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Front Page: Twins Game Recap (8/4): Twins Cap Off The Sweep - Smeltzer Style

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#41 Riverbrian

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Posted 05 August 2019 - 11:28 AM

I'm not picking on Smeltzer, or the Dozier trade, or trying to project him to Duensing type career. And obviously Smeltzer only has 27 MLB IP so far, so we're not at a great confidence level with any of these stats.

Just noting the similarities, and pumping the brakes in my head on the thought that he should be a permanent rotation member right now, especially in the postseason.

Here's another stat look, K% vs league SP K%
2009 Duensing 15.3% vs 16.6%
2019 Smeltzer 20.4% vs 21.9%

Same comparison for first AAA season
2007 Duensing 17.8% vs 18.2% (age 24)
2019 Smeltzer 23.1% vs 22.7% (age 23)


Doesn’t have to be permanent.

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#42 JW24

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Posted 05 August 2019 - 11:28 AM

 

I will say this, he has enough stuff to where hitters are still trying to figure him out. He has a nice number of "strikes looking." As a flyball pitcher, if this piece changes he may not fare so well.

 

Parker Hageman made this point on Twitter yesterday after the game -- Based on Bauer units (RPM of a fastball compared to velocity of a fastball), Smeltzer's fastball acts similarly to Justin Verlander's. While Smeltzer's raw velocity might not blow you away, the way his ball behaves is part of the reason for the awkward swings he generates. 

 

Average fastball in MLB is approximately 24 Bauer units. Smeltzer's is 27.4.

Edited by JW24, 05 August 2019 - 11:29 AM.

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#43 spycake

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Posted 05 August 2019 - 11:37 AM

 

I don't know where the Duensing comp comes from, that's an interesting choice.

 

It is unlikely that Smeltzer would start a playoff game for the Twins.

From my head? As a general comp, I thought it wasn't bad -- Duensing was a non-overpowering LH SP who had a nice run for two Twins playoff teams.

 

And while it's unlikely, Smeltzer isn't that far from being in our top 4 SP which would set him up for a playoff start. Some folks here want him to be top 5 even when Pineda comes back, which would mean he's only an injury away.


#44 spycake

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Posted 05 August 2019 - 12:10 PM

 

Parker Hageman made this point on Twitter yesterday after the game -- Based on Bauer units (RPM of a fastball compared to velocity of a fastball), Smeltzer's fastball acts similarly to Justin Verlander's. While Smeltzer's raw velocity might not blow you away, the way his ball behaves is part of the reason for the awkward swings he generates. 

 

Average fastball in MLB is approximately 24 Bauer units. Smeltzer's is 27.4.

Thanks for the info. Here's the tweet:

 

 

It's cool to say he's similar to Verlander, but that's not much context for how useful "Bauer units" are.

 

Below is the top 45 in 4-seam fastball BU for 2019, per Baseball Savant (apologies for the image quality). Some good pitchers, some bad pitchers. (Luke Bard!) The 2019 Twins leader would be Mejia. Cody Allen makes an appearance. Jerad Eickhoff and Tyson Ross are right there with similar velocity and spin as Smeltzer -- but very different results.

 

2019-BU-top45.png

Edited by spycake, 05 August 2019 - 12:11 PM.

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#45 JW24

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Posted 05 August 2019 - 12:49 PM

 

It's cool to say he's similar to Verlander, but that's not much context for how useful "Bauer units" are.

 

Below is the top 45 in 4-seam fastball BU for 2019, per Baseball Savant (apologies for the image quality). Some good pitchers, some bad pitchers. (Luke Bard!) The 2019 Twins leader would be Mejia. Cody Allen makes an appearance. Jerad Eickhoff and Tyson Ross are right there with similar velocity and spin as Smeltzer -- but very different results.

 

 

I'm not trying to say Smeltzer is the next Verlander, simply that Verlander has one of the best fastballs in baseball, and that Smeltzer's compares in terms of RPM/MPH, which will result in similar pitch behavior. Verlander is extremely effective with elevating his fastball in the zone and above the zone, and that is where Smeltzer was getting a lot of whiffs yesterday as well, perhaps in part because of the similarity in Bauer units.

 

Looking at your list of pitchers, Bauer units don't tell the whole story, certainly. However, there is an emphasis on finding pitchers with high spin rates (Houston targeting Ryan Pressly, for instance) and figuring out how to help them pitch more effectively. Smeltzer was a great trade target by the FO last season.

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#46 jorgenswest

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Posted 05 August 2019 - 02:14 PM

In order to be helpful as a number 5 starter Smeltzer helps by taking care of the bad teams, keeping his pitch count down so he saves the bullpen against those elite offenses and gives a different look than most of their starters.

I don’t know how the rotation falls out for next year and we ought to have a thread for that topic but I would be comfortable with the fifth spot going to someone moving up from the minors and Smeltzer is at the top of my list right now.

#47 jkcarew

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Posted 05 August 2019 - 03:17 PM

 

Thanks for the info. Here's the tweet:

 

 

It's cool to say he's similar to Verlander, but that's not much context for how useful "Bauer units" are.

 

Below is the top 45 in 4-seam fastball BU for 2019, per Baseball Savant (apologies for the image quality). Some good pitchers, some bad pitchers. (Luke Bard!) The 2019 Twins leader would be Mejia. Cody Allen makes an appearance. Jerad Eickhoff and Tyson Ross are right there with similar velocity and spin as Smeltzer -- but very different results.

 

attachicon.gif2019-BU-top45.png

Yeah. From what I've read, Bauer Units means nothing, in itself, in terms of quality of pitch or amount of movement, etc. Instead, it just means that the nature of the movement you have is going to be different for those with high BU vs those with low BU. So...BU value is high, you should work your fastball middle-up...and if low, you should work your fastball middle-down.

 

The long-term hope for Smeltzer is/was/will be...not just good command...but exceptional command...of multiple pitches. Easy guy to pull for, that's for sure.

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#48 jkcarew

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Posted 05 August 2019 - 03:38 PM

You're walking down the street...next week somewhere outside of Milwaukee. You're not a baseball fan but do TV and social media. Walking in the opposite direction, you pass Nelson Cruz, CJ Cron, Jose Berrios, Kyle Gibson, Miguel Sano, Max Kepler, Michael Pineda, Luis Arraez, Mitch Garver, etc., etc...and Devin Smeltzer.

 

You immediately determine these must be members of a professional sports club, and you assume Devin Smeltzer is...

 

a) equipment manager

b. assistant to the assistant team manager

c) team statistician

d) team physician

e) agent or legal representation

f) lost

g) kid seeking autographs

h) star of recent match/game

 

I'd struggle between c) and g)

 

 

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#49 yarnivek1972

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Posted 05 August 2019 - 03:49 PM

You're walking down the street...next week somewhere outside of Milwaukee. You're not a baseball fan but do TV and social media. Walking in the opposite direction, you pass Nelson Cruz, CJ Cron, Jose Berrios, Kyle Gibson, Miguel Sano, Max Kepler, Michael Pineda, Luis Arraez, Mitch Garver, etc., etc...and Devin Smeltzer.

You immediately determine these must be members of a professional sports club, and you assume Devin Smeltzer is...

a) equipment manager
b. assistant to the assistant team manager
c) team statistician
d) team physician
e) agent or legal representation
f) lost
g) kid seeking autographs
h) star of recent match/game

I'd struggle between c) and g)


I don’t know why you wouldn’t assume player. His physical appearance isn’t substantially different from Kepler’s.


#50 Darius

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Posted 05 August 2019 - 04:04 PM

Assuming Pineda’s IL stint is short and just precautionary, no, Pineda doesn’t come out of the rotation. Ten of his last 14 starts were quality starts, and three of the remainder were three runs in 5 innings or more. He’s six outs from having 13 of 14 QS. He has a 3.48 ERA in that stretch and nearly a 5:1 k/bb rate.

Perez would probably be the odd man out if they do want to keep Smeltzer and no one is hurt. If Smeltzer throws well in his next start, I actually predict an IL stint for Perez once Pineda is back.


Agreed. No chance Pineda is coming out of the rotation. As we speak they’re resting him for the playoffs (He’s not really unable to pitch due to some injury). He’s our best pitcher behind Berrios.

Perez should definitely be relegated to the pen. Performance aside, we could use the extra lefty.

But, let’s let it play out. We’ve seen this repeatedly. A guy comes up and looks great for 3, 4, 5 starts until he’s figured out. Just watching Smeltzer pitch, I get the feeling that it’s coming (could be wrong).

#51 stringer bell

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Posted 05 August 2019 - 04:55 PM

Here's a couple of other lefties: Andrew Albers and Scott Diamond. Albers first two starts were complete game wins IIRC and Diamond had most of a whole season of effectiveness. Let's hope that Smeltzer is a better pitcher than either of them, but I'm not ready cede the rookie a playoff start because of three starts.

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#52 jkcarew

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Posted 05 August 2019 - 05:01 PM

 

I don’t know why you wouldn’t assume player. His physical appearance isn’t substantially different from Kepler’s.

6-4 220 vs 6-3 195 (Baseball Reference). But, you have a point. For whatever reason, he strikes me as significantly shorter and especially slighter of build than that when watching him on TV.

Edited by jkcarew, 05 August 2019 - 05:02 PM.


#53 Doomtints

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Posted 05 August 2019 - 05:08 PM

 

From my head? As a general comp, I thought it wasn't bad -- Duensing was a non-overpowering LH SP who had a nice run for two Twins playoff teams.

 

And while it's unlikely, Smeltzer isn't that far from being in our top 4 SP which would set him up for a playoff start. Some folks here want him to be top 5 even when Pineda comes back, which would mean he's only an injury away.

 

Not saying it's a bad comp, just saying it was unexpected.

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#54 Aerodeliria

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Posted 06 August 2019 - 02:43 AM

 

I'm not trying to say Smeltzer is the next Verlander, simply that Verlander has one of the best fastballs in baseball, and that Smeltzer's compares in terms of RPM/MPH, which will result in similar pitch behavior. Verlander is extremely effective with elevating his fastball in the zone and above the zone, and that is where Smeltzer was getting a lot of whiffs yesterday as well, perhaps in part because of the similarity in Bauer units.

 

Looking at your list of pitchers, Bauer units don't tell the whole story, certainly. However, there is an emphasis on finding pitchers with high spin rates (Houston targeting Ryan Pressly, for instance) and figuring out how to help them pitch more effectively. Smeltzer was a great trade target by the FO last season.

 

I think the point is that his pitches have an interesting trajectory when it leaves his hand. The difference between him and say Mejia (as a bad example) is that Smeltzer can throw the ball pretty much where he wants whereas Mejia has trouble hitting the side of a barn so ends up being very predictable on 2-0 pitches. Control is everything for a pitcher like Smeltzer, but as he appears to have it in spades, he can be an effective pitcher as was demonstrated against the Royals.


#55 Aerodeliria

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Posted 06 August 2019 - 02:45 AM

 

You're walking down the street...next week somewhere outside of Milwaukee. You're not a baseball fan but do TV and social media. Walking in the opposite direction, you pass Nelson Cruz, CJ Cron, Jose Berrios, Kyle Gibson, Miguel Sano, Max Kepler, Michael Pineda, Luis Arraez, Mitch Garver, etc., etc...and Devin Smeltzer.

 

You immediately determine these must be members of a professional sports club, and you assume Devin Smeltzer is...

 

a) equipment manager

b. assistant to the assistant team manager

c) team statistician

d) team physician

e) agent or legal representation

f) lost

g) kid seeking autographs

h) star of recent match/game

 

I'd struggle between c) and g)

None of the above. He is a member of a polka band.

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