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Parker Hageman

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Parker Hageman last won the day on July 8 2020

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  1. Thielbar is almost a completely different pitcher this second time around. And his time with Driveline and the new pitching development staff with the Twins have unlocked a lot for him. This thread is from August 2020, but it still applies today. Driveline helped him improve his spin rates/spin direction so that the fastball and the curveball now have mirror spin at nearly 100% active rates. The Twins helped him activate more lower half muscles by staying in his glute longer during the delivery process (it's probably no wonder why he's able to generate a little more velo, especially late in the season, when he's not solely generating off his quad and arm). I think this year you also see a little bit better movements out of his top half as well. He get a bit more layback in his shoulders, aiding in that slight velo increase. Credit him and the S&C staff for working on that. He's also moved over to the third base side of the rubber this year, allowing for a more direct path to the plate. As someone with that good 12-6 spin, this provides the best route and maximizes that spin direction.
  2. Wrote about Polanco's 2020 season and how there was a definite change in his swing last year. All of the changes resulted in a longer swing in 2020. This was before we found out that he was playing hurt. And this year he acknowledged that the injury was causing him to alter his swing, which makes sense: His swing got longer because he was likely trying to muscle up more, but the change also made his swing worse. This year's swing looks so much more like his 2019 cut: The output now is very similar to the 2019 juiced ball era: Polanco vs RHP 2019: 40% pull rate / .441 pull-side BA / 334 ft pull-side FB distance 2020: 38% pull rate / .229 pull-side BA / 307 ft pull-side FB distance 2021: 57% pull rate / ,417 pull-side BA / 343 ft pull-side FB distance The one other notable change in-season this year is that he opened his stance more and backed away from the plate, given him much better barrel coverage throughout the entire zone: He's a switch-hitter, obviously, but because he faces more right-handed pitchers, his left-side swing really has to carry him through the season. His performance from the right-side has been almost the same over the last three years so finding his swing from the left-side was much needed.
  3. Is that backed by some data or based off of visual scouting reports?
  4. Jack Morris has drawn sharp criticism after delivering comments in an Asian accent. The Tigers broadcaster later apologized in the ninth inning of the game saying that he did not "intend for any offensive thing" and offered an apology to the Asian community. You can read more on the story on ESPN. Here are some reactions:
  5. One of the things that always gets me about watching games from that era and prior to it is the absolute lack of advertising. Look at Metrodome. There are like three tiny advertisements on the ring between decks. The two scoreboards at the top of the upper deck were flanked by two Winston and Coke ads. I know we are at where we are at as a society in sports* because there is money to be made (by owners) and money to be paid (to players) but I wouldn't mind it if we went away from the constant bombardment of ads at every inch of space in the stadium and during the broadcasts. I was recently watching Game 7 of the 1987 World Series and comparing it to the 2019 ALDS game versus the Yankees. It's absurd how many more direct ("brought to you by...") and indirect (signage at the stadium) advertisements there is between the two eras. Hate sounding like an old man yelling at clouds over here but I got to think there is some effect from all of this. *Not just sports.
  6. Yes! I stream games on AT&T on my Roku device. It just randomly fades out. Wasn't sure if it was my internet or the app.
  7. And music videos. Remember music videos? Wasn't there a channel that used to play nothing but music videos on TV?
  8. For those seeking a little nostalgia: Musical artist and parachute pants enthusiast MC Hammer posted a video of him taking batting practice at the Metrodome, donning a Twins uniform and everything. The former Oakland A's bat boy says he took a trip down to the Dome while he was living at Paisley Park and finishing up his 2 Legit 2 Quit album. The album was released in October of 1991 -- a very good year for the Minnesota Twins -- but the footage must be from the 1990 season. We see glimpses of Randy Bush (25) taking soft toss into a net, Kent Hrbek lurking in the background, and hitting coach Tony Oliva chatting it up with Hammer -- all of whom were on the team in 1991. However, it's not the 1991 squad because John Moses (1) is throwing Hammer batting practice. Moses, who hit .276 in 3 seasons with the team, would become a free agent in November 1990 and would not return to the 1991 World Series run, signing with the Tigers instead (all-time pinch runner Jarvis Brown would acquire Moses' uniform number). Moses did more than just throw the occasional batting practice: he was one of the first iterations of position players to pitch for the Minnesota Twins. He make three appearances between 1989 and 1990 seasons, allowing 3 runs on 5 hits and 3 walks. He did not record a strikeout. Hammer is wearing number 37 -- pitcher Paul Abbott's number. Abbott, who was a rookie in 1990, wouldn't make his major league debut until August of that year. So it's likely Hammer did not have to buy Abbott a Rolex for the use of his number. While we're on the subject, go ahead and throw out your favorite late 1980s/early 1990s Twins' memories. Did you take BP like MC Hammer did? Did you collect empty souvenir beer cups after everyone left? Who was your low-key favorite player? Did you remember a specific game?
  9. Who is the most impressive talent you’ve seen with the Saints?
  10. Jax made some important adjustments when he was sent back down to St. Paul. When he returned, he added 2 inches of induced vertical break (more carry) and an improved slider. Fastball | First 5 outings: 15.6 IVB, 1:32 spin direction at release, .293 BAA Fastball | Last 4 outings: 17.3 IVB, 1:21 spin direction, .194 BAA (albeit those were some HAMMERED home runs off of Sox bats) This is notable because the added carry gives his fastball ride (a combination of carry and run). If you look at the top induced vertical break pitchers, you'll find that most have a spin direction close to 12:00. That's essentially the pure backspin fastball. At 1:20, Jax's fastball now not only has above average carry (16.1 MLB avg), but it has run that darts into a right-handed hitter. His slider's performance is much better: Slider | First 5 outings: .429 BAA, 12% swing strike rate Slider | Last 4 outings: .040 BAA, 22% swing strike rate He adjusted his release point for his slider, letting it go a few inches higher than before and it appears to have added a few inches of vertical drop. I don't know what these means for him going forward. The fastball is intriguing. It's not a unicorn but it's a bit of an outlier and outliers can flummox hitters. The slider is showing signs of being a tough pill. Stay tuned.
  11. If you are planning on going to the Mall of America, it's always neat to show kids the place where home plate for Met Stadium used to be. Then you can point way up to the wall across all the rides and see the seat Harmon Killebrew hit his home run into. That blew my daughter's mind when she was young. Squirrel nailed a lot of things to do around the town. I'll add going to Minnehaha Falls -- good trails to walk around there.
  12. @mnfireman That's a really good point about the 3-batter rule. What is interesting is the reliever ERA league-wide is 4.16 -- which is down from 4.43 in 2019 -- but the inherited run scored percentage is up to 34.9 from 31.9. You have to wonder if the increased IRA is partially a byproduct of a manager leaving a pitcher out for those extra few hitters, allowing them to reach, and then pulling that pitcher after 3 plate appearances instead of the one in prior years. It's weird. Relievers have a much lower batting average allowed, on-base, slugging against and home runs allowed than 2019 but more runners on base are scoring.
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