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Article: The Top 20 Minnesota Twins Assets of 2019: Part 1 (16-20)

nick gordon adalberto mejia jake cave cj cron wander javier
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#41 TheLeviathan

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Posted 28 December 2018 - 10:02 AM


He has enough future value to offset the lack of present value IMO. I'm just a big believer that he's A) going to stick at SS, and B) hit. Obviously that's subjective and it does depart a little from the focus on established track record, but there ya go.

My sense is that the rest of the league values him highly too. He'd bring back far more than Gordon would in trade. Zero question.

All of that is fine, but it does make things choppy to argue the list about trade value for one guy and present value for another.

If Javier is 16th due to trade value, then it makes no sense for Gordon to be behind Cave or Cron. I don’t want to nitpick, but this is meant to be a fun conversational piece and a lack of clear method is going to derail it. It’ll feel like some random, dumb power rankings rather than meat for good conversation. The explanations only muddle this IMO.

Edited by TheLeviathan, 28 December 2018 - 10:13 AM.


#42 dbminn

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Posted 28 December 2018 - 10:18 AM

 

Fair. I guess it just depends on how much you buy into his power emergence and defensive value. A guy who can play center field and post a .200 ISO for several years has a lot of value. And I think he's particularly useful to the Twins at this moment with the uncertainty swirling around Buxton and Kepler. (I'll add that I did not have Cave in my top 20 at first pass, and gradually talked myself into that rank.)

 

The uncertainty with Cave's bat makes him hard to assess. Changed last year to a hitter selling out for power. Unsustainable BABIP, high K-rate. OTOH, he hit the ball really hard last year, he can defend, and there's five more years of control. For me, the big question is - can he reduce Ks and maintain his power? Is it a matter of managing the K-Zone better or does he have too many holes in his swing?

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#43 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 28 December 2018 - 10:53 AM

 

Gordon, for whatever reason, was horrible in a couple of months in AAA last year. He isn't noted as a good fielder and has compiled an OPS barely north of .700 through his minor league career. He is rather thin and gives the impression (with that thin frame) that he wears down.

He's young and a couple of years off, maybe more. His rating is totally just

 

I personally suspect that Gordon's second half issues are a big reason why all the strength/conditioning guys were let go.


#44 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 28 December 2018 - 10:59 AM

 

I'd suggest the exercise considers future value, but it discounts it. 

 

I personally would agree that Javier is slotted too high. I calculate two things into a discount: The time and the uncertainty, and Javier has a long way to go, although with less uncertainty IMHO than Gordon, for example. There are maybe ten prospects in the system who have more value, IMO than one or more players on the projected active roster. Certainly, Javier has more value than Adrianza for example? Graterol has more value than Magill?

 

From what I've read about prospects, I'd slot maybe a half dozen or so in front of Javier, based on a certainty AND time advantage for the likes of Lewis, Kirilloff, and Larnach and for a time advantage for Thorpe and maybe a couple others.

 

As an exercise, let's take Austin. WHich prospects are more valuable? He doesn't make the Top 20, right?

 

I guess the question I'd have is how Javier has less uncertainty. He's got a big problem with health. No one is arguing the higher ceiling, but if wagers were being placed on the guy that doesn't ever make the bigs, there would be few betting on Gordon.

 

Honestly, I think the PV vs. FV asset rankings is insanely hard to do personally.. and much of that depends on where the team is now. A contending team will be far more interested in PV and a last place team will be interested in FV... We're probably more FV heavy, though contention is not out of the question. 

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#45 IndianaTwin

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Posted 28 December 2018 - 11:14 AM

 

Where does Nelson Cruz fit on this list? ;-)

 

I was going to ask if this thread should be retitled "...Part 1a (17-21)". 


#46 Nick Nelson

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Posted 28 December 2018 - 05:59 PM

 

If Javier is 16th due to trade value, then it makes no sense for Gordon to be behind Cave or Cron. I don’t want to nitpick, but this is meant to be a fun conversational piece and a lack of clear method is going to derail it. It’ll feel like some random, dumb power rankings rather than meat for good conversation. The explanations only muddle this IMO.

I was only talking about trade value in comparison to Gordon, to make the point that Javier being further from the majors and coming off a missed season doesn't make him undesirable. I think plenty of teams out there would love to get their hands on Javier. Gordon might still be a decent prospect but he's not in-demand by any stretch.

 

Again, I admit that my aggressive ranking on Javier is subjective and I have no problem with anyone disagreeing. I am just a huge believer in his talent, and reports I've heard on him convince me that he's going to be a major factor for this organization. It's all about the upside. Gordon lacks that in my eyes.

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#47 Nick Nelson

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Posted 28 December 2018 - 06:11 PM

The reason "trade value" doesn't work as a blanket rule is that it's going to inherently undervalue a player type that's not in league-wide demand. As a reliably solid but unspectacular offensive first baseman, Cron might not be hugely enticing to MLB at large but he's valuable to the Twins who don't necessarily have anyone else to fill that role in the next couple seasons (at present). 

 

Meanwhile, of course some other team would trade more to acquire Gordon, in hopes of acquiring a middle infielder who does enough to be a quality contributor in a position of scarcity. From the Twins' perspective though, with the depth of young middle-infield talent they already have on hand? I dunno, he just doesn't seem all that essential. Again, it's a snapshot in time. 

 

Maybe that helps explain my thought process? Maybe not.

 

Editing to add:

 

Nelson Cruz is a good example of what I'm trying to articulate. He's been the best power hitter in baseball over the past decade yet no one would trade much for him. Hell, barely anyone courted him as a free agent. But would anyone try to argue he's a lesser asset to the team right now than Gordon, or several other prospects that clearly have more long-term value?

 

(Full disclosure: Cruz won't be in these rankings because I already had them all put together and don't wanna screw around with them, but maybe we can try to place him once it's all said and done)


#48 dgwills

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Posted 28 December 2018 - 06:15 PM

This is a good ranking for Gordon. He's always been overhyped due to his pedigree and high draft position. His best comp IMHP is Niko Goodrum.  Who had a better MILB career and the Twin's gave away for nothing. Could Gordon be a below average player in MLB? Probably. That will never help the Twins win games though.


#49 TheLeviathan

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Posted 28 December 2018 - 07:34 PM

I was only talking about trade value in comparison to Gordon, to make the point that Javier being further from the majors and coming off a missed season doesn't make him undesirable. I think plenty of teams out there would love to get their hands on Javier. Gordon might still be a decent prospect but he's not in-demand by any stretch.

Again, I admit that my aggressive ranking on Javier is subjective and I have no problem with anyone disagreeing. I am just a huge believer in his talent, and reports I've heard on him convince me that he's going to be a major factor for this organization. It's all about the upside. Gordon lacks that in my eyes.

I don't want to argue about the rankings, I will just try to make sense of them the best I can.

But it seems to me that the Twins almost certainly could trade Gordon tomorrow for a significantly better player than Cron or Cave to help this organization.

Edited by TheLeviathan, 28 December 2018 - 07:35 PM.


#50 Nick Nelson

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Posted 28 December 2018 - 08:02 PM

 

But it seems to me that the Twins almost certainly could trade Gordon tomorrow for a significantly better player than Cron or Cave to help this organization.

Maybe. But here's the real question that gets to the essence of what these rankings are about:

 

If you were in the Twins' position, and Gordon was in another organization, would you trade Cron or Cave for him right now? 

 

You can certainly argue it'd be a reasonable talent swap – even a great buy-low deal – but I don't see how you can argue it'd make sense for the Twins as currently composed.


#51 TheLeviathan

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Posted 28 December 2018 - 08:13 PM

Maybe. But here's the real question that gets to the essence of what these rankings are about:
 
If you were in the Twins' position, and Gordon was in another organization, would you trade Cron or Cave for him right now? 
 
You can certainly argue it'd be a reasonable talent swap – even a great buy-low deal – but I don't see how you can argue it'd make sense for the Twins as currently composed.


Um....that seems like a no brainer Nick. I can replace Cron or Cave pretty inexpensively. Acquiring fringe top 100 prospects? Not so much.

#52 PseudoSABR

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Posted 28 December 2018 - 08:26 PM

 



The reason "trade value" doesn't work as a blanket rule is that it's going to inherently undervalue a player type that's not in league-wide demand. As a reliably solid but unspectacular offensive first baseman, Cron might not be hugely enticing to MLB at large but he's valuable to the Twins who don't necessarily have anyone else to fill that role in the next couple seasons (at present). 

 

Meanwhile, of course some other team would trade more to acquire Gordon, in hopes of acquiring a middle infielder who does enough to be a quality contributor in a position of scarcity. From the Twins' perspective though, with the depth of young middle-infield talent they already have on hand? I dunno, he just doesn't seem all that essential. Again, it's a snapshot in time. 

 

Maybe that helps explain my thought process? Maybe not.

 

Editing to add:

 

Nelson Cruz is a good example of what I'm trying to articulate. He's been the best power hitter in baseball over the past decade yet no one would trade much for him. Hell, barely anyone courted him as a free agent. But would anyone try to argue he's a lesser asset to the team right now than Gordon, or several other prospects that clearly have more long-term value?

 

(Full disclosure: Cruz won't be in these rankings because I already had them all put together and don't wanna screw around with them, but maybe we can try to place him once it's all said and done)

It seems like the rankings are based on two factors: [A] Present value to the Twins + [B] Trade value (I think trade value incorporates potential/decline)

 

Cron has plenty of present value but no trade value.Gordon has little present value, and his trade value, while higher than Cron's isn't what it was. Javier has no present value, but his trade value (once he's healthy) would--at least in Nick's opinion--eclipse both Gordon's present+trade value, and Cron's present value. 

Edited by PseudoSABR, 28 December 2018 - 09:35 PM.

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#53 Nick Nelson

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Posted 28 December 2018 - 08:35 PM

 

Um....that seems like a no brainer Nick. I can replace Cron or Cave pretty inexpensively. Acquiring fringe top 100 prospects? Not so much.

Replace with what? Which readily available players are out there to replace Cron and Cave – who are important players to this team, right now – at the same age/control/cost? You can talk about trading for theoretical better players but that's all just speculation and I'm trying to assess what's currently on hand. 

 

I think it's real debatable whether Gordon has the lofty trade value you imply. Certainly not on the basis of anything other than subjective scouting and hopeful projection. 

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#54 TheLeviathan

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Posted 28 December 2018 - 08:45 PM

Replace with what? Which readily available players are out there to replace Cron and Cave – who are important players to this team, right now – at the same age/control/cost? You can talk about trading for theoretical better players but that's all just speculation and I'm trying to assess what's currently on hand.

I think it's real debatable whether Gordon has the lofty trade value you imply. Certainly not on the basis of anything other than subjective scouting and hopeful projection.

Lofty? Who said that?

Shall we review the cost the Twins had to pay to acquire these guys? (Hint: one was nothing) You think Gordon has less value than that?

Edited by TheLeviathan, 28 December 2018 - 08:51 PM.


#55 Han Joelo

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Posted 28 December 2018 - 08:55 PM

The Javier value makes me think back to the first Dozier to the Dodgers trade talks. Deleon was the higher ranked (externally, anyway) prospect. It seemed like the deal might have been hanging on up the secondary piece. Seems like if the roles were reversed, the Twins would be more reluctant to give up Javier in a trade than Gordon.

Javier could be a difference maker to build around, while Gordon looks to be a solid complementary piece.
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#56 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 28 December 2018 - 10:08 PM

Maybe. But here's the real question that gets to the essence of what these rankings are about:

If you were in the Twins' position, and Gordon was in another organization, would you trade Cron or Cave for him right now?

You can certainly argue it'd be a reasonable talent swap – even a great buy-low deal – but I don't see how you can argue it'd make sense for the Twins as currently composed.


Assuming the Rays tried, at least precursorly, to trade Cron before waiving him, and the Twins seemingly didn't offer up Gordon, I think it's fairly clear that the Twins FO, thankfully, didn't agree.
I'm down on Gordon too, but he's a borderline top 100 prospect. Cron was released for nothing, and passed over by several teams on waivers.

#57 dbminn

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Posted 29 December 2018 - 11:17 AM

 

Replace with what? Which readily available players are out there to replace Cron and Cave – who are important players to this team, right now – at the same age/control/cost? You can talk about trading for theoretical better players but that's all just speculation and I'm trying to assess what's currently on hand. 

 

I think it's real debatable whether Gordon has the lofty trade value you imply. Certainly not on the basis of anything other than subjective scouting and hopeful projection. 

 

I wouldn't trade Cave for Gordon because 5 yrs of a good defensive OF who's shown promise at the plate has more value than a MI who might not be ready in 2019. I'd trade Cron for Gordon in a second - even if it's the Twins.

 

Cron was released because there is no room on modern rosters for a 1B/DH that can't hit substantially above average. An injury to Polanco or Schoop and Gordon may end up having value as early as later this year. Maybe not. I'd still rather look for a DH than replace a 23 year-old middle infielder with potential.

 

Who's available? Martinez from the Cardinals or Austin of the Twins. What do you think a replacement MI will cost in the middle of the season?

 

*Also, Lucas Duda and Evan Gattis are available.

 


#58 TheLeviathan

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Posted 29 December 2018 - 12:08 PM

Santana from the Brewers was just dealt for far less than Gordon.

I get being intrigued by Cave, but guys like him are ST casualties all the time.

Arguing either Cron or Cave is more valuable than Gordon is completely unsupported by facts.

Edited by TheLeviathan, 29 December 2018 - 12:09 PM.


#59 Nick Nelson

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Posted 29 December 2018 - 01:02 PM

 

Assuming the Rays tried, at least precursorly, to trade Cron before waiving him, and the Twins seemingly didn't offer up Gordon, I think it's fairly clear that the Twins FO, thankfully, didn't agree.
I'm down on Gordon too, but he's a borderline top 100 prospect. Cron was released for nothing, and passed over by several teams on waivers.

Twins FO didn't agree with what? I never said they'd be inclined to trade Gordon for Cron, or that I would do so. 

 

Cron was not in demand. This is understood. He's not valued as an asset around the league because there's no scarcity of his player type. But these rankings are not about objective value, they are about a player's value specific to the Twins, which is why all these references to what other teams would trade for someone are missing the point. 

 

 

The Twins jumped on Cron because he filled a very large need for them, which is not a large need for most other teams. Nick Gordon, conversely, would be much more valuable to a team that doesn't already have Wander Javier and Jorge Polanco and Royce Lewis and Luis Arraez in the system.

 

Thinking about how these players fit into the context of this organization's makeup and vision going forward is what makes this exercise interesting to me. Ranking players simply as trade assets, in a vacuum, not as much.

 

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#60 PseudoSABR

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Posted 29 December 2018 - 01:21 PM

 

Santana from the Brewers was just dealt for far less than Gordon.

I get being intrigued by Cave, but guys like him are ST casualties all the time.

Arguing either Cron or Cave is more valuable than Gordon is completely unsupported by facts.

Would you agree, that in spite of what Cron or Cave would fetch in a trade, they are more valuable to the Twins this season than Gordon is likely to be?

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