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Article: Twins Daily 2019 Top Prospects: #6 Brent Rooker

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#21 birdwatcher

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Posted 08 February 2019 - 11:32 AM

 

I am disappointed in Rooker.I looked for a quicker rise and more consistency.His age is becoming a question too.He is 24 according to the article and if the prognosis and the roster keep him in the minors for two more years he will be almost at that magic peak period of 27 - 31.The really good ones are up much earlier and the trend - Soto, Acuna, and many more is to be up closer to 20 than to 27.That does not mean he will not eventually have value, but one of the reasons to draft college players is their quick movement to the majors.Look at this list of 25 and younger players!

https://sportsnaut.c...s-25-and-under/  

 

 

Statistics tell us that prospects selected in this range generally have maybe a 50% chance of even sniffing the bigs and maybe a 30% shot at being better than league average. There is one, possibly two position players on that under 25 list that did not have higher expectations attached to them on their signing dates.

 

Personally, I've had a lingering suspicion that people have been harboring unrealistic expectations for Rooker all along based on fantasies about his light tower power persona. I have a nagging suspicion that a #6 ranking here is a bit generous. 

 

I admit to knowing nothing, but I'm more excited about a few others on this list. Miranda, Rortvedt, Gordon...

Edited by birdwatcher, 08 February 2019 - 11:33 AM.

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#22 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 08 February 2019 - 11:46 AM

Statistics tell us that prospects selected in this range generally have maybe a 50% chance of even sniffing the bigs and maybe a 30% shot at being better than league average.

But what about those same prospects who then advanced and have hit well in AA? Wouldn't your percentages be higher for those?

#23 birdwatcher

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Posted 08 February 2019 - 11:54 AM

 

But what about those same prospects who then advanced and have hit well in AA? Wouldn't your percentages be higher for those?

 

 

I don't know. My intuition says that a guy like Rooker may not have his flaw(s) fatally exposed until he reaches the higher levels. Rooker's power is so very intriguing. I'd surmise that the organization is going to give him every chance to improve in the field and hone his skills at the plate. My wild guess is that if we were flies on the wall in the room with Steils and his people, they'd be expressing more reservations about Rooker than we'd like to hear.

Edited by birdwatcher, 08 February 2019 - 11:55 AM.

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#24 scottz

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Posted 08 February 2019 - 12:17 PM

I don't know anything about Rooker, or really, anything about any of these prospects other than their stats and the stuff I read on here, fangraphs, or other prospect-discussion sites. So I have no insight on any specific player.

 

However, it seems like the power hitter prospects who struggle are the ones where it is written that they sort of fall in love with the power. The 'how far can I hit this one' sort of guys. I'm not sure if that is accurate, but that's my from afar and reading between the lines hot take. Rooker, at least in the early going here, doesn't seem to be obsessed with his own power, but seems like he's trying to become a better hitter with power. So maybe he's the power hitting, high swing and miss exception that becomes a power hitting, acceptable swing and miss hitter. Again, no knowledge hot take.

 

So we'll see. Good luck, Mr. Rooker.

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#25 jkcarew

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Posted 08 February 2019 - 12:59 PM

 

I know I've posted this before, but Rooker improved each month:

 

K%

April - 29.6

May - 28.6

June - 28.0

July - 24.2

August/Sept - 22.8

 

BB%

April - 2.2

May - 7.0

June - 11.2

July - 13.3

August/Sept - 13.4

 

Heading into the draft Rooker was known to be obsessive about crafting his hitting technique, he's a great candidate to always be able to adjust. And his last month isn't much to be worried about, his strikeout and walk rates were peaking at that time but he had insanely bad luck with a .210 BABIP.

It's not the BA or even the OBP that's disturbing about those last months.It's the grand total of 2 home runs in his last 32 games. While the K% was bottoming out, the game power all but disappeared. Could be a case of one step backwards to go two steps forward. But, the forward steps will need to happen fast now, IMO.

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#26 2wins87

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Posted 08 February 2019 - 01:24 PM

 

Statistics tell us that prospects selected in this range generally have maybe a 50% chance of even sniffing the bigs and maybe a 30% shot at being better than league average. There is one, possibly two position players on that under 25 list that did not have higher expectations attached to them on their signing dates.

 

Personally, I've had a lingering suspicion that people have been harboring unrealistic expectations for Rooker all along based on fantasies about his light tower power persona. I have a nagging suspicion that a #6 ranking here is a bit generous. 

 

Agreed although I think the #6 ranking is perfectly fine.The guys behind him have plenty of question marks or are far enough away that they still have a lot of downside risk.

 

I don't have a great feel for what kind of percentages we should apply to different outcomes, but once a hitter has spent at least a full season at AA or above, I think the projection systems like Steamer and ZiPS start to give a pretty good idea of the median short term expectation (I'm less convinced that projection systems do a good job for minor league pitchers at any level).And you can ballpark a projection for modest improvements from there.

 

Rooker's rate stat projections on Fangraphs from Steamer (the Twins always seem to be one of the last released for ZiPS) are solid for a rookie.So it looks like based on his stats the median projection should be for a bit above average offensive projection a couple years down the line.This would probably be enough to be a marginal major leaguer at 1B or DH but you're probably looking at a more optimistic end of his projection if he's going to be a long term starting DH.

 

This is pretty much in line with expectations when he was drafted, and the floor has maybe moved up a bit.

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#27 birddog

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Posted 08 February 2019 - 02:15 PM

Lots of doubters with our #6. Hopefully we get lucky with Rooker and he shows us why he was such a great college hitter, and we can put up with defensive inadequacies due to his bat.


#28 dbminn

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Posted 08 February 2019 - 02:16 PM

Rooker will be 24 years old for the entire 2019 season. He could be in AAA before he has 1000 professional PA, and in the majors before the end of the year. That's a lot of progress for a 4-year college player. 

 

To compare his progress to players that turned pro at 16 or 18 years old is a bit much. He's a bat-first college prospect with a high floor. If he stays a major leaguer beginning in 2020, the Twins will control him until he's 30. That's all of his peak years with the bat. Sounds fine with me. 

 

There are only a few comps (college position player) from the back-end of the first round who have had any success in the majors. The best is Aaron Judge, taken with the 32nd pick in 2013, one year younger than Rooker. Here are his stats, by age:

 

22: A, A+ .308/.419/.486 (2014)

23: AA, AAA.255/.330/.448

24: AAA .270/.366/.489

24: MLB .179/.263/.345

25: MLB .284/.422/.687 (2017)

MLB K% - 31.6%

 

I'm not saying Rooker will be as good as Judge. In fact, I'd be happy if he's half as good. The point is - even the great Aaron Judge didn't make it to the majors until he was 25. I'm sure the Yankees are just fine with the situation.

 

The only other successful comps for 2010-2017 are Jackie Bradley Jr and Stephen Piscotty, who had similar career tracks by age.

 

 

 

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#29 mikelink45

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Posted 08 February 2019 - 05:00 PM

 

Pretty unfair to be comparing him to Acuña and Soto.That was never even close to the expectation for Rooker (or it never should have been).I don't know what you were expecting from a college senior drafted 35th overall, but so far he's progressed pretty well, though the question marks that were always there haven't magically disappeared either.

I am not comparing him to the individual players, but right now the trend is for players to come to MLB younger and I did expect him to do that.


#30 mikelink45

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Posted 08 February 2019 - 05:01 PM

 

Getting called up after only one full season in the minors seems like pretty unrealistic expectations. There has been one player from the 2017 draft who has gotten called up to the majors, Kyle Wright. He went 4th overall and has pitched a total of 6 innings. By these standards Keston Hiura and Brendan McKay are failures as well.

 

Had the Twins not signed both Nelson Cruz and CJ Cron, I'd be pretty confident that the Twins would give Rooker every chance to earn a spot on the team out of spring training. Or if they were doing the service time bit, call him up a couple of weeks after the season started.

You are probably right, but I did expect him to be competing this year.


#31 mikelink45

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Posted 08 February 2019 - 05:03 PM

 

Statistics tell us that prospects selected in this range generally have maybe a 50% chance of even sniffing the bigs and maybe a 30% shot at being better than league average. There is one, possibly two position players on that under 25 list that did not have higher expectations attached to them on their signing dates.

 

Personally, I've had a lingering suspicion that people have been harboring unrealistic expectations for Rooker all along based on fantasies about his light tower power persona. I have a nagging suspicion that a #6 ranking here is a bit generous. 

 

I admit to knowing nothing, but I'm more excited about a few others on this list. Miranda, Rortvedt, Gordon...

I accept that.I thought he got off to a good start, I read too optimistic reports and I bought into them.I really thought we had something in Rooker and yes, I did expect him to be here quicker.His college playing counted for low minors to me.  


#32 sweetmusicviola16

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Posted 08 February 2019 - 05:03 PM

So far in these lists the "What's Left To Work On" has been extremely significant. Lets hope these prospects get it better than the others have in the last decade.

Edited by sweetmusicviola16, 08 February 2019 - 05:09 PM.

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#33 jrod23

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Posted 08 February 2019 - 08:14 PM

Basically, what I get from Rooker is that he's good.He's not great.Don't know if I agree with the "dominated lower levels".He was .282 in E-Town.Jeffers was .422 w/a few less RBI, and then continued that to Cedar Rapids.I know Cedar Rapids isn't Fort Myers, but I just don't think dominated is the right word.

 

Regardless, I like Rooker.I'd love to get frustrated with him and his abundant strikeouts and sparing walks at the major league level, then see him go back to back behind Sano in game 7 of the ALDS in 2020.Just saying.


#34 DocBauer

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Posted 08 February 2019 - 08:36 PM

I know I've posted this before, but Rooker improved each month:
 
K%
April - 29.6
May - 28.6
June - 28.0
July - 24.2
August/Sept - 22.8
 
BB%
April - 2.2
May - 7.0
June - 11.2
July - 13.3
August/Sept - 13.4
 
Heading into the draft Rooker was known to be obsessive about crafting his hitting technique, he's a great candidate to always be able to adjust. And his last month isn't much to be worried about, his strikeout and walk rates were peaking at that time but he had insanely bad luck with a .210 BABIP.


This!

Age 24 is not exactly old for AAA...even if he does "warm up" at AA to begin the season...and he could see Minnesota before the year is done.

His numbers improved EVERY SINGLE MONTH! That is learning, adjustments and progress. Yes, the last month was a downer. But it's a long season, and his FIRST full pro season. Even top prospects, and ML players as well, have those stretches where their BABIP just suffers for some reason.

I will take his season long improved numbers.

What does perplex me is the comment about appearing "stiff" as I've read various reports he is a good athlete with at least average speed. I find this perplexing. I find the idea of his playing a single position to be interesting, but I think it would be a disservice to both he and the Twins. It's just way too early in his career, only a season and a half in, to pigeonhole him. He needs coaching and development time at both spots. In time, he can hopefully be comfortable at both OF corners, as well as 1B, to just be average.
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#35 saviking

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 12:41 PM

Rook has plenty of time to work on his swing as I see him as the perfect replacement for Cruz in 2021 ... One thing a designated hitter has to have is power, and he has that going for him .. In fact, the lack of homeruns have held the Twins back for decades. Just watch how many more runs we score and how much more exciting the games will be this year. I cut my teeth on Killebrew and Allison. Nothing like a big tator ...


#36 baumannmd

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 03:47 PM

The ranking seems high given Rooker’s defensive liabilities, but I think there’s something here with him at 1B/DH. I’d like to see him in MN in Sept if he continues the trends he started last season.

Otherwise, he seems like a player that could be packaged in a trade for someone who could help the big club.

With the lineup essentially rotating out 3-5 spots every year now, why not let a guy with some power see what he can do against MLB pitching. Cruz is here for 2019, 2020 if everything goes amazingly.

#37 gunnarthor

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Posted 10 February 2019 - 09:00 AM

The game seems to be changing so low on-base, high power guys might be more valuable than we thought a few years ago. I'm not sure. I hope Rooker pushes his way into the Twins lineup quickly though.

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#38 Mike Sixel

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Posted 10 February 2019 - 09:03 AM

The game seems to be changing so low on-base, high power guys might be more valuable than we thought a few years ago. I'm not sure. I hope Rooker pushes his way into the Twins lineup quickly though.


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#39 dbminn

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Posted 10 February 2019 - 10:29 AM

 

The game seems to be changing so low on-base, high power guys might be more valuable than we thought a few years ago. I'm not sure. I hope Rooker pushes his way into the Twins lineup quickly though.

 

He and other power-only players will definitely get their value back if they expand rosters. I hope the MLB fathers approve it for 2020.

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#40 gman

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Posted 10 February 2019 - 11:19 AM

A nice thing about the state of the Twins roster is that they don't have to rush guys through the minors to the big league team unlike 4-5 years ago. The roster has gotten stronger and I hope they will challenge for the division, but I don't feel they will win it.

 

It would be nice to see guys like Rooker,Lewis, Kirilloff, Romeroand others get some meaningful playing time late this year as the Twins "roar" to the finish line. 




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