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Article: 2019 Twins Midseason Top Prospect List: 11-15

matt wallner luis arraez nick gordon lewis thorpe ryan jeffers
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#21 mikelink45

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Posted 28 June 2019 - 09:17 AM

I really appreciate these lists, but not because I think they are right or wrong, but because I would not know anything about the prospects without the great work that you all do.  

I cannot see the minor league games, I cannot judge the competition, but it is really fun to have players names become familiar.

 

And it is the comments from those in the group who do have opinions and challenge the TD writers that add a lot of fun and simulate more thinking.

 

For example, I have never seen Gordon play and all my opinions are from TD writing, but now I have seen Arraez and I love his thoughtful approach.He is 22!Gordon seems to have a second half fade in each of the steps along the way and other than his draft position I have no reason to love or not love him.

So Arraez vs Gordon is an eye test and my eyes have only seen Arraez, but on the other hand, I have to believe that the fact that this 22 year old player is on the club means that he has met the eye test for the Twins too.  

 

Keep the lists going, this update is terrific, and encourage what seems to be criticism so we can have more discussions. 

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#22 Steve Lein

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Posted 28 June 2019 - 09:28 AM

Arraez is definitely the type of prospect who is going to cause some disagreement.

 

This is what happens when a guy has a really good hit tool. This is the only one in my opinion that can carry guys to the big leagues on its own, but you also can't forget the other four.

 

I'll echo Tom in saying Luis looks in great shape this year, and there might just be an average 2B defender in there now. Might be.

 

Gordon has better power, speed, arm, and fielding tools. I think he can be an average MLB hitter too. That's going to put you higher in rankings for me.

 

What I'm waiting for on Arraez, is how he adapts when teams start doing nothing but busting him with inside pitches. Because if you hadn't noticed yet or didn't know, Arraez has extreme opposite field tendencies, and though he makes contact on anything, he also doesn't hit anything overly hard. Is very consistent, but he's not going to "barrel" many either, it's just not in his swing's nature.

 

As a cautionary tale, also look at how an #OldFriend with a similar hitting profile, with speed and fielding prowess, is doing these days in Ben Revere.

 

All this said, never doubt that a player like him can overachieve the perception from rankings such as these, but that's not what the list is doing. :)

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Scouting Report: Power: 30, Hitting: 50, Arm: 60, Defense: 45, Speed: 45. "Line drive swing and shows good contact and on-base abilities. Double's power at his peak. Strong arm from 2B or the OF, stiff hands. Not a fast runner, but above average instincts on the bases. Skinny body doesn't look the part, but will sneak up on you. ACL surgery sapped much of his athleticism." (Probably)


#23 AceWrigley

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Posted 28 June 2019 - 09:30 AM

<<Still, if you 1) can't play catcher, shortstop or center field, 2) can't hit for much power and 3) don't have above average speed, it's going to be very tough for you to carve out a role in the bigs for very long.>>

 

They said this about Pete Rose when he came up. Just sayin'.

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#24 DocBauer

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Posted 28 June 2019 - 10:50 AM

Gordon vs Arraez: An interesting debate on the two. I don't think anyone here is ranking Gordon where they are because he was the 5th player selected. I think he was the 5th player selected because of his tools and potential. From everything reported, here and elsewhere, Gordon is better defensively with a better arm, more speed, and more pop. We have been lead to believe Arreaz is a "decent" 2B and that's pretty much it. And yet the Twins have been playing him all across the field. Is this desperation? Or are they seeing real improvement in his defense across the board?

Speaking of potential only, Gordon wins 4 of 5 categories with Arraez clearly the better hitter. That DOES NOT mean Arraez can't/won't be the better player with defensive improvement and more pop/power through maturation. I'm glad to have both, at least for now. Personally, I never thought this was Gordon's year for a ML appearance, unless it was very late. I've always thought he needed a full year at Rochester and some more physical development with 2020 being his season.

Rortvedt vs Jeffers: personally, I'd have Rortvedt higher than Jeffers. He's a year younger and already a quality defensive catcher, reportedly, and getting better. His bat appears solid and there is budding power. No question Jeffers is the better and more powerful hitter, at least at this point, and probably potentially. It all comes down to how good Jeffers is defensively now, and potentially. We seem to hear mixed things in this regard. Kind of seems as though the Twins like and believe in his defense but outside sources are not so sold.

Thorpe: I'm still a big believer. I hate to keep saying these things, but 23yo in his first full season of AAA is NOT old, especially considering the two missed seasons. From a pure experience and player development perspective, he's like a 21yo. Think about that. He's been inconsistent so far this season, but the SO numbers are encouraging. And I'd be more disappointed, or worried, if he began the year hot and then struggled. Instead, the opposite seems to be the case. He's improving as the season goes along.

Wallner: I'm sure Wallner is a fine young talent and worthy of his draft selection and his ranking here. What I find interesting is the timing of his selection. He seems to be a perfect system replacement for either Rooker or Larnach, either of whom could be included in a deal/deals for pitching help.
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#25 drivlikejehu

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Posted 28 June 2019 - 11:09 AM

 

Of course, every national publication, made up of professional scouts, has Gordon higher also...


As for Rortverdt being at a higher level younger.... Jeffers has only been a pro for a year. Of course a high school player could be ahead of him. I have no idea which will be better, but Jeffers is moving just fine

 

Fangraphs has Arraez at #6 and Gordon at #35. 

 

That aside, I personally see no case for Gordon being higher than Arraez, it's really not close. I'm not generally one to nit-pick these sorts of lists, which are for entertainment value only anyway, but this one is off base.

 

While Arraez doesn't project to be elite defensively, he doesn't look bad to me out there. Gordon meanwhile has question marks defensively - he might project somewhat better but it's not a huge edge for him (especially in the age of TTO).

 

Offensively, there's a huge gap . . . Gordon's RC+ in AAA is 86 right now, which is pretty bad (worse than Arraez for any stop in his entire professional career) yet is being celebrated. Arraez can already hold his own in MLB while Gordon is still underachieving in AAA. 

 

Arraez is also too low in general, and Gordon too high, regardless of how the two compare to one another.

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#26 Mike Sixel

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Posted 28 June 2019 - 11:12 AM

Fangraphs has Arraez at #6 and Gordon at #35.

That aside, I personally see no case for Gordon being higher than Arraez, it's really not close. I'm not generally one to nit-pick these sorts of lists, which are for entertainment value only anyway, but this one is off base.

While Arraez doesn't project to be elite defensively, he doesn't look bad to me out there. Gordon meanwhile has question marks defensively - he might project somewhat better but it's not a huge edge for him (especially in the age of TTO).

Offensively, there's a huge gap . . . Gordon's RC+ in AAA is 86 right now, which is pretty bad (worse than Arraez for any stop in his entire professional career) yet is being celebrated. Arraez can already hold his own in MLB while Gordon is still underachieving in AAA.

Arraez is also too low in general, and Gordon too high, regardless of how the two compare to one another.


My bad. Just ignore my post! Sigh.
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It's been a fun year so far, GO Twins. 


#27 Mike Sixel

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Posted 28 June 2019 - 11:14 AM

Of course, every national publication, made up of professional scouts, has Gordon higher also...


As for Rortverdt being at a higher level younger.... Jeffers has only been a pro for a year. Of course a high school player could be ahead of him. I have no idea which will be better, but Jeffers is moving just fine


Yikes! I read that wrong.... Thanks for the correction.

It's been a fun year so far, GO Twins. 


#28 Seth Stohs

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Posted 28 June 2019 - 12:06 PM

I put Arraez ahead of Gordon this time for the first time... Prospect ranking isn't easy and as we all know it isn't a perfect science. 

 

Tools-wise, Gordon is certainly much higher.

 

I don't think I've ever really changed my opinion on what Arraez can be. I think I've always pointed out that he can flat-out hit singles. Saw him in Cedar Rapids and almost immediately started loving the approach, plate discipline, strike zone knowledge, willingness to battle and foul off tough pitches, etc. 

 

And if a player is able to carry those things up as they continue to move up, their rankings should move up as well, and Arraez'a has. 

 

But again, when players are younger, it's all about the tools. Arraez has one tool, the hit tool. There isn't much power. The defense is improved but still not good. The arm is average to below average. Speed, very limited (as we saw on his diving catch in Thursday afternoon's game). 

 

But once in awhile, a guy has that one tool is elite. And maybe... just maybe... Arraez is going to turn into Rod Carew or Wade Boggs and let one tool carry them into the Hall of Fame. (two tools if, like with Arraez, you believe in six tools and plate discipline/approach is one of them). Maybe Arraez is that.

 

Obviously he's got to do it for more than 20 games. I mean, if it could be determined in just 20 games, we'd still be watching Parmelee and Pinto playing. 

 

I do still believe in Gordon. But as with all prospects, as they move up, their warts come to light. That's how it works for all prospects. There are a lot of 5-tool prospects in Low A ball... There aren't many anymore in AAA and there are just a few in the big leagues. 

 

I have them close, but I have Arraez ahead of Gordon because of his approach... not at all because of the results... Though ultimately, it will come down to the results in the big leagues. 

 

I

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#29 Dman

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Posted 28 June 2019 - 12:38 PM

 

Fangraphs has Arraez at #6 and Gordon at #35. 

 

That aside, I personally see no case for Gordon being higher than Arraez, it's really not close. I'm not generally one to nit-pick these sorts of lists, which are for entertainment value only anyway, but this one is off base.

 

While Arraez doesn't project to be elite defensively, he doesn't look bad to me out there. Gordon meanwhile has question marks defensively - he might project somewhat better but it's not a huge edge for him (especially in the age of TTO).

 

Offensively, there's a huge gap . . . Gordon's RC+ in AAA is 86 right now, which is pretty bad (worse than Arraez for any stop in his entire professional career) yet is being celebrated. Arraez can already hold his own in MLB while Gordon is still underachieving in AAA. 

 

Arraez is also too low in general, and Gordon too high, regardless of how the two compare to one another.

 

When I look at fangraphs they show them as 12 Arreaz) and 19 (Gordon). Not too much difference.It really depends on how you see how their tools stack up.Neither one has great power.Arraez has the better hit tool by far which is very important but I also think he has a weakness as he likes to hit oppo and that can be taken away.Can he adjust?If yes then he is the clear winner as he can play solid D at second.If not then in the end the hit tools might not be that far apart and Gordon's, Arm, Run, and Fielding should be superior to Arraez.It just depends on how you see their future potential.Technically if things break wrong they both could be utility players. 

 

A strong hit tool makes a lot of difference as it is a very important part of what makes a position player valuable and defense at second can be hidden.Gordon is hitting 280 in AAA though so a little improvement and he starts looking pretty good as well.

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#30 Mike Sixel

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Posted 28 June 2019 - 12:41 PM

When I look at fangraphs they show them as 12 Arreaz) and 19 (Gordon). Not too much difference. It really depends on how you see how their tools stack up. Neither one has great power. Arraez has the better hit tool by far which is very important but I also think he has a weakness as he likes to hit oppo and that can be taken away. Can he adjust? If yes then he is the clear winner as he can play solid D at second. If not then in the end the hit tools might not be that far apart and Gordon's, Arm, Run, and Fielding should be superior to Arraez. It just depends on how you see their future potential. Technically if things break wrong they both could be utility players.

A strong hit tool makes a lot of difference as it is a very important part of what makes a position player valuable and defense at second can be hidden. Gordon is hitting 280 in AAA though so a little improvement and he starts looking pretty good as well.


Check the Board for updates. They moved Arreaz to sixth, and maybe trending up from there.
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It's been a fun year so far, GO Twins. 


#31 markos

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Posted 28 June 2019 - 01:03 PM

Arraez is such a tough player to try to project right now because his initial performance has been so crazy. The .457 BABIP, the 3:1 K:BB ratio, leading the league in LD% and opposite-field %, 2nd lowest pull %. He is the 6th biggest overachiever when comparing his actual results to his expected results from his statcast exit velocity and launch angle information.

 

This is not completely unlike Jake Cave last year, who was also a pretty extreme outlier in many batted-ball statistics.

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#32 Dman

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Posted 28 June 2019 - 01:05 PM

 

Check the Board for updates. They moved Arreaz to sixth, and maybe trending up from there.

 

I am a little surprised that fangraphs would put a pretty much strictly singles hitter that doesn't seem to get hard contact and no other above average tools to 6th on the list.That seems out of character for them.They must be believers that he can carry that approach all the way through MLB.Personally I see him dropping offbut maybe he is just that good.I guess we'll know soon enough.

 

And Gordon at 35?Have they really given up on him?They don't see much more growth potential there for a 23 year old with a 280 average and 25% K rate at AAA?So that is his ceiling?that is quite a statement?

Edited by Dman, 28 June 2019 - 01:35 PM.

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#33 dougd

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Posted 28 June 2019 - 01:59 PM

Keanan Lamb's review of the Florida State All-Star game in BPro had this to say about Jeffers, in part:

 

With a large frame that’s an excellent target for pitchers, apt receiving abilities and above-average arm, he is the rare catching prospect that blends both offensive and defensive upside. Positionally speaking, he should be considered as one of the top ten catching prospects in the minors with a continued strong 2019 campaign.

https://www.baseball...-all-star-game/

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#34 SarasotaBill

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Posted 28 June 2019 - 02:01 PM

Looked at the minor league statistics of Cave and Arraez.

Cave has been .270 and 3:1 K:BB while Arraez is .330 and 1:1.

Arraez K:BB ratio is similar to Mauer's ratio in the minors.

 

Not saying he's as good. Just saying the K:BB is at an elite level and with a very high average. 

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#35 nater79a

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Posted 28 June 2019 - 02:09 PM

 

Arraez is definitely the type of prospect who is going to cause some disagreement.

 

This is what happens when a guy has a really good hit tool. This is the only one in my opinion that can carry guys to the big leagues on its own, but you also can't forget the other four.

 

I'll echo Tom in saying Luis looks in great shape this year, and there might just be an average 2B defender in there now. Might be.

 

Gordon has better power, speed, arm, and fielding tools. I think he can be an average MLB hitter too. That's going to put you higher in rankings for me.

 

What I'm waiting for on Arraez, is how he adapts when teams start doing nothing but busting him with inside pitches. Because if you hadn't noticed yet or didn't know, Arraez has extreme opposite field tendencies, and though he makes contact on anything, he also doesn't hit anything overly hard. Is very consistent, but he's not going to "barrel" many either, it's just not in his swing's nature.

 

As a cautionary tale, also look at how an #OldFriend with a similar hitting profile, with speed and fielding prowess, is doing these days in Ben Revere.

 

All this said, never doubt that a player like him can overachieve the perception from rankings such as these, but that's not what the list is doing. :)

 

This is so true.If you can't hit, you better have a multiple combination of strong throwing arm, speed or defensive chops.One of those alone is not going to cut it.

 

Wish I could remember who said "If you can hit, they'll find a position for you".  

Thought it was someone fairly famous, but maybe it was just some random scout.

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#36 mikelink45

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Posted 28 June 2019 - 04:42 PM

 

Arraez is such a tough player to try to project right now because his initial performance has been so crazy. The .457 BABIP, the 3:1 K:BB ratio, leading the league in LD% and opposite-field %, 2nd lowest pull %. He is the 6th biggest overachiever when comparing his actual results to his expected results from his statcast exit velocity and launch angle information.

 

This is not completely unlike Jake Cave last year, who was also a pretty extreme outlier in many batted-ball statistics.

What would our discussion have been at this stage in Tony Gwyn's career?

 

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#37 TRex

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Posted 28 June 2019 - 06:37 PM

 

What would our discussion have been at this stage in Tony Gwyn's career?

...the 4-time gold glove winner who had 155 stolen bases through age 27, or the other one?

 

Sorry, you may have been talking about batted ball statistics and not the 'one tool' discussion.

Edited by TRex, 28 June 2019 - 06:39 PM.

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#38 AlwaysinModeration

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Posted 29 June 2019 - 06:55 AM

I just looked over Gordon and Arraez minor league stats. It seems pretty clear that Arraez is the better bet now and going forward. He may be slower, worse defensively, have a weaker arm, and maybe have a bit less power. However, Arraez hits for a great average, has a great eye (seriously, elite K:BB rates, that may actually get better), and is 1.5 years younger than Gordon. He missed essentially all of 2017–otherwise, I think he would have been much higher on lists going forward. He doesn’t hit for much power, but I think he may improve in that regard as he gets into his mid-20s.

Gordon has his #5 pick and family pedigree going for him, and I think that has helped his rankings. I understand tools are important for young players, but I just think Arraez can REALLY hit, and as they say, “the bat plays.” The Twins have really got someone who can really potentially be special.

By the way, is it just me, or is it kind of grating to hear Bremer (and Bert, to a bit lesser degree) pronounce Arraez’ name every at bat? Instead of making it sounds like “arise” I think he should try to make it a three syllable word, using an “s” sound instead of a “z” (and forget about trying to add in the rolled r, it’s not worth it). Using Torreyes as the starting point may help mentally to think of how to pronounce it. If it was spelled Arayes, I think the announcers would have an easier time with it.

Edited by AlwaysinModeration, 29 June 2019 - 06:57 AM.

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#39 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 29 June 2019 - 11:03 AM

I just looked over Gordon and Arraez minor league stats. It seems pretty clear that Arraez is the better bet now and going forward. He may be slower, worse defensively, have a weaker arm, and maybe have a bit less power. However, Arraez hits for a great average, has a great eye (seriously, elite K:BB rates, that may actually get better), and is 1.5 years younger than Gordon. He missed essentially all of 2017–otherwise, I think he would have been much higher on lists going forward. He doesn’t hit for much power, but I think he may improve in that regard as he gets into his mid-20s.

Gordon has his #5 pick and family pedigree going for him, and I think that has helped his rankings. I understand tools are important for young players, but I just think Arraez can REALLY hit, and as they say, “the bat plays.” The Twins have really got someone who can really potentially be special.

By the way, is it just me, or is it kind of grating to hear Bremer (and Bert, to a bit lesser degree) pronounce Arraez’ name every at bat? Instead of making it sounds like “arise” I think he should try to make it a three syllable word, using an “s” sound instead of a “z” (and forget about trying to add in the rolled r, it’s not worth it). Using Torreyes as the starting point may help mentally to think of how to pronounce it. If it was spelled Arayes, I think the announcers would have an easier time with it.


According to baseball reference, dick n bert are pronouncing it correctly, not you.
They have it as "ah-RIZE".

#40 jkcarew

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Posted 29 June 2019 - 11:38 AM

When Arraez’s BABiP normalizes...and it will normalize a lot...we’ll probably have a high BA major leaguer with almost zero power, average on the bases, and adequate defense at second. So kind of high floor, low ceiling at this point. The challenge will be that I think he would have more value as a Escobar/Gonzalez/Adrianza type long term, but don’t see that level of defensive skill. He’s 22, and in the majors...I’d have him ranked a little higher.
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