Jump to content

Providing independent coverage of the Minnesota Twins.
The same great Twins Daily coverage, now for the Vikings.

The Store


Photo

Article: What to Make of Trevor May?

  • Please log in to reply
72 replies to this topic

#1 Nick Nelson

Nick Nelson

    Owner

  • Administrators
  • 2,062 posts

Posted 16 January 2014 - 11:05 PM

You can view the page at http://www.twinsdail...e-of-Trevor-May

#2 Seth Stohs

Seth Stohs

    Owner

  • Administrators
  • 7,435 posts

Posted 16 January 2014 - 11:12 PM

People should listen to the tremendous interview that the Talk to Contact podcast guys had with Trevor May on Wednesday night. They asked some great questions and got into his mind. It sounds like he learned a ton from his time in the AFL. He made some great points and gave great insight into what he's thinking and working on.

http://talk2contact....T20_07_22-08_00

#3 SgtSchmidt11

SgtSchmidt11

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 179 posts

Posted 17 January 2014 - 07:20 AM

I wonder if May could be a Swarzak like pitcher out of the bullpen. Starter's endurance with Reliever's stuff?

#4 Old Twins Cap

Old Twins Cap

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 128 posts

Posted 17 January 2014 - 08:26 AM

Sometimes these bigger guys just take longer to get their bodies working in synch. In basketball, we used to say the big guys would not get full coordination until their late twenties. Twins fans just have to hope that a guy like May, and even Meyer, develop more consistency and repeatability in their delivery and with their pitches.

But, the one thing you cannot ever underrate or discount: how competitive is he? When there's runners on base and nobody out, does he hitch at his belt, grit his teeth and go for a K or does he start to think, "Oh, oh, not again, well, if it doesn't work out, I can always pitch in relief somewhere".

It's old fashioned, but the will to win is what makes an athlete special. You either got that or you don't. And no pitching coach anywhere will ever be able to teach that.

#5 cmathewson

cmathewson

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 2,273 posts

Posted 17 January 2014 - 08:48 AM

FB/Change guys should be starters. He just needs to develop a better breaking ball. And, of course, more consistent control. In 2013, he'd get into a groove and throw two or three really good games. In the next game, he'd come out and walk the first two guys and just never get into a rhythm. You can't teach velocity. Give him a year at AAA to work on a more repeatable delivery and a better breaking ball and he could be a factor in 2015.

#6 Monkeypaws

Monkeypaws

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 661 posts

Posted 17 January 2014 - 09:31 AM

There wasn't dramatic progress, but coming to a new team, he did make marginal improvements in every statistical category, more innings pitched, lower ERA, fewer walks, and more strikeouts. One step at a time I guess.

#7 Siehbiscuit

Siehbiscuit

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 305 posts

Posted 17 January 2014 - 10:02 AM

If you look deeper at his #'s when he does give up runs they cme in bunches. Like @cwmathewson said, "he'd get into a groove and throw two or three really good games. In the next game, he'd come out and walk the first two guys and just never get into a rhythm." He needs to get the consistency thing figured out and he could be a low to mid-3 ERA guy. Nolan Ryan walked a lot of guys too. So I'm not too worried about walks, but the unraveling with guys on base and minimizing the damage. Guys like Verlander, Kershaw and Hernandez (High K guys with great control) are HOF material. May doesn't have to be that for him to have a role on this team.

#8 tobi0040

tobi0040

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 1,298 posts

Posted 17 January 2014 - 10:05 AM

I wonder if May could be a Swarzak like pitcher out of the bullpen. Starter's endurance with Reliever's stuff?


I don't get the Swarzak comp, May has better stuff. Throws a lot harder. I don't recall Swarzak ever striking out a batter an inning in high A - AAA. I think we give May another year as a starter to get his BB/9 around 3.5. If he is walking too many people I would think he could be a 7th or 8th inning guy. If he throws 94-95 over 6-7 innings I would think he could dial it up to 97-98 for one inning. Either way, a good return for Ben Revere.

#9 Willihammer

Willihammer

    ice cream correspondent

  • Members
  • 2,931 posts
  • LocationSaint Paul

Posted 17 January 2014 - 10:49 AM

FB/Change guys should be starters. He just needs to develop a better breaking ball. And, of course, more consistent control. In 2013, he'd get into a groove and throw two or three really good games. In the next game, he'd come out and walk the first two guys and just never get into a rhythm. You can't teach velocity. Give him a year at AAA to work on a more repeatable delivery and a better breaking ball and he could be a factor in 2015.


At 24 I wouldn't hold my breath. Also Tyler Clippard says hello.

edit: To clarify I wouldn't hold my breath on May developing a good breaking pitch and then holding down a rotation job. I agree with Nick that relief is more likely his future.

Edited by Willihammer, 17 January 2014 - 11:35 AM.


#10 gunnarthor

gunnarthor

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 2,751 posts

Posted 17 January 2014 - 10:50 AM

I like May quite a bit more than most. I think he'll end up being a much better major leaguer than minor leaguer. I love the durability.

#11 mike wants wins

mike wants wins

    Would Like to be More Positive

  • Members
  • 6,022 posts

Posted 17 January 2014 - 10:52 AM

No return for Revere until he makes the majors....which looks at least a year away, if not more at this point. Stuff does not always translate into outcomes, and so far, I am less convinced than I was at the time of the trade, since he showed little/no progress at AA last year. Not giving up on him, but not as convinced as I was at the time of the deal he's a starter.

#12 oldguy10

oldguy10

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 306 posts

Posted 17 January 2014 - 10:55 AM

I do not think we can yet say that May is a good return for Revere who was injured last season and may yet be one hell of a leadoff hitter for the Phillies. And if May turns into a relief pitcher there is really no comparison between the two. Let's wait on this one before we pass judgment, okay?

#13 Dantes929

Dantes929

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 312 posts

Posted 17 January 2014 - 11:37 AM

Nolan Ryan walked a lot of guys too. So I'm not too worried about walks, but the unraveling with guys on base and minimizing the damage. Guys like Verlander, Kershaw and Hernandez (High K guys with great control) are HOF material. May doesn't have to be that for him to have a role on this team.

Not being Ryan is a great reason to be worried about the walks. Walks have a way of unraveling pitchers. Walking guys with guys on base have a way of unraveling pitchers even more. Of course walks are more of a symptom than a cause. Not having command of your pitches have a way of unraveling anyone. Undoubtedly walks are the reason his ERA is what it is and why he has not progressed. Liriano is the guy you should compare him to. His successful years were much more a reflection of his walk rate rather than his strikeout rate. He struck out fewer this year per nine with Pitt than he did the two prior years with the Twins but he walked a lot fewer. Ryan had a spectacular curveball to go with a spectacular fastball as well as a larger strike zone. If May gets anywhere it is because he gains command of his pitches which will be reflected with fewer walks.

#14 ashburyjohn

ashburyjohn

    Twins Moderator

  • Twins Mods
  • 4,734 posts
  • LocationLake Tahoe, Nevada

Posted 17 January 2014 - 11:54 AM

But, the one thing you cannot ever underrate or discount: how competitive is he? When there's runners on base and nobody out, does he hitch at his belt, grit his teeth and go for a K or does he start to think, "Oh, oh, not again, well, if it doesn't work out, I can always pitch in relief somewhere".


It's not like we have to completely guess about this. We can't know what goes on between his ears, but we do have results to go by. I know of this source for public consumption:

http://www.baseball-...e=pgl&year=2013

There may be other for-pay sites with more. This one indicates that May gives up a lower OPS-against with men on base than bases-empty.

No evidence, there, to suggest his high ERA is from a lack of will to win.

Edited by ashburyjohn, 17 January 2014 - 11:56 AM.


#15 Dantes929

Dantes929

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 312 posts

Posted 17 January 2014 - 11:55 AM

Sometimes these bigger guys just take longer to get their bodies working in synch. In basketball, we used to say the big guys would not get full coordination until their late twenties. Twins fans just have to hope that a guy like May, and even Meyer, develop more consistency and repeatability in their delivery and with their pitches.

But, the one thing you cannot ever underrate or discount: how competitive is he? When there's runners on base and nobody out, does he hitch at his belt, grit his teeth and go for a K or does he start to think, "Oh, oh, not again, well, if it doesn't work out, I can always pitch in relief somewhere".

It's old fashioned, but the will to win is what makes an athlete special. You either got that or you don't. And no pitching coach anywhere will ever be able to teach that.

I agree with your whole post but the most important is the last sentence of the 1st paragraph. Maddux or Morris could have been 10 times as gritty and competitive as they were but would have failed if they couldn't throw the ball where they wanted. Also, I often wonder how much of perception of grit is based on appearances. Scot Baker had the reputation of being a folder and lacking grit mainly cuz that's the way he looked on the mound but he was a terrific pitcher down the stretch in several pennant races. Locate your pitches and it doesn't matter how little grit you have. Throw them down the middle and it doesn't matter how much grit you have.

#16 Dantes929

Dantes929

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 312 posts

Posted 17 January 2014 - 12:03 PM

It's not like we have to completely guess about this. We can't know what goes on between his ears, but we do have results to go by. I know of this source for public consumption:

http://www.baseball-...e=pgl&year=2013

There may be other for-pay sites with more. This one indicates that May gives up a lower OPS-against with men on base than bases-empty.

No evidence, there, to suggest his high ERA is from a lack of will to win.

There is a lot that goes into the psychology of the game so I am simplifying but in the long run the guy that hitches his pants and grits his teeth to keep guys off the base in the first place is going to be more successful than the guy that does so after guys are on. Mays ERA appears to be an issue of command and control rather than grit or competitiveness.

#17 ashburyjohn

ashburyjohn

    Twins Moderator

  • Twins Mods
  • 4,734 posts
  • LocationLake Tahoe, Nevada

Posted 17 January 2014 - 12:05 PM

No return for Revere until he makes the majors....which looks at least a year away, if not more at this point.


That's the nature of trading for prospects. If you want a high ceiling guy who is also ready for the majors, you don't get him for Ben Revere.

#18 johnnydakota

johnnydakota

    Banned

  • Banned
  • 1,498 posts

Posted 17 January 2014 - 12:11 PM

That's the nature of trading for prospects. If you want a high ceiling guy who is also ready for the majors, you don't get him for Ben Revere.


Sorry to disagree, as soon as the trade was made I looked at Worleys numbers and thought , hey this is a pretty darn good trade, then after chatting on the Phillies site , I learned that he was twice hurt and never the same after his 1st stint on the DL, and looking at Mays numbers it was obvious he stumbled his 1st year in AA and listening to the experts that his future was in the pen , I started to wonder just how good this trade was .....

#19 TRex

TRex

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 323 posts

Posted 17 January 2014 - 12:18 PM

The thing I like about May is that people have reported he maintains fastball velocity deep into games. He could really take off if he could gain some consistency with his curveball, which has, in the past, been a good pitch for him.

Back in 2012, when he was the Phillies #1 prospect, BA said his curveball was "..his No. 2 pitch is a 74-78 mph downer curveball, which was his best weapon in high school, but he overthrows it at times".

Edited by TRex, 17 January 2014 - 12:20 PM.


#20 Boone

Boone

    Member

  • Members
  • 88 posts

Posted 17 January 2014 - 12:18 PM

Trevor May actually made big in-season improvements in 2013. Just take a look at his numbers in April and May vs. the rest of the year:

April and May 2013: 60.1 IP 7.9 K/9 4.8 BB/9 1.7 K/BB
June on : 95 IP 10 K/9 3.3 BB/9 3.0 K/BB

That's a big step forward. I'm optimistic that May will have a breakthrough 2014 in AAA.

#21 cmathewson

cmathewson

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 2,273 posts

Posted 17 January 2014 - 12:23 PM

At 24 I wouldn't hold my breath. Also Tyler Clippard says hello.

edit: To clarify I wouldn't hold my breath on May developing a good breaking pitch and then holding down a rotation job. I agree with Nick that relief is more likely his future.


Guys learn new pitches all the time. Johan Santana was a FB/Slider guy when we got him. He added a plus change at age 23 and, if I recall correctly, he became a pretty good pitcher.

When talking about guys developing after a certain age, we normally focus on the limitations of their bodies. You don't expect a guy to add velo after 24. But adding or refining a breaking pitch is actually quite common. It's not like he doesn't have one. He has two. But they're "fringy" to use Jonathan Mayo's term.
"If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

#22 chuchadoro

chuchadoro

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 111 posts
  • LocationNordeast

Posted 17 January 2014 - 12:30 PM

I think tobi is working from the premise that May will be a hard-throwing, cost-controlled bullpen option at worst and Revere needs to hit .325 to have a .350 OBP and could not throw a ball out of a wet paper bag. It might be a little early to call it a good return but you can see what he's getting at.

#23 tobi0040

tobi0040

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 1,298 posts

Posted 17 January 2014 - 12:40 PM

I think tobi is working from the premise that May will be a hard-throwing, cost-controlled bullpen option at worst and Revere needs to hit .325 to have a .350 OBP and could not throw a ball out of a wet paper bag. It might be a little early to call it a good return but you can see what he's getting at.


That is exactly what my premise was. In May I think you have either a good starter or a very good set up guy. I am not convinced Revere is a major league player, certainly not one on a good team. Offensively, he has a career .650 OPS in 1,300 at bats, as he only has 45 extra base hits. His career OBP (.325) is too low for a lead-off hitter.

And his arm is a huge limitation, I don't know if they keep a stat about runners advancing, but he would have to lead the category or be close. So I think he is a #9 hitting center fielder on a poor team. Clearly he had no value on the Twins, you can't have a guy like that in LF or RF.

#24 Willihammer

Willihammer

    ice cream correspondent

  • Members
  • 2,931 posts
  • LocationSaint Paul

Posted 17 January 2014 - 01:02 PM

Guys learn new pitches all the time. Johan Santana was a FB/Slider guy when we got him. He added a plus change at age 23 and, if I recall correctly, he became a pretty good pitcher.

When talking about guys developing after a certain age, we normally focus on the limitations of their bodies. You don't expect a guy to add velo after 24. But adding or refining a breaking pitch is actually quite common. It's not like he doesn't have one. He has two. But they're "fringy" to use Jonathan Mayo's term.


OK but changeup guys can relieve too, they don't have to start.

Obviously May should continue working to improve all his pitches. If he is going to figure out an effective breaking pitch it had better happen yesterday because as you say his velo is only going to drop which will start to impact the effectiveness of his best pitch (the changeup).

Personally I think when a 23 year old posts the same season in AA as he did at 22, there is a high probability he has reached his ceiling, that being relief. Hope I'm proved wrong though.

#25 cmathewson

cmathewson

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 2,273 posts

Posted 17 January 2014 - 01:44 PM

OK but changeup guys can relieve too, they don't have to start.

Obviously May should continue working to improve all his pitches. If he is going to figure out an effective breaking pitch it had better happen yesterday because as you say his velo is only going to drop which will start to impact the effectiveness of his best pitch (the changeup).

Personally I think when a 23 year old posts the same season in AA as he did at 22, there is a high probability he has reached his ceiling, that being relief. Hope I'm proved wrong though.


I didn't say his velo is only going to drop, just that it is not likely to increase. Guys with his frame are known to retain their velo into their 30s. The fact that his velo stays consistent into the seventh inning is an indicator that he is likely to do so, barring injury. That, combined with spotty control, makes him a much better fit for starting than relieving.
"If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

#26 mike wants wins

mike wants wins

    Would Like to be More Positive

  • Members
  • 6,022 posts

Posted 17 January 2014 - 01:47 PM

That is exactly what my premise was. In May I think you have either a good starter or a very good set up guy. I am not convinced Revere is a major league player, certainly not one on a good team. Offensively, he has a career .650 OPS in 1,300 at bats, as he only has 45 extra base hits. His career OBP (.325) is too low for a lead-off hitter.

And his arm is a huge limitation, I don't know if they keep a stat about runners advancing, but he would have to lead the category or be close. So I think he is a #9 hitting center fielder on a poor team. Clearly he had no value on the Twins, you can't have a guy like that in LF or RF.


Ben Revere was not viewed as a guy with no future in the OF though....they traded a starting OFer with a positive WAR (you might want to look at defense too) in the majors, and so far have a AA prospect who did not progress, and an injured MLB pitcher that posted a negative WAR. That's not a good return, yet. To say they have a positve return already is strange to me. The Twins lost year 1 of the trade. There really is no way to debate that. If May doesn't play here, and Worley doesn't....well, they will lose year two of the deal also. Even if Worley does, if Revere is healthy and plays like 2012, I doubt Worley matches him. Doesn't mean I've given up on May, but I don't know how people can even come close to claiming with any certainty the Twins are ahead in this deal.
Lighten up Francis....

#27 PseudoSABR

PseudoSABR

    Twins News Team

  • Twins News Team
  • 1,962 posts

Posted 17 January 2014 - 01:52 PM

Personally I think when a 23 year old posts the same season in AA as he did at 22, there is a high probability he has reached his ceiling, that being relief. Hope I'm proved wrong though.

Typically, I'd agree, but I wouldn't discount the organizational change. I'm sure the Twins' protocol for May's development asked him to do some things that made it necessary for him to repeat the league and held down his results.

If May can stay healthy and even produce league-average results--that has a lot more value coming out of the rotation at 150-180 innings than say better-than-average results at 80 innings coming out of the bullpen.

#28 PseudoSABR

PseudoSABR

    Twins News Team

  • Twins News Team
  • 1,962 posts

Posted 17 January 2014 - 01:54 PM

Ben Revere was not viewed as a guy with no future in the OF though....they traded a starting OFer with a positive WAR (you might want to look at defense too) in the majors, and so far have a AA prospect who did not progress, and an injured MLB pitcher that posted a negative WAR. That's not a good return, yet. To say they have a positve return already is strange to me. The Twins lost year 1 of the trade. There really is no way to debate that. If May doesn't play here, and Worley doesn't....well, they will lose year two of the deal also. Even if Worley does, if Revere is healthy and plays like 2012, I doubt Worley matches him. Doesn't mean I've given up on May, but I don't know how people can even come close to claiming with any certainty the Twins are ahead in this deal.

The Twins traded an organizational strength and a player who had likely out performed his ability for an organizational need (young starting pitching). That the deal hasn't totally panned out for the Twins (or the Phillies) doesn't mean it wasn't a good trade at the time.

#29 TRex

TRex

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 323 posts

Posted 17 January 2014 - 02:11 PM

I don't want to give the impression that I am overly optimistic about May, but his secondary stats improved a lot between '12 and '13. Specifically, his FIP decreased from 4.88 in '12 to 3.78 in '13 DESPITE having an inversely proportional BABIP of .292 vs. .329.

At the risk of making people 'throw up in their mouths a little bit', I would be happy if we could get as much out of May as we got from another Phillie trade (Carlos Silva), who is vilified despite out-performing his salary by >300% during his 4-year career with the Twins (FG value of $31M vs. actual salary of $9.6M).

Edited by TRex, 17 January 2014 - 02:13 PM.


#30 cmathewson

cmathewson

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 2,273 posts

Posted 17 January 2014 - 02:46 PM

The Twins traded an organizational strength and a player who had likely out performed his ability for an organizational need (young starting pitching). That the deal hasn't totally panned out for the Twins (or the Phillies) doesn't mean it wasn't a good trade at the time.


This. Last year, the Philies got more WAR than the Twins, obviously. This year, it could be a wash. Next year, I expect the pendulum to swing the Twins way. There is a bit of a timing problem. We sure could have used Revere in the outfield last year. But he is not the long-term solution. So when the Phillies offered that deal, we could not pass it up, regardless of short-term needs. I don't recall anyone on this board who thought the Phillies got the better of the deal when it was made. It just didn't go as well as hoped, yet.
"If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."