018 - 12:17 PM

 

Kepler’s strike out rate was 15% and his hard hit rate 34.5% as is his fly ball rate 46% Babip at .236 with HR/FB at 9.9%. Seems to me like he’s jumping on the right pitches and crushing them, but getting underneath them.

Sounds to me like Rowson has an opportunity to look like a rockstar if he can help make a slight correction to Keplers swing.

 

Yeah, Kepler is certainly one to not sleep on. I'm hoping his issues are correctable. If they are, look out. 

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#51 Rosterman

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Posted 18 December 2018 - 01:01 PM

You really don't see a need to sign any of these guys longterm, especially with the attitude coming out of the front office that these are players of yore and MAYBE not the future of the team, as they see it...and any arbitration salaries for the future will be happily accepted or the players moved before they become too expensive. Except Berrios.

 

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#52 Vanimal46

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Posted 18 December 2018 - 01:06 PM

Yeah, Kepler is certainly one to not sleep on. I'm hoping his issues are correctable. If they are, look out.


I don't buy it; but will thoroughly enjoy the crow I'll eat if he takes the next step offensively.
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#53 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 18 December 2018 - 01:18 PM

 

I don't buy it; but will thoroughly enjoy the crow I'll eat if he takes the next step offensively.

 

You and me both, and I'm guessing crow isn't served medium rare.

 

I'm not ready to give up on the guy, but I do think his clock is ticking. I don't think Kepler's lack of production is simply bad luck as has been often suggested here (to be fair, I don't buy into 'luck' as an explanation for the most part).I do, however, think (or at least hope) that there's enough talent that whatever is holding him back can be corrected. 

 

Last May, someone wrote an article about Kepler's breakout and how the best is yet to come. It was a 1 month sample, but a pretty good month... and he's done that a few times. That's usually a sign that there's something good going on, even if he hasn't harnessed all of it yet. 


#54 nicksaviking

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Posted 18 December 2018 - 01:37 PM

 

Kepler’s strike out rate was 15% and his hard hit rate 34.5% as is his fly ball rate 46% Babip at .236 with HR/FB at 9.9%. Seems to me like he’s jumping on the right pitches and crushing them, but getting underneath them.

Sounds to me like Rowson has an opportunity to look like a rockstar if he can help make a slight correction to Keplers swing.

 

I think Rowson and Kepler made a concerted effort to change his swing last year. in 2017 Kepler had a GB-FB split 43%-39% and in 2018 what flip-flopped to 38%-46%. I'd have to think it was all about achieving better launch angles and sending more balls over the wall, it just didn't happen, which is kind of odd considering that Eddie Rosario had nearly the exact same 2017-18 flip-flop of GB-FB percentages and it did seem to work for him until he slowed down at the end of the year. Their near identical reversals makes me think those two were put on the same re-development plan.

 

Certainly Kepler's BABIP hurt him, but obviously the goal in hitting more flyballs is to avoid balls hit in play. I wonder if despite Kepler having a decent hard-hit percentage if he just doesn't have enough strength. Hopefully along with getting Sano in top shape and keeping everyone healthier, the new strength and conditioning team is able to put a few more pounds of muscle on Kepler to help some of those fly balls carry a bit further.

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#55 Sconnie

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Posted 18 December 2018 - 09:09 PM

I think Rowson and Kepler made a concerted effort to change his swing last year. in 2017 Kepler had a GB-FB split 43%-39% and in 2018 what flip-flopped to 38%-46%. I'd have to think it was all about achieving better launch angles and sending more balls over the wall, it just didn't happen, which is kind of odd considering that Eddie Rosario had nearly the exact same 2017-18 flip-flop of GB-FB percentages and it did seem to work for him until he slowed down at the end of the year. Their near identical reversals makes me think those two were put on the same re-development plan.

Certainly Kepler's BABIP hurt him, but obviously the goal in hitting more flyballs is to avoid balls hit in play. I wonder if despite Kepler having a decent hard-hit percentage if he just doesn't have enough strength. Hopefully along with getting Sano in top shape and keeping everyone healthier, the new strength and conditioning team is able to put a few more pounds of muscle on Kepler to help some of those fly balls carry a bit further.


Could be as Parker brought up here, hitting to CF works against him. A bit more muscle could help carry the ball further. Pulling it just a bit could turn those outs into doubles and homers too.

Yes, Kepler has put balls in play within the right confines of exit velocity and launch angle that would normally gather hits by the bushel. Kepler's issues is the distribution of those batted balls.

This season, hitters that put the ball in play at 90 MPH or high with a launch angle of 12 degrees or higher had a batting average of .462. Benintendi had a very good .571 average on 105 balls in play. Kepler, on the other hand, is hitting .357 on 98 balls in play. That was 282nd out of 300 qualified hitters.

Some might say that is bad luck. After all, you square a ball more often than not it should be a hit. Kepler's problem is where he is hitting those "optimal" batted balls. Take a look at Kepler and Benintendi's spray chart on balls hit over 90 MPH and over 12 degrees:

Webp.net-gifmaker.gif

Max Kepler (2).png


There are a few things working for Benintendi that isn't for Kepler:

1. Benintendi has a nice inside-out swing and times and can drive the ball the other way. Some with that side-spinning hooking doubles away from the left fielder. Combine that approach with the green monster and you get plenty of doubles. Because of this, Benintendi is hitting a robust 484/474/720 compared to Kepler's 264/257/403 opposite field line. And it's not as if playing at Fenway would enhance Kepler's current numbers -- he just hasn't hit the ball well that direction (or much at all).

2. Kepler hits a lot those balls to the big part of the field. Those don't play well at Target Field for left-handed batters. Whereas Benintendi is hitting 491 on those 90+/12+ balls, Kepler is hitting 152 on those, the lowest among qualified hitters.

3. Benintendi gets a lot of top spin singles -- those that fall in front of the outfielders.

I do want to talk a little about what Kepler has been doing well that has led to his current hot streak.

On June 28th, Kepler finished the day hitting 216/304/394 on the season. Around that date two critical things started to happen that has influenced his hitting. The first is Kepler increased his selectivity – toning down his swing rate:

Kepler Swing.PNG


The second part might not be his own doing but, for whatever reason, Kepler is getting a ton of fastballs thrown at him.

Kepler Fastballs.PNG


In the season’s previous stretch, Kepler hit just .200 against fastballs. After June 28th, however, with a more discerning eye and more fastballs delivered his way, he hit .294 on fastballs.

When I was breaking down Kepler’s swing a few weekends ago on KFAN (sick radio brag) I talked about how, while Kepler’s swing goes against the new convention of thinking (get behind, get on plane early a la Eddie Rosario), Kepler has a good swing on pitches that fall within his whomping zone (middle-in and down). My theory was that if he just honed in on those pitches, he’d start putting up big numbers. This might be the result of that – he’s spitting on pitches he doesn’t like and driving the ones he does.

And a Parker article about Keplers work on launch angle.
http://twinsdaily.co...ld/#entry720055

It all points to how close he might be to just going monster ape-poop-crazy



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