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Matthew Lenz
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Did you know that the 1997 Minnesota Twins draft produced both Michael Cuddyer and Jose Berrios? Or that the 2007 draft produced both Ben Revere and Trevor May? How about the 2009 international free agency producing three significant Twins in the 2019 lineup? Allow me to connect the dots for you.The Twins Player Acquisition Tree Project, copyright pending (not really), has been something I’ve always wanted to do and recently decided to get the ball rolling. The idea is pretty simple: I will go through each Twins season starting with 2019 working my way back to 1961 and create a tree to show how each starter was acquired. To determine starters in an objective manner, I will find the leader in fWAR from each position in the field, as well as the top five starters, top three relievers, and any other notable players from that season. An example of “notable” players from 2019 that weren’t leaders in fWAR were Jason Castro and Marwin Gonzalez.

 

The fun of this is to find players like Jose Berrios and Trevor May who have multiple branches in their list of acquisitions and date back as far as the 1997 first year player draft. It’s also fun to see how acquisitions from certain years paid off way down the road, such as four acquisitions in 2009 that paid dividends in 2019. Here is what the 2019 Twins Player Acquisition Tree looks like.

 

Download attachment: Screen Shot 2019-12-10 at 6.59.36 PM.png

 

So here’s where you, the reader, comes in ... I’m looking for some feedback on this before I get too far down the rabbit hole. First, does something like this already exist? I’ve done my own searching but haven’t found a “one stop shop” resource like this, but obviously don’t want to spend a ton of time creating something that’s already out there. Second, how does the format look? Is there anything you’d change or add? I’m open to and looking for constructive criticism!

 

Let me know in the comments below!

 

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I think you might be on to something fun and wee bit interesting (like a more fun version of 7 Degrees of Kevin Bacon [at least I think that's what some folks call it?]).

 

As far as ways to improve it?   I'm drawing a blank right now personally, but it's a cool start and possibly a pretty fun project.

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Too bad we never go after impact free agents.    All we've gotten are Cruz, Arraez, Sano, Gonzalez, Polanco, Pineda, Kepler and Castro.  Only 40% of our top  players.

 

Not sure why you'd group IFA with MLB FA. Everyone goes after IFA because the money pot is heavily constrained. That's the perfect place for bargain shoppers to hit the lotto on cost-controlled players.

 

Even on the MLB FA you're stretching the term "impact" quite a bit. Castro and Gonzalez play adequate defense at defensive-oriented positions without being a total black hole on offense. That's about it. Pineda was a reclamation project that they had to pay up front for a year of rehab before getting a good-not-great partial-season out of him. It's good they resigned him because they need solid mid-rotation starters but he's a 4+ ERA pitcher year-in and year-out. These guys are good for plugging holes and raising the floor but they don't raise the ceiling for the team's competitive level that much. The floor is pretty solid these days but they really need to raise that ceiling if they want to avoid getting swept in the playoffs every year.

 

Cruz is absolutely an impact player and I'm stoked they got him on a 2-year team-friendly deal. I have to believe age and positional (in)flexibility is the only reason the Twins had a shot at him, but I'll take it.

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I like this idea and agree it seems like a fun project. It's always interesting to follow the threads on how players came into the organization. In regards to players acquired via trades or compensation picks you can probably go back even further to connect the dots to where the player that was let go originally came from. We'd probably be surprised how far those threads really go.

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Not sure why you'd group IFA with MLB FA. Everyone goes after IFA because the money pot is heavily constrained. That's the perfect place for bargain shoppers to hit the lotto on cost-controlled players.

Only a slight nit to pick.  In 2009, when Sano, Polanco, and Kepler all signed, the money wasn't constrained.  Teams were allowed to spend as much as they liked then.  The bonus pool didn't start until 2012.  

 

So, the only constraint was really how much risk teams were willing to take on in the form of cash for signing rights for 16 year old players.  But, I understand and agree with your argument.  

 

Also, I like the article.  These are the fun articles to read during the offseason. 

 

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One of my favorite trees was Chuck Knoblauch's.

Knoblauch begat Eric Milton, Cristian Guzman, Brian Buchanan, and Danny Mota

Milton begat Carlos Silva, Nick Punto and Bobby Korecky

Buchanan begat Jason Bartlett

Bartlett (w/Matt Garza) begat Delmon Young, Brendan Harris and Jason Pridie

Young begat Lester Oliveros

Harris (w/JJ Hardy) begat Jim Hoey

 

So the total haul for Knoblauch included 2 starting pitchers - Milton  (6 seasons), Silva (4 seasons); 2 starting shortstops - Guzman (6 seasons), Bartlett (4 seasons); Super Utility and starting 3rd Base - Punto (7 seasons); Utility IF - Harris (3 seasons); Starting Left Fielder - Young (4 seasons); 3 relief pitchers - Oliveros (2 seasons), Hoey and Korecky (1 season each) and 2 backup outfielders - Buchanan (2 seasons) and Pridie (1 season). Not a bad deal - it lasted almost 20 years.

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What is the point of this? To map out the twins ancestry?

 

fWAR is not an accurate statistic to use to determine the team for each given year however. For instance, you forgot the twins MVP from 2019, Nelson Cruz. Because he doesn't show up in fWar because he doesn't play the defense very often. fWar is focused on Fielding. If you want to be objective about determining each seasons players, you should go by player who played the most games at the position by running a macro to https://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/MIN/2019.shtml - rather than populating everything manually. Just one big macro for aggregation, then you can define WAR.

 

Also, baseball reference defines all of the twins transactions as well, so u can query that (https://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/MIN/2019-transactions.shtml) rather than guessing or manually researching the person yourself.

 

What I would like to see any article on is how to reasonably quantify a managers WAR. (ie games lost in the last couple innings would mean this dude is replaceable). Just an idea on a cool topic.

 

Honestly, not in love with the Twins family tree. But then again, look at ancestry.com...its huge! So maybe this could be the next big thing, I'm going to buy the domain bancestry.com right now.

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As to the worthiness of the endeavor - go for it. It's a long offseason. It is kind of fun. And the 2019 list is going to make the 2018 list a lot easier to compile. 

 

I'm sort of struck by how few of the guys came here as part of a trade. Back in 2002, the last time a Twins team showed this much promise, it feels like there were a lot more trades. I'd say the same about the end of the Terry Ryan era.

 

I suspect there will be a lot more long threads in future Twins teams given all the prospects acquired at the 2018 trade deadline. 

 

 

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As to the worthiness of the endeavor - go for it. It's a long offseason. It is kind of fun. And the 2019 list is going to make the 2018 list a lot easier to compile. 

 

I'm sort of struck by how few of the guys came here as part of a trade. Back in 2002, the last time a Twins team showed this much promise, it feels like there were a lot more trades. I'd say the same about the end of the Terry Ryan era.

 

I suspect there will be a lot more long threads in future Twins teams given all the prospects acquired at the 2018 trade deadline. 

 

When you research the trade history of Terry Ryan over the past decade and then compare it to the other 29 teams during the same time period.

 

The Twins were an orange pylon. 

 

The new front office has changed this. A new player acquisition door has opened and the tree has the sunlight needed to grow. 

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One of my favorite trees was Chuck Knoblauch's.

Knoblauch begat Eric Milton, Cristian Guzman, Brian Buchanan, and Danny Mota

Milton begat Carlos Silva, Nick Punto and Bobby Korecky

Buchanan begat Jason Bartlett

Bartlett (w/Matt Garza) begat Delmon Young, Brendan Harris and Jason Pridie

Young begat Lester Oliveros

Harris (w/JJ Hardy) begat Jim Hoey

 

So the total haul for Knoblauch included 2 starting pitchers - Milton  (6 seasons), Silva (4 seasons); 2 starting shortstops - Guzman (6 seasons), Bartlett (4 seasons); Super Utility and starting 3rd Base - Punto (7 seasons); Utility IF - Harris (3 seasons); Starting Left Fielder - Young (4 seasons); 3 relief pitchers - Oliveros (2 seasons), Hoey and Korecky (1 season each) and 2 backup outfielders - Buchanan (2 seasons) and Pridie (1 season). Not a bad deal - it lasted almost 20 years.

I'm excited to see this string when I get to those year

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What is the point of this? To map out the twins ancestry?

fWAR is not an accurate statistic to use to determine the team for each given year however. For instance, you forgot the twins MVP from 2019, Nelson Cruz. Because he doesn't show up in fWar because he doesn't play the defense very often. fWar is focused on Fielding. If you want to be objective about determining each seasons players, you should go by player who played the most games at the position by running a macro to https://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/MIN/2019.shtml - rather than populating everything manually. Just one big macro for aggregation, then you can define WAR.

Also, baseball reference defines all of the twins transactions as well, so u can query that (https://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/MIN/2019-transactions.shtml) rather than guessing or manually researching the person yourself.

What I would like to see any article on is how to reasonably quantify a managers WAR. (ie games lost in the last couple innings would mean this dude is replaceable). Just an idea on a cool topic.

Honestly, not in love with the Twins family tree. But then again, look at ancestry.com...its huge! So maybe this could be the next big thing, I'm going to buy the domain bancestry.com right now.

 

Uh, wut? Nelson Cruz has fWAR.......fWAR is also not focused on fielding. 

 

And no one has been able to come up with a good way to measure managers, despite years of effort.

 

 

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What is the point of this? To map out the twins ancestry?

fWAR is not an accurate statistic to use to determine the team for each given year however. For instance, you forgot the twins MVP from 2019, Nelson Cruz. Because he doesn't show up in fWar because he doesn't play the defense very often. fWar is focused on Fielding. If you want to be objective about determining each seasons players, you should go by player who played the most games at the position by running a macro to https://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/MIN/2019.shtml - rather than populating everything manually. Just one big macro for aggregation, then you can define WAR.

Also, baseball reference defines all of the twins transactions as well, so u can query that (https://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/MIN/2019-transactions.shtml) rather than guessing or manually researching the person yourself.

What I would like to see any article on is how to reasonably quantify a managers WAR. (ie games lost in the last couple innings would mean this dude is replaceable). Just an idea on a cool topic.

Honestly, not in love with the Twins family tree. But then again, look at ancestry.com...its huge! So maybe this could be the next big thing, I'm going to buy the domain bancestry.com right now.

I may be wrong, I've always interpretted fWAR as being FanGraphs version of WAR whereas bWAR is Baseball References version of WAR. Nelson Cruz was accidentally left out because I somehow forgot the DH as a position in this exercise. It's been fixed now.

 

I agree that quantifying a managers WAR somehow would be cool and fun to figure out, but I don't know that an average joe like me could figure out a good way to calculate that!

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As to the worthiness of the endeavor - go for it. It's a long offseason. It is kind of fun. And the 2019 list is going to make the 2018 list a lot easier to compile. 

 

I'm sort of struck by how few of the guys came here as part of a trade. Back in 2002, the last time a Twins team showed this much promise, it feels like there were a lot more trades. I'd say the same about the end of the Terry Ryan era.

 

I suspect there will be a lot more long threads in future Twins teams given all the prospects acquired at the 2018 trade deadline. 

 

 

 

https://www.fangraphs.com/roster-resource/depth-charts/twins

 

This year they should add, I'm guessing, 7 players from the minors will debut that were acquired in trade. That changes if they sign a 1B and another SP......

 

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