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Article: MLB Power Rankings #29: Minnesota Twins

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#1 eandb17

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 10:26 AM

Here is the article http://statsports.net/?p=73 . People are pretty down on the Twins for this year, what do you guys think. Spring Training is almost upon us and I'm getting excited.

#2 CRArko

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 10:38 AM

Sounds about right. That does not mean that there won't be more entertaining baseball played by the team this year, with interest rising as the kids make their way up the ladder.

#3 Guest_USAFChief_*

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 10:44 AM

Who is #30?

#4 gmarais66

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 10:46 AM

Here is the article http://statsports.net/?p=73 . People are pretty down on the Twins for this year, what do you guys think. Spring Training is almost upon us and I'm getting excited.


It's hard to give much credibility to a guy, whose analysis includes lauding the Twins for having one of the best catchers in the game, in Joe Mauer for 2014...

"Wait... Are you telling me President Kennedy has been shot?"

Edited by gmarais66, 06 February 2014 - 10:54 AM.


#5 gunnarthor

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 11:08 AM

I think we'll be slightly better this year - at least for a bit although we might fall off in the second half when they trade a bunch of guys (I think we'll trade Hammer, Correa and Perkins this year and maybe another bullpen arm. And Plouffe could go too). I suspect we'll go something like 72-90. I think our pitching staff will be adequate and keep the team in games but the offense will lag behind. But the games should be a lot more fun to watch, esp when the young guys come up in the second half and we get to see an OF of (hopefully) Hicks, Buxton and Arcia in Sept and watch Sano hit homers after the super 2 cut off date and Meyer on the mound. They'll struggle but the foundation will be set.

#6 TheLeviathan

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 11:27 AM

For the record, it says this is written by a 17 year old kid. But ESPN clocked us in at 28 I believe.

Considering the team's expected w/l was 61-101 last year. I think even getting to 67/68 wins constitutes a significant improvement in addition to just being more competitive in general.

#7 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 11:28 AM

Meh. I don't see how the White Sox are going to leapfrog the Twins this season. They're a bad team that lost a few players and didn't get younger enough to make an impact. They're going to be bad for a very long time.

#8 ashburyjohn

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 12:13 PM

"Wait... Are you telling me President Kennedy has been shot?"


Too soon. :)

#9 Joe A. Preusser

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 12:48 PM

It's hard to give much credibility to a guy, whose analysis includes lauding the Twins for having one of the best catchers in the game, in Joe Mauer for 2014...

"Wait... Are you telling me President Kennedy has been shot?"


"No way???? We've landed on the MOON!"

#10 Kwak

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 12:55 PM

What's the difference between 29th and 23rd?--six places in the draft. Realistically, both teams are losers, but one will be better positioned to help themself in the draft the next year.

#11 nicksaviking

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 01:59 PM

What's the difference between 29th and 23rd?--six places in the draft. Realistically, both teams are losers, but one will be better positioned to help themself in the draft the next year.


Agreed

I forget the exact breakdown but until about seven games left last year the Twins could have gotten as high as three in the draft or as low as 16. There's not much difference among the have-nots these days.

Power rankings are silly, but if the writer is 17 I'll give him credit. Writing a sports blog is probably a more productive way to further his career goals than what I did. If I recall correctly my path was basically sitting around looking for excuses to be unproductive and answering " I don't know" when someone would ask me what I wanted to do with my life.

#12 TheLeviathan

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 04:35 PM

Meh. I don't see how the White Sox are going to leapfrog the Twins this season. They're a bad team that lost a few players and didn't get younger enough to make an impact. They're going to be bad for a very long time.


Well, for one, if the two teams played the same as last year the White Sox would be highly likely to outperform us. Their expected win/loss was 66 to our 61.

And if Abreu is the real deal I'd argue they are almost certainly a better team than us next year.

#13 birdwatcher

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 06:08 PM

Meh. I don't see how the White Sox are going to leapfrog the Twins this season. They're a bad team that lost a few players and didn't get younger enough to make an impact. They're going to be bad for a very long time.


The salt in the wound for Chicago is that their farm system ranks #26, a slot or two better than Detroit's.

#14 JB_Iowa

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 06:15 PM

It's February and I have absolutely no influence on the team. Nor do I plan to head to Las Vegas or any other betting locale.

So what they heck, Twins go from worst to first and finish in the top 5 in MLB. ;)

#15 Joe A. Preusser

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 06:36 PM

Agreed


Power rankings are silly, but if the writer is 17 I'll give him credit. Writing a sports blog is probably a more productive way to further his career goals than what I did. If I recall correctly my path was basically sitting around looking for excuses to be unproductive and answering " I don't know" when someone would ask me what I wanted to do with my life.



Sounds like the path I'm still on. Only now I know I ended that sentence with a preposition and hate myself a little for it.

#16 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 07:06 PM

Well, for one, if the two teams played the same as last year the White Sox would be highly likely to outperform us. Their expected win/loss was 66 to our 61.

And if Abreu is the real deal I'd argue they are almost certainly a better team than us next year.


Eh, I don't see it. The Sox have zero depth, few breakout players on the roster, several old men, and little hope.

If the Twins' rotations stays anywhere close to healthy and see some maturation from the likes of Hicks, Arcia, Plouffe, Parmelee, or almost anybody on offense, I think they're a better team.

Not to mention the impact guys like Sano or Meyer might have in the second half of the season.

Neither team will be very good but the Sox don't even have hope on their side.

#17 TheLeviathan

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 09:09 PM

Eh, I don't see it. The Sox have zero depth, few breakout players on the roster, several old men, and little hope.


Isn't that exactly our situation too? Our breakout players are likely not on the roster to start the year (except maybe Arcia and sophomore players are hardly shoe-ins to mature), we are relying on a bunch of old guys, and our offense is depressing to look at.

Let's try to be objective here. The White Sox played their competition better overall than we did, but due to bad luck or whatever finished worse. Their hope players are Eaton, Abreu, Garcia, and Viciedo. Their rotation, almost by the strength of Sale alone is probably better. Right now, I like their overall 25 man roster better than ours for next year. But it's likely the last year anyone would say that in their right mind.

#18 jokin

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 09:39 PM

Eh, I don't see it. The Sox have zero depth, few breakout players on the roster, several old men, and little hope.

If the Twins' rotations stays anywhere close to healthy and see some maturation from the likes of Hicks, Arcia, Plouffe, Parmelee, or almost anybody on offense, I think they're a better team.

Not to mention the impact guys like Sano or Meyer might have in the second half of the season.

Neither team will be very good but the Sox don't even have hope on their side.


Sounds like you're underselling what the Sox accomplished both in-season last year in trading off their veterans and in their offseason upgrades- admittedly not a very good offensive team, but, in comparison to the Twins, at least they addressed the issue and landed one wild card, huge breakout potential bat in Abreu and a minor breakout bat in Eaton, but most importantly, you're underselling a far superior Starting Staff:

1) ZiPS projects Chris Sale has the second-highest projected WAR value among SPs in 2014....The true Ace that the Twins lack.


2a) The combined projected ZiPS WAR for the Sox SPs is 11.2...for the Twins, 3.3.

2b) The Sox top 4 Starters all project higher ZiPS WAR than the Twins second highest projected pitcher, Phil Hughes (0.8 zWAR).


3) The average ZiPS projected ERA+ per SP on the Sox is 108.2...for the Twins, 84.6.

Edited by jokin, 06 February 2014 - 09:44 PM.


#19 Riverbrian

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 10:36 PM

The Sox staff doesn't scare me at all outside of Sale. They were a real bad defensive team last year and I don't see any evidence they addressed that problem and that will keep those lofty projections of the starting staff unrealized in my opinion.

The White Sox were horrible to watch last year much like the Twins. Just a team that needed to slug to cover their other shortcomings and they didn't and they packed it in.

The Twins defense is OK and that will help them keep games close enough to win a couple but they have a problem with the lack of speed on the current roster because if Willingham and Plouffe dry up this year like they did last year. The Twins don't have another way to get the job done. I don't want another year of station to station baseball but the roster looks like it might be.

I know we can't wait for Sano to show up and start hitting bombs but I think decent MLB play from Aaron Hicks would be the bigger boost in 2014. Both teams have to dig in like they didn't do in 2013.

We need SPEED... Not stolen bases per se... Just flat out Run of the mill speed.

Who's better between the White Sox and Twins? I don't know... But if they both don't start playing better more inspired baseball with pride... Who's taller... Ronnie James Dio or Udo Dirkschneider? Is a similar question.

Edited by Riverbrian, 06 February 2014 - 10:48 PM.

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#20 abnormal_1

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 10:38 PM

Personally I think the Twins will do better....Adding Nolasco, Hughes and bringing back Pelfrey year two off of TJ, Corriea and some combo of Kyle Gibson/Sam Deduno(depending on coming back from injury)/Scott Diamond (coming back to form)/ Vance Worley (coming back to form) the Twins have a chance to have a competent rotation.

That being said think that puts them at ~20.

Wouldn't be the worst thing to have one more draw at the high-end talent other than having to watch another year of it....It's my guess they pop up a bit and we get to see Meyer and Sano at the end of the year so some good stuff coming (Only good thing Bill Smith did is get Sano)

#21 jokin

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 11:04 PM

The Sox staff doesn't scare me at all outside of Sale. They were a real bad defensive team last year and I don't see any evidence they addressed that problem and that will keep those lofty projections of the starting staff unrealized in my opinion.

The White Sox were horrible to watch last year much like the Twins. Just a team that needed to slug to cover their other shortcomings and they didn't and they packed it in.

The Twins defense is OK and that will help them keep games close enough to win a couple but they have a problem with the lack of speed on the current roster because if Willingham and Plouffe dry up this year like they did last year. The Twins don't have another way to get the job done. I don't want another year of station to station baseball but the roster looks like it might be.

I know we can't wait for Sano to show up and start hitting bombs but I think decent MLB play from Aaron Hicks would be the bigger boost in 2014. Both teams have to dig in like they didn't do in 2013.

We need SPEED... Not stolen bases per se... Just flat out Run of the mill speed.

Who's better between the White Sox and Twins? I don't know... But if they both don't start playing better more inspired baseball with pride... Who's taller... Ronnie James Dio or Udo Dirkschneider? Is a similar question.


Dio is taller than Udo, although technically, Ronnie James loses, as he is now 6 Feet Under.
:fenforcer:



I question seeing the Twins defense as improving or even being "OK". The corner OF of Willingham, Arcia and Kubel has to be one of the worst in baseball, and Presley didn't impress me much in 2013 (-0.8 dWAR). And we all know about Plouffe, plus there will definitely be a defensive downgrade at Catcher.

FWIW (always controversial)-
White Sox UZR: -15.1
Twins 2013 UZR: -42.2

Edited by jokin, 06 February 2014 - 11:18 PM.


#22 Riverbrian

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 06:04 AM

Dio is taller than Udo, although technically, Ronnie James loses, as he is now 6 Feet Under.
:fenforcer:



I question seeing the Twins defense as improving or even being "OK". The corner OF of Willingham, Arcia and Kubel has to be one of the worst in baseball, and Presley didn't impress me much in 2013 (-0.8 dWAR). And we all know about Plouffe, plus there will definitely be a defensive downgrade at Catcher.

FWIW (always controversial)-
White Sox UZR: -15.1
Twins 2013 UZR: -42.2


Florimon and Dozier up the middle. Those two take away hits. And they by themselves make us respectable defensively in my opinion.

I think Suzuki, Mauer and Presley will be alright.

And I completely agree with you that the outfield corners and Plouffe are defensive compromises.

UZR? I don't belong to that church. ;)

But we do need speeeeed.
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#23 Guest_USAFChief_*

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 07:34 AM

What a sad state of affairs for our favorite team...we're reduced to arguing whether the Twins or the Sox are really the worst team in the league.

#24 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 07:50 AM

Sounds like you're underselling what the Sox accomplished both in-season last year in trading off their veterans and in their offseason upgrades- admittedly not a very good offensive team, but, in comparison to the Twins, at least they addressed the issue and landed one wild card, huge breakout potential bat in Abreu and a minor breakout bat in Eaton, but most importantly, you're underselling a far superior Starting Staff:

1) ZiPS projects Chris Sale has the second-highest projected WAR value among SPs in 2014....The true Ace that the Twins lack.

2a) The combined projected ZiPS WAR for the Sox SPs is 11.2...for the Twins, 3.3.

2b) The Sox top 4 Starters all project higher ZiPS WAR than the Twins second highest projected pitcher, Phil Hughes (0.8 zWAR).

3) The average ZiPS projected ERA+ per SP on the Sox is 108.2...for the Twins, 84.6.


Yeah, the Sox staff looks better on paper, for sure... No arguments there. But the Twins drastically upgraded their staff in both quantity and quality. The gap between the two is almost surely going to be less than it was in 2013 and could reach parity if a few things break right for the Twins. The Twins' starters had a 5.26 ERA in 2013... Without catastrophic injuries, is that any way they don't cut close to a run off that total? How many wins is that worth by itself?

As for the offense, the Sox added Abreu, which is nice for them. But, again, they have no breakout players on the team outside of him. They have a smattering of good young players and a bunch of stiffs. Not terribly different than the Twins, really... Until you factor in that the Twins have a handful of wildcards that could drastically alter the 2014 season.

Hicks, Arcia, and Gibson out of spring training. Hey, they could all flop on their faces, like Gibson and Hicks did in 2013... Or they could just as easily turn into 2+ WAR players apiece.

Later in the season, Sano will be on the roster and Meyer will probably be right behind him. Hey, maybe they flop as well... Or maybe they dominate right out of the gate.

That's five guys who could be the difference between 65 and 75 wins on the season and I'm not even mentioning Phil Hughes, who *should* profile extremely well in Target Field and easily trump his Yankee Stadium numbers. He's still just entering his age 28 season.

Again, both are bad teams. One team has a bunch of kids who could break out and change the team dynamic beginning in Spring Training. The other, not so much and one very good player isn't going to change that. Hughes, Nolasco, and Pelfrey combined should easily post a larger WAR increase over 2013 than Abreu unless he suddenly turns into Miguel Cabrera.

#25 TheLeviathan

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 09:33 AM

Without catastrophic injuries, is that any way they don't cut close to a run off that total? How many wins is that worth by itself?


But we've heard that before haven't we? I'm pretty confident we'll be better, but we're also banking on an NL convert and two rebound seasons to do that. With the Sox, their floor is lower but they have much more reason for optimism than we do.

Essentially, some Sox fan could make the exact same arguments you are based on their inherent bias. I see the case for both sides and they look about equally weighted to me.

The only way that changes, in my opinion, is if Sano starts the year with the team. Then we're talking a different situation.

#26 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 09:37 AM

But we've heard that before haven't we? I'm pretty confident we'll be better, but we're also banking on an NL convert and two rebound seasons to do that. With the Sox, their floor is lower but they have much more reason for optimism than we do.


The Twins haven't hauled in the quality or quantity of starting pitchers we've seen this offseason since, what, 1991? While "we've heard it before", it doesn't really apply here.

Essentially, some Sox fan could make the exact same arguments you are based on their inherent bias. I see the case for both sides and they look about equally weighted to me.


The Sox aren't in the midst of deploying five top 100 prospects to the MLB roster in 15 months. They may have optimism but it's not very grounded.

#27 spycake

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 10:05 AM

The White Sox offense indeed looks pretty dreadful, but man that starting pitching staff looks good. Sale is a legit ace, of course, Quintana's been pretty darn good too, and we'd love to have a guy like Erik Johnson right now.

I feel like the Twins have a lot more question marks at the moment -- Mauer is probably our most "solid" projectable guy but even he's coming off that concussion. Everybody else, outside the bullpen, has been up and down (or is thoroughly mediocre). And as much as the starting staff is improved, there is plenty of doubt that any of them can exceed a 95 ERA+. Meanwhile, Sale and Quintana project as confidently as any SP in the game right now -- quality, young, durable, etc.

On the other hand, the Twins do have some minor league reinforcements, but outside of Sano and Meyer they're not terribly close to arrival.

#28 mike wants wins

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 10:14 AM

You guys crack me up....As Chief says, we are arguing over which team is likely to be bottom 5 vs bottom 10 in the entirety of MLB.....both teams are likely to BAD again this year. Sure, they both have some hope....but hope isn't "likeliness".....

What I just typed is probably an opinion, not a fact. I mean, I'm usually right, so you should maybe assume it is or will be a fact soon, but that's up to you. :)


#29 spycake

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 10:34 AM

The Twins haven't hauled in the quality or quantity of starting pitchers we've seen this offseason since, what, 1991? While "we've heard it before", it doesn't really apply here.

That's an incredibly low bar, though.

The "quantity" was necessary only because how epically bad the starting staff has been the past two years. So they're already starting from a super-low point.

And the "quality" added is very modest -- the best and healthiest guy is a career 94 ERA+ pitcher. Heck, the two other guys barely even provide quantity if you want to look at their recent IP totals. It's really only "quality" in that it's an improvement over our historically bad performances. It doesn't compare in the slightest with Chicago's starting staff (even acknowledge Chicago is far from perfect).

Sale is legit ace, and the White Sox had two additional starters basically top any performance by the Twins starters or signees last year (Quintana and Santiago, although the latter has since been traded for offense). Plus Erik Johnson, who's like a younger Kyle Gibson without the injury and with a successful MLB debut.

The Sox aren't in the midst of deploying five top 100 prospects to the MLB roster in 15 months. They may have optimism but it's not very grounded.

And to this, just remember that none of Quintana, Santiago, or Johnson have ever been ranked as BA top 100 prospects. (Although Johnson may get ranked this year)

I'm not going to argue if someone says the White Sox are better at the moment, at least not until the Twins future is at least a little closer -- our best prospects have yet to even take the field in a AAA game (or AA, in the case of Buxton and all of our pitching prospects outside of Meyer).

#30 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 10:44 AM

That's an incredibly low bar, though.

The "quantity" was necessary only because how epically bad the starting staff has been the past two years. So they're already starting from a super-low point.

And the "quality" added is very modest -- the best and healthiest guy is a career 94 ERA+ pitcher. Heck, the two other guys barely even provide quantity if you want to look at their recent IP totals. It's really only "quality" in that it's an improvement over our historically bad performances. It doesn't compare in the slightest with Chicago's starting staff (even acknowledge Chicago is far from perfect).


It's an incredibly low bar, yes... But considering that most of the Twins rotation was negative WAR in 2013, it doesn't take much to get a lot better.

And if Hughes is healthy, I don't see how he doesn't improve drastically in Target Field. The guy was a Yankee Stadium nightmare and his home/road splits were comical. Ignoring potential injuries, worst case scenario is that he turns into Scott Baker lite. Best case scenario, he turns into "good" Scott Baker. That's a 3-4 win difference in the rotation right there.

Yeah, lots of stuff can go wrong... But you can say that about any baseball team. When your team is graduating around a half dozen top 100 prospects in 13-14 months, chances are at least two or three of them will stick.

I just don't see how the White Sox improve much on their 2013 campaign while the Twins are almost surely going to improve on theirs. It's not as if Sale and Quintana are going to get that much better than they were in 2013 and the Sox won only 63 games. In 2013, they posted 10 WAR between the two of them. What kind of upside do they have at this point?