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Kahrl: Twins Could Jump Up

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#21 Joe A. Preusser

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 01:16 PM

Win range for 2014:

Low - 72
High - 93

Best guess? 81

#22 Dave T

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 01:17 PM

What I like about the Twins offense for next year is, they don't need everything to go right in order to improve. If Hicks doesn't return to form, maybe Rosario wins an outfield job. if Willingham doesn't return to form, maybe Kubel does. If Plouffe shows us nothing, maybe promote Sano early.

#23 B Richard

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 02:49 PM

And because Thrylos and Willihammer are learking nearby, the advanced metrics.

(though, they could surely provide more)

Sano's BABIP is the lowest of the bunch. And it's quite low.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]6234[/ATTACH]


Very nice post. A few numbers jump out at me. I don't want to derail this thread, but it seems fair to comment on this interesting data regarding one of our biggest sources of hope for the future. First thing that jumps out at me is age. Harper and Stanton were both younger than Sano at AA. Sano is still quite young for AA, but the observation stands.

The best stat on that sheet, for me at least, is wRC+, which measures hitting and adjusts for league (and park, but only at the MLB level). In terms of pure hitting, Sano had a monster performance at AA, even relative to Harper and Stanton. 45% above league average at 20 years old is damn good. I really see a bright future for him, especially considering his BB%. With improved fielding allowing him to stay at third, Sano will be a huge part of the Twins future.

#24 jokin

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 02:57 PM

Aaron Hicks should bounce back. He got into a funk or something. There's nothing in his history that would suggest he'd have any sort of season like he had last season, except last season. I just can't see him being a flame in the pan, one try .192 hitter in MLB. His hit tool and BB/SO patience would suggest he's more than that.


Actually, his minor league history showed he took some time to adjust at mastering each successive level of promotion. The Twins FO ignored that history, inexplicably jumped poor Aaron Hicks not one, but 2 Levels, and then rather unfairly expected a major league level performance- at the lead-off spot no less- from a guy who, other than a meaningless Spring Training, hadn't demonstrated he was ready for the move.

This time around should go better, but I would bet that he starts in Roc., and following his past history, will begin to demonstrate mastery of AAA and heat up as springtime temperatures move into the summer month weather.

I think the biggest decision on Hicks will be whether or not he remains a switch hitter.

#25 BigTrane

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 03:10 PM

Don't get me wrong on Sano.... optimism with him is totally justified. Problem is, what if Plouffe looks semi-OK at the plate to start, and so Twins then decide to sit on Sano 'till August? We're dealing with a very conservative club here. The question is all about when he comes up, and how the club makes that decision. I question MGMT.
Feel free to pile on about Suzuki.

#26 Thrylos

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 03:13 PM

And because Thrylos and Willihammer are learking nearby, the advanced metrics.

(though, they could surely provide more)

Sano's BABIP is the lowest of the bunch. And it's quite low.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]6234[/ATTACH]

Stats courtesy of Fangraphs.


Nah. Cannot really provide more, other that a reference to the Oliver's projection (that was done in a similar way, with comparables, but with many comparables and longer equations :) )

He projects this line for Sano if he were to play in the majors in 2014:

.238/.315/.517 143 G, 600 PA, 37 HR, 80 R, 101 RBI, 55 BB, 210 K (and .309 BABIP and 4.5 WAR)

I'd take that line with the Twins for 2014.

Over at fangraphs Oliver has a 5 year projection that has him hit 51 HR with 128 RBI and 7.6 WAR in 2018 with a .269/.354/.634 slash line. That's before he reaches his prime too. Bonds' territory. And scary, most people do not think he is the best Twins' prospect...

But projections are just fancy (and fun) math exercises :)

His BABIP is comparable to Stanton's who is a slow power hitter as well (HRs are not Balls in Play btw) and a speedier guy like Harper will have a higher BABIP.
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#27 jokin

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 03:22 PM

Very nice post. A few numbers jump out at me. I don't want to derail this thread, but it seems fair to comment on this interesting data regarding one of our biggest sources of hope for the future. First thing that jumps out at me is age. Harper and Stanton were both younger than Sano at AA. Sano is still quite young for AA, but the observation stands.

The best stat on that sheet, for me at least, is wRC+, which measures hitting and adjusts for league (and park, but only at the MLB level). In terms of pure hitting, Sano had a monster performance at AA, even relative to Harper and Stanton. 45% above league average at 20 years old is damn good. I really see a bright future for him, especially considering his BB%. With improved fielding allowing him to stay at third, Sano will be a huge part of the Twins future.


To be fair, Sano was only 6 months older than Stanton while playing at the similar levels. And as you noted, Sano's performance was absolutely monster relative to both Harper and Stanton. Sano actually improved his BB% after moving to AA, and was playing with an injury for much of the last half of 2013.

Besides the wRC+ number for Sano, which dwarfed the others (Harper was only league average @ 100), Sano's ISO was ridiculous relative to the other two- and unlike the other 2 who took a significant drop in ISO upon promotion- he actually INCREASED his ISO on the move up to AA.

Sano ISO for A+ and AA: .325/.335
Harper ISO for A+ & AA: .236/.140
Stanton ISO for A+ & AA: .283/.224


Bright future indeed. Hopefully, the future starts soon after the service time issues are resolved.

#28 jokin

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 03:26 PM

Don't get me wrong on Sano.... optimism with him is totally justified. Problem is, what if Plouffe looks semi-OK at the plate to start, and so Twins then decide to sit on Sano 'till August? We're dealing with a very conservative club here. The question is all about when he comes up, and how the club makes that decision. I question MGMT.


Simple. Plouffe becomes the Super-UTIL that we all have been clamoring for and Sano beats down the door and into the starting lineup. I am hoping that the Twins aren't thinking too seriously about the Futures game as the moment and venue for their prized prospects debut at a major league park. If Sano is mashing from the outset at AAA, he should be promoted way before August.

#29 BigTrane

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 03:41 PM

We're all hoping that Sano mashes out of the gate (getting over his current elbow problems). That makes a decision easy.

My worry is that with the traditional mindset of this org., you wind up with a stupidly sticky situation where (realistically) Sano has some adjustments to make , while Plouffe (briefly) focuses and produces, blocking Sano (in retrospect, but conservatively) for far too long.
Feel free to pile on about Suzuki.

#30 Thrylos

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 03:46 PM

We're all hoping that Sano mashes out of the gate (getting over his current elbow problems). That makes a decision easy.

My worry is that with the traditional mindset of this org., you wind up with a stupidly sticky situation where (realistically) Sano has some adjustments to make , while Plouffe (briefly) focuses and produces, blocking Sano (in retrospect, but conservatively) for far too long.


Plouffe will never block Sano. If Plouffe hits, he can move in a corner OF position in 2014.
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#31 Major Leauge Ready

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 04:55 PM

Plouffe will never block Sano. If Plouffe hits, he can move in a corner OF position in 2014.


Ideally, Willingham has a good first half and is traded for value. Sano takes his roster spot and Plouffe becomes a utility player. As long as I am wishing, Correia is traded for value around the same time and Gibson takes his roster spot.

#32 drivlikejehu

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 06:10 PM

Plouffe's defensive limitations are not a great fit for the utility role.

#33 jokin

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 06:28 PM

Plouffe's defensive limitations are not a great fit for the utility role.


I disagree. He'd be just fine as a part-time corner OF and 1B, with an occasional stint at 3B against LHP.

#34 TwinsTerritory

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 06:53 PM

I agree that Plouffe would be a nice bench player that could play some corner infield and outfield. In a perfect world Willingham and Corriea will get off to good starts and can be traded. Then the Twins line-up might look something like this in August.

1. Hicks CF
2. Dozier 2B
3. Mauer 1B
4. Sano 3B
5. Kubel DH
6. Arcia RF/LF
7. Pinto C
8. Florimon SS
9. Presley/Plouffe/Parmalee LF/RF

Bench: Plouffe, Escobar, Suzuki, Parmalee

SP: Nolasco, Hughes, Pelfrey, Deduno, Gibson (I think Meyer is at best a Sept. call-up)
RP: Perkins, Burton, Fien, Duensing, Thielbar, Tonkin, Swarzak

#35 Jim Crikket

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 06:55 PM

Ideally, Willingham has a good first half and is traded for value. Sano takes his roster spot and Plouffe becomes a utility player. As long as I am wishing, Correia is traded for value around the same time and Gibson takes his roster spot.


If Plouffe and Willingham both come out of the gate strong and Sano is deemed ready for the big time, as well, I suspect Plouffe will be as likely (and perhaps more so) to be traded as Willingham. He'd almost certainly be perceived to have more value and if you feel neither will be a critical piece of the puzzle beginning in 2015, there's no reason not to deal the player who would bring the best return.
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#36 drivlikejehu

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 06:58 PM

I disagree. He'd be just fine as a part-time corner OF and 1B, with an occasional stint at 3B against LHP.


That might just be semantics- if you try to get his bat into the lineup against LHP, he's more of a platoon player than a utility player, based on how I use the terms.

And if he doesn't regularly play against LHP, he's a waste of a roster spot, because of the defense issues.

#37 TheLeviathan

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 07:09 PM

Win range for 2014:

Low - 72
High - 93

Best guess? 81


I don't think that range is right. We out-performed our expected W-L by 5 games last year. While we certainly could do that again, I feel like the low should factor in that we don't.

I imagine the range should be more like 68 to 88. I can't imagine this offense managing to win 90 games.

#38 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 08:00 PM

The next wave doesn't really have a DH just yet, or a super utility guy that could be used to give a guy a day off. I really think those roles are what Plouffe and Parmelee are fighting for in 2014 (and this really can be 1 position, not 2). Both have shown enough to tease you, but neither have proven they can consistently get the job done. The one that hits will find a role. If neither hit, they will be DFAd as soon as they get expensive. If both hits, you can consider a trade.

#39 darin617

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 08:05 PM

[quote name='John Bonnes']ESPN's and Baseball Prospectus' Christina Kahrl just penned a story about how the Twins could surprise much like the Indians did last year. There's a lot she likes about the Twins, including the free agent signings this offseason....


When you are on the bottom there usually is no where to go but up. If the Twins win 15 more this season TR and Gardy look like a couple of geniuses.

#40 Dman

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 08:24 PM

Maybe I am weird or way off base but I don't want Sano or Buxton up until they are essentially overly ready. At 20 or 21 in six years when they hit the FA market at least one of them might be gone as the going rate for super stars seems to be around 25 mil per year. I don't want to train them in the Majors. I want them to be truly ready for the six years we have some control over them.