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Parker Hageman

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  1. Like
    Parker Hageman reacted to Jamie Cameron for an article, Ryan and Ober Tip the Tendencies of the Twins Pitching Revolution   
    The void in quality in the rotation of the Minnesota Twins was obvious looking back on a miserable 2021 season. Derek Falvey, arriving from the Guardians with a sterling reputation for developing a pipeline of pitching talent, presided over a season in which everything went wrong, particularly pitching. 
    Most Twins fans assumed the rotation would be a priority in a truncated off-season before 2022. At the very least, the Twins would strengthen their rotation with a solid mid-rotation free-agent starter, right? Wrong. While Twins territory lamented, the organization passed on the likes of Jon Gray, Carlos Rodon, Kevin Gausman, and Robbie Ray. Instead, the Twins signed Dylan Bundy before the lockout. Since the lockout ended, they added Chris Archer as a free agent and traded for Chris Paddack.
    While this iteration of the rotation is undoubtedly improved, it hardly inspires confidence. Twins fans know arms are on the way; Cole Sands, Louie Varland, Simeon Woods-Richardson, and Matt Canterino, to name a few. But why do the Twins seem so averse to committing to free-agent pitchers for any length of time? While it is likely that part of the reason is simply striking out on free agent offers, other clues lie in the development of Joe Ryan and Bailey Ober.
    Derek Falvey uttered his now-famous desire to ‘build a sustainable winner’ in Minnesota upon arriving at Target Field. It’s accepted that developing a pipeline of pitching talent takes 5-6 years. The Twins' front office is now entering year six, and fans are starting to see the impact of that development. My argument is that the Twins are attempting to be loosely competitive in 2022; their real goal is a window of 2023 and beyond. We can examine the development of Ryan and Ober as a proxy for organization principles of pitcher development. Here are three common practices the Twins have leveraged to maximize Ryan and Ober that will be evident in the next wave of starting pitching talent that hits Target Field.
    Maximize Velocity
    Bailey Ober has a unique set of tools. He amassed a 32% K% throughout his MiLB career, an impressive number he combined with a 3.4% BB%. While Ober has had strong command since being drafted in the 12th round in 2017 (Falvey’s first draft), his fastball velocity was consistently at or below 90 mph throughout his MiLB career. When he reached the majors, Ober’s fastball velocity had increased to 92.3 mph. Ober’s height (he’s 6’9) allows him a top ten release extension in major league baseball. Put simply, Ober’s so tall he releases the ball closer to the plate than most pitchers, speeding batters up. Adding velocity, (via release extension or refining mechanics) is a skill-set the Twins have mastered and shown an ability help their pitchers translate onto the field.
    Work the Fastball Up
    It’s notable that five out of six members of the Twins rotation in 2022 have a track record of excellent control. In 2021 the average BB/9 across major league baseball was 3.3. Consider the Twins' internal rotation members and their numbers in 2021; Ryan 1.69, Ober 1.85. Ryan and Ober have fastball spin percentiles of 34 and 38, respectively. While it’s been well documented that Ryan has a flat fastball, his VAA (vertical attack angle) allows it to thrive and gives it a rising effect, a tendency that is maximized with fastballs up in the zone. While not all fastballs have the ability to outperform their inputs in the way Ryan’s does, the Twins have found success in going up in the zone, particularly for pitchers who don’t have elite velocity. You can see how this plays out in how Ober leverages his excellent control to locate his fastball up

    The Slider Revolution
    Throwing fastballs up in the strike zone is not a good plan in isolation, particularly if the pitch doesn’t benefit from the deception that Joe Ryan’s does. For Ober, this meant revamping his slider. Midway through 2021, he debuted a new slider, reworked to appear more distinct in velocity than his curveball. Ober added velocity to the pitch and more depth to the break. In the final month of Ober’s old slider, it surrendered a .294 xBA; this dropped to .270 the following month and .215 the month after that. In his first start of 2022, he threw the pitch 29%, compared to just 18% in 2021. 

    Joe Ryan and Bailey Ober are good pitching prospects and will likely have long, meaningful MLB careers with Minnesota. The Twins development staff has done excellent work with both, turning them into roughly 1.5 fWAR pitchers. Ultimately, they serve as placeholders at the front of the Twins' rotation. Soon they will be supplemented by Josh Winder, Louie Varland, Matt Canterino, Simeon Woods-Richardson, Cole Sands, and Jordan Balazovic. A number of the pitchers joining Ryan and Ober have the better raw velocity and stuff and, therefore, a higher ceiling as starting pitchers. It’s easy not to believe in the pitching factory Falvey has worked to develop in Minnesota. I do. It’s likely we’ll know who will lead the front of the Twins rotation by the end of 2022.
     
  2. Like
    Parker Hageman reacted to Jamie Cameron for an article, Twins Daily College Baseball Notebook: Week 6   
    MLB baseball is imminent! As the Twins get ready to head north, college baseball continues to produce an incredibly entertaining, high-quality season. Here’s the latest from Jeremy Nygaard, capturing news and notes as we shuffle towards the draft in July. Here’s some news, updates, and highlights from weeks 5 and 6 of the college baseball season. 

    Weekly Recap
    After a brief hiatus, the college baseball notebook is back. There’s been plenty of action in the last two weeks, including yet another team at number one. 
    After sweeping previous number one Mississippi last weekend, the number one team in the country entering week 6 was Tennessee. The Volunteers have shown a balanced team so far this season, led by high octane pitching arms Ben Joyce (145 overall in Baseball America’s top 200), and sophomore Chase Dollander, both of whom have been dominant.
    After claiming the number one spot, Tennessee traveled to Nashville to play perennial powerhouse Vanderbilt and finished the weekend with a sweep. The Volunteers moved to 27-1 on the season, including a 9-0 conference record, a remarkable start to the season.
    Elsewhere the rest of the top ten nationally is rounded out by Virginia, Arkansas, OSU, Texas Tech, Oregon St, Mississippi, Texas, Miami, and Arizona. Maryland is the lone Big-10 representative in the top 25, currently at 24 with a 22-6 record overall.
    At the end of the weekend, here is where Baseball America has the top 25 teams.
    Moment of the Week
    How this for an incredible play from Georgia Tech’s Jadyn Jackson, who somehow caught this ball against Virginia (with the bases loaded).
    Potential #8 Pick Performances
    As the college season drifts on, there are more prospects entering the realm of possibilities for the Twins' first-round pick in the July draft. After spotlighting Elijah Green last week, this week, we’re introducing Daniel Susac, a catcher from the University of Arizona this week.
    Like Kevin Parada, Susac has rocketed up draft boards and mock drafts due to a strong start to the 2022 season. The 6’4 catcher was a freshman All-American in his first season with the Wildcats, hitting .335 with 12 home runs. Susac has a strong arm and should be able to stick behind the plate, despite being unusually tall for a catcher. Susac is hitting .412 on the 2022 season and has already clubbed six home runs, well on his way to surpassing his 2021 total and rivaling Kevin Parada for the status of top catcher available in July.
    Here are the latest number for draft-eligible college players the Twins may have interest in at number eight overall.
    Brooks Lee, SS, Cal Poly, 47-110 (.427), 6 HR, 35 RBI, 25 BB, 6 K Jace Jung, 2B, Texas Tech, 44-110 (.400), 8 HR, 35 RBI, 30 BB, 17 K Kevin Parada, C, Georgia Tech, 44-118 (.373), 11 HR, 40 RBI, 19 BB, 13 K Jacob Berry, CI, LSU, 40-113 (.354), 8 HR, 28 RBI, 12 BB, 12 K Gavin Cross, OF, Virginia Tech, 31-94 (.330), 5 HR, 17 RBI, 12 BB, 10 K Chase DeLauter, OF, James Madison, 31-75 (.413), 6 HR, 29 RBI, 25 BB, 20 K Daniel Susac, C, Arizona, 52-125 (.412), 6 HR, 30 RBI, 11 BB, 21 K Who are you most interested in as a potential number eight pick for the Minnesota Twins? Join the discussion in the comments.
     
  3. Like
    Parker Hageman reacted to Jamie Cameron for an article, Twins Daily College Baseball Notebook: Week 1   
    Taps mic. ‘Time for something new’.
    If you’re weary and fatigued by the incremental progress made between the Players Union and MLB during the lockout, you needn’t despair, baseball is up and running. The opening weekend of Division I college baseball is in the books. In this new, weekly feature for Twins Daily, I’ll be looking at some of the best performances, storylines, and highlights from the world of college baseball.
    As the season goes on, I’ll highlight players the Twins may be interested in with the number eight overall pick in the 2022 draft. For now, the season is just up and running, so let’s dig in.
    Top 25 Recap
    Anticipation was high for the opening weekend of college baseball. In Starkville, Mississippi State fans were excited to welcome their defending national champion Bulldogs to the 2022 season.
    Opening weekend was punctuated with several upsets as the defending champs were beaten by Long Beach State, despite an incredible performance from Mississippi St pitcher Landon Sims (more on him later). Other upsets saw Liberty beat Florida, Sam Houston beat Nebraska, and Oklahoma St beat Vanderbilt. Indeed the ‘Vandy Boys’ opening series was notable not just for the baseball, but the reaction to smartwatches being used to communicate signs to pitchers (feel free to weigh in on this in the comments).
    Other strong performances from the weekend came from Arizona, who scored 35 runs in three games in an opening weekend tournament against Big 12 opposition, and Oklahoma, who beat Auburn and Michigan in the same competition, despite losing to the Wildcats.
    At the end of opening weekend, here is where Baseball America has the top 25 teams nationally.
    Notable Performances
    North Carolina State slugger Tommy White had the most notable opening weekend. The freshman hit five home runs in his first 14 at-bats. Dominant.
    Landon Sims, a right-handed pitcher out of defending NCAA champions Mississippi State, had arguably the best pitching performance of the opening weekend. He allowed just five hits and one run over seven innings of work, striking out 13 and walking none. Sims is currently ranked as the 20th overall prospect on Baseball America’s pre-draft rankings and will be a prospect to monitor this season.
    Moment of the Week
    This one was easy. Nick Condo out of Chapman wins the inaugural ‘Moment of the Week’ award for this outrageous ‘telescope’ after clubbing a home run. ‘Moment of the Week’ may need to be immediately retired after this opening salvo.
    Potential #8 Pick Performances
    Moving forward, I’ll feature the weekly performances of the top 8-12 players from the 2022 draft class, in a year Carlos Collazo thinks is a great one to be picking in the Twins position.
    Right now, the top eight are comprised of Druw Jones, Temarr Johnson, Elijah Green, Brooks Lee, Jacob Berry, Jace Jung, Dylan Lesko, and Chase DeLauter (much, much more on these, and other names to come). It’s extremely early days here, and a lot will likely change before the draft. Check back next week for some updates on how these talented prospects started their seasons. For now, here’s a snippet of Druw Jones from week one.
    As this is a new feature, I’d love to get readers' feedback on the content. What would you like to see incorporated into this series? What did you like? What did you not like? I’ll do my best to incorporate feedback in the coming weeks, so come and join the discussion.
     
  4. Like
    Parker Hageman reacted to renabanena for an article, How We Built This: The Story of Twins Daily   
    Starting from the basics, all five of the founders were born and raised around Minnesota. Their childhoods played an influential role in their love of the Twins. 
     
    Seth: My dad played baseball and softball, and we watched games on TV together sometimes too. Kirby Puckett debuted when I was eight and I was hooked on the Twins for life. 
    Brock: I was ten years old when the Twins made a surprise run at the postseason in 1987. It suddenly became fashionable to like the Twins and I HAD to have one of the new “M” hats the team wore that year (in retrospect, I hate that M design).
    Nick: My parents definitely instilled a love of the game in me. We used to frequently catch the bus on Bloomington Ave to go catch Twins games at the Metrodome. Baseball has also always been my favorite sport to play — from tee-ball through high school. 
    John: Starting at about seven years old, I started listening to every Twins game on the radio, often while throwing a tennis ball against a garage door to pretend I was fielding it. 
    Parker: My parents would tell me that I had some MLB sticker book as a toddler and they would trot me out as a party favor in front of their friends, and they’d quiz me on team names. Supposedly I had them down pat.
     
    Each founder also dabbled in content creation and entrepreneurship throughout their teenage years. Seth wanted to own a sports card shop (although he preferred buying them to selling them), Nick created his own newspaper called “The Daily Mouse”, which he sold door to door, and Brock was always working on a new project, mostly artistic endeavors. Most commonly, each spent innumerable hours consuming Twins coverage, which was limited to mostly newspaper and radio in the 1990s. However, baseball coverage was often a footnote to football and basketball. This lack of content availability led Nick, Seth, Parker, and John to start writing and blogging in the early 2000s. 
    As some of the only independent Twins’ writers, meeting one another was fate waiting to happen. 
     
    Seth: John and I exchanged some e-mails when I started blogging in May 2003, I believe the first time we met in person at the state fair in maybe 2005 or 2006. We had done some two-minute Twins spots with Rita Maloney on WCCO, and we were invited to their booth at the state fair. Or was it when John let me write for the Gameday magazine and help sell them outside the Metrodome? There were a lot of Twins bloggers and we often linked to each others' sites.
    Nick: I don’t remember exactly how I met these guys, other than that it happened kind of organically because we were all writing about the team. When John recruited me to write for the Gameday program, sold outside of the Metrodome, that was definitely an inflection point. It made me realize there was a more serious business concept behind this hobby. 
    Parker: I think I started writing about the Twins in 2006 after my first kid was born. I had a lot of time at home and not a lot of money. I’d watch a game and chart stuff like swinging strikes and other things. At some point, I got connected with Seth and Aaron Gleeman. John’s TwinsGeek site linked to other Twins blogs, so I remember reaching out to him to have him post mine. Bonnes asked me to write an article for a GameDay program (my Mom took a copy of that article and had it framed, it felt like such a huge deal then). I know there were bloggers getting together in various capacities, but I remember pushing for us to get together to drink beer and watch games. 
    John: I started writing about the Twins in 2002 and at the time, nobody else was really doing that locally. I remember the rest of us getting together kind of organically. Someone would start a Twins blog and we would reach out and keep in touch online. The outing that we decided to really work together was arranged by Parker in 2007. 
    Brock: In 2005 or so, I launched the Battle Your Tail Off forum. From that forum, I met Nick Nelson and was later introduced to John, Seth, and Parker when we started talking about merging my forum into Twins Daily, which had just launched a month or two prior.
     
    Although the spark was instantaneous, it took another five years and more beers to put their brands together into one. Throughout the 2000s, each individual grew their own name and following in the Twins’ sphere. During this, the idea of a collaborative effort started to float around. 
     
    Parker: We had a couple of group projects including an Offseason Primer ebook and the Star Tribune’s TwinsCentric blog that we had worked together on, but we also kept our separate blogs. It was like a trial run to see if we could all function together. 
    John: Seth and Nick talked about how we came together to produce some content, but that wasn’t when we decided to do the website. Between 2007 and 2011, we did produce a lot together: pdfs that we sold directly, some hard copy annual programs that we produced for Maple Street Press, and also we often copied and pasted stories from our individual blogs to a blog we had at StarTribune.com. But the site wasn’t a thought until 2011. 
    Nick: We went to the Swarzak game, and wandered over to nearby Dan Kelly’s Pub for postgame drinks, where we started hashing out ideas for a collective plan to move forward. The rest, as they say, is history.
    Parker: If you want to make it clean, sure, it was the Swarzak debut game at the Metrodome. We had a small group of bloggers and we went out afterward and did a blood oath to put together a daily Twins website. 
    John: Fox Sports had asked us to combine our sites, but it was subscription-based site, and that made us a little uncomfortable. So I researched options. Rob Litt, who runs GopherHole.com, tutored me in running a site based purely on ad revenue. I found a software package that could do a lot of what we wanted so for about $1,300. So we sold a pdf, used all the money to buy the software, and I programmed the modifications. We tested it, set up a writing schedule for the four of us, and launched it when pitchers and catchers reported.
     
    And like the Big Bang Theory, Twins Daily was born. While the first name iteration suggested was TwinsCentric, Nick (or Seth, up for debate) ultimately came up with the catchy moniker used today. 
    Right away, the website took off like wildfire. Just in the first week, Twins Daily built an impressive following. In the first five weeks, there were 1,100 registered users, with nearly 500 regularly contributing through discussion threads and posts, and over half a million page views. For a small-market team with hobby writers, this was an unprecedented feat. 
    Over the first year, organic growth continued, and the site was redesigned for better user experiences. 
     
    Brock: A funny story… the four of them were *very* proud of the website. I hated it, heh. In fact, I was so aggravated just looking at it that I redesigned their logo without asking (I didn’t even know John, Parker, or Seth at this point), sent it to Nick, and basically said “get that da**ed ugly thing off the site and replace it with this”. Right off the bat, my first large project was redesigning the site and adding new features. 
     
    As the community grew, a fan-favorite event emerged. 
     
    John: The first Winter Meltdown was unofficial, where we just bought a keg at Hubert’s. That was Parker’s idea, and I think it was kind of a shared event with DiamondCentric, which was his (and Brock’s) company that made t-shirts. We were shocked 100+ people showed up, including a lot of media.
    So the next year, we had it more formally, called it the first annual, and included Gleeman & The Geek. It was at Mason’s Barre, which is now The Gold Room. The first speaker was Scott Erickson, which ended up being a legendary night because he stayed and hung out with everyone for several hours. I think we had about 200 people, which packed the place. 

    Although the Winter Meltdowns and the website grew in popularity, there were ebbs and flows along the way. Not surprisingly, they often coincided with the success of the Twins. One of the highest points in viewership and engagement was after the 2019 Bomba Squad season. However, a small global pandemic put a wrench into things, and the drop was precipitous. Fans had much more important things to worry about. Ad revenue, traffic, and morale came to a screeching halt. For any business, this is detrimental. The once-flourishing community was lifeless.
    However, the Twins Daily writers and founders rallied. The writers continued to produce daily content, and Seth, Nick, John, and Brock continue to find innovative ways to rally the community. From virtual interviews to TikToks, these entrepreneurs had to pivot to navigate the unknown. Regardless of how dire the situation got, they never stopped paying their writers for their contributions. Although monetization is a key challenge, providing a springboard for writers is at the forefront of the founders’ goals. 
    Although the current state of baseball is dire, the Fab Five have a lot to be proud of with what they’ve built in the past ten years. When asked whether Twins Daily is what they envisioned ten years ago, it was a resounding no across the board. None of them predicted that Twins Daily would become not only a large, passionate community but also a legitimate business instead of a modest side hustle. 
    To close, for any fans of the podcast How I Built This by Guy Raz, each founder was asked how much of their success can be attributed to luck and skill. They all agreed that while luck played a factor, a lot of hustle and follow through contributed to the creation of the Twins Daily that we all love so much.
    Thank you for reading, and thank you John, Nick, Parker, Brock, and Seth for all that you’ve done. 

  5. Like
    Parker Hageman reacted to RandBalls Stu for an article, Lockout Lookup: John Ryan Murphy   
    Why You Remember Him: The Twins wanted a catcher. And while I have no way of knowing this for certain, they also wanted someone with the most Irish New York cop name in Major League Baseball. Thus, they acquired John Ryan Murphy from the New York Yankees for outfielder Aaron Hicks.
    Hicks would become a reliable All-Star because of course he would. Murphy would not become a reliable Minnesota All-Star because of course he wouldn’t. But it’s much worse than that!
    Per Baseball Reference, Hicks produced 8.1 WAR in 2017 and 2018. Murphy produced 82 at-bats for the Twins with a .143 average. But it’s much worse than even that!
    Numbers can be cold and lifeless, but video is forever. You can find, on the public internet where even kids can see it, clips of Murphy hitting a go-ahead home run for the Yankees vs. the Twins and Hicks making a diving stab to finish off another victory for the Bombers over the hometown nine.
    This feels like something we all should have seen coming considering the two parties involved in the transaction. But we just let it happen and hoped for the best and here we are.
    “Never have dreams.” –Twins Daily co-founder Parker Hageman
    What You Don’t Remember: If you’re playing bar trivia, he’s the answer to the question, “Who caught Mariano Rivera’s final pitch?” In his third professional game, no less. He also was C.C. Sabathia's 3000th strikeout. 
    What You Might Remember: Murphy was eventually traded to Atlanta for Gabriel Moya. Moya has not pitched in the bigs since 2018.
    What’s He Up To: Murphy is a free agent, last playing for PIttsburgh in 2020. Will he return to the game and inflict more pain, either directly or via side channels, on the Minnesota Twins? I mean, probably.
  6. Like
    Parker Hageman got a reaction from nclahammer for an article, Twins Feel Prospect Eddie Rosario Close to Major League Ready   
    The suspension could not have come at a worse point along his development timeline. Rosario was starting to gain attention as a hitter and, after a line drive that caught him in the face and required plates to be inserted in 2012, he already needed to play catch up. Beyond the lost time due to the injury, the Twins were trying to see if his path to the majors could be accelerated by moving to second base -- another hurdle.
    “Losing 50 games, that’s a huge setback,” general manager Terry Ryan told the Minneapolis Star Tribune at the time of his suspension. “That’s a lot of development time, a lot of learning that he’ll miss. It sets back his progression going up to the big leagues.”
    When he returned in 2014, based on his numbers and reports from scouts, his time away from the game appeared to stunt his development. Shifted back to the outfield because of the emergence of Brian Dozier at second, Rosario struggled to square the ball as frequently as he did in the past. He finished the season with the worst line of his career, turning in a .243/.286/.387 mark between High-A and Double-A. With the New Britain Rock Cats in June, Baseball Prospectus’ scouts reported he was a “at first player” and believed that he was “not likely to stick as long-term regular” after watching him for two games. They also questioned his hustle. In July another member of the Baseball Prospectus’ team, Jason Parks, concluded that “[w]ith his bat control and bat speed, he could really develop into a good hitter if he works the gaps and takes advantage of his strengths instead playing into his weaknesses. He’s a tweener for me right now, more a hit tool/speed type than a complete player.”
     
    Recognizing the need to get one of their more advanced prospects additional at-bats, Rosario was sent to the Arizona Fall League. In the desert -- while wearing the obsolete Twins pinstripe uniform and facing the game’s top prospect talent -- he started to hit again. The same type that earned him the reputation as one of the best hitters for average.
     
    Perhaps it was clicking at the right time or just a burst of small-sample size magic but the Twins’ Vice President of Player Personnel says that it may be due to re-engaging with the game.
     
    “I think the biggest thing is that he’s gone through a year of turmoil,” Radcliff said reflecting on Rosario’s offensive success in Arizona. “A year ago today it wasn’t good for him. He had a lot of things going on that weren’t good. Most of that is in the rearview mirror now and he has a different frame of mind. He concentrates and focuses on baseball and that’s allowed him to get back on track.”
     
    Where the regular season showed Rosario trying to do too much at the plate and unnecessarily swinging for the fences, the fall league was a profile of a more collected hitter. Many of the same points that have been raised about his swing still exist -- tons of pre-swing hand movement, stepping open with his front foot on his stride, drops his back shoulder at times, chases stuff down in the zone and so on -- but the positive aspects were on display as well. Rosario possesses extremely quick hands and, once he gets to his load point, he strikes like a cobra. The open stride which seemingly leaves him susceptible to the outer-half has not affected him as he covers the zone surprisingly well, keeping his front hip closed.
     
    A lot of the aforementioned traits can be seen in this clip from the AFL Championship Game:
     

    http://i.imgur.com/bopEWKq.gif

    The excessive hand movement. The front foot stride. Staying closed. Quick hands. Zone coverage.
     
    Yes, he pulls the ball too often instead of going with the pitch while his selection and patience will wreak havoc on his on-base percentage. As an aggressive hitter, he is unlikely to put up robust walk totals. He elevates too many fly balls with too little power, a factor that will likely impact his major league average, yet if you watched the final AFL game Rosario went 4-for-5 and hit everything on the screws. No lofted fly balls, these were hard, smashed line drives. Even the out he made was a shot to right field.
     
    “He’s refocused, he’s reenergized, he understands who he is now and where he is at and what his future is,” Radcliff said. “He got suspended, it took him a while to clean all that stuff up and play during the summer months. I think there is probably hope involved because there was a lot that has gone on in the last year and a half. I think that we hope that what we saw in the last 100 at-bats was more indicative of what is ahead for him that what we saw in those at-bats during the summer.”
     
    Performance at the plate is one thing, in the field is another.
     
    When creating his top 25 prospect from the Arizona Fall League list, MLB.com columnist Jim Callis noted that Rosario’s positional unknown looms as a big question mark. Radcliff and the Twins see that differently. Rosario has shown the ability to play anywhere at least at an adequate level, providing flexibility. “Versatility is a good thing when you are trying to break into a 25-man roster,” Radcliff said.
     
    But the clear vacancy right now is in left field for the Twins and Rosario has seen plenty of time in that area of the outfield. Is it possible he could be an option for 2015?
     
    “He can do a lot of things, he’s an advanced hitter for his experience level and where he is from,” said Radcliff. “He’s right on the cusp of being a good hitter, his power is probably down the road. All the little things: base-running, stolen bases, arm accuracy, technique, angles, routes in the outfield, those things progress, improve and get better along the way. Is he about ready to impact the major leagues? Yeah, I’d think most of us would agree with that. What role and how quick, that will all be determined in the coming months. He’s close, he’s right there on the edge.”
     
    Added to the team's 40-man roster on Thursday, when summarizing Rosario’s chances of reaching the highest level in the near future, Radcliff seemed to invoke personal responsibility for the talented 23-year-old. Possibly hinting at both his on and off the field performance: “It’s all up to him now.”
  7. Like
    Parker Hageman reacted to Andrew Mahlke for an article, Reload, not Rebuild (My Twins 2021-22 Offseason Blueprint)   
    A lot of Twins fans are angered by the front office “refusing to spend big money”. The problem doesn’t lie in not spending, as we see yet another phenomenal season by the penny-pinching Tampa Bay Rays.
    In 2021, the Twins gave J.A. Happ a one-year deal for $8MM. He had a 63 ERA+ and was in the 5th percentile of all qualified pitchers in Barrel %. Here are his percentile rankings from Baseball Savant:

     
    Simply put, Happ was one of the worst pitchers in the league in 2021. Remember that the Twins signed him for a  one-year, $8 million deal.
    Robbie Ray is probably going to win the American League Cy Young award in 2021. He posted an AL-leading 154 ERA+ and led all of MLB with 248 strikeouts pitchers in the league in 2021. He also decreased his walk rate from 17.9% in 2020 to 6.7% in 2021. Here are his percentile rankings:

    Ray was outstanding in 2021. He was a free agent before the 2021 season and re-signed very quickly with the Toronto Blue Jays. Guess what his contract was?
    If you guessed that his contract was one-year and $8 million, you would be correct. In November of 2020, Robbie Ray signed an identical contract to what J.A. Happ would receive two months later.
    It’s not that the Twins won’t spend money on players, it’s that they aren’t spending money on the right players. If you want to see another case of this, take a look at Corey Knebel’s 2021 numbers and know that the Twins paid Alex Colome $250K more than him in 2021.
    Without further ado, let’s get into my 2021-22 offseason blueprint.
    Using Twins Daily’s handy roster-building tool I created this roster:

    Let’s break this roster down.
    Starting Rotation
    It is no secret that this is the most important need on the roster. In 2021, the Twins starting pitchers finished dead last in bWAR in all of MLB. The only  starting pitchers from 2021 still on the roster are Bailey Ober and Joe Ryan, both of whom impressed in 2021 campaigns but are both still unproven. If the Twins want to contend in 2022, the front office needs to vastly improve their starting pitching.
    The first thing they should do is sign Carlos Rodon to a five-year, $115 million deal. If the White Sox choose not to extend Rodon after a Cy Young-caliber 2021 season, the front office needs to make him their #2 priority (more on that later). Rodon’s four-seamer was the most effective pitch in baseball in 2021 in terms of run value, being worth -26 runs. He also had the sixth most effective slider in baseball, worth -14 runs. And come on, just look at these percentile rankings.
     

     
    Rodon is not viewed by the general public as highly as other starters on the market such as Robbie Ray, Kevin Gausman, and Marcus Stroman. I would pay Rodon more than all three of them. Despite his breakout season, he is one of the best pitchers in baseball and him being signed for anything less than $20MM would be an absolute tragedy.
    The next starting pitcher the Twins should sign is Eduardo Rodriguez. The Twins should give Rodriguez a two-year, $24 million contract. There are a number of starters I could have targeted in this price range, including Jon Gray and Anthony DeSclafani. I went with Rodriguez because he may be undervalued because of his below-average 2021 statistics. When you look deeper, Rodriguez was one of the unluckiest pitchers in the league in 2021.
    Rodriguez has a lot of qualities I look for in a middle-to-top of the rotation starter. He doesn’t walk a lot of hitters, strikes out a good amount, and could blossom into a stud. I wrote about Rodriguez and other free agents here. 
    The last starting pitcher the Twins should sign is Michael Pineda. Pineda is a familiar face for Twins fans, having spent the last four seasons with the organization. Pineda was solid, posting a 116 ERA+ in his three seasons in Minnesota. He rarely walks batters and has an above-average slider, having a whiff rate of 37.7% with the slider and allowing a miniscule .252 xWOBA on the pitch in 2021. He would provide a veteran presence and some familiarity to a Twins rotation. The offer to Pineda is a one-year deal worth $7 million.
     

     
    The Lineup
    Because in my blueprint I spent $42 million on starting pitchers, I'll have to scale back what the team can spend on the lineup. Let’s get into it.
    Going down the lineup, the first change we see is I made Alex Kirilloff the everyday first baseman. Kirilloff is a phenomenal young player who I believe will someday play in several all-star games. In 2021, Kirilloff had two outs above average at 1B compared to Miguel Sano’s -6. Sano will be the full-time DH who can occasionally play first base if Kirilloff needs a day off or plays in the outfield.
    The next change I made is signing Freddy Galvis to a one-year, $3 million deal. In my free agent target article, I mentioned maybe signing Carlos Correa or Chris Taylor to play the position. Unfortunately, that is not something the Twins could do while remaining around the $130 million budget because of the pitching needs. So instead, I am going to echo Nick Nelson's plan and sign Galvis on a cheap deal for one year with hopes Austin Martin or Royce Lewis could take the reins at shortstop in 2023 or even at some point in 2022. Galvis is not an outstanding player but is definitely serviceable.
    In the outfield, I have Brent Rooker starting the season in left field. Other guys who would be seeing time here would be Gilberto Celestino, Luis Arraez, Kirilloff, Trevor Larnach, and Jose Miranda. This is by no means a set spot and whoever has a hot bat or the best matchup would be playing on any given day. 
    In center field, the Twins give Byron Buxton a newly-inked deal. Extending Buxton is the top priority this offseason, no doubt. I wrote an extensive article highlighting what a potential deal should look like and why. It would be a seven-year, $133 million deal plus incentives for games played. The incentives are not set in stone. and I am open to listening to whatever Buxton’s side wants for incentives because as long as he’s on the field, he will be the team's best player and helping win games in so many ways.
    Our roster includes Trevor Larnach starting the season in right field. This is a little bit of a concern for me given his late-season struggles in 2021 and his demotion to St. Paul, but from the glimpses he showed earlier in the season and the potential he has, I have faith in Larnach to figure it out. This obviously raises the question: where did Max Kepler go? Kepler is a talented outfielder, and he is owed about $16 million over the next two seasons, which is a team-friendly contract for a player of his caliber. The Marlins are a young up-and-coming team that could use a solid outfielder and Kepler is exactly that. They are likely to value Kepler’s contract, and I believe the return could be good. This is why we should trade Max Kepler to the Miami Marlins.
     

     
    In return, the Twins would be receiving the Marlins sixth best-prospect, RHP Eury Perez, their seventh best prospect, LHP Jake Eder, and their 21st prospect, outfielder Griffin Conine.  Perez is 6’8” and throws a fastball in the mid 90s. He had a very strong showing in High-A this year and is still only 18 years old. Eder had a very strong season in AA and features a fastball that has been up to 98 as well as a wipeout slider. Conine is a power-hitting corner outfielder who hit 36 home runs between high-A and AA in 2021.
    This is a very good return for Kepler so the Twins would add #19 prospect, RHP Cole Sands who had a good year in AA. According to baseballtradevalues.com, this is a very even trade. It would be a trade that would give the Twins some much needed pitching depth and add to a bright collection of pitching prospects.

     
    The Bullpen (Arm-Barn?)
    With the additions to the lineup and rotation, we don’t have a ton of spending flexibility for the bullpen. With Rogers, Duffey, Alcala, and Thielbar all returning, there are four spots to fill. Here is how I filled those spots:
    Randy Dobnak ($800K) is the long reliever. Dobnak is a good fit for this role if he can get back to his 2019-20 form. He is a strike-thrower who is efficient and could eat innings. He could also make a spot start, if needed.
    Ryan Tepera ($5 million) is the set-up man who could close a game too. I wrote about Tepera in my free agent targets article, and he would be an instant stud in the back end of the bullpen. He spent time in 2021 on both sides of Chicago and was excellent, being in the 96th percentile for xERA. With a nasty slider and fastball to pair with it, Tepera would be an excellent signing, especially given Rogers’ uncertainty.
    Heath Hembree ($1 million) is in a middle-relief role. I also wrote extensively about Hembree and his bad luck. Hembree’s high spin rates lead to exceptional strikeout numbers and with a little more luck in 2022, he would be a fantastic addition to our bullpen especially at this price.
    Griffin Jax ($600K) is also in a long relief role. Jax made quite a few starts in 2021 and was unimpressive. In a relief role he could let it eat a little more. If he revamps his pitch arsenal (more offspeed!), he would be a good pitcher in a long relief role. Jax’s slider had a xWOBA of .270 in 2021, compared to his fastball’s xWOBA of .402. He would be a fun pitcher to watch progress as he learns what does and doesn’t work at the major-league level.
    I think the poor bullpen in 2021 was a little fluky and keeping the same core four (Rogers, Duffey, Alcala, and Thielbar) along with adding a few good pieces could make our 2022 bullpen a lot better. They also could build bullpen depth with minor leaguers such as Jovani Moran, Ralph Garza Jr., and Jhoan Duran.

    Summary
    With this blueprint, I tried to keep it realistic with signings the Twins would be likely to make, and I tried to stay within a reasonable budget. For the most part, I want to not overcommit to free agency so the Twins can still have flexibility to build from within. I gave one or two year deals to Rodriguez, Galvis, Tepera, Pineda, and Hembree. Along with that, extending Buxton for seven years is big, and getting a stud starting pitcher in Rodon and the team could be ready to compete in 2022.
    Thank you for reading, and Go Twins! What do you think of this offseason blueprint. 
     
    MORE FROM TWINS DAILY
    — Order the Offseason Handbook
    — Latest Twins coverage from our writers
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  8. Like
    Parker Hageman reacted to John Bonnes for an article, Join Twins Daily at Target Field this Wednesday Night   
    John will be the celebrity bartender at the Gray Duck Deck along with Lindsay Guentzel as the Twins face the Cubs. The best part is it’s easy peasey. Just get a cheap ticket to the game and swing by the Gray Duck Deck during the first 4-5 innings of the game. Say hi. Order a beer. Or a Bomba Juice. Or both. John will serve you and you can meet and greet other Twins Daily community members. 
    Plus, it’s supposed to be a gorgeous summer night!

    Twins Daily's events have become the stuff of legend. This is probably our last time to gather before the Winter Meltdown, so let’s make it count.  We know it’s late notice but summer ends quickly around here. Take yourself out to the ballgame and swing by to say “Hi”. 
  9. Like
    Parker Hageman reacted to RandBalls Stu for an article, Andrelton Simmons Isn’t Good Enough to Get Away with This   
    Remember Steve Carlton? The not-very-integral member of the 1987 World Champion Minnesota Twins was, at one time, the best pitcher in baseball. Four Cy Youngs, five years leading the National League in strikeouts (the fifth time at age 38), last pitcher to throw 300 innings a season, led the Phillies to their first title in 1980. A remarkable career.
    He was also completely out of his mind.
    Carlton never spoke to the media, which means we didn’t learn until he was long retired that he built a mountain lair with a 7000-foot storage cellar loaded to the gills with guns and bottled water for “The Revolution.” That revolution was coming thanks to Russian sound waves, the Skull and Bones Society, the Elders of Zion, the National Education Association, and more. I’m aware this qualifies him to represent the state of Georgia in Congress today, but in 1994 this was wild stuff.
    One assumes that the Phillies knew that Steve was off his nut, but when you can produce like he did, you let that stuff slide a little bit, especially if he keeps it quiet. By the time he was failing to make the Minnesota Twins playoff roster because he wasn’t as good as Lester Straker, he was just a cooked 43-year-old with weirdly anti-Semitic ideas about how the world works. He never pitched again.
    Which brings me to Andrelton Simmons.
    Already the COVID patient zero of the Twins locker room, he took to social media on Thursday to let the world know, and I quote:
    I’m not going to debate the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines with Simmons or anyone else, as there is no debate to be had. They work. Please shut up and let the horses have their wormer paste. (Also, it’s “effects.”)
    Across town, the Vikings are dealing with a similar situation. A handful of their best players (Adam Thielen, Harrison Smith, I guess Kirk Cousins if you squint hard enough) apparently won’t get the vacc either. It presents some hard choices for them, as they don’t have quality replacements for any of them as the regular season looms, and the NFL will make teams forfeit games if they can’t field a lineup due to COVID quarantines.
    The Twins face no such dilemma.
    The season is over. Simmons is an offensive liability and a good-to-excellent defender, which basically makes him a better Jeff Reboulet, if Jeff Reboulet thought Jurassic Park was real. He’s on a one-year deal. Maybe if he was the standout player in a disappointing season you could let his idiocy slide. Or maybe if it was something less harmful and kind of quirky, like thinking the earth was flat or dedicating his Instagram Stories to proving that birds are a deep-fake.
    He’s not good enough to get away with this. Let the summer of Drew Maggi begin.
    Image license here.
  10. Like
    Parker Hageman reacted to Jamie Cameron for an article, Twins Daily Interview: Mike McCarthy, St. Paul Saints Pitching Coach   
    Twins Daily (TD): Thanks for taking the time to chat, Mike. I’m interested in illuminating for folks what coaching looks like in baseball and the Twins organization. Let’s start by hearing about your journey to becoming a pitching coach. Is that always something you wanted to do?
    Mike McCarthy (MM): I played six-and-a-half years with the Red Sox and made it to AAA. I learned how to throw really good batting practice starting at around 7:05 pm for three of four innings until they got me out of there. I was always interested in scouting reports and analytics. I was also always interested in teaching and helping others, and I’m always brought back to ‘how do I leave the world better than I found it’? So I always enjoy the opportunity to connect with people and help them get better at what they’re passionate about. One day I got a call from Gabe Kapler asking if I was interested in interviewing for a job and that’s how I met Jeremy Zoll. I did my interview for the Twins from Argentina working for a non-profit via Whats-App. This has led me to coach at a level I never thought I would be at.
    TD: What has your experience been with the Twins so far? What have you appreciated about the approach of this organization and front office?
    MM: The biggest thing is it’s an authentic organization which treats people the right way. We want to win baseball games, that’s a priority, but we want to do it the right way and I try to live my life that way as well. To be part of an organization that operates that way is a great feeling, and that’s something we work to replicate within our pitching department. We’re always looking outside the box to answer the question ‘how can we be a little bit better tomorrow than we were today’? We approach the work with humility and healthy criticism. That dynamic is really exciting for me.
    TD: What is the process when you get access to a pitcher for the first time? Let’s say a guy is claimed off waivers or promoted. What kind of process do you go through in beginning a working relationship with that player?
    MM: Two very different processes. If a guy is claimed, the first thing we do is look at where he’s been at, how has been throwing, what are his trends? We’ll look at K:BB ratio, pitch usage, movement plots, how were his last few outings? Most importantly is connecting with the player, letting him know we are excited to work with him, we’re here for him and want to help him get better. We gather as an organization to determine how he best fits and what’s the best direction to go with a new player. Number one thing, I’m going to meet the player where he’s at. He’s going through a challenging time and I want him to feel comfortable.
    If a guy is promoted, the first thing is connecting with our AA pitching coaches, seeing where he's at and what he has been working on, his player plan and how we can help him move forward. We also want to know what does he respond well to, or not well to, is he analytically minded or do we want to keep things more simple?
    TD: How have y’all managed to balance pitcher workload this year? After an unprecedented lost season, how have you balanced giving guys the necessary innings while protecting arms?
    MM: It’s been a challenge. We’re taking on an obstacle we’ve never seen in baseball. We have to be really diligent. We’re talking to players regularly, we’re looking at velocities to see if they are tapering off and really just monitoring work loads as best we can. We are trying to balance and ensure guys continue to get their workload so they can develop and get better. It’s a fine line, we collaborate as a group and make the best action plan we possibly can for each individual guy.
    TD: What does the interplay look like between St. Paul and the MLB organization and front office as far as player development goes? How do you arrive at what guys need to work on?
    MM: It’s definitely collaborative. It’s about what our data analysts see, our pitching coordinators see, what our coaches see who are with guys more than anyone else. All of those things come together with what the major league staff sees as well. We also get the input of the player and try and put that all together and make the best game plan possible. We ask ‘what is the next step forward for this guy to be an impact MLB arm?’ Sometimes that’s a mechanical goal, a pitch development goal, it could be an execution goal, but we want to make clear and defined goals to help guys with their development.
    TD: What are some of the nastiest pitches at AAA right now that Twins fans should be excited about for 2022 and beyond?
    MM: You look at a guy like Jovani Moran and see his changeup and say ‘good lord, that’s going to play for a while’. Cano, the sinker. His changeup has also really developed well this season. Drew Strotman is another. You have a big carry fastball there, a changeup with some good fade to it, and a slider which has performed well, but we think there is room for it to get even better. He’s got some big upside. Also Joe Ryan, the invisible fastball which he demonstrated over the last few weeks with the Olympic team. There’s a lot of guys we’re excited over the next few weeks, next few months, and next few years.
    TD: Speaking of Joe Ryan, has he joined up with the team yet? What is the plan for incorporating him into the rotation?
    MM: He’s in transit. He’ll be jumping into the team in the next two weeks.
    TD: Last question. It’s also noticeable from your presence on social media that servant leadership is important to you. Is there any work or organization you are involved with that Twins Daily readers can learn about and support?
    MM: I appreciate that. Baseball Miracles is an awesome group. It’s an organization I’ve worked with for eight years now. I think the most important thing is finding ways to go out and serve your community. It’s been a challenging year for people, whether through COVID or anything else. Seeing how we can be servants to the world around us, making the world a little bit better whether that’s signing an autograph for a kid or holding doors for people. These simple acts of random kindness go a long way in our lives, seek to serve and make the world a better place. Thank you for asking that question.
    TD: Mike, thank you so much for your generosity, time, and insight, keep up the great work in Saint Paul.
     
    If Twins Daily readers want to learn more about, or donate to Baseball Miracles, you can find their website here. You can follow Mike on Twitter at @mmccarthy35. 
     
     
  11. Like
    Parker Hageman reacted to David Youngs for an article, St. Paul to Stardom: Louie Varland is the Real Deal   
    Look at Cedar Rapids Kernels pitcher Louie Varland’s stat line and you’d think he was a Division I standout drafted in the first few rounds of the MLB Draft.
    Not a 15th round pick who played college ball at Division II Concordia-St. Paul. 
    These aren’t just part of the home-grown star’s identity; they’re things that have motivated him unlike anything else. 
    “It definitely has been a chip on my shoulder, but it came down to the fact that ‘I’ve got something to prove,” Varland said. “I wasn’t a DI guy, but I came in to prove my own and show that I can compete at this level.” 
    The confidence from that chip has shown. Since being promoted to Cedar Rapids from Low-A Fort Myers on July 13, Varland is 2-0 with a 0.83 ERA in four starts for the Kernels. That second win came Friday night when Varland tossed 5 2/3 innings of two-run, five-strikeout ball to lead the Kernels to a critical win over league-leading Quad Cities in front of a season-high attendance at Perfect Game Field. 
     
    The Maplewood, Minnesota native and North St. Paul High School graduate began the season with the Mighty Mussels and was nothing short of rock-solid. Varland appeared in ten games and made eight starts for Fort Myers, going 4-2 with a 2.06 ERA. He was named Low-A Pitcher of the Week on June 14 after pitching 12 consecutive scoreless innings and striking out 17 in that period.
    Yet as the competition increased upon his arrival to High-A, so did the difficulty for batters to hit Varland. Opposing batters mustered up a meager .228 batting average against Louie in the Sunshine State. That number has dipped to an incredible .173 average throughout his time in Cedar Rapids so far. 
    “I feel great. I feel confident on the mound. I’ve got my stuff working for me,” Varland said. 
    That confidence was crafted in the in Fort Myers earlier this year at the Twins’ spring training site and courtesy of the Mussels’ staff with a dash of technology. 
    “I had some mechanical flaws earlier in the year, so down at the Low-A level, we have simulation cameras (that helped), and Pete (Larson) and the coaching staff helped me fix those issues to create a more efficient arm path, leading to more strikes,” Varland said. “I can throw harder, my delivery is cleaner, and I feel ready to go.”
    Is this Heaven? No, it’s Iowa
    After exiting a stellar pitching staff in Fort Myers, Varland arguably joined an even more dominant one in Cedar Rapids. The Kernels staff touts a league-leading 3.66 ERA and an impressive 1.23 WHIP. Ben Gross has led the starting pitching staff with his 4-1 record and 3.27 ERA. He’s also been an incredible asset to the newest member of the pitching staff.
    “It’s absolutely helped (having other successful pitchers), especially Ben Gross,” Varland said. “He’s really helped me dive into the preparation part of things; what to throw and when to throw certain pitches. He’s helped me dive into opposing hitters, which he’s really big into, and that’s helped me out a lot.”
    And while Varland is surrounded by a strong group of players on the field, the greatest asset of his Iowa promotion may be off the field. Cedar Rapids is just a hop, skip, and a jump away from the Twins Cities metro, where Varland’s family still resides. 
    “It’s especially nice for my family,” Varland said. “It’s the closest affiliate of all the affiliates to my hometown. Every trip (for my family) to Cedar Rapids, Beloit, and Wisconsin (Appleton) are all roughly four and a half hours away so it’s great for them.”
    Varland’s dad Wade, who played a huge role in mentoring Louie and his brother Gus, can attend games more frequently. The family is even taking a trip to Tulsa to watch Gus pitch for Dodgers’ Double-A affiliate Tulsa later this month. 
    “It’s just really nice to have my family back in the stands watching me play,” Louie said.
    Sprint to the Finish
    Now that Varland has gotten his feet wet in Cedar Rapids, his dominance couldn’t have come at a more critical time. 
    The Kernels are amidst a playoff race that looks like it will come down to the wire. While there are two divisions in the High-A Central League, only two teams will qualify for the playoffs, regardless of division. Quad Cities (Royals affiliate) holds a commanding ten-game-lead in the league with a 54-26 record. Cedar Rapids and Great Lakes (Dodgers affiliate) are tied for second, sitting at 45-37. Lake County (Cleveland affiliate) and Dayton (Reds affiliate) are within two and a half games from Great Lakes and the Kernels. 

    It’s going to be exhilarating. And only one team can make it. 
    The good news for the Kernels? They arguably control their destiny. Cedar Rapids and Quad Cities will play each other eight more times before the end of the season, all at Perfect Game Field in Cedar Rapids. 
    “The atmosphere is really competitive. Every game, we’re fighting for a playoff spot," Varland said. "With six and a half weeks left, every game counts, especially these against Quad Cities. Hopefully, we can win this series.”
    The Kernels face off against Quad Cities tonight at 6:35 PM CST in Cedar Rapids. Tickets are available at www.kernels.com, and the game can be viewed on MiLB.TV.
     
    More on Louie Varland from Twins Daily
    Twins Prospect Louie Varland Won't Stop at Pretty Good Twins Spotlight: Louie Varland
  12. Like
    Parker Hageman got a reaction from TwerkTwonkTwins for an article, Rob Refsnyder. He's So Hot Right Now.   
    In 2016, Refsnyder was a 25-year-old floating between Triple-A and the New York Yankees. The Arizona State alumni --  a former College World Series’ Most Outstanding Player to boot -- had yet to make an impact on his club. He had a brilliant idea: He would add power to his game. 
    His idea involved mirroring the approach of Minnesota Twin Brian Dozier. He noted that Dozier’s short, compact swing provided him with a high pull rate. The spray-to-all-fields approach wasn’t going to give him the requisite direction to hit home runs in bunches, he believed. So, over the next few years he tried to pull the ball. 
    Refsnyder would finally pop his third career home run on April 27, 2018, by this time in a Tampa Bay Rays uniform. He would do it again on May 30 in Oakland but would not enjoy the slow jog around the bases again for almost three years. 
    https://twitter.com/BallySportsNOR/status/1395888740976009218 
    A lot has happened between major league home runs. Refsynder has been with four different organizations. He didn’t see any MLB time in 2019 while with the Diamondbacks and Reds. The following year, he was a member of the Rangers’ alternate site in 2020 and received 35 plate appearances in Texas. He would do a stint in St. Paul, first at the Twins’ preseason alternate site, then as a member of the Triple-A Saints. 
    Notably, his swing morphed from a loosy, leg kick with multiple parts (left) to an inward twist (middle) and then back to a hanging leg kick with more stability bridging the upper and lower half while creating a stretch with the front and back (right).

    You can see the drastic change between his previous swing with Texas and his recent one with the Twins. 
    You would understand that, after all those years of not being able to trot around the bases, that Refsnyder would take a moment to bask in the adulation for destroying a Triston Mckenzie fastball left up. But he did not. What did Refsnyder do? He thanked his Triple-A hitting coach.
    “I was working on a couple things with Borgs,” Refsnyder told the media when asked about his swing, “and, thankfully, it has been working out.”
    Matt Borgschulte, or Borgs as Refsnyder called him, said that it is a testament to what type of person Refsnyder is to take the time to give recognition to those who have helped him. 
    “All the credit goes to Rob, I’ve learned a lot from him as well,” says Matt Borgschulte, pointing out that Refsnyder’s career through multiple organizations comes with tacit knowledge on hitting. Each stop gives him a new perspective from different coaches and players. Smart players are able to retain and transfer that to their next destination. 
    Refsnyder was signed by the Twins in November and invited to spring training. He wasn’t thrilled with his performance in March, deriding the pull-side ground balls he hit, so he and the Twins’ staff reviewed video of his swing and re-wrote the plan. He said he was able to try some things while in the alternate camp without the worry of what his performance looked like. 
    “Not having to worry about games means not worrying about numbers or statistics that are on the back of baseball cards,” says Borgschulte, emphasizing the process over the outcome.  
    The Twins work on fitting hitters with their best movements. But in doing so it becomes a conversation between the player and the staff. Refsnyder had a vision and, as they rebuilt his approach, they would have a back-and-forth on what felt good, what was working and what needed adjustments. Borgschulte highlighted Refsnyder’s load as an important component of his swing, setting him up to be in a good position to attack good pitches.
    When asked about the physical changes to his swing and how that impacted his ability to drive the ball, Borgschulte deferred and spoke toward Refsnyder’s overall approach: “Thinking too much about mechanics can be difficult on your approach,” he said. “Rob worked on trying to stay on the ball, going up the middle with it to the right-center field gap.”
    That’s very different from the approach Refsnyder outlined in 2016 when he began to be hyper-focused on pulling the ball. In his limited time with the Twins, the majority of balls off his bat have gone to center field (52%) while less than a quarter have been pulled. Maybe more importantly to Refsnyder’s results, just 24% of batted balls have been on the ground. 
    The Twins organization has implemented a system for communication between coaches at different levels, so after Refsnyder left the Saints, hitting coaches Edgar Varela and Rudy Hernandez were able to continue with -- and enhance -- the preparation plan for him when he arrived at the big league club. 
    To be fair, getting excited over less than 40 plate appearances is not advised. After all, Refsnyder’s line (.438/.472/.719 with 2 HR) looks an awful lot like Robbie Grossman’s (.361/.452/.694 with 2 HR) after 11 games in a Twins uniform. Still, there are signs that this might be the culmination of Refsnyder’s 2016 plan to add power and, if that is the case, having a right-handed outfielder with some pop isn’t a bad addition. 
    Enjoy the ride.
     
  13. Like
    Parker Hageman got a reaction from Huskertwin for an article, Rob Refsnyder. He's So Hot Right Now.   
    In 2016, Refsnyder was a 25-year-old floating between Triple-A and the New York Yankees. The Arizona State alumni --  a former College World Series’ Most Outstanding Player to boot -- had yet to make an impact on his club. He had a brilliant idea: He would add power to his game. 
    His idea involved mirroring the approach of Minnesota Twin Brian Dozier. He noted that Dozier’s short, compact swing provided him with a high pull rate. The spray-to-all-fields approach wasn’t going to give him the requisite direction to hit home runs in bunches, he believed. So, over the next few years he tried to pull the ball. 
    Refsnyder would finally pop his third career home run on April 27, 2018, by this time in a Tampa Bay Rays uniform. He would do it again on May 30 in Oakland but would not enjoy the slow jog around the bases again for almost three years. 
    https://twitter.com/BallySportsNOR/status/1395888740976009218 
    A lot has happened between major league home runs. Refsynder has been with four different organizations. He didn’t see any MLB time in 2019 while with the Diamondbacks and Reds. The following year, he was a member of the Rangers’ alternate site in 2020 and received 35 plate appearances in Texas. He would do a stint in St. Paul, first at the Twins’ preseason alternate site, then as a member of the Triple-A Saints. 
    Notably, his swing morphed from a loosy, leg kick with multiple parts (left) to an inward twist (middle) and then back to a hanging leg kick with more stability bridging the upper and lower half while creating a stretch with the front and back (right).

    You can see the drastic change between his previous swing with Texas and his recent one with the Twins. 
    You would understand that, after all those years of not being able to trot around the bases, that Refsnyder would take a moment to bask in the adulation for destroying a Triston Mckenzie fastball left up. But he did not. What did Refsnyder do? He thanked his Triple-A hitting coach.
    “I was working on a couple things with Borgs,” Refsnyder told the media when asked about his swing, “and, thankfully, it has been working out.”
    Matt Borgschulte, or Borgs as Refsnyder called him, said that it is a testament to what type of person Refsnyder is to take the time to give recognition to those who have helped him. 
    “All the credit goes to Rob, I’ve learned a lot from him as well,” says Matt Borgschulte, pointing out that Refsnyder’s career through multiple organizations comes with tacit knowledge on hitting. Each stop gives him a new perspective from different coaches and players. Smart players are able to retain and transfer that to their next destination. 
    Refsnyder was signed by the Twins in November and invited to spring training. He wasn’t thrilled with his performance in March, deriding the pull-side ground balls he hit, so he and the Twins’ staff reviewed video of his swing and re-wrote the plan. He said he was able to try some things while in the alternate camp without the worry of what his performance looked like. 
    “Not having to worry about games means not worrying about numbers or statistics that are on the back of baseball cards,” says Borgschulte, emphasizing the process over the outcome.  
    The Twins work on fitting hitters with their best movements. But in doing so it becomes a conversation between the player and the staff. Refsnyder had a vision and, as they rebuilt his approach, they would have a back-and-forth on what felt good, what was working and what needed adjustments. Borgschulte highlighted Refsnyder’s load as an important component of his swing, setting him up to be in a good position to attack good pitches.
    When asked about the physical changes to his swing and how that impacted his ability to drive the ball, Borgschulte deferred and spoke toward Refsnyder’s overall approach: “Thinking too much about mechanics can be difficult on your approach,” he said. “Rob worked on trying to stay on the ball, going up the middle with it to the right-center field gap.”
    That’s very different from the approach Refsnyder outlined in 2016 when he began to be hyper-focused on pulling the ball. In his limited time with the Twins, the majority of balls off his bat have gone to center field (52%) while less than a quarter have been pulled. Maybe more importantly to Refsnyder’s results, just 24% of batted balls have been on the ground. 
    The Twins organization has implemented a system for communication between coaches at different levels, so after Refsnyder left the Saints, hitting coaches Edgar Varela and Rudy Hernandez were able to continue with -- and enhance -- the preparation plan for him when he arrived at the big league club. 
    To be fair, getting excited over less than 40 plate appearances is not advised. After all, Refsnyder’s line (.438/.472/.719 with 2 HR) looks an awful lot like Robbie Grossman’s (.361/.452/.694 with 2 HR) after 11 games in a Twins uniform. Still, there are signs that this might be the culmination of Refsnyder’s 2016 plan to add power and, if that is the case, having a right-handed outfielder with some pop isn’t a bad addition. 
    Enjoy the ride.
     
  14. Like
    Parker Hageman got a reaction from Hosken Bombo Disco for an article, Rob Refsnyder. He's So Hot Right Now.   
    In 2016, Refsnyder was a 25-year-old floating between Triple-A and the New York Yankees. The Arizona State alumni --  a former College World Series’ Most Outstanding Player to boot -- had yet to make an impact on his club. He had a brilliant idea: He would add power to his game. 
    His idea involved mirroring the approach of Minnesota Twin Brian Dozier. He noted that Dozier’s short, compact swing provided him with a high pull rate. The spray-to-all-fields approach wasn’t going to give him the requisite direction to hit home runs in bunches, he believed. So, over the next few years he tried to pull the ball. 
    Refsnyder would finally pop his third career home run on April 27, 2018, by this time in a Tampa Bay Rays uniform. He would do it again on May 30 in Oakland but would not enjoy the slow jog around the bases again for almost three years. 
    https://twitter.com/BallySportsNOR/status/1395888740976009218 
    A lot has happened between major league home runs. Refsynder has been with four different organizations. He didn’t see any MLB time in 2019 while with the Diamondbacks and Reds. The following year, he was a member of the Rangers’ alternate site in 2020 and received 35 plate appearances in Texas. He would do a stint in St. Paul, first at the Twins’ preseason alternate site, then as a member of the Triple-A Saints. 
    Notably, his swing morphed from a loosy, leg kick with multiple parts (left) to an inward twist (middle) and then back to a hanging leg kick with more stability bridging the upper and lower half while creating a stretch with the front and back (right).

    You can see the drastic change between his previous swing with Texas and his recent one with the Twins. 
    You would understand that, after all those years of not being able to trot around the bases, that Refsnyder would take a moment to bask in the adulation for destroying a Triston Mckenzie fastball left up. But he did not. What did Refsnyder do? He thanked his Triple-A hitting coach.
    “I was working on a couple things with Borgs,” Refsnyder told the media when asked about his swing, “and, thankfully, it has been working out.”
    Matt Borgschulte, or Borgs as Refsnyder called him, said that it is a testament to what type of person Refsnyder is to take the time to give recognition to those who have helped him. 
    “All the credit goes to Rob, I’ve learned a lot from him as well,” says Matt Borgschulte, pointing out that Refsnyder’s career through multiple organizations comes with tacit knowledge on hitting. Each stop gives him a new perspective from different coaches and players. Smart players are able to retain and transfer that to their next destination. 
    Refsnyder was signed by the Twins in November and invited to spring training. He wasn’t thrilled with his performance in March, deriding the pull-side ground balls he hit, so he and the Twins’ staff reviewed video of his swing and re-wrote the plan. He said he was able to try some things while in the alternate camp without the worry of what his performance looked like. 
    “Not having to worry about games means not worrying about numbers or statistics that are on the back of baseball cards,” says Borgschulte, emphasizing the process over the outcome.  
    The Twins work on fitting hitters with their best movements. But in doing so it becomes a conversation between the player and the staff. Refsnyder had a vision and, as they rebuilt his approach, they would have a back-and-forth on what felt good, what was working and what needed adjustments. Borgschulte highlighted Refsnyder’s load as an important component of his swing, setting him up to be in a good position to attack good pitches.
    When asked about the physical changes to his swing and how that impacted his ability to drive the ball, Borgschulte deferred and spoke toward Refsnyder’s overall approach: “Thinking too much about mechanics can be difficult on your approach,” he said. “Rob worked on trying to stay on the ball, going up the middle with it to the right-center field gap.”
    That’s very different from the approach Refsnyder outlined in 2016 when he began to be hyper-focused on pulling the ball. In his limited time with the Twins, the majority of balls off his bat have gone to center field (52%) while less than a quarter have been pulled. Maybe more importantly to Refsnyder’s results, just 24% of batted balls have been on the ground. 
    The Twins organization has implemented a system for communication between coaches at different levels, so after Refsnyder left the Saints, hitting coaches Edgar Varela and Rudy Hernandez were able to continue with -- and enhance -- the preparation plan for him when he arrived at the big league club. 
    To be fair, getting excited over less than 40 plate appearances is not advised. After all, Refsnyder’s line (.438/.472/.719 with 2 HR) looks an awful lot like Robbie Grossman’s (.361/.452/.694 with 2 HR) after 11 games in a Twins uniform. Still, there are signs that this might be the culmination of Refsnyder’s 2016 plan to add power and, if that is the case, having a right-handed outfielder with some pop isn’t a bad addition. 
    Enjoy the ride.
     
  15. Like
    Parker Hageman got a reaction from DocBauer for an article, Rob Refsnyder. He's So Hot Right Now.   
    In 2016, Refsnyder was a 25-year-old floating between Triple-A and the New York Yankees. The Arizona State alumni --  a former College World Series’ Most Outstanding Player to boot -- had yet to make an impact on his club. He had a brilliant idea: He would add power to his game. 
    His idea involved mirroring the approach of Minnesota Twin Brian Dozier. He noted that Dozier’s short, compact swing provided him with a high pull rate. The spray-to-all-fields approach wasn’t going to give him the requisite direction to hit home runs in bunches, he believed. So, over the next few years he tried to pull the ball. 
    Refsnyder would finally pop his third career home run on April 27, 2018, by this time in a Tampa Bay Rays uniform. He would do it again on May 30 in Oakland but would not enjoy the slow jog around the bases again for almost three years. 
    https://twitter.com/BallySportsNOR/status/1395888740976009218 
    A lot has happened between major league home runs. Refsynder has been with four different organizations. He didn’t see any MLB time in 2019 while with the Diamondbacks and Reds. The following year, he was a member of the Rangers’ alternate site in 2020 and received 35 plate appearances in Texas. He would do a stint in St. Paul, first at the Twins’ preseason alternate site, then as a member of the Triple-A Saints. 
    Notably, his swing morphed from a loosy, leg kick with multiple parts (left) to an inward twist (middle) and then back to a hanging leg kick with more stability bridging the upper and lower half while creating a stretch with the front and back (right).

    You can see the drastic change between his previous swing with Texas and his recent one with the Twins. 
    You would understand that, after all those years of not being able to trot around the bases, that Refsnyder would take a moment to bask in the adulation for destroying a Triston Mckenzie fastball left up. But he did not. What did Refsnyder do? He thanked his Triple-A hitting coach.
    “I was working on a couple things with Borgs,” Refsnyder told the media when asked about his swing, “and, thankfully, it has been working out.”
    Matt Borgschulte, or Borgs as Refsnyder called him, said that it is a testament to what type of person Refsnyder is to take the time to give recognition to those who have helped him. 
    “All the credit goes to Rob, I’ve learned a lot from him as well,” says Matt Borgschulte, pointing out that Refsnyder’s career through multiple organizations comes with tacit knowledge on hitting. Each stop gives him a new perspective from different coaches and players. Smart players are able to retain and transfer that to their next destination. 
    Refsnyder was signed by the Twins in November and invited to spring training. He wasn’t thrilled with his performance in March, deriding the pull-side ground balls he hit, so he and the Twins’ staff reviewed video of his swing and re-wrote the plan. He said he was able to try some things while in the alternate camp without the worry of what his performance looked like. 
    “Not having to worry about games means not worrying about numbers or statistics that are on the back of baseball cards,” says Borgschulte, emphasizing the process over the outcome.  
    The Twins work on fitting hitters with their best movements. But in doing so it becomes a conversation between the player and the staff. Refsnyder had a vision and, as they rebuilt his approach, they would have a back-and-forth on what felt good, what was working and what needed adjustments. Borgschulte highlighted Refsnyder’s load as an important component of his swing, setting him up to be in a good position to attack good pitches.
    When asked about the physical changes to his swing and how that impacted his ability to drive the ball, Borgschulte deferred and spoke toward Refsnyder’s overall approach: “Thinking too much about mechanics can be difficult on your approach,” he said. “Rob worked on trying to stay on the ball, going up the middle with it to the right-center field gap.”
    That’s very different from the approach Refsnyder outlined in 2016 when he began to be hyper-focused on pulling the ball. In his limited time with the Twins, the majority of balls off his bat have gone to center field (52%) while less than a quarter have been pulled. Maybe more importantly to Refsnyder’s results, just 24% of batted balls have been on the ground. 
    The Twins organization has implemented a system for communication between coaches at different levels, so after Refsnyder left the Saints, hitting coaches Edgar Varela and Rudy Hernandez were able to continue with -- and enhance -- the preparation plan for him when he arrived at the big league club. 
    To be fair, getting excited over less than 40 plate appearances is not advised. After all, Refsnyder’s line (.438/.472/.719 with 2 HR) looks an awful lot like Robbie Grossman’s (.361/.452/.694 with 2 HR) after 11 games in a Twins uniform. Still, there are signs that this might be the culmination of Refsnyder’s 2016 plan to add power and, if that is the case, having a right-handed outfielder with some pop isn’t a bad addition. 
    Enjoy the ride.
     
  16. Like
    Parker Hageman got a reaction from ToddlerHarmon for an article, Rob Refsnyder. He's So Hot Right Now.   
    In 2016, Refsnyder was a 25-year-old floating between Triple-A and the New York Yankees. The Arizona State alumni --  a former College World Series’ Most Outstanding Player to boot -- had yet to make an impact on his club. He had a brilliant idea: He would add power to his game. 
    His idea involved mirroring the approach of Minnesota Twin Brian Dozier. He noted that Dozier’s short, compact swing provided him with a high pull rate. The spray-to-all-fields approach wasn’t going to give him the requisite direction to hit home runs in bunches, he believed. So, over the next few years he tried to pull the ball. 
    Refsnyder would finally pop his third career home run on April 27, 2018, by this time in a Tampa Bay Rays uniform. He would do it again on May 30 in Oakland but would not enjoy the slow jog around the bases again for almost three years. 
    https://twitter.com/BallySportsNOR/status/1395888740976009218 
    A lot has happened between major league home runs. Refsynder has been with four different organizations. He didn’t see any MLB time in 2019 while with the Diamondbacks and Reds. The following year, he was a member of the Rangers’ alternate site in 2020 and received 35 plate appearances in Texas. He would do a stint in St. Paul, first at the Twins’ preseason alternate site, then as a member of the Triple-A Saints. 
    Notably, his swing morphed from a loosy, leg kick with multiple parts (left) to an inward twist (middle) and then back to a hanging leg kick with more stability bridging the upper and lower half while creating a stretch with the front and back (right).

    You can see the drastic change between his previous swing with Texas and his recent one with the Twins. 
    You would understand that, after all those years of not being able to trot around the bases, that Refsnyder would take a moment to bask in the adulation for destroying a Triston Mckenzie fastball left up. But he did not. What did Refsnyder do? He thanked his Triple-A hitting coach.
    “I was working on a couple things with Borgs,” Refsnyder told the media when asked about his swing, “and, thankfully, it has been working out.”
    Matt Borgschulte, or Borgs as Refsnyder called him, said that it is a testament to what type of person Refsnyder is to take the time to give recognition to those who have helped him. 
    “All the credit goes to Rob, I’ve learned a lot from him as well,” says Matt Borgschulte, pointing out that Refsnyder’s career through multiple organizations comes with tacit knowledge on hitting. Each stop gives him a new perspective from different coaches and players. Smart players are able to retain and transfer that to their next destination. 
    Refsnyder was signed by the Twins in November and invited to spring training. He wasn’t thrilled with his performance in March, deriding the pull-side ground balls he hit, so he and the Twins’ staff reviewed video of his swing and re-wrote the plan. He said he was able to try some things while in the alternate camp without the worry of what his performance looked like. 
    “Not having to worry about games means not worrying about numbers or statistics that are on the back of baseball cards,” says Borgschulte, emphasizing the process over the outcome.  
    The Twins work on fitting hitters with their best movements. But in doing so it becomes a conversation between the player and the staff. Refsnyder had a vision and, as they rebuilt his approach, they would have a back-and-forth on what felt good, what was working and what needed adjustments. Borgschulte highlighted Refsnyder’s load as an important component of his swing, setting him up to be in a good position to attack good pitches.
    When asked about the physical changes to his swing and how that impacted his ability to drive the ball, Borgschulte deferred and spoke toward Refsnyder’s overall approach: “Thinking too much about mechanics can be difficult on your approach,” he said. “Rob worked on trying to stay on the ball, going up the middle with it to the right-center field gap.”
    That’s very different from the approach Refsnyder outlined in 2016 when he began to be hyper-focused on pulling the ball. In his limited time with the Twins, the majority of balls off his bat have gone to center field (52%) while less than a quarter have been pulled. Maybe more importantly to Refsnyder’s results, just 24% of batted balls have been on the ground. 
    The Twins organization has implemented a system for communication between coaches at different levels, so after Refsnyder left the Saints, hitting coaches Edgar Varela and Rudy Hernandez were able to continue with -- and enhance -- the preparation plan for him when he arrived at the big league club. 
    To be fair, getting excited over less than 40 plate appearances is not advised. After all, Refsnyder’s line (.438/.472/.719 with 2 HR) looks an awful lot like Robbie Grossman’s (.361/.452/.694 with 2 HR) after 11 games in a Twins uniform. Still, there are signs that this might be the culmination of Refsnyder’s 2016 plan to add power and, if that is the case, having a right-handed outfielder with some pop isn’t a bad addition. 
    Enjoy the ride.
     
  17. Like
    Parker Hageman got a reaction from Dman for an article, Rob Refsnyder. He's So Hot Right Now.   
    In 2016, Refsnyder was a 25-year-old floating between Triple-A and the New York Yankees. The Arizona State alumni --  a former College World Series’ Most Outstanding Player to boot -- had yet to make an impact on his club. He had a brilliant idea: He would add power to his game. 
    His idea involved mirroring the approach of Minnesota Twin Brian Dozier. He noted that Dozier’s short, compact swing provided him with a high pull rate. The spray-to-all-fields approach wasn’t going to give him the requisite direction to hit home runs in bunches, he believed. So, over the next few years he tried to pull the ball. 
    Refsnyder would finally pop his third career home run on April 27, 2018, by this time in a Tampa Bay Rays uniform. He would do it again on May 30 in Oakland but would not enjoy the slow jog around the bases again for almost three years. 
    https://twitter.com/BallySportsNOR/status/1395888740976009218 
    A lot has happened between major league home runs. Refsynder has been with four different organizations. He didn’t see any MLB time in 2019 while with the Diamondbacks and Reds. The following year, he was a member of the Rangers’ alternate site in 2020 and received 35 plate appearances in Texas. He would do a stint in St. Paul, first at the Twins’ preseason alternate site, then as a member of the Triple-A Saints. 
    Notably, his swing morphed from a loosy, leg kick with multiple parts (left) to an inward twist (middle) and then back to a hanging leg kick with more stability bridging the upper and lower half while creating a stretch with the front and back (right).

    You can see the drastic change between his previous swing with Texas and his recent one with the Twins. 
    You would understand that, after all those years of not being able to trot around the bases, that Refsnyder would take a moment to bask in the adulation for destroying a Triston Mckenzie fastball left up. But he did not. What did Refsnyder do? He thanked his Triple-A hitting coach.
    “I was working on a couple things with Borgs,” Refsnyder told the media when asked about his swing, “and, thankfully, it has been working out.”
    Matt Borgschulte, or Borgs as Refsnyder called him, said that it is a testament to what type of person Refsnyder is to take the time to give recognition to those who have helped him. 
    “All the credit goes to Rob, I’ve learned a lot from him as well,” says Matt Borgschulte, pointing out that Refsnyder’s career through multiple organizations comes with tacit knowledge on hitting. Each stop gives him a new perspective from different coaches and players. Smart players are able to retain and transfer that to their next destination. 
    Refsnyder was signed by the Twins in November and invited to spring training. He wasn’t thrilled with his performance in March, deriding the pull-side ground balls he hit, so he and the Twins’ staff reviewed video of his swing and re-wrote the plan. He said he was able to try some things while in the alternate camp without the worry of what his performance looked like. 
    “Not having to worry about games means not worrying about numbers or statistics that are on the back of baseball cards,” says Borgschulte, emphasizing the process over the outcome.  
    The Twins work on fitting hitters with their best movements. But in doing so it becomes a conversation between the player and the staff. Refsnyder had a vision and, as they rebuilt his approach, they would have a back-and-forth on what felt good, what was working and what needed adjustments. Borgschulte highlighted Refsnyder’s load as an important component of his swing, setting him up to be in a good position to attack good pitches.
    When asked about the physical changes to his swing and how that impacted his ability to drive the ball, Borgschulte deferred and spoke toward Refsnyder’s overall approach: “Thinking too much about mechanics can be difficult on your approach,” he said. “Rob worked on trying to stay on the ball, going up the middle with it to the right-center field gap.”
    That’s very different from the approach Refsnyder outlined in 2016 when he began to be hyper-focused on pulling the ball. In his limited time with the Twins, the majority of balls off his bat have gone to center field (52%) while less than a quarter have been pulled. Maybe more importantly to Refsnyder’s results, just 24% of batted balls have been on the ground. 
    The Twins organization has implemented a system for communication between coaches at different levels, so after Refsnyder left the Saints, hitting coaches Edgar Varela and Rudy Hernandez were able to continue with -- and enhance -- the preparation plan for him when he arrived at the big league club. 
    To be fair, getting excited over less than 40 plate appearances is not advised. After all, Refsnyder’s line (.438/.472/.719 with 2 HR) looks an awful lot like Robbie Grossman’s (.361/.452/.694 with 2 HR) after 11 games in a Twins uniform. Still, there are signs that this might be the culmination of Refsnyder’s 2016 plan to add power and, if that is the case, having a right-handed outfielder with some pop isn’t a bad addition. 
    Enjoy the ride.
     
  18. Like
    Parker Hageman got a reaction from Karbo for an article, Twins Pitching Staff Has A Sinister Problem   
    Left-handed hitters have decimated Twins’ pitching to the tune of .301/.377/.563, leading to the worst OPS against in baseball. Essentially, they are turning every hitter on the left side into Bryce Harper. 
    In fact, if the season ended today, that .940 OPS against left-handed hitters would be the worst on record dating back to at least 1990. Only three teams have finished the season with an OPS above .900 against left-handed hitters -- the 1999 Colorado Rockies (.917), the 1994 Texas Rangers (.907) and the 2000 Houston Astros (.903). 
    Fortunately for the Twins, the season does not end today -- with all the new rules I had to double-check -- but this is a historically bad pace. In a time where everything is skewed toward pitching, not being able to get hitters out is a huge problem. Since most teams started shifting heavily on lefties, their overall performance has tanked. The current league-wide OPS for left-handed hitters is at .704 -- only 2014’s .701 OPS was worse.
    Unlike the previous situation where the underlying metrics suggested (as Beck famously added to one of his songs), things are going to change, I can feel it, the pitching staff is getting hit hard across the board. Opponents average a 90.1 mph exit velocity, the second highest in baseball, while nearly 46% of the balls put into play are 95 mph or higher, also the second highest. A year ago, as they cruised to a division title, the Twins had one of the lowest marks in either category. 
    The starting rotation is faring slightly better than the bullpen (867 OPS vs 1.049 OPS) but  right-handers Matt Shoemaker (1.023), Kenta Maeda (.980), and Jose Berrios (.961) have a big problem to solve. 
    The 2020 Twins starters kept lefties subdued with a barrage of non-fastballs. Nearly 60% of incoming pitches were not of the fastball variety and lefties had a 495 OPS against them, the second lowest in baseball. This year, while still throwing a high percentage of non-fastballs, left-handed hitters have a 756 OPS against those. Both Berrios (874 OPS) and Maeda (867) are struggling to keep them off of their breaking ball and changeup combinations -- which is surprising when you consider they both finished last year with those numbers 300 points lower. 
    The larger issue is that bullpen, an area in which match-ups can be somewhat controlled, is failing even worse than the rotation. 
    Both Cody Stashak and Jorge Alcala have OPS figures above 1.400 in 36 match-ups against lefties, albeit in lower leverage situations. Alexander Colomẽ has been almost equally as bad (1.156) in 27 plate appearances (17 of those coming in high leverage situations). Perhaps most frustrating has been the performance of left-handed pitchers Caleb Thielbar (1.189 OPS in 20 plate appearances) and Taylor Rogers (.947 OPS in 19 plate appearances).  
    There are adjustments that need to be made. Maeda and Berrios are better than their numbers indicate. Maeda needs to find his release point for his slider and changeup. Berrios needs to determine which combination to use to get lefties out. Shoemaker needs to...do a lot of things. Many of the arms in the bullpen are capable of getting outs and the numbers are likely to improve over a larger sampling. 
    If the Twins can fix this problem --  and do so in a hurry -- they might have a chance to get back in the race.
     
  19. Like
    Parker Hageman got a reaction from ToddlerHarmon for an article, Twins Pitching Staff Has A Sinister Problem   
    Left-handed hitters have decimated Twins’ pitching to the tune of .301/.377/.563, leading to the worst OPS against in baseball. Essentially, they are turning every hitter on the left side into Bryce Harper. 
    In fact, if the season ended today, that .940 OPS against left-handed hitters would be the worst on record dating back to at least 1990. Only three teams have finished the season with an OPS above .900 against left-handed hitters -- the 1999 Colorado Rockies (.917), the 1994 Texas Rangers (.907) and the 2000 Houston Astros (.903). 
    Fortunately for the Twins, the season does not end today -- with all the new rules I had to double-check -- but this is a historically bad pace. In a time where everything is skewed toward pitching, not being able to get hitters out is a huge problem. Since most teams started shifting heavily on lefties, their overall performance has tanked. The current league-wide OPS for left-handed hitters is at .704 -- only 2014’s .701 OPS was worse.
    Unlike the previous situation where the underlying metrics suggested (as Beck famously added to one of his songs), things are going to change, I can feel it, the pitching staff is getting hit hard across the board. Opponents average a 90.1 mph exit velocity, the second highest in baseball, while nearly 46% of the balls put into play are 95 mph or higher, also the second highest. A year ago, as they cruised to a division title, the Twins had one of the lowest marks in either category. 
    The starting rotation is faring slightly better than the bullpen (867 OPS vs 1.049 OPS) but  right-handers Matt Shoemaker (1.023), Kenta Maeda (.980), and Jose Berrios (.961) have a big problem to solve. 
    The 2020 Twins starters kept lefties subdued with a barrage of non-fastballs. Nearly 60% of incoming pitches were not of the fastball variety and lefties had a 495 OPS against them, the second lowest in baseball. This year, while still throwing a high percentage of non-fastballs, left-handed hitters have a 756 OPS against those. Both Berrios (874 OPS) and Maeda (867) are struggling to keep them off of their breaking ball and changeup combinations -- which is surprising when you consider they both finished last year with those numbers 300 points lower. 
    The larger issue is that bullpen, an area in which match-ups can be somewhat controlled, is failing even worse than the rotation. 
    Both Cody Stashak and Jorge Alcala have OPS figures above 1.400 in 36 match-ups against lefties, albeit in lower leverage situations. Alexander Colomẽ has been almost equally as bad (1.156) in 27 plate appearances (17 of those coming in high leverage situations). Perhaps most frustrating has been the performance of left-handed pitchers Caleb Thielbar (1.189 OPS in 20 plate appearances) and Taylor Rogers (.947 OPS in 19 plate appearances).  
    There are adjustments that need to be made. Maeda and Berrios are better than their numbers indicate. Maeda needs to find his release point for his slider and changeup. Berrios needs to determine which combination to use to get lefties out. Shoemaker needs to...do a lot of things. Many of the arms in the bullpen are capable of getting outs and the numbers are likely to improve over a larger sampling. 
    If the Twins can fix this problem --  and do so in a hurry -- they might have a chance to get back in the race.
     
  20. Thanks
    Parker Hageman got a reaction from h2oface for an article, Twins Pitching Staff Has A Sinister Problem   
    Left-handed hitters have decimated Twins’ pitching to the tune of .301/.377/.563, leading to the worst OPS against in baseball. Essentially, they are turning every hitter on the left side into Bryce Harper. 
    In fact, if the season ended today, that .940 OPS against left-handed hitters would be the worst on record dating back to at least 1990. Only three teams have finished the season with an OPS above .900 against left-handed hitters -- the 1999 Colorado Rockies (.917), the 1994 Texas Rangers (.907) and the 2000 Houston Astros (.903). 
    Fortunately for the Twins, the season does not end today -- with all the new rules I had to double-check -- but this is a historically bad pace. In a time where everything is skewed toward pitching, not being able to get hitters out is a huge problem. Since most teams started shifting heavily on lefties, their overall performance has tanked. The current league-wide OPS for left-handed hitters is at .704 -- only 2014’s .701 OPS was worse.
    Unlike the previous situation where the underlying metrics suggested (as Beck famously added to one of his songs), things are going to change, I can feel it, the pitching staff is getting hit hard across the board. Opponents average a 90.1 mph exit velocity, the second highest in baseball, while nearly 46% of the balls put into play are 95 mph or higher, also the second highest. A year ago, as they cruised to a division title, the Twins had one of the lowest marks in either category. 
    The starting rotation is faring slightly better than the bullpen (867 OPS vs 1.049 OPS) but  right-handers Matt Shoemaker (1.023), Kenta Maeda (.980), and Jose Berrios (.961) have a big problem to solve. 
    The 2020 Twins starters kept lefties subdued with a barrage of non-fastballs. Nearly 60% of incoming pitches were not of the fastball variety and lefties had a 495 OPS against them, the second lowest in baseball. This year, while still throwing a high percentage of non-fastballs, left-handed hitters have a 756 OPS against those. Both Berrios (874 OPS) and Maeda (867) are struggling to keep them off of their breaking ball and changeup combinations -- which is surprising when you consider they both finished last year with those numbers 300 points lower. 
    The larger issue is that bullpen, an area in which match-ups can be somewhat controlled, is failing even worse than the rotation. 
    Both Cody Stashak and Jorge Alcala have OPS figures above 1.400 in 36 match-ups against lefties, albeit in lower leverage situations. Alexander Colomẽ has been almost equally as bad (1.156) in 27 plate appearances (17 of those coming in high leverage situations). Perhaps most frustrating has been the performance of left-handed pitchers Caleb Thielbar (1.189 OPS in 20 plate appearances) and Taylor Rogers (.947 OPS in 19 plate appearances).  
    There are adjustments that need to be made. Maeda and Berrios are better than their numbers indicate. Maeda needs to find his release point for his slider and changeup. Berrios needs to determine which combination to use to get lefties out. Shoemaker needs to...do a lot of things. Many of the arms in the bullpen are capable of getting outs and the numbers are likely to improve over a larger sampling. 
    If the Twins can fix this problem --  and do so in a hurry -- they might have a chance to get back in the race.
     
  21. Like
    Parker Hageman got a reaction from glunn for an article, Twins Pitching Staff Has A Sinister Problem   
    Left-handed hitters have decimated Twins’ pitching to the tune of .301/.377/.563, leading to the worst OPS against in baseball. Essentially, they are turning every hitter on the left side into Bryce Harper. 
    In fact, if the season ended today, that .940 OPS against left-handed hitters would be the worst on record dating back to at least 1990. Only three teams have finished the season with an OPS above .900 against left-handed hitters -- the 1999 Colorado Rockies (.917), the 1994 Texas Rangers (.907) and the 2000 Houston Astros (.903). 
    Fortunately for the Twins, the season does not end today -- with all the new rules I had to double-check -- but this is a historically bad pace. In a time where everything is skewed toward pitching, not being able to get hitters out is a huge problem. Since most teams started shifting heavily on lefties, their overall performance has tanked. The current league-wide OPS for left-handed hitters is at .704 -- only 2014’s .701 OPS was worse.
    Unlike the previous situation where the underlying metrics suggested (as Beck famously added to one of his songs), things are going to change, I can feel it, the pitching staff is getting hit hard across the board. Opponents average a 90.1 mph exit velocity, the second highest in baseball, while nearly 46% of the balls put into play are 95 mph or higher, also the second highest. A year ago, as they cruised to a division title, the Twins had one of the lowest marks in either category. 
    The starting rotation is faring slightly better than the bullpen (867 OPS vs 1.049 OPS) but  right-handers Matt Shoemaker (1.023), Kenta Maeda (.980), and Jose Berrios (.961) have a big problem to solve. 
    The 2020 Twins starters kept lefties subdued with a barrage of non-fastballs. Nearly 60% of incoming pitches were not of the fastball variety and lefties had a 495 OPS against them, the second lowest in baseball. This year, while still throwing a high percentage of non-fastballs, left-handed hitters have a 756 OPS against those. Both Berrios (874 OPS) and Maeda (867) are struggling to keep them off of their breaking ball and changeup combinations -- which is surprising when you consider they both finished last year with those numbers 300 points lower. 
    The larger issue is that bullpen, an area in which match-ups can be somewhat controlled, is failing even worse than the rotation. 
    Both Cody Stashak and Jorge Alcala have OPS figures above 1.400 in 36 match-ups against lefties, albeit in lower leverage situations. Alexander Colomẽ has been almost equally as bad (1.156) in 27 plate appearances (17 of those coming in high leverage situations). Perhaps most frustrating has been the performance of left-handed pitchers Caleb Thielbar (1.189 OPS in 20 plate appearances) and Taylor Rogers (.947 OPS in 19 plate appearances).  
    There are adjustments that need to be made. Maeda and Berrios are better than their numbers indicate. Maeda needs to find his release point for his slider and changeup. Berrios needs to determine which combination to use to get lefties out. Shoemaker needs to...do a lot of things. Many of the arms in the bullpen are capable of getting outs and the numbers are likely to improve over a larger sampling. 
    If the Twins can fix this problem --  and do so in a hurry -- they might have a chance to get back in the race.
     
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