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  • 3 Prospects That Can Be Next Season's José Miranda


    Cody Christie

    José Miranda is coming off a tremendous 2021 season where he cemented himself into Minnesota's long-term plans. Which other prospects will be looking to follow in his footsteps next season?

    Image courtesy of Nathan Ray Seebeck, USA TODAY Sports

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    Entering the 2021 season, it's not as if Miranda was a completely unknown commodity. Minnesota selected him in the second-round pack in 2016, and his first two professional seasons were spent in the rookie leagues, where he posted a .722 OPS. In 2018, most of his season was at Low-A as Miranda combined for a .760 OPS. Before the pandemic, he played at High-A and was limited to a .663 OPS. Minnesota eventually left him unprotected in the Rule 5 Draft, but he luckily stayed in the organization. 

    Miranda's 2021 production is what an organization hopes can happen as a player develops through their system. He was a surprise player that produced big power numbers in the minor's upper levels. Here are three prospects that can follow Miranda's footsteps this year for various reasons. 

    Power Production: Austin Martin
    One of the knocks against Martin throughout his professional career has been his lack of power. When the Blue Jays drafted him, he was coming off a collegiate career where he posted a 1.007 OPS. Last season, he made his professional debut and played the entire season at Double-A. In 93 games, he combined for a .796 OPS with 25 extra-base hits. Before his 30 home run explosion, there were questions about Miranda's power development. After 2021, Miranda's power concerns have been put to rest, and Minnesota hopes for the same kind of transformation from Martin in 2022. 

    Surprise Production: Yunior Severino
    Initially, the Braves signed him, but MLB granted his free agency after Atlanta was punished for illegal infractions on the international market. Atlanta's loss was Minnesota's gain. Like Miranda, Minnesota left Severino unprotected from the Rule 5 Draft. Last season, he hit .273/.372/.430 (.802) between Low- and High-A. He was younger than the average age of the competition at both levels. Next season, he will be 22-years-old, and he should reach Double-A. There is a chance a team selects him in the Rule 5 Draft, but it's tough to imagine him sticking as a big-league utility player for the entire 2022 season. 

    Upper-Level Production: Aaron Sabato
    Things didn't go perfectly for Sabato in his first professional season. Minnesota selected him with their first-round pick in 2020, so expectations for him entering the year were high. At Low-A, he hit .189/.365/.357 (.722) with a 117 to 73 strikeout to walk ratio in 85 games. After being promoted to High-A, he posted a 1.015 OPS with 11 extra-base hits in 22 games. Based on his college experience, Sabato should be penciled in to spend the bulk of 2022 in the upper-levels of the minors. Can Sabato duplicate his production from Cedar Rapids as he moves up the organizational ladder?

    Which player do you think will be this year's Miranda? Are there other players that should be on the list? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. 

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    Of the three, I think Sevirino is the most likely to have a Miranda like break out but that's partly because Martin is already so highly regarded. But Sevirino has always been a hit first prospect and I think the game is changing back to that. (I honestly think some team will roll the dice on him in the rule v). He finished the year pretty well at Cedar Rapids.

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    I'll go with other.  Say that in part because I remain doubtful about Sabato and believe Martin is too highly thought of to be a Miranda type break-out player.  Also have reservations about Severino, although he did progress nicely last summer.

    Not a clue as to who, but expect 2022's surprise will be some kid who finally gets it.  Not certain if you intended to limit this to hitters, but would think it more likely that a Miranda type move could come from one of several talented pitchers.

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    I don't think Severino is very Miranda like because Miranda is so good at making contact and rarely strikes out.  Still Severino had a good year last year with a mini breakout at High A.  I thought his K rate was higher but is very much in range at around 30% and his walks are there too so he has an eye at the plate.  High A gives hope but he has struggled in the past.

    I think Martin is the more Miranda comparable as they both have really good bat to ball skills and all Martin needs to do to breakout is add more power.  I think the Twins will help him with his hard hit rate and he could have a power breakout this year or next,  His K rate is in the 20% range and his walks not far behind at 15%.  Not sure he can have Miranda like power next year but suspect it will increase.  Of the three he feels like the safest bet.

    Sabato has a power swing and good eye at the plate.  I think it is just a question of if he can hit breaking stuff or not.  He made such a poor impression on me to start the season I have lost some faith.  Hopefully those High A number are here to stay but I am least bullish on Sabato.

    Someone you left off this list that you might want to look at is Christian Encarnacion-Strand.  It was a SSS but his 1.022 OPS in A ball which was hard on hitters last year make him look a bit Miranda like.  His over 500 BABIP is a red flag there but the K rate was only around 30%.  Not much for walks either but a third of his hits went for extra bases so when he hits it, he hits it hard.  I think he is someone to watch though.

     

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    8 hours ago, gunnarthor said:

    Of the three, I think Sevirino is the most likely to have a Miranda like break out but that's partly because Martin is already so highly regarded. But Sevirino has always been a hit first prospect and I think the game is changing back to that. (I honestly think some team will roll the dice on him in the rule v). He finished the year pretty well at Cedar Rapids.

    They cancelled the rule v for this year, next year is a long way away from worrying about ir

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    So the knock against Martin is he doesn't hit for power? Do we need everyone in the lineup to hit HRs? No!

    Maybe a little less power and a lot more contact would help the struggling hitters that are already here. 

    I don't knock Arraez for not being a power hitter. 3 hits in an inning will score as many runs as a solo HR and is more likely to happen if you have guys that can put the ball in play instead of walking back to the dugout after they swing for the fences and miss most of the time.

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    1 hour ago, sthpstm said:

    Wander Javier!

    I think this might be the best potential "Miranda Breakout" idea: talented player who is liked within the system, but hasn't really put it together yet and isn't all that high on people's prospect rankings now. Javier has all the tools but hasn't really put it together. He could be exactly the kind of guy who seizes the opportunity and have it all click. 

    I think Martin is going to have an excellent season (I'm very high on him and not terribly worried about his power production at this point) but his path doesn't feel like miranda's. Miranda had a nice rookie ball season and then meandered a bit in A ball, with middling performances that didn't stand out much for a couple of years, then exploded, destroying everything in his path in AA & AAA. Martin's already had a much better season in AA than Miranda had ever done prior to his breakout, and it was his first year of pro ball.

    Sabato is a possibility, but I'm not as high on him. He's a K machine and I have real concerns about his ability to make consistent contact. We'll see. It shouldn't have taken him so long to start beating up on A-ball pitchers as a college bat coming out of the ACC, so his time in Ft. Myers was a red flag for me. He did much, much better when he got to Cedar Rapids, but that's a small sample.

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    2 hours ago, rv78 said:

    So the knock against Martin is he doesn't hit for power? Do we need everyone in the lineup to hit HRs? No!

    Maybe a little less power and a lot more contact would help the struggling hitters that are already here. 

    I don't knock Arraez for not being a power hitter. 3 hits in an inning will score as many runs as a solo HR and is more likely to happen if you have guys that can put the ball in play instead of walking back to the dugout after they swing for the fences and miss most of the time.

    I think the reason is OPS is king right now and if I understand it correctly it comes down to basic math.  Even your best hitter is only going to hit .300 so hits are limited no matter how good a hitter you are.  All hits are not created equal a HR is better than a triple, triple better than double, double better than single and single sometimes better than a walk.  If the only hit you get in an inning is a single you score no runs.  If the only hit you get in an inning is a HR then your team scores a run.  To me that is the exaggerated example of the power of OPS.

    With the pitching batters face it is hard to string together hits so hits with greater value like doubles, triples and HR's have a greater chance to score runs as it can take potentially three singles to score a run.  The first single in and an inning is equal to a walk there is virtually no difference thus OBP generally is more telling than hitting for average.  If you have guy hitting .330 with a .350 OBP it might not be that much different than a guy hitting .250 with a .350 OBP. Yes the single is more powerful because if you have someone on third and walk all you do is setup up the other team for a potential double play and do not score a run. A single in that situation does score a run.  Not all singles are created equal though as even with guys on first and second a single might only load the bases depending on where it is hit. Still not making an out is the name of the game for offense and a walk is not an out and it also works the pitcher more as he generally has to throw more pitches. 

    So a batters worth for the most part comes down to his ability to score runs and the ability to score runs goes up for hitters who have greater power. That being said guys like Arraez who hit well and have great eye at the plate are good guys to have as well especially on a team with a lot of power hitters.  Martin will be fine as he is, but more power will make him more valuable.

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    I think Edouard Julien  could be a player making more noise next year. This was his first season, as he was injured his draft year of 2019. He finished the year at Cedar Rapids with an 891 OPS. Most of his at bats were at Cedar Rapids and combined with his time at Ft Myers his OPS for the year was 914 with 18 homers and 34 stolen bases.His strikeout rate was 28.5% but his walk rate was 22%. I would think he'd start with the Wind Surge this year.

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    22 hours ago, mikelink45 said:

    Sabato keeps coming up in TD ratings and overall I feel like the majority of posts have supported my conclusion that I would rather count on Wallner.  Sabato looks like another Rooker in the making. 

    That's what popped into my head when I just watched Sabato hit a homer. Kind of a heavier, slower version of Rooker, who has more pop in his bat. How the Twins choose their first round picks mystifies me sometimes. 

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    3 hours ago, Dman said:

    I think the reason is OPS is king right now and if I understand it correctly it comes down to basic math.  Even your best hitter is only going to hit .300 so hits are limited no matter how good a hitter you are.  All hits are not created equal a HR is better than a triple, triple better than double, double better than single and single sometimes better than a walk.  If the only hit you get in an inning is a single you score no runs.  If the only hit you get in an inning is a HR then your team scores a run.  To me that is the exaggerated example of the power of OPS.

    With the pitching batters face it is hard to string together hits so hits with greater value like doubles, triples and HR's have a greater chance to score runs as it can take potentially three singles to score a run.  The first single in and an inning is equal to a walk there is virtually no difference thus OBP generally is more telling than hitting for average.  If you have guy hitting .330 with a .350 OBP it might not be that much different than a guy hitting .250 with a .350 OBP. Yes the single is more powerful because if you have someone on third and walk all you do is setup up the other team for a potential double play and do not score a run. A single in that situation does score a run.  Not all singles are created equal though as even with guys on first and second a single might only load the bases depending on where it is hit. Still not making an out is the name of the game for offense and a walk is not an out and it also works the pitcher more as he generally has to throw more pitches. 

    So a batters worth for the most part comes down to his ability to score runs and the ability to score runs goes up for hitters who have greater power. That being said guys like Arraez who hit well and have great eye at the plate are good guys to have as well especially on a team with a lot of power hitters.  Martin will be fine as he is, but more power will make him more valuable.

    Value is based on production. I'll give you some numbers and you tell me which is more productive.

    Houston led the league offensively in 2021. Using their numbers and the Twins numbers they have a lot to do with winning or losing. I realize pitching plays a huge role as well but we are solely looking at offensive production.

    Runs scored: Astros=863. Twins=727

    Homeruns: Astros=221, Twins=228 

    Batting Average: Astros=,268. Twins=,242

    Walks: Astros=569, Twins=525

    Strikeouts: Astros=1212, Twins=1395

    So despite the Twins out hitting the Astros in the HR department (the only offensive catagory they were better at than the Astros) they still fell significantly short in offensive production. HomeRuns are not more valuable unless you have guys on base. You need guys that can hit singles and doubles in your lineup, not just home runs and strikeouts.

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    Spencer steer could be a a useful prospect to produce more ... Javier also could  just explode as well ...

     

    I like homeruns but the solo homer drives me crazy and isn't a game changer  like a homer with runners on ....

    Did the twins bunch  5 , 6 or more hits consecutively  in an inning to score runs in 2021 ,,, hey did manage 4 hits in a row against yankees on a walk off win...

    I'm a follower of every game and I don't remember 1 game of 5 hits in a row in 2021   ..

    I like games with consecutive hits,  more doubles would be nice to ,, Twins hit alot of homers but their doubles are down ,  also how many years has it been since a runner scored a 100 times in a season  , I think Dozier or Rosario was our last player to score a 100 ... 

    Get on base anyway you can  and score , that's baseball 

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    16 minutes ago, rv78 said:

    Value is based on production. I'll give you some numbers and you tell me which is more productive.

    Houston led the league offensively in 2021. Using their numbers and the Twins numbers they have a lot to do with winning or losing. I realize pitching plays a huge role as well but we are solely looking at offensive production.

    Runs scored: Astros=863. Twins=727

    Homeruns: Astros=221, Twins=228 

    Batting Average: Astros=,268. Twins=,242

    Walks: Astros=569, Twins=525

    Strikeouts: Astros=1212, Twins=1395

    So despite the Twins out hitting the Astros in the HR department (the only offensive catagory they were better at than the Astros) they still fell significantly short in offensive production. HomeRuns are not more valuable unless you have guys on base and you need guys that can hit singles and doubles in your lineup, not just home runs and strikeouts.

    That is some really good info and analysis but the Twins barely out homered them didn't walk as much and K'd significantly more.  The Astros also outslugged the Twins by a pretty wide margin with almost 30 more doubles.  If you compare teams slugging and OPS they line up pretty well. Average not so much.  To cherry pick another team the Royals also had more hits and a better batting average than the Twins but they were 25th in OPS and the Twins 11th.  All the top teams had the highest slugging and OPS.  The idea is to hit it hard so that your hit is better than a single.  Home Runs can't be caught and can make for a nice team batting average just ask the Blue Jays who out homered everyone.

    But for team results pitching still matters.  have to keep the other team off the board too.  Every hit is important but when they are in limited supply trying to do as much damage as possible make a lot of sense at least to me.

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    8 hours ago, jimbo92107 said:

    That's what popped into my head when I just watched Sabato hit a homer. Kind of a heavier, slower version of Rooker, who has more pop in his bat. How the Twins choose their first round picks mystifies me sometimes. 

    To be fair to Sabato, he has shown very good strike zone recognition, which is a really good skill to have. The question on him after his horrid stretch in low A is will he make enough contact; in high A's small sample size he looked like a serious hitter. But I think the Rooker comp isn't unfair until he shows he can make enough consistent contact on pitches in the zone to really make that prodigious power play

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    On 1/8/2022 at 10:04 AM, wabene said:

    One thing no one is mentioning is didn't Martin have some nagging injury? A wrist? If so that could explain the power drop similar to what we saw with Kirilloff.

    Yes, that’s why I’m not throwing him into the Arraez pile yet. Hopefully his wrist doesn’t become a multi-year thing that leads to surgery like Kirilloff’s did. 

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