Jump to content

Providing independent coverage of the Minnesota Twins.
Photo

Twins drafting strategy: Old And Busted already?

  • Please log in to reply
52 replies to this topic

#1 ashbury

ashbury

    Elizabethton Twins

  • Moderator
  • 25,063 posts
  • LocationNatick, MA

Posted 05 February 2020 - 07:16 PM

My main takeaway from the acquisition of Kenta Maeda is this: we apparently had no choice but to part with a pitching talent, despite our hopes of dealing from perceived strength in position players - outfielders in particular.

 

First, I need to check my assumptions: does anyone recall the front office actually coming out and saying that their drafting strategy is to pick position players when they have a very early draft choice? For me it's basically been inference: 2019 they chose a SS and LF before nabbing a pitcher with the 54th overall choice, in 2018 it was two OF and one C before a pitcher at #154, and in 2017 it was SS and OF before a pitcher at #37.

 

You can usually figure out how to spread the work among 13 really good arms on a MLB pitching staff, if you happen to be so lucky to have that many good ones. But with position players, you usually face major league roster limitations that keep you from making use of them if your luck happens to concentrate good performers at a given position, particularly when it's not up-the-middle skill.

 

So it seemed, to me at least, implicit that closely tied to the apparent drafting strategy was an intention to aggressively trade the eventual redundancy of good hitting prospects, for high-end pitching talent that might be missed out on in the draft. Keep the best, trade the rest.

 

I've been skeptical of this expectation, and now I think there is a direct refutation, in the form of this week's trade.

 

We didn't package, say, Rooker and Wallner for a rotation arm. We had to offer a young pitcher.

 

Drafting pitchers is inherently risky. But going for safer picks with position players doesn't look like it's going to pay off, with anything other than a larger pool of position players to feed the major league team with.

 

In the grand scheme of keeping a pipeline of talented pitching coming, it seems to me that the Twins' drafting strategy has a hole in it.

  • Mike Sixel, diehardtwinsfan, Oldgoat_MN and 8 others like this

The actions of men are the best interpreters of their thoughts. -- John Locke


#2 The Wise One

The Wise One

    Senior Member

  • Member
  • 1,806 posts

Posted 05 February 2020 - 07:37 PM

If the front office could draft a Cole or Strassberg, Verlander in the first round they probably will. It would be sane to think the front office does not want to be in the position of having that early of pick.

To get value you have to give value. Rooker is not going to be a dealmaker unless it is for another Sam Dyson. 


#3 RaymondLuxuryYacht

RaymondLuxuryYacht

    Ft Myers Miracle

  • Member
  • 342 posts

Posted 05 February 2020 - 07:45 PM

That was your main takeaway?

  • SwainZag likes this

#4 howieramone2

howieramone2

    Just say no to myths!

  • Member
  • 1,925 posts
  • LocationMaple Grove/Schaumburg

Posted 05 February 2020 - 08:29 PM

King Theo will only draft college position players in the first round. He doesn't draft the best player available, while I believe we do. I really don't follow it that closely, but read this year's draft is all about college pitchers.

#5 Rosterman

Rosterman

    Senior Member

  • Member
  • 3,527 posts

Posted 05 February 2020 - 08:36 PM

All those names: Burdi, Jay, Cederoth, Reed, Curtiss, Stewart, Eades, Gonsalves, Slegers, Bard, Chargois, Summers, Williams, Boyd and Boer.

  • TopGunn#22, Danchat, mikelink45 and 2 others like this
Joel Thingvall
www.joelthingvall.com
rosterman at www.twinscards.com

#6 Shaitan

Shaitan

    Rochester Red Wings

  • Member
  • 1,287 posts

Posted 05 February 2020 - 09:00 PM

Almost all trades seem to be position player for position player or, contrarily, pitcher for a pitcher.

 

I'm not reading into it past that.

  • Brandon likes this

#7 howieramone2

howieramone2

    Just say no to myths!

  • Member
  • 1,925 posts
  • LocationMaple Grove/Schaumburg

Posted 05 February 2020 - 09:14 PM

Generally, you don't see prospect for prospect trades either. I'm hoping we have some excess starting pitching vets we can deal for low level pitching. Also, the handling of Oderizzi loams large.

#8 Dman

Dman

    Senior Member

  • Member
  • 1,879 posts

Posted 05 February 2020 - 09:17 PM

While I agree with your thesis in general there are a lot of ways to look at pitcher drafting strategies.We did not do well picking Stewart 4th overall and Jay 6th overall so picking a pitcher early does not guarantee success finding an ace.The year we drafted Lewis number 1 overall was top heavy with pitching and we passed on that and used the savings on a high riser Leach in the second round Who has been hurt and slow to develop and high schooler Enlow who has been solid but not great.

 

This FO seems to believe they can more easily identify successful traits for hitters in early rounds and seem to shy away from pitchers until the later rounds.My assumption is that they truly believe in TINSTAPP.IN the later rounds they look for pitchers with ideal builds that have a plus pitch to work with and then I guess they hope they can develop that pitcher.They also seem to grab over looked injured pitchers that had good stuff before they were injured and hope they return to form once healed.

 

Pitchers I would put in this category are Barnes, Sammons, Ober, Sands, Windor, Funderburk, Gipson Long, Headrick, Mooney and Lawyerson.Will any of these guys work out?hard to say.Do any of them look like aces or even a number 3 type starter maybe one or two could be a number 3 if they get lucky.

 

It is really hard to find good pitching which is why it is always in short supply but it would be nice if they picked a few more guys a bit higher up to get more chances at finding someone special. 

 

Honestly I don't know what the answer is but if they are at least getting guys in the early rounds that work out as quality or star position players it seems better than a swing and complete miss but for a team like the Twins if we don't develop good pitching we will likely never have any.And if as you say no one wants our position players for pitching then we are in a spot where we need to risk taking pitchers high or grabbing greater volume to find what we need in the draft.

 

Hopefully the FO has a plan that will better than what we have experienced in the past.

  • mikelink45 likes this

#9 gunnarthor

gunnarthor

    Senior Member

  • Member
  • 10,067 posts

Posted 05 February 2020 - 09:20 PM

While I'm still a bit neutral on our new FO, I think it's too early to look into draft strategy. First, they kept Deron Johnson around for a bit before replacing him with Sean Johnson so I think we need to see a few more drafts to see what philosophy or strategies they really are taking.

 

My personal opinion is that they wanted to spread draft money around a bit more so they like quantity a bit over quality. In 2017 so that's why we got Lewis over McKay or Wright but also allowed us to get Enlow who was a first round talent. I believe they made a few other over value picks that draft but can't remember for sure.

 

In 2018 I think they were thrilled to get Larnich fall to them - he was top 10 on fangraphs big board, IIRC. With him and Jeffers, the Twins saved nearly a million dollars which helped them go over on several players, including Cole Sands, Deshawn Keirsey and Charles Mack - our 4-6 round picks, all ranked in the 115-130 tier on pipeline's draft list. Hasn't really panned out yet but ...

 

Last year we didn't see quite the extreme money saving happening but we saw it some - especially in relations to the two Auburn infielders, Will Holland and Julien but also for the Gonzaga pitcher and the UC Irvine pitcher.

 

So other than spreading money around, I'm not sure they really have a philosophy of drafting hitters over pitchers. We just don't have a big enough sample size to actually make that statement.

 

Also, the FO moved a position player to get Odorizzi. That was a solid trade.

 

  • birdwatcher, Cap'n Piranha, Brandon and 4 others like this

#10 Mike Sixel

Mike Sixel

    Now living in Oregon

  • Member
  • 31,605 posts

Posted 05 February 2020 - 09:41 PM

 

If the front office could draft a Cole or Strassberg, Verlander in the first round they probably will. It would be sane to think the front office does not want to be in the position of having that early of pick.

To get value you have to give value. Rooker is not going to be a dealmaker unless it is for another Sam Dyson. 

 

that was the point.......

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


#11 Mike Sixel

Mike Sixel

    Now living in Oregon

  • Member
  • 31,605 posts

Posted 05 February 2020 - 09:42 PM

 

While I'm still a bit neutral on our new FO, I think it's too early to look into draft strategy. First, they kept Deron Johnson around for a bit before replacing him with Sean Johnson so I think we need to see a few more drafts to see what philosophy or strategies they really are taking.

 

My personal opinion is that they wanted to spread draft money around a bit more so they like quantity a bit over quality. In 2017 so that's why we got Lewis over McKay or Wright but also allowed us to get Enlow who was a first round talent. I believe they made a few other over value picks that draft but can't remember for sure.

 

In 2018 I think they were thrilled to get Larnich fall to them - he was top 10 on fangraphs big board, IIRC. With him and Jeffers, the Twins saved nearly a million dollars which helped them go over on several players, including Cole Sands, Deshawn Keirsey and Charles Mack - our 4-6 round picks, all ranked in the 115-130 tier on pipeline's draft list. Hasn't really panned out yet but ...

 

Last year we didn't see quite the extreme money saving happening but we saw it some - especially in relations to the two Auburn infielders, Will Holland and Julien but also for the Gonzaga pitcher and the UC Irvine pitcher.

 

So other than spreading money around, I'm not sure they really have a philosophy of drafting hitters over pitchers. We just don't have a big enough sample size to actually make that statement.

 

Also, the FO moved a position player to get Odorizzi. That was a solid trade.

 

They could have drafted one of those guys, paid Enlow, and not incurred any penalties........

 

How big do you want the sample before it is evidence? Because they've not been drafting pitchers early, and they won't sign the expensive FA starters......and apparently can't trade from their excess for starters.....They better be great at development.

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


#12 howieramone2

howieramone2

    Just say no to myths!

  • Member
  • 1,925 posts
  • LocationMaple Grove/Schaumburg

Posted 05 February 2020 - 10:04 PM

Well, we know they are good to great at trade deadlines. Also, lets not pretend we are anywhere near the only team in this position.

#13 drivlikejehu

drivlikejehu

    Senior Member

  • Member
  • 2,187 posts

Posted 05 February 2020 - 10:21 PM

The premise of the thread is fictional - the Twins never said that they were selecting position players in order to trade for pitching, nor in fact have they even said that they prefer drafting position players in general. 

 

Even after trading Graterol, 2 of the Twins top 5 prospects are pitchers, as are 8 of the top 20, per FG.

 

Another work of fiction is the idea that the Twins have "redundancy" with respect to their position player prospects. I would think that, in the event of such a "redundancy," we would see MLB-ready position players cooling their heels in AAA because there is no space on the MLB team.

 

Yet, I am at a loss as to the identify of these 'redundant' position players. Among the Twins' top 30 prospects per FG, a grand total of one position player has even appeared in AAA at all (Brent Rooker). 

 

So to sum up the OP, the Twins fictional draft strategy has failed due to the accumulation of fictional redundant position players and the Twins failure to part with them in fictional trades.

  • birdwatcher, gunnarthor, Cap'n Piranha and 5 others like this

If you ain't got no haters, you ain't poppin'.


#14 Seth Stohs

Seth Stohs

    Owner

  • Owner
  • 18,085 posts

Posted 05 February 2020 - 10:37 PM

I'm guessing the Red Sox dictated who they wanted in this deal... 

 

 

A couple other things just from reading the comments above: 

 

1.) No team would ever declare their draft strategy.

 

2.) Hitters are much less risky picks than pitchers. 

 

3.) Sean Johnson took over as Scouting Director before the 2017 draft. Deron Johnson is still scouting in the organization, and several of their top scouts are still in the organization. Very good people. Very good scouts. But I think the difference at the top (Falvey) has altered or created a focus for the scouts that may not have been there before. Not a focus on finding top talent, but a focus on what types of players they are looking for. What type of data? Prioritizing certain tools? Whatever those things are. There seems to be a lot more discussion between the scouts and player development as well, which is a very good thing. 

  • gunnarthor, Brandon, TopGunn#22 and 6 others like this

#15 David HK

David HK

    Minnesota Twins

  • Member
  • 3,489 posts
  • LocationHong Kong

Posted 05 February 2020 - 11:05 PM

 

All those names: Burdi, Jay, Cederoth, Reed, Curtiss, Stewart, Eades, Gonsalves, Slegers, Bard, Chargois, Summers, Williams, Boyd and Boer.

And reading the clippings and scouting reports at the time, ALL these guys sounded like the next Verlander or Cole or Strasburg...

  • USAFChief, birdwatcher and howieramone2 like this

#16 Andrew Thares

Andrew Thares

    Ft Myers Miracle

  • Twins Daily Staff
  • 261 posts

Posted 05 February 2020 - 11:44 PM

I don't understand what the problem is with the Twins drafting strategy of late? Position players like Alex Kiriloff, Royce Lewis, Trevor Larnach, Brent Rooker and Ryan Jeffers have been excellent draft picks, while on the flip side, Kohl Stewart and Tyler Jay were absolute busts, and both were pitchers taken inside the top 10.

  • Twins33, TopGunn#22, David HK and 2 others like this

#17 TopGunn#22

TopGunn#22

    Member

  • Member
  • 149 posts

Posted 06 February 2020 - 07:50 AM

I agree with you Andrew, but I also believe you have to draft pitching to develop pitching.I'm not sure I can identify a specific "draft strategy" for our new F.O. yet, but I like what they've done so far.On another topic, any thoughts on what might have to happen to complete the Mookie blockbuster now that the Red Sox are spooked by some of Graterol's medicals ??Did we "theoretically" send Graterol to the Dodgers who then sent him to the Red Sox ??My assumption (I know it's never good to "assume") is that the Dodgers will have to sweeten this deal.Either by accepting to pay more $$ on Price's contract or attaching an additional prospect.I don't think the Twins will have to replace Graterol with a different prospect.What do you all at TD think ??


#18 howieramone2

howieramone2

    Just say no to myths!

  • Member
  • 1,925 posts
  • LocationMaple Grove/Schaumburg

Posted 06 February 2020 - 08:07 AM

My guess is we have to make it work. Maeda is far too good a fit, to let anything get in the way.
  • Tomj14 likes this

#19 gunnarthor

gunnarthor

    Senior Member

  • Member
  • 10,067 posts

Posted 06 February 2020 - 09:09 AM

 

They could have drafted one of those guys, paid Enlow, and not incurred any penalties........

 

How big do you want the sample before it is evidence? Because they've not been drafting pitchers early, and they won't sign the expensive FA starters......and apparently can't trade from their excess for starters.....They better be great at development.

More than three? No one would say Ryan and Radcliff ignored pitchers to focus on hitters and yet in 06 they took one pitcher, Tyler Roberston, in the third round and none until the 9th. The following year, they didn't draft a pitcher until the 5th round. Sean Johnson has had three drafts, I believe. Way too early to say he has a specific strategy in mind.

  • howieramone2 likes this

#20 Doctor Gast

Doctor Gast

    Cedar Rapids Kernels

  • Member
  • 212 posts
  • LocationBelo Horizonte, Brazil

Posted 06 February 2020 - 09:33 AM

Good point! Like what was said we have good scouts. But I agree w/ the author our focus should be more on pitching, hopefully we have the best pitching scouts to go w/ our excellent pitching development. Hopefully we`ll get a bunch of high rated pitching prospect this draft