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#41 drivlikejehu

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Posted 04 June 2019 - 04:35 PM

 

Berrios and Gibson were drafted by the previous regime. Not sure what those drafts tell us.

My contention is not never draft hitters early, it's that if you never draft pitching early, it will be harder to have great pitching. Nothing more or less than that.

 

Why even say it then? Of course you could draft pitching exclusively, and then you might have great pitching, and no position players. It's a zero-sum game . . . at each slot, you can only take one player.

 

The front office has to fit the draft into an organization-wide strategy to contend as a mid-market club. You aren't privy to the specific details of that strategy, nor are you privy to their scouting and analytical data, which is why not every draft picks makes complete sense to you.

 

For people that do have the information, the picks do make sense. The only thing you can judge fairly is the production of the MLB team. The results are what they are. If the organization disintegrates, by all means, blame the front office. I certainly blamed their predecessors. 

 

But this criticism of not drafting enough pitchers is just per se invalid. It's not a legitimate criticism because you don't have the information necessary to even understand it, none of us do.

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#42 birdwatcher

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Posted 04 June 2019 - 04:58 PM

 

Berrios and Gibson were drafted by the previous regime. Not sure what those drafts tell us.

My contention is not never draft hitters early, it's that if you never draft pitching early, it will be harder to have great pitching. Nothing more or less than that.

 

 

Cool. Now, can you say that it would be misguided to say the new regime can't be described as "never drafting pitching early" based on three drafts? Is it possible that it's okay, even good, that they viewed Cavaco as a significantly better alternative to Rutledge, Thompson, Priester,, Kirby, or any other available pitcher they could have chosen alternatively? And will you concede it's entirely possible that they concluded no pitching prospect profiled ashaving a "high-end" (#1-2) ceiling thereafter? 

 

Will you acknowledge the points other posters are making regarding the various other ways high-end pitching can and IS being brought in? FA brought us Perez, Pineda, Magill, Harper, Morin, and all but Pineda sports an ERA under 4 right now, trades brought us Odorizzi, Duran, Alcala et al, IFA produced Graterol et al)

 

All of us would LOVE a sure-fire ace out of the draft, obviously. There isn't ONE of those guys in this draft. In fact some people think this draft lacks the kind of prospects we wish made us pass on Nick Gordon and pick Nola or Freeland, guys that we think of at best as #2 or #3 starters, right? Next year Rule 4 looks stronger for pitching. Might even be a guy there at #30 for us.:)


#43 birdwatcher

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Posted 04 June 2019 - 05:01 PM

 

I don't think it's just Wes Johnson though. It's an organization wide dedication.
Wes Johnson plays his part, and if he gets the credit, good for him.
I think this FO has done a great job assembling an entire organization that is assembled in a manner that the sum is greater than each of the parts.
So, yes, I do expect them to continue to find players like Odor and Perez. They'll have misses along the way, nobody is perfect.
I've long suspected they had an organization wide plan, from day one, that would be difficult for us outsiders to recognize.
I used the brick by brick analogy a few times in the early months and years, and I think we are finally starting to see a finished product on top of the long, but crucial foundational work that was done.
I've been a part of many projects where the foundational and precursial work seems to take forever, but then the majority of the building that the public sees goes up in no time. But it's precisely because so much energy was spent on planning and logistics that it's able to come together so quickly and efficiently.

This post may look rube-ishly naive in a few years if it all goes bad, but I think we are in for a long, sustainable run of excellence here. I have a ton of faith in what these guys are doing. And so, I assume that Falvey and Levine aren't going to wake up one day and suddenly realize they forgot to plan for starting pitching. They know it's importance, and they have a plan, even if we can't see it yet.

 

 

Great post.

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#44 Mike Sixel

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Posted 04 June 2019 - 05:03 PM

 

Cool. Now, can you say that it would be misguided to say the new regime can't be described as "never drafting pitching early" based on three drafts? Is it possible that it's okay, even good, that they viewed Cavaco as a significantly better alternative to Rutledge, Thompson, Priester,, Kirby, or any other available pitcher they could have chosen alternatively? And will you concede it's entirely possible that they concluded no pitching prospect profiled ashaving a "high-end" (#1-2) ceiling thereafter? 

 

Will you acknowledge the points other posters are making regarding the various other ways high-end pitching can and IS being brought in? FA brought us Perez, Pineda, Magill, Harper, Morin, and all but Pineda sports an ERA under 4 right now, trades brought us Odorizzi, Duran, Alcala et al, IFA produced Graterol et al)

 

All of us would LOVE a sure-fire ace out of the draft, obviously. There isn't ONE of those guys in this draft. In fact some people think this draft lacks the kind of prospects we wish made us pass on Nick Gordon and pick Nola or Freeland, guys that we think of at best as #2 or #3 starters, right? Next year Rule 4 looks stronger for pitching. Might even be a guy there at #30 for us.:)

 

I can, it might be a coincidence that they've largely not drafted pitchers early. But, it's a team game. You need pitching. Just as you can't ignore OL every year in teh NFL draft, if the defensive player is ranked 4-10 spots higher than the OL on your board, you, IMO, have to acquire high end pitching in baseball.

 

Will you acknowledge that they are now in teh competitive phase of the rebuild, so we should not expect much trading of MLB players for pitching the next 3-5 years (and if we do have those, that the rebuild hasn't worked out all that well)? 

 

 

I literally have acknowledged teh other things repeatedly, not sure what you want....

It's IL now, btw, not DL.....


#45 birdwatcher

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Posted 04 June 2019 - 05:10 PM

 

Why even say it then? Of course you could draft pitching exclusively, and then you might have great pitching, and no position players. It's a zero-sum game . . . at each slot, you can only take one player.

 

The front office has to fit the draft into an organization-wide strategy to contend as a mid-market club. You aren't privy to the specific details of that strategy, nor are you privy to their scouting and analytical data, which is why not every draft picks makes complete sense to you.

 

For people that do have the information, the picks do make sense. The only thing you can judge fairly is the production of the MLB team. The results are what they are. If the organization disintegrates, by all means, blame the front office. I certainly blamed their predecessors. 

 

But this criticism of not drafting enough pitchers is just per se invalid. It's not a legitimate criticism because you don't have the information necessary to even understand it, none of us do.

 

 

While I agree with this to a large extent, I do believe it's possible to pass judgment based on knowledge of the LOGIC behind the actions and not the results. Unfortunately, us rabid fans who thirst for explanations are not generally rewarded. The access media isn't very interested in extracting this nuanced stuff.

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#46 mlhouse

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Posted 04 June 2019 - 05:15 PM

5/11thsof their top first two day picks were pitchers.Their 2nd round pick was a pitcher.Not sure what more they could do.

 

 

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#47 KirbyDome89

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Posted 04 June 2019 - 05:27 PM

 

True, but the further you go in the draft the more those level off.The odds, in general, for baseball are far lower than in other sports, hence why I really bristle at that comparison. 

 

Also, if we're going to talk about playing the odds, hitters have significantly better odds than pitching across all rounds as well.

Agreed on all fronts. It's hard to have dramatic jumps when you're already at <6% of pitchers seeing big league action by the 5th round. Baseball is a unique animal in terms of both draft and development. 

 

I certainly endorse drafting players who are more likely to pan out. My only concern is at what point do we see this club start to move some of that young talent and/or pay real $$ in FA to obtain the pitching they desperately need. 

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#48 birdwatcher

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Posted 04 June 2019 - 05:40 PM

 

I can, it might be a coincidence that they've largely not drafted pitchers early. But, it's a team game. You need pitching. Just as you can't ignore OL every year in teh NFL draft, if the defensive player is ranked 4-10 spots higher than the OL on your board, you, IMO, have to acquire high end pitching in baseball.

 

Will you acknowledge that they are now in teh competitive phase of the rebuild, so we should not expect much trading of MLB players for pitching the next 3-5 years (and if we do have those, that the rebuild hasn't worked out all that well)? 

 

 

I literally have acknowledged teh other things repeatedly, not sure what you want....

 

It's not a coincidence, it's just smart. The process is increasingly understandable. The results are becoming evident. Gather valuable assets and increase their value.

 

If the available pitchers are unworthy, or if a worthier position player is there for you, you get one chance in Rule 4. They betrayed this logic recently. It cost them Benintendi. You've criticized them for the Jay selection, correct? Some of us theorize that the Jay selection was an illogical attempt to solve a development competence problem that wasn't being addressed by the old regime.

 

I'm sorry, Mike, but my observation is that you've done the opposite of truly acknowledging the other ways they've gone about the process of acquiring high-end pitching talent (admittedly with suboptimal results until now). Constant laments about not going for the most expensive International signings. Constant harping about FA intentions and efforts, dismissal of Perez and Odo as examples, etc. Yo have seemed fixated on this early Rule 4 thing, my friend.

 

I won't acknowledge that, because I believe the opposite is true. I believe these guys get the long game. Like me, they don't buy into the old school view of phases and cycles and windows per se. So, I believe they'll trade MLB assets if they become valuable AND surplus assets. I believe they are less sentimental and more data driven than the former regime.

 

The reason "rebuild" is an antiquated concept? In my view, and I think in Falvey's and Jim Pohlad's updated view, they think of the baseball operation the way most businesspeople think of things regarding any business. The objective is to minimize cyclical influences. It requires different strategies for different businesses, but for a baseball operation, it requires an active management of the (player) assets. I'd advise not falling in love with anyone on the roster.

 

 

Edited by birdwatcher, 04 June 2019 - 06:12 PM.

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#49 TheLeviathan

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Posted 04 June 2019 - 05:57 PM

Agreed on all fronts. It's hard to have dramatic jumps when you're already at <6% of pitchers seeing big league action by the 5th round. Baseball is a unique animal in terms of both draft and development.

I certainly endorse drafting players who are more likely to pan out. My only concern is at what point do we see this club start to move some of that young talent and/or pay real $$ in FA to obtain the pitching they desperately need.

We shall see, but as others have pointed out....we have done that. You can quibble with what a proper amount of money would be, but they have actively acquired pitching outside the organization.

And in several prominent examples, improved those arms.

Edited by TheLeviathan, 04 June 2019 - 05:57 PM.

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#50 drivlikejehu

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Posted 04 June 2019 - 06:28 PM

 

While I agree with this to a large extent, I do believe it's possible to pass judgment based on knowledge of the LOGIC behind the actions and not the results. Unfortunately, us rabid fans who thirst for explanations are not generally rewarded. The access media isn't very interested in extracting this nuanced stuff.

 

Well that's my point, we don't have access to that information. For competitive reasons, clubs are not going to share their inner workings, whether it's the decision-making process, data analysis, or anything else of significance.

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#51 birdwatcher

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Posted 04 June 2019 - 06:45 PM

 

Agreed on all fronts. It's hard to have dramatic jumps when you're already at <6% of pitchers seeing big league action by the 5th round. Baseball is a unique animal in terms of both draft and development. 

 

I certainly endorse drafting players who are more likely to pan out. My only concern is at what point do we see this club start to move some of that young talent and/or pay real $$ in FA to obtain the pitching they desperately need. 

 

 

Good question. My theory: clubs are moving toward what I call an "active asset management" model. We're already seeing a few teams transact player deals at unprecedented rates. It's a Bingo Bango Bongo thing. The three pillars of value are MLB player assets, free cash flow, and prospect capital. The most promising franchises have all three pillars healthy, and a talented management team that knows how to optimize the assets.

 

Look at which teams rank high in MLB power rankings AND rank high in farm system rankings. Only six teams out of 30 are ranked in the yop 10 in bothe the power rankings AND prospect rankings, and not coincidentally most are also fairly liquid and have decent balance sheets. The next tier is DRAMATICALLY imbalanced among the MLB, MilB, and cash pillars. The third and fourth tier? Almost to the point of critical, frankly.

 

The Tier 1 teams are, in order of the combined ranking scores: Tampa, Houston, Twins, Atlanta, Dodgers, San Diego. The financial problems would lower a couple of those teams for sure.

 

To your question, if I'm ordering Jimmy Pohlad and Derek Falvey around, I'm telling them to be efficient in efficient markets like the Rule 4 draft wher you have set pools, equal information, other than to try to underslot as best you can and land a whopper on the backside of the draft. I'm telling them to look for stress in the system and prey on it, win the trades by feeding on desperation and dealing from asset surplus, and focus on things that increase the value of your assets, like adroit development programs.

 

To me, every prospective selection after the second round would make me want to shut the analytics people out of the room and listen very carefully to my scouts. It's the guy who drove through the night and then did his work that ends up making a difference.

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#52 dougd

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Posted 04 June 2019 - 06:50 PM

I think their secret plan is to convert most of the SS into SP. 


#53 birdwatcher

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Posted 04 June 2019 - 06:52 PM

 

Well that's my point, we don't have access to that information. For competitive reasons, clubs are not going to share their inner workings, whether it's the decision-making process, data analysis, or anything else of significance.

 

 

You're quite right. I'd just like my main media to ask challenging questions about controversial decisions. They don't do that for us.


#54 birdwatcher

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Posted 04 June 2019 - 10:07 PM

After Keoni Cavaco with the 13th pick, half of the next ten selections were pitchers. All but one of the other five were infielders, although many are described as "athletic" and as such might very well become OF or 1B types. or utility candidates. Many were describes as possessing "power". 


#55 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 05 June 2019 - 06:05 AM

 

not at all, we are asking where the great pitching is going to come from if you don't draft it early, year after year. 

 

I do think they should draft it more. I'm not arguing that. Personally, I'm more into grabbing overslot HS guys myself and avoiding college players. We did that with guys like Enlow, Blazovic, Grace, etc. I know those were the previous FO, but I think there's something there...

 

Now that said. I also think you'd be wise to recognize that this is a different FO, and they do have some sort of process that seems to work. 

  • They fixed Gibson.
  • They acquired Odorizzi for very little and have appeared to have fixed him and (if he continues what he's done so far) turned him into an ace.
  • They acquired and (so far at least) fixed Perez.

They are doing something right here. Does it need to be more? Sure, but they've already accomplished more in 2 years than previous 2 FOs in this department. I think we should give them a bit more of a leash. 

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#56 Original Whizzinator

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Posted 05 June 2019 - 07:19 AM

Classic TD thread everybody! Thanks for the laughs and some good insight.
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#57 gunnarthor

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Posted 05 June 2019 - 07:38 AM

I think this draft was a bit underwhelming but pretty solid, which is sorta how I feel about our farm system. We're told we have a top 10 (maybe top 5) system. Yay! But we only have 3 top 100 prospects. Tons of depth but no one is a potential superstar yet. But we have several prospects who could make large jumps if a something breaks right. 

 

Cavaco had a ton of helium but some pretty big question marks. Wallner could be a hitter like Larnich but might struggle like Rooker against better competition, and so on. Canterino could be a solid back or the rotation starter or he could be another Ryan Eades. etc. There's always upside but we're waiting on it.And no one that we drafted would likely jump into any top 100 list and I'm not sure Cavaco would be top 5 in our system.

 

The Mets, who have a million dollars less than us in the pool, seemed to have nabbed some upside guys at the (likely) expense of quantity. I'm not sure they actually had the better draft but they certainly had the more interesting draft.

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#58 2wins87

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Posted 05 June 2019 - 09:39 AM

 

I think this draft was a bit underwhelming but pretty solid, which is sorta how I feel about our farm system. We're told we have a top 10 (maybe top 5) system. Yay! But we only have 3 top 100 prospects. Tons of depth but no one is a potential superstar yet. But we have several prospects who could make large jumps if a something breaks right. 

 

Cavaco had a ton of helium but some pretty big question marks. Wallner could be a hitter like Larnich but might struggle like Rooker against better competition, and so on. Canterino could be a solid back or the rotation starter or he could be another Ryan Eades. etc. There's always upside but we're waiting on it.And no one that we drafted would likely jump into any top 100 list and I'm not sure Cavaco would be top 5 in our system.

 

The Mets, who have a million dollars less than us in the pool, seemed to have nabbed some upside guys at the (likely) expense of quantity. I'm not sure they actually had the better draft but they certainly had the more interesting draft.

 

I pretty much agree with all of this.  

 

I like the Cavaco pick, but with two more early round picks than last year I think I'm a lot less excited about the haul this year than I was last year, even trying not to use much hindsight.Cavaco has the all around tools to be better than Larnach, but I was ready to put Larnach in or around the top 5 right away last year, and I don't think I'm there with Cavaco.Jeffers was a great pick if you thought he could catch (and they seem to have proven that he can), and Keirsey and Sands were good value picks as guys whose stock had dropped below their physical tools.Sands is looking good though Keirsey is not so much, but I liked them more at the time than Steers and Gray.Holland does fit that mid round value mold this year, though. I think Wallner is going to be much more like Rooker than Larnach, and most likely won't even measure up to Rooker.

 

I am interested to see how they develop some of the under the radar guys though.They've now had enough time to entirely overhaul the minor league caoching staff and enact their own development program.There's a lot more focus in baseball on player development than there was even a few years ago.They generally drafted pitchers with pretty big frames (especially Gipson and Headrick), so I'll be watching to see if they manage to unlock some more dormant potential.

Edited by 2wins87, 05 June 2019 - 10:02 AM.

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#59 birdwatcher

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Posted 05 June 2019 - 09:45 AM

 

I think this draft was a bit underwhelming but pretty solid, which is sorta how I feel about our farm system. We're told we have a top 10 (maybe top 5) system. Yay! But we only have 3 top 100 prospects. Tons of depth but no one is a potential superstar yet. But we have several prospects who could make large jumps if a something breaks right. 

 

Cavaco had a ton of helium but some pretty big question marks. Wallner could be a hitter like Larnich but might struggle like Rooker against better competition, and so on. Canterino could be a solid back or the rotation starter or he could be another Ryan Eades. etc. There's always upside but we're waiting on it.And no one that we drafted would likely jump into any top 100 list and I'm not sure Cavaco would be top 5 in our system.

 

The Mets, who have a million dollars less than us in the pool, seemed to have nabbed some upside guys at the (likely) expense of quantity. I'm not sure they actually had the better draft but they certainly had the more interesting draft.

 

 

I think this is a good assessment with the caveat that they have ten senior signs out of 11 picks, which suggests they have some pool money to play with in rounds 11-40 to maybe lure a HS prospect or two away from a college commitment.

 

Cavaco has a higher ceiling and a lower floor than Nick Gordon, but this draft resembles the 2015 draft to me, in that there's the risk of criticism for passing on pitching (again). Gordon was selected ahead of Nola and Freeman, although both went where they were ranked by pundits, as did Gordon IIRC. And frankly, the rest of that draft produced little: Burdi (bad luck), Curtiss (back in AAA), and Hildenberger.

 

With Cavaco, he's going to NEED to turn out. I predict that at least two of the seven players selected immediately after him will be really good, but which two is of course impossible to know. Therefore, if Cavaco busts, there may be a slew of opportunities to rip the selection if any of Rutledge, Thompson, Priester, Wilson and Kirby are success stories. But I much prefer they take risks like this, especially given where they are with a top 10 Power ranking and a top 10 pipeline.

 

I concur that the draft is looking meh. But who knows maybe someone like Will Holland becomes the next Dozier. One story like that changes everything.

 

I concur with less conviction that the pipeline is short a high upside prospect or two. I waiver on that because we have such impressive depth in B grade players, and the chances of a couple exploding onto the scene are pretty good. I think we might have some IFA prospects that could emerge as Top 100 types, we'll see. At any rate, having three Top 100 guys is pretty good, especially with two being in the top 5-15, with Larnach and others close. Like always, we're waiting on some prospects.

 

The Mets pulled a fast one to get Allen. Nice.

 

 

Edited by birdwatcher, 05 June 2019 - 09:50 AM.

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#60 KirbyDome89

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Posted 05 June 2019 - 10:15 PM

 

We shall see, but as others have pointed out....we have done that. You can quibble with what a proper amount of money would be, but they have actively acquired pitching outside the organization.

And in several prominent examples, improved those arms.

They've purchased or traded for arms, but I don't think there's any debate about what tier those guys fall into relative to the rest of the league. 

 

There's obvious value in turning Matt Magill into a serviceable pitcher, or showing Marin Perez a cutter, although I'd agree with Mike that I'm not sure how to gauge Perez right now. We've also seen the "fixer upper," strategy flop pretty hard. The Rule 5 nonsense was a disaster from a roster management standpoint, the arms acquired via trade that have pitched at the major league level (Littell, Enns, DeJong) haven't been great but maybe Moya bucks that trend, there's an entire graveyard of pitchers that were claimed and immediately flamed out, Craig Breslow was supposed to reinvent himself, ect....

 

There's nothing wrong with filling your back end like that, although I'd prefer not to witness another season of waiver roulette. The point I made earlier was about adding front end talent, and the idea that the Twins can turn coal into diamonds just hasn't borne itself out. 

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