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Blog Comments posted by jokin


    I suspect this is paid attendance, which includes the unsold tickets the scalpers were trying to unload. Once those kids groups left in the 10th inning or so, there couldn't have been 3,000 people in the stadium.


    Financially, major league baseball has been a disaster in Florida.

    I wonder if Forbes has done an audit on how much each franchise in the state has lost? Tampa Bay is pulling the rip-cord to Canada in slow motion.


    The League subsidies and funny money accounting keeps these 2 teams (just barely) afloat.


    Although Marlins Park via the local politicians is publicly allowing that the stadium cost about $634M, Deadspin has reported on the shady tiered financing, SEC investigations and has also revealed the fact that the stadium won't be paid off until 2048, ultimately ending up costing nearly $2.5 Billion by then. Will the Marlins even still be in Florida, let alone Miami by then?



    Some good players have been traded in June. Most of those involved salary dumps, or odd decisions by poorly run teams (Miami, for example).




    In the Marlins' case, they are ripe to be taken in a trade for their outstanding pitching depth on both a salary dump and their often-odd decision-making.


    The Marlins have been going nowhere this year since the offseason- trading away Realmuto. And they're once again stuck with leftover high salary players from their previous "grand plan" to putting a competitive team on the field.


    Accepting Wei-Yun Chen in a trade (ala Bronson Arroyo)- and additionally getting two younger Marlins pitchers as "the cost" (Smith, Guerrero, Anderson, Lopez, et al)- in exchange for say, two or three Top 20 prospects- should have been explored by the Twins in a June trade.




    Assuming you started with the one of greatest debate, there isn much to go off of beyond that I'd imagine.


    Also, Carew, Kaat and Blyleven played for other organizations. Puckett is behind Mauer in career fWAR, and I'm willing to die on the hill that he wasn't the player Mauer was.


    That all said, it's really not the crux of the issue at hand.


    The WAR I credited for Carew, Kaat and Blyleven was what was accumulated ONLY while they played for the Twins. All played on either or both WS, ALCS teams with the Twins. Blyleven additionally on the '87 champs.


    Of course Puckett is behind Mauer in WAR, his career was tragically cut short. You can die on your hill of Twins 21st Century play that ranged from stubborn immutability, mediocrity, to downright abominability. Face facts, the Twins failed to produce championships repeatedly this century, despite multiple Cy Young, MVPs and batting champions. Puckett is in the HOF, Mauer is a long shot at this point.


    By contrast to Mauer's individual excellence in his first 7 years, Kirby Puckett was a cornerstone for two objectively and obviously, less-talented World Champions than the teams of Joe's 2000s group. Again, Kirby's teams are the only WS winners in the team's history, Mauer's teams folded like cheap suits and curled into a fetal posiiton in each playoff run. Kirby openly told his teammates to jump on his back. Nuff said there, methinks. The guy that actually helped bring about the Twins the biggest hardware back home has to get the edge, especially playing for inferior teams. And when ownership and management appeared to surrender to an inevitable decade of mediocrity after 1992- Kirby took a public stand that that notion was not acceptable to him.


    By yet another contrast, Mauer has always shunned a public leadership role on the team, admitted to not being a Type A personality, and further, has steadfastly never publicly pushed management and ownership to acknowledge that during the bulk of the years of Joe's big contract they have never made a serious effort to be competitive. I mean, what was the point of that $184M contract, if they never even tried to put legitimate pieces around Mauer? And no knock on Joe, but if Kirby had been in the same situation, he would have publicly and privately pushed the organization to deliver on their promise to fans to raise their yearly competitive intensity based on the new stadium revenue streams. Joe has steadfastly remained silent on these last 8 years of futility- not necessarily a knock on him, but also not a credit to Hall-worthiness or "Greatest Twin not named Harmon".


    When the dust settles on his career, Joe Mauer will go down as the best player to ever play in the Minnesota Twins organization not named Harmon Killebrew. Whether you can't come to grips with his contract, or the fact that a season of inflated home runs in the Metrodome didn't transform who he was doesn't really matter. Tonight Jim Souhan tried to summarize what Mauer has been, and can be going forward, while failing to do even a shred of journalistic justice.


    Many of your conclusions drawn in this article are debatable. (And this is coming from someone who shares your opinion that Jim Souhan is anathema to what it means to be a sports journalist.)


    I'll address this one for starters:


    Greatest Twins list who are better than Joe Mauer, besides Harmon Killebrew, has to include HOFers, Rod Carew, Bert Blyleven and Kirby Puckett. Jim Kaat, Carew and Blyleven all accumulated more WAR value while playing just for the Twins than Mauer can ever realistically reach; meanwhile Puckett's career, which was tragically cut short, still included starring roles in 2 World Series wins.


    If determination of greatest Twins player ever is based on quantifiable achievement and impact, all of the players above are clearly greater than Mauer.


    The 20th overall pick in the 2018 MLB draft, Larnach is of a similar mold to Twins prospect Brent Rooker. The power potential is massive, and he absolutely destroys the baseball when making contact. Swing and miss is a bit less of a worry here, although his position is certainly going to be limited to a corner outfield spot. He used all fields in college, but rarely pulled the ball. Ideally you'd like to see him shorten up a bit, and be able to get around on big league pitching to his drive side. This was a safe pick for Minnesota, and the bat should absolutely play.


    Bold call to move Larnach immediately to the #8 spot.


    He definitely crushed an opposite field home run last night. Does he go through the typical Twins developmental channel of:


    1) Full season of E-Town in 2018

    2)Starts in Cedar Rapids in 2019, and promoted to Ft Myers at the halfway point if he proves himself?



    He's already proven himself in the wood bat Cape Cod League. How about starting him immediately at Cedar Rapids- or better yet- Ft Myers and have him hit right after Lewis and Kiriloff in the Miracle batting order?

  6. The nameless, faceless are usually that way for good reason.


    It would have been nice for the author to have explained how many interviewed for the pitching coach job and why this faceless wonder was determined to be the No. 1 pick. 


    The bullpen has succeeded in raising their K-level.... BUT, every other statistical measure is much worse than last year..... the pen ERA is now over 6.... that's 1.5 runs above their worst years in this century.

  7. In the spirit of putting stream-of-conscious rants in the blogs section, where nobody will ever see them or have to look at them, I submit this frustrated piece of work in response to the insanity threadposter Shane Wahl started.



    Nice Part Deux to Shane's Part One opus.


    It's unfortunate that such good and impassioned writing and interesting subject matter has been relegated to blogger purgatory where virtually nobody gets the chance to read it.


    Main thing is:  Plouffe is a $7 M player right now, and going to be more next year.


    Writing is on the wall.  He will not be given an offer by the Twins.  That's wasted inventory in a major way.


    Hard to understand how the Twins FO became so feckless about roster construction.


    In a way, yes,  I hear you... but when you look at the track record of never selling high, and offering full-time roster gigs to guys who just don't have it anymore (Bartlett, Kubel, Murphy, et al)... Is it? Is it really that hard to understand the abundant quantities of fecklessness?


    The money owed to Plouffe is really incidental. Ryan can afford it, and he hasn't shown any willingness to deploy freed up funds where the holes are obviously necessary to put to good use. Keeping Plouffe AND signing Park made no economic or roster-optimizing sense in the winter,  and it doesn't now, but that doesn't necessarily mean that Ryan will now remedy the situation and do the right thing.  Remember, this was a team that could have easily given up on Plouffe multiple times over the last 7 years. How can we forget how many chances he was given at multiple positions before finally settling in at 3B- if they've stuck with all this long previously, Ryan's track record is such suggest they might stick with him until Plouffe decides to pursue free agency.


    Parting ways when he was at peak value should have been done long before now.  Moving him now, regardless of value derived is still the most logical thing to do. And yet, unless Ryan somehow gets a very acceptable offer in the next couple of months, I still think there's a good chance he is retained by the Twins in a corner IF/OF role.


    No.  $13 million a year for  a 36 year old utility player?  Zobrist will take the money and run.


    Not happening :)


    Then he'll be the first to take the money.  And he just turned 34 in May, not 36.  He's relatively young enough and still productive and versatile enough that I gotta think someone with the money to spend (that loves solid veterans) is going to give him at least a 2-year deal that will easily beat the QO in terms of total dollars.

  10. Finally, we can foresee a Twins system soon to be reminiscent of Boston, where the Red Sox have multiple major-league-ready options  at the ready at AAA Pawtucket or in AA; with all of the push of talent from underneath, much of the Twins AAAA "filler" will soon have no spots to fill.


    Shane, would you care to forecast how many from this year's group of position prospects "graduate" for good going into 2016.  Even if the top 4 all take care of business in 2015, will they all be assured of starting spots with the big club in April 2016?


    What's most impressive is even if the top 4 all make it, your remaining list remains impressive.  Perhaps no longer in the Top 3-5 farm systems in baseball, but still chock full of potential major league starters.

  11. I would probably put Buxton #1, given the high floor he has.  I don't see his defense or speed going away.  So even if he hits .250, 10 HR, he is going to give you plus defense in CF and swipe 40-50 bags.  That is still a pretty good CF.


    On the ceiling side, Buxton is a .280-.290, 20 HR, 15 3B, 50-60 SB player who plays really good defense at a premium position.  I would probably rate that better than Sano, even if he sticks at 3B and hits .260 with 30 HR a year.  It is probably unlikely that he will ever be a plus defender.


    Barring crippling, Mickey Mantle-like ongoing injury issues,  I think you and Thrylos are wildly underestimating Buxton's potential ceiling.  On the defensive side, and perhaps it's a semantical misunderstanding, but Buxton's ceiling is not as "a plus defender", in point of fact, he's the epitome of a potential "plus-plus" CFer, and quite possibly could become the best defensive CFer in the majors over the first 10 years of his major league career. 


    Offensively, I also don't get the discounting of the extraordinary season at the plate that Buxton accomplished in 2013.  In the FSL, a league for which Buxton was nearly 4 years younger than the average age, he was the only 19 year old player in the FSL with 250+ PAs  (in addition, there were only Five 20 Year Olds with 250+ PAs).  To further put Buck's performance into perspective, if you scan the hitting lists over the last 5 years, it's hard to find ANY 19 Year Olds in the league with 250+ PAs, let alone in the Top Three in multiple major hitting categories.  And don't get me wrong, I love Polanco, but here's the side-by-side comparison of his slash, one year older- at the age of 20, in the same league in 2014:


    Buxton- .326/.415/.472/.887 wOBA .406  wRC+ 155 (Top 3 in the FSL in every single category except SLG)


    Polanco-  .291/.364/.415/.780 wOBA .359  wRC+ 124


    And Polanco will likely not be even a "plus" defender, let alone Buxton's potential to be the best at his position in the game.  Assuming that 2014 was a wild, health-related one-off for Buck, there's no reason to think he can't resume where he left off in 2013, and quickly move to claim the wide-open CF spot, possibly as early as July, but likely no later than sometime in the first half of 2016.


    To put this into perspective: Minier had shoulder surgery, is 3 months younger than Nick Gordon (the Twins' 12th prospect), who in most lists is a top Twins' prospect, and out hit him in any possible way in the same team (Gordon's numbers: .294/.333/.366, 11:45 BB:SO, 256 PA.) If you have 2 players the same age, one coming from a surgery and outhitting the other by that much in the same team, there is no way to justify not ranking them in this order.                                                                                                                     Or is there?

    I think there is....

    Nick Gordon played for E-Town and was in his first professional season.  Minier played for Twins GCL and was in his second professional season.

  13. Project for everyone reading... if you can find a Twins prospect ranking that has Nick Gordon ranked below #12, I will get you a Papa John's pizza....






    Evaluating the Prospects: Minnesota Twins

    by Kiley McDaniel - October 2, 2014                                                                                             Ranked #4. Nick Gordon, SS

  14. Project for everyone reading... if you can find a Twins prospect ranking that has Nick Gordon ranked below #12, I will get you a Papa John's pizza....

    Thry's ranking has to be the lowest one out there.




    Nick Gordon-

    Rank: 6 (Preseason: NR)

    Elizabethton Twins (ROK) ETA: 2018

    Position: SS Age: 19, DOB: 10/24/1995                                                                                           Also, not only ranked 6th with the Twins, but in the MLB.com Top 100 Prospects--> (#37)


    Kepler does not need much introduction...  What was different this season than the rest was the addition of 25 lbs to his 6'4" frame as a 24 year old


    Minor nit to pick... Kepler is in fact, just 21 years old.  


    It was really a tale of two seasons for Kepler in 2014.  From the season's outset, through his trip to the DL in June, and struggling for another four weeks upon his return, his slash line was a horrendous .224/.303/.336/(.639), with a K% of 17.9%, an ISO of .112 and wRC+ of 85.  From there though, Kepler flipped a switch.  In the last two months or so of the regular season in Ft Myers, he slashed .316/.376/.458/(.835), with a marked reduction in K%- 11.0%, and markedly improved ISO- .142, and wRC+- 140. And for an encore, he acquitted himself well against some of the elite arms in the AFL.


    I'm not willing to say that Kepler has finally "gotten it", but I'm not as worried about the power drop-off, and willing to ascribe it to the FSL effect.  But he's really going to have to show more of the same in 2015 in AA, especially what with all of that plate protection around him in the Lookout lineup, or else the "Chattanooga Choo-Choo" of hitting talent is going to leave him left at the station and on the trading block- or expecting platoon/bench bat status in his Twins future.  


    ....then a 2 hits, a hit batter and walk later and that's the game. From a numbers stand point



    Correction,  in the 4th inning, It was a hit, then 2 HBP, K of Delmon, and then the walk to Hardy.  (Losing Hardy was the crusher to May getting out of the jam, he has a paltry BB% of 4.7% and this year is an extremely high percentage, GB/IFFB hitter).  


    Zach Jones should be fine. The AA bullpen next year could be really spectacular.

    I do think Ortiz can be a 4th OF, though if Buxton and Hicks are around, he wouldn't be needed in CF.

    I like Manuel Guzman and a few others. It's hard to tell with many of these guys until they get past the GCL and many aren't even at the GCL yet.



    If ZJ can come back at 100%, watch out...what a potential pen just a year from now.


    I am thinking Hicks is traded once the Twins are certain Buxton is settled in.  Will the Twins keep Ortiz around taking a 40-man spot until this occurs? 

  18. Great list, Shane.  Do your students do their homework as well as you do yours?


    1a) What?  Where's the love for Stephen Pryor? /jk

    1b) What?  How is Brandon Paulson not in your Top 20? /smh, but while also- /jk


    2) On Danny Ortiz, he really stood out at the plate on my visit to Louisville, so much so that I looked up his numbers and discovered after a slow start upon promotion, he's really coming on in AAA.....310 BA/.879 OPS over the last month or so.  He looks fine in LF, do you have a feel enough for his defense to hazard a guess if he can make it to the Twins as a 4th OF?  It looks like they have to make a decision on keeping him or not by November, what's your verdict?


    3) Some are writing off Zach Jones after his aneurysm (based on their drafting of a boatload of RPs of late, maybe even the Twins management, as well?), anything you've seen or heard tell you different?  The prospects of a healthy Jones and Burdi together in a Twins pen in a year or so is mouth-watering.


    4) Any Dominican/International under the radar types that are poised to jump onto your list?  (ie,19 year old SS, Manuel Guzman, takes more BBs than Ks, glove?...is in the Aderlin Mejia- or Engelb Vielma- type player-mode or something else?.....And what about Diaz and Tapia in DSL?-  I fear that the Twins kept missing the boat on all of the Cubans, and now the money is really coming in to outbid the Twins on the best young Caribbeans)

  19. I agree about the right field wall. How can the Twins change the design with good esthetics, to allow more HR in RF and accommodate the fans viewing the game? Then let's sign a ton of left-handed pitchers.


    Since the removal of the trees in CF, I have long thought the high right field wall and scoreboard is the second worst aesthetic in the park. I have long dreamed and proposed that the incomplete overhang be extended in both directions, ultimately extending from the break in center field to the foul pole. To further add to the new look, scrap the existing boring digital scoreboard- bring back an analog look!, and then recreate a version of the stone arch bridge as "supports" for the overhang, with portions of the scoreboard within each arch along with added ground level seating, something like RF in AT & T:





    but built with arches like the most iconic public works project in the state:



  20. I think expectations locally were such that everybody knew it would not be a line up that measured up to last year's' date=' but yes, it's been a letdown to this point.


    I do think there is more talent in CR than what they've shown. The starting pitching, outside of Stewart, was simply expected to be much better than it has been. I'm not sure there's a lot of help in that area still to be had outside of perhaps Gonsalves. By and large, the guys here now are going to have to simply pitch better.


    Not sure on Williams. He got off to a hot start his first couple games and then faltered.


    I'll be surprised if we see Gordon this year. More likely he starts in CR next year, as Buxton did. Then again, he's starting a level higher than Buck did, so who knows?


    I do know the Twins like Engelb Vielma, the current CR shortstop, and I imagine they want him to get regular ABs.[/quote']


    I know it's too soon, but I'll ask anyway, with Gordon in the pipeline, does Engleb look like a future utility type, or do the Twins run both of these guys at SS up the organization simultaneously? What would it take for Vielma to force Polanco back to long-term at 2nd Base?

  21. Great write-up, JC. Has to be a little bit of letdown for local fans after last season's success.


    What happened to JDs numbers in May- compared to last season? Perhaps there is more pitching help coming besides Burdi, in addition to the bats you mentioned? Is there a LH arm that has any projectability? And maybe Gordon gets hot in E-Town and gets an early call? But really, in the end result, it looks to me like there just aren't enough guys who project to climb much higher in the system.

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