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Twins Select Aaron Sabato with the 27th Overall Pick


Look at it this way, if the season were to occur we have a chance we could trade someone like Rooker to an NL team to either use as a DH bat this year, plus a few days in the field, or to increase the hitters on an NL team for the minor league system as I would guess from here on out the DH will be used. It allows us to replace that strength and give us more options at having elite hitters in the future for DH, 1st Base and Right field.  Allows the team to construct the rest of the roster how they see fit.  We have taking alot of picks at 3rd base and SS as well.  Needless to say we have a lot of hitters in the pipeline.  

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Seems like some people are forgetting quite a bit about how the MLB draft works.

 

You never draft based on the needs of the big league team. Best case scenario this guy gets a mid-season call up two years from now. Nelson Cruz is not going to be on the team by then. If it takes 3 years, then Miguel Sano would be on the last year of his current contract. We can only guess what the roster will look like 2-3 years from now. This also goes without saying that if Sabato shoots up the minor leagues in two years he is going to be a guy you find a spot for.

 

Secondly, at this point in the draft the expectation for a player is they will probably make the big leagues but who knows/not much past that.

 

It's hard to get excited about a hit only 1B/DH in the first round. The Twins clearly think he's a good hitter and if he mashes it won't matter that people weren't excited about the pick.

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I never judge draft picks because I really lack the knowledge to form specific opinions on individual players. However, I like the idea of drafting players with the skills that cant be taught, which are Power, speed and velocity.

 

This guy apparently has the power so now the Twins are tasked with teaching the rest.

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Aaron "the Butcher" Sabato, eh? Imagine how good he'll be when he learns to hit for power! Right now he's holding his rear hip back until after contact. If he learns to commit that hip earlier and finish with his right foot in front of the plate, he'll add another 30 feet to his bombs. That will also spare him some lower back problems later. Looks to have Mike Trout power in that sturdy frame.

 

Of course, he'll need to learn how to field first base. And he'll need tons of work on agility and speed. He chugs around the bases like a diesel land grader. 

 

Good pick!

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I get it, and I like his chances at making the major league roster, so I think I would give this pick a solid B. 

Having said that, it kind of adds to the 1B/Corner Outfielder minor league glut. If Kirilloff doesn't move to 1B, then we have 4 recent 1st round picks all essentially playing the same position: Kirilloff, Rooker, Larnach, and Wallner.

 

Agreed about the glut, but drafting the best fungible talent makes sense.  These days more than ever minor league talent is prized when it's time to make a deal.

 

I'd say I like his chances of making *a* major league roster.

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I think the pick is O.K. but I really know very little compared to say a Vikings draft.  Still, we have MAYBE one more year (after this) of Nelson Cruz.  And what happens if the Twins decide to move on from Sano and invest his $$$ in pitching.  What if Rosario is let go to make way for Kiriloff or Larnach ?  And on and on.  It's just impossible to get too excited or too disappointed when the names aren't Griffey or A-Rod.  

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I never judge draft picks because I really lack the knowledge to form specific opinions on individual players. However, I like the idea of drafting players with the skills that cant be taught, which are Power, speed and velocity.

 

This guy apparently has the power so now the Twins are tasked with teaching the rest.

"Its alive! Its alive!"

 

:)

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Seems like some people are forgetting quite a bit about how the MLB draft works.

 

You never draft based on the needs of the big league team. Best case scenario this guy gets a mid-season call up two years from now. Nelson Cruz is not going to be on the team by then. If it takes 3 years, then Miguel Sano would be on the last year of his current contract. We can only guess what the roster will look like 2-3 years from now. This also goes without saying that if Sabato shoots up the minor leagues in two years he is going to be a guy you find a spot for.

 

Secondly, at this point in the draft the expectation for a player is they will probably make the big leagues but who knows/not much past that.

 

It's hard to get excited about a hit only 1B/DH in the first round. The Twins clearly think he's a good hitter and if he mashes it won't matter that people weren't excited about the pick.

I agree with the "you don't draft for current needs" argument, but my concerns are twofold: 1) 1B/DH only players are not very valuable compared to basically ever other position in baseball and 2) the pipeline for 1B/DH prospects is already filled up quite well, with Rooker, Kiriloff, and Wallner all potentially filling the same role.

 

It feels like we drafted the exact same guy 3 years ago in Rooker, and he hasn't gotten a cup of coffee yet... I'd rather take the risky route and draft the top-end pitchers. Yes, I know the bust rate is very high, but we all know the Twins aren't going to find an ace in free agency and likely not through a rate... heck, our current ace was a 1st round pick. Hopefully they will target pitchers in rounds 2-5 and into undrafted FA - the more, the merrier.

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No insult intended, but when I read the Baseball America profile on him they mention massive forearms and his power and being limited to 1B only where he is anywhere from average to below average, and I suddenly flash back 30yrs ago to Steve Balboni.

 

To his credit, he's seen as an average to maybe above average hitter with maybe as much power as any hitter in the draft. He strikes out a bunch, but is not afraid to take walks. Does this remind anyone of a less athletic version of Sano?

 

Also, to be fair, his is only a draft eligible sophomore. So with a little time, conditioning and work, perhaps he will be a competent to good 1B. I hate to make comparisons, but Jeffers surprised a lot of people. But hard work has reportedly turned him in to a pretty solid catcher defensively. I'm not sold at this point on the choice. But even being a 1B "only" there is real value if he can hit with that kind of power potential and field his position solidly. Not everyone has to be an elite athlete who can play anywhere. If he's something close to Hrbek the sequel, I'd be very pleased.

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No insult intended, but when I read the Baseball America profile on him they mention massive forearms and his power and being limited to 1B only where he is anywhere from average to below average, and I suddenly flash back 30yrs ago to Steve Balboni.

To his credit, he's seen as an average to maybe above average hitter with maybe as much power as any hitter in the draft. He strikes out a bunch, but is not afraid to take walks. Does this remind anyone of a less athletic version of Sano?

Also, to be fair, his is only a draft eligible sophomore. So with a little time, conditioning and work, perhaps he will be a competent to good 1B. I hate to make comparisons, but Jeffers surprised a lot of people. But hard work has reportedly turned him in to a pretty solid catcher defensively. I'm not sold at this point on the choice. But even being a 1B "only" there is real value if he can hit with that kind of power potential and field his position solidly. Not everyone has to be an elite athlete who can play anywhere. If he's something close to Hrbek the sequel, I'd be very pleased.

Agree with all of this. I always get annoyed when I see things like "little to no defensive upside". Rubbish. Defense is something that can be worked on and improved. He might never be a gold glove but if he's league average, makes the plays he's supposed to, maybe steal a couple of outs here and there, all the while he's hitting 25-35 bombs from the middle of the lineup, that's a win for us.

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No insult intended, but when I read the Baseball America profile on him they mention massive forearms and his power and being limited to 1B only where he is anywhere from average to below average, and I suddenly flash back 30yrs ago to Steve Balboni.

Bye-Bye Sabato wouldn't be the worst nickname ever.

 

But wow, I looked up Balboni, and despite the hype when he came up, despite the 181 career HR, and despite token MVP mention in two of his seasons, modern metrics don't esteem him very much. Career WAR covering 960 games is a whopping 0.9. Yes, that means his career Wins Above Average (a higher hurdle than Replacement level players) is -10. With all the outs he consumed in order to produce his yearly 20-30 homers, his teams could have done a lot better by replacing him with an average talent.

 

So, I hope this proves to be a poor comp for our new guy.

 

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They certainly have a type. I'll ask what I always ask....how long do we have to wait to judge not taking pitchers early? Because you need A LOT of pitchers, and only 1 first baseman.....

 

And it's always been a reasonable question, Mike. The answer is complicated, IMO. Because we have to reconcile that there were about 6 available pitching prospects in the first round of this 2020 draft who have similar talent, and 2 of the 6 will likely end up having equal or better MLB careers than Sabato. But 4 of them will likely peter out. The answer to your question involves the question of "which 2" will it be. And in this area of the draft, even the successful ones are mostly mid rotation guys, at best Kyle Gibson types, and my theory is Falvey believes the chances of finding and developing that kind of pitcher doesn't diminish that much in rounds 6-10. In this draft, there won't be 10 first round pitchers worth much, and 10 pitchers had already been selected prior to pick #27. Evidence of that belief comes from the fact that they loaded up on college pitchers in recent drafts, tons of them, playing the numbers game you've alluded to be a necessary tactic.

 

The other things that come into play are that the organization can certainly horse-swap or sign FA pitching talent, Odorizzi and Maeda being recent examples. Plus we need to look no further than Randy Dobnak or Devin Smeltzer to catch on to the reality that Falvey is banking on development prowess. Will that work? FanGraph's interview with Matt Canterino is enlightening and encouraging. So it's not as if failing to draft pitching "early" in Rule 4 is some sort of death knell.

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