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  • What Happened to Jose Miranda's Swing During the 2022 Season? (Excerpt)


    Parker Hageman

    It’s hard not to like what Jose Miranda brings to the Twins’ offense.

    After an initial slow start in May, he quickly caught fire and elevated himself to one of the more reliable bats in the lineup: In 150 plate appearances in June and July, he posted a .329/.373/.557 slash line while adding 8 home runs. He had the presence of a savvy veteran, taking professional at-bats and spraying line drives all around the field.

    Nevertheless, Miranda’s performance began to cool in August and leveled out for the remainder of the year. He hit .262 over his final 136 plate appearances with far less power production.

    How did teams adjust to him and what does it say about his potential going forward?

     

    Image courtesy of Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports

    Twins Video

    Before we start disparaging Miranda’s late-season performance, let’s consider some of his strengths. 

    His 117 weighted runs created plus – a rate stat that takes into consideration park factors and current run environment of the league – was the seventh-best by a Minnesota Twins rookie and tied with notable legend Rod Carew.

    From June through August, he led the team with 49 runs driven in and collected 74 hits (behind the eventual AL hit king, Luis Arraez). He was anointed the AL’s Rookie of the Month in July. He carried the Twins offense as best he could through a stretch in which the team was preparing for a late season nosediIn that time Miranda showed a keen ability to hit non-fastballs well. His .325 average against non-fastballs during that stretch was the 5th best in major league baseball. This is noteworthy considering how often rookie hitters struggle with spin: Over the last ten years, rookies have posted a .230/.270/.378 line against non-fastballs. 

    Unsurprisingly, pitchers adjusted their game plan to Miranda after he showed the propensity to wallop non-fastballs left in the strike zone. In August, teams started to shift to throwing him more sliders and locating them off the plate. Miranda began to swing more often and chased more frequently and so teams continued that trend throughout the rest of the season. 

    We have arrived at the point of the analysis where I normally post heat maps, charts, and video clips to support the trends and tendencies outlined above. I have done that and more but that content is reserved for Twins Daily Caretaker’s eyes only. 

    Fear not: You too can become a Caretaker for as low as $4/month. In addition to getting to read the rest of the meaty Miranda post, you also get free Twins Daily publications, Winter Meltdown tickets and other special recognition. 

    Finally, if you do jump into the TD Caretaker pool and read the rest of this article and are not completely satisfied, you can totally call me out publicly on Twitter – @HagemanParker -- and… I will likely mute you. I have a very fragile ego.

     

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    Miranda will adjust, he can hit MLB pitching. I'm pretty sure that Jose will be a good hitter going forward.

    Where I have reservations is with how Jose runs the bases and plays in the field. With more athletic players such as Royce Lewis, Brooks Lee, and Austin Martin all creeping towards playing time, maybe Jose Miranda can be used (along with others) to bring back Sean Murphy or perhaps as part of a trade for either Woodruff or Lopez.

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    The game is always about adjustments, the best players make them quickly.  If teams continue to pitch him off the plate, he will just have to adjust to planning for that and leaving anything away, or looking to hit those to RF. Then teams will adjust and pitch him different again, and he will need to figure that out. 

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    Trading Urshela to put Miranda at 3rd is a bonehead move. Urshela was solid at 3rd. In the field and hitting!! Miranda has a two foot range to either side with an average arm. But alas, we saved 3 million which is always the Pohlad goal! Not winning!!

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    I'm sure he was just getting tired from the long grind of a major league season. Starting next year Rocco will have him down for regularly schedule off days at the same time Buxton, Arraez and Polanco are also on the bench "resting" and we can watch the scrubs lose meaningful games. 

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    1 hour ago, Trov said:

    The game is always about adjustments, the best players make them quickly.  If teams continue to pitch him off the plate, he will just have to adjust to planning for that and leaving anything away, or looking to hit those to RF. Then teams will adjust and pitch him different again, and he will need to figure that out. 

    I agree that he will adjust but I'm not sure he ever gets back to the performance we saw in July. They know what he likes  to hit and they aren't going to give it to him. If he can get back to an 800 OPS he should be a useful player.

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    So, are people down on Miranda because they don't actually think he can hit in MLB, or are they down on Miranda because they hate the front office/manager and everything they do?

    Miranda had one of the most impressive minor league seasons in twins history in 2021, split between AA & AAA and basically crushed everything. Frequently, a player will have a few hiccups when they go up a level and Miranda missed nothing when he moved to AAA. 

    I think he's going to hit in MLB. We will see where his adjustments go, but the thing to watch will be his slugging. that's where he really dropped off in August/Sept/Oct and while his batting average slipped back to a more unsurprising .260ish, even with a propensity to chase more he still had a very solid OBP which is a good sign for his strike zone judgement. 

    I'm a big fan of Miranda and I think he'll be able to hold down 3B very effectively for the Twins in 2023.

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    The pitching is better, but he's shown an ability to narrow down his swing rate before. I think he'll adjust. There's enough of a track record of success and ability to adjust that I think he can do that. If he's not the greatest at 3rd, but can hit and with some power that's acceptable. I think he'll do that. If not, we have Lewis, Lee and Julien coming up behind him. 

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    Anybody who actually watched the games and his at bats, saw that he was getting tired. However, due to injuries there was no one to replace his bat in the lineup with.  The team was so weak by September that even Gordon spent time in the 3-4-5 spots of the lineup.

    Yes the pitchers adjusted  to him a bit as will happen with all hitters. Just as hitters catch up with pitchers. It's called baseball. Most rookies that last month of the season are frequently worn out. On the other hand, I think a refreshed Miranda that he will step foreword next spring in both his hitting and fielding, and with a better support lineup around him he should be even better.

    Also, he received very good experience in a playoff race situation. Hopefully, that will come in handy in the coming years. Lastly, Correa was also very encouraging of Miranda and I don't think should be taken too lightly.

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    2 hours ago, jmlease1 said:

    So, are people down on Miranda because they don't actually think he can hit in MLB, or are they down on Miranda because they hate the front office/manager and everything they do?

    Miranda had one of the most impressive minor league seasons in twins history in 2021, split between AA & AAA and basically crushed everything. Frequently, a player will have a few hiccups when they go up a level and Miranda missed nothing when he moved to AAA. 

    I think he's going to hit in MLB. We will see where his adjustments go, but the thing to watch will be his slugging. that's where he really dropped off in August/Sept/Oct and while his batting average slipped back to a more unsurprising .260ish, even with a propensity to chase more he still had a very solid OBP which is a good sign for his strike zone judgement. 

    I'm a big fan of Miranda and I think he'll be able to hold down 3B very effectively for the Twins in 2023.

    I am not down, just cautious.  He has a strong offensive track record, but this is not Joe Mauer we are talking about here.  He still has a lot to prove on both offense and defense.  

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    It's amazing how quickly some people think a player can go from being an intregal part of a roster to a liability. Last off-season everyone was clamoring that Miranda should have been a September callup and it was terrible that he didn't get an opportunity until 2022. Now after a very successful rookie season he's a 1 hit wonder and he'll never amount to a hill of beans. Pitchers have him figured out and he's toast. Geeze guys.... give the guy a chance to prove himself. How many rookies play their 1st season in the majors at a position they very rarely played in the minors and still produce like he did? Maybe with the defensive adjustments he had to make and LEARN was one of the reasons he started to struggle a bit at the plate. Maybe concentrating on defense can cause someone to lose a little bit of focus offensively. The majors is a big step no matter what. A lot of players can't make it much less do it at a different position they probably aren't confortable with. I for one am glad Urshela was traded. Now he can play where he is accustomed to playing and should be even better.

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    24 minutes ago, oregontwin said:

    Just a question for Parker. Out here in Oregon the Meltdown ticket won't do me much good when I become a caretaker. Can my daughter in St Paul use it?

    Excellent question. I will connect with the TD leadership committee and see how we can make that happen.

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    On 11/21/2022 at 9:28 AM, Fire Dan Gladden said:

    How quickly everyone forgets the one-hit wonders of the past... As it stands today, Miranda is probably your starting 3B.  Everybody better hope he figures it out, because there is no safety net at the moment.

    Farmer is good at third, if we keep Correa that is probably his leaving Miranda and Arraez to claim first but then Arraez's fielding is better at 2nd than 1st so come spring training there will be strong competition for infield postition -- assuming the Front Office is not set in their ways already.

    I put Miranda's height and reach as a positive attribute at First Base.

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