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4twinsJA

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  1. Like
    4twinsJA reacted to Vanimal46 in Collective Bargaining Agreement- what are points of disagreement?   
    I am hoping that they take the time to make bold changes instead of sticking with what we’ve been witnessing over the last decade. 
    - Increase MLB minimum pay
    - Revamp the years of control organizations have with players
    - Implement a cap floor/ceiling
    - Better revenue sharing to increase parity in the league 
    - Reduce contract lengths so there are no more bloated 10 year pacts that only certain teams can take on 
    - Gameplay advancements (pitch clock, robo umps, etc.)
    There is plenty of money in this sport. The problem is how it is dispersed. It’s painfully obvious teams no longer want to reward players on the back end of their career, nor should they. Get them the money earlier in their career when they are making the biggest impact for their teams. 
     
  2. Like
    4twinsJA reacted to mikelink45 in 3 Free Agent Relief Pitching Additions Who Fit The Twins Offseason Strategy   
    With the trend in TD articles I expected to see Eddie Rosario mentioned here, but we will leave his strong but erratic arm for other posts.  I am not high on Archie Bradley, but the other two look good if we can get them. Much better than the homeless group we tried to turn into BP arms last year.  
    I do agree we need to get at least two (counting Moran) from the minors. 
  3. Like
    4twinsJA reacted to nicksaviking in Projecting the Defensive Future of Minnesota's Top Prospects   
    Time will tell for sure, but I always get the impression that when it comes to the shortstop position, most pundits and fans only see the players' defense as a pass/fail proposition. But it isn't black or white, there's plenty of scenarios where a below average defender is acceptable. I mean statistically, half of the starting shortstops in the league are going to be below average.
    No one wants Jorge Polanco as a starting shortstop, but the team did win 100 freakin' games with him at the position. It's not ideal but it's not like it's going to destroy the season. Obviously, aim for higher quality defense than Polanco, but I don't want the team to get so caught up in the defensive side of things that they don't regularly put the optimal offense into the lineup.
  4. Like
    4twinsJA reacted to rv78 in Free Agent starting pitchers   
    I don't see any of the top tier Free Agent pitchers you mention coming to the Twins. They have other more appealing options, like organizations committed to winning and contending, not pretending. It'll be another off-season of "dumpster diving" and "hope and a prayer" signings of Free Agents. The only way they will acquire top tier pitching is thru trades and that is going to cost prospects. I'd rather see them punt 2022 and see what the top pitching prospects can do in 2022 that they have now.... Ryan, Ober, Duran, Balazovic, Canterino, Strotman, Winder, Sands, Woods-Richardson, etc, etc.... In the mean time they'll give Lewis another season to prove his worth, bring up Miranda, take a full-time look at Larnach, re-established Kirolloff's place on the team. Get rid of the dead weight in the lineup from Sano and Kepler. There are too many question marks going into 2022 to commit to it IMO.
  5. Like
    4twinsJA reacted to Andrew Mahlke in Free Agents the Twins should target for 2022   
    It is no secret that the Twins had a disappointing 2021 season. We had our positives, like a great season from Jorge Polanco and we continued to see that when Byron Buxton is on the field he has the potential to be the best player in baseball. One place we really faltered last year was our free agent signings did not live up to expectations. From Matt Shoemaker and his -0.7 fWAR, an ERA over 8, and FIP over 6, to Andrelton Simmons and his -0.5 fWAR, 56 wRC+, and .558 OPS, and many in between, one place the Twins could really improve this year is in their free agent acquisitions. With between 45-60 million dollars in projected spending, the Twins could really get creative with their free agent signings. Here are 5 free agents that I think the Twins should try to acquire this offseason.
    Heath Hembree, RP, NY Mets At first glance, Heath Hembree had an extremely disappointing 2021 campaign. From a standard statistical viewpoint, he was 2-7 with a 5.59 ERA. Now, by only looking at these numbers you might think the Twins would be crazy to sign a 33 year old reliever with stats that bad. But taking a deeper dive into his numbers, you might be able to see why this is a cheap signing that could very well pay off.
    Although Hembree had a 5.59 ERA last season, his expected ERA (xERA) was actually 3.12, which was in the 88th percentile of all MLB pitchers last season. If you are unfamiliar, xERA takes into account the quality of contact allowed by a pitcher (exit velocity and launch angle) rather than the results of what happened. Basically, it eliminates luck (weather, defenses, ballpark dimensions). It gives the pitcher credit for what he can control.
    According to Baseball Savant, Hembree had the largest difference between his actual ERA and his expected ERA for any pitcher in the 2021 season (2.47). 
    Another statistic that favors just how unlucky Hembree was this season is xwOBA. This is similar to xERA in that it shows how Hembree’s batted ball data including his walks allowed and strikeouts would usually play out, eliminating factors beyond his control. Hembree’s xwOBA was actually .035 lower than his actual wOBA, good enough for 9th in the MLB among qualifiers.
    As strikeouts are becoming more and more common in the big leagues, it is important to have pitchers who can strike guys out at a high rate. This is something Hembree excelled at last year. Hembree struck out 34.2% of batters last year. A number this high puts him in the 96th percentile of all MLB pitchers, which is fantastic. His high strikeout rates can be attributed to his above average spin rates. Along with his fastball velocity being in the 79th percentile of all pitchers, his fastball spin rate is in the 92nd percentile, and his breaking-ball spin rate is in the 96th percentile. These are great predictors of future success for Hembree because although his bad luck may not continue, his high strikeout numbers and high spin rates should.
    One thing Hembree could work on is limiting the number of walks he allows. Last year Hembree’s walk rate was 9.9%, which was only in the 28th percentile of all pitchers. If Hembree limits his walks and gets a little bit more luck on his side, he could be a key contributor to the Twins bullpen in 2022 at a very low price.
    Carlos Correa, SS, Houston Astros There are not many players more controversial than Carlos Correa. His handling of the 2017 Houston Astros cheating scandal rubbed a lot of people in the wrong direction. Many wondered if Correa’s red hot start to his career was only because of the cheating. The answer to that question can be put to rest. In 2021, Correa had the 9th highest fWAR (5.8) of all position players. Additionally he had a wRC+ of 134, meaning he was 34% above a league average hitter
    Correa is one of the best players in the league when he is at his best. In 2021, he was in the 87th percentile of xWOBA, his hard hit rate was in the 63rd percentile at over 42%, and his walk rate was almost 12%, good enough to be in the 84th percentile.
    In 2021, the Twins had one of the worst shortstops in the league in Simmons. Going from Simmons to Correa would be a massive upgrade at one of the premier positions in baseball. This past year, Correa was in the 97th percentile in Outs Above Average (OAA). He was the 6th highest shortstop behind Nicky Lopez, Francisco Lindor, Nick Ahmed, Simmons, and Brandon Crawford. Yes, Simmons is ahead of Correa but Correa’s offense is so much better than Simmons’s that the difference defensively is almost negligible. 
    Correa is also a machine in the playoffs. He is currently tied for the 7th most homers in playoff history with 18, and he is only 27 years old. Astros manager Dusty Baker has called Correa one of the best pressure players he has ever seen, and Baker has been in the MLB as a manager since 1993 and has managed the likes of Barry Bonds, Joey Votto, and Bryce Harper.
    If we do sign Correa, the question arises: what happens to Austin Martin and Royce Lewis? Well, if we have enough money to sign Correa that means we most likely didn’t extend Buxton or we would’ve traded Donaldson to get rid of his contract to clear up money for Correa. That leaves an open spot at CF and 3B. Ideally, Lewis would play center and Martin would play third like he did in his college days at Vanderbilt. Lewis has also been taking reps in the outfield in the minor leagues. Again, this move only happens if we trade or don’t resign Buxton, which I think is a terrible idea given his sky high potential. 
    Correa will likely command a lot of money in the free agent market, and is projected to get an expensive 10 year, $266.2 million dollar contract by Spotrac. This signing is unfortunately not likely, but the Twins could definitely make it happen if they were to unload salaries. If we don’t extend Byron Buxton, I would hope we pivot to making Correa a massive offer.
    Chris Taylor, UTIL, LA Dodgers If you have been paying attention to postseason baseball this year, you probably are familiar with Chris Taylor. Earlier this month, he hit a walk-off home run to send the Dodgers to the NLDS. He has been an integral part of the Los Angeles Dodgers success since being traded there from Seattle in 2016. Taylor is a utility man who can play all three outfield positions along with third base and middle infield. Having a player with that kind of versatility on your team can be vital to team success. It would allow us to give guys regular days off while shifting Taylor all around the diamond.
    Taylor had a breakout 2017 campaign, when he had an .850 OPS and a 126 wRC+. Since then he has been around a 110 wRC+, still 10% better than league average. Taylor is also extremely fast, as he is in the 91st percentile of all players in sprint speed, as his average is 28.8 ft/sec (league average is 27). Another thing Taylor does extremely well is his plate discipline. In 2021 his walk rate was 10.8% and in the 73rd percentile. His chase rate was in the 92nd percentile, which means he rarely swings at bad pitches. The combination of Taylor having a high walk rate and low chase rate means that even when he is not hitting well at the plate he can still contribute offensively, getting on base 34% of the time and he will usually steal over 10 bases a season.
    Chris Taylor will be a player who will be worth 2-3 WAR per season and does a lot of little things right that help his teams win games. He would not be a super expensive pick-up as Spotrac has him projected to be worth $11 million per year. This would be a great signing by the Twins and Taylor would be able to help us in all facets of the game
    Ryan Tepera, RP, Chicago White Sox Most recently, Ryan Tepera made headlines for saying the Astros are still doing ‘sketchy stuff’, to which Astros manager Dusty Baker responded saying he had never heard of Tepera before. Well, maybe Dusty should pay a little more attention because Tepera was quietly one of the best relievers in baseball in 2021.
    Historically, when relief pitchers are evaluated, the first thing people check is how many saves they have. Between his time on the north side and south side of Chicago this season, Tepera only had one save to his name. A lot of this is due to the White Sox bullpen being absolutely loaded with big names such as Liam Hendriks and Craig Kimbrel. But if you take a deeper dive into the statistics, you will find that Tepera was the second best pitcher in an extremely deep White Sox bullpen.
    Tepera had an ERA of 2.79, which is already considered elite. Even at this elite level, Tepera got unlucky. His xERA was 2.50 and his xwOBA was .248. These are both in the 96th percentile of all pitchers. Of relief pitchers with at least 60 innings pitched in 2021, there were only 6 with a lower xERA than Tepera.
    Another thing Tepera excels at is getting swings and misses. His whiff rate was in the 96th percentile, and his K% was just over 30%, good enough to be in the 88th percentile of all pitchers. When I first looked at his pitch profile, his fastball velocity, spin rate, and his curveball spin rate are all about league average. So I wondered, what makes him so special?

    Tepera has a very good slider, throwing it nearly 45% of the time in 2021, up from just over 5% in 2020. His whiff rate on his slider was nearly 51%, meaning that over half of the time batters would swing at it they would swing and miss. This is extremely good. Another thing that jumps out at me about Tepera’s slider is that since 2019, he is getting roughly 0.7 feet more of extension on his slider, and since then his xwOBA on that pitch has gone way down.
    Once Tepera discovered he had an elite slider and began throwing it more, he turned into one of the most dominant relievers in the league. Obviously the Twins struggled with relief pitching this season and Tepera would be a huge upgrade to our bullpen. With his strong expected stats from 2021 and his newly revamped slider, Tepera would be very successful and a great signing for fairly cheap.
    Eduardo Rodriguez, SP, Boston Red Sox Among baseball fans, Eduardo Rodriguez is a pretty well-known name. He has always been a fairly consistent middle of the rotation starter. This season, he had a below average ERA of 4.74, although his xERA showed that he was a bit unlucky. His xERA was 3.55, more than a difference of a full point. This is in the 73rd percentile of all qualified pitchers. With a bit more luck, he would be a solid 3 starter in a Twins rotation that badly needs a consistent starter. With Michael Pineda being a free agent and Kenta Maeda undergoing Tommy John surgery, the Twins are in dire need of starting pitchers.
    If you look at Eduardo Rodriguez’s percentile rankings in 2021, he was above average in just about every relevant category. In fact, he was in the 90th percentile of average exit velocity allowed. This means that he rarely allows hard contact and that is a very important quality to have as a pitcher. He also had a K% of 27.4, which is in the 76th percentile of all pitchers. He does not walk a lot of batters, having a walk rate of 7%, good enough to be in the 70th percentile of all pitchers.
    One reason Rodriguez is still not excellent despite his ability to miss barrels is because of his pitch arsenal. Below is his pitch arsenal by month in 2021.

    As you can see, he threw his fastball almost 45% of the time and his most frequent off-speed pitch is his changeup. He has a good mix of pitches, throwing four different pitches more than 10% of the time. However, he could be even more effective if he threw his sinker more and his cutter less. In 2021, his cutter was his worst pitch, allowing a .301 BA and a .487 SLG on the pitch. However, he continued to throw it 18% of the time, or every fifth pitch. His sinker was way more effective, only allowing a BA of .264 and a SLG of .385. However, he only threw his sinker 11% of the time, or 60% as much as he threw his cutter. Rodriguez also has an extremely effective changeup. Against changeups, hitters had an xBA of .238 against it, with lefties hitting only .176 against the changeup. If the Twins could convince Rodriguez to throw more sinkers and changeups, and less cutters, he would be an outstanding signing.
    Rodriguez would not be a super expensive signing, with plenty of starting pitchers also on the market such as big names Max Scherzer, Zack Greinke, Clayton Kershaw, and Justin Verlander. A lot of teams may underlook an unlucky pitcher such as Rodriguez and that may allow the Twins to swoop in and sign him for less money than he is worth.
    Conclusion
    The Twins had a very disappointing 2021 season and they have a big offseason ahead of them. They have big decisions to make such as a potential Buxton extension, key arbitration decisions such as Taylor Rogers and Tyler Duffey, potential trades, and which free agents to bring in. If we look at a big name free agent such as Correa and then some undervalued pieces like Hembree, Taylor, Tepera, and Rodriguez we will be in a good spot to compete for the AL Central again in 2022.
  6. Like
    4twinsJA reacted to Brock Beauchamp in MLB working on in-market streaming service for 2023   
    $20/mo is entirely reasonable for three sports. That’s over 320 games a year, bringing cost per game under $0.75.  I don’t know what more we could ask for, frankly. 
  7. Like
    4twinsJA got a reaction from Melissa in Giants, Red Sox Proving You Don’t Need These 3 Things   
    Another thing most of the playoff teams have in common, able to spend money, large payrolls. According to Spotrac, 2021 payrolls, 4/5 top payrolls made playoffs-Mets the exception. 2 more in next 5, and 2 more in 11-15 range. Brewers were 19 and Rays 26. There were 4 teams under 60M, Dodgers were #1 at 267M, next Yankees at 203M. The difference between the highest-Dodgers and second highest-Yankees was more than the total payroll for each of the bottom 4 teams. MLB has to address this inequity, just establishing a minimum payroll will not be enough. Somehow will need to establish more revenue sharing to bring up the lower teams.
  8. Like
    4twinsJA reacted to TheLeviathan in MLB teams to provide housing for minor leaguers in 2022   
    'Bout damn time really.
  9. Like
    4twinsJA got a reaction from glunn in 7 step plan for offseason   
    Here is my 7 step plan for Twins this offseason. 1) Extend Buxton. 2)Acquire top of rotation starting pitcher. 3) Acquire closer. 4)Acquire shortstop. 5) Acquire mid-rotation starting pitcher. 6) Acquire second bullpen arm. 7) Trade Donaldson. These 7 steps would be fill the biggest needs for Twins, some of these steps may need to be done by trade. Intentionally short on specifics, I feel these are the priorities for the Twins in offseason. 
  10. Like
    4twinsJA got a reaction from Nashvilletwin in No Half Measures   
    I am in trade Donaldson camp. To me, it's a salary dump, don't expect high return, maybe a few lower rated prospects in positions Twins need some depth in minors. Don't understand apprehension about Miranda, doesn't have anything left to prove at AAA. Use money saved from Donaldson's contract to sign Buxton and help get pitching.
  11. Like
    4twinsJA got a reaction from wabene in Giants, Red Sox Proving You Don’t Need These 3 Things   
    Another thing most of the playoff teams have in common, able to spend money, large payrolls. According to Spotrac, 2021 payrolls, 4/5 top payrolls made playoffs-Mets the exception. 2 more in next 5, and 2 more in 11-15 range. Brewers were 19 and Rays 26. There were 4 teams under 60M, Dodgers were #1 at 267M, next Yankees at 203M. The difference between the highest-Dodgers and second highest-Yankees was more than the total payroll for each of the bottom 4 teams. MLB has to address this inequity, just establishing a minimum payroll will not be enough. Somehow will need to establish more revenue sharing to bring up the lower teams.
  12. Like
    4twinsJA got a reaction from mikelink45 in 3 Free Agent Pitching Additions Who Fit the Twins Offseason Strategy   
    Greinke is 37, no thanks. already showing signs of regression last year.  Gray and Pineda with Ryan, Ober, Dobnak with Twins, Winder, Duran, SWR, Sands, Balazovic at AAA waiting for opportunity looks good to me.  I agree, Twins will probably need to trade to bring in quality starter and agree little chance top tier FAs end up with Twins. Top choice would be Trade, Gray, Pineda, Ryan, Ober.
     
  13. Like
    4twinsJA got a reaction from glunn in 3 Free Agent Pitching Additions Who Fit the Twins Offseason Strategy   
    Greinke is 37, no thanks. already showing signs of regression last year.  Gray and Pineda with Ryan, Ober, Dobnak with Twins, Winder, Duran, SWR, Sands, Balazovic at AAA waiting for opportunity looks good to me.  I agree, Twins will probably need to trade to bring in quality starter and agree little chance top tier FAs end up with Twins. Top choice would be Trade, Gray, Pineda, Ryan, Ober.
     
  14. Like
    4twinsJA got a reaction from se7799 in Pitching Prospect Louie Varland Tells All   
    Looking for good things from Varland in future. I watched a few of his games on MiLB TV, overpowering at times but seemed too reliant on fastball, difficulty throwing other pitches for strikes when he needed to.
  15. Like
    4twinsJA got a reaction from glunn in Giants, Red Sox Proving You Don’t Need These 3 Things   
    Another thing most of the playoff teams have in common, able to spend money, large payrolls. According to Spotrac, 2021 payrolls, 4/5 top payrolls made playoffs-Mets the exception. 2 more in next 5, and 2 more in 11-15 range. Brewers were 19 and Rays 26. There were 4 teams under 60M, Dodgers were #1 at 267M, next Yankees at 203M. The difference between the highest-Dodgers and second highest-Yankees was more than the total payroll for each of the bottom 4 teams. MLB has to address this inequity, just establishing a minimum payroll will not be enough. Somehow will need to establish more revenue sharing to bring up the lower teams.
  16. Like
    4twinsJA got a reaction from Mike Sixel in Giants, Red Sox Proving You Don’t Need These 3 Things   
    Another thing most of the playoff teams have in common, able to spend money, large payrolls. According to Spotrac, 2021 payrolls, 4/5 top payrolls made playoffs-Mets the exception. 2 more in next 5, and 2 more in 11-15 range. Brewers were 19 and Rays 26. There were 4 teams under 60M, Dodgers were #1 at 267M, next Yankees at 203M. The difference between the highest-Dodgers and second highest-Yankees was more than the total payroll for each of the bottom 4 teams. MLB has to address this inequity, just establishing a minimum payroll will not be enough. Somehow will need to establish more revenue sharing to bring up the lower teams.
  17. Like
    4twinsJA got a reaction from Doctor Gast in 2008-2016: the Twins, centerfield, and wasted talent   
    Pay Buxton, he is an elite player, a difference maker defensively and hitting. Give him the incentives, it is a win-win, if he is hurt Twins don't have to pay incentives, if he is healthy Twins get Buxton's production and is well worth the incentive money. I believe they came to an agreement on the guaranteed money but not on incentives. 
  18. Like
    4twinsJA got a reaction from Minny505 in Giants, Red Sox Proving You Don’t Need These 3 Things   
    Another thing most of the playoff teams have in common, able to spend money, large payrolls. According to Spotrac, 2021 payrolls, 4/5 top payrolls made playoffs-Mets the exception. 2 more in next 5, and 2 more in 11-15 range. Brewers were 19 and Rays 26. There were 4 teams under 60M, Dodgers were #1 at 267M, next Yankees at 203M. The difference between the highest-Dodgers and second highest-Yankees was more than the total payroll for each of the bottom 4 teams. MLB has to address this inequity, just establishing a minimum payroll will not be enough. Somehow will need to establish more revenue sharing to bring up the lower teams.
  19. Like
    4twinsJA got a reaction from Sconnie in Giants, Red Sox Proving You Don’t Need These 3 Things   
    Another thing most of the playoff teams have in common, able to spend money, large payrolls. According to Spotrac, 2021 payrolls, 4/5 top payrolls made playoffs-Mets the exception. 2 more in next 5, and 2 more in 11-15 range. Brewers were 19 and Rays 26. There were 4 teams under 60M, Dodgers were #1 at 267M, next Yankees at 203M. The difference between the highest-Dodgers and second highest-Yankees was more than the total payroll for each of the bottom 4 teams. MLB has to address this inequity, just establishing a minimum payroll will not be enough. Somehow will need to establish more revenue sharing to bring up the lower teams.
  20. Like
    4twinsJA reacted to Dave The Dastardly in 4 Plausible Developments That Would Dramatically Alter the Twins' Fortunes   
    Donaldson is the developmental key; trade him and use the salary savings to help retain Buxton or chase down a decent starting pitcher, Donaldson's absence opening up 3rd base for Miranda, who has nothing left to prove in AAA. With Donaldson completely out of the picture Sano moves to DH, opening up 1st for Kirillof, and backs up both corner positions if needed. 
  21. Like
    4twinsJA got a reaction from roger in 2008-2016: the Twins, centerfield, and wasted talent   
    Pay Buxton, he is an elite player, a difference maker defensively and hitting. Give him the incentives, it is a win-win, if he is hurt Twins don't have to pay incentives, if he is healthy Twins get Buxton's production and is well worth the incentive money. I believe they came to an agreement on the guaranteed money but not on incentives. 
  22. Like
    4twinsJA reacted to LastOnePicked in 2008-2016: the Twins, centerfield, and wasted talent   
    Everything about this article is perfection, Brock. Please print it out and tack it to Falvey's office door.
  23. Like
    4twinsJA got a reaction from DocBauer in Ranking the Top-5 Twins Prospects Headed to the Arizona Fall League   
    Would think regarding pitchers, Twins worried about innings, so did not send top prospects. Not sure on position players.
  24. Haha
    4twinsJA got a reaction from mnfireman in 7 step plan for offseason   
    Here is my 7 step plan for Twins this offseason. 1) Extend Buxton. 2)Acquire top of rotation starting pitcher. 3) Acquire closer. 4)Acquire shortstop. 5) Acquire mid-rotation starting pitcher. 6) Acquire second bullpen arm. 7) Trade Donaldson. These 7 steps would be fill the biggest needs for Twins, some of these steps may need to be done by trade. Intentionally short on specifics, I feel these are the priorities for the Twins in offseason. 
  25. Like
    4twinsJA reacted to Brock Beauchamp in 2008-2016: the Twins, centerfield, and wasted talent   
    Recently, I was doing some really boring work in the yard, mulling over how we may have watched the final game of Byron Buxton in a Twins uniform. I certainly hope that's not the case and will likely write a lengthy post about it another time but I'd put the odds of him being traded this offseason at no lower than 40%.

    As I kinda seethed over the idea of Buxton being traded, it led to me to start thinking of how many years were wasted before he turned into the beastly hitter he is today.
    That led me to start thinking about his predecessor, Aaron Hicks... and holy ****, the same thing happened to him, too!
    So then I started thinking about Carlos Gomez and... wow, the Twins wasted so much centerfield talent in the wake of losing Torii Hunter after the 2007 season.
    Carlos Gomez (2008-2009)
    So let's go back in time a bit... In the offseason leading up to 2008, we saw Torii Hunter sign with the Los Angeles Anaheim Angels of Angeles Anaheim and the Twins, worried about losing Johan Santana the following year, traded him to the Mets with the centerpiece being Carlos Gomez, their young centerfielder.
    The Mets had obviously rushed Gomez to the majors, as he posted just a 55 OPS+ in his age 21 season. The Twins, obviously feeling some pressure at the loss of Hunter, continued to throw Gomez out there every day and he continued to be very bad at hitting a baseball. There was some questioning of whether Gomez had any business in MLB and the Twins did him no favors. He ended his Twins career with the following line:
    Year Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB 2008-2009 MIN 290 963 892 130 221 39 12 10 87 47 18 47 214 .248 .293 .352 .645 73 314 8 11 10 3 0 Despite his otherworldly defense, Gomez was at best a mediocre player with the Twins. But then he was traded and posted the following line for his years in Milwaukee:
    Year Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB 2010-2014 MIL 623 2262 2047 322 547 102 24 79 245 145 30 136 521 .267 .324 .456 .780 110 934 39 43 22 14 4 Yikes. So, yeah, uh... this is only the beginning.
    Aaron Hicks (2013-2015)
    Fans expected Hicks to be TNGTCF (The Next Great Twins CenterFielder), washing the bad taste of Gomez in Milwaukee out of our mouths and returning us to the glory days of Puckett and Hunter. It didn't really work out for us this time, either. Hicks, fresh off a very good AA season in 2012, opened the 2013 MLB season as the Twins' starting centerfielder. This decision was also questioned at the time and the results ended up being Carlos Gomez Redux. It became so bad at one point in Hicks' Twins career that he gave up switch-hitting and didn't tell his coaches. No one seemed to have any clue what was going on, least of all Hicks. Over three seasons with the Twins, he posted this painful line:
    Year Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB 2013-2015 MIN 247 928 819 107 184 30 6 20 78 26 9 94 206 .225 .306 .349 .655 81 286 8 4 6 5 2 He bounced back and forth in the minors a bit before ultimately being traded to the Damned Yankees for the empty uniform of John Ryan Murphy. And then he proceeded to do this in a Yankees uniform over the following five seasons:
    Year Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB 2016-2020 NYY 461 1769 1498 245 360 69 6 68 219 29 14 243 356 .240 .346 .431 .776 108 645 22 7 4 17 3 Hicks has been injured and the Yankees were a bit over-eager in extending him but it's hard to do anything but cringe at that line and all the wasted (cheap) years of Hicks the Twins gave away.
    Byron Buxton (2015-present)
    Buxton and Hicks had a single year of overlap as Buxton debuted as a 21 year-old rookie in 2015 alongside Hicks' final season in a Twins uniform. Buxton was... not good... and the trend continued. After posting a miserable 57 OPS+ in 139 plate appearances as a rookie, the Twins said "looks good, he's our centerfielder of the future!" and promptly traded Aaron Hicks that offseason.
    Buxton continued to be not good. Like Gomez and Hicks before him, aggressive promotion and lack of coaching consistency plagued Byron as he constantly changed his swing, stance, and approach. The Twins wanted him to be a groundball speed guy while the game itself was screaming for Byron to become Willie Mays, not Willie Mays Hayes. Over the two seasons of Byron struggling under the Ryan administration, he posted the following line:
    Year Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB 2015-2016 MIN 138 469 427 60 94 26 7 12 44 12 4 29 162 .220 .274 .398 .672 80 170 3 4 6 3 0 Then came Falvey and Levine. While they didn't implement many coaching changes over the 2016-2017 offseason, changes were coming. Buxton had his only healthy, full season while posting the following line:
    Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB Pos Awards 2017 23 MIN AL 140 511 462 69 117 14 6 16 51 29 1 38 150 .253 .314 .413 .728 93 191 1 4 5 2 2 *8/HD MVP-18,GG In 2018, we basically didn't see Byron Buxton in Minnesota, as the all-too-familiar injury bug limited his playing time in the majors. But when he returned in 2019 with a more stabilized swing, approach, and comfort level, Beast Mode Buxton emerged, finally showing Twins fans the player they anticipated watching since that June day in 2012. Since 2019, Buxton has done the following:
    Year Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB 2019-2021 MIN 187 684 636 117 176 56 4 42 105 25 5 34 166 .277 .321 .575 .897 137 366 5 9 2 3 1 On a per-game basis, he's probably the best player in baseball.
    Which makes all of this the more sad. We've watched future All-Star centerfielders grow up in Minnesota but leave before we see true greatness emerge in them. Which is why it's not only important for this front office to sign Buxton, it's far and away the most important thing they can do this offseason. Instead of giving up on yet another fantastic up-the-middle talent before they're ready to shine, the Twins need to stop making the same mistake and do one thing:
    Pay. The. Man.
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