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Article: The Case for Stephen Drew

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#141 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 02:52 PM

Heck, I am not even saying it is a bad move. It just is not a move that clearly needs to be made.


Which is a fair opinion. Personally, I'd rather see the Twins go after positional help like Drew than another pitcher like Garza. If they need another pitcher after this season, then go get one at that time. Right now, I think a rotation of Nolasco/Hughes/Pelfrey/Gibson/Meyer has a pretty good shot at being above average in 2015-2016.

#142 cmathewson

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 03:29 PM

The key factor that you left out and the big difference between the Twins and the Red Sox is that the Sox have a legitimate SS in waiting (Bogaerts)....a guy who was ranked in 2012 by BA almost as high as Buxton and Sano are now. And the Sox aren't necessarily done with Drew by any means- my guess is they prefer a one-year "SS insurance policy" with Drew, and Boras is plying the waters to try to get a longer deal than that.


So the Twins might be able to get him on a two-year deal with an option? Sold.
"If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

#143 oldguy10

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 03:57 PM

The enthusiasm for Drew mystifies me greatly, sure he would be an upgrade over Florimon but I'd rather see them beef up the hitting at other positions, good teams get by with weak hitting shortstops, see the great Baltimore teams with Belanger at SS. Plus by the time the Twins are ready to contend neither Florimon or Drew will be anywhere near being on the roster, it will be Polanco, Santana, Goodrum or a shortstop they may draft this June. Get your hitting from the outfield or corner positions as most of the MLB teams do, pretty simple, isn't it?

#144 amjgt

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 03:58 PM

The problem with options for high priced players on short contracts is that it does away with the opportunity to make a qualifying offer.... or am I making that up?

#145 twinsnorth49

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 04:09 PM

The enthusiasm for Drew mystifies me greatly, sure he would be an upgrade over Florimon but I'd rather see them beef up the hitting at other positions, good teams get by with weak hitting shortstops, see the great Baltimore teams with Belanger at SS. Plus by the time the Twins are ready to contend neither Florimon or Drew will be anywhere near being on the roster, it will be Polanco, Santana, Goodrum or a shortstop they may draft this June. Get your hitting from the outfield or corner positions as most of the MLB teams do, pretty simple, isn't it?


I think the potential for that to happen with what they already have is much higher than at SS. Willingham is a good candidate to have a bounceback year, Arcia is 22 and needs to play next year, it will be interesting to see what Mauer produces at 1st without the wear and tear of C and Sano is your other corner in waiting.

They have nothing waiting at SS and by the time they do they will hopefully have flipped Drew for a useful prospect............maybe even a SS.

Edited by twinsnorth49, 08 January 2014 - 07:22 PM.


#146 Doomtints

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 04:11 PM

To put it mildly, I'm skeptical of judging any player based entirely on his defensive WAR, particularly if it's not a full season.


This sounds like a great philosophy.

It's a great thing that we have other statistics available to compare the defensive abilities of Drew and Florimon.

Edited by twinsnorth49, 08 January 2014 - 04:45 PM.


#147 Doomtints

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 04:25 PM

And fWAR adjusted for Florimon's skewed and partial season stats, assigned him a WAR value of only 1.3.


Florimon played 134 games last year, which was more games than Drew. How skewed do you think the numbers are?

#148 JP3700

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 04:37 PM

The enthusiasm for Drew mystifies me greatly, sure he would be an upgrade over Florimon but I'd rather see them beef up the hitting at other positions, good teams get by with weak hitting shortstops


Here are the five playoff teams in the AL and their offensive output from the SS position, along with where the Twins stood.

[TABLE="width: 500"]


wRC+ (AL Ranking)



Red Sox (97-65)

107 (1st)



A's (96-66)

105 (2nd)



Tigers (93-69)

98 (6th)



Indians (92-70)

89 (7th)



Rays (92-71)

100 (3rd)



Twins (66-96)

70 (11th)


[/TABLE]


Not surprisingly, the two best teams in the league got the most offense from their shortstop position. Including the Stephen Drew led Red Sox coming in first.

Not one playoff team was below league average at the position. The Twins were 15% below league average. I'd say that's a good spot to upgrade.

#149 JP3700

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 04:51 PM

I'm not a fan of fWAR for either. It places too much emphasis on defense for my taste.


Both versions of WAR place equal value on defense. They just use different metrics in their evaluation.

Except that we have the statistical anomaly of Florimon being higher rated by bWAR over fWAR. And Brock thought that fWAR was the better metric for positional players.


The reason why rWAR rates Florimon higher is because they use TZ and DRS as their defensive metric. DRS loves Florimon.

fWAR likes Drew more because they use UZR as their metric. UZR prefers Drew to Florimon.

Hence the gap in WAR.

With defensive metrics you usually want to account for all three, as they are all viable (although I prefer UZR).

So the truth is likely somewhere in the middle. Drew was likely worth 3.2 - 3.3 WAR and Florimon about 1.7 WAR.

#150 Doomtints

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 05:25 PM

although I prefer UZR


The guy who came up with UZR states pretty clearly that you need three years of data for UZR to be reliable, and goes on to say that small sample sizes come up with downright ridiculous views. Florimon's sample size is way too small to be using UZR.

When you look at Florimon it is impossible to see the SS of the future. Drew just isn't exciting enough to me to be the answer -- though a lot of fans see this differently. Getting Drew now would simply prohibit the Twins from getting someone better later. If this was 2010 or 2011 I would say get Drew without hesitation.

Not surprisingly, the two best teams in the league got the most offense from their shortstop position. Including the Stephen Drew led Red Sox coming in first


Be careful. The Red Sox also played Jose Iglesias at SS last year. They traded him off at midseason, but he had better offensive production than Drew.

#151 JP3700

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 06:08 PM

[quote name='Doomtints']The guy who came up with UZR states pretty clearly that you need three years of data for UZR to be reliable, and goes on to say that small sample sizes come up with downright ridiculous views.

[/QUOTE]

I'm not sure where I mentioned anything about sample size. I understand that you should use at least a three year sample for all three metrics stated, not just UZR. I was just stating that as an individual defensive metric, I feel UZR is the most accurate. Given a proper sample size.

[QUOTE]Florimon's sample size is way too small to be using UZR.[/QUOTE]

The discussion was on WAR and fangraphs uses UZR as their defensive metric. They were comparing WAR totals and I was explaining the gap between Fangraphs and BR.

As I stated, when comparing defensive metrics, you should always look at all three metrics. It's a given that you should look at a proper sample size to truly judge their true talent level.

In this case when comparing year by year WAR totals, you only have that one year to compare.

[QUOTE]Getting Drew now would simply prohibit the Twins from getting someone better later. [/QUOTE]

How does it prohibit the Twins from getting someone better later? And who is this someone better?

[QUOTE]Be careful. The Red Sox also played Jose Iglesias at SS last year. They traded him off at midseason, but he had better offensive production than Drew.[/QUOTE]

Be careful. Iglesias played most of those games at third base. He had 83 PA at SS with the Red Sox compared to Drew's 501.

Drew's wRC+ was 109 and the team's shortstop wRC+ was 107. Pretty sure Drew led the way.

#152 Mike Sixel

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 06:31 PM

The enthusiasm for Drew mystifies me greatly, sure he would be an upgrade over Florimon but I'd rather see them beef up the hitting at other positions, good teams get by with weak hitting shortstops, see the great Baltimore teams with Belanger at SS. Plus by the time the Twins are ready to contend neither Florimon or Drew will be anywhere near being on the roster, it will be Polanco, Santana, Goodrum or a shortstop they may draft this June. Get your hitting from the outfield or corner positions as most of the MLB teams do, pretty simple, isn't it?


Which corner OF is available to get this year......which 1B or 3B is going to sign with this team......which DH is available this year?

I don't know, it is a site to discuss sports, not airline safety.....maybe we should take it less seriously?


#153 oldguy10

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 07:31 PM

As mentioned by me previously I am thinking of down the line when the good prospects are up and producing, three years say - and if they hit like those Oriole's teams with Belanger then it is quite moot as to who the shortstop will be. Okay, so I am too optimistic.

#154 Reider

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 08:50 PM

What it boils down to is this:

1. Pedro Florimon is not a good baseball player. He is at the age where improvement is very unlikely.

2. The Twins have no internal prospects on the horizon that will improve the position significantly.

3. The Twins need better baseball players. Stephen Drew is a better baseball player than Pedro Florimon.

1) Drew has a better track record for producing runs than Florimon, but a) Florimon has only played one year in the MLB B) Florimon is better defensively and has the tools to be a #2 SS in 2014 and beyond c) Drew costs 20-26 times as much as Florimon plus a 2nd round draft pick. A cost-benefit analysis determines that the law of diminishing returns is huge on this one.

2) The Twins better get drafting SS's then.

3a) Center field is open and so is DH. Cost benefit analysis determines that those are two places the Twins could improve their offense, yet fans want to go after a guy who's arguably a top 5 SS with a ceiling of #2 who's only played one year and in my opinion is a good value @ $500,000.

3b) Stephen Drew is not a better SS than Pedro Florimon and he costs 20-26x more + a 2nd round draft pick. He is better offensively, but his durability is questionable. His .253 AVG did not impress me last year, but the one thing I do like about Drew is that he consistently has had a +.300 OBP throughout his career. That's the one thing I'd definitely like about him if the Twins were to sign him.

4) The Twins signed Catcher Kurt Suzuki who's offense isn't anything to brag about, yet nobody says a peep. Thankfully, Pinto has shown some positive offensive signs so far, so I"m not overly concerned.

5) The Twins should sign Garza and Drew already so Twins fans can find something else to talk about. :)

#155 Reider

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 09:06 PM

The enthusiasm for Drew mystifies me greatly, sure he would be an upgrade over Florimon but I'd rather see them beef up the hitting at other positions, good teams get by with weak hitting shortstops, see the great Baltimore teams with Belanger at SS. Plus by the time the Twins are ready to contend neither Florimon or Drew will be anywhere near being on the roster, it will be Polanco, Santana, Goodrum or a shortstop they may draft this June. Get your hitting from the outfield or corner positions as most of the MLB teams do, pretty simple, isn't it?

I agree.. There's at least one out field position, DH, and Catcher where they could improve the offense, yet for some reason everyone is going crazy over Drew who's very expensive for what he brings to the table over Florimon IMO.

I agree with you wholeheartedly.

Drew hit .253 last year. Florimon only hit .221, but it was only his first year in the league. Drew hit 14HR's last year, Florimon hit 9. It's not out of the realm of possibilities that Florimon hits an extra 5HR's next year to match Drew's power. The one thing Drew does better than Florimon is get on base (consistent .300+ OBP throughout his career), but he's not a better SS than Florimon, nor does he have a higher ceiling. Not to mention that Drew is older, less durable, and much more expensive. 20-26x + a 2nd round draft pick to be exact.

I'm not against upgrading the SS position. I was perfectly fine with JJ Hardy. However, I think there's other places the Twins could improve before SS.

Also, we need to keep in mind that Rome wasn't built in a day. Everyone wants everything now. I would give Florimon one more year and if he doesn't show any improvement, then look a little more seriously about finding a replacement. I shouldn't say it's a fact that the Twins aren't going to make the playoffs next year because the games have yet to be played, but based on the team that is currently assembled, it is optimistic to think that they will. It's going to take a couple or a few more years until all of the young prospects are up and established.

#156 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 09:30 PM

How on earth can you rationalize saving a starting spot for Florimon but mention centerfield as an "open spot"? Aaron Hicks has TEN TIMES the potential of Pedro Florimon and is three years younger.

You save roster space for the Aaron Hicks of the world, not the Pedro Florimons.

#157 stringer bell

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 09:57 PM

I think an upgrade at short is fine. I don't think Stephen Drew is the guy to do that. I think he's a big candidate for regression and I wonder whether he will be focused on a team that is below .500 on the 4th of July. If the Twins are concerned with building with the hope of being competitive in 2014, they should find a younger guy who may not be ready until 2015.

#158 JP3700

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 10:18 PM

[quote name='Reider']

Center field is open

[/QUOTE]

So you don't want to replace a 27 year old with zero track record of success, yet you want to find a CF when we have two top prospects coming up in that position?

[QUOTE]Cost benefit analysis determines that those are two places the Twins could improve their offense[/QUOTE]

I'm curious how cost benefit analysis determined that?

[QUOTE]yet fans want to go after a guy who's arguably a top 5 SS with a ceiling of #2[/QUOTE]

All shortstops have to hit as well.

[QUOTE]Stephen Drew is not a better SS than Pedro Florimon
[/QUOTE]

[QUOTE]but he's not a better SS than Florimon, nor does he have a higher ceiling.[/QUOTE]

In what world is Drew not a better baseball player than Florimon?

Florimon is a 27 year old who put up a .675 OPS in the minors and you feel he has a higher ceiling? By age 27 Drew had already put up 3 separate seasons of .800+ OPS in the majors.

[QUOTE]Drew hit .253 last year. Florimon only hit .221, but it was only his first year in the league. Drew hit 14HR's last year, Florimon hit 9.[/QUOTE]

So Drew only hits for a better average, draws more walks and hits more doubles, triples, and home runs.

You imply that we should see improvement from Florimon. Here's his numbers last year.

[TABLE="width: 500"]

1st half
.636 OPS
21.1 K%


2nd half
.576 OPS
32.4 K%

[/TABLE]

#159 JP3700

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 10:25 PM

I don't think Stephen Drew is the guy to do that. I think he's a big candidate for regression and I wonder whether he will be focused on a team that is below .500 on the 4th of July.


I'm curious as to why you think these things.

Especially the second part. Considering his best season as a pro was on a 65 win team.

#160 jokin

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 10:32 PM

So you don't want to replace a 27 year old with zero track record of success, yet you want to find a CF when we have two top prospects coming up in that position?



I'm curious how cost benefit analysis determined that?



All shortstops have to hit as well.





In what world is Drew not a better baseball player than Florimon?

Florimon is a 27 year old who put up a .675 OPS in the minors and you feel he has a higher ceiling? By age 27 Drew had already put up 3 separate seasons of .800+ OPS in the majors.



So Drew only hits for a better average, draws more walks and hits more doubles, triples, and home runs.

You imply that we should see improvement from Florimon. Here's his numbers last year.

[TABLE="width: 500"]

1st half

.636 OPS

21.1 K%



2nd half

.576 OPS

32.4 K%


[/TABLE]


Let me pile on here and note, the allegedly "health-challenged" Stephen Drew played in all but 2 games in August and all but 2 games in September right up until the day the Red Sox clinched home field advantage on September 22.

Here are Drew's hitting stats, the opposite of health-challenged:
1st half .722 OPS
2nd half .837 OPS
From July 27 on: .880 OPS