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Twins Daily 2020 Top Prospects: #9 Brent Rooker

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#21 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 07 February 2020 - 12:54 PM

the question for me is whether or not his changes can stick... he always strikes out like crazy at a new level and then adjusts... if he starts out 2020 looking like the last month of 2019 and continued adjustment, I'd say there's hope that he could be very good... 

 

That said, I'm not looking forward to his MLB debut... I think he's going to take some lumps.


#22 Mike Sixel

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Posted 07 February 2020 - 12:55 PM

 

I like Rooker. He'll get some time in the majors this year when Donaldson, Cruz or Sano go to the DL.

 

With the new roster expansion to 26 players, I wonder if the Twins would risk having a thunder bat on the bench for a few pinch hit opportunities over the year and spot starts or go with a more flexible option. Obviously, you generally want young guys to get constant playing time over bench time but if A) you think he's more or less ML ready now and :cool: his future is closer to platoon bat/bench player anyway ...

 

There are going to be a lot of games where the Twins start Astudillo or Adrianza and maybe even Jake Cave or Wade. Having a big pinch hit bat on the bench might be an interesting experiment for the team. 

 

And he's really not that young.......So, ya, if they want POWER on the bench, he's an obvious choice.

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


#23 mikelink45

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Posted 07 February 2020 - 02:35 PM

At 25 he slips in my ratings no matter what is written.The real stars are in the MLB lineups by 22/23.If he is destined to be in AAA again this year the next years rankings will have him at 26.It is time to lump him with a few others and make a trade. 


#24 jkcarew

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Posted 07 February 2020 - 04:23 PM

 

I like Rooker. He'll get some time in the majors this year when Donaldson, Cruz or Sano go to the DL.

 

With the new roster expansion to 26 players, I wonder if the Twins would risk having a thunder bat on the bench for a few pinch hit opportunities over the year and spot starts or go with a more flexible option. Obviously, you generally want young guys to get constant playing time over bench time but if A) you think he's more or less ML ready now and :cool: his future is closer to platoon bat/bench player anyway ...

 

There are going to be a lot of games where the Twins start Astudillo or Adrianza and maybe even Jake Cave or Wade. Having a big pinch hit bat on the bench might be an interesting experiment for the team. 

Agree on the potential willingness to pull trigger sooner rather than later on a bench bat role given his age...but fwiw....it's not at all obvious to me that he's going to be a superior offensive player to Cave, and we can assume he's not going to be defensively superior. Cave was a 112 OPS+ guy last year (111 career now)...and also out-hit Rooker at Rochester last year.

 

I guess his right-handedness could play in a platoon situation...(although, Cave even indicated the ability to handle left-handed pitching last year, in a small sample). That kind of power gives him a chip and a chance, though.

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#25 DocBauer

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Posted 07 February 2020 - 05:53 PM

Addition: The one thing about Rooker I don't like us his position use. Milb is for player development. I just can't believe he was never used at 1B last year. Players do tend to gravitate to certain positions and settle in there. But he should be learning both corner spots and 1B for now.

Look how much positional flexibility aided the Twins roster last year. In ST last year, the Twins even worked Raley in CF to see what he could do, even on an occasional basis.
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#26 Seth Stohs

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Posted 07 February 2020 - 06:12 PM

 

At 25 he slips in my ratings no matter what is written.The real stars are in the MLB lineups by 22/23.If he is destined to be in AAA again this year the next years rankings will have him at 26.It is time to lump him with a few others and make a trade. 

 

I wouldn't worry about his age. He's not old. He's had a full season in AAA. Now it's just about opportunity. He raked for the last 2/3 of the AAA season and probably would have come up last year if he wasn't hurt. Age-to-level does matter in prospect rankings, but as Garver and Dozier and so many others have shown in the past, it isn't at all a be-all-end-all. 

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#27 Seth Stohs

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Posted 07 February 2020 - 06:14 PM

 

Addition: The one thing about Rooker I don't like us his position use. Milb is for player development. I just can't believe he was never used at 1B last year. Players do tend to gravitate to certain positions and settle in there. But he should be learning both corner spots and 1B for now.

Look how much positional flexibility aided the Twins roster last year. In ST last year, the Twins even worked Raley in CF to see what he could do, even on an occasional basis.

 

I thought that was a little surprising. Zander Wiel played 1B all year for the Red Wings. Wiel could have afforded to use a little time in LF and RF too, same thing. 

 

Then again, Rooker can play 1B. he needed time in the OF because, based on earlier questions... MUCH closer to Delmon Young than Max Kepler. 

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#28 drivlikejehu

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Posted 07 February 2020 - 06:27 PM

Here's a stat: since 2006, there have been 1,861 International League players with 250+ plate appearances in an IL season.

 

Rooker's 2019 K-rate is 20th highest out of 1,861. That's really, really bad. No one with such a rate has ever succeeded in the Majors.

 

Of the top 100 highest K-rates, a few players did go on to some success, but at catcher and middle infield (mainly Tyler Flowers, Danny Espinosa, Jorge Alfaro - all with lower rates than Rooker and far higher defensive value). 

 

So the issue isn't Rooker's age per se - the issue is that his current approach cannot work in MLB, it is completely impossible. So at age 25, he needs to make huge adjustments in order to have a chance of success. That's why age is an issue.

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#29 DocBauer

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Posted 07 February 2020 - 06:28 PM

I thought that was a little surprising. Zander Wiel played 1B all year for the Red Wings. Wiel could have afforded to use a little time in LF and RF too, same thing.

Then again, Rooker can play 1B. he needed time in the OF because, based on earlier questions... MUCH closer to Delmon Young than Max Kepler.


Absolutely. And I would do nothing to hold back his development. But surely he is the kind of player/prospect who will be in the lineup almost daily. Let him play all 3 spots and see where he settles in, I say.

For various reasons, some guys are just better or more comfortable in LF vs RF. The foot placement and action at 1B is different than the OF to be sure. I just hope they don't restrict him too soon.
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#30 Danchat

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Posted 07 February 2020 - 06:33 PM

 

At 25 he slips in my ratings no matter what is written.The real stars are in the MLB lineups by 22/23.If he is destined to be in AAA again this year the next years rankings will have him at 26.It is time to lump him with a few others and make a trade. 

Rooker started rookie ball at age 22, so he never really had the chance to do so. But I do remember that being part of the reason why he was a late 1st round pick and not a higher selection.

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#31 joefish

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Posted 07 February 2020 - 10:25 PM

Can we tolerate his defense?
I really dislike having to ask that question.
Our pitchers deserve the best defense we can give them.

#32 mikelink45

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Posted 08 February 2020 - 08:14 AM

 

Rooker started rookie ball at age 22, so he never really had the chance to do so. But I do remember that being part of the reason why he was a late 1st round pick and not a higher selection.

The old saying was draft a college player because they are almost ready to step into the lineup and that is how it should be.

 


#33 mikelink45

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Posted 08 February 2020 - 08:22 AM

 

I wouldn't worry about his age. He's not old. He's had a full season in AAA. Now it's just about opportunity. He raked for the last 2/3 of the AAA season and probably would have come up last year if he wasn't hurt. Age-to-level does matter in prospect rankings, but as Garver and Dozier and so many others have shown in the past, it isn't at all a be-all-end-all. 

Seth, you are the expert for minor league prospects so give us your perspective.With Sano, Kepler, Rosario, Cave, Ward already having MLB time.Considering Kiriloff, Raley, Larnach ahead of him, Wallner, Urbina, Baddoo behind him what is his real chance of making the team in the next two years?  

 

Based on his fielding, hitting, and positions doesn't he look more like a trade candidate?I know about late bloomers, but in reality they are not that prolific. 


#34 Blackjack

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Posted 08 February 2020 - 08:52 AM

These are the types of informative articles that I like on Twins Daily and the reason that I log in. Thanks!!! Keep it up!!!!

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#35 jorgenswest

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Posted 08 February 2020 - 09:49 AM

His performance last year was similar to 2018 in the context of the pitchers he faced. Batters against the pitchers he faced put up and OPS of .800 resulting in a DRC+ of 123. Even Nick Gordon had a DRC+ of 107 last year. Rooker had a 117 in 2018. BABIP last year was .417.

The OPS last year looks great and encouraging. Taken in the context of the group of pitchers he faced and his BABIP leaves me wondering if there is much hope here. What would his DRC+ need to be at the major league level with his defensive limitations? I think he would need to be in the same 117-123 neighborhood or he will have a career somewhere in the range of Austin to Cron.

#36 Seth Stohs

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Posted 08 February 2020 - 10:46 AM

 

Seth, you are the expert for minor league prospects so give us your perspective.With Sano, Kepler, Rosario, Cave, Ward already having MLB time.Considering Kiriloff, Raley, Larnach ahead of him, Wallner, Urbina, Baddoo behind him what is his real chance of making the team in the next two years?  

 

Based on his fielding, hitting, and positions doesn't he look more like a trade candidate?I know about late bloomers, but in reality they are not that prolific. 

 

Opportunity isn't, or shouldn't be part of prospect rankings. Rooker's 2020 path to the big leagues is probably an early-season injury to Rosario, Kepler, Sano or maybe Donaldson, or Cruz. 

 

So yeah, a trade is certainly a reasonable thing. 

 

But none of that affects his prospect status. 

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