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Baseball Prospectus Goes Twins Crazy!

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#1 Brad Swanson

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 08:55 AM

They posted their Twins top 10 prospect list today:

http://www.baseballp...articleid=22250

Then, Jason Parks joined Effectively Wild to talk about Twins' prospects:

http://www.baseballp...articleid=22256

The podcast is free, but the article is not. Pinto is #5. Thorpe is #8.

Discuss.

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#2 gunnarthor

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 09:02 AM

Just saw that. Pinto at #5 is surprising. They also like Jorge a lot. They call the farm system the best in the majors. That's encouraging.

I don't have a BP subscription so I don't know what they say about the players but it's a good list. Nice to see 4 pitchers in it.

Parks, in his podcast, gives a lot of credit to the org for accumulating talent.

#3 gunnarthor

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 09:45 AM

Some notes from the podcast:

Likes the Twins system a lot, called it the best system in baseball. It's a good combination of of high impact high ceiling but surprisingly safe depth. Compared it to a Cubs/Astros system with the best of both. Not a lot of low A flame outs. "If a guy like Berrios doesn’t reach his ceiling he’s still a good player." "Buxton is best prospect I’ve ever seen." "Great balance between impact and depth."

Parks like Pinto behind the plate which is nice to see.

Thought the org was great at getting talent from different areas – big credit to international scouts but made good trades as well. Gets talent from everywhere.

Twins traditionally good with pitcher development; Can fix mechanics, don’t worry about taking time to develop them. Compares them well to St Louis (who is the best at it).
Less turn over in MN office – is that a problem? Why do they have a fallow period if (13m in). Doesn’t really answer. Parks thinks priorities change – can’t get Alex Meyer if you’re competing.

Thorpe – future #2 starter. Not every team thought to invest in Australian market like Twins did. Thorpe blew up recently with big velocity spike. (from 86-89 to low 90s and has body to add more). Kid is a “monster.” Smart, great feel for game. Twins have moderate success from non-traditional areas – Germany, Australia.

Kepler – not as high. Others passed him in the system. No longer a first division type player. Might not hit enough power for corner or first base.

New type of Twins pitchers – 20m in – seems to be a disconnect? Parks answer: maybe a market inefficiency at the major league level but at the minor league side he likes the pitchers they have now. These guys might not K a lot in the majors. Meyer could be a bullpen arm if control is an issue but he’ll miss bats no matter what. But Berrios is short, low margin of error, thinks he’ll be a good pitcher at ML level but might not have high K level. Jorge is more of a K-guy.

Trevor May – "frustrates the hell" out of Parks. "Built like a horse" but has a command/feel issue. His posture on the mound isn’t good. Two good breaking balls but not a good feel for pitching yet.

Guys will struggle at the ML level when they get there. Pinto will come back to earth. Maybe Buxton makes the majors next year.

Buxton might be more athletic than Trout. Very special player. “Doesn’t know what he’s doing yet” “not even close to what he’s going to be.” Talked about his grand slam on a 98 mph fastball being just instinct at this point. One scout put his floor as Torii Hunter and his ceiling as “who the hell knows, maybe Willie Mays.”

Pirates scouting director says Sano is the greatest Latin American player he’s seen in over 20 years.

Interviewer aks, "Who’s a guy in this system not on the top 10 that we didn’t cover" – Gonzalez 4th round pick b/c of bad spring and character event (marijuana). Twins can fix his mechanics (likes what they did with Meyer) and already in his 90s. Thinks he’ll be a top 10 guy next year.

Would their #11-20 be better than some orgs top 10? Yes, probably 3 or 4 teams. Angels, Tigers, A’s – lot of depth in the 11-20 but no impact guy.

Adam Walker wasn’t even ranked but he could be a 1st division guy if it all comes together.

#4 Brad Swanson

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 10:10 AM

In the article, they also indicated that Sano could be an above-average fielder at 3rd, if it all comes together.

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#5 Shane Wahl

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 10:27 AM

Sano, Polanco, Kepler, and Thorpe are fantastic international signings.

#6 Shane Wahl

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 10:34 AM

Gonsalves is easily moving in the top 10 next year and maybe top 7 given "graduation" time.

I would not be surprised if Trevor May was in AAA all the way until September. Meyer falling to a reliever is something I have heard twice now. I don't get it.

#7 gunnarthor

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 11:15 AM

Gonsalves is easily moving in the top 10 next year and maybe top 7 given "graduation" time.

I would not be surprised if Trevor May was in AAA all the way until September. Meyer falling to a reliever is something I have heard twice now. I don't get it.


It's concern that he won't be able to fix his command enough to start. Lots of moving parts in a big body like his so he could be too wild to start. Parks says he's one of the top 30 prospects in baseball so it sounds like he thinks he'll start but it's come up before as his floor.

#8 TheLeviathan

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 11:20 AM

I'm a bit perplexed that we get credit for being good at developing pitching. That doesn't hold much water IMO.

#9 Steve Penz

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 11:33 AM

Gonsalves is easily moving in the top 10 next year and maybe top 7 given "graduation" time.

I would not be surprised if Trevor May was in AAA all the way until September. Meyer falling to a reliever is something I have heard twice now. I don't get it.


I don't get the Meyer comment either. His AZ numbers looked pretty darn good besides hitting a handful of batters. That is strange. Control still seems to be a concern but talk of moving away from starting seems very premature.

#10 gunnarthor

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 11:42 AM

I'm a bit perplexed that we get credit for being good at developing pitching. That doesn't hold much water IMO.


Sure, when Ryan retired the first time the rip on the Twins was that we could develop and bring in pitchers but not hitters. Besides guys like Santana, Radke and Mays, guys like Garza, Liriano, Perkins, Slowey, Blackburn were all top 100 prospects. And they got some 2-3 WAR seasons out of home grown non-ranked prospects like Baker, Duensing and Swarzak to boot. They've had some bad luck in that department the last few years (Gibson is the first pitcher Johnson drafted to make the majors) but over the last decade + they've done all right.

#11 PseudoSABR

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 11:55 AM

I'm a bit perplexed that we get credit for being good at developing pitching. That doesn't hold much water IMO.

You have to have talent in order to develop it. Garza, Liriano, Santana did come up through our system. The Twins haven't exactly failed to develop pitching talent when they've had it--trouble is pitchers have gotten hurt (Wimmers, Gibson) or the talent hasn't been acquired (what Shooter Hunt and who else?).

I'd also listen to the broadcast as Parks is pretty articulate and specific about how the Twins have helped Meyers and what can mean for guys like Gonsalves and others.

Edited by PseudoSABR, 18 November 2013 - 12:06 PM.


#12 Thrylos

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 11:58 AM

They've had some bad luck in that department the last few years (Gibson is the first pitcher Johnson drafted to make the majors) but over the last decade + they've done all right.


If "all right" is to develop a single Cy Young winner or even contender in a decade plus, then they have done "all right". In my book, 1 Cy Young winner in 10-20 years is mediocre.
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#13 Brad Swanson

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 12:05 PM

If "all right" is to develop a single Cy Young winner or even contender in a decade plus, then they have done "all right". In my book, 1 Cy Young winner in 10-20 years is mediocre.


There can only be 20-40 Cy Young Winners in the amount of time you have provided. If you consider players winning multiple times, that number gets even lower. There are 30 MLB teams. How many would be considered better than mediocre?

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#14 cmathewson

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 01:46 PM

It's concern that he won't be able to fix his command enough to start. Lots of moving parts in a big body like his so he could be too wild to start. Parks says he's one of the top 30 prospects in baseball so it sounds like he thinks he'll start but it's come up before as his floor.


If anything, relievers need better command than starters because they have less margin of error when they come in. It's the primary reason Deduno never made it as a reliever but he does OK as a starter.
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#15 gunnarthor

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 02:01 PM

Parks gave Buxton a future overall grade of 8 which he defended in the comment section:
"I think this is a the first time I've ever had the balls to throw an 8 on the OFP. I'm often quite hesitant to go THAT high on any one tool or player, but the scale only works when 8s actually exist. Somebody has to be an 8. Might as well be Buxton."

#16 Thrylos

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 02:23 PM

There can only be 20-40 Cy Young Winners in the amount of time you have provided. If you consider players winning multiple times, that number gets even lower. There are 30 MLB teams. How many would be considered better than mediocre?


30 MLB teams 30-40 Cy Young winners. Mean ( = Mediocre) is 1-2 winners every 15-20 years. The Twins are the definition of Mediocre as far as this goes. Bell curve. The majority of the teams are mediocre, and few are good and few are bad.

Most fans are not alright with mediocrity and want their team to strive for excellence. For some Twins' fans (and the team management and the local press) jumping from horrible to mediocre seems to be enough unfortunately. Even going back to horrible seems to be ok...

Edited by Thrylos, 18 November 2013 - 02:31 PM.

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#17 TheLeviathan

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 02:40 PM

You have to have talent in order to develop it. Garza, Liriano, Santana did come up through our system. The Twins haven't exactly failed to develop pitching talent when they've had it--trouble is pitchers have gotten hurt (Wimmers, Gibson) or the talent hasn't been acquired (what Shooter Hunt and who else?).

I'd also listen to the broadcast as Parks is pretty articulate and specific about how the Twins have helped Meyers and what can mean for guys like Gonsalves and others.


I just have trouble parsing out "developed" from all these other factors, especially when you go so far as to compare them to St. Louis. 5-6 years ago I would've agreed with the assessment of our pitching development, but now? That's nostalgia more than accuracy IMO. We have earned praise for acquiring farm talent but we haven't for developing it for quite some time.

#18 John Bonnes

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 02:50 PM

Some notes from the podcast:

.....


That was an awesome recap gunnathor. Thank you for sharing that. It's the kind of contribution that really helps the community.

#19 gunnarthor

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 02:51 PM

That was an awesome recap gunnathor. Thank you for sharing that. It's the kind of contribution that really helps the community.


Da nada

#20 gunnarthor

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 02:56 PM

Sano, Polanco, Kepler, and Thorpe are fantastic international signings.


Yeah, and you can add Felix Jorge and Minier (my favorite dark horse) to that list, too.

#21 John Bonnes

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 03:06 PM

Just to nip the "mediocre Cy Young" topic in the bud and get back to the Twins prospect talk, here are the number of Cy Young awards won by each franchise since 1967, which is when the AL got their own award:

[TABLE="width: 128"]
[TR]
[TD="width: 64"]BAL[/TD]
[TD="width: 64, align: right"]6[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]BOS[/TD]
[TD="align: right"]6[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]DET[/TD]
[TD="align: right"]5[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]OAK[/TD]
[TD="align: right"]5[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]KCR[/TD]
[TD="align: right"]4[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]MIN[/TD]
[TD="align: right"]4[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]TOR[/TD]
[TD="align: right"]4[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]CLE[/TD]
[TD="align: right"]3[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]NYY[/TD]
[TD="align: right"]3[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]CHW[/TD]
[TD="align: right"]2[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]MIL[/TD]
[TD="align: right"]2[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]SEA[/TD]
[TD="align: right"]2[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]LAA[/TD]
[TD="align: right"]1[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]TBR[/TD]
[TD="align: right"]1[/TD]
[/TR]
[/TABLE]

You can decide for yourself what is mediocre or average. Now, let's get back to the prospect talk.....

#22 twinsfan34

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 03:07 PM

30 MLB teams 30-40 Cy Young winners. Mean ( = Mediocre) is 1-2 winners every 15-20 years. The Twins are the definition of Mediocre as far as this goes. Bell curve. The majority of the teams are mediocre, and few are good and few are bad.

Most fans are not alright with mediocrity and want their team to strive for excellence. For some Twins' fans (and the team management and the local press) jumping from horrible to mediocre seems to be enough unfortunately. Even going back to horrible seems to be ok...


Well, the 30 teams doesn't quite play fairly to [COLOR=#0000ff]2 CY Young Awards[/COLOR] as your team in question can only win the AL CY OR the NL CY. It's the same ratio, but yeah, each time is only eligible for 1 CY.


To be "average" or mediocre, that would mean you win .0667 CY per year or 1/15. Thus, simply, every 15 years, it would assume the average of 1 CY.

The Twins have 2 CY's in 10 years (above the average). Johan in 2004 and 2006. If WHIP and other Sabermetrics had been as populare in 2005, Johan would have had a 3 consecutive. Colon won with 21 Ws on a poor 3.48 ERA 157 SO performance.

If you want to go back another 15 years, for a total of 30 years, that is back to 1984 to get to the next whole Cy Young Award (last I checked they don't hand out CY's in quarters, thirds or any non integer).

The Twins now have Frank Viola's 1988 CY season on the books. 4 years ahead of the curve. Once again, above average. Twins 3, Average 2.

This feels like the electric slide...

Take it back 15 years y'all...

That brings us to 1970. 45 years total. Guess what? Jim Perry won the CY in 1970. So here, the Twins are again, above average. Twins 4, average 3.


The Five teams without a single CY winner?
Cincinnatti, Colorado, Miami, Texas, Washington

The teams that are average to below average (or mediocre in terms of CY Awards)
include the:

Chicago White Sox
Cleveland Indians
San Francisco Giants
St. Louis Cardinals
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Houston Astros
Milwaukee Brewers
Pittsburgh Pirates
Seattle Mariners
Montreal Expos
Tampa Bay Rays
Cincinnati Reds
Colorado Rockies
Miami Marlins
Texas Rangers
Washington Nationals


*Note the number of teams in each league has varied through the years, but not enough to make the Twins an average team.

Edited by twinsfan34, 18 November 2013 - 03:16 PM.


#23 John Bonnes

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 03:14 PM

Boy, reading that Buxton profile - I need to take a deep breath. He is really exciting. Trout is the recent comp, but to me he sounds like Rickey Henderson. That's nuts.

#24 Brad Swanson

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 03:18 PM

For those who cannot read the article, start getting excited about Kohl Stewart. They describe him as both polished and "a no 1 type that could move quickly through a developmental system." 4 potential plus pitches, with the fastball and slider as potential "plus-plus."[COLOR=#000000][FONT=Arial]
[/FONT][/COLOR]
They write that he could end up being the top pitcher in the minor-league class...by the end of next season. Nice.

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#25 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 03:28 PM

Trout is the recent comp, but to me he sounds like Rickey Henderson. That's nuts.


The Twins need more players who talk about themselves in the third person.

#26 twinsfan34

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 03:36 PM

[COLOR=#333333]Posted Image Originally Posted by John Bonnes Posted Image[/COLOR]
[COLOR=#333333]Trout is the recent comp, but to me he sounds like Rickey Henderson. That's nuts.[/COLOR]

Agree.

The Twins need more players who talk about themselves in the third person.


YES!

#27 gunnarthor

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 03:43 PM

For those who cannot read the article, start getting excited about Kohl Stewart. They describe him as both polished and "a no 1 type that could move quickly through a developmental system." 4 potential plus pitches, with the fastball and slider as potential "plus-plus."[COLOR=#000000][FONT=Arial]
[/FONT][/COLOR]
They write that he could end up being the top pitcher in the minor-league class...by the end of next season. Nice.


That would be awesome. I don't have a BP subscription but I know someone at BA listed him as the fastest "high school arm to majors" in the last draft. And some scouts liked him better than the collage pitchers. God, I hope he stays healthy.

Twins have gotten some criticism (which I'm not sure is fair) about slow promotions of minor leaguers but the Twins had a bunch of our top prospects do two levels this year - Buxton, Sano, Rosario, Stewart (and the quick promotions for Arcia and Hicks).

#28 James

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 03:50 PM

The Twins need more players who talk about themselves in the third person.

James agrees with this.

James also thinks more people on TD should talk like Ricky Henderson.

In the podcast they mentioned that a scout said that Buxton's floor was around a Torii Hunter level. That's his projected floor!!! That part is nuts.

When asked about Buxton's ceiling, the scout apparently laughed and basically said the sky is the limit. Threw out... Willie Mays.

If we don't get Willie Mays level of play, James will settle for Ricky Henderson.

You can come up with statistics to prove anything. Forty percent of all people know that.


#29 John Bonnes

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 03:51 PM

For those who cannot read the story, listen to the podcast. I'm only 8 minutes into it and needed to stop to take a cold shower. "[The Twins minor league system] has the depth of the Astros' system and the impact of the Cubs' system."

#30 ericchri

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 04:11 PM

If we don't get Willie Mays level of play, James will settle for Ricky Henderson.


For current lack of a "like" button, I'll just quote that part for my fervent agreement!