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Did the Twins Give Up Too Early On Akil Baddoo?


A lot of dimensions to the decision whether or not to protect.

 

Each off-season there will be two or three bottom feeder teams with no hope to compete and therefore the roster space to take a gamble on an outfielder. However there are 28 other teams besides just the Twins that such a team can choose from. If you leave a top-100 type of talent exposed, it's easy to predict you'll lose him, but below that it is much less likely.

 

Where you project a prospect playing is a huge factor. Up-the-middle talent always will catch someone's eye, increasing the urgency to protect. Baddoo has major-league CF range, I believe, but it's the arm that scouts have questions about (even before surgery). If you envision him as a left fielder, you'll prioritize him one way; if you view him in center, then the other way. A bad team may be more likely to gamble with a marginal center fielder, than the team losing him.

 

This ties in with my unease with all the corner outfield talent the team has been drafting in the early rounds recently. Had the Twins not drafted Rooker, who is knocking on the door, maybe they would have made room for Baddoo? Emphasizing bat-first guys means less latitude for "tweeners" if Baddoo is viewed that way.

 

Finally, could we have gotten something for Baddoo? Not much. Even though the Tigers liked him well enough to Rule-5 him, they would have gone to some other Plan B strategy had Baddoo been unavailable. For the Twins in November to approach the Tigers, saying that they heard they liked Baddoo so what would they offer in trade, would likely have resulted in some lottery-ticket arm in rookie ball, at best. So then, say, next year, when Baddoo comes up in a more normal progression, and shines like he's doing now, the second guessing would be exactly the same.

 

The Twins have a strong farm system at present, and losing someone like this is probably unavoidable now and then. Though, you do want to keep the losses to a minimum, with the guys you lose not clearly superior to whom you keep, and not have talent evaluation become an actual detriment.

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I don't think that the FO ever gave up on Baddo or Wells. They just didn't make room on the 40 man. Should've they? IMO definitely yes, both Baddo and Wells are players I'd like to protect and develop. My suggestion is to periodically trade players that we have developed that are redundant or don't fit in our organization but is a need in another, for an upgrade in an area of need. This would give us flexibility we need so we don't lose players for basically nothing. I only see this problem getting worse.

We don't have enough real CFers and we don't have any LH hitters at that position. Buxton, Celestino and Broxton are all RH. Baddo is LH

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I think, like others, the FO didn't think he'd get picked and they didn't think he'd stick. They were wrong. I'm not sure it was unreasonable for them to think like that but it's also fair to point out that some commentators - I think it was the fangraphs guy who later went to a ML club - were much higher on Baddoo then the consensus. He was a second round draft pick for a reason. 

 

But having two guys taken in the rule v draft and both sticking with the drafting club is not a good sign for the FO. Some might spin it as "oh, look at all the talent in the system" but tons of teams have tons of talent in their systems and this isn't a regular occurrence. The FO simply isn't rating their talent correctly or are making commitments to fringe free agents too quickly or just not taking the backend of the 40 man roster seriously enough.

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Good discussion; I'm sure that the twins FO (as well as me) thought there was no way that someone would take him and were surprised and disappointed when they did. (s)it happens.

 

He was most certainly blocked in our system (which reflects well on our system!)

 

My only quibble is that they may have missed an opportunity to get something back for him in a trade (most likely as an add in for a trade). Hopefully they at least tested the waters for peoples interest. Maybe there were a few teams that had their eye on him.....but either way, the return would not have been high, so not a huge deal.

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But having two guys taken in the rule v draft and both sticking with the drafting club is not a good sign for the FO. Some might spin it as "oh, look at all the talent in the system" but tons of teams have tons of talent in their systems and this isn't a regular occurrence. The FO simply isn't rating their talent correctly or are making commitments to fringe free agents too quickly or just not taking the backend of the 40 man roster seriously enough.

 

While I think your point has merit it also needs more context.  Both players that were lost were coming off of injuries and and a lost Covid season.  Do you think if Baddoo had made his way to AA ball last year they wouldn't have protected him?  I think they would have but with the odd year and lost playing time it made less sense for a team like the Twins to protect him.  Wells kind of the same thing and the Twins have a lot of relievers that they have fixed and that are in the pipeline every team loses guys like that on occasion. 

 

Both players were pretty high risk rule V picks IMO but I guess there are scouts and word of mouth and teams like the Tigers and Orioles can afford to take those types of risks.  Teams that are trying to use their 40 man to win divisions and playoffs have a harder time accepting that type of risk.

 

I certainly questioned the FO on boards here when they did not protect Baddoo as I believe I said at the time they must like Celestino better because they protected him and not Baddoo, but they were many factors at play that I did not consider at the time.  They thought they could have their cake and eat it too, but it didn't work out that way.

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It hurts we have been cheated out of perhaps an all-time home run call...

 

"Its hit well, its deep....its Yaba Da Baddoo!!!"

 

(thank you Scooby)

 

Wasn't that Fred Flintstone?

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He was not given up on, he just did not make the cut of the 40 man.  I am sure the Twins wish he was not taken, but you can only have 40 men on the roster.  Not common is a guy only playing high A gets the jump to major leagues.  The Twins were not willing to do that.  My guess if they were in Detroit position he would have made 40 man and Garlick would not have been brought in.  Really that is who most likely took Baddoo's spot.  

 

However, we are 1 week into the season.  He has played a few games and had big hits, but only the walk off helped his team win.  The grand slam was when they were down 15-2, my guess Dobnak was not really bearing down to get the rookie, next time he may.  The key Baddoo will have to show is how he adjusts when teams scout him, because I am sure no team has video on him outside possibly the Twins.  Get back to me in June and we will see if Baddoo was a huge diamond in the rough that was ready to play at this level, or just a guy that is on a little hot streak.  

 

We have seen rule 5 guys in the past have this happen.  They have big Aprils, teams scout them and then as season goes on they get overmatched. 

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I truly think the twins thought no way someone takes him. Everyone one saying oh you had open spots in your 40 man. Which is true the problem is if you add a guy in the 40 man roster who isn’t close to the majors you end up burning option years before a guy is major league ready. Take Celestino for example he used an option year in 2020 now an option in 2021 if he isn’t in opening day roster in 2022 he uses up 3rd option. If he isn’t an established starter in 2024 you can’t send him down if he slumps or is the 4th or 5th outfielder and injuries occur.

Two thumbs up!

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It hurts we have been cheated out of perhaps an all-time home run call...

 

"Its hit well, its deep....its Yaba Da Baddoo!!!"

 

(thank you Scooby)

Mr Flintstone is not happy right now.

 

Edit: Gaa! Ninja'd by PDX

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Accidentally deleted this when I meant to click “edit”. Looks like edit button disappeared

 

It was a series of bizarre decision making. You let Rosario go because you don’t want him blocking the young guys. Instead of adding all the young guys to the 40 man roster and let the cream rise to the top, you expose Baddoo only to sign a retread outfielder who’s failed at other organizations to block the kids. In the process you lose a guy with real potential. If you are making the decision between Rosario and Young guys... okay I get that. But management chose the worst of both worlds and now LF is a disaster. Hopefully they learn quick from their mistakes and let the young guys learn

I disagree that they non-tendered Rosario because they thought he was blocking anyone. It seems to me that cost was the issue, and they probably made a choice between him and Cruz.

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The number of GMs who would have added Baddoo to the roster to protect him from Rule 5 is pretty low. The number of people contributing to this thread right now who would have protected him is pretty low. On paper, he is another 2-3 years from being a contributor. Conversely, it's also not surprising that a team like Detroit would be willing to give him a cup of coffee. If he doesn't work out, they simply return him and lose nothing.

 

The only thing to do here is be happy about his hot start. I hope it continues for him.

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Hard for me to say they gave up too early on Baddoo; it's just the 40-man is starting to fill up with better prospects and Baddoo missed last year, so the twins didn't have a lot more to go on.

 

From the Tigers perspective this is a smart move: you're going nowhere, take a flyer on a player with some upside in the Rule 5 draft. You can afford to give him 300+ PA in MLB right now to see if you've got something and if it turns out he's not actually ready/able to play at this level (at least right now) you're out very little. He's a lottery ticket.

 

From the Twins perspective not-protecting him was a reasonable risk: he didn't play in 2020 because of the pandemic, the most recent playing year for him wasn't great (injured and not terrible effective), and he's never taken an AB above high A. So there's a decent chance no one takes him, because the only teams that might are ones like the Tigers, who stink and aren't really trying to win this year. While there's more of those teams than there really should be...there's still not that many.

 

I can't blame them for picking Celestino over Baddoo to protect, and that's really where I think it came down to. Celestino is the better fielder and could step in and credibly man CF defensively for the Twins right now if Buxton goes down for a lengthy period. Baddoo probably had the more advanced hit tool and definitely better power projection, but at the time it was unclear which one might end up the better hitter, especially after baddoo's injury-filled season. there's no doubt in my mind that celestino gets taken  if left unprotected: it's easier to stash a defensive specialist on a roster for a year. Even a more competitive team might take a flyer on that, especially with a 26-man roster. There's more room to work.

 

Baddoo is making the most of his opportunity so far. good for him. He's not going to hit anywhere near this all year, of course, so check back after he's got 100 ABs or so.

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Opinions will vary and only time will tell if it as a mistake to not protect Badoo. But I do agree that "gave up" is the wrong title/approach to the OP.

 

If this was the Twins from 4-5yrs ago, losing 90+ games a season they probably would have protected him on the 40 man due to potential and lack of talent. But that's not the case today. They are a TOP contending team that needs to protect youth where possible while also providing depth for a long, contending season.

 

And as was already pointed out, there are only so many teams that could "afford" a roster spot for an A ball player, even a tools one, who had barely seen the field the past 2yrs. And I don't buy in to the "spots were available" arguement. The Twins, like most clubs, especially those who should be contending..fill their 40 man with a combination of today and tomorrow while usually leaving a spot or two or three for FA signings or trade acquisitions.

 

Two important items to consider here:

 

1] How many contending teams...Yankees, Dogers, Astros, Dirty Sox, Etc...would have had room to add a toolsy, no hit, A or A+ OF who had played little or not at all the past 2yrs who didn't "figure" to contribute in the next season or two?

 

2] Want to argue room on the 40 man for said player, Badoo in this example? Fine. You keep him instead of Wade and cut Wade loose. Now you lose Wade for nothing. One example. The Twins signed and kept some pitchers only to demote them off the 40 man to add someone else? Happens all the time. But it's also a "timing" issue. Cut someone too soon, they get claimed and you lose them to a team still trying to set their roster. Wait a little, as the Twins did, and those guys tend to sneak through.

 

Think about the entirety of the 2021 season and the potential of Clay and Waddell to contribute. Coming out of ST, both looked like great additions who could help. 5yrs ago, they make the opening roster, but not now. Waddell is up now only because Colina was transferred to the 60 day. But at least he's available.

 

Let's say they "crowded" the 40 man with Badoo, who honestly didn't figure to play for a couple years at the ML level. Then, you cut him before ST to make room for Shoemaker, Happ, Garlik, whoever. He then passes through waivers. The Tigers couldn't have just picked him up THEN? The only difference, from Detroit's perspective, is they had to wait a few more weeks to add him if they liked him and had their eye on him.

 

Tell me the last guy the Twins, or anyone, "lost" an A ball player via rule 5 that turned out to be a stud player that turned out to be a "mistake" by not protecting". Most "loses" by the Twins, or anyone else, usually come in the form of AA or AAA players lost who find new life with a new opportunity.

 

6 games and 11 AB, despite a hot ST, indicates NOTHING at this point. Simply being a Twins fan for more than a few years...much less a baseball fan...you could make a decent sized list of guys who had a great ST or early season hot start only to never be seen again, or need to be demoted before coming back again later.

 

2020's missed milb season is going to have an affect that we can't even see at this point. Badoo plays a full season in 2020, he might have been an automatic "keep" no matter what. But you CAN'T make 40 man roster decisions based on a non-existent "what if" scenario! History and statistics would tell you Badoo is going to have his balloon burst in the next few weeks. Time was, unless there was an IL stash and manipulation, Badoo would then be returned to the Twins and we wouldn't have this debate. But things have changed and Detroit will have the option of a re-building team to just stick with him for the duration regardless of any balloon burst.

 

No doubt the FO played 90/10 or 80/20 odds at worst that Badoo wouldn't be selected or would be/will be returned. And as a baseball fan, it's not hard to root for Badoo to defy odds and have a good/great career. But the Twins did not make a mistake not protecting an A ball player with a questionable future from A ball.

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In hindsight, obviously the wrong decision. Not sure that’s even debatable at this point. What makes it worse is that’s it’s in the division.

 

Do I blame for making it? No. Who would’ve thought anyone would keep him in the major league roster?

I think you are conflating decisions with outcomes.

 

Suppose you're playing poker and you decide to raise against a player who will have to draw to an inside straight. Suppose then he hits his straight. Was it a bad decision? Just a bad outcome.

 

Baseball, as with most athletics, involves uncertainty. Decision-making under uncertainty is the essence of management.

 

The probabilities aren't nearly so straightforward in baseball as in poker. But at the moment I'm allowing for this situation with Baddoo being simply a "bad beat".

 

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In hindsight, obviously the wrong decision. Not sure that’s even debatable at this point. What makes it worse is that’s it’s in the division.

Do I blame for making it? No. Who would’ve thought anyone would keep him in the major league roster?

 

If he goes 0-30 will it then magically switch to an "obviously great decision" with no debate?

 

Doesn't your framing seem a bit too aggressive given Badoo couldn't trade a plate appearance for an egg and fill a carton?

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They didn't give up on a player. That would be waiving him. They gave up on David Ortiz.

 

And, from the looks of TD, Baddoo is the new Ortiz :)

He could be. All he has to do is keep this up for the next 15 years or so. Simple, right?  

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In hindsight, obviously the wrong decision. Not sure that’s even debatable at this point. What makes it worse is that’s it’s in the division.

Do I blame for making it? No. Who would’ve thought anyone would keep him in the major league roster?

 

Yep, I think it's this simple. They did believe anyone would take a guy that's never played above A ball and keep him on the roster. I am not sure I agree that it's not debatable. We have a very small sample size and it might take quite a while to determine if it's a mistake. However, if I could make the decision knowing what we know at the moment, I would have cut Smeltzer. He has very limited upside and we have several guys who project as back of the rotation SPs. We have far less CF prospects. Wade Jr  would also have been preferable. Baddoo has much more upside. We have all kinds of OF depth so I would have preferred Baddoo in the system as opposed to Wade Jr. I am sure there are other as well that would come to mind if we look ever the 40 man at the time.

 

I sure hope Celestino breaks out this year or even better we extend Buxton. Either one of these events or both would help us forget about losing Baddoo.

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In hindsight, obviously the wrong decision. Not sure that’s even debatable at this point. What makes it worse is that’s it’s in the division.

Do I blame for making it? No. Who would’ve thought anyone would keep him in the major league roster?

 

Still way too early to know if it was the wrong decision. If Baddoo finishes the season hitting .215 is it still the wrong decision? It's possible that even after that outcome it was the right choice for BOTH teams to have made the right decisions. None of this is made in a vacuum and it can't be assessed based simply off of how well Baddoo does or doesn't do. From the Twins perspective, you have to also consider it against the players they chose to keep. (The most likely candidates to get left off if you protect Baddoo are Celestino and Smeltzer it seems, and I'm absolutely convinced either would have been snapped up; Celestino in Rule 5 and Smeltzer on waivers.) Baddoo had a good chance of not getting drafted in Rule 5, but the Tigers took a flyer on him.

 

Heck, depending on hos the season goes, it's still possible Baddoo ends up back with the Twins: Detroit has to carry him on the 26 man all season or offer him back to the Twins. Who knows what will happen by July?

 

This is a case of the Rule 5 draft working the way it's supposed to be. A guy puts in the time in the minors but hasn't made it on an 40-man roster yet (blocked, injured, struggled, etc) and this draft gives him an opportunity to make a run with another club. It's a challenge with kids who come in at 16-17 and may not be developed enough to really know what you've got when they become eligible, but thems the breaks.

 

Good luck to Baddoo. It will be interesting to see whether he or Celestino has a bigger impact in MLB, because now they're kinda linked.

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