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  • Twins Minor League Report (9/11): Laweryson Continues to Dominate Double-A


    Seth Stohs

    The regular season ended for two Twins affiliates. They will both start their playoff runs on Tuesday. Two other affiliates have another week. Wichita has one more week of games before the playoffs. St. Paul has two weeks remaining in their season. As for Sunday, you're going to want to see how Cody Laweryson did, and how he has done since joining the Wind Surge. And Nate Baez had a powerful day at the plate. 

    Image courtesy of Ed Bailey, Wichita Wind Surge

     

     

     

    Let’s get to the report. As always, please feel free to discuss and ask questions. 

    TRANSACTIONS

    • The Twins recalled 2018 seventh-round pick RHP Josh Winder, and optioned 2018 fifth-round pick RHP Cole Sands to St. Paul. 
    • The Twins also selected the contract of RHP Jharel Cotton from St. Paul (again) and placed RHP Chris Archer on the IL. 

    SAINTS SENTINEL 
    St. Paul 1, Toledo 6 
    Box Score

    Through six innings, this game was tied at 1-1. Unfortunately, the Saints allowed five runs over the next two innings and weren’t able to account for any of it. 

    Bailey Ober continued his rehab with his first start with the Saints. He gave up one run on one hit over 4 2/3 innings. He walked two and struck out six batters. Austin Schulfer came on and got the final out of the fifth inning. Randy Dobnak threw a scoreless sixth inning, but he then was charged with two runs and got just one out in the seventh inning. He gave up two hits and a walk. Jake Jewell came on and allowed an inherited runner to score, but finished the inning. Brock Stewart gave up three runs (2 earned) on three hits in the eighth inning. Jewell and Stewart each hit a batter. 

    The Saints had just one hit in the game, a solo homer from John Andreoli

    Ober threw 66 pitches and 44 of them were strikes. Could he be ready to make a start for the Twins next weekend in Cleveland?

    WIND SURGE WISDOM
    Wichita 1, NW Arkansas 0   
    Box Score 

    On Saturday, the Wind Surge won on a walk-off. On Sunday afternoon, they won another one-run game, this one thanks to some masterful pitching from a guy who has been great since joining Wichita. 

    Cody Laweryson went to the Fall League last year and then returned to Cedar Rapids to start this season. After 16 games, and just two starts, he was promoted to Wichita. With the Wind Surge, he has now made 18 appearances and Sunday was his seventh start. On this day, Laweryson tossed seven shutout innings. He gave up just one hit and struck out eight batters without issuing a walk. He improved to 5-0 and dropped his Double-A ERA to 0.82. He has given up just five earned runs in 54 2/3 innings. He’s got 64 strikeouts in that time. 

    Denny Bentley came in for the eighth inning and got one out. Casey Legumina came on and got the final five outs to record his second save of the season. 

    The Wind Surge scored just one run despite ten hits. Then went 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position and left 11 on base. Only one hit produced a run. Seth Gray hit his first Double-A homer. He was 1-for-2 with two walks. Anthony Prato went 3-for-4 with a triple. DaShawn Keirsey was 2-for-4. 

    KERNELS NUGGETS
    Cedar Rapids 2, South Bend 9
    Box Score

    After being rained out on Saturday night, the Kernels ended their regular season on Sunday with a loss. With the playoffs set to start on Tuesday, the Kernels went with lefty Samuel Perez to start. He gave up two runs on three hits and two walks in 2 1/3 innings. Malik Barrington came on and gave up four runs on five hits over two innings. Matthew Swain worked the next 2 2/3 innings and gave up just one run. He struck out three batters. Regi Grace gave up an unearned run in his inning. Then Tyler Palm gave up one run on two hits in the ninth inning. 

    Kyler Fedko led the offense. He went 3-for- 4. Brooks Lee also reached three times on walks. Jake Rucker drove in back runs with a four-inning double. 

    Wander Javier was hit by a pitch in the helmet in the second inning. He was able to walk off the field, with help. 

    The Kernels ended their season with a 73-58 record. On Tuesday, they’ll play in South Bend. Games 2 and 3 (if needed) will be in Cedar Rapids on Thursday and Friday. 

    MUSSEL MATTERS
    Fort Myers 9, St. Lucie 1
    Box Score  

    The Mussels closed out their regular season with a nice, big win. Nate Baez led the way. He hit his second and third home run and drove in five runs. Fellow 2022 draft pick, Ben Ross, went 2-for-5 with his fifth double and three RBI. Rubel Cespedes, Keoni Cavaco and Ricardo Olivar each had two hits. Cespedes hit his 15th double. Misael Urbina went 1-for-3 with two walks. 

    Niklas Rimmel made the start and continued to pitch very well. He tossed three shutout innings. He gave up one hit and struck out four batters. Johnathan Lavallee worked a scoreless inning. John Wilson struck out three over two scoreless frames. Zaquiel Puentes gave up a solo homer over his two innings. Develson Aria made his Mussels debut and the lefty struck out one in a perfect inning. 

    The Mussels ended their season with an overall record of 69-59. On Tuesday, they will begin a Best-of-3 playoff series  against Dunedin. 

    TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY
    Pitcher of the Day – Cody Laweryson (Wichita) - 7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 8 K
    Hitter of the Day – Nate Baez (Ft. Myers) - 2-for-5, 2 R, 5 RBI, 2 HR (2, 3) 

    PROSPECT SUMMARY
    Check out the Prospect Tracker for much more on the new Twins Top 20 prospects after seeing how they did on Sunday. 

    #2 - Brooks Lee (Cedar Rapids) - 0-for-2, 3 BB
    #4 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-for-4 (DH)
    #9 - Matt Wallner (St. Paul) - 0-for-4, 2 K
    #14 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 1-for-4, K
    #18 - Tanner Schobel (Ft. Myers) - 1-for-4, 2 R, BB, K 
    #20 - Kala’i Rosario (Ft. Myers) - 1-for-2, R, RBI, 2 BB, K 

    UPCOMING SCHEDULE 
    No Games on Monday.

    Tuesday: 
    Louisville @ St. Paul (7:07 PM CST) - RHP Ariel Jurado (0-2, 4.58 ERA) 
    Wichita @ Midland (6:30 PM CST) - TBD
    Playoffs Game 1: Cedar Rapids @ South Bend (6:05 PM CST) - RHP David Festa 
    Playoffs Game 1: Dunedin @ Fort Myers (5:30 PM CST) - TBD 

    Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Sunday’s games!

     

     

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    I looked in to see another former Twin in the minors - Chase Petty.  He has thrown 103 innings in his first year!  3.57 era, 1.181 Whip, 102/32 k/BB

    Spencer Steer 231/322/462 line with 0.1 WAR in 24 games.

    Christian Encarnacion Strand played for three teams - has 30 HRs, 301/364/584

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    51 minutes ago, mikelink45 said:

    I looked in to see another former Twin in the minors - Chase Petty.  He has thrown 103 innings in his first year!  3.57 era, 1.181 Whip, 102/32 k/BB

    Spencer Steer 231/322/462 line with 0.1 WAR in 24 games.

    Christian Encarnacion Strand played for three teams - has 30 HRs, 301/364/584

    Petty actually looks better in his last 4 starts at High A.
    18.2 Innings 2.89 ERA, 2.63 FIP, 10.61 K/9 (28.6%), 0.96 BB/9 (2.6%)

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    44 minutes ago, mikelink45 said:

    I looked in to see another former Twin in the minors - Chase Petty.  He has thrown 103 innings in his first year!  3.57 era, 1.181 Whip, 102/32 k/BB

    Spencer Steer 231/322/462 line with 0.1 WAR in 24 games.

    Christian Encarnacion Strand played for three teams - has 30 HRs, 301/364/584

    David Festa has thrown 103.2 innings in his first year. Travis Adams is at 100.2. Povich had thrown 78.2 before he was traded which was a 103 inning pace. Pierson Ohl only has 91.2 so I guess he's trailing everyone by a lot. I assume the exclamation point on Petty's innings is just excitement that he's doing what a number of other Twins 2021 pitcher draft picks are doing.

    And Festa has a 2.43 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, and 108/34 K/BB ratio as a 13th round pick. Petty being younger does give him an edge, but turning Petty into 2 years of Gray and still developing a pitcher with those kinds of numbers is a pretty big win for the FO I'd think.

    Steer would've been a nice fill in for Polanco going down, but Mahle being in the rotation would've been nicer. That injury makes that deal less appealing for sure. Strand will be interesting to follow. He's likely a DH in the majors so he's going to have to maintain those numbers as he moves up to have value. But I'll take Miranda and Lee over those 2. Steer is older than Miranda, and Strand is older than Lee. If the Twins are willing to let Lee advance quickly, if he earns it, I'd much rather have Miranda, Lee, and Mahle over Steer and Strand in an already crowded infield.

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    Laweryson's ERA is definitely on cheat mode level and his FIP looks great too, but the xFIP suggests regression is in order. 0.82 ERA. 2.41 FIP, 3.92 xFIP. It should be noted the xFIP is probably inflated as according to the questionable batted ball data, over 1/2 the fly balls for Laweryson were pop-ups and those are not going to be homers.

    That said, it seems like Laweryson has gotten better as the season has played out and the walks and number of games where he was averaging 20+ pitches per inning have tapered off a bit.

    Regardless, this past game was absolutely dominant with tons of swing and miss, and efficient work getting him all the way through 7 innings with just 1 hit and no walks.

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    Does anyone know the story on Dalton Shuffield? Looks like he was a 10th round pick, but rather than the 4 middle infielders drafted above him, he is the one who has been fast tracked to AAA in his first year. I haven’t heard any buzz about him. 

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    48 minutes ago, chpettit19 said:

    I assume the exclamation point on Petty's innings is just excitement that he's doing what a number of other Twins 2021 pitcher draft picks are doing.

    I do think there is a difference between innings/pitches thrown by a high school pitcher in his first year of professional baseball and three college pitchers who have that experience behind them.  Raya is a better comparison to Petty and Raya has thrown only 65 innings or so which is 2/3 the number of innings of Petty.  One would think that pitchers who are 3 or 4 years older, like the college guys, could be stretched out a little more unless the FO wants 5 inning pitchers.  In that case, they better to a heck of a better job of staffing the bullpen or this year will just repeat itself.

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    7 minutes ago, RJA said:

    I do think there is a difference between innings/pitches thrown by a high school pitcher in his first year of professional baseball and three college pitchers who have that experience behind them.  Raya is a better comparison to Petty and Raya has thrown only 65 innings or so which is 2/3 the number of innings of Petty.  One would think that pitchers who are 3 or 4 years older, like the college guys, could be stretched out a little more unless the FO wants 5 inning pitchers.  In that case, they better to a heck of a better job of staffing the bullpen or this year will just repeat itself.

    Sure, there's a difference in the HS vs College guy situation. But the argument around here tends to be people trying to connect minor league inning numbers to the major league team pulling guys early and saying they're developing nothing but 5 inning pitchers and will never let guys go deep. I don't particularly like the 5 inning start situation for the Twins, or baseball in general, but there's way more variables to the minor league numbers than people around here tend to use.

    For example, Varland was top 15 in all of affiliated minor league baseball in innings pitched before he got his call up. The lack of depth in starts in the minors shouldn't automatically be connected to the major league team pulling guys early. Minor leaguers have never thrown competitive innings for this long of a season. It's more than building up in game arm strength and being able to go 7 innings a start, it's about being able to make starts from April through October. You can go around and look at the Kershaw, Verlander, Scherzer types minor league inning totals, and they weren't down there throwing 200 innings a season either. It's a false connection people try to make. Even though I understand the tendency to do it based on the current major league pitcher usage. 

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    1 hour ago, Elliot said:

    Does anyone know the story on Dalton Shuffield? Looks like he was a 10th round pick, but rather than the 4 middle infielders drafted above him, he is the one who has been fast tracked to AAA in his first year. I haven’t heard any buzz about him. 

    I don't know for sure but I have to believe part of the reason he has been fast tracked is that he is already 23 and he has handled each level he has been at to this point well, granted in a very SSS.  I think if you want a player at that age to have much of any prospect status moving him faster than slower is the way to go.  

    I thought it was an interesting pick when the Twins made it.  A true lottery ticket that saved draft money.  In college while older he was an On base machine with good slugging to go with it.  If it translates it will be interesting to see where he fits.  So far AAA has been hard on him but with only 10 at bats hard to say where he is truly at.

    It is a steep learning curve for him but I like the way the Twins are using him and it looks like he has a good enough of an approach to make it IMO.  Next year we will know much more but I hope the Twins hit the lotto on this one.

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    Not sure what to think about Lawyerson.  He looks like a max effort pitcher to me so IMO not really starter material and I wonder how his stuff would translate but to this point his results speak volumes.  Still will the Twins find room on the 40 man for him?  Hard to say at this point if you ask me.

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    2 hours ago, Elliot said:

    Does anyone know the story on Dalton Shuffield? Looks like he was a 10th round pick, but rather than the 4 middle infielders drafted above him, he is the one who has been fast tracked to AAA in his first year. I haven’t heard any buzz about him. 

    They called up Palacios and sent Beckham to retirement. As a pick to save slot money there isn’t an investment in the future with him so he can have haphazard development. They probably wanted to help Wichita intact and hope for a deep playoff run and thus not pull from them

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    3 hours ago, Dman said:

    Not sure what to think about Lawyerson.  He looks like a max effort pitcher to me so IMO not really starter material and I wonder how his stuff would translate but to this point his results speak volumes.  Still will the Twins find room on the 40 man for him?  Hard to say at this point if you ask me.

    I think the Twins are fairly high on him or they wouldn't have sent him to the AFL last year. I was a little surprised to see him move back into the rotation after being used as a reliever at the AFL and in high A, but you can't really argue with the results. I would have expected him to dominate in high-A at 23, especially after the experience in the AFL, but he hasn't slowed down at all in AA. Maybe he'll just be AAA depth next season, but sometimes guys rise above their projections, and with his earlier experience in the bullpen, he's certainly a guy who could get flipped back there if he starts to struggle in AAA/MLB. But it's hard to say that he doens't have a shot to start in MLB after what he's been doing. Great way to close the season for Laweryson.

    (there's something a little extra fun about late-round picks rising up, isn't there?)

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    15 minutes ago, jmlease1 said:

    I think the Twins are fairly high on him or they wouldn't have sent him to the AFL last year. I was a little surprised to see him move back into the rotation after being used as a reliever at the AFL and in high A, but you can't really argue with the results. I would have expected him to dominate in high-A at 23, especially after the experience in the AFL, but he hasn't slowed down at all in AA. Maybe he'll just be AAA depth next season, but sometimes guys rise above their projections, and with his earlier experience in the bullpen, he's certainly a guy who could get flipped back there if he starts to struggle in AAA/MLB. But it's hard to say that he doens't have a shot to start in MLB after what he's been doing. Great way to close the season for Laweryson.

    (there's something a little extra fun about late-round picks rising up, isn't there?)

    It's exciting, but also a little frustrating, to see the Twins turn Ober and Varland types into major league pitchers after being late round picks. Just need them to hit on some of these higher round picks and get some #1 pitchers out of things! Laweryson looks like he could at least snag a pen role in the bigs at some point, and even that would be a very nice development for him. I hope he continues to develop and we see him in Minneapolis next year sometime!

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    4 hours ago, chpettit19 said:

    You can go around and look at the Kershaw, Verlander, Scherzer types minor league inning totals, and they weren't down there throwing 200 innings a season either

    Again you are 100% correct, but by age 23 Kershaw had pitched 715 major league innings in the majors, 107 at age 21,  171 at 22,  204 at age 22 and 233 at age 23, Verlander in his age 23 season pitched 186 innings and 201 the next year, Scherzer is a better example he pitched 133 in AAA, AFL, and the majors at age 23. (I don't think Laweryson or any Twins prospects are these guys, which is fine that is a high bar for anybody)

    The amount of innings in the minors isn't all that important, what is important is building up to good amount of innings (arm strength/stamina/ect) and it is generally a good sign if that have done that by their early 20's.

    Fast movers that have built up their arm by the time they make their debut so they can hit the road running, generally end up being the better pitchers.

    Innings for the young guys (18,19,20) isn't as important as moving though the system and having success, so at 21,22,23 they are ready for full time major league starting (whatever that means in this day and age).

    Guys that do this at a later age I think of more as bottom of the rotation and bullpen arms (maybe great bullpen arms like Duran for example). I really hope this twins group of older prospects (23 and up) buck the trend and become super successful because is it great to good./solid starting rotation on the cheap.

     

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    Totally agree with this take as well. Cleveland for example this year top 6 starters were 4th round (2016), 1st (15), 1st(16), 12th (16), 3rd(16) and 3rd (18). (not all their picks)

     

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    11 minutes ago, TwinsDr2021 said:

    Again you are 100% correct, but by age 23 Kershaw had pitched 715 major league innings in the majors, 107 at age 21,  171 at 22,  204 at age 22 and 233 at age 23, Verlander in his age 23 season pitched 186 innings and 201 the next year, Scherzer is a better example he pitched 133 in AAA, AFL, and the majors at age 23. (I don't think Laweryson or any Twins prospects are these guys, which is fine that is a high bar for anybody)

    The amount of innings in the minors isn't all that important, what is important is building up to good amount of innings (arm strength/stamina/ect) and it is generally a good sign if that have done that by their early 20's.

    Fast movers that have built up their arm by the time they make their debut so they can hit the road running, generally end up being the better pitchers.

    Innings for the young guys (18,19,20) isn't as important as moving though the system and having success, so at 21,22,23 they are ready for full time major league starting (whatever that means in this day and age).

    Guys that do this at a later age I think of more as bottom of the rotation and bullpen arms (maybe great bullpen arms like Duran for example). I really hope this twins group of older prospects (23 and up) buck the trend and become super successful because is it great to good./solid starting rotation on the cheap.

     

    For sure. My bigger concern would be someone like SWR who's not to 100 innings yet this year after he was wildly mismanaged last year with his trip to the Olympics where he didn't throw a single pitch. He's 21 in AAA doing well, but will barely crack 100 innings on the year. That is not ideal for him as you'd like him to be at 150+ next year when he hopefully gets the call to Minneapolis. Prielipp is another one who I'd like to see get a ton of innings next year, but my guess is that this FO will have him on a relatively strict inning count coming off his lost 2022 season. 

    The other guys the Twins have been calling up lately aren't guys with much of a chance to be true frontline guys. Overall, though, I just push back on people who blindly throw out minor league inning counts to try to prove the Twins are developing nothing but 5 inning starters. The Twins very well may be only developing 5 inning starters, but that's because they may just not be developing anyone good enough to really front a rotation and throw 200+ innings like they were doing with Berrios, not because they're totally unwilling to let anyone go deeper.

    The Twins need to start finding, and collecting, true top pitching prospects. Better than SWR/Balazovic/etc. Prielipp may be one. Maybe Raya? But otherwise most of their young arms aren't equipped to be what the team really needs at the front of the rotation, unfortunately. But if they could fill the 2-5 spots and most of the pen with young guys maybe they'd finally spend on a #1 in free agency? Haha, not even I think that dream will ever come true! And now I'm sad 😭

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    7 hours ago, chpettit19 said:

    ...And Festa has a 2.43 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, and 108/34 K/BB ratio as a 13th round pick. Petty being younger does give him an edge, but turning Petty into 2 years of Gray and still developing a pitcher with those kinds of numbers is a pretty big win for the FO I'd think...

    That's not fair at all. Not only are you comparing full seasons across different levels, but Petty was a high school player who was viewed as a thrower with questionable secondary pitches. He impressed the hell out of everybody in his brief time last year in the minors demonstrating the secondary offerings were not just for show and he had much better command of his pitches than expected. That is why the Reds wanted him so badly. 

    The concerns were Petty wouldn't hold up and that his secondary stuff wasn't good enough which would push him into the 'pen. If scouts had known how good his secondary pitches were, he'd have been drafted top 10, easy. He's 19 and in high-A and arguably handling it dramatically better than Festa. Last 7 starts for Festa vs. Petty (Petty only has 7 at A+). Festa looked great in Low-A, but there was a major decline in High-A. Petty could suffer the same fate, but he's only been getting better this year.

    Petty  a19 - 4.40 ERA, 3.35 FIP, 9.68 K/9 (25.4%), 2.05 BB/9 (5.4%), 1.11 WHIP, .301 BABIP
    Festa a22 - 4.02 ERA, 5.14 FIP, 6.89 K/9 (17.6%), 3.45 BB/9 (8.8%), 1.47 WHIP, .326 BABIP

    If Petty keeps this up, he'll likely find himself starting the season at AA next year, at age 20.

    It seems like Twins fans are desperate to dismiss how good Petty could be in order to make the Gray trade worthwhile, but right now, it wasn't. Not by a long shot. Gray is not cheap. He's making $12MM per year. Certainly, he's been worth a lot, but the surplus value is way different than than some league minimum or low arbitration salary player. 2 years of 1 WAR above market value vs. 6 years of Petty should he continue on his path will be looked back on as a very bad trade.

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    20 minutes ago, bean5302 said:

    That's not fair at all. Not only are you comparing full seasons across different levels, but Petty was a high school player who was viewed as a thrower with questionable secondary pitches. He impressed the hell out of everybody in his brief time last year in the minors demonstrating the secondary offerings were not just for show and he had much better command of his pitches than expected. That is why the Reds wanted him so badly. 

    The concerns were Petty wouldn't hold up and that his secondary stuff wasn't good enough which would push him into the 'pen. If scouts had known how good his secondary pitches were, he'd have been drafted top 10, easy. He's 19 and in high-A and arguably handling it dramatically better than Festa. Last 7 starts for Festa vs. Petty (Petty only has 7 at A+). Festa looked great in Low-A, but there was a major decline in High-A. Petty could suffer the same fate, but he's only been getting better this year.

    Petty  a19 - 4.40 ERA, 3.35 FIP, 9.68 K/9 (25.4%), 2.05 BB/9 (5.4%), 1.11 WHIP, .301 BABIP
    Festa a22 - 4.02 ERA, 5.14 FIP, 6.89 K/9 (17.6%), 3.45 BB/9 (8.8%), 1.47 WHIP, .326 BABIP

    If Petty keeps this up, he'll likely find himself starting the season at AA next year, at age 20.

    It seems like Twins fans are desperate to dismiss how good Petty could be in order to make the Gray trade worthwhile, but right now, it wasn't. Not by a long shot. Gray is not cheap. He's making $12MM per year. Certainly, he's been worth a lot, but the surplus value is way different than than some league minimum or low arbitration salary player. 2 years of 1 WAR above market value vs. 6 years of Petty should he continue on his path will be looked back on as a very bad trade.

    I didn't at all suggest Petty wasn't doing well or can't be very good, so I'm not sure what isn't fair.  And his breaking ball was considered to show real promise coming out of high school (you can find the phrase "flashes plus" and 55 grades all over the place for it coming out of high school). So I'm not sure where this "questionable secondary pitches" narrative is coming from. Sure, there's the typical question of developing a changeup type pitch for any power high school arm as none of them need a changeup to dominate hs hitters when they can throw 100, but that's the same concern as 99% of high school power arms.

    I'm not trying to justify the Gray trade by suggesting Petty hasn't been good or won't be good. I'd do the trade today knowing what kind of season both of them have had. Or are we supposed to expect the Twins to only trade non-prospects for above average major league talent? Both teams can "win" this trade. Most of the time trades are made with the idea that both teams will "win" them in the end because the teams have different goals. The Twins needed to upgrade their rotation for 2022 and 2023. The Reds were selling and looking to build for the future. This trade accomplished both of those goals. 1 prospect for an above average major league starter is a smart trade. Even if that prospect turns into the next Max Scherzer. So, no, I will not look back at this as a very bad trade no matter what Petty becomes. You can look back at it however you want, though.

    And I haven't seen Petty make any top 100 lists yet. Fangraphs still has him at a 40+ FV and 14th ranked in the Reds system. MLB.com has him 9th in their system. Don't have a baseball america account so can't confirm, but looks like they might have him 7th in the system. Keith Law only updated his top 60 midseason, but he wasn't in the top 60 or honorable mentions (Emmanuel Rodriguez did jump up to number 53 so that's exciting), and he wasn't in his preseason top 100 list. The Athletic also did an article about the Reds system after the trade deadline and he wasn't in the top 10 system prospects for 2023 after they took out the graduations from this year. So I guess there's still some industry hesitation on him.

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    11 hours ago, Elliot said:

    Does anyone know the story on Dalton Shuffield? Looks like he was a 10th round pick, but rather than the 4 middle infielders drafted above him, he is the one who has been fast tracked to AAA in his first year. I haven’t heard any buzz about him. 

    This was asked in another thread as well. It's not uncommon for an A ball player to take a turn at AA or AAA as a temporary fill-in. It's mostly about roster depth. Rather than hit the street to sign someone for a week or so...assuming nobody at the high level is ready to come off the IL...a fully stacked A ball roster will have a player temporarily fill that high level spot and then return when someone is healthy and ready to return. It's about organizational depth and a temporary fill-in is all. You never see a rookie level do it. It's always someone who has at least a full season level under their belt, or in this case, a college player for a week or so. Means nothing in the grand scheme of player development or profile. 

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    6 hours ago, chpettit19 said:

    It's exciting, but also a little frustrating, to see the Twins turn Ober and Varland types into major league pitchers after being late round picks. Just need them to hit on some of these higher round picks and get some #1 pitchers out of things! Laweryson looks like he could at least snag a pen role in the bigs at some point, and even that would be a very nice development for him. I hope he continues to develop and we see him in Minneapolis next year sometime!

    I think Laweryson just might be a surprise that I know I didn't expect. Now, is he going to be a sudden rotation bloomer that even the Twins didn't see? I tend to discount that. I think we're looking at a Jax kind of arm who might just end up being a very good and very valuable middle inning bullpen arm. And there's great value in that!

    The one thing I learned a LONG TIME AGO is that unless you draft a Clemmons or Stasburg in the very first picks of the draft, you just don't DRAFT a potential ACE or #1 starter. Your draft, sign, and develop. And at the end of the day, you still never know what will happen. For goodness sake, Santana was a rule 5 trade piece. Randy Johnson took years to go from good to great. Stieb and Key were good until they were great, etc, etc.

    I don't discount the draft ideas of our current FO. Enlow and Canterino weren't late selections. Unfortunately, both have encountered injury issues. But their approach has also brought on arms such as Winder and Varland and maybe Festa. With little exception, every single SP in every organization is a "mid rotation" starter until proven otherwise. That's just the name of the game because NOBODY can project greatness. Hell, in 3-4yrs we may be begging the Twins to re-sign a Winder or Varland to a big deal. 

    But I DO THINK you can outsmart yourself. Drafting arms with tons of upside is smart and a good approach. And you have to draft arms as well as bats. And the philosophy of quality bats being available only early with projectible arms available only gets you so far. The limited 2020 draft still burns the hell out of me! Quantity of hopeful quality is still better than NOT drafting for either. It was considered a major college level SP draft and the FO just ignored all the available arms and only Raya was selected. Now, I think Raya was a great pick, my favorite at the time, and the FO might just get lucky at how good he might be, but I think they just blew that draft. And it's not about Sabato's early returns. It's about quantity of arms to find the few that actually make it. Six makes two, etc. They should have made that a pitching heavy draft and let the chips fall. But they tried to outsmart themselves. Then they got smart and hit pitching even harder in 2021, though most of those arms are now gone.

    Nothing wrong with looking for projectible arms! But I do think the FO has outsmarted themselves here and there.

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    4 minutes ago, DocBauer said:

    I think Laweryson just might be a surprise that I know I didn't expect. Now, is he going to be a sudden rotation bloomer that even the Twins didn't see? I tend to discount that. I think we're looking at a Jax kind of arm who might just end up being a very good and very valuable middle inning bullpen arm. And there's great value in that!

    The one thing I learned a LONG TIME AGO is that unless you draft a Clemmons or Stasburg in the very first picks of the draft, you just don't DRAFT a potential ACE or #1 starter. Your draft, sign, and develop. And at the end of the day, you still never know what will happen. For goodness sake, Santana was a rule 5 trade piece. Randy Johnson took years to go from good to great. Stieb and Key were good until they were great, etc, etc.

    I don't discount the draft ideas of our current FO. Enlow and Canterino weren't late selections. Unfortunately, both have encountered injury issues. But their approach has also brought on arms such as Winder and Varland and maybe Festa. With little exception, every single SP in every organization is a "mid rotation" starter until proven otherwise. That's just the name of the game because NOBODY can project greatness. Hell, in 3-4yrs we may be begging the Twins to re-sign a Winder or Varland to a big deal. 

    But I DO THINK you can outsmart yourself. Drafting arms with tons of upside is smart and a good approach. And you have to draft arms as well as bats. And the philosophy of quality bats being available only early with projectible arms available only gets you so far. The limited 2020 draft still burns the hell out of me! Quantity of hopeful quality is still better than NOT drafting for either. It was considered a major college level SP draft and the FO just ignored all the available arms and only Raya was selected. Now, I think Raya was a great pick, my favorite at the time, and the FO might just get lucky at how good he might be, but I think they just blew that draft. And it's not about Sabato's early returns. It's about quantity of arms to find the few that actually make it. Six makes two, etc. They should have made that a pitching heavy draft and let the chips fall. But they tried to outsmart themselves. Then they got smart and hit pitching even harder in 2021, though most of those arms are now gone.

    Nothing wrong with looking for projectible arms! But I do think the FO has outsmarted themselves here and there.

    What did you think of the Angels' 2021 draft of (essentially) all college arms? :)

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    10 hours ago, ashbury said:

    What did you think of the Angels' 2021 draft of (essentially) all college arms? :)

    I know you are not asking me but they desperately needed arms so I can see why they did that.  Not sure every pick had to be a pitcher as I am not certain how you would find room in the system for all those arms but the Guardians took the same approach that year with 19 out of 21 picks being pitchers and one could argue they know what they are doing. 

    I think there are times when doing something like that could be prudent.  In fact I would argue the Twins should do something similar next year.  The system is loaded with decent bats but the pitching pipeline looks depleted. IMO they should look to go heavy on the pitching side to rebalance the system.  Again not sure all 21 picks need to be pitchers but 15 to 16 out of 21 wouldn't be a bad idea.

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    11 hours ago, ashbury said:

    What did you think of the Angels' 2021 draft of (essentially) all college arms? :)

    The word overkill comes to mind.

    Drafting heavy is one thing, but drafting only pitchers is a little extreme. I don't really know much about their system, so maybe they are/were currently pretty heavy on position players. And I guess you can always trade arms for bats. 

    I do agree with Dman that the Twins might concentrate a little harder next year on arms. The system does look a little depleted due to trades and injuries. 

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    Drafting very heavy on arms is a fairly sound strategy IMHO. Obtaining bats is much easier than obtaining a frontline starter and the more pitchers you have in the pipeline, the more likely you'll be able to turn them into major trade chips. Tampa Bay drafts very heavy on arms as I recall.

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    14 hours ago, DocBauer said:

    But I DO THINK you can outsmart yourself. Drafting arms with tons of upside is smart and a good approach. And you have to draft arms as well as bats. And the philosophy of quality bats being available only early with projectible arms available only gets you so far. The limited 2020 draft still burns the hell out of me! Quantity of hopeful quality is still better than NOT drafting for either. It was considered a major college level SP draft and the FO just ignored all the available arms and only Raya was selected. Now, I think Raya was a great pick, my favorite at the time, and the FO might just get lucky at how good he might be, but I think they just blew that draft. And it's not about Sabato's early returns. It's about quantity of arms to find the few that actually make it. Six makes two, etc. They should have made that a pitching heavy draft and let the chips fall. But they tried to outsmart themselves. Then they got smart and hit pitching even harder in 2021, though most of those arms are now gone.

    Nothing wrong with looking for projectible arms! But I do think the FO has outsmarted themselves here and there.

    The 2020 draft is a tough one. Sabato looks like a bust and Soularie hasn't hit much either. Raya has done well in A-ball this year, and is a long way off, but he does have an electric arm. Rosario might be a nice pick as well; he's slipped a little since his impressive rookie ball season, but still hasn't done too bad in the FSL. But when you only have 4 picks, a miss rate of 50% hurts a lot more for the pipeline than when you have 20 picks.

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    Can Laweryson make it further while still throwing 89-90 on his fastball? The Twins have had success getting the velocity up for other guys in that zone like Bailey Ober, and I hope they work their magic on Laweryson as well. His performance this year has really boosted his stock and should make him worth investing time into during the offseason. Maybe an AFL candidate as well?

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