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Twins drafting strategy: Old And Busted already?

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#21 terrydactyls1947

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Posted 06 February 2020 - 09:40 AM

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


Obviously I was not involved in orchestrating this trade. But the way I read it is that the Dodgers needed to send more to Boston to complete the Betts/Price transaction and the Red Sox did not want Maetta. So the Dodgers suggested Graterol and the Sox said "Yes, Please!". So the Dodgers sent Maetta to Minnesota for Graterol and then traded him to Boston. If Boston now thinks Graterol is unhealthy, then the Dodgers should be on the hook, not the Twins. But all that aside, why would Boston not just take Maetta if they had to have a starter? I do think it's buyer's remorse and now they want to save face. Hold your position Falvine.
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#22 Brandon

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Posted 06 February 2020 - 11:14 AM

Anyway you look at it, this has been a well thought out discussion thread by all participants.Everyone has contributed good points and made this a really fun thread to read.Thanks everyone for your comments.I learned a lot about our drafting and such today.

 


#23 Cap'n Piranha

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Posted 06 February 2020 - 11:30 AM

 

Obviously I was not involved in orchestrating this trade. But the way I read it is that the Dodgers needed to send more to Boston to complete the Betts/Price transaction and the Red Sox did not want Maetta. So the Dodgers suggested Graterol and the Sox said "Yes, Please!". So the Dodgers sent Maetta to Minnesota for Graterol and then traded him to Boston. If Boston now thinks Graterol is unhealthy, then the Dodgers should be on the hook, not the Twins. But all that aside, why would Boston not just take Maetta if they had to have a starter? I do think it's buyer's remorse and now they want to save face. Hold your position Falvine.

 

I would imagine the Dodgers made the Maeda for Graterol trade conditional on the Red Sox accepting Graterol along with Verdugo for Betts and Price, therefore you can't have one without the other.If the Dodgers did not do that, then you are correct that Graterol is now property of the Dodgers, and Maeda of the Twins.

 

That being said, my guess is that the Red Sox didn't want a starter in return, they wanted talent ready to contribute at the big league level no later than next year, with price tag after this year a minor concern, since they will have reset their luxury tax level, and won't have to pay Betts $35M a year.The Red Sox could quite easily sign almost any starter they want on next year's free agent market, and still come out with a lower payroll than had they re-signed Betts.It's also entirely possible that the Red Sox were internally pessimistic about being able to re-sign Betts; perhaps he has informed Boston he prefers to play on the West Coast, or maybe they just don't want to get into a bidding war.Speculation of course, but possible.


#24 Cap'n Piranha

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Posted 06 February 2020 - 11:39 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.

 

It's not that they won't sign the expensive FA starters, it's that in many cases they're never even given the option to seriously negotiate.Wheeler and Bumgarner wouldn't even listen to offers.From what I understand, Strasburg wanted to stay with the Nats, and was only a free agent because he had an opt out, and was reasonably certain Washington would give him a better deal if they were forced to.Cole brought a sign to his press conference that pretty much confirmed where he wanted to sign (pun intended), aside from which the Twins were never going to offer 9 and $324M, nor were any other teams.That leaves Ryu as the only "expensive FA starter" left, and had we signed him, we surely wouldn't have signed Donaldson.Ryu has 7.3 WAR since 2015, Donaldson has 26.7.

 

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#25 jimbo92107

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Posted 06 February 2020 - 12:25 PM

Hate to say, "too early to tell," but it's true. Twins appear to be drafting good bats high, then grabbing projectable arms later, hoping to develop hidden gem pitchers with great coaching. 

 

So far, it looks like the first part is working. They now have several very good looking bats rising quickly through the minors. This should be a very good hitting franchise for quite a while. 

 

Developing great arm prospects will of course take more time, since we know the strategy depends on a guy having a projectable body, plus at least one dominant pitch to build around. Early returns on the new pitching coaches have been positive, if you look at the bull pen. Hard not to be impressed by the reclamation of Duffey and May, two guys that a year ago appeared on the cusp of being cut. In fact, the Twins relief staff today is brimming with guys whose stuff has improved considerably. I'm seeing heaters up two or three ticks, with better command. I'm seeing weak pitches being eliminated. All good.

 

Where is a sign of improved starting pitching? Odorizzi did well last season. Berrios was about the same. Pineda was shockingly good, coming off a long injury absence. Was that in part due to good coaching? Maybe the best sign was young Dobnak, who stepped up and immediately looked like a future stud horse. 

 

To me, the real proof will be fringe guys like Alcala and Romero, particularly the latter. Yes, Fernando Romero perfectly matches the profile of a guy Wes Johnson and his posse should be able to develop. Romero is young, strong, no physical ailments, and he's got what should be dominant stuff, minus consistent command. This is a guy that Johnson should be able to make into a star pitcher, unless there's some confounding factor we can't see. A language barrier? That would be tragic...

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#26 jkcarew

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Posted 06 February 2020 - 01:33 PM

I don't think this post-season necessarily indicates that the strategy isn't going to work in the long run.

 

One of the things about the twins top position prospects is that...at least right now...I don't know that any trading partner could consider them that 'close'.You'd have to find a team truly tanking/rebuilding to give up a win-now asset for those prospects. Even for a team like Boston, Graterol is really the only prospect the Twins have where Red Sox management could look their fans in the eye and say, "we going to be better at 'x' (presumably the back-end of the bullpen) in 2020 because of this guy".

 

I see this move as opportunistic...solving not just a 2020 problem, but a 2021, 2022, etc. problem as well, even if it costs you an arm. But, probably most importantly, it's not at all obvious that the Twins still consider Graterol a starting pitching prospect.

 

(Note: might also be worth noting that it's within the realm of possibility that the Red Sox would have been willing to ask for someone like Jaylin Davis to headline a package...seeing as though they were losing an athletic corner outfielder in the deal, and Davis could be considered 'close'...instead of an arm. But the FO had already dealt Davis for pitching.)

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#27 ewen21

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Posted 06 February 2020 - 04:16 PM

 

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

We can't seem to raise a starting pitcher if our lives depended on it. Before Berrios the best we had was Garza and he was traded away.

 

If we cannot draft and raise competent starting pitchers to fill our rotation we are destined to the same fate.  


#28 howieramone2

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Posted 06 February 2020 - 06:38 PM

By fate you mean winning the Central with 101 wins?
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#29 FlauerPauer

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Posted 06 February 2020 - 07:06 PM

I still think they should have taken MacKenzie Gore instead of Lewis. Wanted them to do it back in 2017 and wish they had Gore now instead of Lewis. If you are in the Twins market and you want ace pitcher potential you need to draft and develop pitching, or be able to trade for a pitcher you believe can be turned into an ace pitcher. Clearly, a team like the Twins, cannot buy an ace pitcher through free agency, and that's ok; however, sometimes you need to take a chance on a pitcher in your draft.

 

Kohl Stewart may not have been successful, but he still did make it to the major leagues, and was claimed when DFA'd. Tyler Jay was a head scratching move as he was a reliever in college and magically he supposed to become a starter? That was a bad selection, but Stewart wasn't talked negatively about by the critics of the day. If my memory serves, most thought it was a high risk, high reward selection.

 

My selection criteria is best available player regardless of position, but if batter/pitcher are both projected 55+ player, I'm going pitcher over hitter.


#30 howieramone2

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Posted 06 February 2020 - 07:26 PM

Several days before the draft, by one account, Jay worked himself to #3. Also, it was hard to find anything that didn't project him as a starter. The right move simply didn't work out.
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#31 Mike Sixel

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Posted 06 February 2020 - 07:56 PM

It's not that they won't sign the expensive FA starters, it's that in many cases they're never even given the option to seriously negotiate. Wheeler and Bumgarner wouldn't even listen to offers. From what I understand, Strasburg wanted to stay with the Nats, and was only a free agent because he had an opt out, and was reasonably certain Washington would give him a better deal if they were forced to. Cole brought a sign to his press conference that pretty much confirmed where he wanted to sign (pun intended), aside from which the Twins were never going to offer 9 and $324M, nor were any other teams. That leaves Ryu as the only "expensive FA starter" left, and had we signed him, we surely wouldn't have signed Donaldson. Ryu has 7.3 WAR since 2015, Donaldson has 26.7.

Screen-Shot-2019-12-18-at-112534-AM-568f


And the three years before that?

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


#32 DocBauer

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Posted 06 February 2020 - 08:44 PM

After 3 drafts under the new management, I think it's tough to really make any firm conclusions in regard to any real tendancy or preference, much less if any process is broken or not.

There is always your BIG BOARD when drafting and the player rankings on it. Baseball is a little unique as it not only breaks down to 2 essential categories, pitcher and player, but also high school and college.

The Twins haven't drafted a college pitcher overly high the past 3 drafts? Perhaps they didn't really like the ones available or simply had someone else ranked considerably higher on their board.

And really, from a realistic stance, anybody they have drafted so far is really a year away at this point. I'd say we need at least 1 more year, if not 2, to see if there is a real draft strategy preference, and if what they are doing so far is working.
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#33 dxpavelka

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Posted 06 February 2020 - 11:03 PM

 

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

Drafted by previous regime......

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#34 dxpavelka

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Posted 06 February 2020 - 11:07 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.

In the grand scheme of speculation about what the current regime's "draft strategy", it seems to me that the strategy of drawing said conclusions after a mere 3 drafts has a hole in it.
 


#35 Cap'n Piranha

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Posted 07 February 2020 - 02:59 PM

 

And the three years before that?

 

I assume this is in reference to Ryu v Donaldson WAR--in the 2013-2014 seasons (Ryu missed all of 2015) Ryu had 7.8 WAR, Donlaldson in those two years had 13.

 

If the question was why Falvine didn't sign expensive FA starters in the offseasons prior to 2017, 2018, and 2019 it's because the Twins didn't have any expectations to compete in 2 of those 3 seasons.In the one they did (going into the 2018 season on the heels of a surprise 2017 wild card appearance), the Twins attempted to sign Yu Darvish, and missed out--that's going to happen from time to time, and as best I'm aware, the Twins interest was sincere.That being said, it's not like any of that pitching has been terribly effective over the past 2 years.Below are MLBTR's starters, ranked, from that offseason, and their WAR over the past two years.

 

Darvish--2.9 WAR

Arrieta--3.0 WAR

Tanaka--5.7 WAR

Lynn--They did sign him

Cobb--0.9 WAR

Minor--6.7 WAR

Sabathia--2.6 WAR

Cashner--2.5 WAR

Chatwood--0.2 WAR

Garcia--0.0 WAR

Chacin--2.3 WAR

Vargas--2.0 WAR

Tillman--(0.4) WAR

Pineda--They did sign him

 

Other than Minor (who had scant little in his track record to suggest his success), and maybe Tanaka, would we really be happy if the Twins had agreed to sign starting pitching?

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#36 Doctor Gast

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Posted 10 February 2020 - 11:16 AM

Great article & interesting insight! This trade has open my eyes too. As long as I can remember MN has never drafted a pitcher that ever amounted much of anything. Berrios is the only one that comes to mind. Is it because we are insecure in our pitchers scouting to draft a high draftee? It seems almost all pitchers come from other teams rejects or traded prospects. What it seems to me is that they put more value on positional players than pitchers. Through drafting positional player & tendency to horde them, we have glut of positional players which fills our 40 man roster. Many teams have approached us to trade pitchers for an OF but what holds it up is the other team say we are asking too much. Now after their stunt of obliging Graterol to become a BP reducing his value LA seeing an opportunity for a bargain steps in & offers a very dispensable pitcher Maeda. MN`s FO being pressured to fill in our pitching inadequacy soinstead of addressing our positional prospects glut we are willing to take their offer of our #1 pitching prospect ML ready, Graterol. After Boston tore down Graterol degrading his value even more making him bargain basement, Twins should have pulled out right there (knowing we`d never obtain true value for Graterol) & stopped that circus & if they wanted a trade demand a positional prospect instead but they didn`t. LA knowing full well & never questioned Graterol`s valueremain steady in keeping him in the deal. So in all that shows me that FO doesn`t give proper value for pitching. 

 1 more thing, it`s common knowledge that Baldelli wentto visit Sano & Buxton about potential problems. Has he ever went to visit Berrios to discuss some his issues? Did they ask Berrios about how he felt about this Graterol trade? Is it important? Yes, if we want to keep Berrios


#37 Thrylos

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Posted 10 February 2020 - 11:34 AM

Any drafting strategy that suggests to pick the best athlete over the biggest organizational need is faulty imho...

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#38 howieramone2

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Posted 10 February 2020 - 11:46 AM

You can't predict future needs in baseball. That's why most teams take the best player available. The exception is some teams will only take the best college player.

#39 USAFChief

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Posted 10 February 2020 - 11:46 AM

 

Several days before the draft, by one account, Jay worked himself to #3. Also, it was hard to find anything that didn't project him as a starter. The right move simply didn't work out.

Who's "account?" 

 

Yours?

 

 

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#40 howieramone2

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Posted 10 February 2020 - 11:49 AM

Did I say that?