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Posted 23 July 2012 - 09:44 AM
Kevin Goldstein wrote today that in his future shock column that: "When the Twins set a European bonus record by signing Kepler for $800,000 three years ago, it was a complete athlete bet. He's six-foot-four, graceful and strong, and few players at any level look better in a uniform, but it was going to take time for him to learn how to play the game. His middling numbers during his first few seasons were actually quite impressive considering where he came from, and while he's playing short-season ball for the third straight year, Kepler is still just 19 years old and making very real progress. With four more hits over the weekend, including his fourth home run of the year, Kepler is hitting .306/.440/.519 in 29 games and showing an outstanding approach with surprising contact abilities. His ceiling remains through the roof, and his chances of reaching it are rapidly improving."
Posted 23 July 2012 - 03:24 PM
I mention him as a Joe Mauer type hitter, not as the next Joe Mauer. here's an article from January that says he went from 6'3" 175lbs when he signed to a current 6'3" 210 now and he thinks he might get to 240.
Very interesting article - thanks for posting. He seems very confident yet down to earth and open to constructive criticism. Of course, I'm just trying to read between the lines and don't actually know what I'm talking about.
He says he sees himself as a Josh Hamilton type hitter, or at least wants to model himself after Hamilton. Perhaps he is striving for more power than the initial scouting reports would have suggested. At one point he relays that the coaches say regarding his development: "... I'm doing good. I just need to get bigger, stronger, and maintain my speed..." Could he really maintain his speed from 175 pounds at 240 pounds? I'll take a Josh Hamilton type at any speed, but doesn't 240 sound a little bulky? At least from a speed perspective?
I'm really looking forward to watching his development. As has been stated before, he could be anything from an A-ball flameout to a big league regular (even superstar??). Even with success, he could be anything from a high average speedster to a middle-of-the-order slugger. Very fascinating.
Posted 23 July 2012 - 11:53 PM
My takeaway from the article was that he's going to have a Josh Hamilton body and like Hamilton he'll probably get pushed to a corner spot because you'll likely have a speedster like Revere/Hicks/etc in center. I'm a little surprised that he thinks he'll go all the way to 240. His frame can handle it but it seems difficult to predict where one's weight ends up considering that he has already added 40 lbs in the last 3 years. I still think the big thing regarding his power potential is becoming more of a fly ball hitter than a groundball/line drive hitter. This is the same reason that Joe Mauer has never had much HR power. It's hard to hit HR's when you are hitting a lot of groundballs.
Posted 24 July 2012 - 12:21 AM
2015 position players: Aaron Hicks, RF Max Kepler, LF Joe Mauer, C Miguel Sano, 1B Oswaldo Arcia, DH Trevor Plouffe, 3B Joe Benson, CF Brian Dozier, SS/2B Levi Michael, 2B/SS Bench: Chris Herrmann, C/LF Danny Santana or James Beresford, MI Chris Parmelee 1B/RF X
Posted 24 July 2012 - 07:49 PM
He just hit his fifth home run for Elizabethton tonight... More and more, I'm thinking there is a chance he could be there by playoff time.
That would fit with what the Twins have done in the past. Let him finish the Appy League season and then push him up for the last couple of games and playoffs.
Posted 26 July 2012 - 11:41 AM
This guy was supposedly very raw and his skill set was based on athleticism. That's why I was surprised today when I saw his BB/K numbers.
20BB/15k in 143 PA? That is very impressive. That kind of plate presence often leads to quick promotions.
This and the fact that he has started to hit for some power is making me like him more and more. I would love to see him promoted sooner than later to see what he can do in a league that isn't so hitter friendly.
Posted 31 July 2012 - 01:45 AM
Interesting note from Terry Ryan on Kepler:
"He can play CF, but he's also been playing 1B for us."
I'd heard in the spring, he'd be working out at 1B, but he hasn't played an inning yet at 1B in a game (according to baseball-reference.com)
This could be so that they have some flexibility in the future since there are a lot of OF'ers and very few 1B prospects. If a 1Bman is athletic enough it's easy to move to the OF and learn to run down flyballs but it's not as easy to learn to play the infield. It's a very different skillset.
Posted 08 August 2012 - 10:39 PM
Today, in Buxtons debut game for Appy League E-Town Twins. Max Kepler (and A.B. Walker) stole the show. Kepler went 4-4, HR (8) , 2B (12) and SB (5) !!! great game for max today, and he's now batting in the .290 range.
Top Twins prospects ? 1.Byron Buxton (OF-AA) 2.Miguel Sano (3B-AA) 3.Alex Meyer (SP-AAA) 4. J.O. Berrios (P-AA) 5.Kohl Stewart (SP-A+)6.Nick Gordon (SS-A)7. Jorge Polanco (2B-AA) 8.*Trevor May (SP-AAA) 9. L. Thorpe (SP-A) 10. Nick Burdi (RP-A+) 11. Eddie Rosario (2B-AA) 12.Max Kepler (OF-AA) 13. Chih-Wei-Hu (SP-A+)14. Travis Harrison (OF-A+) Just Missed P Tyler Duffey, P Jake Reed, P Stephen Gonsalves, C Stuart Turner, OF A.B. Walker.
Posted 09 August 2012 - 12:11 AM
I'd leave Kepler right where he is until at least after the E-Town playoffs. He's still be able to play in the Midwest League playoffs. Twins did that with Deibinson Romero and Rene Tosoni last time the Snappers made the playoffs. Kepler is putting up encouraging numbers, but he's so young and so raw, and it's not like he's putting up Arcia, Rosario or even Sano numbers in E-Town.
Posted 10 August 2012 - 03:18 PM
I'd leave Kepler right where he is until at least after the E-Town playoffs. He's still be able to play in the Midwest League playoffs. Twins did that with Deibinson Romero and Rene Tosoni last time the Snappers made the playoffs.
Kepler is putting up encouraging numbers, but he's so young and so raw, and it's not like he's putting up Arcia, Rosario or even Sano numbers in E-Town.
I agree with what I assume was your main point; Kepler will not be ranked in the top 100 prospects lists. However, he is 19 this year in E-Town the same age as Arcia/Rosario and a year older than Sano was. So he isn't exactly young any more (compared to his competition at least). You're right he isn't putting up Arcia/Rosario/Sano numbers but he isn't that far off at this point either. His OPS is .019 less than Sano's was. He is definitely having a very good year and should move up the Twins prospect lists I would think.
Posted 24 August 2012 - 06:37 AM
Congratulations to my adopted prospect, Max Kepler, as well as Elizabethton teammate Candido Pimentel on being named to the 2012 Appalachian League All-Star team. Pimental was also named 2012 Appy Player of the Year!