I guess its time to grade Falvey and CO at the 5 year mark of their run. They came in with a young roster with lots of promise in 2017. They were on the fringes of contention so they decided to go for it and traded for a pitcher. They traded Ynoa who is now a starter for the Braves. It took the Braves 4+ year to develop him so I don't hold that against this regime. I consider it similar to when we acquired Bartlett who panned out but wasn't a name prospect. after a week He changed course and sold off some players and netted us a few prospects In 2017 we went 85-77 and won the Wild Card anyhow and lost in the wild card game. and this year they drafted Lewis, Rooker, Enlow, Barnes, Ober, and Sammons, Sammons is still on the farm. I didnt see any other names as prospects. Overall this was a great draft based on the McPhail philosophy of bringing up 2-3 players a year so a draft that produces more cant be discounted.
in 2018 we went 77-85 They tried several patches in FA and they failed. Logan Morrison and Lance Lynn were not good Addison Reed was bad in the pen, They stole Odorizzi from Tampa Bay in a trade and made something of Magill who was a serviceable back of the pen reliever who finally seem to make it with Minnesota at 29. Ehire Adrianza and Zack Duke were solid signings for depth on the bench and bullpen. but the big signings were failures. The draft again looks strong Larnarch, Jeffers, Winder, Sands, and Funderbunk. I think we also signed Severino to a minor league contract who is still a prospect and considered a 1rst round talent at the time and traded nothing (I mean international salary cap space for 2 prospects a C who is currently at AAA and Pearson an OF that I dont know what happened to him.)
in 2019 we went 101-61. Great team great results. Signed Schoop and Cron to 1 year deals and won on both. though Cron got hurt signed Cruz for the best Free agent signing since 1991. (lets face it signing Morris and Chili Davis were the 2 best signings since they gave us a World Series Winner). The Twins signed Martin Perez to a low budget deal and got 10 wins and ok 5th starter. The 2017 signing of Pineda worked out great. Ryne Harper, Cody Stashak, Zack Littell, Randy Dobnak, came out of no where to do a great job. other signings were ok and a few were awful (Sam Dyson) its early to grade the draft. I still see 7 or 8 players as prospects including Canterino, Wallner, Steer, Sawyer Gipson-Long, Louie Varland and the quetionable #1 draft pick Cavaco.
In 2020 There was no minor league season this throws a wrench into development big time. but the Twins drafted 4 players and still have Sabato who has power. Soulaire sounds familiar and I don't know the others at all. the Twins went 36-24 which is a 60% winning percentage and pace for over 100 wins again. The Twins signed Donaldson and he did fine when not hurt. They Acquired the #2 in the Cy Young race for a prospect who is a solid reliever at this point and not much else. Brought in Theilbar and Wisler to the pen as a success. Clippard and Romo were good too but Romo was wearing down towards the end of the season.
In 2021 The Twins are reeling from a lack of 2020 minor league season. Their depth starters were hurt almost all season Dobnak, Duran, Smeltzer, and Thorpe, Happ and Shoemaker were not good signings. At least Happ would pitch well enough to be in games most of the time. but Shoemaker was bad and the situation was made worse with the depth unavailable to replace him. Colone also blew a bunch of saves the first month of the season to help derail it. at least he rebounded and was ok the rest of the way. Maeda got hurt and that was always a possibility with the contract he signed and everything so again I will not let this count against the grade either cause it was already planned for in terms of a contract which doesnt cripple our plans this offseason. Buxton, Garver, and Killeroff spent lots of time on the DL. Simmons was a bust with the bat, Kepler regressed. the offense is still above average and here next year. They also rebounded in the bullpen. After starting out the pen failed miserably The Twins rebuilt with waver claims and ended with a strong pen down the stretch, one of the best in the league. That was important since the rotation imploded beyond all belief and we traded our rotation rock Berrios to Toronto. Ober and Ryan look to be future rotation arms moving forward. Maeda will recover, and Pineda is hoping to return to the Twins so we seem close to a workable rotation. We lost 2 key prospects to the rule 5 draft last offseason who performed real well this year and in areas of need for Minnesota which hurt. But to be fair neither player played much the last 2 seasons before being taken. I wouldn't stash them either on the roster. Tyler Wells was close for me cause I thought he was near Major League ready when he got injured but I don't blame the Twins for that . The Twins have developed several pitching prospects that will be up next season so this year there was some good in the minors but the pitchers were all limited due to last year too. Winder, Duran, Balazovic, Sands, and traded for Woods-Richardson so we do have those prospects who should be in AAA and knocking on the door .... We started this season 5-2 then went 9-25 to drop 13 games below .500. If we win tomorrow we finish 16 games below .500 for the season so we at least rebounded being around a .500 team even with an imploding rotation the rest of the season. Its not the season I wanted but the core which can compete is still together on the position player side.
I bet that if we had 2020 to develop minor league pitching we would have had the depth to make this a better season. so from where I stand the Twins did a lot right. they did a few things wrong and we have an opportunity to right the ship and move forward. I will reserve giving a full grade until after this offseason when we know how the rotation will shape out for next season and if we sign Buxton to a long term extension. Without that knowledge They get a B. With the Buxton extension and with good starting pitching for next season the grade goes up to a B+ maybe A-
Probably should add list of minor league talent list that haunts today. Nick Anderson, Zack Littel, Ynoa, Luis Gil, LaMonte Wade Jr, Akil Baddoo, Tyler Wells. Am I missing anyone?
This blog was written in response to Tom Froemming's video about grading Falvey and Levine.