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Andrew Mahlke

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  1. Like
    Andrew Mahlke got a reaction from Doctor Gast for a blog entry, Checking in on the Twins 2021 Draft Class: Part 2   
    As you know, the MLB draft is vital to team success. Although the impact might not be seen immediately like in the NFL or NBA, the draft is still how great teams are built. If you haven't checked out Part 1 yet, I encourage you do so if you want to read about our first 11 picks of the 2021 draft. Without a further ado, let's hear about our new draftees!
     
     
    Round 11, Pick 339: Brandon Birdsell, RHP, Texas Tech
     
    Did not sign
     
    Round 12, Pick 369: Kyler Fedko, OF, Connecticut
     

     
    Kyler Fedko is a 6’2” 210 lb outfielder from the University of Connecticut. Fedko is a bat-first outfielder who had a phenomenal collegiate career at UCONN. He has a limited defensive profile and won’t wow you on the basepaths, so he will need to impress with his hitting in order to make the majors.
     
    Fedko is originally from Gibsonia, PA. In his career at UCONN, he slashed .335/.410/.557 with 19 home runs and 53 extra base hits. Fedko broke out at the plate during his junior campaign in 2021, slashing an absurd .398/.483/.673 with 12 home runs and 53 RBI’s. He also led the Big East in batting average, runs scored (57), hits (78), OBP, and total bases (132). Fedko was named Big-East Player of the Year.
     
    Fedko received 81 plate appearances for Low-A Fort Myers in 2021, slashing .235/.346/.265 with 2 doubles. Considering Fedko’s monstrous college career, this first taste of pro ball is seen as a disappointment but it could also be attributed to a very small sample size. Fedko has always hit well everywhere he has been so I expect his track record of success to continue into 2022. 
     
    Round 13, Pick 399: David Festa, RHP, Seton Hall
     

     
    David Festa is 6’6” 185 lb RHP from Seton Hall University. Festa is very projectable and although his strikeout totals aren’t that impressive and he won’t light up a radar gun, these are both things that I am confident can be developed. With a frame like this, he has a lot of room to add muscle and velocity to his fastball.
     
    Festa is originally from Verona, NJ. In his career at Seton Hall, he was 10-11 with a 3.49 ERA. In 2021 however, he was very good. Festa went 6-4 with a 2.00 ERA. In addition, he averaged 8.38 K/9 and 4.13 BB/9. Along with Fedko, Festa was named to the All-Big East first team in 2021.
     
    Festa made 4 appearances in 2021 between the FCL Twins and Low-A Fort Myers. In these 4 appearances, he went 8 & ⅓ innings, allowing 4 earned runs on 3 hits and 4 walks while striking out 12. Festa will be an intriguing prospect to follow given his collegiate success and slender frame. If he can gain muscle and velocity to his fastball, he will be a fast-rising prospect.
     
    Round 14, Pick 429: Pierson Ohl, RHP, Grand Canyon University
     

     
    Pierson Ohl is a 6’1” 180 lb RHP from Grand Canyon University. Ohl has excellent command and pounds the zone. He doesn’t have phenomenal velocity or movement on his pitches, but if he develops those he could be a great pitcher going forward.
     
    Ohl is originally from Simi Valley, CA. In his collegiate career at GCU, he went 18-9 with a 2.99 ERA. In 2021, he was excellent, posting a 2.60 ERA while going 10-2. He averaged 9.24 K/9 and an astounding 1.08 BB/9. In his college career, he had a miniscule BB/9 of 1.31. Ohl was also named WAC Pitcher of the Year and received second-team All-American honors, the first GCU player to earn D-1 All-American honors.
     
    Since Ohl threw 100 innings for GCU in 2021, he was limited in pro ball this year. He only made one appearance for the FCL Twins and went 1.2 innings, allowing 3 earned runs on 5 hits while striking out 1. Obviously this is an extremely small sample size so there is no reason to worry that this is the type of pitcher Ohl will be going forward. However, for Ohl to make it to the MLB, he will need to add velocity and movement.
     
    Round 15, Pick 459: Mikey Perez, SS, UCLA
     

     
    Mikey Perez is a 6’0” 185 lb 2B from UCLA. Perez is a versatile power-hitting middle infielder. Perez didn’t play a full collegiate season until 2021 but he can play all around the infield and he is sure-handed there. With limited collegiate playing time, it is hard to evaluate his bat quite yet but he has some power so it will be interesting to see how his bat plays at the next level.
     
    Perez is originally from Cerritos, CA. In his collegiate career at UCLA, he slashed .243/.366/.443 with 11 home runs and 29 extra base hits. In 2021, he started every game for UCLA, mostly at second base but he also made 11 starts at SS and 4 starts at 3B. He led the team in home runs with 11. He joins Cardenas as UCLA alumni in this Twins draft class. 
     
    Perez received 35 plate appearances between the FCL Twins and Low-A Fort Myers in his first experience of pro ball in 2021. Perez made the most of this opportunity, slashing .533/.600/.800 with 5 doubles and a home run. He also walked more than he struck out. He played 5 games at 2B and 3 games at SS. If Perez continues to mash minor league pitching he could progress quickly through the minors given his ability to play multiple positions. 
     
    Round 16, Pick 489: Johnathan Lavallee, RHP, Long Beach State
     

     
    Jonathan Lavallee is a 6’4” 240 lb RHP from Long Beach State University. Lavallee is an absolute specimen. He relies mostly on his fastball and likes to use his slider to put hitters away. 
     
    Like Perez, Lavallee is from Simi Valley, CA. Before LBSU, Lavallee attended LA Pierce CC, a community college in Los Angeles. He excelled there, posting a 1.92 ERA and striking out 102 in 84 innings of work as a sophomore. Lavallee was utterly dominant at LBSU as well. He attended LBSU in 2020 (COVID shortened) and 2021. In his career at LBSU, Lavallee went 9-1 with a 2.10 ERA. He also had 9.86 K/9 and only 2.34 BB/9. He held opposing batters to a measly .177 batting average. Lavallee received numerous awards in 2021, including First-Team All-American, All-Big West First-Team, and Big West Co-Pitcher of the year.
     
    Lavallee made one appearance in 2021 for the FCL Twins and went 2 innings, allowing 1 ER on 2 hits while striking out 3. Lavallee has an impressive track record of collegiate success and it will be exciting to see if he can continue it into the Twins organization in 2022.
     
    Round 17, Pick 519: Dylan Neuse, 2B, Texas Tech
     

     
    Dylan Neuse is a 5’9” 175 lb 2B from Texas Tech University. Neuse’s older brother, Sheldon, is an infielder in the Dodgers system. Neuse is a great all-around athlete who has shown he can play both middle infield and center field.
     
    Neuse is originally from Fort Worth, TX. In his collegiate career at Texas Tech, Neuse slashed .305/.421/.477 with 10 home runs and 43 extra base hits. Neuse was a highly touted prospect coming into his junior year, being named the preseason Big-12 player of the year but after a solid start to the season, he was hit in the back by a pitch and didn’t play a game after April 11. Neuse could be a steal this late in the draft, it just all depends on how he is able to bounce back from injury.
     
    Neuse did not appear in any minor league games in 2021, so hopefully he can return to full health for 2022.
     
    Round 18, Pick 549: Mike Paredes, RHP, San Diego State
     

     
    Mike Paredes is a 5’11” 185 lb RHP from San Diego State University. Paredes sports a fastball that ranges from 89-92 MPH and has a great mix of pitches he uses to keep hitters off balance. 
     
    Paredes is originally from San Diego, CA. In his collegiate career, Paredes went 8-4 with a 5.28 ERA. He averaged 8.37 K/9 and 2.61 BB/9. Paredes never had much success collegiately but hopefully things can change course when he gets to pro ball.
     
    Paredes made 2 appearances for the FCL Twins, going 4 innings while allowing 1 ER on 1 hit and 1 walk while striking out 6. Maybe once he got to pro ball, something clicked for Paredes. Whatever it could’ve been, it will be interesting to see if he can build off of this small success in 2022.
     
    Round 19, Pick 579: Jaylen Nowlin, LHP, Chipola JC
     

     
    Jaylen Nowlin is a 6’2” 185 lb LHP from Chipola JC. Nowlin has a fastball that sits in the low 90s and he can run it up to 94. He also throws a changeup in the low 80s and a slider in the low to mid 80s. Nowlin’s changeup is his best pitch as he has great fade on it and the ability to throw it in any situation.
     
    Nowlin is originally from West Lake HS in Georgia. He had an outstanding ERA of 2.14 in 42 innings pitched in his lone season at Chipola. He has a lot of swing-and-miss in his repertoire, averaging 12.6 K/9. He has struggled with command, issuing an average of 5.1 BB/9 this spring.
     
    Nowlin made one appearance for the FCL Twins in 2021. He went ⅓ of an inning, allowing 3 ER on 2 hits and 2 walks while striking out 1. Obviously not a great start to pro ball for Nowlin, but bad outings happen to everyone. Nowlin is still a very raw pitcher and I wouldn’t be surprised if he saw his velocity jump into the mid 90s under the tutelage of the Twins minor league pitching staff.
     
    Round 20, Pick 609: Dillon Tatum, C, UC Irvine
     

     
    Dillon Tatum is a 6’0” 190 lb catcher from the University of California, Irvine. Tatum is a power-hitting catcher who also assumed the DH role for the Anteaters in 2021.
     
    Tatum is originally from Stockton, CA. Before going to UC-Irvine, he attended San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton. In his career at Delta college, he slashed .316/.442/.474 with 4 home runs and 24 extra base hits in 60 games. At UC-Irvine, Tatum slashed .278/.401/.684 with 15 home runs and 36 RBI’s in 40 games. He set the single-season record for home runs in his only year as an Anteater. 
     
    Tatum only had 10 plate appearances for the FCL Twins and went 0-7 with 3 walks. Obviously this is a frustrating start to a career for Tatum but look for him to pick it up and have a solid year in 2022.


     
    Summary
     
    With a collegiate-heavy class in 2021, the Twins are counting on some of these players to come up and contribute in the near future for the Twins. Over half of our draft picks were either pitchers or catchers as those are very important positions in baseball. It will be exciting to see how these prospects develop in 2022 and beyond!



     
    Thank you for reading, and Go Twins!
     
  2. Like
    Andrew Mahlke got a reaction from 4twinsJA for a blog entry, Checking in on the Twins 2021 Draft Class: Part 2   
    As you know, the MLB draft is vital to team success. Although the impact might not be seen immediately like in the NFL or NBA, the draft is still how great teams are built. If you haven't checked out Part 1 yet, I encourage you do so if you want to read about our first 11 picks of the 2021 draft. Without a further ado, let's hear about our new draftees!
     
     
    Round 11, Pick 339: Brandon Birdsell, RHP, Texas Tech
     
    Did not sign
     
    Round 12, Pick 369: Kyler Fedko, OF, Connecticut
     

     
    Kyler Fedko is a 6’2” 210 lb outfielder from the University of Connecticut. Fedko is a bat-first outfielder who had a phenomenal collegiate career at UCONN. He has a limited defensive profile and won’t wow you on the basepaths, so he will need to impress with his hitting in order to make the majors.
     
    Fedko is originally from Gibsonia, PA. In his career at UCONN, he slashed .335/.410/.557 with 19 home runs and 53 extra base hits. Fedko broke out at the plate during his junior campaign in 2021, slashing an absurd .398/.483/.673 with 12 home runs and 53 RBI’s. He also led the Big East in batting average, runs scored (57), hits (78), OBP, and total bases (132). Fedko was named Big-East Player of the Year.
     
    Fedko received 81 plate appearances for Low-A Fort Myers in 2021, slashing .235/.346/.265 with 2 doubles. Considering Fedko’s monstrous college career, this first taste of pro ball is seen as a disappointment but it could also be attributed to a very small sample size. Fedko has always hit well everywhere he has been so I expect his track record of success to continue into 2022. 
     
    Round 13, Pick 399: David Festa, RHP, Seton Hall
     

     
    David Festa is 6’6” 185 lb RHP from Seton Hall University. Festa is very projectable and although his strikeout totals aren’t that impressive and he won’t light up a radar gun, these are both things that I am confident can be developed. With a frame like this, he has a lot of room to add muscle and velocity to his fastball.
     
    Festa is originally from Verona, NJ. In his career at Seton Hall, he was 10-11 with a 3.49 ERA. In 2021 however, he was very good. Festa went 6-4 with a 2.00 ERA. In addition, he averaged 8.38 K/9 and 4.13 BB/9. Along with Fedko, Festa was named to the All-Big East first team in 2021.
     
    Festa made 4 appearances in 2021 between the FCL Twins and Low-A Fort Myers. In these 4 appearances, he went 8 & ⅓ innings, allowing 4 earned runs on 3 hits and 4 walks while striking out 12. Festa will be an intriguing prospect to follow given his collegiate success and slender frame. If he can gain muscle and velocity to his fastball, he will be a fast-rising prospect.
     
    Round 14, Pick 429: Pierson Ohl, RHP, Grand Canyon University
     

     
    Pierson Ohl is a 6’1” 180 lb RHP from Grand Canyon University. Ohl has excellent command and pounds the zone. He doesn’t have phenomenal velocity or movement on his pitches, but if he develops those he could be a great pitcher going forward.
     
    Ohl is originally from Simi Valley, CA. In his collegiate career at GCU, he went 18-9 with a 2.99 ERA. In 2021, he was excellent, posting a 2.60 ERA while going 10-2. He averaged 9.24 K/9 and an astounding 1.08 BB/9. In his college career, he had a miniscule BB/9 of 1.31. Ohl was also named WAC Pitcher of the Year and received second-team All-American honors, the first GCU player to earn D-1 All-American honors.
     
    Since Ohl threw 100 innings for GCU in 2021, he was limited in pro ball this year. He only made one appearance for the FCL Twins and went 1.2 innings, allowing 3 earned runs on 5 hits while striking out 1. Obviously this is an extremely small sample size so there is no reason to worry that this is the type of pitcher Ohl will be going forward. However, for Ohl to make it to the MLB, he will need to add velocity and movement.
     
    Round 15, Pick 459: Mikey Perez, SS, UCLA
     

     
    Mikey Perez is a 6’0” 185 lb 2B from UCLA. Perez is a versatile power-hitting middle infielder. Perez didn’t play a full collegiate season until 2021 but he can play all around the infield and he is sure-handed there. With limited collegiate playing time, it is hard to evaluate his bat quite yet but he has some power so it will be interesting to see how his bat plays at the next level.
     
    Perez is originally from Cerritos, CA. In his collegiate career at UCLA, he slashed .243/.366/.443 with 11 home runs and 29 extra base hits. In 2021, he started every game for UCLA, mostly at second base but he also made 11 starts at SS and 4 starts at 3B. He led the team in home runs with 11. He joins Cardenas as UCLA alumni in this Twins draft class. 
     
    Perez received 35 plate appearances between the FCL Twins and Low-A Fort Myers in his first experience of pro ball in 2021. Perez made the most of this opportunity, slashing .533/.600/.800 with 5 doubles and a home run. He also walked more than he struck out. He played 5 games at 2B and 3 games at SS. If Perez continues to mash minor league pitching he could progress quickly through the minors given his ability to play multiple positions. 
     
    Round 16, Pick 489: Johnathan Lavallee, RHP, Long Beach State
     

     
    Jonathan Lavallee is a 6’4” 240 lb RHP from Long Beach State University. Lavallee is an absolute specimen. He relies mostly on his fastball and likes to use his slider to put hitters away. 
     
    Like Perez, Lavallee is from Simi Valley, CA. Before LBSU, Lavallee attended LA Pierce CC, a community college in Los Angeles. He excelled there, posting a 1.92 ERA and striking out 102 in 84 innings of work as a sophomore. Lavallee was utterly dominant at LBSU as well. He attended LBSU in 2020 (COVID shortened) and 2021. In his career at LBSU, Lavallee went 9-1 with a 2.10 ERA. He also had 9.86 K/9 and only 2.34 BB/9. He held opposing batters to a measly .177 batting average. Lavallee received numerous awards in 2021, including First-Team All-American, All-Big West First-Team, and Big West Co-Pitcher of the year.
     
    Lavallee made one appearance in 2021 for the FCL Twins and went 2 innings, allowing 1 ER on 2 hits while striking out 3. Lavallee has an impressive track record of collegiate success and it will be exciting to see if he can continue it into the Twins organization in 2022.
     
    Round 17, Pick 519: Dylan Neuse, 2B, Texas Tech
     

     
    Dylan Neuse is a 5’9” 175 lb 2B from Texas Tech University. Neuse’s older brother, Sheldon, is an infielder in the Dodgers system. Neuse is a great all-around athlete who has shown he can play both middle infield and center field.
     
    Neuse is originally from Fort Worth, TX. In his collegiate career at Texas Tech, Neuse slashed .305/.421/.477 with 10 home runs and 43 extra base hits. Neuse was a highly touted prospect coming into his junior year, being named the preseason Big-12 player of the year but after a solid start to the season, he was hit in the back by a pitch and didn’t play a game after April 11. Neuse could be a steal this late in the draft, it just all depends on how he is able to bounce back from injury.
     
    Neuse did not appear in any minor league games in 2021, so hopefully he can return to full health for 2022.
     
    Round 18, Pick 549: Mike Paredes, RHP, San Diego State
     

     
    Mike Paredes is a 5’11” 185 lb RHP from San Diego State University. Paredes sports a fastball that ranges from 89-92 MPH and has a great mix of pitches he uses to keep hitters off balance. 
     
    Paredes is originally from San Diego, CA. In his collegiate career, Paredes went 8-4 with a 5.28 ERA. He averaged 8.37 K/9 and 2.61 BB/9. Paredes never had much success collegiately but hopefully things can change course when he gets to pro ball.
     
    Paredes made 2 appearances for the FCL Twins, going 4 innings while allowing 1 ER on 1 hit and 1 walk while striking out 6. Maybe once he got to pro ball, something clicked for Paredes. Whatever it could’ve been, it will be interesting to see if he can build off of this small success in 2022.
     
    Round 19, Pick 579: Jaylen Nowlin, LHP, Chipola JC
     

     
    Jaylen Nowlin is a 6’2” 185 lb LHP from Chipola JC. Nowlin has a fastball that sits in the low 90s and he can run it up to 94. He also throws a changeup in the low 80s and a slider in the low to mid 80s. Nowlin’s changeup is his best pitch as he has great fade on it and the ability to throw it in any situation.
     
    Nowlin is originally from West Lake HS in Georgia. He had an outstanding ERA of 2.14 in 42 innings pitched in his lone season at Chipola. He has a lot of swing-and-miss in his repertoire, averaging 12.6 K/9. He has struggled with command, issuing an average of 5.1 BB/9 this spring.
     
    Nowlin made one appearance for the FCL Twins in 2021. He went ⅓ of an inning, allowing 3 ER on 2 hits and 2 walks while striking out 1. Obviously not a great start to pro ball for Nowlin, but bad outings happen to everyone. Nowlin is still a very raw pitcher and I wouldn’t be surprised if he saw his velocity jump into the mid 90s under the tutelage of the Twins minor league pitching staff.
     
    Round 20, Pick 609: Dillon Tatum, C, UC Irvine
     

     
    Dillon Tatum is a 6’0” 190 lb catcher from the University of California, Irvine. Tatum is a power-hitting catcher who also assumed the DH role for the Anteaters in 2021.
     
    Tatum is originally from Stockton, CA. Before going to UC-Irvine, he attended San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton. In his career at Delta college, he slashed .316/.442/.474 with 4 home runs and 24 extra base hits in 60 games. At UC-Irvine, Tatum slashed .278/.401/.684 with 15 home runs and 36 RBI’s in 40 games. He set the single-season record for home runs in his only year as an Anteater. 
     
    Tatum only had 10 plate appearances for the FCL Twins and went 0-7 with 3 walks. Obviously this is a frustrating start to a career for Tatum but look for him to pick it up and have a solid year in 2022.


     
    Summary
     
    With a collegiate-heavy class in 2021, the Twins are counting on some of these players to come up and contribute in the near future for the Twins. Over half of our draft picks were either pitchers or catchers as those are very important positions in baseball. It will be exciting to see how these prospects develop in 2022 and beyond!



     
    Thank you for reading, and Go Twins!
     
  3. Like
    Andrew Mahlke got a reaction from mocley for a blog entry, Checking in on the Twins 2021 Draft Class: Part 2   
    As you know, the MLB draft is vital to team success. Although the impact might not be seen immediately like in the NFL or NBA, the draft is still how great teams are built. If you haven't checked out Part 1 yet, I encourage you do so if you want to read about our first 11 picks of the 2021 draft. Without a further ado, let's hear about our new draftees!
     
     
    Round 11, Pick 339: Brandon Birdsell, RHP, Texas Tech
     
    Did not sign
     
    Round 12, Pick 369: Kyler Fedko, OF, Connecticut
     

     
    Kyler Fedko is a 6’2” 210 lb outfielder from the University of Connecticut. Fedko is a bat-first outfielder who had a phenomenal collegiate career at UCONN. He has a limited defensive profile and won’t wow you on the basepaths, so he will need to impress with his hitting in order to make the majors.
     
    Fedko is originally from Gibsonia, PA. In his career at UCONN, he slashed .335/.410/.557 with 19 home runs and 53 extra base hits. Fedko broke out at the plate during his junior campaign in 2021, slashing an absurd .398/.483/.673 with 12 home runs and 53 RBI’s. He also led the Big East in batting average, runs scored (57), hits (78), OBP, and total bases (132). Fedko was named Big-East Player of the Year.
     
    Fedko received 81 plate appearances for Low-A Fort Myers in 2021, slashing .235/.346/.265 with 2 doubles. Considering Fedko’s monstrous college career, this first taste of pro ball is seen as a disappointment but it could also be attributed to a very small sample size. Fedko has always hit well everywhere he has been so I expect his track record of success to continue into 2022. 
     
    Round 13, Pick 399: David Festa, RHP, Seton Hall
     

     
    David Festa is 6’6” 185 lb RHP from Seton Hall University. Festa is very projectable and although his strikeout totals aren’t that impressive and he won’t light up a radar gun, these are both things that I am confident can be developed. With a frame like this, he has a lot of room to add muscle and velocity to his fastball.
     
    Festa is originally from Verona, NJ. In his career at Seton Hall, he was 10-11 with a 3.49 ERA. In 2021 however, he was very good. Festa went 6-4 with a 2.00 ERA. In addition, he averaged 8.38 K/9 and 4.13 BB/9. Along with Fedko, Festa was named to the All-Big East first team in 2021.
     
    Festa made 4 appearances in 2021 between the FCL Twins and Low-A Fort Myers. In these 4 appearances, he went 8 & ⅓ innings, allowing 4 earned runs on 3 hits and 4 walks while striking out 12. Festa will be an intriguing prospect to follow given his collegiate success and slender frame. If he can gain muscle and velocity to his fastball, he will be a fast-rising prospect.
     
    Round 14, Pick 429: Pierson Ohl, RHP, Grand Canyon University
     

     
    Pierson Ohl is a 6’1” 180 lb RHP from Grand Canyon University. Ohl has excellent command and pounds the zone. He doesn’t have phenomenal velocity or movement on his pitches, but if he develops those he could be a great pitcher going forward.
     
    Ohl is originally from Simi Valley, CA. In his collegiate career at GCU, he went 18-9 with a 2.99 ERA. In 2021, he was excellent, posting a 2.60 ERA while going 10-2. He averaged 9.24 K/9 and an astounding 1.08 BB/9. In his college career, he had a miniscule BB/9 of 1.31. Ohl was also named WAC Pitcher of the Year and received second-team All-American honors, the first GCU player to earn D-1 All-American honors.
     
    Since Ohl threw 100 innings for GCU in 2021, he was limited in pro ball this year. He only made one appearance for the FCL Twins and went 1.2 innings, allowing 3 earned runs on 5 hits while striking out 1. Obviously this is an extremely small sample size so there is no reason to worry that this is the type of pitcher Ohl will be going forward. However, for Ohl to make it to the MLB, he will need to add velocity and movement.
     
    Round 15, Pick 459: Mikey Perez, SS, UCLA
     

     
    Mikey Perez is a 6’0” 185 lb 2B from UCLA. Perez is a versatile power-hitting middle infielder. Perez didn’t play a full collegiate season until 2021 but he can play all around the infield and he is sure-handed there. With limited collegiate playing time, it is hard to evaluate his bat quite yet but he has some power so it will be interesting to see how his bat plays at the next level.
     
    Perez is originally from Cerritos, CA. In his collegiate career at UCLA, he slashed .243/.366/.443 with 11 home runs and 29 extra base hits. In 2021, he started every game for UCLA, mostly at second base but he also made 11 starts at SS and 4 starts at 3B. He led the team in home runs with 11. He joins Cardenas as UCLA alumni in this Twins draft class. 
     
    Perez received 35 plate appearances between the FCL Twins and Low-A Fort Myers in his first experience of pro ball in 2021. Perez made the most of this opportunity, slashing .533/.600/.800 with 5 doubles and a home run. He also walked more than he struck out. He played 5 games at 2B and 3 games at SS. If Perez continues to mash minor league pitching he could progress quickly through the minors given his ability to play multiple positions. 
     
    Round 16, Pick 489: Johnathan Lavallee, RHP, Long Beach State
     

     
    Jonathan Lavallee is a 6’4” 240 lb RHP from Long Beach State University. Lavallee is an absolute specimen. He relies mostly on his fastball and likes to use his slider to put hitters away. 
     
    Like Perez, Lavallee is from Simi Valley, CA. Before LBSU, Lavallee attended LA Pierce CC, a community college in Los Angeles. He excelled there, posting a 1.92 ERA and striking out 102 in 84 innings of work as a sophomore. Lavallee was utterly dominant at LBSU as well. He attended LBSU in 2020 (COVID shortened) and 2021. In his career at LBSU, Lavallee went 9-1 with a 2.10 ERA. He also had 9.86 K/9 and only 2.34 BB/9. He held opposing batters to a measly .177 batting average. Lavallee received numerous awards in 2021, including First-Team All-American, All-Big West First-Team, and Big West Co-Pitcher of the year.
     
    Lavallee made one appearance in 2021 for the FCL Twins and went 2 innings, allowing 1 ER on 2 hits while striking out 3. Lavallee has an impressive track record of collegiate success and it will be exciting to see if he can continue it into the Twins organization in 2022.
     
    Round 17, Pick 519: Dylan Neuse, 2B, Texas Tech
     

     
    Dylan Neuse is a 5’9” 175 lb 2B from Texas Tech University. Neuse’s older brother, Sheldon, is an infielder in the Dodgers system. Neuse is a great all-around athlete who has shown he can play both middle infield and center field.
     
    Neuse is originally from Fort Worth, TX. In his collegiate career at Texas Tech, Neuse slashed .305/.421/.477 with 10 home runs and 43 extra base hits. Neuse was a highly touted prospect coming into his junior year, being named the preseason Big-12 player of the year but after a solid start to the season, he was hit in the back by a pitch and didn’t play a game after April 11. Neuse could be a steal this late in the draft, it just all depends on how he is able to bounce back from injury.
     
    Neuse did not appear in any minor league games in 2021, so hopefully he can return to full health for 2022.
     
    Round 18, Pick 549: Mike Paredes, RHP, San Diego State
     

     
    Mike Paredes is a 5’11” 185 lb RHP from San Diego State University. Paredes sports a fastball that ranges from 89-92 MPH and has a great mix of pitches he uses to keep hitters off balance. 
     
    Paredes is originally from San Diego, CA. In his collegiate career, Paredes went 8-4 with a 5.28 ERA. He averaged 8.37 K/9 and 2.61 BB/9. Paredes never had much success collegiately but hopefully things can change course when he gets to pro ball.
     
    Paredes made 2 appearances for the FCL Twins, going 4 innings while allowing 1 ER on 1 hit and 1 walk while striking out 6. Maybe once he got to pro ball, something clicked for Paredes. Whatever it could’ve been, it will be interesting to see if he can build off of this small success in 2022.
     
    Round 19, Pick 579: Jaylen Nowlin, LHP, Chipola JC
     

     
    Jaylen Nowlin is a 6’2” 185 lb LHP from Chipola JC. Nowlin has a fastball that sits in the low 90s and he can run it up to 94. He also throws a changeup in the low 80s and a slider in the low to mid 80s. Nowlin’s changeup is his best pitch as he has great fade on it and the ability to throw it in any situation.
     
    Nowlin is originally from West Lake HS in Georgia. He had an outstanding ERA of 2.14 in 42 innings pitched in his lone season at Chipola. He has a lot of swing-and-miss in his repertoire, averaging 12.6 K/9. He has struggled with command, issuing an average of 5.1 BB/9 this spring.
     
    Nowlin made one appearance for the FCL Twins in 2021. He went ⅓ of an inning, allowing 3 ER on 2 hits and 2 walks while striking out 1. Obviously not a great start to pro ball for Nowlin, but bad outings happen to everyone. Nowlin is still a very raw pitcher and I wouldn’t be surprised if he saw his velocity jump into the mid 90s under the tutelage of the Twins minor league pitching staff.
     
    Round 20, Pick 609: Dillon Tatum, C, UC Irvine
     

     
    Dillon Tatum is a 6’0” 190 lb catcher from the University of California, Irvine. Tatum is a power-hitting catcher who also assumed the DH role for the Anteaters in 2021.
     
    Tatum is originally from Stockton, CA. Before going to UC-Irvine, he attended San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton. In his career at Delta college, he slashed .316/.442/.474 with 4 home runs and 24 extra base hits in 60 games. At UC-Irvine, Tatum slashed .278/.401/.684 with 15 home runs and 36 RBI’s in 40 games. He set the single-season record for home runs in his only year as an Anteater. 
     
    Tatum only had 10 plate appearances for the FCL Twins and went 0-7 with 3 walks. Obviously this is a frustrating start to a career for Tatum but look for him to pick it up and have a solid year in 2022.


     
    Summary
     
    With a collegiate-heavy class in 2021, the Twins are counting on some of these players to come up and contribute in the near future for the Twins. Over half of our draft picks were either pitchers or catchers as those are very important positions in baseball. It will be exciting to see how these prospects develop in 2022 and beyond!



     
    Thank you for reading, and Go Twins!
     
  4. Like
    Andrew Mahlke got a reaction from h2oface for a blog entry, Checking in on the Twins 2021 Draft Class: Part 1   
    The MLB draft is not nearly as popular as the NFL or NBA drafts. In 2021, 12.6 million people tuned in to watch Roger Goodell announce the first round of draft picks. Over the last 10 years, the NBA draft has had between 2 and 4 million viewers. The MLB however, had barely over 1 million viewers in 2021. However, the MLB draft remains very important.
     
    Since 1965 (when the first MLB draft was held), 9 of the Twins top 13 players in terms of WAR were drafted by the Twins. These players include Joe Mauer, Kirby Puckett, Kent Hrbek, Chuck Knoblauch, Gary Gaetti, Torii Hunter, Justin Morneau, Brian Dozier, and Corey Koskie. As you can see, most of our franchise’s best players were drafted by us and that stresses the importance of drafting well.
     
    Without further ado, let’s jump in to checking in on our 2021 draft class

     
    Round 1, Pick 26: Chase Petty, RHP, Mainland Regional HS (NJ)

    Chase Petty was one of the most electrifying players drafted in 2021. Petty was the third high school pitcher taken in the draft. High school pitchers are generally riskier selections than college pitchers just because they haven’t proven themselves at a higher level yet. 
     
    Petty is worth the risk. He has a fastball that sits in the upper 90s and it has been up to 100 mph. He also has a firm slider that sits in the upper 80s and has a spin rate between 2600 and 2700 RPM. Lookout Landing does a great job breaking down Petty’s stuff and mechanics here. 
     
    Petty is a high-octane arm who only throws three pitches, so I foresee him as the Twins closer of the future. Petty is one of the most exciting players in the Twins farm system, ranking as our 7th best prospect.
     
    Petty saw very limited action in the 2021 minor league season, making 2 appearances (one start) for the FCL Twins in the Florida Complex League. Between these 2 appearances, he threw 5 innings, allowing 3 runs on 6 hits and one walk while striking out 6. He only faced 21 batters so obviously this is a small sample size, but Petty had a solid start to his professional baseball career. Look for Petty to make some noise in 2022.
     
    Comp Round A, Pick 36: Noah Miller, SS, Ozaukee HS (WI)

    It is often said that shortstops are the best athletes on the field. Most MLB infielders were shortstops on their high school or college teams. It is always a good thing to have too many shortstops because you can move them around the field.
    Seth Stohs wrote a great article about Noah Miller that really highlights everything about him. The Twins loved his makeup, athleticism, and rare ability to hit at a high level from both sides of the plate. In Miller's senior year of high school, he hit .608 with 6 home runs and 21 RBI’s. Miller currently ranks as the Twins number 13 prospect.
     
    In Miller’s first taste of pro-ball, he was assigned to the FCL Twins and in 96 plate appearances, he slashed .238/.316/.369 with 3 doubles, a triple, and 2 home runs. He had 9 walks to 26 strikeouts and committed 4 errors out of 86 chances, good for a .952 fielding percentage.
     
    Miller struggled in his first taste of pro ball this season but he was only an 18 year old and he still has a very bright future ahead of him.
     
    Round 2, Pick 61: Steve Hajjar, LHP, Michigan

    Steve Hajjar is a 6’5” 215 lb pitcher from the University of Michigan. He throws a fastball in the low 90s and it has been up to 95 mph. His best pitch is his changeup, and MLB Pipeline says that he does a very good job of selling his changeup with fastball arm speed, which can be very deceptive to hitters. Hajjar is ranked as the number 22 prospect in the Twins system.
     
    Hajjar did not pitch professionally in 2021. In 81.2 innings at Michigan, he was 4-2 with a 3.09 ERA. His K/9 was very impressive at 12.2, while having a BB/9 of 3.2. He was named All-Big Ten Conference First Team. He also led the Big Ten in strikeouts.
     
    Hajjar is a 21 year old so he will probably progress a little quicker through the minor leagues than Petty and Miller. Hajjar will be a fun prospect to watch develop and I am excited to hopefully see him at Target Field soon.
     
    Round 3, Pick 98: Cade Povich, LHP, Nebraska

    Cade Povich is a 6’3” 185 lb pitcher from the University of Nebraska. He has a fastball that tops out around 91 MPH. Povich does not have a whole lot available on him or his pitch repertoire, but he seems like a crafty lefty who really understands how to pitch.
     
    Povich, initially from Bellevue West High School, went to South Mountain CC in Phoenix for one year and excelled. He went 10-1 with a 1.52 ERA before transferring to Nebraska. Along with Hajjar, Povich was also named All-Big Ten Conference First Team in 2021. He went 6-1 with a 3.11 ERA. He also had 9.8K/9 and 2.4BB/9.
     
    In professional ball, Povich made one start with the FCL Twins and went 2 innings, allowing one hit and striking out 3. He also made 3 appearances for Low-A affiliate Fort Myers and pitched very well, compiling 8 innings and allowing only 1 earned run, 6 hits, 2 walks, and 2 HBP while striking out 16 (!!).
     
    Povich was dominant in his limited 10 innings of work this year and he will definitely be a prospect to follow if he continues his success in the minors.
     
    Round 4, Pick 128: Christian Encarnacion-Strand, 3B, Oklahoma State

    Christian Encarnacion-Strand is a 6’0” 224 lb 3B from Oklahoma State University. Encarnacion-Strand has a very talented bat and extremely strong throwing arm. He is a little limited on his feet as the Twins will probably move him to 1B eventually.
     
    Encarnacion-Strand, initially from Pleasant Hill, CA, went to Yavapai CC for his first two years of eligibility. At Yavapai, Encarnacion-Strand absolutely mashed, hitting .410 with 31 doubles and 33 home runs in just 81 career games. At Oklahoma State, he slashed .361/.442/.661 with 15 home runs and 66 RBI’s in his one year there. He was named Big 12 newcomer of the year and was unanimously selected to the All-Big Twelve Conference First Team.
     
    In his first taste of professional baseball, Encarnacion-Strand slashed .391/.424/.598 with 4 home runs in 92 plate appearances for the Twins low-A affiliate Fort Myers. He did have 5 walks compared to 26 strikeouts, which could be an area of concern as he progresses, but he is still young and has shown a lot of potential with his bat so far. He will be a fun prospect to watch crush opposing pitching and hopefully he continues this impressive offensive start.
     
    Round 5, Pick 159: Christian Macleod, LHP, Mississippi State

    Christian Macleod is a 6’4” 227 lb LHP from Mississippi State University. Macleod has a fastball that ranges from 87 to 93 MPH but is very effective because he commands it well and tunnels it well with his best pitch, an upper 70s curveball with great depth.
     
    Macleod is originally from Huntsville, Alabama. In his collegiate career at Mississippi State, Macleod went 10-6 with a 4.34 ERA. He had a 12.8K/9 and a 3.4BB/9. His ERA for 2021 was not great at 5.23, but before playoffs he had a 3.14 ERA and a few bad outings ballooned that ERA. In the shortened 2020 season, he was named Co-National Freshman Player of the Year by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, going 4-0 with a 0.86 ERA.
     
    Macleod only appeared in one game with the FCL Twins this season, going 1&⅔ innings, allowing no runs, one hit, and two walks while striking out 5. Macleod has a chance to be a back-end starting pitcher and he will be an interesting prospect to follow. If he adds some velocity, he could make a huge jump.
     
    Round 6, Pick 189: Travis Adams, RHP, Sacramento State

    Travis Adams is a 6’0” 195 lb RHP from Sacramento State. Contrary to what pitchers are becoming more of as strikeouts and walks are rising league wide, Adams is a control specialist who won’t blow anyone away with his strikeout numbers but he hardly walks anyone.
     
    Adams is originally from Desert Hot Springs, California. In his collegiate career at Sacramento State, Adams went 10-6 with a 3.75 ERA. He had 7.75 K/9 and an impressive 1.49 BB/9. In 2021, the MLB average for BB/9 was 3.3, so Adams thrives in that area of the game.
     
    Adams made one appearance for the FCL Twins, recording 4 outs while allowing 3 earned runs, 2 hits, 2 walks, and struck out 3. If Adams can improve his stuff he could be a good prospect for the Twins going forward.
     
    Round 7, Pick 219: Jake Rucker, 3B, Tennessee

    Jake Rucker is a 6’2” 185 lb 3B from the University of Tennessee. He was a very solid player at Tennessee and can play every position in the infield. He is very aggressive at the plate and solid in the field. Rucker lacks an elite trait so it might make it difficult for him to excel in pro ball, but he could be a solid player.
     
    Rucker is originally from Greenbrier, Tennessee. In his collegiate career at Tennessee, he slashed .311/.388/.463 with 12 home runs and 96 RBI’s. In 2021, he really broke out. He had an OPS of .919 and had 21 doubles, 2 triples, and 9 home runs. He was named a 3rd team All-American this year and also garnered First Team All-SEC honors.
     
    Rucker had 85 plate appearances at low-A Fort Myers this year, and slashed .265/.376/.324 with 2 doubles and 1 triple. These numbers are not other-worldly but they are a great starting point for an experienced versatile player like Rucker. It will be fun to see how he progresses into 2022. 
     
    Round 8, Pick 249: Noah Cardenas, C, UCLA

    Noah Cardenas is a 6’1” 190 lb catcher from UCLA. Cardenas is an outstanding defensive catcher. If Cardenas is going to make an impact in the league, he will have to improve at the plate. Right now he profiles like Ben Rortvedt, an outstanding defender who doesn't stand out offensively.
     
    Cardenas is originally from Saugus, California. In his collegiate career at UCLA, he slashed .302/.407/.426 with 8 home runs and 30 extra base hits. His freshman year, he had an OPS of .976 in 58 games. In 2021, he had a .775 OPS. He also threw out 38% of base-stealers. Cardenas was named to the 2021 Pac-12 All-Conference Team.
     
    Cardenas had 25 plate appearances with the FCL Twins in 2021. He went 6-20 with a double, a home run, and 3 walks. A very small sample size, but if Cardenas could get back to his 2019 self offensively and continues to dominate defensively, he could be a very nice prospect for the Twins.
     
    Round 9, Pick 279: Patrick Winkel, C, Connecticut

    Patrick Winkel is a 6’1'' 200 lb catcher from the University of Connecticut. Mlb dot com says that Winkel is a great athlete behind the plate with above average power but needs to improve his hit tool to use his power more regularly.
     
    Winkel is originally from Orange, CT. In his career, he slashed .300/.359/.507 with 18 home runs and 41 extra base hits in 102 games. He also threw out 25% of potential base-stealers. Winkel was named All-BIG East Second Team in 2021. 
     
    Winkel had 84 plate appearances at Low-A Fort Myers in 2021. He slashed .243/.369/.357 with 5 doubles and a home run. Beginning his career in Low-A shows that the Twins have confidence in where Winkel could go with his career. He struggled more than he did in college, but that is expected. Hopefully with some experience under his belt he can thrive in 2022.
     
    Round 10, Pick 309: Ernie Yake, SS, Gonzaga

    Ernie Yake is a 5’10” 175 lb SS from Gonzaga. Yake was a phenomenal shortstop at Gonzaga and played four years there. Yake is an older prospect, as he will be 24 years old at the start of the 2022 season.
     
    Yake is originally from Bellingham, WA. In his career at Gonzaga, he slashed .320/.392/.419 with 6 home runs and 54 extra base hits. He also walked 71 times compared to only 53 strikeouts, so he controls the zone very well. In 2021, he was a national semifinalist for the Brooks Wallace award, given yearly to the best shortstop in college baseball.

    Yake only had 26 plate appearances with the FCL Twins in 2021, slashing .227/.370/.318 with 2 doubles and 3 stolen bases. Yake will be fun to follow as he could be a Luis Arraez type hitter who puts the ball in play and rarely strikes out, while playing great defense at shortstop.
     
    Part 2 highlighting our picks in rounds 11-20 will be coming soon
     
    Thank you for reading and Go Twins!
  5. Like
    Andrew Mahlke got a reaction from KGB for a blog entry, Checking in on the Twins 2021 Draft Class: Part 1   
    The MLB draft is not nearly as popular as the NFL or NBA drafts. In 2021, 12.6 million people tuned in to watch Roger Goodell announce the first round of draft picks. Over the last 10 years, the NBA draft has had between 2 and 4 million viewers. The MLB however, had barely over 1 million viewers in 2021. However, the MLB draft remains very important.
     
    Since 1965 (when the first MLB draft was held), 9 of the Twins top 13 players in terms of WAR were drafted by the Twins. These players include Joe Mauer, Kirby Puckett, Kent Hrbek, Chuck Knoblauch, Gary Gaetti, Torii Hunter, Justin Morneau, Brian Dozier, and Corey Koskie. As you can see, most of our franchise’s best players were drafted by us and that stresses the importance of drafting well.
     
    Without further ado, let’s jump in to checking in on our 2021 draft class

     
    Round 1, Pick 26: Chase Petty, RHP, Mainland Regional HS (NJ)

    Chase Petty was one of the most electrifying players drafted in 2021. Petty was the third high school pitcher taken in the draft. High school pitchers are generally riskier selections than college pitchers just because they haven’t proven themselves at a higher level yet. 
     
    Petty is worth the risk. He has a fastball that sits in the upper 90s and it has been up to 100 mph. He also has a firm slider that sits in the upper 80s and has a spin rate between 2600 and 2700 RPM. Lookout Landing does a great job breaking down Petty’s stuff and mechanics here. 
     
    Petty is a high-octane arm who only throws three pitches, so I foresee him as the Twins closer of the future. Petty is one of the most exciting players in the Twins farm system, ranking as our 7th best prospect.
     
    Petty saw very limited action in the 2021 minor league season, making 2 appearances (one start) for the FCL Twins in the Florida Complex League. Between these 2 appearances, he threw 5 innings, allowing 3 runs on 6 hits and one walk while striking out 6. He only faced 21 batters so obviously this is a small sample size, but Petty had a solid start to his professional baseball career. Look for Petty to make some noise in 2022.
     
    Comp Round A, Pick 36: Noah Miller, SS, Ozaukee HS (WI)

    It is often said that shortstops are the best athletes on the field. Most MLB infielders were shortstops on their high school or college teams. It is always a good thing to have too many shortstops because you can move them around the field.
    Seth Stohs wrote a great article about Noah Miller that really highlights everything about him. The Twins loved his makeup, athleticism, and rare ability to hit at a high level from both sides of the plate. In Miller's senior year of high school, he hit .608 with 6 home runs and 21 RBI’s. Miller currently ranks as the Twins number 13 prospect.
     
    In Miller’s first taste of pro-ball, he was assigned to the FCL Twins and in 96 plate appearances, he slashed .238/.316/.369 with 3 doubles, a triple, and 2 home runs. He had 9 walks to 26 strikeouts and committed 4 errors out of 86 chances, good for a .952 fielding percentage.
     
    Miller struggled in his first taste of pro ball this season but he was only an 18 year old and he still has a very bright future ahead of him.
     
    Round 2, Pick 61: Steve Hajjar, LHP, Michigan

    Steve Hajjar is a 6’5” 215 lb pitcher from the University of Michigan. He throws a fastball in the low 90s and it has been up to 95 mph. His best pitch is his changeup, and MLB Pipeline says that he does a very good job of selling his changeup with fastball arm speed, which can be very deceptive to hitters. Hajjar is ranked as the number 22 prospect in the Twins system.
     
    Hajjar did not pitch professionally in 2021. In 81.2 innings at Michigan, he was 4-2 with a 3.09 ERA. His K/9 was very impressive at 12.2, while having a BB/9 of 3.2. He was named All-Big Ten Conference First Team. He also led the Big Ten in strikeouts.
     
    Hajjar is a 21 year old so he will probably progress a little quicker through the minor leagues than Petty and Miller. Hajjar will be a fun prospect to watch develop and I am excited to hopefully see him at Target Field soon.
     
    Round 3, Pick 98: Cade Povich, LHP, Nebraska

    Cade Povich is a 6’3” 185 lb pitcher from the University of Nebraska. He has a fastball that tops out around 91 MPH. Povich does not have a whole lot available on him or his pitch repertoire, but he seems like a crafty lefty who really understands how to pitch.
     
    Povich, initially from Bellevue West High School, went to South Mountain CC in Phoenix for one year and excelled. He went 10-1 with a 1.52 ERA before transferring to Nebraska. Along with Hajjar, Povich was also named All-Big Ten Conference First Team in 2021. He went 6-1 with a 3.11 ERA. He also had 9.8K/9 and 2.4BB/9.
     
    In professional ball, Povich made one start with the FCL Twins and went 2 innings, allowing one hit and striking out 3. He also made 3 appearances for Low-A affiliate Fort Myers and pitched very well, compiling 8 innings and allowing only 1 earned run, 6 hits, 2 walks, and 2 HBP while striking out 16 (!!).
     
    Povich was dominant in his limited 10 innings of work this year and he will definitely be a prospect to follow if he continues his success in the minors.
     
    Round 4, Pick 128: Christian Encarnacion-Strand, 3B, Oklahoma State

    Christian Encarnacion-Strand is a 6’0” 224 lb 3B from Oklahoma State University. Encarnacion-Strand has a very talented bat and extremely strong throwing arm. He is a little limited on his feet as the Twins will probably move him to 1B eventually.
     
    Encarnacion-Strand, initially from Pleasant Hill, CA, went to Yavapai CC for his first two years of eligibility. At Yavapai, Encarnacion-Strand absolutely mashed, hitting .410 with 31 doubles and 33 home runs in just 81 career games. At Oklahoma State, he slashed .361/.442/.661 with 15 home runs and 66 RBI’s in his one year there. He was named Big 12 newcomer of the year and was unanimously selected to the All-Big Twelve Conference First Team.
     
    In his first taste of professional baseball, Encarnacion-Strand slashed .391/.424/.598 with 4 home runs in 92 plate appearances for the Twins low-A affiliate Fort Myers. He did have 5 walks compared to 26 strikeouts, which could be an area of concern as he progresses, but he is still young and has shown a lot of potential with his bat so far. He will be a fun prospect to watch crush opposing pitching and hopefully he continues this impressive offensive start.
     
    Round 5, Pick 159: Christian Macleod, LHP, Mississippi State

    Christian Macleod is a 6’4” 227 lb LHP from Mississippi State University. Macleod has a fastball that ranges from 87 to 93 MPH but is very effective because he commands it well and tunnels it well with his best pitch, an upper 70s curveball with great depth.
     
    Macleod is originally from Huntsville, Alabama. In his collegiate career at Mississippi State, Macleod went 10-6 with a 4.34 ERA. He had a 12.8K/9 and a 3.4BB/9. His ERA for 2021 was not great at 5.23, but before playoffs he had a 3.14 ERA and a few bad outings ballooned that ERA. In the shortened 2020 season, he was named Co-National Freshman Player of the Year by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, going 4-0 with a 0.86 ERA.
     
    Macleod only appeared in one game with the FCL Twins this season, going 1&⅔ innings, allowing no runs, one hit, and two walks while striking out 5. Macleod has a chance to be a back-end starting pitcher and he will be an interesting prospect to follow. If he adds some velocity, he could make a huge jump.
     
    Round 6, Pick 189: Travis Adams, RHP, Sacramento State

    Travis Adams is a 6’0” 195 lb RHP from Sacramento State. Contrary to what pitchers are becoming more of as strikeouts and walks are rising league wide, Adams is a control specialist who won’t blow anyone away with his strikeout numbers but he hardly walks anyone.
     
    Adams is originally from Desert Hot Springs, California. In his collegiate career at Sacramento State, Adams went 10-6 with a 3.75 ERA. He had 7.75 K/9 and an impressive 1.49 BB/9. In 2021, the MLB average for BB/9 was 3.3, so Adams thrives in that area of the game.
     
    Adams made one appearance for the FCL Twins, recording 4 outs while allowing 3 earned runs, 2 hits, 2 walks, and struck out 3. If Adams can improve his stuff he could be a good prospect for the Twins going forward.
     
    Round 7, Pick 219: Jake Rucker, 3B, Tennessee

    Jake Rucker is a 6’2” 185 lb 3B from the University of Tennessee. He was a very solid player at Tennessee and can play every position in the infield. He is very aggressive at the plate and solid in the field. Rucker lacks an elite trait so it might make it difficult for him to excel in pro ball, but he could be a solid player.
     
    Rucker is originally from Greenbrier, Tennessee. In his collegiate career at Tennessee, he slashed .311/.388/.463 with 12 home runs and 96 RBI’s. In 2021, he really broke out. He had an OPS of .919 and had 21 doubles, 2 triples, and 9 home runs. He was named a 3rd team All-American this year and also garnered First Team All-SEC honors.
     
    Rucker had 85 plate appearances at low-A Fort Myers this year, and slashed .265/.376/.324 with 2 doubles and 1 triple. These numbers are not other-worldly but they are a great starting point for an experienced versatile player like Rucker. It will be fun to see how he progresses into 2022. 
     
    Round 8, Pick 249: Noah Cardenas, C, UCLA

    Noah Cardenas is a 6’1” 190 lb catcher from UCLA. Cardenas is an outstanding defensive catcher. If Cardenas is going to make an impact in the league, he will have to improve at the plate. Right now he profiles like Ben Rortvedt, an outstanding defender who doesn't stand out offensively.
     
    Cardenas is originally from Saugus, California. In his collegiate career at UCLA, he slashed .302/.407/.426 with 8 home runs and 30 extra base hits. His freshman year, he had an OPS of .976 in 58 games. In 2021, he had a .775 OPS. He also threw out 38% of base-stealers. Cardenas was named to the 2021 Pac-12 All-Conference Team.
     
    Cardenas had 25 plate appearances with the FCL Twins in 2021. He went 6-20 with a double, a home run, and 3 walks. A very small sample size, but if Cardenas could get back to his 2019 self offensively and continues to dominate defensively, he could be a very nice prospect for the Twins.
     
    Round 9, Pick 279: Patrick Winkel, C, Connecticut

    Patrick Winkel is a 6’1'' 200 lb catcher from the University of Connecticut. Mlb dot com says that Winkel is a great athlete behind the plate with above average power but needs to improve his hit tool to use his power more regularly.
     
    Winkel is originally from Orange, CT. In his career, he slashed .300/.359/.507 with 18 home runs and 41 extra base hits in 102 games. He also threw out 25% of potential base-stealers. Winkel was named All-BIG East Second Team in 2021. 
     
    Winkel had 84 plate appearances at Low-A Fort Myers in 2021. He slashed .243/.369/.357 with 5 doubles and a home run. Beginning his career in Low-A shows that the Twins have confidence in where Winkel could go with his career. He struggled more than he did in college, but that is expected. Hopefully with some experience under his belt he can thrive in 2022.
     
    Round 10, Pick 309: Ernie Yake, SS, Gonzaga

    Ernie Yake is a 5’10” 175 lb SS from Gonzaga. Yake was a phenomenal shortstop at Gonzaga and played four years there. Yake is an older prospect, as he will be 24 years old at the start of the 2022 season.
     
    Yake is originally from Bellingham, WA. In his career at Gonzaga, he slashed .320/.392/.419 with 6 home runs and 54 extra base hits. He also walked 71 times compared to only 53 strikeouts, so he controls the zone very well. In 2021, he was a national semifinalist for the Brooks Wallace award, given yearly to the best shortstop in college baseball.

    Yake only had 26 plate appearances with the FCL Twins in 2021, slashing .227/.370/.318 with 2 doubles and 3 stolen bases. Yake will be fun to follow as he could be a Luis Arraez type hitter who puts the ball in play and rarely strikes out, while playing great defense at shortstop.
     
    Part 2 highlighting our picks in rounds 11-20 will be coming soon
     
    Thank you for reading and Go Twins!
  6. Like
    Andrew Mahlke got a reaction from Brock Beauchamp for a blog entry, Checking in on the Twins 2021 Draft Class: Part 1   
    The MLB draft is not nearly as popular as the NFL or NBA drafts. In 2021, 12.6 million people tuned in to watch Roger Goodell announce the first round of draft picks. Over the last 10 years, the NBA draft has had between 2 and 4 million viewers. The MLB however, had barely over 1 million viewers in 2021. However, the MLB draft remains very important.
     
    Since 1965 (when the first MLB draft was held), 9 of the Twins top 13 players in terms of WAR were drafted by the Twins. These players include Joe Mauer, Kirby Puckett, Kent Hrbek, Chuck Knoblauch, Gary Gaetti, Torii Hunter, Justin Morneau, Brian Dozier, and Corey Koskie. As you can see, most of our franchise’s best players were drafted by us and that stresses the importance of drafting well.
     
    Without further ado, let’s jump in to checking in on our 2021 draft class

     
    Round 1, Pick 26: Chase Petty, RHP, Mainland Regional HS (NJ)

    Chase Petty was one of the most electrifying players drafted in 2021. Petty was the third high school pitcher taken in the draft. High school pitchers are generally riskier selections than college pitchers just because they haven’t proven themselves at a higher level yet. 
     
    Petty is worth the risk. He has a fastball that sits in the upper 90s and it has been up to 100 mph. He also has a firm slider that sits in the upper 80s and has a spin rate between 2600 and 2700 RPM. Lookout Landing does a great job breaking down Petty’s stuff and mechanics here. 
     
    Petty is a high-octane arm who only throws three pitches, so I foresee him as the Twins closer of the future. Petty is one of the most exciting players in the Twins farm system, ranking as our 7th best prospect.
     
    Petty saw very limited action in the 2021 minor league season, making 2 appearances (one start) for the FCL Twins in the Florida Complex League. Between these 2 appearances, he threw 5 innings, allowing 3 runs on 6 hits and one walk while striking out 6. He only faced 21 batters so obviously this is a small sample size, but Petty had a solid start to his professional baseball career. Look for Petty to make some noise in 2022.
     
    Comp Round A, Pick 36: Noah Miller, SS, Ozaukee HS (WI)

    It is often said that shortstops are the best athletes on the field. Most MLB infielders were shortstops on their high school or college teams. It is always a good thing to have too many shortstops because you can move them around the field.
    Seth Stohs wrote a great article about Noah Miller that really highlights everything about him. The Twins loved his makeup, athleticism, and rare ability to hit at a high level from both sides of the plate. In Miller's senior year of high school, he hit .608 with 6 home runs and 21 RBI’s. Miller currently ranks as the Twins number 13 prospect.
     
    In Miller’s first taste of pro-ball, he was assigned to the FCL Twins and in 96 plate appearances, he slashed .238/.316/.369 with 3 doubles, a triple, and 2 home runs. He had 9 walks to 26 strikeouts and committed 4 errors out of 86 chances, good for a .952 fielding percentage.
     
    Miller struggled in his first taste of pro ball this season but he was only an 18 year old and he still has a very bright future ahead of him.
     
    Round 2, Pick 61: Steve Hajjar, LHP, Michigan

    Steve Hajjar is a 6’5” 215 lb pitcher from the University of Michigan. He throws a fastball in the low 90s and it has been up to 95 mph. His best pitch is his changeup, and MLB Pipeline says that he does a very good job of selling his changeup with fastball arm speed, which can be very deceptive to hitters. Hajjar is ranked as the number 22 prospect in the Twins system.
     
    Hajjar did not pitch professionally in 2021. In 81.2 innings at Michigan, he was 4-2 with a 3.09 ERA. His K/9 was very impressive at 12.2, while having a BB/9 of 3.2. He was named All-Big Ten Conference First Team. He also led the Big Ten in strikeouts.
     
    Hajjar is a 21 year old so he will probably progress a little quicker through the minor leagues than Petty and Miller. Hajjar will be a fun prospect to watch develop and I am excited to hopefully see him at Target Field soon.
     
    Round 3, Pick 98: Cade Povich, LHP, Nebraska

    Cade Povich is a 6’3” 185 lb pitcher from the University of Nebraska. He has a fastball that tops out around 91 MPH. Povich does not have a whole lot available on him or his pitch repertoire, but he seems like a crafty lefty who really understands how to pitch.
     
    Povich, initially from Bellevue West High School, went to South Mountain CC in Phoenix for one year and excelled. He went 10-1 with a 1.52 ERA before transferring to Nebraska. Along with Hajjar, Povich was also named All-Big Ten Conference First Team in 2021. He went 6-1 with a 3.11 ERA. He also had 9.8K/9 and 2.4BB/9.
     
    In professional ball, Povich made one start with the FCL Twins and went 2 innings, allowing one hit and striking out 3. He also made 3 appearances for Low-A affiliate Fort Myers and pitched very well, compiling 8 innings and allowing only 1 earned run, 6 hits, 2 walks, and 2 HBP while striking out 16 (!!).
     
    Povich was dominant in his limited 10 innings of work this year and he will definitely be a prospect to follow if he continues his success in the minors.
     
    Round 4, Pick 128: Christian Encarnacion-Strand, 3B, Oklahoma State

    Christian Encarnacion-Strand is a 6’0” 224 lb 3B from Oklahoma State University. Encarnacion-Strand has a very talented bat and extremely strong throwing arm. He is a little limited on his feet as the Twins will probably move him to 1B eventually.
     
    Encarnacion-Strand, initially from Pleasant Hill, CA, went to Yavapai CC for his first two years of eligibility. At Yavapai, Encarnacion-Strand absolutely mashed, hitting .410 with 31 doubles and 33 home runs in just 81 career games. At Oklahoma State, he slashed .361/.442/.661 with 15 home runs and 66 RBI’s in his one year there. He was named Big 12 newcomer of the year and was unanimously selected to the All-Big Twelve Conference First Team.
     
    In his first taste of professional baseball, Encarnacion-Strand slashed .391/.424/.598 with 4 home runs in 92 plate appearances for the Twins low-A affiliate Fort Myers. He did have 5 walks compared to 26 strikeouts, which could be an area of concern as he progresses, but he is still young and has shown a lot of potential with his bat so far. He will be a fun prospect to watch crush opposing pitching and hopefully he continues this impressive offensive start.
     
    Round 5, Pick 159: Christian Macleod, LHP, Mississippi State

    Christian Macleod is a 6’4” 227 lb LHP from Mississippi State University. Macleod has a fastball that ranges from 87 to 93 MPH but is very effective because he commands it well and tunnels it well with his best pitch, an upper 70s curveball with great depth.
     
    Macleod is originally from Huntsville, Alabama. In his collegiate career at Mississippi State, Macleod went 10-6 with a 4.34 ERA. He had a 12.8K/9 and a 3.4BB/9. His ERA for 2021 was not great at 5.23, but before playoffs he had a 3.14 ERA and a few bad outings ballooned that ERA. In the shortened 2020 season, he was named Co-National Freshman Player of the Year by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, going 4-0 with a 0.86 ERA.
     
    Macleod only appeared in one game with the FCL Twins this season, going 1&⅔ innings, allowing no runs, one hit, and two walks while striking out 5. Macleod has a chance to be a back-end starting pitcher and he will be an interesting prospect to follow. If he adds some velocity, he could make a huge jump.
     
    Round 6, Pick 189: Travis Adams, RHP, Sacramento State

    Travis Adams is a 6’0” 195 lb RHP from Sacramento State. Contrary to what pitchers are becoming more of as strikeouts and walks are rising league wide, Adams is a control specialist who won’t blow anyone away with his strikeout numbers but he hardly walks anyone.
     
    Adams is originally from Desert Hot Springs, California. In his collegiate career at Sacramento State, Adams went 10-6 with a 3.75 ERA. He had 7.75 K/9 and an impressive 1.49 BB/9. In 2021, the MLB average for BB/9 was 3.3, so Adams thrives in that area of the game.
     
    Adams made one appearance for the FCL Twins, recording 4 outs while allowing 3 earned runs, 2 hits, 2 walks, and struck out 3. If Adams can improve his stuff he could be a good prospect for the Twins going forward.
     
    Round 7, Pick 219: Jake Rucker, 3B, Tennessee

    Jake Rucker is a 6’2” 185 lb 3B from the University of Tennessee. He was a very solid player at Tennessee and can play every position in the infield. He is very aggressive at the plate and solid in the field. Rucker lacks an elite trait so it might make it difficult for him to excel in pro ball, but he could be a solid player.
     
    Rucker is originally from Greenbrier, Tennessee. In his collegiate career at Tennessee, he slashed .311/.388/.463 with 12 home runs and 96 RBI’s. In 2021, he really broke out. He had an OPS of .919 and had 21 doubles, 2 triples, and 9 home runs. He was named a 3rd team All-American this year and also garnered First Team All-SEC honors.
     
    Rucker had 85 plate appearances at low-A Fort Myers this year, and slashed .265/.376/.324 with 2 doubles and 1 triple. These numbers are not other-worldly but they are a great starting point for an experienced versatile player like Rucker. It will be fun to see how he progresses into 2022. 
     
    Round 8, Pick 249: Noah Cardenas, C, UCLA

    Noah Cardenas is a 6’1” 190 lb catcher from UCLA. Cardenas is an outstanding defensive catcher. If Cardenas is going to make an impact in the league, he will have to improve at the plate. Right now he profiles like Ben Rortvedt, an outstanding defender who doesn't stand out offensively.
     
    Cardenas is originally from Saugus, California. In his collegiate career at UCLA, he slashed .302/.407/.426 with 8 home runs and 30 extra base hits. His freshman year, he had an OPS of .976 in 58 games. In 2021, he had a .775 OPS. He also threw out 38% of base-stealers. Cardenas was named to the 2021 Pac-12 All-Conference Team.
     
    Cardenas had 25 plate appearances with the FCL Twins in 2021. He went 6-20 with a double, a home run, and 3 walks. A very small sample size, but if Cardenas could get back to his 2019 self offensively and continues to dominate defensively, he could be a very nice prospect for the Twins.
     
    Round 9, Pick 279: Patrick Winkel, C, Connecticut

    Patrick Winkel is a 6’1'' 200 lb catcher from the University of Connecticut. Mlb dot com says that Winkel is a great athlete behind the plate with above average power but needs to improve his hit tool to use his power more regularly.
     
    Winkel is originally from Orange, CT. In his career, he slashed .300/.359/.507 with 18 home runs and 41 extra base hits in 102 games. He also threw out 25% of potential base-stealers. Winkel was named All-BIG East Second Team in 2021. 
     
    Winkel had 84 plate appearances at Low-A Fort Myers in 2021. He slashed .243/.369/.357 with 5 doubles and a home run. Beginning his career in Low-A shows that the Twins have confidence in where Winkel could go with his career. He struggled more than he did in college, but that is expected. Hopefully with some experience under his belt he can thrive in 2022.
     
    Round 10, Pick 309: Ernie Yake, SS, Gonzaga

    Ernie Yake is a 5’10” 175 lb SS from Gonzaga. Yake was a phenomenal shortstop at Gonzaga and played four years there. Yake is an older prospect, as he will be 24 years old at the start of the 2022 season.
     
    Yake is originally from Bellingham, WA. In his career at Gonzaga, he slashed .320/.392/.419 with 6 home runs and 54 extra base hits. He also walked 71 times compared to only 53 strikeouts, so he controls the zone very well. In 2021, he was a national semifinalist for the Brooks Wallace award, given yearly to the best shortstop in college baseball.

    Yake only had 26 plate appearances with the FCL Twins in 2021, slashing .227/.370/.318 with 2 doubles and 3 stolen bases. Yake will be fun to follow as he could be a Luis Arraez type hitter who puts the ball in play and rarely strikes out, while playing great defense at shortstop.
     
    Part 2 highlighting our picks in rounds 11-20 will be coming soon
     
    Thank you for reading and Go Twins!
  7. Like
    Andrew Mahlke got a reaction from Doctor Gast for a blog entry, Checking in on the Twins 2021 Draft Class: Part 1   
    The MLB draft is not nearly as popular as the NFL or NBA drafts. In 2021, 12.6 million people tuned in to watch Roger Goodell announce the first round of draft picks. Over the last 10 years, the NBA draft has had between 2 and 4 million viewers. The MLB however, had barely over 1 million viewers in 2021. However, the MLB draft remains very important.
     
    Since 1965 (when the first MLB draft was held), 9 of the Twins top 13 players in terms of WAR were drafted by the Twins. These players include Joe Mauer, Kirby Puckett, Kent Hrbek, Chuck Knoblauch, Gary Gaetti, Torii Hunter, Justin Morneau, Brian Dozier, and Corey Koskie. As you can see, most of our franchise’s best players were drafted by us and that stresses the importance of drafting well.
     
    Without further ado, let’s jump in to checking in on our 2021 draft class

     
    Round 1, Pick 26: Chase Petty, RHP, Mainland Regional HS (NJ)

    Chase Petty was one of the most electrifying players drafted in 2021. Petty was the third high school pitcher taken in the draft. High school pitchers are generally riskier selections than college pitchers just because they haven’t proven themselves at a higher level yet. 
     
    Petty is worth the risk. He has a fastball that sits in the upper 90s and it has been up to 100 mph. He also has a firm slider that sits in the upper 80s and has a spin rate between 2600 and 2700 RPM. Lookout Landing does a great job breaking down Petty’s stuff and mechanics here. 
     
    Petty is a high-octane arm who only throws three pitches, so I foresee him as the Twins closer of the future. Petty is one of the most exciting players in the Twins farm system, ranking as our 7th best prospect.
     
    Petty saw very limited action in the 2021 minor league season, making 2 appearances (one start) for the FCL Twins in the Florida Complex League. Between these 2 appearances, he threw 5 innings, allowing 3 runs on 6 hits and one walk while striking out 6. He only faced 21 batters so obviously this is a small sample size, but Petty had a solid start to his professional baseball career. Look for Petty to make some noise in 2022.
     
    Comp Round A, Pick 36: Noah Miller, SS, Ozaukee HS (WI)

    It is often said that shortstops are the best athletes on the field. Most MLB infielders were shortstops on their high school or college teams. It is always a good thing to have too many shortstops because you can move them around the field.
    Seth Stohs wrote a great article about Noah Miller that really highlights everything about him. The Twins loved his makeup, athleticism, and rare ability to hit at a high level from both sides of the plate. In Miller's senior year of high school, he hit .608 with 6 home runs and 21 RBI’s. Miller currently ranks as the Twins number 13 prospect.
     
    In Miller’s first taste of pro-ball, he was assigned to the FCL Twins and in 96 plate appearances, he slashed .238/.316/.369 with 3 doubles, a triple, and 2 home runs. He had 9 walks to 26 strikeouts and committed 4 errors out of 86 chances, good for a .952 fielding percentage.
     
    Miller struggled in his first taste of pro ball this season but he was only an 18 year old and he still has a very bright future ahead of him.
     
    Round 2, Pick 61: Steve Hajjar, LHP, Michigan

    Steve Hajjar is a 6’5” 215 lb pitcher from the University of Michigan. He throws a fastball in the low 90s and it has been up to 95 mph. His best pitch is his changeup, and MLB Pipeline says that he does a very good job of selling his changeup with fastball arm speed, which can be very deceptive to hitters. Hajjar is ranked as the number 22 prospect in the Twins system.
     
    Hajjar did not pitch professionally in 2021. In 81.2 innings at Michigan, he was 4-2 with a 3.09 ERA. His K/9 was very impressive at 12.2, while having a BB/9 of 3.2. He was named All-Big Ten Conference First Team. He also led the Big Ten in strikeouts.
     
    Hajjar is a 21 year old so he will probably progress a little quicker through the minor leagues than Petty and Miller. Hajjar will be a fun prospect to watch develop and I am excited to hopefully see him at Target Field soon.
     
    Round 3, Pick 98: Cade Povich, LHP, Nebraska

    Cade Povich is a 6’3” 185 lb pitcher from the University of Nebraska. He has a fastball that tops out around 91 MPH. Povich does not have a whole lot available on him or his pitch repertoire, but he seems like a crafty lefty who really understands how to pitch.
     
    Povich, initially from Bellevue West High School, went to South Mountain CC in Phoenix for one year and excelled. He went 10-1 with a 1.52 ERA before transferring to Nebraska. Along with Hajjar, Povich was also named All-Big Ten Conference First Team in 2021. He went 6-1 with a 3.11 ERA. He also had 9.8K/9 and 2.4BB/9.
     
    In professional ball, Povich made one start with the FCL Twins and went 2 innings, allowing one hit and striking out 3. He also made 3 appearances for Low-A affiliate Fort Myers and pitched very well, compiling 8 innings and allowing only 1 earned run, 6 hits, 2 walks, and 2 HBP while striking out 16 (!!).
     
    Povich was dominant in his limited 10 innings of work this year and he will definitely be a prospect to follow if he continues his success in the minors.
     
    Round 4, Pick 128: Christian Encarnacion-Strand, 3B, Oklahoma State

    Christian Encarnacion-Strand is a 6’0” 224 lb 3B from Oklahoma State University. Encarnacion-Strand has a very talented bat and extremely strong throwing arm. He is a little limited on his feet as the Twins will probably move him to 1B eventually.
     
    Encarnacion-Strand, initially from Pleasant Hill, CA, went to Yavapai CC for his first two years of eligibility. At Yavapai, Encarnacion-Strand absolutely mashed, hitting .410 with 31 doubles and 33 home runs in just 81 career games. At Oklahoma State, he slashed .361/.442/.661 with 15 home runs and 66 RBI’s in his one year there. He was named Big 12 newcomer of the year and was unanimously selected to the All-Big Twelve Conference First Team.
     
    In his first taste of professional baseball, Encarnacion-Strand slashed .391/.424/.598 with 4 home runs in 92 plate appearances for the Twins low-A affiliate Fort Myers. He did have 5 walks compared to 26 strikeouts, which could be an area of concern as he progresses, but he is still young and has shown a lot of potential with his bat so far. He will be a fun prospect to watch crush opposing pitching and hopefully he continues this impressive offensive start.
     
    Round 5, Pick 159: Christian Macleod, LHP, Mississippi State

    Christian Macleod is a 6’4” 227 lb LHP from Mississippi State University. Macleod has a fastball that ranges from 87 to 93 MPH but is very effective because he commands it well and tunnels it well with his best pitch, an upper 70s curveball with great depth.
     
    Macleod is originally from Huntsville, Alabama. In his collegiate career at Mississippi State, Macleod went 10-6 with a 4.34 ERA. He had a 12.8K/9 and a 3.4BB/9. His ERA for 2021 was not great at 5.23, but before playoffs he had a 3.14 ERA and a few bad outings ballooned that ERA. In the shortened 2020 season, he was named Co-National Freshman Player of the Year by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, going 4-0 with a 0.86 ERA.
     
    Macleod only appeared in one game with the FCL Twins this season, going 1&⅔ innings, allowing no runs, one hit, and two walks while striking out 5. Macleod has a chance to be a back-end starting pitcher and he will be an interesting prospect to follow. If he adds some velocity, he could make a huge jump.
     
    Round 6, Pick 189: Travis Adams, RHP, Sacramento State

    Travis Adams is a 6’0” 195 lb RHP from Sacramento State. Contrary to what pitchers are becoming more of as strikeouts and walks are rising league wide, Adams is a control specialist who won’t blow anyone away with his strikeout numbers but he hardly walks anyone.
     
    Adams is originally from Desert Hot Springs, California. In his collegiate career at Sacramento State, Adams went 10-6 with a 3.75 ERA. He had 7.75 K/9 and an impressive 1.49 BB/9. In 2021, the MLB average for BB/9 was 3.3, so Adams thrives in that area of the game.
     
    Adams made one appearance for the FCL Twins, recording 4 outs while allowing 3 earned runs, 2 hits, 2 walks, and struck out 3. If Adams can improve his stuff he could be a good prospect for the Twins going forward.
     
    Round 7, Pick 219: Jake Rucker, 3B, Tennessee

    Jake Rucker is a 6’2” 185 lb 3B from the University of Tennessee. He was a very solid player at Tennessee and can play every position in the infield. He is very aggressive at the plate and solid in the field. Rucker lacks an elite trait so it might make it difficult for him to excel in pro ball, but he could be a solid player.
     
    Rucker is originally from Greenbrier, Tennessee. In his collegiate career at Tennessee, he slashed .311/.388/.463 with 12 home runs and 96 RBI’s. In 2021, he really broke out. He had an OPS of .919 and had 21 doubles, 2 triples, and 9 home runs. He was named a 3rd team All-American this year and also garnered First Team All-SEC honors.
     
    Rucker had 85 plate appearances at low-A Fort Myers this year, and slashed .265/.376/.324 with 2 doubles and 1 triple. These numbers are not other-worldly but they are a great starting point for an experienced versatile player like Rucker. It will be fun to see how he progresses into 2022. 
     
    Round 8, Pick 249: Noah Cardenas, C, UCLA

    Noah Cardenas is a 6’1” 190 lb catcher from UCLA. Cardenas is an outstanding defensive catcher. If Cardenas is going to make an impact in the league, he will have to improve at the plate. Right now he profiles like Ben Rortvedt, an outstanding defender who doesn't stand out offensively.
     
    Cardenas is originally from Saugus, California. In his collegiate career at UCLA, he slashed .302/.407/.426 with 8 home runs and 30 extra base hits. His freshman year, he had an OPS of .976 in 58 games. In 2021, he had a .775 OPS. He also threw out 38% of base-stealers. Cardenas was named to the 2021 Pac-12 All-Conference Team.
     
    Cardenas had 25 plate appearances with the FCL Twins in 2021. He went 6-20 with a double, a home run, and 3 walks. A very small sample size, but if Cardenas could get back to his 2019 self offensively and continues to dominate defensively, he could be a very nice prospect for the Twins.
     
    Round 9, Pick 279: Patrick Winkel, C, Connecticut

    Patrick Winkel is a 6’1'' 200 lb catcher from the University of Connecticut. Mlb dot com says that Winkel is a great athlete behind the plate with above average power but needs to improve his hit tool to use his power more regularly.
     
    Winkel is originally from Orange, CT. In his career, he slashed .300/.359/.507 with 18 home runs and 41 extra base hits in 102 games. He also threw out 25% of potential base-stealers. Winkel was named All-BIG East Second Team in 2021. 
     
    Winkel had 84 plate appearances at Low-A Fort Myers in 2021. He slashed .243/.369/.357 with 5 doubles and a home run. Beginning his career in Low-A shows that the Twins have confidence in where Winkel could go with his career. He struggled more than he did in college, but that is expected. Hopefully with some experience under his belt he can thrive in 2022.
     
    Round 10, Pick 309: Ernie Yake, SS, Gonzaga

    Ernie Yake is a 5’10” 175 lb SS from Gonzaga. Yake was a phenomenal shortstop at Gonzaga and played four years there. Yake is an older prospect, as he will be 24 years old at the start of the 2022 season.
     
    Yake is originally from Bellingham, WA. In his career at Gonzaga, he slashed .320/.392/.419 with 6 home runs and 54 extra base hits. He also walked 71 times compared to only 53 strikeouts, so he controls the zone very well. In 2021, he was a national semifinalist for the Brooks Wallace award, given yearly to the best shortstop in college baseball.

    Yake only had 26 plate appearances with the FCL Twins in 2021, slashing .227/.370/.318 with 2 doubles and 3 stolen bases. Yake will be fun to follow as he could be a Luis Arraez type hitter who puts the ball in play and rarely strikes out, while playing great defense at shortstop.
     
    Part 2 highlighting our picks in rounds 11-20 will be coming soon
     
    Thank you for reading and Go Twins!
  8. Like
    Andrew Mahlke got a reaction from MMMordabito for a blog entry, Checking in on the Twins 2021 Draft Class: Part 1   
    The MLB draft is not nearly as popular as the NFL or NBA drafts. In 2021, 12.6 million people tuned in to watch Roger Goodell announce the first round of draft picks. Over the last 10 years, the NBA draft has had between 2 and 4 million viewers. The MLB however, had barely over 1 million viewers in 2021. However, the MLB draft remains very important.
     
    Since 1965 (when the first MLB draft was held), 9 of the Twins top 13 players in terms of WAR were drafted by the Twins. These players include Joe Mauer, Kirby Puckett, Kent Hrbek, Chuck Knoblauch, Gary Gaetti, Torii Hunter, Justin Morneau, Brian Dozier, and Corey Koskie. As you can see, most of our franchise’s best players were drafted by us and that stresses the importance of drafting well.
     
    Without further ado, let’s jump in to checking in on our 2021 draft class

     
    Round 1, Pick 26: Chase Petty, RHP, Mainland Regional HS (NJ)

    Chase Petty was one of the most electrifying players drafted in 2021. Petty was the third high school pitcher taken in the draft. High school pitchers are generally riskier selections than college pitchers just because they haven’t proven themselves at a higher level yet. 
     
    Petty is worth the risk. He has a fastball that sits in the upper 90s and it has been up to 100 mph. He also has a firm slider that sits in the upper 80s and has a spin rate between 2600 and 2700 RPM. Lookout Landing does a great job breaking down Petty’s stuff and mechanics here. 
     
    Petty is a high-octane arm who only throws three pitches, so I foresee him as the Twins closer of the future. Petty is one of the most exciting players in the Twins farm system, ranking as our 7th best prospect.
     
    Petty saw very limited action in the 2021 minor league season, making 2 appearances (one start) for the FCL Twins in the Florida Complex League. Between these 2 appearances, he threw 5 innings, allowing 3 runs on 6 hits and one walk while striking out 6. He only faced 21 batters so obviously this is a small sample size, but Petty had a solid start to his professional baseball career. Look for Petty to make some noise in 2022.
     
    Comp Round A, Pick 36: Noah Miller, SS, Ozaukee HS (WI)

    It is often said that shortstops are the best athletes on the field. Most MLB infielders were shortstops on their high school or college teams. It is always a good thing to have too many shortstops because you can move them around the field.
    Seth Stohs wrote a great article about Noah Miller that really highlights everything about him. The Twins loved his makeup, athleticism, and rare ability to hit at a high level from both sides of the plate. In Miller's senior year of high school, he hit .608 with 6 home runs and 21 RBI’s. Miller currently ranks as the Twins number 13 prospect.
     
    In Miller’s first taste of pro-ball, he was assigned to the FCL Twins and in 96 plate appearances, he slashed .238/.316/.369 with 3 doubles, a triple, and 2 home runs. He had 9 walks to 26 strikeouts and committed 4 errors out of 86 chances, good for a .952 fielding percentage.
     
    Miller struggled in his first taste of pro ball this season but he was only an 18 year old and he still has a very bright future ahead of him.
     
    Round 2, Pick 61: Steve Hajjar, LHP, Michigan

    Steve Hajjar is a 6’5” 215 lb pitcher from the University of Michigan. He throws a fastball in the low 90s and it has been up to 95 mph. His best pitch is his changeup, and MLB Pipeline says that he does a very good job of selling his changeup with fastball arm speed, which can be very deceptive to hitters. Hajjar is ranked as the number 22 prospect in the Twins system.
     
    Hajjar did not pitch professionally in 2021. In 81.2 innings at Michigan, he was 4-2 with a 3.09 ERA. His K/9 was very impressive at 12.2, while having a BB/9 of 3.2. He was named All-Big Ten Conference First Team. He also led the Big Ten in strikeouts.
     
    Hajjar is a 21 year old so he will probably progress a little quicker through the minor leagues than Petty and Miller. Hajjar will be a fun prospect to watch develop and I am excited to hopefully see him at Target Field soon.
     
    Round 3, Pick 98: Cade Povich, LHP, Nebraska

    Cade Povich is a 6’3” 185 lb pitcher from the University of Nebraska. He has a fastball that tops out around 91 MPH. Povich does not have a whole lot available on him or his pitch repertoire, but he seems like a crafty lefty who really understands how to pitch.
     
    Povich, initially from Bellevue West High School, went to South Mountain CC in Phoenix for one year and excelled. He went 10-1 with a 1.52 ERA before transferring to Nebraska. Along with Hajjar, Povich was also named All-Big Ten Conference First Team in 2021. He went 6-1 with a 3.11 ERA. He also had 9.8K/9 and 2.4BB/9.
     
    In professional ball, Povich made one start with the FCL Twins and went 2 innings, allowing one hit and striking out 3. He also made 3 appearances for Low-A affiliate Fort Myers and pitched very well, compiling 8 innings and allowing only 1 earned run, 6 hits, 2 walks, and 2 HBP while striking out 16 (!!).
     
    Povich was dominant in his limited 10 innings of work this year and he will definitely be a prospect to follow if he continues his success in the minors.
     
    Round 4, Pick 128: Christian Encarnacion-Strand, 3B, Oklahoma State

    Christian Encarnacion-Strand is a 6’0” 224 lb 3B from Oklahoma State University. Encarnacion-Strand has a very talented bat and extremely strong throwing arm. He is a little limited on his feet as the Twins will probably move him to 1B eventually.
     
    Encarnacion-Strand, initially from Pleasant Hill, CA, went to Yavapai CC for his first two years of eligibility. At Yavapai, Encarnacion-Strand absolutely mashed, hitting .410 with 31 doubles and 33 home runs in just 81 career games. At Oklahoma State, he slashed .361/.442/.661 with 15 home runs and 66 RBI’s in his one year there. He was named Big 12 newcomer of the year and was unanimously selected to the All-Big Twelve Conference First Team.
     
    In his first taste of professional baseball, Encarnacion-Strand slashed .391/.424/.598 with 4 home runs in 92 plate appearances for the Twins low-A affiliate Fort Myers. He did have 5 walks compared to 26 strikeouts, which could be an area of concern as he progresses, but he is still young and has shown a lot of potential with his bat so far. He will be a fun prospect to watch crush opposing pitching and hopefully he continues this impressive offensive start.
     
    Round 5, Pick 159: Christian Macleod, LHP, Mississippi State

    Christian Macleod is a 6’4” 227 lb LHP from Mississippi State University. Macleod has a fastball that ranges from 87 to 93 MPH but is very effective because he commands it well and tunnels it well with his best pitch, an upper 70s curveball with great depth.
     
    Macleod is originally from Huntsville, Alabama. In his collegiate career at Mississippi State, Macleod went 10-6 with a 4.34 ERA. He had a 12.8K/9 and a 3.4BB/9. His ERA for 2021 was not great at 5.23, but before playoffs he had a 3.14 ERA and a few bad outings ballooned that ERA. In the shortened 2020 season, he was named Co-National Freshman Player of the Year by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, going 4-0 with a 0.86 ERA.
     
    Macleod only appeared in one game with the FCL Twins this season, going 1&⅔ innings, allowing no runs, one hit, and two walks while striking out 5. Macleod has a chance to be a back-end starting pitcher and he will be an interesting prospect to follow. If he adds some velocity, he could make a huge jump.
     
    Round 6, Pick 189: Travis Adams, RHP, Sacramento State

    Travis Adams is a 6’0” 195 lb RHP from Sacramento State. Contrary to what pitchers are becoming more of as strikeouts and walks are rising league wide, Adams is a control specialist who won’t blow anyone away with his strikeout numbers but he hardly walks anyone.
     
    Adams is originally from Desert Hot Springs, California. In his collegiate career at Sacramento State, Adams went 10-6 with a 3.75 ERA. He had 7.75 K/9 and an impressive 1.49 BB/9. In 2021, the MLB average for BB/9 was 3.3, so Adams thrives in that area of the game.
     
    Adams made one appearance for the FCL Twins, recording 4 outs while allowing 3 earned runs, 2 hits, 2 walks, and struck out 3. If Adams can improve his stuff he could be a good prospect for the Twins going forward.
     
    Round 7, Pick 219: Jake Rucker, 3B, Tennessee

    Jake Rucker is a 6’2” 185 lb 3B from the University of Tennessee. He was a very solid player at Tennessee and can play every position in the infield. He is very aggressive at the plate and solid in the field. Rucker lacks an elite trait so it might make it difficult for him to excel in pro ball, but he could be a solid player.
     
    Rucker is originally from Greenbrier, Tennessee. In his collegiate career at Tennessee, he slashed .311/.388/.463 with 12 home runs and 96 RBI’s. In 2021, he really broke out. He had an OPS of .919 and had 21 doubles, 2 triples, and 9 home runs. He was named a 3rd team All-American this year and also garnered First Team All-SEC honors.
     
    Rucker had 85 plate appearances at low-A Fort Myers this year, and slashed .265/.376/.324 with 2 doubles and 1 triple. These numbers are not other-worldly but they are a great starting point for an experienced versatile player like Rucker. It will be fun to see how he progresses into 2022. 
     
    Round 8, Pick 249: Noah Cardenas, C, UCLA

    Noah Cardenas is a 6’1” 190 lb catcher from UCLA. Cardenas is an outstanding defensive catcher. If Cardenas is going to make an impact in the league, he will have to improve at the plate. Right now he profiles like Ben Rortvedt, an outstanding defender who doesn't stand out offensively.
     
    Cardenas is originally from Saugus, California. In his collegiate career at UCLA, he slashed .302/.407/.426 with 8 home runs and 30 extra base hits. His freshman year, he had an OPS of .976 in 58 games. In 2021, he had a .775 OPS. He also threw out 38% of base-stealers. Cardenas was named to the 2021 Pac-12 All-Conference Team.
     
    Cardenas had 25 plate appearances with the FCL Twins in 2021. He went 6-20 with a double, a home run, and 3 walks. A very small sample size, but if Cardenas could get back to his 2019 self offensively and continues to dominate defensively, he could be a very nice prospect for the Twins.
     
    Round 9, Pick 279: Patrick Winkel, C, Connecticut

    Patrick Winkel is a 6’1'' 200 lb catcher from the University of Connecticut. Mlb dot com says that Winkel is a great athlete behind the plate with above average power but needs to improve his hit tool to use his power more regularly.
     
    Winkel is originally from Orange, CT. In his career, he slashed .300/.359/.507 with 18 home runs and 41 extra base hits in 102 games. He also threw out 25% of potential base-stealers. Winkel was named All-BIG East Second Team in 2021. 
     
    Winkel had 84 plate appearances at Low-A Fort Myers in 2021. He slashed .243/.369/.357 with 5 doubles and a home run. Beginning his career in Low-A shows that the Twins have confidence in where Winkel could go with his career. He struggled more than he did in college, but that is expected. Hopefully with some experience under his belt he can thrive in 2022.
     
    Round 10, Pick 309: Ernie Yake, SS, Gonzaga

    Ernie Yake is a 5’10” 175 lb SS from Gonzaga. Yake was a phenomenal shortstop at Gonzaga and played four years there. Yake is an older prospect, as he will be 24 years old at the start of the 2022 season.
     
    Yake is originally from Bellingham, WA. In his career at Gonzaga, he slashed .320/.392/.419 with 6 home runs and 54 extra base hits. He also walked 71 times compared to only 53 strikeouts, so he controls the zone very well. In 2021, he was a national semifinalist for the Brooks Wallace award, given yearly to the best shortstop in college baseball.

    Yake only had 26 plate appearances with the FCL Twins in 2021, slashing .227/.370/.318 with 2 doubles and 3 stolen bases. Yake will be fun to follow as he could be a Luis Arraez type hitter who puts the ball in play and rarely strikes out, while playing great defense at shortstop.
     
    Part 2 highlighting our picks in rounds 11-20 will be coming soon
     
    Thank you for reading and Go Twins!
  9. Like
    Andrew Mahlke got a reaction from Minny505 for a blog entry, Checking in on the Twins 2021 Draft Class: Part 1   
    The MLB draft is not nearly as popular as the NFL or NBA drafts. In 2021, 12.6 million people tuned in to watch Roger Goodell announce the first round of draft picks. Over the last 10 years, the NBA draft has had between 2 and 4 million viewers. The MLB however, had barely over 1 million viewers in 2021. However, the MLB draft remains very important.
     
    Since 1965 (when the first MLB draft was held), 9 of the Twins top 13 players in terms of WAR were drafted by the Twins. These players include Joe Mauer, Kirby Puckett, Kent Hrbek, Chuck Knoblauch, Gary Gaetti, Torii Hunter, Justin Morneau, Brian Dozier, and Corey Koskie. As you can see, most of our franchise’s best players were drafted by us and that stresses the importance of drafting well.
     
    Without further ado, let’s jump in to checking in on our 2021 draft class

     
    Round 1, Pick 26: Chase Petty, RHP, Mainland Regional HS (NJ)

    Chase Petty was one of the most electrifying players drafted in 2021. Petty was the third high school pitcher taken in the draft. High school pitchers are generally riskier selections than college pitchers just because they haven’t proven themselves at a higher level yet. 
     
    Petty is worth the risk. He has a fastball that sits in the upper 90s and it has been up to 100 mph. He also has a firm slider that sits in the upper 80s and has a spin rate between 2600 and 2700 RPM. Lookout Landing does a great job breaking down Petty’s stuff and mechanics here. 
     
    Petty is a high-octane arm who only throws three pitches, so I foresee him as the Twins closer of the future. Petty is one of the most exciting players in the Twins farm system, ranking as our 7th best prospect.
     
    Petty saw very limited action in the 2021 minor league season, making 2 appearances (one start) for the FCL Twins in the Florida Complex League. Between these 2 appearances, he threw 5 innings, allowing 3 runs on 6 hits and one walk while striking out 6. He only faced 21 batters so obviously this is a small sample size, but Petty had a solid start to his professional baseball career. Look for Petty to make some noise in 2022.
     
    Comp Round A, Pick 36: Noah Miller, SS, Ozaukee HS (WI)

    It is often said that shortstops are the best athletes on the field. Most MLB infielders were shortstops on their high school or college teams. It is always a good thing to have too many shortstops because you can move them around the field.
    Seth Stohs wrote a great article about Noah Miller that really highlights everything about him. The Twins loved his makeup, athleticism, and rare ability to hit at a high level from both sides of the plate. In Miller's senior year of high school, he hit .608 with 6 home runs and 21 RBI’s. Miller currently ranks as the Twins number 13 prospect.
     
    In Miller’s first taste of pro-ball, he was assigned to the FCL Twins and in 96 plate appearances, he slashed .238/.316/.369 with 3 doubles, a triple, and 2 home runs. He had 9 walks to 26 strikeouts and committed 4 errors out of 86 chances, good for a .952 fielding percentage.
     
    Miller struggled in his first taste of pro ball this season but he was only an 18 year old and he still has a very bright future ahead of him.
     
    Round 2, Pick 61: Steve Hajjar, LHP, Michigan

    Steve Hajjar is a 6’5” 215 lb pitcher from the University of Michigan. He throws a fastball in the low 90s and it has been up to 95 mph. His best pitch is his changeup, and MLB Pipeline says that he does a very good job of selling his changeup with fastball arm speed, which can be very deceptive to hitters. Hajjar is ranked as the number 22 prospect in the Twins system.
     
    Hajjar did not pitch professionally in 2021. In 81.2 innings at Michigan, he was 4-2 with a 3.09 ERA. His K/9 was very impressive at 12.2, while having a BB/9 of 3.2. He was named All-Big Ten Conference First Team. He also led the Big Ten in strikeouts.
     
    Hajjar is a 21 year old so he will probably progress a little quicker through the minor leagues than Petty and Miller. Hajjar will be a fun prospect to watch develop and I am excited to hopefully see him at Target Field soon.
     
    Round 3, Pick 98: Cade Povich, LHP, Nebraska

    Cade Povich is a 6’3” 185 lb pitcher from the University of Nebraska. He has a fastball that tops out around 91 MPH. Povich does not have a whole lot available on him or his pitch repertoire, but he seems like a crafty lefty who really understands how to pitch.
     
    Povich, initially from Bellevue West High School, went to South Mountain CC in Phoenix for one year and excelled. He went 10-1 with a 1.52 ERA before transferring to Nebraska. Along with Hajjar, Povich was also named All-Big Ten Conference First Team in 2021. He went 6-1 with a 3.11 ERA. He also had 9.8K/9 and 2.4BB/9.
     
    In professional ball, Povich made one start with the FCL Twins and went 2 innings, allowing one hit and striking out 3. He also made 3 appearances for Low-A affiliate Fort Myers and pitched very well, compiling 8 innings and allowing only 1 earned run, 6 hits, 2 walks, and 2 HBP while striking out 16 (!!).
     
    Povich was dominant in his limited 10 innings of work this year and he will definitely be a prospect to follow if he continues his success in the minors.
     
    Round 4, Pick 128: Christian Encarnacion-Strand, 3B, Oklahoma State

    Christian Encarnacion-Strand is a 6’0” 224 lb 3B from Oklahoma State University. Encarnacion-Strand has a very talented bat and extremely strong throwing arm. He is a little limited on his feet as the Twins will probably move him to 1B eventually.
     
    Encarnacion-Strand, initially from Pleasant Hill, CA, went to Yavapai CC for his first two years of eligibility. At Yavapai, Encarnacion-Strand absolutely mashed, hitting .410 with 31 doubles and 33 home runs in just 81 career games. At Oklahoma State, he slashed .361/.442/.661 with 15 home runs and 66 RBI’s in his one year there. He was named Big 12 newcomer of the year and was unanimously selected to the All-Big Twelve Conference First Team.
     
    In his first taste of professional baseball, Encarnacion-Strand slashed .391/.424/.598 with 4 home runs in 92 plate appearances for the Twins low-A affiliate Fort Myers. He did have 5 walks compared to 26 strikeouts, which could be an area of concern as he progresses, but he is still young and has shown a lot of potential with his bat so far. He will be a fun prospect to watch crush opposing pitching and hopefully he continues this impressive offensive start.
     
    Round 5, Pick 159: Christian Macleod, LHP, Mississippi State

    Christian Macleod is a 6’4” 227 lb LHP from Mississippi State University. Macleod has a fastball that ranges from 87 to 93 MPH but is very effective because he commands it well and tunnels it well with his best pitch, an upper 70s curveball with great depth.
     
    Macleod is originally from Huntsville, Alabama. In his collegiate career at Mississippi State, Macleod went 10-6 with a 4.34 ERA. He had a 12.8K/9 and a 3.4BB/9. His ERA for 2021 was not great at 5.23, but before playoffs he had a 3.14 ERA and a few bad outings ballooned that ERA. In the shortened 2020 season, he was named Co-National Freshman Player of the Year by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, going 4-0 with a 0.86 ERA.
     
    Macleod only appeared in one game with the FCL Twins this season, going 1&⅔ innings, allowing no runs, one hit, and two walks while striking out 5. Macleod has a chance to be a back-end starting pitcher and he will be an interesting prospect to follow. If he adds some velocity, he could make a huge jump.
     
    Round 6, Pick 189: Travis Adams, RHP, Sacramento State

    Travis Adams is a 6’0” 195 lb RHP from Sacramento State. Contrary to what pitchers are becoming more of as strikeouts and walks are rising league wide, Adams is a control specialist who won’t blow anyone away with his strikeout numbers but he hardly walks anyone.
     
    Adams is originally from Desert Hot Springs, California. In his collegiate career at Sacramento State, Adams went 10-6 with a 3.75 ERA. He had 7.75 K/9 and an impressive 1.49 BB/9. In 2021, the MLB average for BB/9 was 3.3, so Adams thrives in that area of the game.
     
    Adams made one appearance for the FCL Twins, recording 4 outs while allowing 3 earned runs, 2 hits, 2 walks, and struck out 3. If Adams can improve his stuff he could be a good prospect for the Twins going forward.
     
    Round 7, Pick 219: Jake Rucker, 3B, Tennessee

    Jake Rucker is a 6’2” 185 lb 3B from the University of Tennessee. He was a very solid player at Tennessee and can play every position in the infield. He is very aggressive at the plate and solid in the field. Rucker lacks an elite trait so it might make it difficult for him to excel in pro ball, but he could be a solid player.
     
    Rucker is originally from Greenbrier, Tennessee. In his collegiate career at Tennessee, he slashed .311/.388/.463 with 12 home runs and 96 RBI’s. In 2021, he really broke out. He had an OPS of .919 and had 21 doubles, 2 triples, and 9 home runs. He was named a 3rd team All-American this year and also garnered First Team All-SEC honors.
     
    Rucker had 85 plate appearances at low-A Fort Myers this year, and slashed .265/.376/.324 with 2 doubles and 1 triple. These numbers are not other-worldly but they are a great starting point for an experienced versatile player like Rucker. It will be fun to see how he progresses into 2022. 
     
    Round 8, Pick 249: Noah Cardenas, C, UCLA

    Noah Cardenas is a 6’1” 190 lb catcher from UCLA. Cardenas is an outstanding defensive catcher. If Cardenas is going to make an impact in the league, he will have to improve at the plate. Right now he profiles like Ben Rortvedt, an outstanding defender who doesn't stand out offensively.
     
    Cardenas is originally from Saugus, California. In his collegiate career at UCLA, he slashed .302/.407/.426 with 8 home runs and 30 extra base hits. His freshman year, he had an OPS of .976 in 58 games. In 2021, he had a .775 OPS. He also threw out 38% of base-stealers. Cardenas was named to the 2021 Pac-12 All-Conference Team.
     
    Cardenas had 25 plate appearances with the FCL Twins in 2021. He went 6-20 with a double, a home run, and 3 walks. A very small sample size, but if Cardenas could get back to his 2019 self offensively and continues to dominate defensively, he could be a very nice prospect for the Twins.
     
    Round 9, Pick 279: Patrick Winkel, C, Connecticut

    Patrick Winkel is a 6’1'' 200 lb catcher from the University of Connecticut. Mlb dot com says that Winkel is a great athlete behind the plate with above average power but needs to improve his hit tool to use his power more regularly.
     
    Winkel is originally from Orange, CT. In his career, he slashed .300/.359/.507 with 18 home runs and 41 extra base hits in 102 games. He also threw out 25% of potential base-stealers. Winkel was named All-BIG East Second Team in 2021. 
     
    Winkel had 84 plate appearances at Low-A Fort Myers in 2021. He slashed .243/.369/.357 with 5 doubles and a home run. Beginning his career in Low-A shows that the Twins have confidence in where Winkel could go with his career. He struggled more than he did in college, but that is expected. Hopefully with some experience under his belt he can thrive in 2022.
     
    Round 10, Pick 309: Ernie Yake, SS, Gonzaga

    Ernie Yake is a 5’10” 175 lb SS from Gonzaga. Yake was a phenomenal shortstop at Gonzaga and played four years there. Yake is an older prospect, as he will be 24 years old at the start of the 2022 season.
     
    Yake is originally from Bellingham, WA. In his career at Gonzaga, he slashed .320/.392/.419 with 6 home runs and 54 extra base hits. He also walked 71 times compared to only 53 strikeouts, so he controls the zone very well. In 2021, he was a national semifinalist for the Brooks Wallace award, given yearly to the best shortstop in college baseball.

    Yake only had 26 plate appearances with the FCL Twins in 2021, slashing .227/.370/.318 with 2 doubles and 3 stolen bases. Yake will be fun to follow as he could be a Luis Arraez type hitter who puts the ball in play and rarely strikes out, while playing great defense at shortstop.
     
    Part 2 highlighting our picks in rounds 11-20 will be coming soon
     
    Thank you for reading and Go Twins!
  10. Like
    Andrew Mahlke got a reaction from Minny505 for a blog entry, What should the Twins offer Byron Buxton?   
    Back in March, Matthew Trueblood wrote an excellent article on Twins Daily about what a potential Byron Buxton extension would look like. Now, obviously this was before Buxton’s phenomenal (injury plagued, but still phenomenal) 2021 campaign. After the season Buxton had, his value for a future extension skyrocketed.
    With Byron Buxton up until about 2019, the main question was always: “Will he be able to hit major league pitching?”. He always played phenomenal defense, ran the bases ridiculously well, and had an incredibly strong arm. He just had to put it together at the plate. Well, since the start of 2019, Buxton is 20th in the MLB in OPS and 4th in the MLB in slugging percentage. Buxton has really put it together at the plate in the last 3 seasons and it has been a joy to watch. 
    Before we get into his contract specifics, let’s highlight how special Byron Buxton is.
    5-Tool Player
    Byron Buxton helps the Twins win games, plain and simple. Since the beginning of 2019, the Twins are 104-68 when Buxton plays, and 106-106 when he does not. This means that they play at roughly a 98 win pace when he is on the field and an 81 win pace when he is not. This is the difference between not making the playoffs at all and getting home-field advantage in the playoffs. Let’s take a dive into what makes Buxton such a difference-maker for the Twins.
    Hitting
    I mentioned earlier how Buxton has really found his stride with his swing. Back in May of 2019, towards the beginning of Buxton’s outbreak, Parker Hageman wrote a phenomenal article about Byron Buxton’s swing. He took a deep dive into the swing adjustments Buxton had made that year that led to his success. Ever since then, his career has taken off.
    Buxton has been riddled with injuries his entire career, that is no secret. But since 2019, out of all players with a maximum of 700 plate appearances, Buxton leads with 102 extra base hits. The next closest player is Buxton’s teammate, Mitch Garver with 79 extra base hits. With limited appearances, Buxton is thriving.
    Using Baseball Savant’s handy Affinity feature, you can see which players have the most similar batted ball profiles to each other. In 2021, the most similar batters to Buxton were Yordan Alvarez, Fernando Tatis Jr., Rafael Devers, Salvador Perez, Josh Donaldson, and Aaron Judge. Buxton is up there with the cream of the crop. If you follow baseball at all, you know all of these guys are absolute stars and Buxton’s name belongs in that conversation as well.
    2021 was his best year yet. He had a 169 wRC+, had 42 extra base hits (19 home runs), and a 1.005 OPS. Buxton proved in 2021 that he couldn’t just hit, but absolutely MASH major league pitching.
    Defense
    Buxton has always been elite defensively, winning a platinum glove as the AL’s best defensive player in 2017. Since 2016, Buxton has 58 outs above average (OAA), the 5th most among all center fielders. All of the players ahead of him (Lorenzo Cain, Kevin Kiermaier, Billy Hamilton, and Ender Inciarte) played at least 140 more games than Buxton in that span. If Buxton had played 140 more games, he would have the most OAA by 10 outs. It is safe to say that when Buxton is healthy he is the best defensive CF in baseball. He also has an absolute cannon in the outfield. His arm strength has been measured at 99 MPH before, so he definitely has an above average arm.
    Speed
    Buxton has always been one of the fastest players in the MLB. In 2021, Buxton was in the 99th percentile in sprint speed. His average sprint speed was 30 ft/sec and he had the fastest average home to first time at 4.00 sec. Buxton is a game-changer on the bases and has made a huge impact on many games on the basepaths, most notably walking off the Detroit Tigers on a seemingly routine ground ball to the shortstop. 
    Overall Value
    Since 2019, Buxton has been worth 8.1 fWAR in 187 games, or a pace of 7 fWAR per 162 games. To put that number into perspective, there were zero position players with a WAR of 7 or over in 2021. In the last full season, 2019, the only players with a WAR 7 or above were Mike Trout, Alex Bregman, Christian Yelich, Cody Bellinger, Marcus Semien, and Anthony Rendon.
    Buxton’s WAR in 2021 was 4.2 over 61 games. Extrapolated to 162 games, that would be the equivalent of 11.2. That is absolutely ridiculous. That would be tied for the 17th best single season of all time in terms of WAR.
    Injuries
    Just looking at his raw per 162 numbers, you would think that the Twins should sign Buxton to a 10 year, $500 million extension. Unfortunately, Buxton has been injury prone throughout his career. As of July 2021, Buxton had only played 181 of 484 possible games since 2018. It is hard to justify giving him a big extension if he isn’t going to be healthy for a majority of it.
    Extension structure
    In short, I would offer Buxton an extension over seven years. It will start in 2023 and go through 2029, his age 29 through 35 season. As Buxton ages, his defense and speed will most likely deteriorate and he will not be as valuable. You also have to factor in his injury history so you won’t be paying full price.
    Consider the following:
    Since 2019, Buxton has played 187 of a possible 384 games, or 48% of possible games.  Since 2019, Buxton has accumulated 8.1 WAR in 187 games, or 7 WAR/162 games According to Fangraphs, you should pay $8M/WAR. So,
    If Buxton were to play 162 games, he would be worth 7 WAR x $8M/WAR = $56M/year This is obviously egregious, especially considering the Twins usually have a payroll from 125-140M.
    According to spotrac, with the exception of the Dodgers, the top payrolls are right around $200M. We are going to assume those teams are able to use the $8M/WAR calculation
    Since the Twins will use maximum 140M of payroll, 70% of what the top payrolls use, we will also use 0.7 as our multiplier for the WAR value calculation.
    $8M/WAR x 0.7 = $5.6M/WAR
    Using our new 5.6M/WAR, he would be worth roughly $39M a year if he played 162. I think this is fair for a player of his caliber. He has been an MVP level player the last 3 seasons, and shows no signs of stopping.
    Besides injuries.
    Since Buxton has only played about 48% of possible games, I would pay him 48% of that $39M per year.
    39M x 0.48 = about $19M a year. This is the base salary I would give Buxton. His base contract should be 7 years, $133 million
    However, we should account for the fact that there is a chance he remains healthy. This is where it gets tricky. This is where I bring in incentives to the contract.
    Buxton’s 7 WAR per 162 is worth 0.043 WAR per game. The current contract is assuming he plays 80 games If Buxton plays 120 games, he will get the original 19 million plus an additional amount of money We will determine this amount of money by multiplying his WAR per game by the additional 40 games he will be playing
    40 games x 0.043 WAR per game = 1.7 WAR x $5.6M per WAR = $9.5M If Buxton plays 120 games, he should earn an additional 10 million.
    For 130 games, he will be worth an additional 2.4 million using that formula For 140 games, he will be worth another 2.4 million And for 150, he will be worth 2.4 million more. Contract Summary
    Base contract: 7 years, $133 million ($19M AAV)
    120 games incentive: $9.5M/yr ($28.5M AAV)
    130 games incentive: $2.4M/yr ($30.9M AAV)
    140 games incentive: $2.4M/yr ($33.3M AAV)
    150 games incentive: $2.4M/yr ($35.7M AAV)
    If Buxton plays 150 games, he could be making up to $35.7 million per year. This is the contract I would propose to Buxton because he would be getting a good amount of guaranteed money and it also helps him understand that playing a certain amount of games could get him an absurd amount of money.
    How does this contract compare?
    A salary of 19M per year (if he meets no incentives) would make him the 27th highest paid position player in baseball. Since 2019, he is 33rd in WAR among all position players, so this base contract would be just about right. If he meets all of the incentives, he would be the highest paid position player in baseball, which is fair considering the amount of talent he has and his production over a full healthy season would be at an MVP level. I think at his peak, he will play about 120-130 games, making his salary between 28 and 31 million. This would put him in the range of the 5th to 8th highest position player in the league. 
    TL: DR version
    Pay Buxton a base salary of $19 million a year for 7 years, with games played incentives from 120 games to 150 games of various amounts that could net him up to $35.7 million per year.
    Conclusion
    Byron Buxton is a generational type of talent and I haven’t seen anyone like him in a Twins uniform my whole life. It would be a mistake to let him go just because of financial concerns. He is a player that you would rather overpay than not pay at all, so priority number ONE this offseason needs to be extending him. If there’s one player to offer this type of contract to, it’s Buck.
    Thank you for reading, and Go Twins.
     
  11. Like
    Andrew Mahlke got a reaction from 4twinsJA for a blog entry, Checking in on the Twins 2021 Draft Class: Part 1   
    The MLB draft is not nearly as popular as the NFL or NBA drafts. In 2021, 12.6 million people tuned in to watch Roger Goodell announce the first round of draft picks. Over the last 10 years, the NBA draft has had between 2 and 4 million viewers. The MLB however, had barely over 1 million viewers in 2021. However, the MLB draft remains very important.
     
    Since 1965 (when the first MLB draft was held), 9 of the Twins top 13 players in terms of WAR were drafted by the Twins. These players include Joe Mauer, Kirby Puckett, Kent Hrbek, Chuck Knoblauch, Gary Gaetti, Torii Hunter, Justin Morneau, Brian Dozier, and Corey Koskie. As you can see, most of our franchise’s best players were drafted by us and that stresses the importance of drafting well.
     
    Without further ado, let’s jump in to checking in on our 2021 draft class

     
    Round 1, Pick 26: Chase Petty, RHP, Mainland Regional HS (NJ)

    Chase Petty was one of the most electrifying players drafted in 2021. Petty was the third high school pitcher taken in the draft. High school pitchers are generally riskier selections than college pitchers just because they haven’t proven themselves at a higher level yet. 
     
    Petty is worth the risk. He has a fastball that sits in the upper 90s and it has been up to 100 mph. He also has a firm slider that sits in the upper 80s and has a spin rate between 2600 and 2700 RPM. Lookout Landing does a great job breaking down Petty’s stuff and mechanics here. 
     
    Petty is a high-octane arm who only throws three pitches, so I foresee him as the Twins closer of the future. Petty is one of the most exciting players in the Twins farm system, ranking as our 7th best prospect.
     
    Petty saw very limited action in the 2021 minor league season, making 2 appearances (one start) for the FCL Twins in the Florida Complex League. Between these 2 appearances, he threw 5 innings, allowing 3 runs on 6 hits and one walk while striking out 6. He only faced 21 batters so obviously this is a small sample size, but Petty had a solid start to his professional baseball career. Look for Petty to make some noise in 2022.
     
    Comp Round A, Pick 36: Noah Miller, SS, Ozaukee HS (WI)

    It is often said that shortstops are the best athletes on the field. Most MLB infielders were shortstops on their high school or college teams. It is always a good thing to have too many shortstops because you can move them around the field.
    Seth Stohs wrote a great article about Noah Miller that really highlights everything about him. The Twins loved his makeup, athleticism, and rare ability to hit at a high level from both sides of the plate. In Miller's senior year of high school, he hit .608 with 6 home runs and 21 RBI’s. Miller currently ranks as the Twins number 13 prospect.
     
    In Miller’s first taste of pro-ball, he was assigned to the FCL Twins and in 96 plate appearances, he slashed .238/.316/.369 with 3 doubles, a triple, and 2 home runs. He had 9 walks to 26 strikeouts and committed 4 errors out of 86 chances, good for a .952 fielding percentage.
     
    Miller struggled in his first taste of pro ball this season but he was only an 18 year old and he still has a very bright future ahead of him.
     
    Round 2, Pick 61: Steve Hajjar, LHP, Michigan

    Steve Hajjar is a 6’5” 215 lb pitcher from the University of Michigan. He throws a fastball in the low 90s and it has been up to 95 mph. His best pitch is his changeup, and MLB Pipeline says that he does a very good job of selling his changeup with fastball arm speed, which can be very deceptive to hitters. Hajjar is ranked as the number 22 prospect in the Twins system.
     
    Hajjar did not pitch professionally in 2021. In 81.2 innings at Michigan, he was 4-2 with a 3.09 ERA. His K/9 was very impressive at 12.2, while having a BB/9 of 3.2. He was named All-Big Ten Conference First Team. He also led the Big Ten in strikeouts.
     
    Hajjar is a 21 year old so he will probably progress a little quicker through the minor leagues than Petty and Miller. Hajjar will be a fun prospect to watch develop and I am excited to hopefully see him at Target Field soon.
     
    Round 3, Pick 98: Cade Povich, LHP, Nebraska

    Cade Povich is a 6’3” 185 lb pitcher from the University of Nebraska. He has a fastball that tops out around 91 MPH. Povich does not have a whole lot available on him or his pitch repertoire, but he seems like a crafty lefty who really understands how to pitch.
     
    Povich, initially from Bellevue West High School, went to South Mountain CC in Phoenix for one year and excelled. He went 10-1 with a 1.52 ERA before transferring to Nebraska. Along with Hajjar, Povich was also named All-Big Ten Conference First Team in 2021. He went 6-1 with a 3.11 ERA. He also had 9.8K/9 and 2.4BB/9.
     
    In professional ball, Povich made one start with the FCL Twins and went 2 innings, allowing one hit and striking out 3. He also made 3 appearances for Low-A affiliate Fort Myers and pitched very well, compiling 8 innings and allowing only 1 earned run, 6 hits, 2 walks, and 2 HBP while striking out 16 (!!).
     
    Povich was dominant in his limited 10 innings of work this year and he will definitely be a prospect to follow if he continues his success in the minors.
     
    Round 4, Pick 128: Christian Encarnacion-Strand, 3B, Oklahoma State

    Christian Encarnacion-Strand is a 6’0” 224 lb 3B from Oklahoma State University. Encarnacion-Strand has a very talented bat and extremely strong throwing arm. He is a little limited on his feet as the Twins will probably move him to 1B eventually.
     
    Encarnacion-Strand, initially from Pleasant Hill, CA, went to Yavapai CC for his first two years of eligibility. At Yavapai, Encarnacion-Strand absolutely mashed, hitting .410 with 31 doubles and 33 home runs in just 81 career games. At Oklahoma State, he slashed .361/.442/.661 with 15 home runs and 66 RBI’s in his one year there. He was named Big 12 newcomer of the year and was unanimously selected to the All-Big Twelve Conference First Team.
     
    In his first taste of professional baseball, Encarnacion-Strand slashed .391/.424/.598 with 4 home runs in 92 plate appearances for the Twins low-A affiliate Fort Myers. He did have 5 walks compared to 26 strikeouts, which could be an area of concern as he progresses, but he is still young and has shown a lot of potential with his bat so far. He will be a fun prospect to watch crush opposing pitching and hopefully he continues this impressive offensive start.
     
    Round 5, Pick 159: Christian Macleod, LHP, Mississippi State

    Christian Macleod is a 6’4” 227 lb LHP from Mississippi State University. Macleod has a fastball that ranges from 87 to 93 MPH but is very effective because he commands it well and tunnels it well with his best pitch, an upper 70s curveball with great depth.
     
    Macleod is originally from Huntsville, Alabama. In his collegiate career at Mississippi State, Macleod went 10-6 with a 4.34 ERA. He had a 12.8K/9 and a 3.4BB/9. His ERA for 2021 was not great at 5.23, but before playoffs he had a 3.14 ERA and a few bad outings ballooned that ERA. In the shortened 2020 season, he was named Co-National Freshman Player of the Year by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, going 4-0 with a 0.86 ERA.
     
    Macleod only appeared in one game with the FCL Twins this season, going 1&⅔ innings, allowing no runs, one hit, and two walks while striking out 5. Macleod has a chance to be a back-end starting pitcher and he will be an interesting prospect to follow. If he adds some velocity, he could make a huge jump.
     
    Round 6, Pick 189: Travis Adams, RHP, Sacramento State

    Travis Adams is a 6’0” 195 lb RHP from Sacramento State. Contrary to what pitchers are becoming more of as strikeouts and walks are rising league wide, Adams is a control specialist who won’t blow anyone away with his strikeout numbers but he hardly walks anyone.
     
    Adams is originally from Desert Hot Springs, California. In his collegiate career at Sacramento State, Adams went 10-6 with a 3.75 ERA. He had 7.75 K/9 and an impressive 1.49 BB/9. In 2021, the MLB average for BB/9 was 3.3, so Adams thrives in that area of the game.
     
    Adams made one appearance for the FCL Twins, recording 4 outs while allowing 3 earned runs, 2 hits, 2 walks, and struck out 3. If Adams can improve his stuff he could be a good prospect for the Twins going forward.
     
    Round 7, Pick 219: Jake Rucker, 3B, Tennessee

    Jake Rucker is a 6’2” 185 lb 3B from the University of Tennessee. He was a very solid player at Tennessee and can play every position in the infield. He is very aggressive at the plate and solid in the field. Rucker lacks an elite trait so it might make it difficult for him to excel in pro ball, but he could be a solid player.
     
    Rucker is originally from Greenbrier, Tennessee. In his collegiate career at Tennessee, he slashed .311/.388/.463 with 12 home runs and 96 RBI’s. In 2021, he really broke out. He had an OPS of .919 and had 21 doubles, 2 triples, and 9 home runs. He was named a 3rd team All-American this year and also garnered First Team All-SEC honors.
     
    Rucker had 85 plate appearances at low-A Fort Myers this year, and slashed .265/.376/.324 with 2 doubles and 1 triple. These numbers are not other-worldly but they are a great starting point for an experienced versatile player like Rucker. It will be fun to see how he progresses into 2022. 
     
    Round 8, Pick 249: Noah Cardenas, C, UCLA

    Noah Cardenas is a 6’1” 190 lb catcher from UCLA. Cardenas is an outstanding defensive catcher. If Cardenas is going to make an impact in the league, he will have to improve at the plate. Right now he profiles like Ben Rortvedt, an outstanding defender who doesn't stand out offensively.
     
    Cardenas is originally from Saugus, California. In his collegiate career at UCLA, he slashed .302/.407/.426 with 8 home runs and 30 extra base hits. His freshman year, he had an OPS of .976 in 58 games. In 2021, he had a .775 OPS. He also threw out 38% of base-stealers. Cardenas was named to the 2021 Pac-12 All-Conference Team.
     
    Cardenas had 25 plate appearances with the FCL Twins in 2021. He went 6-20 with a double, a home run, and 3 walks. A very small sample size, but if Cardenas could get back to his 2019 self offensively and continues to dominate defensively, he could be a very nice prospect for the Twins.
     
    Round 9, Pick 279: Patrick Winkel, C, Connecticut

    Patrick Winkel is a 6’1'' 200 lb catcher from the University of Connecticut. Mlb dot com says that Winkel is a great athlete behind the plate with above average power but needs to improve his hit tool to use his power more regularly.
     
    Winkel is originally from Orange, CT. In his career, he slashed .300/.359/.507 with 18 home runs and 41 extra base hits in 102 games. He also threw out 25% of potential base-stealers. Winkel was named All-BIG East Second Team in 2021. 
     
    Winkel had 84 plate appearances at Low-A Fort Myers in 2021. He slashed .243/.369/.357 with 5 doubles and a home run. Beginning his career in Low-A shows that the Twins have confidence in where Winkel could go with his career. He struggled more than he did in college, but that is expected. Hopefully with some experience under his belt he can thrive in 2022.
     
    Round 10, Pick 309: Ernie Yake, SS, Gonzaga

    Ernie Yake is a 5’10” 175 lb SS from Gonzaga. Yake was a phenomenal shortstop at Gonzaga and played four years there. Yake is an older prospect, as he will be 24 years old at the start of the 2022 season.
     
    Yake is originally from Bellingham, WA. In his career at Gonzaga, he slashed .320/.392/.419 with 6 home runs and 54 extra base hits. He also walked 71 times compared to only 53 strikeouts, so he controls the zone very well. In 2021, he was a national semifinalist for the Brooks Wallace award, given yearly to the best shortstop in college baseball.

    Yake only had 26 plate appearances with the FCL Twins in 2021, slashing .227/.370/.318 with 2 doubles and 3 stolen bases. Yake will be fun to follow as he could be a Luis Arraez type hitter who puts the ball in play and rarely strikes out, while playing great defense at shortstop.
     
    Part 2 highlighting our picks in rounds 11-20 will be coming soon
     
    Thank you for reading and Go Twins!
  12. Like
    Andrew Mahlke got a reaction from tarheeltwinsfan for a blog entry, Checking in on the Twins 2021 Draft Class: Part 1   
    The MLB draft is not nearly as popular as the NFL or NBA drafts. In 2021, 12.6 million people tuned in to watch Roger Goodell announce the first round of draft picks. Over the last 10 years, the NBA draft has had between 2 and 4 million viewers. The MLB however, had barely over 1 million viewers in 2021. However, the MLB draft remains very important.
     
    Since 1965 (when the first MLB draft was held), 9 of the Twins top 13 players in terms of WAR were drafted by the Twins. These players include Joe Mauer, Kirby Puckett, Kent Hrbek, Chuck Knoblauch, Gary Gaetti, Torii Hunter, Justin Morneau, Brian Dozier, and Corey Koskie. As you can see, most of our franchise’s best players were drafted by us and that stresses the importance of drafting well.
     
    Without further ado, let’s jump in to checking in on our 2021 draft class

     
    Round 1, Pick 26: Chase Petty, RHP, Mainland Regional HS (NJ)

    Chase Petty was one of the most electrifying players drafted in 2021. Petty was the third high school pitcher taken in the draft. High school pitchers are generally riskier selections than college pitchers just because they haven’t proven themselves at a higher level yet. 
     
    Petty is worth the risk. He has a fastball that sits in the upper 90s and it has been up to 100 mph. He also has a firm slider that sits in the upper 80s and has a spin rate between 2600 and 2700 RPM. Lookout Landing does a great job breaking down Petty’s stuff and mechanics here. 
     
    Petty is a high-octane arm who only throws three pitches, so I foresee him as the Twins closer of the future. Petty is one of the most exciting players in the Twins farm system, ranking as our 7th best prospect.
     
    Petty saw very limited action in the 2021 minor league season, making 2 appearances (one start) for the FCL Twins in the Florida Complex League. Between these 2 appearances, he threw 5 innings, allowing 3 runs on 6 hits and one walk while striking out 6. He only faced 21 batters so obviously this is a small sample size, but Petty had a solid start to his professional baseball career. Look for Petty to make some noise in 2022.
     
    Comp Round A, Pick 36: Noah Miller, SS, Ozaukee HS (WI)

    It is often said that shortstops are the best athletes on the field. Most MLB infielders were shortstops on their high school or college teams. It is always a good thing to have too many shortstops because you can move them around the field.
    Seth Stohs wrote a great article about Noah Miller that really highlights everything about him. The Twins loved his makeup, athleticism, and rare ability to hit at a high level from both sides of the plate. In Miller's senior year of high school, he hit .608 with 6 home runs and 21 RBI’s. Miller currently ranks as the Twins number 13 prospect.
     
    In Miller’s first taste of pro-ball, he was assigned to the FCL Twins and in 96 plate appearances, he slashed .238/.316/.369 with 3 doubles, a triple, and 2 home runs. He had 9 walks to 26 strikeouts and committed 4 errors out of 86 chances, good for a .952 fielding percentage.
     
    Miller struggled in his first taste of pro ball this season but he was only an 18 year old and he still has a very bright future ahead of him.
     
    Round 2, Pick 61: Steve Hajjar, LHP, Michigan

    Steve Hajjar is a 6’5” 215 lb pitcher from the University of Michigan. He throws a fastball in the low 90s and it has been up to 95 mph. His best pitch is his changeup, and MLB Pipeline says that he does a very good job of selling his changeup with fastball arm speed, which can be very deceptive to hitters. Hajjar is ranked as the number 22 prospect in the Twins system.
     
    Hajjar did not pitch professionally in 2021. In 81.2 innings at Michigan, he was 4-2 with a 3.09 ERA. His K/9 was very impressive at 12.2, while having a BB/9 of 3.2. He was named All-Big Ten Conference First Team. He also led the Big Ten in strikeouts.
     
    Hajjar is a 21 year old so he will probably progress a little quicker through the minor leagues than Petty and Miller. Hajjar will be a fun prospect to watch develop and I am excited to hopefully see him at Target Field soon.
     
    Round 3, Pick 98: Cade Povich, LHP, Nebraska

    Cade Povich is a 6’3” 185 lb pitcher from the University of Nebraska. He has a fastball that tops out around 91 MPH. Povich does not have a whole lot available on him or his pitch repertoire, but he seems like a crafty lefty who really understands how to pitch.
     
    Povich, initially from Bellevue West High School, went to South Mountain CC in Phoenix for one year and excelled. He went 10-1 with a 1.52 ERA before transferring to Nebraska. Along with Hajjar, Povich was also named All-Big Ten Conference First Team in 2021. He went 6-1 with a 3.11 ERA. He also had 9.8K/9 and 2.4BB/9.
     
    In professional ball, Povich made one start with the FCL Twins and went 2 innings, allowing one hit and striking out 3. He also made 3 appearances for Low-A affiliate Fort Myers and pitched very well, compiling 8 innings and allowing only 1 earned run, 6 hits, 2 walks, and 2 HBP while striking out 16 (!!).
     
    Povich was dominant in his limited 10 innings of work this year and he will definitely be a prospect to follow if he continues his success in the minors.
     
    Round 4, Pick 128: Christian Encarnacion-Strand, 3B, Oklahoma State

    Christian Encarnacion-Strand is a 6’0” 224 lb 3B from Oklahoma State University. Encarnacion-Strand has a very talented bat and extremely strong throwing arm. He is a little limited on his feet as the Twins will probably move him to 1B eventually.
     
    Encarnacion-Strand, initially from Pleasant Hill, CA, went to Yavapai CC for his first two years of eligibility. At Yavapai, Encarnacion-Strand absolutely mashed, hitting .410 with 31 doubles and 33 home runs in just 81 career games. At Oklahoma State, he slashed .361/.442/.661 with 15 home runs and 66 RBI’s in his one year there. He was named Big 12 newcomer of the year and was unanimously selected to the All-Big Twelve Conference First Team.
     
    In his first taste of professional baseball, Encarnacion-Strand slashed .391/.424/.598 with 4 home runs in 92 plate appearances for the Twins low-A affiliate Fort Myers. He did have 5 walks compared to 26 strikeouts, which could be an area of concern as he progresses, but he is still young and has shown a lot of potential with his bat so far. He will be a fun prospect to watch crush opposing pitching and hopefully he continues this impressive offensive start.
     
    Round 5, Pick 159: Christian Macleod, LHP, Mississippi State

    Christian Macleod is a 6’4” 227 lb LHP from Mississippi State University. Macleod has a fastball that ranges from 87 to 93 MPH but is very effective because he commands it well and tunnels it well with his best pitch, an upper 70s curveball with great depth.
     
    Macleod is originally from Huntsville, Alabama. In his collegiate career at Mississippi State, Macleod went 10-6 with a 4.34 ERA. He had a 12.8K/9 and a 3.4BB/9. His ERA for 2021 was not great at 5.23, but before playoffs he had a 3.14 ERA and a few bad outings ballooned that ERA. In the shortened 2020 season, he was named Co-National Freshman Player of the Year by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, going 4-0 with a 0.86 ERA.
     
    Macleod only appeared in one game with the FCL Twins this season, going 1&⅔ innings, allowing no runs, one hit, and two walks while striking out 5. Macleod has a chance to be a back-end starting pitcher and he will be an interesting prospect to follow. If he adds some velocity, he could make a huge jump.
     
    Round 6, Pick 189: Travis Adams, RHP, Sacramento State

    Travis Adams is a 6’0” 195 lb RHP from Sacramento State. Contrary to what pitchers are becoming more of as strikeouts and walks are rising league wide, Adams is a control specialist who won’t blow anyone away with his strikeout numbers but he hardly walks anyone.
     
    Adams is originally from Desert Hot Springs, California. In his collegiate career at Sacramento State, Adams went 10-6 with a 3.75 ERA. He had 7.75 K/9 and an impressive 1.49 BB/9. In 2021, the MLB average for BB/9 was 3.3, so Adams thrives in that area of the game.
     
    Adams made one appearance for the FCL Twins, recording 4 outs while allowing 3 earned runs, 2 hits, 2 walks, and struck out 3. If Adams can improve his stuff he could be a good prospect for the Twins going forward.
     
    Round 7, Pick 219: Jake Rucker, 3B, Tennessee

    Jake Rucker is a 6’2” 185 lb 3B from the University of Tennessee. He was a very solid player at Tennessee and can play every position in the infield. He is very aggressive at the plate and solid in the field. Rucker lacks an elite trait so it might make it difficult for him to excel in pro ball, but he could be a solid player.
     
    Rucker is originally from Greenbrier, Tennessee. In his collegiate career at Tennessee, he slashed .311/.388/.463 with 12 home runs and 96 RBI’s. In 2021, he really broke out. He had an OPS of .919 and had 21 doubles, 2 triples, and 9 home runs. He was named a 3rd team All-American this year and also garnered First Team All-SEC honors.
     
    Rucker had 85 plate appearances at low-A Fort Myers this year, and slashed .265/.376/.324 with 2 doubles and 1 triple. These numbers are not other-worldly but they are a great starting point for an experienced versatile player like Rucker. It will be fun to see how he progresses into 2022. 
     
    Round 8, Pick 249: Noah Cardenas, C, UCLA

    Noah Cardenas is a 6’1” 190 lb catcher from UCLA. Cardenas is an outstanding defensive catcher. If Cardenas is going to make an impact in the league, he will have to improve at the plate. Right now he profiles like Ben Rortvedt, an outstanding defender who doesn't stand out offensively.
     
    Cardenas is originally from Saugus, California. In his collegiate career at UCLA, he slashed .302/.407/.426 with 8 home runs and 30 extra base hits. His freshman year, he had an OPS of .976 in 58 games. In 2021, he had a .775 OPS. He also threw out 38% of base-stealers. Cardenas was named to the 2021 Pac-12 All-Conference Team.
     
    Cardenas had 25 plate appearances with the FCL Twins in 2021. He went 6-20 with a double, a home run, and 3 walks. A very small sample size, but if Cardenas could get back to his 2019 self offensively and continues to dominate defensively, he could be a very nice prospect for the Twins.
     
    Round 9, Pick 279: Patrick Winkel, C, Connecticut

    Patrick Winkel is a 6’1'' 200 lb catcher from the University of Connecticut. Mlb dot com says that Winkel is a great athlete behind the plate with above average power but needs to improve his hit tool to use his power more regularly.
     
    Winkel is originally from Orange, CT. In his career, he slashed .300/.359/.507 with 18 home runs and 41 extra base hits in 102 games. He also threw out 25% of potential base-stealers. Winkel was named All-BIG East Second Team in 2021. 
     
    Winkel had 84 plate appearances at Low-A Fort Myers in 2021. He slashed .243/.369/.357 with 5 doubles and a home run. Beginning his career in Low-A shows that the Twins have confidence in where Winkel could go with his career. He struggled more than he did in college, but that is expected. Hopefully with some experience under his belt he can thrive in 2022.
     
    Round 10, Pick 309: Ernie Yake, SS, Gonzaga

    Ernie Yake is a 5’10” 175 lb SS from Gonzaga. Yake was a phenomenal shortstop at Gonzaga and played four years there. Yake is an older prospect, as he will be 24 years old at the start of the 2022 season.
     
    Yake is originally from Bellingham, WA. In his career at Gonzaga, he slashed .320/.392/.419 with 6 home runs and 54 extra base hits. He also walked 71 times compared to only 53 strikeouts, so he controls the zone very well. In 2021, he was a national semifinalist for the Brooks Wallace award, given yearly to the best shortstop in college baseball.

    Yake only had 26 plate appearances with the FCL Twins in 2021, slashing .227/.370/.318 with 2 doubles and 3 stolen bases. Yake will be fun to follow as he could be a Luis Arraez type hitter who puts the ball in play and rarely strikes out, while playing great defense at shortstop.
     
    Part 2 highlighting our picks in rounds 11-20 will be coming soon
     
    Thank you for reading and Go Twins!
  13. Like
    Andrew Mahlke got a reaction from tarheeltwinsfan for a blog entry, What should the Twins offer Byron Buxton?   
    Back in March, Matthew Trueblood wrote an excellent article on Twins Daily about what a potential Byron Buxton extension would look like. Now, obviously this was before Buxton’s phenomenal (injury plagued, but still phenomenal) 2021 campaign. After the season Buxton had, his value for a future extension skyrocketed.
    With Byron Buxton up until about 2019, the main question was always: “Will he be able to hit major league pitching?”. He always played phenomenal defense, ran the bases ridiculously well, and had an incredibly strong arm. He just had to put it together at the plate. Well, since the start of 2019, Buxton is 20th in the MLB in OPS and 4th in the MLB in slugging percentage. Buxton has really put it together at the plate in the last 3 seasons and it has been a joy to watch. 
    Before we get into his contract specifics, let’s highlight how special Byron Buxton is.
    5-Tool Player
    Byron Buxton helps the Twins win games, plain and simple. Since the beginning of 2019, the Twins are 104-68 when Buxton plays, and 106-106 when he does not. This means that they play at roughly a 98 win pace when he is on the field and an 81 win pace when he is not. This is the difference between not making the playoffs at all and getting home-field advantage in the playoffs. Let’s take a dive into what makes Buxton such a difference-maker for the Twins.
    Hitting
    I mentioned earlier how Buxton has really found his stride with his swing. Back in May of 2019, towards the beginning of Buxton’s outbreak, Parker Hageman wrote a phenomenal article about Byron Buxton’s swing. He took a deep dive into the swing adjustments Buxton had made that year that led to his success. Ever since then, his career has taken off.
    Buxton has been riddled with injuries his entire career, that is no secret. But since 2019, out of all players with a maximum of 700 plate appearances, Buxton leads with 102 extra base hits. The next closest player is Buxton’s teammate, Mitch Garver with 79 extra base hits. With limited appearances, Buxton is thriving.
    Using Baseball Savant’s handy Affinity feature, you can see which players have the most similar batted ball profiles to each other. In 2021, the most similar batters to Buxton were Yordan Alvarez, Fernando Tatis Jr., Rafael Devers, Salvador Perez, Josh Donaldson, and Aaron Judge. Buxton is up there with the cream of the crop. If you follow baseball at all, you know all of these guys are absolute stars and Buxton’s name belongs in that conversation as well.
    2021 was his best year yet. He had a 169 wRC+, had 42 extra base hits (19 home runs), and a 1.005 OPS. Buxton proved in 2021 that he couldn’t just hit, but absolutely MASH major league pitching.
    Defense
    Buxton has always been elite defensively, winning a platinum glove as the AL’s best defensive player in 2017. Since 2016, Buxton has 58 outs above average (OAA), the 5th most among all center fielders. All of the players ahead of him (Lorenzo Cain, Kevin Kiermaier, Billy Hamilton, and Ender Inciarte) played at least 140 more games than Buxton in that span. If Buxton had played 140 more games, he would have the most OAA by 10 outs. It is safe to say that when Buxton is healthy he is the best defensive CF in baseball. He also has an absolute cannon in the outfield. His arm strength has been measured at 99 MPH before, so he definitely has an above average arm.
    Speed
    Buxton has always been one of the fastest players in the MLB. In 2021, Buxton was in the 99th percentile in sprint speed. His average sprint speed was 30 ft/sec and he had the fastest average home to first time at 4.00 sec. Buxton is a game-changer on the bases and has made a huge impact on many games on the basepaths, most notably walking off the Detroit Tigers on a seemingly routine ground ball to the shortstop. 
    Overall Value
    Since 2019, Buxton has been worth 8.1 fWAR in 187 games, or a pace of 7 fWAR per 162 games. To put that number into perspective, there were zero position players with a WAR of 7 or over in 2021. In the last full season, 2019, the only players with a WAR 7 or above were Mike Trout, Alex Bregman, Christian Yelich, Cody Bellinger, Marcus Semien, and Anthony Rendon.
    Buxton’s WAR in 2021 was 4.2 over 61 games. Extrapolated to 162 games, that would be the equivalent of 11.2. That is absolutely ridiculous. That would be tied for the 17th best single season of all time in terms of WAR.
    Injuries
    Just looking at his raw per 162 numbers, you would think that the Twins should sign Buxton to a 10 year, $500 million extension. Unfortunately, Buxton has been injury prone throughout his career. As of July 2021, Buxton had only played 181 of 484 possible games since 2018. It is hard to justify giving him a big extension if he isn’t going to be healthy for a majority of it.
    Extension structure
    In short, I would offer Buxton an extension over seven years. It will start in 2023 and go through 2029, his age 29 through 35 season. As Buxton ages, his defense and speed will most likely deteriorate and he will not be as valuable. You also have to factor in his injury history so you won’t be paying full price.
    Consider the following:
    Since 2019, Buxton has played 187 of a possible 384 games, or 48% of possible games.  Since 2019, Buxton has accumulated 8.1 WAR in 187 games, or 7 WAR/162 games According to Fangraphs, you should pay $8M/WAR. So,
    If Buxton were to play 162 games, he would be worth 7 WAR x $8M/WAR = $56M/year This is obviously egregious, especially considering the Twins usually have a payroll from 125-140M.
    According to spotrac, with the exception of the Dodgers, the top payrolls are right around $200M. We are going to assume those teams are able to use the $8M/WAR calculation
    Since the Twins will use maximum 140M of payroll, 70% of what the top payrolls use, we will also use 0.7 as our multiplier for the WAR value calculation.
    $8M/WAR x 0.7 = $5.6M/WAR
    Using our new 5.6M/WAR, he would be worth roughly $39M a year if he played 162. I think this is fair for a player of his caliber. He has been an MVP level player the last 3 seasons, and shows no signs of stopping.
    Besides injuries.
    Since Buxton has only played about 48% of possible games, I would pay him 48% of that $39M per year.
    39M x 0.48 = about $19M a year. This is the base salary I would give Buxton. His base contract should be 7 years, $133 million
    However, we should account for the fact that there is a chance he remains healthy. This is where it gets tricky. This is where I bring in incentives to the contract.
    Buxton’s 7 WAR per 162 is worth 0.043 WAR per game. The current contract is assuming he plays 80 games If Buxton plays 120 games, he will get the original 19 million plus an additional amount of money We will determine this amount of money by multiplying his WAR per game by the additional 40 games he will be playing
    40 games x 0.043 WAR per game = 1.7 WAR x $5.6M per WAR = $9.5M If Buxton plays 120 games, he should earn an additional 10 million.
    For 130 games, he will be worth an additional 2.4 million using that formula For 140 games, he will be worth another 2.4 million And for 150, he will be worth 2.4 million more. Contract Summary
    Base contract: 7 years, $133 million ($19M AAV)
    120 games incentive: $9.5M/yr ($28.5M AAV)
    130 games incentive: $2.4M/yr ($30.9M AAV)
    140 games incentive: $2.4M/yr ($33.3M AAV)
    150 games incentive: $2.4M/yr ($35.7M AAV)
    If Buxton plays 150 games, he could be making up to $35.7 million per year. This is the contract I would propose to Buxton because he would be getting a good amount of guaranteed money and it also helps him understand that playing a certain amount of games could get him an absurd amount of money.
    How does this contract compare?
    A salary of 19M per year (if he meets no incentives) would make him the 27th highest paid position player in baseball. Since 2019, he is 33rd in WAR among all position players, so this base contract would be just about right. If he meets all of the incentives, he would be the highest paid position player in baseball, which is fair considering the amount of talent he has and his production over a full healthy season would be at an MVP level. I think at his peak, he will play about 120-130 games, making his salary between 28 and 31 million. This would put him in the range of the 5th to 8th highest position player in the league. 
    TL: DR version
    Pay Buxton a base salary of $19 million a year for 7 years, with games played incentives from 120 games to 150 games of various amounts that could net him up to $35.7 million per year.
    Conclusion
    Byron Buxton is a generational type of talent and I haven’t seen anyone like him in a Twins uniform my whole life. It would be a mistake to let him go just because of financial concerns. He is a player that you would rather overpay than not pay at all, so priority number ONE this offseason needs to be extending him. If there’s one player to offer this type of contract to, it’s Buck.
    Thank you for reading, and Go Twins.
     
  14. Like
    Andrew Mahlke got a reaction from Seth Stohs for a blog entry, What should the Twins offer Byron Buxton?   
    Back in March, Matthew Trueblood wrote an excellent article on Twins Daily about what a potential Byron Buxton extension would look like. Now, obviously this was before Buxton’s phenomenal (injury plagued, but still phenomenal) 2021 campaign. After the season Buxton had, his value for a future extension skyrocketed.
    With Byron Buxton up until about 2019, the main question was always: “Will he be able to hit major league pitching?”. He always played phenomenal defense, ran the bases ridiculously well, and had an incredibly strong arm. He just had to put it together at the plate. Well, since the start of 2019, Buxton is 20th in the MLB in OPS and 4th in the MLB in slugging percentage. Buxton has really put it together at the plate in the last 3 seasons and it has been a joy to watch. 
    Before we get into his contract specifics, let’s highlight how special Byron Buxton is.
    5-Tool Player
    Byron Buxton helps the Twins win games, plain and simple. Since the beginning of 2019, the Twins are 104-68 when Buxton plays, and 106-106 when he does not. This means that they play at roughly a 98 win pace when he is on the field and an 81 win pace when he is not. This is the difference between not making the playoffs at all and getting home-field advantage in the playoffs. Let’s take a dive into what makes Buxton such a difference-maker for the Twins.
    Hitting
    I mentioned earlier how Buxton has really found his stride with his swing. Back in May of 2019, towards the beginning of Buxton’s outbreak, Parker Hageman wrote a phenomenal article about Byron Buxton’s swing. He took a deep dive into the swing adjustments Buxton had made that year that led to his success. Ever since then, his career has taken off.
    Buxton has been riddled with injuries his entire career, that is no secret. But since 2019, out of all players with a maximum of 700 plate appearances, Buxton leads with 102 extra base hits. The next closest player is Buxton’s teammate, Mitch Garver with 79 extra base hits. With limited appearances, Buxton is thriving.
    Using Baseball Savant’s handy Affinity feature, you can see which players have the most similar batted ball profiles to each other. In 2021, the most similar batters to Buxton were Yordan Alvarez, Fernando Tatis Jr., Rafael Devers, Salvador Perez, Josh Donaldson, and Aaron Judge. Buxton is up there with the cream of the crop. If you follow baseball at all, you know all of these guys are absolute stars and Buxton’s name belongs in that conversation as well.
    2021 was his best year yet. He had a 169 wRC+, had 42 extra base hits (19 home runs), and a 1.005 OPS. Buxton proved in 2021 that he couldn’t just hit, but absolutely MASH major league pitching.
    Defense
    Buxton has always been elite defensively, winning a platinum glove as the AL’s best defensive player in 2017. Since 2016, Buxton has 58 outs above average (OAA), the 5th most among all center fielders. All of the players ahead of him (Lorenzo Cain, Kevin Kiermaier, Billy Hamilton, and Ender Inciarte) played at least 140 more games than Buxton in that span. If Buxton had played 140 more games, he would have the most OAA by 10 outs. It is safe to say that when Buxton is healthy he is the best defensive CF in baseball. He also has an absolute cannon in the outfield. His arm strength has been measured at 99 MPH before, so he definitely has an above average arm.
    Speed
    Buxton has always been one of the fastest players in the MLB. In 2021, Buxton was in the 99th percentile in sprint speed. His average sprint speed was 30 ft/sec and he had the fastest average home to first time at 4.00 sec. Buxton is a game-changer on the bases and has made a huge impact on many games on the basepaths, most notably walking off the Detroit Tigers on a seemingly routine ground ball to the shortstop. 
    Overall Value
    Since 2019, Buxton has been worth 8.1 fWAR in 187 games, or a pace of 7 fWAR per 162 games. To put that number into perspective, there were zero position players with a WAR of 7 or over in 2021. In the last full season, 2019, the only players with a WAR 7 or above were Mike Trout, Alex Bregman, Christian Yelich, Cody Bellinger, Marcus Semien, and Anthony Rendon.
    Buxton’s WAR in 2021 was 4.2 over 61 games. Extrapolated to 162 games, that would be the equivalent of 11.2. That is absolutely ridiculous. That would be tied for the 17th best single season of all time in terms of WAR.
    Injuries
    Just looking at his raw per 162 numbers, you would think that the Twins should sign Buxton to a 10 year, $500 million extension. Unfortunately, Buxton has been injury prone throughout his career. As of July 2021, Buxton had only played 181 of 484 possible games since 2018. It is hard to justify giving him a big extension if he isn’t going to be healthy for a majority of it.
    Extension structure
    In short, I would offer Buxton an extension over seven years. It will start in 2023 and go through 2029, his age 29 through 35 season. As Buxton ages, his defense and speed will most likely deteriorate and he will not be as valuable. You also have to factor in his injury history so you won’t be paying full price.
    Consider the following:
    Since 2019, Buxton has played 187 of a possible 384 games, or 48% of possible games.  Since 2019, Buxton has accumulated 8.1 WAR in 187 games, or 7 WAR/162 games According to Fangraphs, you should pay $8M/WAR. So,
    If Buxton were to play 162 games, he would be worth 7 WAR x $8M/WAR = $56M/year This is obviously egregious, especially considering the Twins usually have a payroll from 125-140M.
    According to spotrac, with the exception of the Dodgers, the top payrolls are right around $200M. We are going to assume those teams are able to use the $8M/WAR calculation
    Since the Twins will use maximum 140M of payroll, 70% of what the top payrolls use, we will also use 0.7 as our multiplier for the WAR value calculation.
    $8M/WAR x 0.7 = $5.6M/WAR
    Using our new 5.6M/WAR, he would be worth roughly $39M a year if he played 162. I think this is fair for a player of his caliber. He has been an MVP level player the last 3 seasons, and shows no signs of stopping.
    Besides injuries.
    Since Buxton has only played about 48% of possible games, I would pay him 48% of that $39M per year.
    39M x 0.48 = about $19M a year. This is the base salary I would give Buxton. His base contract should be 7 years, $133 million
    However, we should account for the fact that there is a chance he remains healthy. This is where it gets tricky. This is where I bring in incentives to the contract.
    Buxton’s 7 WAR per 162 is worth 0.043 WAR per game. The current contract is assuming he plays 80 games If Buxton plays 120 games, he will get the original 19 million plus an additional amount of money We will determine this amount of money by multiplying his WAR per game by the additional 40 games he will be playing
    40 games x 0.043 WAR per game = 1.7 WAR x $5.6M per WAR = $9.5M If Buxton plays 120 games, he should earn an additional 10 million.
    For 130 games, he will be worth an additional 2.4 million using that formula For 140 games, he will be worth another 2.4 million And for 150, he will be worth 2.4 million more. Contract Summary
    Base contract: 7 years, $133 million ($19M AAV)
    120 games incentive: $9.5M/yr ($28.5M AAV)
    130 games incentive: $2.4M/yr ($30.9M AAV)
    140 games incentive: $2.4M/yr ($33.3M AAV)
    150 games incentive: $2.4M/yr ($35.7M AAV)
    If Buxton plays 150 games, he could be making up to $35.7 million per year. This is the contract I would propose to Buxton because he would be getting a good amount of guaranteed money and it also helps him understand that playing a certain amount of games could get him an absurd amount of money.
    How does this contract compare?
    A salary of 19M per year (if he meets no incentives) would make him the 27th highest paid position player in baseball. Since 2019, he is 33rd in WAR among all position players, so this base contract would be just about right. If he meets all of the incentives, he would be the highest paid position player in baseball, which is fair considering the amount of talent he has and his production over a full healthy season would be at an MVP level. I think at his peak, he will play about 120-130 games, making his salary between 28 and 31 million. This would put him in the range of the 5th to 8th highest position player in the league. 
    TL: DR version
    Pay Buxton a base salary of $19 million a year for 7 years, with games played incentives from 120 games to 150 games of various amounts that could net him up to $35.7 million per year.
    Conclusion
    Byron Buxton is a generational type of talent and I haven’t seen anyone like him in a Twins uniform my whole life. It would be a mistake to let him go just because of financial concerns. He is a player that you would rather overpay than not pay at all, so priority number ONE this offseason needs to be extending him. If there’s one player to offer this type of contract to, it’s Buck.
    Thank you for reading, and Go Twins.
     
  15. Like
    Andrew Mahlke got a reaction from Vanimal46 for a blog entry, What should the Twins offer Byron Buxton?   
    Back in March, Matthew Trueblood wrote an excellent article on Twins Daily about what a potential Byron Buxton extension would look like. Now, obviously this was before Buxton’s phenomenal (injury plagued, but still phenomenal) 2021 campaign. After the season Buxton had, his value for a future extension skyrocketed.
    With Byron Buxton up until about 2019, the main question was always: “Will he be able to hit major league pitching?”. He always played phenomenal defense, ran the bases ridiculously well, and had an incredibly strong arm. He just had to put it together at the plate. Well, since the start of 2019, Buxton is 20th in the MLB in OPS and 4th in the MLB in slugging percentage. Buxton has really put it together at the plate in the last 3 seasons and it has been a joy to watch. 
    Before we get into his contract specifics, let’s highlight how special Byron Buxton is.
    5-Tool Player
    Byron Buxton helps the Twins win games, plain and simple. Since the beginning of 2019, the Twins are 104-68 when Buxton plays, and 106-106 when he does not. This means that they play at roughly a 98 win pace when he is on the field and an 81 win pace when he is not. This is the difference between not making the playoffs at all and getting home-field advantage in the playoffs. Let’s take a dive into what makes Buxton such a difference-maker for the Twins.
    Hitting
    I mentioned earlier how Buxton has really found his stride with his swing. Back in May of 2019, towards the beginning of Buxton’s outbreak, Parker Hageman wrote a phenomenal article about Byron Buxton’s swing. He took a deep dive into the swing adjustments Buxton had made that year that led to his success. Ever since then, his career has taken off.
    Buxton has been riddled with injuries his entire career, that is no secret. But since 2019, out of all players with a maximum of 700 plate appearances, Buxton leads with 102 extra base hits. The next closest player is Buxton’s teammate, Mitch Garver with 79 extra base hits. With limited appearances, Buxton is thriving.
    Using Baseball Savant’s handy Affinity feature, you can see which players have the most similar batted ball profiles to each other. In 2021, the most similar batters to Buxton were Yordan Alvarez, Fernando Tatis Jr., Rafael Devers, Salvador Perez, Josh Donaldson, and Aaron Judge. Buxton is up there with the cream of the crop. If you follow baseball at all, you know all of these guys are absolute stars and Buxton’s name belongs in that conversation as well.
    2021 was his best year yet. He had a 169 wRC+, had 42 extra base hits (19 home runs), and a 1.005 OPS. Buxton proved in 2021 that he couldn’t just hit, but absolutely MASH major league pitching.
    Defense
    Buxton has always been elite defensively, winning a platinum glove as the AL’s best defensive player in 2017. Since 2016, Buxton has 58 outs above average (OAA), the 5th most among all center fielders. All of the players ahead of him (Lorenzo Cain, Kevin Kiermaier, Billy Hamilton, and Ender Inciarte) played at least 140 more games than Buxton in that span. If Buxton had played 140 more games, he would have the most OAA by 10 outs. It is safe to say that when Buxton is healthy he is the best defensive CF in baseball. He also has an absolute cannon in the outfield. His arm strength has been measured at 99 MPH before, so he definitely has an above average arm.
    Speed
    Buxton has always been one of the fastest players in the MLB. In 2021, Buxton was in the 99th percentile in sprint speed. His average sprint speed was 30 ft/sec and he had the fastest average home to first time at 4.00 sec. Buxton is a game-changer on the bases and has made a huge impact on many games on the basepaths, most notably walking off the Detroit Tigers on a seemingly routine ground ball to the shortstop. 
    Overall Value
    Since 2019, Buxton has been worth 8.1 fWAR in 187 games, or a pace of 7 fWAR per 162 games. To put that number into perspective, there were zero position players with a WAR of 7 or over in 2021. In the last full season, 2019, the only players with a WAR 7 or above were Mike Trout, Alex Bregman, Christian Yelich, Cody Bellinger, Marcus Semien, and Anthony Rendon.
    Buxton’s WAR in 2021 was 4.2 over 61 games. Extrapolated to 162 games, that would be the equivalent of 11.2. That is absolutely ridiculous. That would be tied for the 17th best single season of all time in terms of WAR.
    Injuries
    Just looking at his raw per 162 numbers, you would think that the Twins should sign Buxton to a 10 year, $500 million extension. Unfortunately, Buxton has been injury prone throughout his career. As of July 2021, Buxton had only played 181 of 484 possible games since 2018. It is hard to justify giving him a big extension if he isn’t going to be healthy for a majority of it.
    Extension structure
    In short, I would offer Buxton an extension over seven years. It will start in 2023 and go through 2029, his age 29 through 35 season. As Buxton ages, his defense and speed will most likely deteriorate and he will not be as valuable. You also have to factor in his injury history so you won’t be paying full price.
    Consider the following:
    Since 2019, Buxton has played 187 of a possible 384 games, or 48% of possible games.  Since 2019, Buxton has accumulated 8.1 WAR in 187 games, or 7 WAR/162 games According to Fangraphs, you should pay $8M/WAR. So,
    If Buxton were to play 162 games, he would be worth 7 WAR x $8M/WAR = $56M/year This is obviously egregious, especially considering the Twins usually have a payroll from 125-140M.
    According to spotrac, with the exception of the Dodgers, the top payrolls are right around $200M. We are going to assume those teams are able to use the $8M/WAR calculation
    Since the Twins will use maximum 140M of payroll, 70% of what the top payrolls use, we will also use 0.7 as our multiplier for the WAR value calculation.
    $8M/WAR x 0.7 = $5.6M/WAR
    Using our new 5.6M/WAR, he would be worth roughly $39M a year if he played 162. I think this is fair for a player of his caliber. He has been an MVP level player the last 3 seasons, and shows no signs of stopping.
    Besides injuries.
    Since Buxton has only played about 48% of possible games, I would pay him 48% of that $39M per year.
    39M x 0.48 = about $19M a year. This is the base salary I would give Buxton. His base contract should be 7 years, $133 million
    However, we should account for the fact that there is a chance he remains healthy. This is where it gets tricky. This is where I bring in incentives to the contract.
    Buxton’s 7 WAR per 162 is worth 0.043 WAR per game. The current contract is assuming he plays 80 games If Buxton plays 120 games, he will get the original 19 million plus an additional amount of money We will determine this amount of money by multiplying his WAR per game by the additional 40 games he will be playing
    40 games x 0.043 WAR per game = 1.7 WAR x $5.6M per WAR = $9.5M If Buxton plays 120 games, he should earn an additional 10 million.
    For 130 games, he will be worth an additional 2.4 million using that formula For 140 games, he will be worth another 2.4 million And for 150, he will be worth 2.4 million more. Contract Summary
    Base contract: 7 years, $133 million ($19M AAV)
    120 games incentive: $9.5M/yr ($28.5M AAV)
    130 games incentive: $2.4M/yr ($30.9M AAV)
    140 games incentive: $2.4M/yr ($33.3M AAV)
    150 games incentive: $2.4M/yr ($35.7M AAV)
    If Buxton plays 150 games, he could be making up to $35.7 million per year. This is the contract I would propose to Buxton because he would be getting a good amount of guaranteed money and it also helps him understand that playing a certain amount of games could get him an absurd amount of money.
    How does this contract compare?
    A salary of 19M per year (if he meets no incentives) would make him the 27th highest paid position player in baseball. Since 2019, he is 33rd in WAR among all position players, so this base contract would be just about right. If he meets all of the incentives, he would be the highest paid position player in baseball, which is fair considering the amount of talent he has and his production over a full healthy season would be at an MVP level. I think at his peak, he will play about 120-130 games, making his salary between 28 and 31 million. This would put him in the range of the 5th to 8th highest position player in the league. 
    TL: DR version
    Pay Buxton a base salary of $19 million a year for 7 years, with games played incentives from 120 games to 150 games of various amounts that could net him up to $35.7 million per year.
    Conclusion
    Byron Buxton is a generational type of talent and I haven’t seen anyone like him in a Twins uniform my whole life. It would be a mistake to let him go just because of financial concerns. He is a player that you would rather overpay than not pay at all, so priority number ONE this offseason needs to be extending him. If there’s one player to offer this type of contract to, it’s Buck.
    Thank you for reading, and Go Twins.
     
  16. Like
    Andrew Mahlke got a reaction from flatlanddad for a blog entry, What should the Twins offer Byron Buxton?   
    Back in March, Matthew Trueblood wrote an excellent article on Twins Daily about what a potential Byron Buxton extension would look like. Now, obviously this was before Buxton’s phenomenal (injury plagued, but still phenomenal) 2021 campaign. After the season Buxton had, his value for a future extension skyrocketed.
    With Byron Buxton up until about 2019, the main question was always: “Will he be able to hit major league pitching?”. He always played phenomenal defense, ran the bases ridiculously well, and had an incredibly strong arm. He just had to put it together at the plate. Well, since the start of 2019, Buxton is 20th in the MLB in OPS and 4th in the MLB in slugging percentage. Buxton has really put it together at the plate in the last 3 seasons and it has been a joy to watch. 
    Before we get into his contract specifics, let’s highlight how special Byron Buxton is.
    5-Tool Player
    Byron Buxton helps the Twins win games, plain and simple. Since the beginning of 2019, the Twins are 104-68 when Buxton plays, and 106-106 when he does not. This means that they play at roughly a 98 win pace when he is on the field and an 81 win pace when he is not. This is the difference between not making the playoffs at all and getting home-field advantage in the playoffs. Let’s take a dive into what makes Buxton such a difference-maker for the Twins.
    Hitting
    I mentioned earlier how Buxton has really found his stride with his swing. Back in May of 2019, towards the beginning of Buxton’s outbreak, Parker Hageman wrote a phenomenal article about Byron Buxton’s swing. He took a deep dive into the swing adjustments Buxton had made that year that led to his success. Ever since then, his career has taken off.
    Buxton has been riddled with injuries his entire career, that is no secret. But since 2019, out of all players with a maximum of 700 plate appearances, Buxton leads with 102 extra base hits. The next closest player is Buxton’s teammate, Mitch Garver with 79 extra base hits. With limited appearances, Buxton is thriving.
    Using Baseball Savant’s handy Affinity feature, you can see which players have the most similar batted ball profiles to each other. In 2021, the most similar batters to Buxton were Yordan Alvarez, Fernando Tatis Jr., Rafael Devers, Salvador Perez, Josh Donaldson, and Aaron Judge. Buxton is up there with the cream of the crop. If you follow baseball at all, you know all of these guys are absolute stars and Buxton’s name belongs in that conversation as well.
    2021 was his best year yet. He had a 169 wRC+, had 42 extra base hits (19 home runs), and a 1.005 OPS. Buxton proved in 2021 that he couldn’t just hit, but absolutely MASH major league pitching.
    Defense
    Buxton has always been elite defensively, winning a platinum glove as the AL’s best defensive player in 2017. Since 2016, Buxton has 58 outs above average (OAA), the 5th most among all center fielders. All of the players ahead of him (Lorenzo Cain, Kevin Kiermaier, Billy Hamilton, and Ender Inciarte) played at least 140 more games than Buxton in that span. If Buxton had played 140 more games, he would have the most OAA by 10 outs. It is safe to say that when Buxton is healthy he is the best defensive CF in baseball. He also has an absolute cannon in the outfield. His arm strength has been measured at 99 MPH before, so he definitely has an above average arm.
    Speed
    Buxton has always been one of the fastest players in the MLB. In 2021, Buxton was in the 99th percentile in sprint speed. His average sprint speed was 30 ft/sec and he had the fastest average home to first time at 4.00 sec. Buxton is a game-changer on the bases and has made a huge impact on many games on the basepaths, most notably walking off the Detroit Tigers on a seemingly routine ground ball to the shortstop. 
    Overall Value
    Since 2019, Buxton has been worth 8.1 fWAR in 187 games, or a pace of 7 fWAR per 162 games. To put that number into perspective, there were zero position players with a WAR of 7 or over in 2021. In the last full season, 2019, the only players with a WAR 7 or above were Mike Trout, Alex Bregman, Christian Yelich, Cody Bellinger, Marcus Semien, and Anthony Rendon.
    Buxton’s WAR in 2021 was 4.2 over 61 games. Extrapolated to 162 games, that would be the equivalent of 11.2. That is absolutely ridiculous. That would be tied for the 17th best single season of all time in terms of WAR.
    Injuries
    Just looking at his raw per 162 numbers, you would think that the Twins should sign Buxton to a 10 year, $500 million extension. Unfortunately, Buxton has been injury prone throughout his career. As of July 2021, Buxton had only played 181 of 484 possible games since 2018. It is hard to justify giving him a big extension if he isn’t going to be healthy for a majority of it.
    Extension structure
    In short, I would offer Buxton an extension over seven years. It will start in 2023 and go through 2029, his age 29 through 35 season. As Buxton ages, his defense and speed will most likely deteriorate and he will not be as valuable. You also have to factor in his injury history so you won’t be paying full price.
    Consider the following:
    Since 2019, Buxton has played 187 of a possible 384 games, or 48% of possible games.  Since 2019, Buxton has accumulated 8.1 WAR in 187 games, or 7 WAR/162 games According to Fangraphs, you should pay $8M/WAR. So,
    If Buxton were to play 162 games, he would be worth 7 WAR x $8M/WAR = $56M/year This is obviously egregious, especially considering the Twins usually have a payroll from 125-140M.
    According to spotrac, with the exception of the Dodgers, the top payrolls are right around $200M. We are going to assume those teams are able to use the $8M/WAR calculation
    Since the Twins will use maximum 140M of payroll, 70% of what the top payrolls use, we will also use 0.7 as our multiplier for the WAR value calculation.
    $8M/WAR x 0.7 = $5.6M/WAR
    Using our new 5.6M/WAR, he would be worth roughly $39M a year if he played 162. I think this is fair for a player of his caliber. He has been an MVP level player the last 3 seasons, and shows no signs of stopping.
    Besides injuries.
    Since Buxton has only played about 48% of possible games, I would pay him 48% of that $39M per year.
    39M x 0.48 = about $19M a year. This is the base salary I would give Buxton. His base contract should be 7 years, $133 million
    However, we should account for the fact that there is a chance he remains healthy. This is where it gets tricky. This is where I bring in incentives to the contract.
    Buxton’s 7 WAR per 162 is worth 0.043 WAR per game. The current contract is assuming he plays 80 games If Buxton plays 120 games, he will get the original 19 million plus an additional amount of money We will determine this amount of money by multiplying his WAR per game by the additional 40 games he will be playing
    40 games x 0.043 WAR per game = 1.7 WAR x $5.6M per WAR = $9.5M If Buxton plays 120 games, he should earn an additional 10 million.
    For 130 games, he will be worth an additional 2.4 million using that formula For 140 games, he will be worth another 2.4 million And for 150, he will be worth 2.4 million more. Contract Summary
    Base contract: 7 years, $133 million ($19M AAV)
    120 games incentive: $9.5M/yr ($28.5M AAV)
    130 games incentive: $2.4M/yr ($30.9M AAV)
    140 games incentive: $2.4M/yr ($33.3M AAV)
    150 games incentive: $2.4M/yr ($35.7M AAV)
    If Buxton plays 150 games, he could be making up to $35.7 million per year. This is the contract I would propose to Buxton because he would be getting a good amount of guaranteed money and it also helps him understand that playing a certain amount of games could get him an absurd amount of money.
    How does this contract compare?
    A salary of 19M per year (if he meets no incentives) would make him the 27th highest paid position player in baseball. Since 2019, he is 33rd in WAR among all position players, so this base contract would be just about right. If he meets all of the incentives, he would be the highest paid position player in baseball, which is fair considering the amount of talent he has and his production over a full healthy season would be at an MVP level. I think at his peak, he will play about 120-130 games, making his salary between 28 and 31 million. This would put him in the range of the 5th to 8th highest position player in the league. 
    TL: DR version
    Pay Buxton a base salary of $19 million a year for 7 years, with games played incentives from 120 games to 150 games of various amounts that could net him up to $35.7 million per year.
    Conclusion
    Byron Buxton is a generational type of talent and I haven’t seen anyone like him in a Twins uniform my whole life. It would be a mistake to let him go just because of financial concerns. He is a player that you would rather overpay than not pay at all, so priority number ONE this offseason needs to be extending him. If there’s one player to offer this type of contract to, it’s Buck.
    Thank you for reading, and Go Twins.
     
  17. Like
    Andrew Mahlke got a reaction from NapoleonComplex for a blog entry, What should the Twins offer Byron Buxton?   
    Back in March, Matthew Trueblood wrote an excellent article on Twins Daily about what a potential Byron Buxton extension would look like. Now, obviously this was before Buxton’s phenomenal (injury plagued, but still phenomenal) 2021 campaign. After the season Buxton had, his value for a future extension skyrocketed.
    With Byron Buxton up until about 2019, the main question was always: “Will he be able to hit major league pitching?”. He always played phenomenal defense, ran the bases ridiculously well, and had an incredibly strong arm. He just had to put it together at the plate. Well, since the start of 2019, Buxton is 20th in the MLB in OPS and 4th in the MLB in slugging percentage. Buxton has really put it together at the plate in the last 3 seasons and it has been a joy to watch. 
    Before we get into his contract specifics, let’s highlight how special Byron Buxton is.
    5-Tool Player
    Byron Buxton helps the Twins win games, plain and simple. Since the beginning of 2019, the Twins are 104-68 when Buxton plays, and 106-106 when he does not. This means that they play at roughly a 98 win pace when he is on the field and an 81 win pace when he is not. This is the difference between not making the playoffs at all and getting home-field advantage in the playoffs. Let’s take a dive into what makes Buxton such a difference-maker for the Twins.
    Hitting
    I mentioned earlier how Buxton has really found his stride with his swing. Back in May of 2019, towards the beginning of Buxton’s outbreak, Parker Hageman wrote a phenomenal article about Byron Buxton’s swing. He took a deep dive into the swing adjustments Buxton had made that year that led to his success. Ever since then, his career has taken off.
    Buxton has been riddled with injuries his entire career, that is no secret. But since 2019, out of all players with a maximum of 700 plate appearances, Buxton leads with 102 extra base hits. The next closest player is Buxton’s teammate, Mitch Garver with 79 extra base hits. With limited appearances, Buxton is thriving.
    Using Baseball Savant’s handy Affinity feature, you can see which players have the most similar batted ball profiles to each other. In 2021, the most similar batters to Buxton were Yordan Alvarez, Fernando Tatis Jr., Rafael Devers, Salvador Perez, Josh Donaldson, and Aaron Judge. Buxton is up there with the cream of the crop. If you follow baseball at all, you know all of these guys are absolute stars and Buxton’s name belongs in that conversation as well.
    2021 was his best year yet. He had a 169 wRC+, had 42 extra base hits (19 home runs), and a 1.005 OPS. Buxton proved in 2021 that he couldn’t just hit, but absolutely MASH major league pitching.
    Defense
    Buxton has always been elite defensively, winning a platinum glove as the AL’s best defensive player in 2017. Since 2016, Buxton has 58 outs above average (OAA), the 5th most among all center fielders. All of the players ahead of him (Lorenzo Cain, Kevin Kiermaier, Billy Hamilton, and Ender Inciarte) played at least 140 more games than Buxton in that span. If Buxton had played 140 more games, he would have the most OAA by 10 outs. It is safe to say that when Buxton is healthy he is the best defensive CF in baseball. He also has an absolute cannon in the outfield. His arm strength has been measured at 99 MPH before, so he definitely has an above average arm.
    Speed
    Buxton has always been one of the fastest players in the MLB. In 2021, Buxton was in the 99th percentile in sprint speed. His average sprint speed was 30 ft/sec and he had the fastest average home to first time at 4.00 sec. Buxton is a game-changer on the bases and has made a huge impact on many games on the basepaths, most notably walking off the Detroit Tigers on a seemingly routine ground ball to the shortstop. 
    Overall Value
    Since 2019, Buxton has been worth 8.1 fWAR in 187 games, or a pace of 7 fWAR per 162 games. To put that number into perspective, there were zero position players with a WAR of 7 or over in 2021. In the last full season, 2019, the only players with a WAR 7 or above were Mike Trout, Alex Bregman, Christian Yelich, Cody Bellinger, Marcus Semien, and Anthony Rendon.
    Buxton’s WAR in 2021 was 4.2 over 61 games. Extrapolated to 162 games, that would be the equivalent of 11.2. That is absolutely ridiculous. That would be tied for the 17th best single season of all time in terms of WAR.
    Injuries
    Just looking at his raw per 162 numbers, you would think that the Twins should sign Buxton to a 10 year, $500 million extension. Unfortunately, Buxton has been injury prone throughout his career. As of July 2021, Buxton had only played 181 of 484 possible games since 2018. It is hard to justify giving him a big extension if he isn’t going to be healthy for a majority of it.
    Extension structure
    In short, I would offer Buxton an extension over seven years. It will start in 2023 and go through 2029, his age 29 through 35 season. As Buxton ages, his defense and speed will most likely deteriorate and he will not be as valuable. You also have to factor in his injury history so you won’t be paying full price.
    Consider the following:
    Since 2019, Buxton has played 187 of a possible 384 games, or 48% of possible games.  Since 2019, Buxton has accumulated 8.1 WAR in 187 games, or 7 WAR/162 games According to Fangraphs, you should pay $8M/WAR. So,
    If Buxton were to play 162 games, he would be worth 7 WAR x $8M/WAR = $56M/year This is obviously egregious, especially considering the Twins usually have a payroll from 125-140M.
    According to spotrac, with the exception of the Dodgers, the top payrolls are right around $200M. We are going to assume those teams are able to use the $8M/WAR calculation
    Since the Twins will use maximum 140M of payroll, 70% of what the top payrolls use, we will also use 0.7 as our multiplier for the WAR value calculation.
    $8M/WAR x 0.7 = $5.6M/WAR
    Using our new 5.6M/WAR, he would be worth roughly $39M a year if he played 162. I think this is fair for a player of his caliber. He has been an MVP level player the last 3 seasons, and shows no signs of stopping.
    Besides injuries.
    Since Buxton has only played about 48% of possible games, I would pay him 48% of that $39M per year.
    39M x 0.48 = about $19M a year. This is the base salary I would give Buxton. His base contract should be 7 years, $133 million
    However, we should account for the fact that there is a chance he remains healthy. This is where it gets tricky. This is where I bring in incentives to the contract.
    Buxton’s 7 WAR per 162 is worth 0.043 WAR per game. The current contract is assuming he plays 80 games If Buxton plays 120 games, he will get the original 19 million plus an additional amount of money We will determine this amount of money by multiplying his WAR per game by the additional 40 games he will be playing
    40 games x 0.043 WAR per game = 1.7 WAR x $5.6M per WAR = $9.5M If Buxton plays 120 games, he should earn an additional 10 million.
    For 130 games, he will be worth an additional 2.4 million using that formula For 140 games, he will be worth another 2.4 million And for 150, he will be worth 2.4 million more. Contract Summary
    Base contract: 7 years, $133 million ($19M AAV)
    120 games incentive: $9.5M/yr ($28.5M AAV)
    130 games incentive: $2.4M/yr ($30.9M AAV)
    140 games incentive: $2.4M/yr ($33.3M AAV)
    150 games incentive: $2.4M/yr ($35.7M AAV)
    If Buxton plays 150 games, he could be making up to $35.7 million per year. This is the contract I would propose to Buxton because he would be getting a good amount of guaranteed money and it also helps him understand that playing a certain amount of games could get him an absurd amount of money.
    How does this contract compare?
    A salary of 19M per year (if he meets no incentives) would make him the 27th highest paid position player in baseball. Since 2019, he is 33rd in WAR among all position players, so this base contract would be just about right. If he meets all of the incentives, he would be the highest paid position player in baseball, which is fair considering the amount of talent he has and his production over a full healthy season would be at an MVP level. I think at his peak, he will play about 120-130 games, making his salary between 28 and 31 million. This would put him in the range of the 5th to 8th highest position player in the league. 
    TL: DR version
    Pay Buxton a base salary of $19 million a year for 7 years, with games played incentives from 120 games to 150 games of various amounts that could net him up to $35.7 million per year.
    Conclusion
    Byron Buxton is a generational type of talent and I haven’t seen anyone like him in a Twins uniform my whole life. It would be a mistake to let him go just because of financial concerns. He is a player that you would rather overpay than not pay at all, so priority number ONE this offseason needs to be extending him. If there’s one player to offer this type of contract to, it’s Buck.
    Thank you for reading, and Go Twins.
     
  18. Like
    Andrew Mahlke got a reaction from Dave The Dastardly for a blog entry, What should the Twins offer Byron Buxton?   
    Back in March, Matthew Trueblood wrote an excellent article on Twins Daily about what a potential Byron Buxton extension would look like. Now, obviously this was before Buxton’s phenomenal (injury plagued, but still phenomenal) 2021 campaign. After the season Buxton had, his value for a future extension skyrocketed.
    With Byron Buxton up until about 2019, the main question was always: “Will he be able to hit major league pitching?”. He always played phenomenal defense, ran the bases ridiculously well, and had an incredibly strong arm. He just had to put it together at the plate. Well, since the start of 2019, Buxton is 20th in the MLB in OPS and 4th in the MLB in slugging percentage. Buxton has really put it together at the plate in the last 3 seasons and it has been a joy to watch. 
    Before we get into his contract specifics, let’s highlight how special Byron Buxton is.
    5-Tool Player
    Byron Buxton helps the Twins win games, plain and simple. Since the beginning of 2019, the Twins are 104-68 when Buxton plays, and 106-106 when he does not. This means that they play at roughly a 98 win pace when he is on the field and an 81 win pace when he is not. This is the difference between not making the playoffs at all and getting home-field advantage in the playoffs. Let’s take a dive into what makes Buxton such a difference-maker for the Twins.
    Hitting
    I mentioned earlier how Buxton has really found his stride with his swing. Back in May of 2019, towards the beginning of Buxton’s outbreak, Parker Hageman wrote a phenomenal article about Byron Buxton’s swing. He took a deep dive into the swing adjustments Buxton had made that year that led to his success. Ever since then, his career has taken off.
    Buxton has been riddled with injuries his entire career, that is no secret. But since 2019, out of all players with a maximum of 700 plate appearances, Buxton leads with 102 extra base hits. The next closest player is Buxton’s teammate, Mitch Garver with 79 extra base hits. With limited appearances, Buxton is thriving.
    Using Baseball Savant’s handy Affinity feature, you can see which players have the most similar batted ball profiles to each other. In 2021, the most similar batters to Buxton were Yordan Alvarez, Fernando Tatis Jr., Rafael Devers, Salvador Perez, Josh Donaldson, and Aaron Judge. Buxton is up there with the cream of the crop. If you follow baseball at all, you know all of these guys are absolute stars and Buxton’s name belongs in that conversation as well.
    2021 was his best year yet. He had a 169 wRC+, had 42 extra base hits (19 home runs), and a 1.005 OPS. Buxton proved in 2021 that he couldn’t just hit, but absolutely MASH major league pitching.
    Defense
    Buxton has always been elite defensively, winning a platinum glove as the AL’s best defensive player in 2017. Since 2016, Buxton has 58 outs above average (OAA), the 5th most among all center fielders. All of the players ahead of him (Lorenzo Cain, Kevin Kiermaier, Billy Hamilton, and Ender Inciarte) played at least 140 more games than Buxton in that span. If Buxton had played 140 more games, he would have the most OAA by 10 outs. It is safe to say that when Buxton is healthy he is the best defensive CF in baseball. He also has an absolute cannon in the outfield. His arm strength has been measured at 99 MPH before, so he definitely has an above average arm.
    Speed
    Buxton has always been one of the fastest players in the MLB. In 2021, Buxton was in the 99th percentile in sprint speed. His average sprint speed was 30 ft/sec and he had the fastest average home to first time at 4.00 sec. Buxton is a game-changer on the bases and has made a huge impact on many games on the basepaths, most notably walking off the Detroit Tigers on a seemingly routine ground ball to the shortstop. 
    Overall Value
    Since 2019, Buxton has been worth 8.1 fWAR in 187 games, or a pace of 7 fWAR per 162 games. To put that number into perspective, there were zero position players with a WAR of 7 or over in 2021. In the last full season, 2019, the only players with a WAR 7 or above were Mike Trout, Alex Bregman, Christian Yelich, Cody Bellinger, Marcus Semien, and Anthony Rendon.
    Buxton’s WAR in 2021 was 4.2 over 61 games. Extrapolated to 162 games, that would be the equivalent of 11.2. That is absolutely ridiculous. That would be tied for the 17th best single season of all time in terms of WAR.
    Injuries
    Just looking at his raw per 162 numbers, you would think that the Twins should sign Buxton to a 10 year, $500 million extension. Unfortunately, Buxton has been injury prone throughout his career. As of July 2021, Buxton had only played 181 of 484 possible games since 2018. It is hard to justify giving him a big extension if he isn’t going to be healthy for a majority of it.
    Extension structure
    In short, I would offer Buxton an extension over seven years. It will start in 2023 and go through 2029, his age 29 through 35 season. As Buxton ages, his defense and speed will most likely deteriorate and he will not be as valuable. You also have to factor in his injury history so you won’t be paying full price.
    Consider the following:
    Since 2019, Buxton has played 187 of a possible 384 games, or 48% of possible games.  Since 2019, Buxton has accumulated 8.1 WAR in 187 games, or 7 WAR/162 games According to Fangraphs, you should pay $8M/WAR. So,
    If Buxton were to play 162 games, he would be worth 7 WAR x $8M/WAR = $56M/year This is obviously egregious, especially considering the Twins usually have a payroll from 125-140M.
    According to spotrac, with the exception of the Dodgers, the top payrolls are right around $200M. We are going to assume those teams are able to use the $8M/WAR calculation
    Since the Twins will use maximum 140M of payroll, 70% of what the top payrolls use, we will also use 0.7 as our multiplier for the WAR value calculation.
    $8M/WAR x 0.7 = $5.6M/WAR
    Using our new 5.6M/WAR, he would be worth roughly $39M a year if he played 162. I think this is fair for a player of his caliber. He has been an MVP level player the last 3 seasons, and shows no signs of stopping.
    Besides injuries.
    Since Buxton has only played about 48% of possible games, I would pay him 48% of that $39M per year.
    39M x 0.48 = about $19M a year. This is the base salary I would give Buxton. His base contract should be 7 years, $133 million
    However, we should account for the fact that there is a chance he remains healthy. This is where it gets tricky. This is where I bring in incentives to the contract.
    Buxton’s 7 WAR per 162 is worth 0.043 WAR per game. The current contract is assuming he plays 80 games If Buxton plays 120 games, he will get the original 19 million plus an additional amount of money We will determine this amount of money by multiplying his WAR per game by the additional 40 games he will be playing
    40 games x 0.043 WAR per game = 1.7 WAR x $5.6M per WAR = $9.5M If Buxton plays 120 games, he should earn an additional 10 million.
    For 130 games, he will be worth an additional 2.4 million using that formula For 140 games, he will be worth another 2.4 million And for 150, he will be worth 2.4 million more. Contract Summary
    Base contract: 7 years, $133 million ($19M AAV)
    120 games incentive: $9.5M/yr ($28.5M AAV)
    130 games incentive: $2.4M/yr ($30.9M AAV)
    140 games incentive: $2.4M/yr ($33.3M AAV)
    150 games incentive: $2.4M/yr ($35.7M AAV)
    If Buxton plays 150 games, he could be making up to $35.7 million per year. This is the contract I would propose to Buxton because he would be getting a good amount of guaranteed money and it also helps him understand that playing a certain amount of games could get him an absurd amount of money.
    How does this contract compare?
    A salary of 19M per year (if he meets no incentives) would make him the 27th highest paid position player in baseball. Since 2019, he is 33rd in WAR among all position players, so this base contract would be just about right. If he meets all of the incentives, he would be the highest paid position player in baseball, which is fair considering the amount of talent he has and his production over a full healthy season would be at an MVP level. I think at his peak, he will play about 120-130 games, making his salary between 28 and 31 million. This would put him in the range of the 5th to 8th highest position player in the league. 
    TL: DR version
    Pay Buxton a base salary of $19 million a year for 7 years, with games played incentives from 120 games to 150 games of various amounts that could net him up to $35.7 million per year.
    Conclusion
    Byron Buxton is a generational type of talent and I haven’t seen anyone like him in a Twins uniform my whole life. It would be a mistake to let him go just because of financial concerns. He is a player that you would rather overpay than not pay at all, so priority number ONE this offseason needs to be extending him. If there’s one player to offer this type of contract to, it’s Buck.
    Thank you for reading, and Go Twins.
     
  19. Like
    Andrew Mahlke got a reaction from DocBauer for a blog entry, What should the Twins offer Byron Buxton?   
    Back in March, Matthew Trueblood wrote an excellent article on Twins Daily about what a potential Byron Buxton extension would look like. Now, obviously this was before Buxton’s phenomenal (injury plagued, but still phenomenal) 2021 campaign. After the season Buxton had, his value for a future extension skyrocketed.
    With Byron Buxton up until about 2019, the main question was always: “Will he be able to hit major league pitching?”. He always played phenomenal defense, ran the bases ridiculously well, and had an incredibly strong arm. He just had to put it together at the plate. Well, since the start of 2019, Buxton is 20th in the MLB in OPS and 4th in the MLB in slugging percentage. Buxton has really put it together at the plate in the last 3 seasons and it has been a joy to watch. 
    Before we get into his contract specifics, let’s highlight how special Byron Buxton is.
    5-Tool Player
    Byron Buxton helps the Twins win games, plain and simple. Since the beginning of 2019, the Twins are 104-68 when Buxton plays, and 106-106 when he does not. This means that they play at roughly a 98 win pace when he is on the field and an 81 win pace when he is not. This is the difference between not making the playoffs at all and getting home-field advantage in the playoffs. Let’s take a dive into what makes Buxton such a difference-maker for the Twins.
    Hitting
    I mentioned earlier how Buxton has really found his stride with his swing. Back in May of 2019, towards the beginning of Buxton’s outbreak, Parker Hageman wrote a phenomenal article about Byron Buxton’s swing. He took a deep dive into the swing adjustments Buxton had made that year that led to his success. Ever since then, his career has taken off.
    Buxton has been riddled with injuries his entire career, that is no secret. But since 2019, out of all players with a maximum of 700 plate appearances, Buxton leads with 102 extra base hits. The next closest player is Buxton’s teammate, Mitch Garver with 79 extra base hits. With limited appearances, Buxton is thriving.
    Using Baseball Savant’s handy Affinity feature, you can see which players have the most similar batted ball profiles to each other. In 2021, the most similar batters to Buxton were Yordan Alvarez, Fernando Tatis Jr., Rafael Devers, Salvador Perez, Josh Donaldson, and Aaron Judge. Buxton is up there with the cream of the crop. If you follow baseball at all, you know all of these guys are absolute stars and Buxton’s name belongs in that conversation as well.
    2021 was his best year yet. He had a 169 wRC+, had 42 extra base hits (19 home runs), and a 1.005 OPS. Buxton proved in 2021 that he couldn’t just hit, but absolutely MASH major league pitching.
    Defense
    Buxton has always been elite defensively, winning a platinum glove as the AL’s best defensive player in 2017. Since 2016, Buxton has 58 outs above average (OAA), the 5th most among all center fielders. All of the players ahead of him (Lorenzo Cain, Kevin Kiermaier, Billy Hamilton, and Ender Inciarte) played at least 140 more games than Buxton in that span. If Buxton had played 140 more games, he would have the most OAA by 10 outs. It is safe to say that when Buxton is healthy he is the best defensive CF in baseball. He also has an absolute cannon in the outfield. His arm strength has been measured at 99 MPH before, so he definitely has an above average arm.
    Speed
    Buxton has always been one of the fastest players in the MLB. In 2021, Buxton was in the 99th percentile in sprint speed. His average sprint speed was 30 ft/sec and he had the fastest average home to first time at 4.00 sec. Buxton is a game-changer on the bases and has made a huge impact on many games on the basepaths, most notably walking off the Detroit Tigers on a seemingly routine ground ball to the shortstop. 
    Overall Value
    Since 2019, Buxton has been worth 8.1 fWAR in 187 games, or a pace of 7 fWAR per 162 games. To put that number into perspective, there were zero position players with a WAR of 7 or over in 2021. In the last full season, 2019, the only players with a WAR 7 or above were Mike Trout, Alex Bregman, Christian Yelich, Cody Bellinger, Marcus Semien, and Anthony Rendon.
    Buxton’s WAR in 2021 was 4.2 over 61 games. Extrapolated to 162 games, that would be the equivalent of 11.2. That is absolutely ridiculous. That would be tied for the 17th best single season of all time in terms of WAR.
    Injuries
    Just looking at his raw per 162 numbers, you would think that the Twins should sign Buxton to a 10 year, $500 million extension. Unfortunately, Buxton has been injury prone throughout his career. As of July 2021, Buxton had only played 181 of 484 possible games since 2018. It is hard to justify giving him a big extension if he isn’t going to be healthy for a majority of it.
    Extension structure
    In short, I would offer Buxton an extension over seven years. It will start in 2023 and go through 2029, his age 29 through 35 season. As Buxton ages, his defense and speed will most likely deteriorate and he will not be as valuable. You also have to factor in his injury history so you won’t be paying full price.
    Consider the following:
    Since 2019, Buxton has played 187 of a possible 384 games, or 48% of possible games.  Since 2019, Buxton has accumulated 8.1 WAR in 187 games, or 7 WAR/162 games According to Fangraphs, you should pay $8M/WAR. So,
    If Buxton were to play 162 games, he would be worth 7 WAR x $8M/WAR = $56M/year This is obviously egregious, especially considering the Twins usually have a payroll from 125-140M.
    According to spotrac, with the exception of the Dodgers, the top payrolls are right around $200M. We are going to assume those teams are able to use the $8M/WAR calculation
    Since the Twins will use maximum 140M of payroll, 70% of what the top payrolls use, we will also use 0.7 as our multiplier for the WAR value calculation.
    $8M/WAR x 0.7 = $5.6M/WAR
    Using our new 5.6M/WAR, he would be worth roughly $39M a year if he played 162. I think this is fair for a player of his caliber. He has been an MVP level player the last 3 seasons, and shows no signs of stopping.
    Besides injuries.
    Since Buxton has only played about 48% of possible games, I would pay him 48% of that $39M per year.
    39M x 0.48 = about $19M a year. This is the base salary I would give Buxton. His base contract should be 7 years, $133 million
    However, we should account for the fact that there is a chance he remains healthy. This is where it gets tricky. This is where I bring in incentives to the contract.
    Buxton’s 7 WAR per 162 is worth 0.043 WAR per game. The current contract is assuming he plays 80 games If Buxton plays 120 games, he will get the original 19 million plus an additional amount of money We will determine this amount of money by multiplying his WAR per game by the additional 40 games he will be playing
    40 games x 0.043 WAR per game = 1.7 WAR x $5.6M per WAR = $9.5M If Buxton plays 120 games, he should earn an additional 10 million.
    For 130 games, he will be worth an additional 2.4 million using that formula For 140 games, he will be worth another 2.4 million And for 150, he will be worth 2.4 million more. Contract Summary
    Base contract: 7 years, $133 million ($19M AAV)
    120 games incentive: $9.5M/yr ($28.5M AAV)
    130 games incentive: $2.4M/yr ($30.9M AAV)
    140 games incentive: $2.4M/yr ($33.3M AAV)
    150 games incentive: $2.4M/yr ($35.7M AAV)
    If Buxton plays 150 games, he could be making up to $35.7 million per year. This is the contract I would propose to Buxton because he would be getting a good amount of guaranteed money and it also helps him understand that playing a certain amount of games could get him an absurd amount of money.
    How does this contract compare?
    A salary of 19M per year (if he meets no incentives) would make him the 27th highest paid position player in baseball. Since 2019, he is 33rd in WAR among all position players, so this base contract would be just about right. If he meets all of the incentives, he would be the highest paid position player in baseball, which is fair considering the amount of talent he has and his production over a full healthy season would be at an MVP level. I think at his peak, he will play about 120-130 games, making his salary between 28 and 31 million. This would put him in the range of the 5th to 8th highest position player in the league. 
    TL: DR version
    Pay Buxton a base salary of $19 million a year for 7 years, with games played incentives from 120 games to 150 games of various amounts that could net him up to $35.7 million per year.
    Conclusion
    Byron Buxton is a generational type of talent and I haven’t seen anyone like him in a Twins uniform my whole life. It would be a mistake to let him go just because of financial concerns. He is a player that you would rather overpay than not pay at all, so priority number ONE this offseason needs to be extending him. If there’s one player to offer this type of contract to, it’s Buck.
    Thank you for reading, and Go Twins.
     
  20. Like
    Andrew Mahlke got a reaction from Doctor Gast for a blog entry, What should the Twins offer Byron Buxton?   
    Back in March, Matthew Trueblood wrote an excellent article on Twins Daily about what a potential Byron Buxton extension would look like. Now, obviously this was before Buxton’s phenomenal (injury plagued, but still phenomenal) 2021 campaign. After the season Buxton had, his value for a future extension skyrocketed.
    With Byron Buxton up until about 2019, the main question was always: “Will he be able to hit major league pitching?”. He always played phenomenal defense, ran the bases ridiculously well, and had an incredibly strong arm. He just had to put it together at the plate. Well, since the start of 2019, Buxton is 20th in the MLB in OPS and 4th in the MLB in slugging percentage. Buxton has really put it together at the plate in the last 3 seasons and it has been a joy to watch. 
    Before we get into his contract specifics, let’s highlight how special Byron Buxton is.
    5-Tool Player
    Byron Buxton helps the Twins win games, plain and simple. Since the beginning of 2019, the Twins are 104-68 when Buxton plays, and 106-106 when he does not. This means that they play at roughly a 98 win pace when he is on the field and an 81 win pace when he is not. This is the difference between not making the playoffs at all and getting home-field advantage in the playoffs. Let’s take a dive into what makes Buxton such a difference-maker for the Twins.
    Hitting
    I mentioned earlier how Buxton has really found his stride with his swing. Back in May of 2019, towards the beginning of Buxton’s outbreak, Parker Hageman wrote a phenomenal article about Byron Buxton’s swing. He took a deep dive into the swing adjustments Buxton had made that year that led to his success. Ever since then, his career has taken off.
    Buxton has been riddled with injuries his entire career, that is no secret. But since 2019, out of all players with a maximum of 700 plate appearances, Buxton leads with 102 extra base hits. The next closest player is Buxton’s teammate, Mitch Garver with 79 extra base hits. With limited appearances, Buxton is thriving.
    Using Baseball Savant’s handy Affinity feature, you can see which players have the most similar batted ball profiles to each other. In 2021, the most similar batters to Buxton were Yordan Alvarez, Fernando Tatis Jr., Rafael Devers, Salvador Perez, Josh Donaldson, and Aaron Judge. Buxton is up there with the cream of the crop. If you follow baseball at all, you know all of these guys are absolute stars and Buxton’s name belongs in that conversation as well.
    2021 was his best year yet. He had a 169 wRC+, had 42 extra base hits (19 home runs), and a 1.005 OPS. Buxton proved in 2021 that he couldn’t just hit, but absolutely MASH major league pitching.
    Defense
    Buxton has always been elite defensively, winning a platinum glove as the AL’s best defensive player in 2017. Since 2016, Buxton has 58 outs above average (OAA), the 5th most among all center fielders. All of the players ahead of him (Lorenzo Cain, Kevin Kiermaier, Billy Hamilton, and Ender Inciarte) played at least 140 more games than Buxton in that span. If Buxton had played 140 more games, he would have the most OAA by 10 outs. It is safe to say that when Buxton is healthy he is the best defensive CF in baseball. He also has an absolute cannon in the outfield. His arm strength has been measured at 99 MPH before, so he definitely has an above average arm.
    Speed
    Buxton has always been one of the fastest players in the MLB. In 2021, Buxton was in the 99th percentile in sprint speed. His average sprint speed was 30 ft/sec and he had the fastest average home to first time at 4.00 sec. Buxton is a game-changer on the bases and has made a huge impact on many games on the basepaths, most notably walking off the Detroit Tigers on a seemingly routine ground ball to the shortstop. 
    Overall Value
    Since 2019, Buxton has been worth 8.1 fWAR in 187 games, or a pace of 7 fWAR per 162 games. To put that number into perspective, there were zero position players with a WAR of 7 or over in 2021. In the last full season, 2019, the only players with a WAR 7 or above were Mike Trout, Alex Bregman, Christian Yelich, Cody Bellinger, Marcus Semien, and Anthony Rendon.
    Buxton’s WAR in 2021 was 4.2 over 61 games. Extrapolated to 162 games, that would be the equivalent of 11.2. That is absolutely ridiculous. That would be tied for the 17th best single season of all time in terms of WAR.
    Injuries
    Just looking at his raw per 162 numbers, you would think that the Twins should sign Buxton to a 10 year, $500 million extension. Unfortunately, Buxton has been injury prone throughout his career. As of July 2021, Buxton had only played 181 of 484 possible games since 2018. It is hard to justify giving him a big extension if he isn’t going to be healthy for a majority of it.
    Extension structure
    In short, I would offer Buxton an extension over seven years. It will start in 2023 and go through 2029, his age 29 through 35 season. As Buxton ages, his defense and speed will most likely deteriorate and he will not be as valuable. You also have to factor in his injury history so you won’t be paying full price.
    Consider the following:
    Since 2019, Buxton has played 187 of a possible 384 games, or 48% of possible games.  Since 2019, Buxton has accumulated 8.1 WAR in 187 games, or 7 WAR/162 games According to Fangraphs, you should pay $8M/WAR. So,
    If Buxton were to play 162 games, he would be worth 7 WAR x $8M/WAR = $56M/year This is obviously egregious, especially considering the Twins usually have a payroll from 125-140M.
    According to spotrac, with the exception of the Dodgers, the top payrolls are right around $200M. We are going to assume those teams are able to use the $8M/WAR calculation
    Since the Twins will use maximum 140M of payroll, 70% of what the top payrolls use, we will also use 0.7 as our multiplier for the WAR value calculation.
    $8M/WAR x 0.7 = $5.6M/WAR
    Using our new 5.6M/WAR, he would be worth roughly $39M a year if he played 162. I think this is fair for a player of his caliber. He has been an MVP level player the last 3 seasons, and shows no signs of stopping.
    Besides injuries.
    Since Buxton has only played about 48% of possible games, I would pay him 48% of that $39M per year.
    39M x 0.48 = about $19M a year. This is the base salary I would give Buxton. His base contract should be 7 years, $133 million
    However, we should account for the fact that there is a chance he remains healthy. This is where it gets tricky. This is where I bring in incentives to the contract.
    Buxton’s 7 WAR per 162 is worth 0.043 WAR per game. The current contract is assuming he plays 80 games If Buxton plays 120 games, he will get the original 19 million plus an additional amount of money We will determine this amount of money by multiplying his WAR per game by the additional 40 games he will be playing
    40 games x 0.043 WAR per game = 1.7 WAR x $5.6M per WAR = $9.5M If Buxton plays 120 games, he should earn an additional 10 million.
    For 130 games, he will be worth an additional 2.4 million using that formula For 140 games, he will be worth another 2.4 million And for 150, he will be worth 2.4 million more. Contract Summary
    Base contract: 7 years, $133 million ($19M AAV)
    120 games incentive: $9.5M/yr ($28.5M AAV)
    130 games incentive: $2.4M/yr ($30.9M AAV)
    140 games incentive: $2.4M/yr ($33.3M AAV)
    150 games incentive: $2.4M/yr ($35.7M AAV)
    If Buxton plays 150 games, he could be making up to $35.7 million per year. This is the contract I would propose to Buxton because he would be getting a good amount of guaranteed money and it also helps him understand that playing a certain amount of games could get him an absurd amount of money.
    How does this contract compare?
    A salary of 19M per year (if he meets no incentives) would make him the 27th highest paid position player in baseball. Since 2019, he is 33rd in WAR among all position players, so this base contract would be just about right. If he meets all of the incentives, he would be the highest paid position player in baseball, which is fair considering the amount of talent he has and his production over a full healthy season would be at an MVP level. I think at his peak, he will play about 120-130 games, making his salary between 28 and 31 million. This would put him in the range of the 5th to 8th highest position player in the league. 
    TL: DR version
    Pay Buxton a base salary of $19 million a year for 7 years, with games played incentives from 120 games to 150 games of various amounts that could net him up to $35.7 million per year.
    Conclusion
    Byron Buxton is a generational type of talent and I haven’t seen anyone like him in a Twins uniform my whole life. It would be a mistake to let him go just because of financial concerns. He is a player that you would rather overpay than not pay at all, so priority number ONE this offseason needs to be extending him. If there’s one player to offer this type of contract to, it’s Buck.
    Thank you for reading, and Go Twins.
     
  21. Like
    Andrew Mahlke got a reaction from Zach Hartford for a blog entry, What should the Twins offer Byron Buxton?   
    Back in March, Matthew Trueblood wrote an excellent article on Twins Daily about what a potential Byron Buxton extension would look like. Now, obviously this was before Buxton’s phenomenal (injury plagued, but still phenomenal) 2021 campaign. After the season Buxton had, his value for a future extension skyrocketed.
    With Byron Buxton up until about 2019, the main question was always: “Will he be able to hit major league pitching?”. He always played phenomenal defense, ran the bases ridiculously well, and had an incredibly strong arm. He just had to put it together at the plate. Well, since the start of 2019, Buxton is 20th in the MLB in OPS and 4th in the MLB in slugging percentage. Buxton has really put it together at the plate in the last 3 seasons and it has been a joy to watch. 
    Before we get into his contract specifics, let’s highlight how special Byron Buxton is.
    5-Tool Player
    Byron Buxton helps the Twins win games, plain and simple. Since the beginning of 2019, the Twins are 104-68 when Buxton plays, and 106-106 when he does not. This means that they play at roughly a 98 win pace when he is on the field and an 81 win pace when he is not. This is the difference between not making the playoffs at all and getting home-field advantage in the playoffs. Let’s take a dive into what makes Buxton such a difference-maker for the Twins.
    Hitting
    I mentioned earlier how Buxton has really found his stride with his swing. Back in May of 2019, towards the beginning of Buxton’s outbreak, Parker Hageman wrote a phenomenal article about Byron Buxton’s swing. He took a deep dive into the swing adjustments Buxton had made that year that led to his success. Ever since then, his career has taken off.
    Buxton has been riddled with injuries his entire career, that is no secret. But since 2019, out of all players with a maximum of 700 plate appearances, Buxton leads with 102 extra base hits. The next closest player is Buxton’s teammate, Mitch Garver with 79 extra base hits. With limited appearances, Buxton is thriving.
    Using Baseball Savant’s handy Affinity feature, you can see which players have the most similar batted ball profiles to each other. In 2021, the most similar batters to Buxton were Yordan Alvarez, Fernando Tatis Jr., Rafael Devers, Salvador Perez, Josh Donaldson, and Aaron Judge. Buxton is up there with the cream of the crop. If you follow baseball at all, you know all of these guys are absolute stars and Buxton’s name belongs in that conversation as well.
    2021 was his best year yet. He had a 169 wRC+, had 42 extra base hits (19 home runs), and a 1.005 OPS. Buxton proved in 2021 that he couldn’t just hit, but absolutely MASH major league pitching.
    Defense
    Buxton has always been elite defensively, winning a platinum glove as the AL’s best defensive player in 2017. Since 2016, Buxton has 58 outs above average (OAA), the 5th most among all center fielders. All of the players ahead of him (Lorenzo Cain, Kevin Kiermaier, Billy Hamilton, and Ender Inciarte) played at least 140 more games than Buxton in that span. If Buxton had played 140 more games, he would have the most OAA by 10 outs. It is safe to say that when Buxton is healthy he is the best defensive CF in baseball. He also has an absolute cannon in the outfield. His arm strength has been measured at 99 MPH before, so he definitely has an above average arm.
    Speed
    Buxton has always been one of the fastest players in the MLB. In 2021, Buxton was in the 99th percentile in sprint speed. His average sprint speed was 30 ft/sec and he had the fastest average home to first time at 4.00 sec. Buxton is a game-changer on the bases and has made a huge impact on many games on the basepaths, most notably walking off the Detroit Tigers on a seemingly routine ground ball to the shortstop. 
    Overall Value
    Since 2019, Buxton has been worth 8.1 fWAR in 187 games, or a pace of 7 fWAR per 162 games. To put that number into perspective, there were zero position players with a WAR of 7 or over in 2021. In the last full season, 2019, the only players with a WAR 7 or above were Mike Trout, Alex Bregman, Christian Yelich, Cody Bellinger, Marcus Semien, and Anthony Rendon.
    Buxton’s WAR in 2021 was 4.2 over 61 games. Extrapolated to 162 games, that would be the equivalent of 11.2. That is absolutely ridiculous. That would be tied for the 17th best single season of all time in terms of WAR.
    Injuries
    Just looking at his raw per 162 numbers, you would think that the Twins should sign Buxton to a 10 year, $500 million extension. Unfortunately, Buxton has been injury prone throughout his career. As of July 2021, Buxton had only played 181 of 484 possible games since 2018. It is hard to justify giving him a big extension if he isn’t going to be healthy for a majority of it.
    Extension structure
    In short, I would offer Buxton an extension over seven years. It will start in 2023 and go through 2029, his age 29 through 35 season. As Buxton ages, his defense and speed will most likely deteriorate and he will not be as valuable. You also have to factor in his injury history so you won’t be paying full price.
    Consider the following:
    Since 2019, Buxton has played 187 of a possible 384 games, or 48% of possible games.  Since 2019, Buxton has accumulated 8.1 WAR in 187 games, or 7 WAR/162 games According to Fangraphs, you should pay $8M/WAR. So,
    If Buxton were to play 162 games, he would be worth 7 WAR x $8M/WAR = $56M/year This is obviously egregious, especially considering the Twins usually have a payroll from 125-140M.
    According to spotrac, with the exception of the Dodgers, the top payrolls are right around $200M. We are going to assume those teams are able to use the $8M/WAR calculation
    Since the Twins will use maximum 140M of payroll, 70% of what the top payrolls use, we will also use 0.7 as our multiplier for the WAR value calculation.
    $8M/WAR x 0.7 = $5.6M/WAR
    Using our new 5.6M/WAR, he would be worth roughly $39M a year if he played 162. I think this is fair for a player of his caliber. He has been an MVP level player the last 3 seasons, and shows no signs of stopping.
    Besides injuries.
    Since Buxton has only played about 48% of possible games, I would pay him 48% of that $39M per year.
    39M x 0.48 = about $19M a year. This is the base salary I would give Buxton. His base contract should be 7 years, $133 million
    However, we should account for the fact that there is a chance he remains healthy. This is where it gets tricky. This is where I bring in incentives to the contract.
    Buxton’s 7 WAR per 162 is worth 0.043 WAR per game. The current contract is assuming he plays 80 games If Buxton plays 120 games, he will get the original 19 million plus an additional amount of money We will determine this amount of money by multiplying his WAR per game by the additional 40 games he will be playing
    40 games x 0.043 WAR per game = 1.7 WAR x $5.6M per WAR = $9.5M If Buxton plays 120 games, he should earn an additional 10 million.
    For 130 games, he will be worth an additional 2.4 million using that formula For 140 games, he will be worth another 2.4 million And for 150, he will be worth 2.4 million more. Contract Summary
    Base contract: 7 years, $133 million ($19M AAV)
    120 games incentive: $9.5M/yr ($28.5M AAV)
    130 games incentive: $2.4M/yr ($30.9M AAV)
    140 games incentive: $2.4M/yr ($33.3M AAV)
    150 games incentive: $2.4M/yr ($35.7M AAV)
    If Buxton plays 150 games, he could be making up to $35.7 million per year. This is the contract I would propose to Buxton because he would be getting a good amount of guaranteed money and it also helps him understand that playing a certain amount of games could get him an absurd amount of money.
    How does this contract compare?
    A salary of 19M per year (if he meets no incentives) would make him the 27th highest paid position player in baseball. Since 2019, he is 33rd in WAR among all position players, so this base contract would be just about right. If he meets all of the incentives, he would be the highest paid position player in baseball, which is fair considering the amount of talent he has and his production over a full healthy season would be at an MVP level. I think at his peak, he will play about 120-130 games, making his salary between 28 and 31 million. This would put him in the range of the 5th to 8th highest position player in the league. 
    TL: DR version
    Pay Buxton a base salary of $19 million a year for 7 years, with games played incentives from 120 games to 150 games of various amounts that could net him up to $35.7 million per year.
    Conclusion
    Byron Buxton is a generational type of talent and I haven’t seen anyone like him in a Twins uniform my whole life. It would be a mistake to let him go just because of financial concerns. He is a player that you would rather overpay than not pay at all, so priority number ONE this offseason needs to be extending him. If there’s one player to offer this type of contract to, it’s Buck.
    Thank you for reading, and Go Twins.
     
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