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VIDEO: Jim Pohlad Gives Derek Falvey & Co. A+


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Do they deserve an A+?  No.  That was probably just Pohlad’s way of publically supporting the management team.  However, a baseball fan / blogger is going to evaluate the situation differently than a business owner.  A management consulting firm that evaluates management operations would also look at the situation through a considerably different lens.

The baseball fan is going to focus on this season.  A business owner is going to look at their entire tenue, where we were, and how we are positioned for the future.  A owner or professional evaluation team would also focus on management infrastructure and the things they were brought in to change.  The Twins were far behind the league in terms of analytics and player development programs.  Are we considerably better positioned than when we were?  Minor league operations were evaluated and change substantially.  What kind of hiring decisions have they made?  How much have these things improved?  We have some insight to these questions.  I would presume the Pohlad’s have been given formal reports.

Sorry Tom, while I agree the A+ is public puffery, you are very focused on the premise they have had 5 years to bring in pitching.  For starters, their 1st draft was 2017.  That’s 4 years.  We also lost an entire minor league season and you have to at least consider the role injury has played.  They would have graduated a couple more pitchers given a normal rate of injury.

The grade for me is an incomplete.  We have never been this deep in legitimate pitching prospects.  Are they different from prospects like Jay / Romero / Gonsalves who ultimately failed?  IDK but that’s the point.  We still don’t know if the Falvey / Lavine prospects are going to make it or not because their picks have yet to be tested at the ML level because of very unusual circumstances.  Four years (not 5) would have been adequate under normal conditions but we did not have normal conditions.

The decisions made this year were all reasonable.  The moves that are going to hurt us for a while were made long ago in the form of trading away Gil / Ynoa and leaving Wells unprotected.  There were other guys that were fringe players that should have been exposed before Wells.  Gil and Ynoa were the type of trades many fans want to make.  Trade a way A ball guys for help now.  However, they were high upside SPs.  Those guys should never be traded away like they were for a 4th OFer and a rental.  I find these decisions much more objectionable that what happened this season.  

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I gagged reading Walters column.

To add, the lineup is better, but poor baserunning, no buntability, hit and run and sloppy defense doesn't help with bad starting pitcher and below average bullpen. 

 

Also who are Twins grooming to be a closer on the big league club or anywhere in the system 

 

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I do not know how to grade front offices.  There is the organizational part - putting the right people in place, maintaining a functioning organization, establishing communications.  Then there is the on-field portion which is both MLB and MiLB.  I cannot speak to the organization, the Minors are looking good, but the decisions at the major league level were definitely a fail this year.  Simmons, Happ, Shoemaker, Colome, Robles are poor results.  Trying to avoid 90 wins instead of preparing for the playoffs is a terrible result.  Having to trade Berrios because we could not sign him and having Buxton still dangling out there with the possibility that we might have to trade him is a bad reflection on leadership.  Lacking a rotation, a bullpen, and a short stop going into next season looks pretty incompetent.  I will not give a grade because I lack the ability to see all aspects of their performance, but I cannot see a grade above C after looking at the team on the field as it ends 2021 and looks at 22. 

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We definitely need new ownership  ,,, pohlads have no love for baseball  , pohlads have love for money ..

 

When taking over Falvy / levine fired all personal to restructure franchise and hired all top professionals to fill positions ( their words not mine ) ...

I would grade it a total system failure on the major league product  ....

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Year 1: evaluation year. 2017 draft included Enlow (TJ), Leach (multiple injuries), Barnes (reached MLB), Sammons (in AAA), Ober (looks pretty good), Gore (has become intriguing as an arm). 

Year 2: started adding some technology. 2018 draft included Sands, Winder, Regi Grace (HS), Schulfer. Neff and Bentley look intriguing as lefty relievers. 

Year 3: 2019 they added pitching coordinators, another pitching coach at each level and more technology. 2019 draft included: Canterino, Gipson-Long, Headrick, Gross, Legumina, Laweryson, and Varland looks pretty good. Of course not all of these guys are going to make it to the big leagues, but note the strikeouts. Note the increased velocity. 

Year 4: 2020: Almost zero player development other than a few prospects at the alternate site. Everyone else was left to a couple of zoom calls with a coach/coordinator/trainer each week during the non-season. 

Year 5: 2021 - Return to the mound for these guys. There were concerns about innings and injuries, and that's proven true. I've had a couple of people tell me that lost season will affect things with pitching for a couple of years. Right or wrong, that is what it is. 

So yeah, it's hard to argue that they have brought a bunch of pitching to the organization. There were marginal prospects who the team has made into MLB talent, but most of them have been injured (Alcala, Thorpe, Smeltzer, Dobnak, Stashak, Barnes, Jax). 

Ober fit into that category too. Not a top prospect, missed time due to injury, didn't pitch at all in 2020... and he credits what they do with technology and analytics. 

So, my point isn't that they deserve an A+. They don't. For MLB play, free agent signings, etc., it is probably a D. But I think it's way too early to try to make too many big statements on their ability to develop pitching. We don't know yet, to be honest. But the "Missed Year" is absolutely a real narrative, and that was likely a factor in the injury narrative too. 

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