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How quickly we Forget


Mike Sixel
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Message added by Brock Beauchamp,

Please refrain from meta-arguing in this thread. Discuss the topic at hand, address others' posts directly, or just move on from the thread entirely. This isn't a place for commentary on other posters' posting styles, it's a conversation about the front office.

55 minutes ago, Hosken Bombo Disco said:

I’m not trying to argue.

I’m pushing back against misleading claims. There is plenty of evidence. Anyone can see it. Things like this have been said in this thread: 

— “Look at the awful minor league pitching they inherited”
 
— “a list of A-ballers and two dudes who were ok.”
 
— “None of those pitchers are good.” (In reference to Ynoa and Gil, Wells, Graterol, Stewart, Romero, Jay, Gonsalves, etc.)
 
If Gil and Ynoa were still in this organization and pitching with this much promise, we would be gushing over them, right?
 
There was a time around 2018 when Nick Gordon and Stephen Gonsalves were Top 100 prospects. I wanted to trade them both together. The response was “maybe trade one, but not both.” Heh.

We are dreaming on these young AA prospects today the same way we dreamt on those other prospects yesterday. Maybe it will turn out better this time. Let’s hope. 

 

This is not evidence.  Hence why it is you who is making the misleading claim that 2017's pitching was left "fine".

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14 minutes ago, TheLeviathan said:

This is not evidence.  Hence why it is you who is making the misleading claim that 2017's pitching was left "fine".

By “fine” I mean somewhere in the large middle of MLB teams, depending on what measure is used. I won’t try to argue that the system was above average. However I don’t think it was in the very bottom group teams either. Below average, I’m fine with that. Somewhere within the big group of ordinary. But not empty, and not awful.  

People want to give this new pitching pipeline time to produce. Fine. We can do that. We have no choice, really.

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16 minutes ago, Hosken Bombo Disco said:

By “fine” I mean somewhere in the large middle of MLB teams, depending on what measure is used. I won’t try to argue that the system was above average. However I don’t think it was in the very bottom group teams either. Below average, I’m fine with that. Somewhere within the big group of ordinary. But not empty, and not awful.  

People want to give this new pitching pipeline time to produce. Fine. We can do that. We have no choice, really.

If such a claim had evidence one would think by now you would provide it rather than tap dancing around vague definitions.

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2 minutes ago, TheLeviathan said:

If such a claim had evidence one would think by now you would provide it rather than tap dancing around vague definitions.

People say things conversationally all the time. No biggie.

The original poster said it’s not fair to call the front office literal idiots (or something to that effect). Now others of us are saying it’s not fair to say there was literally no one in the pitching pipeline. 

That’s all. That’s one way to boil this down.

Handshake? 

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17 hours ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

If we're calling fresh-out-of-2016 Berríos capable, what are Bailey Ober and Joe Ryan?

It's an honest question because Jose was highly regarded but was just so awful in 2016 that he was still very much a question mark entering the 2017 season. I don't see any way to consider Jose capable while not putting either/both Ober/Ryan in the same category, or at least strongly considering them to potentially be in the same category of "will likely be a solid MLB contributor".

Standard Pitching
Year Age Tm Lg W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB IBB SO HBP BK WP BF ERA+ FIP WHIP H9 HR9 BB9 SO9 SO/W Awards
2016 22 MIN AL 3 7 .300 8.02 14 14 0 0 0 0 58.1 74 56 52 12 35 0 49 5 0 1 281 53 6.20 1.869 11.4 1.9 5.4 7.6 1.40  
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 9/15/2021.

I mean, you know this is a completely misleading and not remotely honest. Berrios was 22 and a top 20 prospect in all of baseball. Ober and Ryan were in A ball at 22. These aren't even remotely comparable.

16 hours ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

I... guess?

Kyle Gibson had an 83 ERA+ in 2016. He also had an 87 ERA+ in 2017.

If that's the bar we need to clear to be considered "capable", John Gant has a 91 ERA+ this season and is under control for next season should the Twins want to go that route.

To elaborate a bit further, exiting the 2016 season, Gibson had a career 88 ERA+.

Do you know who else has a career 88 ERA+? Randy Dobnak.

And again, you know this is misleading. Gibson had a 2 WAR season, a 3 WAR season and then the disappointing 1 WAR season. Dobnak has a negative WAR for his career and was out of baseball for years and the Twins are the only team in baseball that thought he was a ML pitcher. By the end of 2016, Gibson had started 100 games, amassed 6 WAR and thrown 570 or so innings.

But, hey, maybe you honestly think a future of Dobby, Ober and Gant will work out. Or maybe you're trying to minimize what the Twins had to make the current FO look better than they are.

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1 hour ago, Hosken Bombo Disco said:

I’m not trying to argue.

I’m pushing back against misleading claims. There is plenty of evidence. Anyone can see it. Things like this have been said in this thread: 

— “Look at the awful minor league pitching they inherited”
 
— “a list of A-ballers and two dudes who were ok.”
 
— “None of those pitchers are good.” (In reference to Ynoa and Gil, Wells, Graterol, Stewart, Romero, Jay, Gonsalves, etc.)
 
If Gil and Ynoa were still in this organization and pitching with this much promise, we would be gushing over them, right?
 
There was a time around 2018 when Nick Gordon and Stephen Gonsalves were Top 100 prospects. I wanted to trade them both together. The response was “maybe trade one, but not both.” Heh.

We are dreaming on these young AA prospects today the same way we dreamt on those other prospects yesterday. Maybe it will turn out better this time. Let’s hope. 

The thing is that fans always dream on prospects, whether they're good or bad. We all banked a lot on Nick Blackburn - even though deep down we knew better - at one point, too. It's part of being a fan, looking and hoping for the upside buried in even the most flawed prospect.

The reality is that Baseball Prospectus ranked the Twins system 22nd to open 2017.

Baseball America ranked the Twins system 21st to open 2017.

I can't find MLB.com's rankings past the top ten but the Twins weren't in it.

And the MLB pitching staff had the 19th best ERA in baseball in 2016 with few changes made to enter 2017.

Those are the actual numbers. Were there promising players? Sure, there are "promising" players in even the 28th ranked farm system.

Was it a good system, particularly in regards to pitching? Absolutely not, full stop.

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5 minutes ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

The thing is that fans always dream on prospects, whether they're good or bad. We all banked a lot on Nick Blackburn - even though deep down we knew better - at one point, too. It's part of being a fan, looking and hoping for the upside buried in even the most flawed prospect.

The reality is that Baseball Prospectus ranked the Twins system 22nd to open 2017.

Baseball America ranked the Twins system 21st to open 2017.

I can't find MLB.com's rankings past the top ten but the Twins weren't in it.

And the MLB pitching staff had the 19th best ERA in baseball in 2016 with few changes made to enter 2017.

Those are the actual numbers. Were there promising players? Sure, there are "promising" players in even the 28th ranked farm system.

Was it a good system, particularly in regards to pitching? Absolutely not, full stop.

@Hosken Bombo Disco Note the evidence used.  You are "conversationally" misleading people with a demonstrably false claim.  One you refuse to give any merit to with actual information.  I won't presume bad intentions that you KNOW the claim is false, but perhaps before you piggyback on a misleading claim you might want to, I don't know, make sure it isn't false?

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2 minutes ago, gunnarthor said:

I mean, you know this is a completely misleading and not remotely honest. Berrios was 22 and a top 20 prospect in all of baseball. Ober and Ryan were in A ball at 22. These aren't even remotely comparable.

And again, you know this is misleading. Gibson had a 2 WAR season, a 3 WAR season and then the disappointing 1 WAR season. Dobnak has a negative WAR for his career and was out of baseball for years and the Twins are the only team in baseball that thought he was a ML pitcher. By the end of 2016, Gibson had started 100 games, amassed 6 WAR and thrown 570 or so innings.

But, hey, maybe you honestly think a future of Dobby, Ober and Gant will work out. Or maybe you're trying to minimize what the Twins had to make the current FO look better than they are.

I said Berrios was "very highly regarded", which is an obvious nod to his prospect status.

But we're talking ABOUT THE END OF 2016 here without hindsight. Berrios was still promising but he wasn't just kinda bad in 2016, he was flat-out awful. We held out hope he would turn it out - which he thankfully did - but it was far from a given at this point.

Not using Gibson's WAR is not misleading. He was a bad pitcher. We were all here for it, let's not pretend otherwise. Again, we HOPED he would pan out and become the top 100 guy we all wanted him to be but outside of 2015, he hadn't shown a glimmer of promise for more than a couple of starts at a time.

Exiting his age 29 season, he had an ERA+ of 88. If the Twins had a better pitching staff after 2017, would they even have offered him the $4m+ it took to retain him in arbitration? There's no clear answer to that question, which again speaks to just how *not great* the pitching pipeline was at that time.

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7 minutes ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

The thing is that fans always dream on prospects, whether they're good or bad. We all banked a lot on Nick Blackburn - even though deep down we knew better - at one point, too. It's part of being a fan, looking and hoping for the upside buried in even the most flawed prospect.

The reality is that Baseball Prospectus ranked the Twins system 22nd to open 2017.

Baseball America ranked the Twins system 21st to open 2017.

I can't find MLB.com's rankings past the top ten but the Twins weren't in it.

And the MLB pitching staff had the 19th best ERA in baseball in 2016 with few changes made to enter 2017.

Those are the actual numbers. Were there promising players? Sure, there are "promising" players in even the 28th ranked farm system.

Was it a good system, particularly in regards to pitching? Absolutely not, full stop.

It looks like Buxton, Berrios, and Kepler graduated between 2016 and 2017, so its natural that the system would be ranked lower in 2017.

Baseball Prospectus had those guys #2, #17 and #60 heading into 2016 and not on their 2017 list. So yeah I still have to say it’s a little misleading to cite just that single year.

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Just now, Hosken Bombo Disco said:

It looks like Buxton, Berrios, and Kepler graduated between 2016 and 2017, so its natural that the system would be ranked lower in 2017.

But we're talking about the pitching staff. Buxton and Kepler have nothing to do with any of this. And we've covered Berrios extensively already.

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7 minutes ago, TheLeviathan said:

@Hosken Bombo Disco Note the evidence used.  You are "conversationally" misleading people with a demonstrably false claim.  One you refuse to give any merit to with actual information.  I won't presume bad intentions that you KNOW the claim is false, but perhaps before you piggyback on a misleading claim you might want to, I don't know, make sure it isn't false?

See my reply to Brock a moment ago. Twins had a lot of graduations which dropped their ranking. 

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3 minutes ago, Hosken Bombo Disco said:

See my reply to Brock a moment ago. Twins had a lot of graduations which dropped their ranking. 

If one pitcher graduating is enough to send your prospect ratings into the bottom third of the league.....I don't think that helps your argument one single bit.  

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2 minutes ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

But we're talking about the pitching staff. Buxton and Kepler have nothing to do with any of this. And we've covered Berrios extensively already.

You cited the overall ranking so I gave you the names there.

Pitching is more my thing and I am more than happy to talk about pitching all day long..

but we are getting off track.

 

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32 minutes ago, a-wan said:

For 2017 Jon Sickels had Gonsalves at #2, Romero #3, Jay #4, Adalberto Mejia #7, Chargois #10. That is not a lot of high end pitching. This year sucks because Duran is hurt, Balazovic didn’t pitch last year and started with a back injury. But those two are more high end than anyone from 2017.

Not to mention SWR, Winder, Canterino, and Varland.  The Twins have 8 pitchers 26 or under at A+ who profile as potential #3 starters or better (Ober, Ryan, Duran, Balazovic, Winder, SWR, Canterino, Varland).  If none of those guys hit, Falvine should probably be shown the door.  If 1-2 of those guys hit, we're in ok shape.  If 3-4 hit, we're in fantastic shape.

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18 hours ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

I don't know if we can consider Gibson's 2014 "decent", though. He pitched to an 87 ERA+.

He was decent in 2015, for sure.

Then he regressed massively in 2016, pitching to an 83 ERA+.

My point is that if you flash back to the end of 2016, no one looked at the career of Kyle Gibson and felt comfortable that he was an acceptable MLB starter going forward. Saying otherwise is purely hindsight. We HOPED he could become a decent pitcher but he didn't even do that in 2017, either. It was all the way into 2018 when he finally started performing at a consistent level (2015 was a yo-yo that gave us hope but had plenty of bad mixed with the good).

179 IP with an xFIP of 3.99 and 2.7 fWAR doesn't meet the standard for "decent?" It's nearly identical to what he posted in '15. 

I guess define "acceptable MLB starter going forward," because I just don't believe that after what he did in '14 and '15, including the '16 dud plus a shoulder injury, that entering '17 he was no longer viewed as capable of starting MLB games; that feels like rewriting history. Questioning the Jekyll and Hyde act is a far cry from hoping 100 combined innings translates into two rotation spots locked down next year. 

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These guys are not idiots. Not close. I think alot of what frustrates people is that they see alot of the same things with them, that they saw from TR's regime. 

Washups, constantly relying on washups. Prospects not panning out much - so far. Losing in the playoffs, not even being competitive in them really. 

 

I will say. Joe Ryan is going to make these guys look like geniuses whether they thought he could be this good or not. This guy is a difference maker and going to be an ACE type. I'd argue one of the only starting pitchers in our system that can be one.

Honestly, how did we get this guy for a rental of a 41 year old DH?

 

 

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1 hour ago, KirbyDome89 said:

179 IP with an xFIP of 3.99 and 2.7 fWAR doesn't meet the standard for "decent?" It's nearly identical to what he posted in '15. 

I guess define "acceptable MLB starter going forward," because I just don't believe that after what he did in '14 and '15, including the '16 dud plus a shoulder injury, that entering '17 he was no longer viewed as capable of starting MLB games; that feels like rewriting history. Questioning the Jekyll and Hyde act is a far cry from hoping 100 combined innings translates into two rotation spots locked down next year. 

115 ERA- in 2014.  He was 15% worse than the average MLB starter.  xFIP- of 105--he was 5% worse than the average pitcher.

There were 88 qualified pitchers in 2014, and Gibson was 73rd by ERA-, and tied for 56th by xFIP-.  If you expand the sample to pitchers who threw 120 innings, you get 128 guys--Gibson was tied for 98th in ERA- and 75th in xFIP-.  Not for nothing, but in 2014, Gibson had a worse xFIP than Ricky Nolasco.

I think you are missing the fact that the current era is harsher on pitchers than the past was.  In 2014, the entire league's starters put up a cumulative 3.82 ERA, 3.81 FIP, and 3.78 xFIP.  For 2021, those numbers are 4.32, 4.28, and 4.22.  A 3.99 xFIP is pretty nice in 2021, but pretty bad in 2014.

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1 hour ago, Battle ur tail off said:

Honestly, how did we get this guy for a rental of a 41 year old DH?

 

My guess is that because he is 25 years old, they thought he only had two good or better pitches, had to be put on the 40 this off season, he wasn't even in their top 10 prospects and most importantly wanted the best hitting guy available on the market so they over paid a bit.

Also and I could be wrong with this, they don't seem to load up their 40 man with aging prospects.

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6 hours ago, Hosken Bombo Disco said:

You cited the overall ranking so I gave you the names there.

Pitching is more my thing and I am more than happy to talk about pitching all day long..

but we are getting off track.

 

No, we're on track.  We're talking pitching.  With evidence.  You keep taking us off evidence and just throwing conversational hot takes out.  As a-wan notes....Gonsalves was our best non-Berrios pitcher in 2017. He might not crack the top 10 of our current crop.  Definitely not top 5.  

You argue that the prospect rankings dropped after some hitting promotions and Berrios.  Well, that means the total farm (INCLUDING HITTERS!!!) was middling.  And the hitters were carrying most of that ranking!  Hence, by simple logic.....the pitching prospects must not have been very good relative to the rest of the league.

But, for about the fourth time, maybe you'll actually present some non-folksy arguments or evidence for us to chew on.  So....Do you have any that counters the reams of evidence posted by Brock, Captain, a-wan, etc?  If not, maybe you should just stop piggybacking on a false idea and throwing us all off the track.  Unless, of course, Terry Ryan is mailing you checks for this.  If so, what's your cut?  And how do I also sell my soul and get in on it?

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Fangraphs currently rates MN farm system as 9th best......with Larnach and Jeffers not in the list for them at this point (meaning they no longer count them as prospects). Both of them were in the top 100 to start the year. 

Five of their top 10 are SP, with Joe Ryan still projected as a RP (they haven't updated things since the deadline).

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You or I might not have liked Gonsalves, @TheLeviathan, but the national guys did, and Falvey and Levine must have too, right? Or they would have traded him when he was valuable, right? (Apologies for using Stephen Gonsalves here to demonstrate a point; nothing personal.)

A couple clicks around the Twins Daily archive brought me to this page (not cherry picking, it was the first one I found) and here is what one rater said of Gonsalves: 

  • 2) Stephen Gonsalves, LHP, Grade B+: You can make a good case to put him ahead of Gordon on strength of stellar 2016, 2.06 ERA in 140 innings, 155/57 K/BB, just 86 hits. Improvement in secondary pitches (curve, change, cutter) was key factor in 2016 and the numbers certainly back up strong reports. Fastball isn’t always premium in low-90s but respectable for a lefty, projects as a number three starter and perhaps more. Age 22. ETA: late 2017. (link)

And here is what the starter of this thread today said back then about the rater, the ratings, and presumably, about how Gonsalves was rated:

  • Hard to disagree with much of that. 

I realize it's not good form to dig up old takes (apologies again), but you were rejecting my own evidence and asking for it on your terms. So I went to find something that I think you would recognize as actual evidence and not just what you consider raw opinion or anecdote.  

Again, here's how Gonsalves was summed up: "Projects as a 3 or better." That's kind of how a few of our current prospects rate, correct?

Can we agree to disagree on whether the cupboard was bare when Falvey took over? Handshake?

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38 minutes ago, Hosken Bombo Disco said:

You or I might not have liked Gonsalves, @TheLeviathan, but the national guys did, and Falvey and Levine must have too, right? Or they would have traded him when he was valuable, right? (Apologies for using Stephen Gonsalves here to demonstrate a point; nothing personal.)

A couple clicks around the Twins Daily archive brought me to this page (not cherry picking, it was the first one I found) and here is what one rater said of Gonsalves: 

  • 2) Stephen Gonsalves, LHP, Grade B+: You can make a good case to put him ahead of Gordon on strength of stellar 2016, 2.06 ERA in 140 innings, 155/57 K/BB, just 86 hits. Improvement in secondary pitches (curve, change, cutter) was key factor in 2016 and the numbers certainly back up strong reports. Fastball isn’t always premium in low-90s but respectable for a lefty, projects as a number three starter and perhaps more. Age 22. ETA: late 2017. (link)

And here is what the starter of this thread today said back then about the rater, the ratings, and presumably, about how Gonsalves was rated:

  • Hard to disagree with much of that. 

I realize it's not good form to dig up old takes (apologies again), but you were rejecting my own evidence and asking for it on your terms. So I went to find something that I think you would recognize as actual evidence and not just what you consider raw opinion or anecdote.  

Again, here's how Gonsalves was summed up: "Projects as a 3 or better." That's kind of how a few of our current prospects rate, correct?

Can we agree to disagree on whether the cupboard was bare when Falvey took over? Handshake?

It shouldn't have taken this many requests to get an actual argument with evidence presented.  I'll admit, I didn't remember that Gonsalves was that high in 2018, so I definitely erred by how I undersold him.  However, the two biggest problems with your argument aren't the ones you apologized for:

1) You're making the argument that it wasn't "Barren" - who said it was barren?  Gunnathor referred to it as a "nice" array of talent.  I think the counter argument, which has been done almost exclusively with evidence has been, "No...not nice.  Quite below average".  Even is Gonsalves was the next greatest pitcher in baseball, I'm still not sure that would qualify the Twins farm at the time as "nice".  Especially when you consider how bad they were in 2016 and 2017 and the overhaul done to the pitching staff by the time they were not bad in 2019 and 2020.  One player might defeat (in a strictly literal sense) the idea it was barren, but no one is arguing that so it doesn't really matter.  It's the sum total of what was available.  And, again, it wasn't good.  Which leads me to....

2) The guy you cited as evidence the cupboards weren't barren is not good at baseball.  He's a total flop.  Sure, we have the benefit of hindsight now, but it's become abundantly clear that the guys in the farm at the time were mostly not good players.  I mean, gunnathor cited Tyler Jay in his list.  Tyler Jay!!!!!  You're making the opposite case of what you mean to: If Gonsalves is proof, by virtue of having a spot on a top 100 list, that the farm was good and he was our best prospect....isn't that a massive indictment?  Our best prospect in the minors was a dud and almost everyone else turned out duds too.  How can that possibly qualify as a "nice" group of talents?

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The quote "you can make a good case to put him ahead of Gordon" certainly casts a pall over the rating Gonsalves had, and the remainder of your post throws (much-deserved) shade on the general ability to foresee the future with minor leaguers...

So he's the best prospect at that time, and I think others have pointed out we might have 5-6 prospects right now who are somewhat comparable or are thought to have a higher ceiling. I don't really see how the argument about the strength of our pitching prospects in 2017 vs. now can end in favor of 2017. Not even close.

And to repeat the post above: Tyler Jay???

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