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  • The Future Value of Luis Arraez


    Cody Christie

    Major League Baseball has rookies every season that are deemed as the next wave of stars. However, this rarely comes to fruition as plenty of players can have success over a small sample size and then fade after repeat exposure at the big-league level. Luis Arraez might be the exception to the rule. He has hit at every level throughout his professional career and he looks like he might have more big-league value than originally thought.

    Image courtesy of © Jordan Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

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    Prospects break into the big leagues every season and there was no shortage of big names on this year’s list of breakthrough prospects. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Fernando Tatis Jr., Yordan Alvarez and Eloy Jimenez are just a few of the players from the current rookie class to find early success. Guerrero and Tatis were two of the top prospects in the game and they didn’t slow down after their call-ups.

    MLB.com released their list of rookies with the most potential value moving forward. After the breakout season from Arraez, it seemed like a no-brainer to have him high on the list. According to FanGraphs, Arraez has been the been the ninth most valuable rookie in all of baseball. However, MLB.com doesn’t see his future value as being so high. As a 22-year old, he barely cracks the top-30.

    There isn’t exactly a cornucopia of well-known players ahead of Arraez on MLB’s list. Other second baseman on the list near him include Tampa’s Brandon Lowe, Miami’s Isan Diaz and Pittsburgh’s Kevin Newman. All these players could have great careers ahead of them, but Arraez might have a little something more to add to the equation.

    https://twitter.com/cjzero/status/1173785434436096000?s=20

    Few MLB players have been able to do what Arraez has done in his first 300 plate appearances. Only three players rank better than him in batting average among 22-year-olds in the past 100 years Among the other players on the list include Ted Williams, Stan Musial, and Joe DiMaggio. This isn’t exactly a random list of players that had good seasons as a young player. All three of these names are inner circle Hall-of-Fame members that are among some of the best all-time hitters.

    https://twitter.com/ParkerHageman/status/1174111810221432832?s=20

    Value can come on both sides of the ball for a player. In the case of Arraez, his defensive value seems limited, but he has shown the ability to play multiple positions. He seems destined to be Minnesota’s second baseman. That doesn’t mean he can't play left field, with over 130 innings out there and over 120 innings at third base. His bat will play no matter what position he is playing in the field.

    Arraez may never reach the level of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. or Fernando Tatis Jr. This still doesn’t take anything away from what he has been able to do at the big-league level. There aren’t 28 rookies better than Arraez this season and he will prove his value in the years ahead.

    How valuable do you think Arraez can be in the years to come? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

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    I think what he could provide - in one form or another - is an opportunity to upgrade the pitching staff.

     

    I think it's still TBD whether that means including him in a package for pitching, or if it allows them to move Gordon or Rosario as pieces for something. 

     

    If all of the big pieces stay put (and healthy), I see him as a super utility guy ... unless his glove improves at second, in which case I'd want him to have the job.

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    His plate discipline is currently best on the team at age 22. 

     

    He's 22 so his power is still developing. 

     

    I don't care what the defensive metrics say. I've watched almost every game... I can't recall any moment where he could be perceived as a defensive liability at any of the positions he has played. 

     

    I'm buying stock. 

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    His plate discipline is currently best on the team at age 22. 

     

    He's 22 so his power is still developing. 

     

    I don't care what the defensive metrics say. I've watched almost every game... I can't recall any moment where he could be perceived as a defensive liability at any of the positions he has played. 

     

    I'm buying stock. 

    Exactly. If Arraez has any weakness as a defender, it's footwork, the exact same thing Polanco needed to work on last season. This season, Polanco looks good at SS. Next season, Arraez will have perfectly good footwork, at second base. 

     

    Gotta keep a bat like that in the lineup. For the next decade. The future value of Arraez is going to be a solid 2B, with one of the league's highest average bats. He will set the plate for a thousand RBI, and knock in a thousand himself. 

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    Methinks this young man is a batter to conjure with. How did he put that spin on the ball that fooled the holy bejesus out of the Cleveland third baseman? Magic, my fellow rubes. Magic. I would argue against trading him unless his defense becomes an embarrassment. I would even argue that using him leadoff is worth thinking about. 

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    His real draw back is his power or lack of it.. He had a freak knee injury in the minors too that has probably dropped his stock a bit. 

     

    Like others, I'm buying this stock. I think MLB  has him rated too low. This kind of contact/plate discipline is pretty rare, and I think the Twins have their lead off hitter for the forseable future.

     

    If he can develops some power and can remain an average defender, he'll be one of MLB stars.

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    Where did Arraez rank as a prospect in TD off-season prospect list??

     

    I think he was in the 20s or 30s... to be fair though, he played all of 3 games in 2017 because he shredded his knee... and he couldn't even crack an .800 OPS in his 2018 season. He took a while to get back from that injury. 

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    I don't understand why Rocco doesn't have him batting leadoff every game. He takes the best at-bats on the team. He gets on. He takes pitches allowing others to see pitches.

     

    Starting every game with a 42% chance of immediately putting the opposing pitcher into the stretch seems like a good idea to me. I'd like to watch that for the next ten years or so.

     

    I'm a fan. #29, my ass

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    I'm in on him as well. He seems to have earned the umpires respect as well, getting the calls to go his way on close pitches he's taken. And he's getting better the longer he's been up, so the pitchers haven't figured out a solid way to get him out.

     

    I'd like to see him stick at second base and also spell Sano at 3rd on his off-days. He's much better there than in left field. The Twins have gotten lucky with him out there so far. Seems that when he plays out there, not may balls get hit his way. Stats look good, but he just doesn't get to a lot of balls in the outfield that a major league OF should and he doesn't have a strong OF arm. But he could work on that over the off-season, but infield would seem a better fit for now. But his bat is needed in the lineup.

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    I may have said it before Francona....this guy has batting champ potential. No WAY he is a utiltyman. He needs to get 600 AB's to develop his full ability.. Right now there isn't a more dangerous guy in the lineup when you need someone to put bat on the ball. He will make Schoop expendable and probably Gordon too, especially if Twins are shopping for pitching. Adrianza is the swing utilityman and he's a good one too.

     

    Twins have a pretty potent infield array of players. I could even see them move Cron and make Gonzo their 1Bman.

    Edited by insagt1
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    I have always liked Arraez's bat but I am still not a big fan of his defense.  I think he can probably play close to average at 2nd base and that is where he should stay.  I really don't like his arm at third at all.  When he throws the ball over I swear it looks like it is going in slow motion. When Sano throws a ball over it gets to first in a hurry.  I really believe that on a close play the throw from Arraez would be just late instead of just in time.  I don't like him in left field either as he isn't real fast and again doesn't have a real strong arm.  Is he better than Josh Willingham, sure but you still lose defensive value when he is out there IMO.

     

    I can see why fangraphs and other scouts are somewhat down on him as he lacks power and at his best is average at 2nd base defensively.  The hit tool is as good or better than most all the rookie prospects IMO it is an elite tool.  I keep expecting him to regress with the bat and he just keeps on hitting.  With the great approach at the plate he has I think Francona is right he looks like someone who will challenge for batting titles in the future.

     

    Like many have already said I like him a lot as our future 2nd baseman.  I think he will grow into some power and round out the hit tool and make it to some All Star games.  I think his future is bright and am happy the Twins found an under rated player that has the best hit tool on the team.

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    To be fair, it's really difficult to project aliens. I'm happy he is no longer a prospect and I don't have to try and figure this out anymore.

     

    He's the most unique hitter in baseball. Not only does he lead the league in line drive % (min. 300 PAs), it's almost 11% above league average. That's fueling an insanely high BABIP, but at the same time he's also in the bottom 3% in hard hit %, bottom 8% in in barrel % and bottom 16% in exit velo. He also grades out as one of the worst defensive second basemen in baseball and is only an average runner at 22.

     

    I can see why the projections would still be lukewarm on him.

     

    If nothing changes and he maintains that ability to hit line drives, however, he's still going to continue to be amazing. If pitchers can find a way to attack him, he's a slower version of Ben Revere who doesn't provide defensive value. If he can take his incredible foundational skills (plate discipline, hand-eye coordination) and prioritize power, he could have a Jose Altuve-like unforeseen power breakout.

     

    He's an alien. Nothing is off the table in my mind. He could be an afterthought two years from now, they could be retiring his number 20 years from now or anything in between. I'm just going to enjoy the ride and appreciate this. It's a privilege to be able to watch an incredibly unique hitter who so clearly has worked hard at honing his craft.

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    I don't understand why Rocco doesn't have him batting leadoff every game. He takes the best at-bats on the team. He gets on. He takes pitches allowing others to see pitches.

    Starting every game with a 42% chance of immediately putting the opposing pitcher into the stretch seems like a good idea to me. I'd like to watch that for the next ten years or so.

    I'm a fan. #29, my ass

     

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    To be fair, it's really difficult to project aliens. I'm happy he is no longer a prospect and I don't have to try and figure this out anymore.

     

    He's the most unique hitter in baseball. Not only does he lead the league in line drive % (min. 300 PAs), it's almost 11% above league average. That's fueling an insanely high BABIP, but at the same time he's also in the bottom 3% in hard hit %, bottom 8% in in barrel % and bottom 16% in exit velo.

     

     

     

    Wow, I had no idea his advanced metrics were so extreme... It definitely meets the eye test though. Arraez is the king of soft liners to the gaps.

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    He has been amazing, but color me skeptical. If he can continue to hit .350, and draw some walks on top of that sure, he's really valuable.

     

    But it's really hard to hit .350, and it's hard to continue to draw walks when you present no power threat.

     

    He's also a weak armed, moderately slow infielder, so it's going to be hard to provide much value elsewhere.

     

    Hope he can keep it up, but I'm going to need to see a couple years of this to fully buy in.

     

    All that said, ride this wave right through the WS.

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    He has been amazing, but color me skeptical. If he can continue to hit .350, and draw some walks on top of that sure, he's really valuable.

    But it's really hard to hit .350, and it's hard to continue to draw walks when you present no power threat.

    He's also a weak armed, moderately slow infielder, so it's going to be hard to provide much value elsewhere.

    Hope he can keep it up, but I'm going to need to see a couple years of this to fully buy in.

    All that said, ride this wave right through the WS.

    Arraez is only 22, so assuming he is able to add some muscle to his frame, he might be a guy who eventually can be a solid 3rd baseman. I don't think he will ever be quick enough or a good enough fielder to stay up the middle, but if he can add a little power to both his bat and his throws across the diamond, I think 3rd might be his best landing spot. He should look to model his game after Eduardo Escobar.

     

    I think you nailed it with your assessment of Arraez. It is extremely challenging to maintain an OBP over .400 when you are not a threat to leave the ballpark.

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