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Article: Twitter Mailbag: The Fernandez/Kershaw Path

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#1 Seth Stohs

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 11:29 PM

You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.co...ez-Kershaw-Path

#2 tjsyam921

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 06:32 AM

With all we hear about Berrios, I noticed that Miguel Sulbaran, (acquired in Butera trade) with 9 more innings pitched had a lower ERA, whip, walks, and HR allowed at the same level. Is there any reason why he isn't considered a better prospect? He is also only 2 months older.

Edited by tjsyam921, 16 November 2013 - 06:39 AM.


#3 markos

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 08:18 AM

Regarding Stewart, one of the things that scouts really liked prior to the draft was his polish. Like Seth said, the combination of his athleticism and a workable 4-pitch arsenal lends itself to moving up quickly, particularly now that he will be focusing on baseball full time. It may make sense to promote Stewart aggressively early on, as he probably can get away with dominating lower levels of the minors with just his fastball and slider, but the higher level of competition will force him to work on and improve his other off-speed offerings.

I've read a few scouts who say they currently like Stewart over any high school pitcher in the 2014 class because of the total package. Some players have better individual tools, but no one (yet) has Stewart's combination of two plus pitches (fastball & slider), a 4-pitch arsenal, good control and elite athleticism. Baseball America did an update to their Best Tools report for the 2013 draft picks a few weeks ago, and Stewart's name was prominent: http://www.baseballa...-draft-classes/
Most important to this conversation, they picked Stewart as the high school player who is "Closest to the Majors". He is also the top-ranked athlete from the draft, has the #2 fastball (after Gray), and his slider is the #5 Secondary pitch.

Has anyone projected Cedar Rapid's starting rotation for next season? There seem to be more names than spots right now. I wonder if they might try tandem starters.

#4 shimrod

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 08:34 AM

I don't think you can promote the players too quickly. If they've got the raw talent, as soon as they demonstrate they can hold their own at a level they should be pushed again.

Anyone who wants to suggest a player failed due to being pushed too quickly needs to show the player would have succeeded with more time. How can you prove that? You can't. Plenty of talented players fail even when their teams take their time moving them through the system.

I think if players can pitch, they'll pitch. If they can't pitch it's in the teams best interest to find out as quickly as possible. Push them through as fast as possible and if they falter, trade them to a team who believes they just needed a little more time...

#5 twinsfan34

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 08:35 AM

I think a very important factor is the state of the MLB team. Mike Matheny wanted to have Michael Wacha as one of his starting five pitchers to START the season. But the Cardinals had tons of depth and the front office was hesitant to have such a long season for him.

The Marlins had nobody. The brought up...8...9 rookies this year?

Fernandez A to Pros. 20
Ozuna went AA to Pros. 22
Yelich went AA to Pros. 21
Marisnick went AA to Pros. 22
Dietrich went AA to Pros. 22

The Twins...if they don't sign too many guys who are just salary hogs for the next couple seasons, could see guys like Baxendale, Meyer, and May by mid-season or sooner this year. Next year could see Sept call ups of Berrios, et al.

Some guys will learn no matter the competition curve. That's why Buxton is rated #1 by every organization. He learns. He learns quickly. Could put him in MLB tomorrow, he may hit .250 in April and May...but, he'd be hitting .300 in August & September.

#6 Seth Stohs

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 09:48 AM

With all we hear about Berrios, I noticed that Miguel Sulbaran, (acquired in Butera trade) with 9 more innings pitched had a lower ERA, whip, walks, and HR allowed at the same level. Is there any reason why he isn't considered a better prospect? He is also only 2 months older.


Berrios hits 95 and has a sharp slider and a third pitch. Sulburan touches 90 with a tremendous changeup. He's also shorter (right or wrong, it's also why Berrios isn't typically rated higher nationally). Right or not, prospect rankings have little to do with the numbers, especially in the lower levels.

#7 Seth Stohs

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 09:51 AM

Has anyone projected Cedar Rapid's starting rotation for next season? There seem to be more names than spots right now. I wonder if they might try tandem starters.


Landa, Felix, Rosario, Stewart, Gonsalves, (possibly) Thorpe, Berrios could start there. Slegers could start there. Malinowski could start there, though he was in the bullpen last year. Lo. Lots of options. I'm certain they'll stick with a 6-man rotation and while watching innings, guys will get time in the rotation and the bullpen when they need to slow the innings. Guys that start in the bullpen could eventually move to the rotation.

#8 Seth Stohs

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 09:57 AM

I don't think you can promote the players too quickly. If they've got the raw talent, as soon as they demonstrate they can hold their own at a level they should be pushed again.

Anyone who wants to suggest a player failed due to being pushed too quickly needs to show the player would have succeeded with more time. How can you prove that? You can't. Plenty of talented players fail even when their teams take their time moving them through the system.

I think if players can pitch, they'll pitch. If they can't pitch it's in the teams best interest to find out as quickly as possible. Push them through as fast as possible and if they falter, trade them to a team who believes they just needed a little more time...


In the same way, you can't prove that moving a guy 'too quickly' is the right way either. Honestly, It's got to be a person-by-person thing. I would think that mental strength and makeup play into it as much as the tools. The key is dominating a level (and not just for a few starts, but over ten to twelve starts. A lot goes into it, and I won't pretend I know the right way to do it. Those decision makers (the front office people, the minor league coaching staffs, etc.) are much closer to the pitchers, and who they are. There's so much that we, from a distance, just don't know about the individuals.

#9 Seth Stohs

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 10:02 AM

I think a very important factor is the state of the MLB team. Mike Matheny wanted to have Michael Wacha as one of his starting five pitchers to START the season. But the Cardinals had tons of depth and the front office was hesitant to have such a long season for him.

The Marlins had nobody. The brought up...8...9 rookies this year?

Fernandez A to Pros. 20
Ozuna went AA to Pros. 22
Yelich went AA to Pros. 21
Marisnick went AA to Pros. 22
Dietrich went AA to Pros. 22

The Twins...if they don't sign too many guys who are just salary hogs for the next couple seasons, could see guys like Baxendale, Meyer, and May by mid-season or sooner this year. Next year could see Sept call ups of Berrios, et al.

Some guys will learn no matter the competition curve. That's why Buxton is rated #1 by every organization. He learns. He learns quickly. Could put him in MLB tomorrow, he may hit .250 in April and May...but, he'd be hitting .300 in August & September.


This is a great point that I meant to bring to light as well. It's about necessity for each need. When the Twins were winning division titles year after year, they would bring up maybe one or two rookies each year and they could settle in while not having to carry the weight of the world. That's probably ideal. But, like the Twins in 1981 or again in 1999/2000, they went with the youth and let them struggle and eventually it paid off.

And, no matter who you talk to about Buxton, as great as his tools are and his talent is, the first thing they talk about is his makeup and his will to be great. That's such a big piece of the puzzle.

#10 shimrod

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 07:53 PM

In the same way, you can't prove that moving a guy 'too quickly' is the right way either. Honestly, It's got to be a person-by-person thing. I would think that mental strength and makeup play into it as much as the tools. The key is dominating a level (and not just for a few starts, but over ten to twelve starts. A lot goes into it, and I won't pretend I know the right way to do it. Those decision makers (the front office people, the minor league coaching staffs, etc.) are much closer to the pitchers, and who they are. There's so much that we, from a distance, just don't know about the individuals.



My point is I don't see why domination is a requirement. The guys who will be successful in the majors will rise to a challenge (mental makeup). If you move a talented player up a level and he is competitive for three or four starts then go ahead and move him again. Get the talent to the majors ASAP, and if they don't produce you can move them back a level for seasoning. The best way to improve athletic performance is to play with and against people who are better than you are. The Twins should err on the side of aggressive promotion.

#11 rukavina

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 10:43 PM

[quote name='Seth Stohs']Landa, Felix, Rosario, Stewart, Gonsalves, (possibly) Thorpe, Berrios could start there. Slegers could start there.

I think Landa could move quickly. Great velocity and presence. Twins have limited him in Venezuela, so he's pitching in high-leverage situations and doing well.

#12 Shane Wahl

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 12:33 AM

My point is I don't see why domination is a requirement. The guys who will be successful in the majors will rise to a challenge (mental makeup). If you move a talented player up a level and he is competitive for three or four starts then go ahead and move him again. Get the talent to the majors ASAP, and if they don't produce you can move them back a level for seasoning. The best way to improve athletic performance is to play with and against people who are better than you are. The Twins should err on the side of aggressive promotion.


I would say get the talent up to AA ASAP, not MLB. Otherwise I agree. For the Twins in 2014 this would mean Berrios and Sulbaran getting some time at New Britain. Certainly all of the younger pitching prospects who are legit (Stewart, Gonsalves, Thorpe, Landa, Rosario, and Romero) should see CR time eventually.

#13 nicksaviking

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 01:41 AM

I don't think age has much to do with the Twins unwillingness to move pitchers. I think experience does however. Stewart probably could have been given a start or two in full season ball but he was only used sparingly in the rookie leagues. Whether he should have been given more than 20 innings pitched in professional ball is the question that should be asked. That's what would be putting a quick advancement in peril, not his actual age.

#14 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 08:01 AM

I don't think age has much to do with the Twins unwillingness to move pitchers. I think experience does however. Stewart probably could have been given a start or two in full season ball but he was only used sparingly in the rookie leagues. Whether he should have been given more than 20 innings pitched in professional ball is the question that should be asked. That's what would be putting a quick advancement in peril, not his actual age.


I think you are forgetting that Stewart lost time due to a nasty blister and then went to Japan to play some WBC baseball. I think he would have been on the Berrios path otherwise. He's going to start in Cedar Rapids, and if he gets off to a great start, then he's likely going to move up quicker. A number of scouts said that they thought he could be in the majors as fast as a guy like Manaea. As long as he's pitching well, he'll move up.

#15 shimrod

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 08:26 AM

[QUOTE...Those decision makers (the front office people, the minor league coaching staffs, etc.) are much closer to the pitchers, and who they are. There's so much that we, from a distance, just don't know about the individuals.[/QUOTE]

A little off topic, but I think it relates. From my outside perspective baseball seems like the most hidebound, insular, and incestuous major sport. Tradition is great but I think many baseball professionals, given the choice between winning and sticking with tradition, would pick tradition every time. I've worked in environments that valued continuity over production and baseball sure looks like another example. In what other sport does every team employ the exact same strategy? Football has multiple offensive and defensive philosophies, west coast, the pistol, the 3-4, the 4-3. Basketball can boast the triangle offense, the corner offense, man or zone, etc. Baseball is stretching its limits with a defensive shift or offensive platoon.

What I'm getting at is, just because the Twins coaches and managers have been in the game all their adult lives and are experts in their field doesn't mean they're automatically employing the best methods of producing what the fans want to see, a winning ball club. MLB looks like a prime candidate for a paradigm shift. Right now it's stuck in a self-perpetuating rut. No one gets a boss job until they've demonstrated they've internalized every hoary trope of conventional baseball. There is no innovation, at all.

And as I implied earlier, my paradigm buster would be stomping on the accelerator with the top picks. Meyer should begin the season in the rotation, Stewart should be up by September. Sano should be the opening day third baseman and Buxton should be in centerfield by the all-star break. After three consecutive 90 loss seasons, what do we have to lose? If they fail at the MLB level send them back, and if failure at the major league level is going to permanently impair them they never had the strength of will to succeed anyway. Now's the time to find out, when we can cut our losses and still come out ahead by trading young talented players who were "simply over-promoted" (conventional thinking) for new prospects who may have what it takes to succeed. Slowly working up the promotion ladder a year at a time is fine for low level picks; top talents should be accelerated through the system.

#16 Seth Stohs

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 09:10 AM

I don't think age has much to do with the Twins unwillingness to move pitchers. I think experience does however. Stewart probably could have been given a start or two in full season ball but he was only used sparingly in the rookie leagues. Whether he should have been given more than 20 innings pitched in professional ball is the question that should be asked. That's what would be putting a quick advancement in peril, not his actual age.


I guess they could have pushed the 18 year old to pitch with a sore shoulder, but I'm not sure how much sense that makes.

#17 Seth Stohs

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 09:34 AM

I think you are forgetting that Stewart lost time due to a nasty blister and then went to Japan to play some WBC baseball. I think he would have been on the Berrios path otherwise. He's going to start in Cedar Rapids, and if he gets off to a great start, then he's likely going to move up quicker. A number of scouts said that they thought he could be in the majors as fast as a guy like Manaea. As long as he's pitching well, he'll move up.


Berrios was the one in the WBC. But, I agree with this. If Stewart is healthy, he could move quickly for sure. But, it needs to be quickly while still developing and watching innings and all of that kind of stuff.

#18 Seth Stohs

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 09:49 AM

Re: Shimrod's most recent post:

[QUOTE]In what other sport does every team employ the exact same strategy? Football has multiple offensive and defensive philosophies, west coast, the pistol, the 3-4, the 4-3. Basketball can boast the triangle offense, the corner offense, man or zone, etc. Baseball is stretching its limits with a defensive shift or offensive platoon. [/QUOTE]

To be fair, there isn't a lot else to do on the field. Pitchers throw pitches that do something different and a hitter has to adjust to that decision, just like a FB or Basketball team makes a play call and the defense has to adjust and react.

[QUOTE]What I'm getting at is, just because the Twins coaches and managers have been in the game all their adult lives and are experts in their field doesn't mean they're automatically employing the best methods of producing what the fans want to see, a winning ball club. [/QUOTE]

I don't think that anyone's saying that what the Twins are doing is right all the time. I don't think that the Rays front office or the A's front office think that they've done what's right all of the time. Even within a front office, you know there are debates and varying opinions on how to do things. That happens with the Rays, and it happens with the Twins. What comes out of their mouths, however, is consensus and a team decision, which I would think any team or business would want.

I guess all I was trying to say is that the Twins personnel is much close to the players than we are. No stat can tell us if a player's makeup will allow him to pitch in AA at age 17 or 18 (or 21 or 25). They know their personnel. Certainly better than you or I. I'm not saying there aren't times I'm frustrated that a certain guy didn't get a promotion at a certain time or whatever, but they aren't making these decisions without good reasoning.

[QUOTE]And as I implied earlier, my paradigm buster would be stomping on the accelerator with the top picks. Meyer should begin the season in the rotation, Stewart should be up by September. Sano should be the opening day third baseman and Buxton should be in centerfield by the all-star break.[/QUOTE]

If healthy, I agree that Meyer and Sano could certainly be opening day guys and I do think Buxton will be up right after the Futures Game. But if Stewart is up in September, that would be a bit much. He would be like 19, and lost time already this first year with a shoulder issue.

[QUOTE]After three consecutive 90 loss seasons, what do we have to lose? If they fail at the MLB level send them back, and if failure at the major league level is going to permanently impair them they never had the strength of will to succeed anyway. Now's the time to find out, when we can cut our losses and still come out ahead by trading young talented players who were "simply over-promoted" (conventional thinking) for new prospects who may have what it takes to succeed.[/QUOTE]

I just think that's such an oversimplification. Again, each player is different. Buxton may be able to handle the big leagues at 20, and he'll likely get that chance next year. But, he's blessed with great makeup. Just like players mature physically at different times, they also mature mentally at different times. A guy like Miguel Sano would likely have struggled more with a quicker advancement because of his strikeout rate but also because he needed some maturing. Everyone knew it and saw it. Because of that, I don't believe the push-push-push and if they can't hack it, it means they never could have philosophy.

Aaron Hicks has great makeup too. He struggled in his big league debut. Does that mean the Twins should give up on him? Brian Dozier didn't get up to the big leagues until he was 24! That's too old, right? Then he struggled. Give up on him too, right? Dozier is incredibly strong mentally. It's such an individual thing that I would hate to pigeonhole everyone into the same plan. It can't happen that way.

#19 roger

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 11:47 AM

Seth...a while ago you indicated that the correct name for Felix, was Jorge Felix. Since, you have often used Felix Jorge, although today was Felix (last name). Which is it?

Edited by roger, 17 November 2013 - 11:50 AM.


#20 Seth Stohs

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 12:15 PM

Seth...a while ago you indicated that the correct name for Felix, was Jorge Felix. Since, you have often used Felix Jorge, although today was Felix (last name). Which is it?


It's Jorge Felix... people are going to have to bear with me on this one. I've been calling him Felix Jorge for probably three years... It's like when I went to Cedar Rapids for their season opener last year and they were playing Beloit. I'm pretty sure I tweeted Beloit thinking Cedar Rapids over and over again!

#21 johnnydakota

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 01:04 PM

Jorge= George....just saying

#22 roger

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 06:14 PM

It's Jorge Felix... people are going to have to bear with me on this one. I've been calling him Felix Jorge for probably three years... It's like when I went to Cedar Rapids for their season opener last year and they were playing Beloit. I'm pretty sure I tweeted Beloit thinking Cedar Rapids over and over again!


Thanks Seth. Since first seeing your reference to the correction, I have been using Jorge Felix in all my comments over at TT. Also, giving you credit for clarifying our collective mistake. Hopefully, in time we will all get it correct!

#23 Monkeypaws

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 06:23 PM

Some guys move quickly. Sale for example. Hard to explain how a guy drafted 13th overall moved up so fast. Heck, even our own Garza got a sniff pretty quickly. Scouts and coaches probably got their finger on that pulse pretty actively. If they don't get moved up overnight, i am guessing there is a reason.

#24 The Wise One

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 06:36 PM

When was the last time the Twins signed an 18 year old Kershaw/Fernandez type? Bert all those years ago?
Hitter wise, Carew, Hrbek, Gaetti, Puckett, Mauer, Morneau and Cuddyer did not spend a lot of time in the high minors. The Twins had a little success with those guys.

#25 markos

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 07:52 AM

When was the last time the Twins signed an 18 year old Kershaw/Fernandez type? Bert all those years ago?
Hitter wise, Carew, Hrbek, Gaetti, Puckett, Mauer, Morneau and Cuddyer did not spend a lot of time in the high minors. The Twins had a little success with those guys.


Morneau had over 1300 plate appearances in AA and AAA before becoming an everyday player at the majors, and Cuddyer had over 1600 PAs in the upper minors. Now part of this was due to being sent back and forth early in their careers, but I would still consider this a lot of time. By comparison, Arcia (454 PAs), Rosario (313 PAs) and Sano (276 PAs) would each need roughly two more full seasons at AA and AAA to match Morneau's time spent in the upper minors.

I expect Rosario and Sano to be up much sooner than that, but I think it is reasonable to expect them to struggle at the majors for a couple of seasons as they get their bearings.

#26 twinsfan34

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 10:45 AM

When was the last time the Twins signed an 18 year old Kershaw/Fernandez type? Bert all those years ago?
Hitter wise, Carew, Hrbek, Gaetti, Puckett, Mauer, Morneau and Cuddyer did not spend a lot of time in the high minors. The Twins had a little success with those guys.


The Wise One,

I'm putting together some stuff on this. I was planning on rolling it out before some more Buxton and Sano projections...but might roll it out a little sooner.

But yes, you're absolutely right.

Carew, Hrbek, Gaetti and Mauer all went from AA or lower to Opening Day starters and never looked back.

Puckett spent 1983 at Class A, then in 1984 he went to AAA for a monthwas the every day starting CF for the Twins by mid May.

Cuddyer got a Sept call up from AA at age 22 (4 seasons in the minors), but ultimately would need parts of 2 seasons at AAA before coming a regular.

The Twins promoted players aggressively from 1980-1982 and from 1999-2002. Lots of AA jumps to the pros, Sept call-ups, etc.

Edited by twinsfan34, 18 November 2013 - 11:20 AM.


#27 mlhouse

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 03:14 PM

The biggest problem that the Twins have in "rushing" their prospects to the major league level is management. They simply do not have a manager and coaching staff that is good at developing players. In fact, the current Twins staff appears to me to be uncomfortable with having young players in the lineup. They are intolerant of their mistakes and their behaviours.

To rebuild a team you need to put the ball in the hands of young pitchers and place young hitters in the lineup that will simply exasperate you. They will make mistakes. But, you have to accept those mistakes as learning opportunities, find ways to correct them, and find out which players cannot improve upon their mistakes. You will lose ball games by the batches. It is investment for the future. The problem with the Twins team going forward, however, is that they have lost all of those ball game without gaining any future value of etting young players experience and weeding out the players that cannot make it. We have lost 95+ game for three consecutive seasons without developing a single player that is a sure bet to help us going into a winning future. That is the saddest commentary possible for the past three years.

#28 70charger

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 03:29 PM

A little off topic, but I think it relates. From my outside perspective baseball seems like the most hidebound, insular, and incestuous major sport. Tradition is great but I think many baseball professionals, given the choice between winning and sticking with tradition, would pick tradition every time. I've worked in environments that valued continuity over production and baseball sure looks like another example. In what other sport does every team employ the exact same strategy? Football has multiple offensive and defensive philosophies, west coast, the pistol, the 3-4, the 4-3. Basketball can boast the triangle offense, the corner offense, man or zone, etc. Baseball is stretching its limits with a defensive shift or offensive platoon.

What I'm getting at is, just because the Twins coaches and managers have been in the game all their adult lives and are experts in their field doesn't mean they're automatically employing the best methods of producing what the fans want to see, a winning ball club. MLB looks like a prime candidate for a paradigm shift. Right now it's stuck in a self-perpetuating rut. No one gets a boss job until they've demonstrated they've internalized every hoary trope of conventional baseball. There is no innovation, at all.

And as I implied earlier, my paradigm buster would be stomping on the accelerator with the top picks. Meyer should begin the season in the rotation, Stewart should be up by September. Sano should be the opening day third baseman and Buxton should be in centerfield by the all-star break. After three consecutive 90 loss seasons, what do we have to lose? If they fail at the MLB level send them back, and if failure at the major league level is going to permanently impair them they never had the strength of will to succeed anyway. Now's the time to find out, when we can cut our losses and still come out ahead by trading young talented players who were "simply over-promoted" (conventional thinking) for new prospects who may have what it takes to succeed. Slowly working up the promotion ladder a year at a time is fine for low level picks; top talents should be accelerated through the system.


Although Seth seems to have covered this well, I'll throw in my 2 cents, because my buddy and I were just talking about this while watching the Denver - Kansas City game last night.

I was of the opinion that baseball was more on the cutting edge than football, at least as it relates to advanced statistics and "playing the odds." Frankly, if you have Peyton Manning anywhere past his own 40 yard line on fourth down and short, you should be going for it. Each and every time.

The statistics show that the win probability would go up quite a bit if football coaches were less conservative in their play calling. Pretty much every coach is going to punt on fourth down unless they have to go for it. It's almost maddening. Fourth down isn't the only scenario either.

So speaking of paradigm shifts, if any sport is begging for one it's football. You can make an argument that baseball is too, but I doubt baseball is at all out of the ordinary. And oddly enough, the changes in the respective sports seem to happen in opposite "directions." You're seeing quite a lot of very creative and odds-driven strategy in the high school and increasingly in the college football world. It "trickles up." If anything, the creativity in baseball trickles down from the highest levels.