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Article: Twins Daily 2019 Top Prospects: #8 Lewis Thorpe

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#21 bobs

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 11:34 AM

Clearly a guy who is going to have to "pitch".Probably not going to up the velo a lot, hopefully can develop the change/slider combo.Let's hope he's actually a back-end starter and not a "middle relief arm" like Nick says is a possible outcome.

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#22 2wins87

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 11:41 AM

 

Does he get an unusual number of called strikes?

 

http://www.statcorne...h.php?id=626929

 

No numbers on called strikes exactly, but all indications are that he gets plenty of swinging strikes, so I would guess that there is nothing out of the ordinary about his called strike rate.His contact rate is consistently below league average, his swinging strike rate comfortably above average, and his swinging K rate as a percent of all strikeouts seems to fluctuate around league average.All of this adds up to a guy who has gets lots of whiffs but without a go-to pitch.

 

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#23 Vanimal46

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 11:44 AM

I'm getting a Taylor Rogers vibe reading about Thorpe. Maybe he's on the short call up list for the bullpen considering it wasn't addressed in FA or trades.
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#24 caninatl04

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 12:14 PM

Let's hope he's actually a back-end starter and not a "middle relief arm" like Nick says is a possible outcome.


I agree. I'd have to re-evaluate the entire strength of the prospects list if the #8 prospect in the whole organization was destined to be a middle reliever.

I know the new pitching coach is "Mr. Velocity", and who wouldn't want to add a tick or two to an already 60-ranked fastball. But I concur that to be more than a #4 starter, the brain-trust will have to figure out a plus breaking ball for him.

#25 Mike Sixel

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 12:26 PM

I'd be pretty happy if he's a number four starter. Or a great RP.
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#26 markos

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 01:13 PM

Not a huge fan of Thorpe after seeing him live in the Future's Game last year. Relative to the other top prospects in that game, he was hit hard, struggled to miss bats, and just didn't have the stuff displayed by other pitchers. He topped out at 94, and was mostly 91-93, which for a single inning stint wasn't very impressive - most other pitchers in the game sat 95+. And just seeing him pitch, his physique (shortish and stockish), handedness, mechanics, and relative stuff immediately made me think of Brian Duensing.

 

 


#27 Tom Froemming

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 01:29 PM

One of the things I believe to be an X factor for Thorpe is how well he hides the ball. I'm going to share a few videos but before I do, DISCLAIMER, I'm not trying to suggest Thorpe is on the same level as these other guys. 

 

Take a look at some behind the plate footage of Thorpe: https://youtu.be/z2n6QStc5us?t=87

 

And compare that to fellow lefty Jesus Luzardo: https://youtu.be/RcBc40SGdsY?t=22

 

Or MacKenzie Gore: https://youtu.be/FKABC62i1Ec?t=34

 

To my eyes, Thorpe does an exceptional job at hiding the ball. Do you see what I'm saying, or am I nuts?

 

Luzardo and Gore, the two top lefty pitching prospects in the game per MLB Pipeline, certainly have other ways of creating deception. Luzardo has great arm speed and varies his windup while Gore has some exaggerated glove movements and a crossfire action. Again, Thorpe is NOT on the same level as those two guys, I'm simply using them as examples.

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#28 Tomj14

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 01:29 PM

 

I'd be pretty happy if he's a number four starter. Or a great RP.

Maybe that explains the lack of trading for established talent, the other teams aren't that high on anybody outside the twins top 3?


#29 Mike Sixel

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 01:38 PM

 

Maybe that explains the lack of trading for established talent, the other teams aren't that high on anybody outside the twins top 3?

 

Hard to say for sure, other than every site has them as a top 4-10 system........

 

Also, since they pretty much never make trades (I know, new FO.....)....it seems more likely they just don't like to make trades to acquire MLB talent all that often. It seems fairly statistically impossible that they could almost never have the opportunity....

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#30 howieramone2

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 01:46 PM

 

Maybe that explains the lack of trading for established talent, the other teams aren't that high on anybody outside the twins top 3?

On the pitching side, I believe the FO is building up numbers below Rochester. Our major league ready or near ready, will be needed for emergencies, and those that shine will help fill the rotation next season. I'm hoping our best 12 arms head up north and no doubt we will see the rest sometime this season.

 

This may be a make or break season for Mejia, Gonsalves, Littell, Stewart, Thorpe, and to some degree Romero. This is going to be an interesting season, and the more I think about, the more I like the Perez pick up.

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#31 Thrylos

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 02:04 PM

 

Does anyone have a good comp for him? Ted Lilly? I have never seen him pitch. Just wanted a comp to help paint a picture. 

 

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#32 The Billy Goat

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 02:05 PM

Something about him reminds me of a lefty Scott Baker. Strikeouts in the minors turn into foul balls in the majors. But I'd take Scott Baker in a second. We need a left hander to step up into a solid starting role.
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#33 Dantes929

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 07:39 PM

 

Something about him reminds me of a lefty Scott Baker. Strikeouts in the minors turn into foul balls in the majors. But I'd take Scott Baker in a second. We need a left hander to step up into a solid starting role.

I was looking at his game logs and thought " A lot of strikeouts, few walks but a lot of pitches to get through 5 or 6 innings, so there must be a lot of pitches good enough for batters to not be able to put in play but not quite good enough to put them away. Must be a lot of foul balls. Sounds like Scott Baker. Scott Baker was good. I would take that."

 

That is what I was going to post independently but then saw your post.  I always thought of Baker as a decent #2 or a great #3. Baker had a nice fastball and a nice curve ball but I don't know if either could be called a signature pitch.It is worthwhile to point out that the league averages less than 50% quality starts so having a few clunkers is just par for the course.  Also worth noting that Thorpe is only 23 and missed two seasons. I don't think he is a finished product.

 

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#34 mlhouse

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 10:55 PM

 

Not a huge fan of Thorpe after seeing him live in the Future's Game last year. Relative to the other top prospects in that game, he was hit hard, struggled to miss bats, and just didn't have the stuff displayed by other pitchers. He topped out at 94, and was mostly 91-93, which for a single inning stint wasn't very impressive - most other pitchers in the game sat 95+. And just seeing him pitch, his physique (shortish and stockish), handedness, mechanics, and relative stuff immediately made me think of Brian Duensing.

 

I watched him pitch one game in Ft Myers and he was terrible.His velocity wasn't in the 95 range, more in the 91-93 range and he did not have the same command of his fastball as Kohl Stewart in the games I saw him pitch. 

 

Like you said, he did not appear to be athletic at all, and he made a terrible play on a bunt that just made him look bad.He looked out of shape and really labored on the mound.Maybe that was connected to the fact that he was injured and missed all of 2015 and 2016, but the Twins have been real conservative with his innings and pitch counts which could make some of his statistical success a mirage.

 

But, then, he only gave up 27 runs that year (2017) in Ft Myers in 16 starts so maybe the game I watched was an aberration.  

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#35 Doctor Wu

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Posted 07 February 2019 - 06:18 AM

Very good article, and some interesting responses too. I've always thought Thorpe had lots of potential, but until I read this piece I wasn't aware that he didn't truly have an "out" pitch. Hmm. Hopefully, the pitching coach can help him to work on his slider, as some of you suggested. And yeah, he''s still young and doesn't have a lot of mileage on his arm after the long rehab period, so I'm still optimistic.


#36 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 08 February 2019 - 11:10 AM

 

I'm getting a Taylor Rogers vibe reading about Thorpe. Maybe he's on the short call up list for the bullpen considering it wasn't addressed in FA or trades.

 

Thorpe is considerably better than Rogers ever was. Rogers had some pretty big issues against righties.


#37 FormerMinnasotan

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Posted 08 February 2019 - 12:35 PM

I remain optimistic on Thorpe’s future. Now that he has had a second full off season I think he might be underrated if anything. He’s got an above average fastball and change, and two breaking pitches that might show improvement this year. One thing Thorpe has over all other Twins pitching prospects is command/control. From what I heard, especially in the second half of the year is Thorpe’s command really started to take off.



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