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BA: Radcliff on Engelb Vielma

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#1 2wins87

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 12:08 PM

http://www.baseballa...-dazzles-twins/

He speaks really glowingly on Vielma's defense.

Of course his bat needs a lot of work which is why he's not really on too many people's radar. Radcliffe says he's got a good approach but has trouble generating any kind of bat speed. It's possible that this changes as he matures.

Interesting guy to keep an eye on.

Edited by 2wins87, 21 January 2014 - 12:10 PM.


#2 Thrylos

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 12:24 PM

[SIZE=3][FONT=arial]Radcliff is the guy who was responsible for the signing of another Twins' SS. From here (from right after the signing in 2010) :

[/FONT][/SIZE]

[COLOR=#333333][FONT=Georgia][SIZE=3][FONT=arial]Twins vice president for player personnel Mike Radcliff said the Twins have been scouting Nishioka for four or five years. Radcliff said Japanese professional players usually aren't eligible to be signed by American teams for about seven years.[/FONT][/SIZE][/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#333333][FONT=Georgia][SIZE=3][FONT=arial]"For the last couple of years, we focused on him because it was pretty well known that he eventually would come to the States," Radcliff said. "We've had two, three scouts see him every year."[/FONT][/SIZE][/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#333333][FONT=Georgia][SIZE=3][FONT=arial]The Twins, Radcliff said, like his speed and athleticism.
[/FONT][/SIZE][/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#333333][FONT=Georgia][SIZE=3][FONT=arial]"And the chance to steal bases and range," he said. "We hope he's going to hit. He's like Punto, but we hope he hits a lot more than that.[/FONT][/SIZE][/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#333333][FONT=Georgia][SIZE=3][FONT=arial]"That's the big difference."[/FONT][/SIZE][/FONT][/COLOR]

[COLOR=#333333][FONT=Georgia][SIZE=3][FONT=arial]

So I would take what Radcliff says with a huge grain of salt...[/FONT][/SIZE]
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#3 Seth Stohs

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 12:52 PM

Thrylos, did you just look that up, or do you have a stock of Twins Front Office and Manager quotes just stocked away for when there are articles on players, such as GCL SS Engelb Vielma?? :)

I guess I'd take what Mike Radcliff says pretty seriously since he is the Director of Player Personnel, so if there's a player in the Twins system, he probably knows him pretty well.

#4 old nurse

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 01:13 PM

Nishi = Punto? Close enough in many people's eyes. There are many who don't care for Punto.
Notice the quote "We hope" in there. How many players past having success at the AA/AAA level fail at MLB level?

Edited by old nurse, 21 January 2014 - 01:15 PM.


#5 twinsfan34

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 02:52 PM

Radcliffe...did say on Nishi...in the Punto comparison..."we hope he can hit..."

But this Vielma...as of now, definitely will have to come a long ways offensively to even be Florimon 2.0.

Still, a nice find - I had no idea who this kid was/is.

http://www.baseballa...yers/cards/1408

#6 gil4

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 04:28 PM

Nishi = Punto? Close enough in many people's eyes.


Punto as a utility guy was pretty good. Punto at starting SS and $4M/yr was not. Punto as Gardy's security blanket was annoying. It was because of that last item that most who wanted him to go felt that way. If the Twins had re-signed him for what StL paid (and made him a utility guy), most would have been fine with that. If he had been made the interim starter after Nishi crashed and burned, that would have been fine, too.

We might have been OK if they stuck Jim &*^%! Hoey at SS, too, just to try and get some value out of that trade, since they don't seem to know the difference between a SS and a horses rear end anyway.

Sorry for the rant, but if you use the Punto hate out of context, some of us will feel obligated to remind everyone of the context.

#7 cmathewson

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 04:49 PM

Nishi = Punto? Close enough in many people's eyes. There are many who don't care for Punto.
Notice the quote "We hope" in there. How many players past having success at the AA/AAA level fail at MLB level?


I'm no Punto fan, but Punto >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Nishi. Nishi was quite possibly the worst player to ever don a Twins uniform.
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#8 jorgenswest

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 08:04 PM

Radcliffe is probably the only scout to make a mistake on a player. Certainly worth distracting from the BAA article.

2wins87- Thanks for the link. It will be interesting following him. The Twins don't appear to have many great defenders at SS in the system. Goodrum? Santana?

#9 JB_Iowa

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 01:34 PM

In light of the Vielma discussion in the Keith Law thread, I'm bumping this.

Looks like Law may agree with Radcliff.

#10 cmathewson

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 01:38 PM

Of all the tools I want to see in a raw prospect, bat speed is among the top. If you don't have bat speed, you're offensive upside is Drew Butera, who could always put the bat on the ball, but it wouldn't go anywhere.
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#11 nicksaviking

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 01:54 PM

Of all the tools I want to see in a raw prospect, bat speed is among the top. If you don't have bat speed, you're offensive upside is Drew Butera, who could always put the bat on the ball, but it wouldn't go anywhere.


Yes, having to hope that bat speed improves isn't a very strong indicator of success. Is it just me, or does it seem that lately, the "gurus" have been putting an even greater emphasis on defensive SS than in the past, and the emphasis was already pretty high to begin with. In the age of the strikeout, defense is minimized not accentuated.

#12 birdwatcher

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 02:01 PM

Taking a cheap shot at Radcliffe is small. Anyone with even a modicum of baseball knowledge who saw Nishi tape from Japan can see how glaringly different he was here in the States. What caused it? Personal turmoil? Culture shock? Gardenhire? Most of us don't think we have the answer...

So, I think we can take in Radcliffe's comments on Vielma without a single grain of salt and accept it for what it is: observations of a 17-year old kid in the lowest levels of the minors who stands out.

Radcliffe has said nice things about players who became stars, too, so it's pretty hard to know when to pick up the saltshaker, isn't it?

Edited by birdwatcher, 30 January 2014 - 02:07 PM.


#13 Steve Lein

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 03:41 PM

Man, I mean he must have one of the best gloves at SS in the minors if Keith Law places him at #11 on his Twins prospect list.

Scouting Report: Power: 30, Hitting: 50, Arm: 60, Defense: 40, Speed: 40. "Line drive swing and shows good contact and on-base abilities. Double's power at his peak. Strong arm from 2B or the OF, stiff hands. Not a fast runner, but above average instincts on the bases. Skinny body doesn't look the part, but can sneak up on you. ACL surgery sapped much of his athleticism." (Probably)


#14 CK

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 09:34 PM

I'm very pleased to learn that I wasn't the only one to do a double-take at the sight of the name "Engelb Vielma." Will follow his box scores this season, though it appears that his strengths won't show up there.

#15 Seth Stohs

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 10:11 PM

Obviously we'll see how he does going forward, but ranking Engelb Vielma #11 is kind of silly. To think that he's ahead of Kepler, Walker, Harrison and even some of those hard-throwing relievers... just strange.

#16 cmathewson

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 10:47 PM

Taking a cheap shot at Radcliffe is small. Anyone with even a modicum of baseball knowledge who saw Nishi tape from Japan can see how glaringly different he was here in the States. What caused it? Personal turmoil? Culture shock? Gardenhire? Most of us don't think we have the answer...

So, I think we can take in Radcliffe's comments on Vielma without a single grain of salt and accept it for what it is: observations of a 17-year old kid in the lowest levels of the minors who stands out.

Radcliffe has said nice things about players who became stars, too, so it's pretty hard to know when to pick up the saltshaker, isn't it?


OK, well, the context was enhanced when Law made his ridiculous ranking, in part based on Radcliff's comments. So I think it's fair game to point out his past blunders. Nishioka is just the worst, but by no means the only one of his blunders. Taken for all and all, his draft record was pretty bad.

1. Jason Veritek
2. Dan Sarafini
3. Jesse Fillgrove
4. Marc Barcello
5. Kelcey Mucker
6. Travis Miller
7. Travis Lee
8. Ryan Mills
9. BJ Garbe
10. Adam Johnson
11. Aaron Heilman
12. Matt Moses
13. Steve Waldrop
14. Jay Rainville
15. Henry Sanchez
16. Carlos Guitierrez
17. Shooter Hunt

Those are just the first rounders or sandwich picks who were drafted by Radcliff and who didn't succeed with the Twins. Johnson, Miller and Waldrop were the only ones to actually make it to the majors with the Twins, and none produced first round talent. Seventeen players in 15 years drafted in the first or sandwich rounds never made a difference with the team. Pathetic.

That doesn't count other poor drafts, like 2006, which produced very little major league talent. Or 2007, in which he basically drafted three rounds lower than he could have to save the team money.

He is a Peter Principle poster child. In just about any other market, he would have been run out of town. Here, he was promoted. The best thing that happened to the franchise was when he was promoted into a role that has little influence and they put Johnson in charge of the draft. Since then, the system has gone from worst to first.

So, no, I don't take what says Radcliff did seriously. And I think much less of Law for doing so.
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#17 jay

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 11:37 PM

Man, I mean he must have one of the best gloves at SS in the minors if Keith Law places him at #11 on his Twins prospect list.


Law is known for giving shortstops plenty of love, especially guys with glove. Look at his overall top 10. He even talked about it in an interview yesterday on 1500 and how the SS is usually the most athletic kid on the field which bodes well for future success.

#18 TexTwinsFan

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 12:55 AM

I agree with your comments for the most part, but there is no need to make Radcliffe's record worse than it really is.

First, while I think signability is part of the evaluation, lumping Travis Lee, Varitek and Heilman into the same category as Moses, Sanchez and Hunt is a little harsh.

Second, excluding credit for Hunter, Walker, Redman, Cuddyer, Mauer, Span, Plouffe, Perkins, Garza, etc. might be fashionable, but probably not fair when highlighting all of the stinkers. For instance, Mauer over Prior wasn't a no-brainer. Just as it's hard to be overly negative on some consensus type picks, such as Ryan Mills.

Finally, and I hate to mention it because he was shelled while in the show, but Serafini spent some time in the big leagues with us.

By the way, Adam Johnson has to be in the bottom quarter of all-time #2 overall picks....for some reason that pick still hurts the most.

#19 Kwak

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 06:27 AM

Mauer over prior wasn't a no-brainer? Hmm, Prior--demanding $20MM to sign vs Mauer--local kid in a town that worships everything "hometown", who definately will sign for much less. No-brainer.

Hunter and Cuddyer can fairly be called "successes", but the rest on your list are indicative of the talent available in the first round. It is expected that executives are held to the high standard of "what have you done for me lately?" Quite frankly it is surprising that he stayed-on after the debacles of the Garbe and Johnson selections.

#20 cmathewson

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 07:56 AM

I agree with your comments for the most part, but there is no need to make Radcliffe's record worse than it really is.

First, while I think signability is part of the evaluation, lumping Travis Lee, Varitek and Heilman into the same category as Moses, Sanchez and Hunt is a little harsh.

Second, excluding credit for Hunter, Walker, Redman, Cuddyer, Mauer, Span, Plouffe, Perkins, Garza, etc. might be fashionable, but probably not fair when highlighting all of the stinkers. For instance, Mauer over Prior wasn't a no-brainer. Just as it's hard to be overly negative on some consensus type picks, such as Ryan Mills.

Finally, and I hate to mention it because he was shelled while in the show, but Serafini spent some time in the big leagues with us.

By the way, Adam Johnson has to be in the bottom quarter of all-time #2 overall picks....for some reason that pick still hurts the most.


I included Veritek, Lee and Heilman because it was Radcliff's responsibility to get them signed. Veritek flat out told them he would not sign with them if they drafted him, and they drafted him anyway. They didn't even offer Lee a contract before the deadline, so he was able to opt out of the deal and sign as a free agent with anyone. That was a huge mistake. And Heilman had signability issues as well. Part of his problem in more recent drafts was considering signability as the primary criterion. That's why chose Revere, for example, and payed him third-round money. Perhaps that had something to do with prior mistakes in drafting unsignable guys.
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#21 gunnarthor

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 11:52 AM

OK, well, the context was enhanced when Law made his ridiculous ranking, in part based on Radcliff's comments. So I think it's fair game to point out his past blunders. Nishioka is just the worst, but by no means the only one of his blunders. Taken for all and all, his draft record was pretty bad.

1. Jason Veritek
2. Dan Sarafini
3. Jesse Fillgrove
4. Marc Barcello
5. Kelcey Mucker
6. Travis Miller
7. Travis Lee
8. Ryan Mills
9. BJ Garbe
10. Adam Johnson
11. Aaron Heilman
12. Matt Moses
13. Steve Waldrop
14. Jay Rainville
15. Henry Sanchez
16. Carlos Guitierrez
17. Shooter Hunt

Those are just the first rounders or sandwich picks who were drafted by Radcliff and who didn't succeed with the Twins. Johnson, Miller and Waldrop were the only ones to actually make it to the majors with the Twins, and none produced first round talent. Seventeen players in 15 years drafted in the first or sandwich rounds never made a difference with the team. Pathetic.

That doesn't count other poor drafts, like 2006, which produced very little major league talent. Or 2007, in which he basically drafted three rounds lower than he could have to save the team money.

He is a Peter Principle poster child. In just about any other market, he would have been run out of town. Here, he was promoted. The best thing that happened to the franchise was when he was promoted into a role that has little influence and they put Johnson in charge of the draft. Since then, the system has gone from worst to first.

So, no, I don't take what says Radcliff did seriously. And I think much less of Law for doing so.


There's a lot wrong with this post including the fact that Radcliff wasn't in charge of the draft for some of these guys or taking into account payroll issues the Pohlad family put on the FO. If you look at the WAR of Radcliff's picks over time, the Twins have drafted pretty well while he was running the draft.

#22 birdwatcher

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 12:56 PM

[quote name='cmathewson']OK, well, the context was enhanced when Law made his ridiculous ranking, in part based on Radcliff's comments. So I think it's fair game to point out his past blunders. Nishioka is just the worst, but by no means the only one of his blunders. Taken for all and all, his draft record was pretty bad.

You know, cmath, I wouldn't be qualified to argue about his skills in this area, let alone the skills of the others involved in these selections. That's why I limited my observations to his COMMENTS. Law used his comment in a write-up, which hardly lets one draw a conclusion about how much reliance there was on it. On the surface, Vielma looks like a goofy and uninformed pick, but it wouldn't have been Radcliffe's fault if it was based on his comment, and it isn't Radcliffe's ranking. It was a friggin' comment. It should remain in the context of what it is.

But I will say that you're being pretty harsh and a little unfair. You're ignoring any successes. You provide no comparative context, so it's left to our imaginations to determine if this is simply pathetic, or more pathetic than average, or maybe even less pathetic than average (and please, no need for anyone to compare how well someone drafting the #2 guy did compared to Matt Moses). Lastly, without at least a slightly charitable admission that others were involved, that budgets played a role, and that the draft order was more often than not less favorable, that perhaps injuries and luck are a factor...

You might be absolutely correct in your assessment of Radcliffe, though.

#23 cmathewson

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 03:35 PM

There's a lot wrong with this post including the fact that Radcliff wasn't in charge of the draft for some of these guys or taking into account payroll issues the Pohlad family put on the FO. If you look at the WAR of Radcliff's picks over time, the Twins have drafted pretty well while he was running the draft.


You're right about when he started running the draft, in '94. So the first five guys on that list belong to Ryan, who ran the draft for MacPhail. But taking those years out, he still did a pretty poor job with the draft, with a few notable exceptions. The stretch from 96-2000, when he never drafted lower than 9th overall and just produced Cuddyer and LeCroy, was pretty poor.
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#24 johnnydakota

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 04:53 PM

The thing lacking from this organisation...accountability

#25 ashburyjohn

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 06:36 PM

The thing lacking from this organisation... accountability


Moderator's note: and with this, it's about time to ask yet again that the tangents be left aside. This thread was about Engelb Vielma (who I thought at first to be somebody's humorous anagram but apparently not).

It is not necessary for multiple people to inject a sequence of escalating critiques, culminating in one of the entire organization, into every thread. The TD Comment Policy is clear about this form of trolling; the moderators try to be lenient, and all that results is further escalation by one individual after another.

Start a new thread, if any of you feel so moved, on your pet topic(s). Free and open discussion is good; the "same old same old", not so much.

And I must add: this doesn't apply to every post in the thread. Some of the comments, as they pertained to the player, were quite interesting.

Edited by ashburyjohn, 31 January 2014 - 06:41 PM.


#26 maxisagod

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 01:43 PM

I think the most important takeaway of what Law said/ranked and what Radcliff said isn't Radcliff talent appraising ability, but that fact it's clean that people with SAY in the organization think [COLOR=#333333]Vielma is someone to watch, which means they're watching him. He's not just organization filler, he a prospect who down the road may fill a need on the big league club, even if it's an Escobar like capacity. It kinda like Stuart Turner getting a camp invite, sure Turner has document ability and success in college, but when your employer has tag you as a fast mover, as long as you meet their expectations, your going to move fast.

From a fans perspective Vielma is someone to watch and if he does well he's someone people can safely [/COLOR]emotionally[COLOR=#333333] invest in. [/COLOR]

#27 gil4

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 05:43 PM

...(who I thought at first to be somebody's humorous anagram but apparently not).

I thought it was some new form of pig Latin, but I was wrong too.

#28 Thrylos

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 06:24 PM

Moderator's note: and with this, it's about time to ask yet again that the tangents be left aside. This thread was about Engelb Vielma


I beg to differ. Please look at the title again. The thread was about Radcliff's comments about Vielma, not about Vielma in a vaccum. So I would suspect that researching and discussing Radcliff's past decisions and comments about other players, IMHO, would be central to this and not a tangent.

It is like saying that Fangraphs picks the Twins to lose 90+ games in 2014 and thinking that past Fangraphs guestimates about how the Twins would do are tangential. Sorry, but they are not.


Vile men bagel (anagram)

Edited by Thrylos, 01 February 2014 - 06:27 PM.

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#29 2wins87

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 06:59 PM

For the record, I only posted because I thought it was an interesting note on a prospect that most people have never heard of, not because I wanted to discuss the tenure of Radcliff or make anagrams, but it's a forum so it'll go where it goes.

live gene balm

#30 Willihammer

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 11:03 AM

I've never heard of him either. I also don't have a subscription to BA so all I see after clicking on OP is

MINNESOTA—It was only a Rookie-level Gulf Coast League game, played on a back field at the Twins complex with perhaps a couple of dozen sun worshipers in attendance. But that [...]


So in lieu of a comment on Vielma or Radcliffe, here goes another anagram

lev be mealing