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Front Page: Top 20 Minnesota Twins Assets of 2020: Part 4 (1-5)

royce lewis brusdar graterol jose berrios max kepler jorge polanco
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#21 Cody Pirkl

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Posted 09 January 2020 - 10:14 AM

 

Plus, with all of the shifts teams play nowadays defense doesn't really matter that much. So yeah that even helps Polanco more. It's not like you need an Ozzie Smith anymore, either the hitters hit the ball into the shift and they are out, or they hit it away from the shift. Defense is no longer crucial in the infield.

I mean within reason. Polanco was the worst infielder in baseball by Statcast numbers and it's backed up by his second most errors in baseball. It can't be understated just how much of a butcher he was in the field last season, but that shows how valuable the rest of his game is.

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#22 amjgt

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Posted 09 January 2020 - 11:58 AM

 

It's really hard to evaluate the Twins who won 101 games. In 70 games or so against teams above .500 the Twins lost 7 (if my memory serves me correct) more than you won, but, finished 40 games above .500. Just think if you finished 5 games above .500 against winning teams.

It was amazing the number of runs scored by the Twins with over 300 Hrs. But, again hitting over 200 Hrs against teams below .500.

Everyone was hitting 30 Hrs like Garver hitting 31 Hrs out of his 85 hits in 93 games. This could have been a Johnny Bench season. Came out of nowhere.

Then the postseason happened. The Twins should win division in 2020, but, whether they've going to beat good playoff bound teams is unclear.

The top 20 is great. I wish my team could develop 30 Hr hitters.

 

Twins were 32-37 against 500 teams.

 

Interestingly, the Indians were 25-39. Woof.

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#23 Mike Sixel

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Posted 09 January 2020 - 12:12 PM

The top three could really be in any order, and I wouldn't argue. I prefer Berrios, partly because they have Lewis in the minors....along with lots of corner OFers.

 

But, the contracts Polanco and Kepler signed really up their value......

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#24 Cap'n Piranha

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Posted 09 January 2020 - 12:50 PM

 

I think saying Kirilloff is projected to be a much better hitter than Rosario is a huge stretch.

I get Rosario has some warts, but recently people have been acting as if he’s a mediocre, or even bad, player.

Rosario with the Twins since 2017:

2017: .290/.328/.507/.836, 27 HR, 33 2B, 2 3B, 9 SB

2018: .288/.323/.479/.803, 24 HR, 32 2B, 2 3B, 8 SB

2019: .276/.300/.500/.800, 32 HR, 28 2B, 1 3B, 3 SB.

A little lacking in the on-base department, but in terms of hitting for power, which is a pretty big deal these days, he’s remarkably consistent. We’ve seen how he can carry the team for significant stretches, and he seemingly always comes through in “clutch” ABs.

“Much better” at the plate than Rosario is pretty darn high bar. Not saying it isn’t possible, but I think Rosario gets a bad wrap. The perception gets skewed because he’s a bad ball guy, and that’s seen as a negative. But, despite being a bad ball guy, he’s been one of the better offensive outfielders in the AL over the past 3 years. Also, did you know he finished 18th overall in AL MVP voting last year ? He received 5 more vote points than Max Kepler and JD Martinez (finishes 20th and 21st, respectively).

I’m not sure if the context in regards to Rosario was lost last year, because of the historic performances for the lineup as a whole. But, it got lost somewhere along the way. Rosario is a damn good hitter. “Much better” than Rosario is going to be guys the caliber of Betts, Springer, and Trout in terms of the OF. I’m high on Kirilloff, but the odds of him reaching those heights is almost nil (possible, but almost nil).

 

Last year 87 hitters had a better wRC+ than Rosario, including such luminaries as Domingo Santana, Kole Calhoun, Brian Anderson, and Danny Santana.The 3 year stats you shared above show an erosion in his production, which would be even more pronounced were it not for last year's power explosion (61 players had a SLG of .500 or better in 2019, compared to 26 in 2018 and 41 in 2017); in fact, Eddie's gone from 34th in SLG in 2017 to 41st in 2018, and finally, 61st in 2019.

 

As you also showed in your 3 year rundown, Eddie's OBP is rapidly approaching hazmat levels--only 7 qualified players had a worse OBP than Eddie last year; even the hollow shell of Albert Pujols had a better OBP.Even in Eddie's good years of 2017 and 2018, he was 88th and 96th respectively in OBP.This is directly related to Eddie's insistence on swinging more often (swing rate of 59.1% in 2019, up from 54.9% in 2017), especially at pitches out of the zone; Eddie swung at 46.3% of pitches out of the zone in 2019 (compared to 37.6% in 2017), which was 4th worst in baseball.

 

So what we have is a player who is shedding power (relative to the league), getting on base at replecement player levels, demonstrating nearly league-worst discipline, and becoming a defensive liability at the same time he approaches 30 and becomes vastly more expensive, all while playing in the Twins' position of greatest organizational strength.

 

As this series (somewhat) approximates a trade value ranking, I would not be shocked at all to find that other MLB organizations view Rosario as at best the 5th most attractive outfielder in the Twins system, and quite possibly as low as 7.

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#25 mikelink45

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Posted 09 January 2020 - 03:50 PM

I really liked the thinking that went into this and the thought it generated.I put Berrios first because without him our rotation has no real star potential.Of course if he had an extension (as he should have) he might have moved over the two who do.

I share the thought that Graterol deserves to be in the top five, not sure I agree with Lewis at this point, but overall this was a terrific set of essays. 

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#26 sweetmusicviola16

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Posted 09 January 2020 - 04:45 PM

I would likely switch Polanco and Berrios in the rankings. If trade values is what is driving these rankings I'd find it hard to believe that anyone would have a higher value than Jose Berrios with the high demand for front end SP.

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#27 bobs

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Posted 09 January 2020 - 05:20 PM

 

I would likely switch Polanco and Berrios in the rankings. If trade values is what is driving these rankings I'd find it hard to believe that anyone would have a higher value than Jose Berrios with the high demand for front end SP.

Agree.A pitcher like Berrios - with what he's already accomplished at the age of 26.I'd put him at the top of this ranking.But I love Nick's work.

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#28 darin617

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Posted 09 January 2020 - 05:22 PM

 

He's a 26 year old all star shortstop who put up 4 wins and played 153 games last season. On top of that, he's being paid less than $10m/ year on average for the next 5 years. His defense sucks, but if we were to trade him right now to a team that could afford to move him to 2B, we'd be able to get a ridiculous haul.

 

 

He's a 26 year old all star shortstop who put up 4 wins and played 153 games last season. On top of that, he's being paid less than $10m/ year on average for the next 5 years. His defense sucks, but if we were to trade him right now to a team that could afford to move him to 2B, we'd be able to get a ridiculous haul.

So you want a team to trade for him with the price tag of a star shortstop to move him to 2nd base? The value between that would be huge. Doubt you could find a team that foolish.


#29 darin617

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Posted 09 January 2020 - 05:24 PM

 

I mean within reason. Polanco was the worst infielder in baseball by Statcast numbers and it's backed up by his second most errors in baseball. It can't be understated just how much of a butcher he was in the field last season, but that shows how valuable the rest of his game is.

 

 

I mean within reason. Polanco was the worst infielder in baseball by Statcast numbers and it's backed up by his second most errors in baseball. It can't be understated just how much of a butcher he was in the field last season, but that shows how valuable the rest of his game is.

So then move him to another position or trade him since he has such a "high value" now. 


#30 Thrylos

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Posted 09 January 2020 - 07:00 PM

The ranking of a team's assets is relative to a particular trade partner and their needs.

For example:The Mets allegedly wanted Buxton for Syndergaard straight up.Would they have traded Syndergaard for Berrios straight up?I doubt it.

 

Also, for a team that wants to save some money and rebuild, someone like Kirilloff and Lewis is much more valuable than someone like Kepler or Polanco.

 

Like hitting and pitching, the greatest importance of value is situational ;)

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#31 Nick Nelson

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Posted 09 January 2020 - 07:16 PM

 

The ranking of a team's assets is relative to a particular trade partner and their needs.

For example:The Mets allegedly wanted Buxton for Syndergaard straight up.Would they have traded Syndergaard for Berrios straight up?I doubt it.

 

Also, for a team that wants to save some money and rebuild, someone like Kirilloff and Lewis is much more valuable than someone like Kepler or Polanco.

 

Like hitting and pitching, the greatest importance of value is situational ;)

Yep, this is what I was getting in the third bullet point at the top, and why it's not exactly accurate to call this exercise a ranking of trade value. 

 

 

Agree.A pitcher like Berrios - with what he's already accomplished at the age of 26.I'd put him at the top of this ranking.But I love Nick's work.

Very fair. I thought hard about it. Definitely reasonable to say Berrios is more irreplaceable at this moment. Ultimately, it came down to controlling Polanco and Kepler throughout their entire primes, while Berrios is on track to hit free agency right in the middle of his, at age 28. As things stand, Polanco can literally impact twice as many seasons for the Twins as Berrios.

I suspect JB will sign an extension in spring training and the point will become moot.

 

 

 

 

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#32 Twodogs

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Posted 09 January 2020 - 08:08 PM

I mean within reason. Polanco was the worst infielder in baseball by Statcast numbers and it's backed up by his second most errors in baseball. It can't be understated just how much of a butcher he was in the field last season, but that shows how valuable the rest of his game is.


Yes within reason. I mean you can't put Nelson Cruz in the infield. But yeah, Polanco is bad, but with the way they do things now it's just not as important.
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#33 Oxtung

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 04:26 AM

 

Last year 87 hitters had a better wRC+ than Rosario, including such luminaries as Domingo Santana, Kole Calhoun, Brian Anderson, and Danny Santana.The 3 year stats you shared above show an erosion in his production, which would be even more pronounced were it not for last year's power explosion (61 players had a SLG of .500 or better in 2019, compared to 26 in 2018 and 41 in 2017); in fact, Eddie's gone from 34th in SLG in 2017 to 41st in 2018, and finally, 61st in 2019.

 

As you also showed in your 3 year rundown, Eddie's OBP is rapidly approaching hazmat levels--only 7 qualified players had a worse OBP than Eddie last year; even the hollow shell of Albert Pujols had a better OBP.Even in Eddie's good years of 2017 and 2018, he was 88th and 96th respectively in OBP.This is directly related to Eddie's insistence on swinging more often (swing rate of 59.1% in 2019, up from 54.9% in 2017), especially at pitches out of the zone; Eddie swung at 46.3% of pitches out of the zone in 2019 (compared to 37.6% in 2017), which was 4th worst in baseball.

 

So what we have is a player who is shedding power (relative to the league), getting on base at replecement player levels, demonstrating nearly league-worst discipline, and becoming a defensive liability at the same time he approaches 30 and becomes vastly more expensive, all while playing in the Twins' position of greatest organizational strength.

 

As this series (somewhat) approximates a trade value ranking, I would not be shocked at all to find that other MLB organizations view Rosario as at best the 5th most attractive outfielder in the Twins system, and quite possibly as low as 7.

Great response. I hadn't realized how good the league was hitting the last few years. If Rosario has a similar year in 2020 and one of Cave, Wade, Larnach or Kirilloff have a big year I wouldn't be surprised if Rosario is non-tendered. Why pay ~$15M when you can get very similar production for $0.5?

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#34 Richard Swerdlick

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 04:58 AM

Great job. Thank you .


#35 Cody Pirkl

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 08:14 AM

 

So you want a team to trade for him with the price tag of a star shortstop to move him to 2nd base? The value between that would be huge. Doubt you could find a team that foolish.

I don't want a team to trade for him at all, actually. I moreso just pointed out his defense because if a team like say the Red Sox traded for Polanco, they'd be able to look at his metrics and know that they don't need to move Xander Boegarts off SS for him. If Polanco was a second baseman, he'd likely have more defensive value and would still be a premier player at his position. There probably aren't a ton of teams that would value him as a shortstop longterm.


#36 Cody Pirkl

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 08:16 AM

 

So then move him to another position or trade him since he has such a "high value" now. 

They may move him to another position eventually but we have literally nobody else to play SS right now unless Adrianza becomes a full timer.


#37 Cody Pirkl

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 08:18 AM

 

Yes within reason. I mean you can't put Nelson Cruz in the infield. But yeah, Polanco is bad, but with the way they do things now it's just not as important.

That's why he had a positive defensive runs saved this year for the first time since his debut, the shift. That's the metric that's likely effected by it. Shifting doesn't appear to help OAA and it definitely doesn't help range which you see in his terrible UZR. They can hide him to an extent, but he's still going to make his fair share of mistakes.


#38 RDLARK

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 08:53 AM

Generally, I think this list overvalues prospects and undervalues MLB contributors. In the preamble, you state that this is not intended to be the value these players hold in trade, but the value they have for the Twins. Given that the Twins are positioned to contend for a WS title right now, I don't see how prospects who are a year or two away from being every day MLB players are thought to be more valuable assets than established, high-upside MLB players. 

 

I'd move guys like Sano, Buxton, and Rosario up and some of the prospects down. Overall, I think you have the right guys on the list, just a difference of opinion regarding what constitutes "valuable" to a team that is positioned where the Twins are right now.

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#39 amjgt

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 09:55 AM

Nick,

 

If, let's say, the Twins signed Josh Donaldson today for 4/100, where would you put him on this list?

 

Now, how about Gray and Arenado under their existing deals?


#40 Minny505

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 11:32 AM

"Polanco doesn't play shortstop all that well but he can handle it." Barely.

 

Polanco is quite possibly the worst starting SS on defense in MLB. He ranks dead last among SS in the percent of plays that he makes. He is somewhere between bad and brutal.

 

We could add someone like Galvis of Iglesias and improve the team by 2 wins on defense...at minimum.

 

Whatever you think of Sano's defense at 3B, he's at least competent compared to his peers, ranking at somewhere in the vicinity of below average. 

 

Polanco is far and away our biggest liability on the dirt. As stated by other commenters here, the problem is that no one has enough offense to make up the difference that Polanco brings.

Move Polanco to 3B though and he may become an MVP candidate. 




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