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cjm0926

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  1. Like
    cjm0926 got a reaction from Sirhamless for a blog entry, Revisiting the Twins 2018 Top Prospects   
    Prospects are exciting, but they do come with some risks. The Twins currently seem to have as deep of a system as ever, but until the prospects reach the majors, it doesn’t matter. Today I will be revisiting the 2018 Twins Top 30 Prospects, according to MLB Pipeline, going through #1 to #15 on the list, and give some reason for hope, and some for fear for the current crop.
     
    #1 Royce Lewis
    Acquired: Drafted 2017, 1st Overall
    Current Team: Twins Organization
    Royce Lewis was a bit of a surprise being drafted #1 overall in 2017, many believed it would be high school flamethrower Hunter Greene going to the Twins instead. He is still currently the #1 prospect in the Twins system. Royce Lewis has shown plenty to be excited about, but also has shown some concerns, especially tearing his ACL right before spring training in 2021. He figures to be the most important piece to the Twins success in the coming years, will he be able to live up to the hype?
     
    #2 Fernando Romero
    Acquired: Signed out of Dominican Republic in 2011, $260,000 Signing Bonus
    Current Team: Yokohama DeNA BayStars (Japan)
    Likely the biggest letdown on this list, Romero was a late find for the Twins, who had some competition in signing Romero. Ultimately, it all worked out and the Twins got a deal done. Romero played well in his first couple years of minor league ball before tearing his UCL and requiring Tommy John surgery, knocking him out of the 2014 and 2015 seasons. He came back and worked his way up to his debut in 2018, pitching well for a few starts and ended the season with a 4.69 ERA. The Twins tried to turn him into a bullpen piece in 2019, but to no avail. It failed miserably and he was sent back to the minors. In 2020 he could not get into the United States for Spring Training due to visa issues, and was ultimately released late in 2020.
     
    #3 Stephen Gonsalves
    Acquired: Drafted 2013, 110th Overall
    Current Team: Cubs Organization
    Another massive letdown. Unlike Romero, Gonsalves never found any big league success, even for a few starts. He was expected to go higher, but an incident where he lied to the dean of his high school was made public and as a result, he fell lower in the draft. The Twins signed him away from his San Diego college commitment. He only pitched 24.2 innings in the majors for the Twins, all in 2019 ending with a 6.57 ERA. He has been in multiple other organizations throughout the past 2 years, only having big league time with the Red Sox in 2021.

     
    #4 Nick Gordon 
    Acquired: Drafted 2013, 5th Overall
    Current Team: Twins
    Gordon has had a rather long journey to the big leagues. He was drafted very high in 2013 and posted solid stats in the minors, and was finally added to the 40-man after the 2018 season. Gordon’s season was limited in 2019 due to injuries, and he endured a rough battle with Covid-19 during the cancelled 2020 minor league season, knocking him out of any possible baseball activity. He finally made his long awaited debut with the Twins, playing his way into a possible future role as a super-utility man. I personally am a big fan of Gordon and think he will be a good player for the Twins in the coming years. Fun fact: Outside of baseball, Nick Gordon also raps with his stage name of G Cinco.
     
    #5 Wander Javier
    Acquired: Signed out of Dominican Republic in 2015, $4 Million Signing Bonus
    Current Team: Twins Organization
    When the Twins signed Wander Javier out of the DR, they gave him the highest signing bonus in franchise history, breaking Miguel Sano’s $3.15 Million in 2010. The first 2 years of his professional career looked good, and he could be a big contributor for the Twins in the future. Since then, not much has gone right. He has battled injuries and has been inconsistent to say the least. On the bright side, he is still only 22 years old, and plays a premium position, shortstop. If he can find what he seemed to once have he still has enough time to become a solid Major Leaguer.
     
    #6 Alex Kirilloff
    Acquired: Drafted 2016, 15th Overall
    Current Team: Twins
    Alex Kirilloff was drafted out of Pennsylvania as a good hitting corner outfielder. He didn’t disappoint in his first taste of pro ball in 2016, but in 2017 he needed Tommy John surgery, knocking him out for the year. He really broke out in 2018 and earned a top 20 rank in most prospect lists. Kirilloff had a good first showing in the MLB in 2021, but just had some bad luck on batted balls as well as a wrist injury ended his season early. Although he can play outfield, it appears he will be the Twins first baseman of the future.
     
    #7 Brusdar Graterol
    Acquired: Signed out of Venezuela in 2014, $150,00 Signing Bonus
    Current Team: Dodgers
    Saying Brusdar throws hard is an understatement, he throws extremely hard. He also has good offspeed. The Twins traded him along with Luke Raley to the Dodgers in exchange for Kenta Maeda. Graterol has only been used in the bullpen by the Dodgers, and rightfully so. He had posted mixed results. Personally, I am content with the trade. Sure, Brusdar could have been a good bullpen arm for the next 5+ years, but we got a near Cy Young season with Maeda. An elbow injury ended his season early and will likely eat up his whole 2022 season, but he has shown how good of a pitcher he can be, and in my opinion, you cannot be too upset with the trade.
     
    #8 Brent Rooker
    Acquired: Drafted 2017, 35th Overall
    Current Team: Twins
    What could have been, and what might still be. Rooker has shown off the light-tower power he was drafted for, but also hasn’t been very consistent. He has proven just about everything he has needed to in the minors, but can’t quite figure it out in the majors. Over his 2 partial year Major League career, he has had a 32.1% strikeout rate. He also plays below average defense in right and left field. If he can find his swing in the majors, he could be a great DH or good corner outfielder, but time is running out, especially since he is already 27.
     
    #9 Blayne Enlow
    Acquired: Drafted 2017, 76th Overall
    Current Team: Twins Organization
    The Twins paid Enlow over twice slot value at $2 million, to keep him from going to LSU. He had pitched very well in the minors, but has been injured a fair amount too. A few weeks into the 2021 season it was revealed that he would need Tommy John surgery, keeping him out until mid-2022. The Twins have shown they have faith in him though, adding him to the 40-man roster this offseason rather than risk losing him. He is still young enough though, he is currently 22 and will be 23 on opening day. I think he will become a good starter in the majors.
     
    #10 Lewin Diaz
    Acquired: Signed out of Dominican Republic in 2014, $1.4 Million Signing Bonus
    Current Team: Marlins
    Lewin Diaz was the guy we traded for Sergio Romo at the 2019 trade deadline. More importantly, along with Romo, we obtained Chris Vallimont, who has shown signs of brilliance, but also has had trouble. Lewin Diaz can hold his own at first base defensively, but he has had trouble hitting in the majors. He has hit well enough in the minors, but like Rooker, has never figured it out at the major league level. In his Major League career over 161 AB’s, he owns a .193 batting average. He is currently 25 years old.
     
    #11 Akil Baddoo
    Acquired: Drafted 2016, 74th Overall
    Current Team: Tigers
    The one that got away. The Tigers selected Akil Baddoo in the 2020 Rule 5 draft. Nobody could have expected he would play this well. He only had one really good season in the minors, that being in 2017. In 2019, early in the season it was revealed he would need Tommy John surgery, which seems to be a recurring theme in Twins outfield prospects on this list. Anyways, the Tigers selected him in the Rule 5 draft and he was a well above average hitter in the majors, posting a 113 OPS+.You cannot really blame the Twins for losing him, they appeared to have all of the outfield depth in the world, and Baddoo still looked multiple years away from the show.
     
     
    #12 Lewis Thorpe
    Acquired: Signed out of Australia in 2012, $500,000 Signing Bonus
    Current Team: Twins Organization
    There were reports that he was finally reaching his potential this past spring training. He had increased fastball velocity and was in the best shape of his life. None of that translated to games that mattered. He was signed as a crafty lefty out of Australia in 2012, with a fastball sitting around 90 MPH. He has had no big league success to this point, in all 3 years he has appeared in a major league game (2019 ,20, 21), he has been below average. The only way that seems possible for him to stick in the majors is if he becomes a bullpen arm, and like many other Twins fans, I am not buying it.
     
    #13 Lamonte Wade Jr.
    Acquired: Drafted 2015, 260th Overall
    Current Team: Giants
    Another one that got away. Lamonte Wade Jr. looked like he could have been a decent 4th outfielder for the Twins. The Twins chose Jake Cave over him, and sent Lamonte packing to San Francisco in exchange for project piece Shaun Anderson. Anderson ended up pitching less than 10 innings for the Twins before being released. Wade Jr. on the other hand, broke out in a huge way. He posted a 117 OPS+ for the Giants and looks to be a big piece of their future. He even received MVP votes in 2021. For the record, I always liked Lamonte Wade over Cave, but no one could have expected he would be this good. I am happy Wade broke out, and even happier it wasn’t for an AL team.
     
    #14 Travis Blankenhorn
    Acquired: Drafted 2015, 80th Overall
    Current Team: Mets
    Blankenhorn was pretty average throughout his minor league career for the Twins. His ceiling seemed to be a good utility player. He made his debut in 2020, going 1 for 3 with a double. He played one game for the Twins in 2021, as a defensive replacement. He made a costly error against the Athletics, which was paired with a Luis Arraez throwing error, which cost the game. That game seemed to send the season to the trash can and kind of lost hope for everyone. Days after the error, he was DFA’d and picked up by the Mets, which is where he currently plays. It never seemed meant to be with the Twins, and I hope for the best of luck in the future for Travis.
     
    #15 Zack Littell
    Acquired: From Yankees (Traded for Jaime Garcia at 2017 Deadline)
    Current Team: Giants
    Littell was originally drafted by the Mariners, then a few years later traded to the Yankees. Soon after, he was sent to Minnesota along with Dietrich Enns, in exchange for Jaime Garcia and cash considerations, in one of the most puzzling trades in team history. Littell had success out of the pen in 2019, and then looked lost in 2020. I was always a believer in him but it doesn't really matter what I think. He was eventually released and picked up by the San Francisco Giants. Littell rebounded in a huge way in 2021, posting a 2.92 ERA for the Giants in 61.2 innings. He looks to be a reliable bullpen arm for them in the coming years.

    Notable 16-30
    #19 Mitch Garver
    Acquired: Drafted 2013, 260th Overall
    Current Team:Twins
    Garver broke out fairly late in his career, during his age 27 season. However, he broke out in a huge way, cementing himself as one of the best offensive catchers in the MLB. As a result of Garver breaking out late, he is already getting up there in age for a catcher. He will be 31 on opening day, which is decently old for a catcher. If he is still with the Twins after this offseason, he looks like he will catch for a few more years, and then it is likely he will transition over to a 1B/DH role. There is also a small chance he will play one of the most physically demanding positions in sports, catcher, for 5+ more years, due to how Baldelli rests his catchers.
     
    #23 Luis Arraez
    Acquired: Signed out of Venezuela in 2013, $40,000 Signing Bonus
    Current Team: Twins
    You always know what you will get with Arraez, high average, not a whole lot of power. That is what has made him one of my favorite Twins to watch. Some people believe Arraez will be dealt this offseason, but only time will tell. He currently holds down a utility role for the Twins. He broke out defensively this year, becoming a top 5 defensive 3rd baseman in 2021. He may have found his defensive home for the future, but he will have to beat out young buck Jose Miranda, who is mentioned soon in this list. Arraez also carries injury concerns, he has torn an ACL during his minor league career, and overall has “balky” knees. I think he could be a great leadoff hitter for the next 10 years if his body can hold up.
     
    #25 Ben Rortvedt
    Acquired: Drafted 2016, 56th Overall
    Current Team: Twins
    Like Arraez, you know what you are getting with Rortvedt. Rortvedt isn’t a force with the bat, but does have some power. He is highly regarded for his defense, profiling as the best in the system. With the Twins surplus of catching, he will likely serve as the 3rd catcher, playing most of his games in Saint Paul. It is nice to have him on hand though, as there could be some moves involving catchers after the lockout, and freak injuries happen with catchers. If he can bump his offense to average for a catcher, his defense will carry him to being an above average MLB catcher.
     
    #28 Jose Miranda
    Acquired: Drafted 2016, 73rd Overall
    Current Team: Twins Organization
    It wasn’t until this year that Miranda broke out, and he did it in a big way. Everybody knew Miranda had good tools, maybe they didn’t know they were this good though. He finally put them all together and hit over .340 on the season with 30 bombs between AA and AAA. He looks like he will be the 3rd baseman of the future for Minnesota, but stats don’t matter until the show, so we'll just have to wait and see. He is still fairly young, being 23 years old and he is one of, if not the best hitter in the whole system.
     
    This list should provide a good realization that prospects are just prospects. Some are more likely to contribute at the MLB, hence the rankings, but odd things can happen. Also, it should show that lower ranking prospects can provide a big impact in the big leagues, so don’t always write them off. This list likely brought up some names you have forgotten, and some you wish you could forget *cough cough Baddoo* The future of this team is resting on their current farm system, which should hopefully provide fun baseball for years to come. After all, even Mike Trout was a prospect once. Thank you for reading. Leave a comment. Go Twins!!!
     
  2. Like
    cjm0926 got a reaction from TopGunn#22 for a blog entry, A Trend With Twins First Basemen   
    Like many other baseball fans, I am very bored during this lockout. There are no free agent rumblings or really much of anything in the baseball world currently. I was doing some research on Kirilloff, and something got me thinking. Alex Kirilloff is a young, left-handed hitting first baseman, who projects to be the first baseman of the future for the Twins. The Twins seem to have a history with left-handed hitting first basemen. Some of those first basemen were named Kent Hrbek, Justin Morneau, and Joe Mauer. I am sure you can see where I am going with this, so I will just get into the article.

    Kent Hrbek held down first base for 13 years for the Minnesota Twins. Kent got a glimpse of the big leagues in 1981. In 24 games, he hit .239 with a homer. He also posted an 85 OPS+ (100 is league average) which would be his last time being a below average hitter until his last season in 1994 when he posted a 99 OPS+. He became a full time starter in 1982 and retired at the end of the 1994 season. He was a great hitter with even better defense. Throughout his career he built up a 38.6 WAR (Wins Above Replacement). Over his 14 year career he hit .282 with 293 home runs and 1086 RBI’s in 6192 at bats. He had a 128 OPS+ over his career, making him a well above average hitter. In comparison, Freddie Freeman, one of the best first baseman throughout the 2010’s, holds a career 138 OPS+. Kent was very consistent throughout his career, until the last 2 or 3 years where he dealt with injuries. The odd thing about Kent’s career is that he was an All-Star only one time, which was in his first full year in 1982. He didn’t even make an All-Star team when he was 2nd place for MVP in 1984. Part of that is because he played in the steroid era, when some of the best hitters of all time played, steroids or not. Many of the AL All-Star first baseman awards throughout Hrbek’s career went to Eddie Murray, Mark McGwire, and Frank Thomas. Although Kent Hrbek doesn’t have all of the accolades such as gold gloves and all stars to show off, he had a very good career and is one of the best players in Twins history.
    When Hrbek retired in 1994 until Justin Morneau took over 1B full time in 2004, multiple names split time there. The most notable was Doug Mientkewicz. Also some dude named David Ortiz played there for a few years, I wonder how he turned out? Anyways, Morneau took over 1B in 2004 when Mientkewicz was traded to the Boston Red Sox. Morneau instantly became a fan favorite, hitting .271 with 19 home runs in his first year. He was a well above league average hitter, posting a 122 OPS+. He underwent a bit of a sophomore slump in 2005 before breaking out in a huge way the next year. In 2006 Morneau won the AL MVP by hitting .321 with 34 home runs and 130 RBI. He continued to mash over the next couple years, and signed a 6 year, $80 million extension before the 2008 season. Morneau played in 163 regular season games in 2008, and the contract seemed to be paying off. In 2010, Justin Morneau’s career changed in a huge way. On July 7, 2010 in a game against the Toronto Blue Jays, Justin Morneau slid into second base trying to break up a double play when he was struck in the head by Blue Jays infielder John McDonald. It was a play that had happened hundreds of times without anything bad happening, but this time it did. Morneau had a concussion and was out for the rest of the 2010 season. He was never the same player after that day. At the 2013 trade deadline the Twins traded Morneau to the Pirates for Alex Presley and Duke Welker. Morneau won the 2014 NL batting title with the Rockies, and played his last year with the White Sox 2016. He officially retired in January of 2018 after not playing in 2017 marking the end of a good career. Morneau posted 22.9 out of a 27 total career WAR in a Twins uniform. He had 1318 of his total 1603 hits with the Twins, and 221 of his 247 home runs with the twins. He also had 860 RBI’s in his career with the Twins, and was nearing 1000 for his whole career with 985 total RBI’s. Throughout his Twins 11 year tenure he posted a 121 OPS+. There is no doubt he had a good career but there will always be the thought of what could’ve been.
    Joe Mauer was made the full time 1B of the Twins in 2014 after Justin Morneau had served that role for nearly a decade. Mauer had been bitten by the injury bug many times in his career, which ultimately was the reason the Twins had him move over to 1B in 2014. Joe Mauer was drafted 1st overall in 2001 by the Minnesota Twins. He was drafted as a catcher and had played that position for over a decade before making his move to first base. He was on track to become one of the best catchers of all time, winning 3 batting titles, an MVP in 2006, 5 Silver Sluggers and 3 Gold Gloves. The Twins liked what they saw enough to give Mauer an 8 year, $184 million extension, which is still by far the biggest deal in franchise history. During the 2013 season, Mauer suffered a concussion after being hit in the facemask by a foul tip.  It was determined early in the following offseason that the Twins would move their franchise cornerstone to first base to preserve his health. Like his good friend Morneau, he was never the same player, which could be partly due to increasing age as well. Mauer played 5 seasons at first base before calling it a career. In his final game, he suited back up into his old catcher's gear to catch a pitch and was given an emotional standing ovation. When somebody mentions the Minnesota Twins, Mauer is often a name that comes to mind. He had that kind of impact on the Twins as a former 1st overall pick and hometown hero. He is at the top tier with franchise greats such as Harmon Killebrew, Rod Carew and Kirby Puckett. Mauer will likely join the National Baseball Hall of Fame in the coming years, and rightfully so. He ended his career with 2123 hits (.306 average),143 home runs, 923 RBI’s, a 124 OPS+, and a 55.2 career WAR. He also ended with accomplishments such as 5 Silver Sluggers, 3 Gold Gloves, 3 batting titles, 6 All-Star Game appearances, and last but certainly not least, a 2006 AL MVP Award. It will be exciting to see how his Hall of Fame case goes about in the coming years.
    All of that brings me to the point of this article, Alex Kirilloff. As you may have noticed, I went over 3 of the best first baseman in franchise history, which happens to be the position Kirilloff plays. Like the other 3, Kirilloff also bats left-handed (although that doesn’t matter much, just a coincidence). Kirilloff broke out in the minors in 2018, placing him high on many lists. He made his much awaited debut in 2020, although surprisingly in the postseason. He didn’t make the team out of spring training, but was up with the Twins not too long after. After his 59 game showing in the majors before his wrist injury, it looked like he would be the first baseman of the future. In the majors in 2021, he hit .251 with 8 home runs and 34 RBI’s with a 98 OPS+, which are not numbers that will wow you. However, he made plenty of hard contact, and looked like he belonged, but just had some back luck. I don't want to put massive expectations on him, but it certainly looks like he is poised to be our first baseman for the next decade. It should be fun to watch him for the next many years alongside the other top prospects we have in the system, but only time will tell. Thank you for reading, and Go Twins!!!
     
  3. Like
    cjm0926 got a reaction from mikelink45 for a blog entry, A Trend With Twins First Basemen   
    Like many other baseball fans, I am very bored during this lockout. There are no free agent rumblings or really much of anything in the baseball world currently. I was doing some research on Kirilloff, and something got me thinking. Alex Kirilloff is a young, left-handed hitting first baseman, who projects to be the first baseman of the future for the Twins. The Twins seem to have a history with left-handed hitting first basemen. Some of those first basemen were named Kent Hrbek, Justin Morneau, and Joe Mauer. I am sure you can see where I am going with this, so I will just get into the article.

    Kent Hrbek held down first base for 13 years for the Minnesota Twins. Kent got a glimpse of the big leagues in 1981. In 24 games, he hit .239 with a homer. He also posted an 85 OPS+ (100 is league average) which would be his last time being a below average hitter until his last season in 1994 when he posted a 99 OPS+. He became a full time starter in 1982 and retired at the end of the 1994 season. He was a great hitter with even better defense. Throughout his career he built up a 38.6 WAR (Wins Above Replacement). Over his 14 year career he hit .282 with 293 home runs and 1086 RBI’s in 6192 at bats. He had a 128 OPS+ over his career, making him a well above average hitter. In comparison, Freddie Freeman, one of the best first baseman throughout the 2010’s, holds a career 138 OPS+. Kent was very consistent throughout his career, until the last 2 or 3 years where he dealt with injuries. The odd thing about Kent’s career is that he was an All-Star only one time, which was in his first full year in 1982. He didn’t even make an All-Star team when he was 2nd place for MVP in 1984. Part of that is because he played in the steroid era, when some of the best hitters of all time played, steroids or not. Many of the AL All-Star first baseman awards throughout Hrbek’s career went to Eddie Murray, Mark McGwire, and Frank Thomas. Although Kent Hrbek doesn’t have all of the accolades such as gold gloves and all stars to show off, he had a very good career and is one of the best players in Twins history.
    When Hrbek retired in 1994 until Justin Morneau took over 1B full time in 2004, multiple names split time there. The most notable was Doug Mientkewicz. Also some dude named David Ortiz played there for a few years, I wonder how he turned out? Anyways, Morneau took over 1B in 2004 when Mientkewicz was traded to the Boston Red Sox. Morneau instantly became a fan favorite, hitting .271 with 19 home runs in his first year. He was a well above league average hitter, posting a 122 OPS+. He underwent a bit of a sophomore slump in 2005 before breaking out in a huge way the next year. In 2006 Morneau won the AL MVP by hitting .321 with 34 home runs and 130 RBI. He continued to mash over the next couple years, and signed a 6 year, $80 million extension before the 2008 season. Morneau played in 163 regular season games in 2008, and the contract seemed to be paying off. In 2010, Justin Morneau’s career changed in a huge way. On July 7, 2010 in a game against the Toronto Blue Jays, Justin Morneau slid into second base trying to break up a double play when he was struck in the head by Blue Jays infielder John McDonald. It was a play that had happened hundreds of times without anything bad happening, but this time it did. Morneau had a concussion and was out for the rest of the 2010 season. He was never the same player after that day. At the 2013 trade deadline the Twins traded Morneau to the Pirates for Alex Presley and Duke Welker. Morneau won the 2014 NL batting title with the Rockies, and played his last year with the White Sox 2016. He officially retired in January of 2018 after not playing in 2017 marking the end of a good career. Morneau posted 22.9 out of a 27 total career WAR in a Twins uniform. He had 1318 of his total 1603 hits with the Twins, and 221 of his 247 home runs with the twins. He also had 860 RBI’s in his career with the Twins, and was nearing 1000 for his whole career with 985 total RBI’s. Throughout his Twins 11 year tenure he posted a 121 OPS+. There is no doubt he had a good career but there will always be the thought of what could’ve been.
    Joe Mauer was made the full time 1B of the Twins in 2014 after Justin Morneau had served that role for nearly a decade. Mauer had been bitten by the injury bug many times in his career, which ultimately was the reason the Twins had him move over to 1B in 2014. Joe Mauer was drafted 1st overall in 2001 by the Minnesota Twins. He was drafted as a catcher and had played that position for over a decade before making his move to first base. He was on track to become one of the best catchers of all time, winning 3 batting titles, an MVP in 2006, 5 Silver Sluggers and 3 Gold Gloves. The Twins liked what they saw enough to give Mauer an 8 year, $184 million extension, which is still by far the biggest deal in franchise history. During the 2013 season, Mauer suffered a concussion after being hit in the facemask by a foul tip.  It was determined early in the following offseason that the Twins would move their franchise cornerstone to first base to preserve his health. Like his good friend Morneau, he was never the same player, which could be partly due to increasing age as well. Mauer played 5 seasons at first base before calling it a career. In his final game, he suited back up into his old catcher's gear to catch a pitch and was given an emotional standing ovation. When somebody mentions the Minnesota Twins, Mauer is often a name that comes to mind. He had that kind of impact on the Twins as a former 1st overall pick and hometown hero. He is at the top tier with franchise greats such as Harmon Killebrew, Rod Carew and Kirby Puckett. Mauer will likely join the National Baseball Hall of Fame in the coming years, and rightfully so. He ended his career with 2123 hits (.306 average),143 home runs, 923 RBI’s, a 124 OPS+, and a 55.2 career WAR. He also ended with accomplishments such as 5 Silver Sluggers, 3 Gold Gloves, 3 batting titles, 6 All-Star Game appearances, and last but certainly not least, a 2006 AL MVP Award. It will be exciting to see how his Hall of Fame case goes about in the coming years.
    All of that brings me to the point of this article, Alex Kirilloff. As you may have noticed, I went over 3 of the best first baseman in franchise history, which happens to be the position Kirilloff plays. Like the other 3, Kirilloff also bats left-handed (although that doesn’t matter much, just a coincidence). Kirilloff broke out in the minors in 2018, placing him high on many lists. He made his much awaited debut in 2020, although surprisingly in the postseason. He didn’t make the team out of spring training, but was up with the Twins not too long after. After his 59 game showing in the majors before his wrist injury, it looked like he would be the first baseman of the future. In the majors in 2021, he hit .251 with 8 home runs and 34 RBI’s with a 98 OPS+, which are not numbers that will wow you. However, he made plenty of hard contact, and looked like he belonged, but just had some back luck. I don't want to put massive expectations on him, but it certainly looks like he is poised to be our first baseman for the next decade. It should be fun to watch him for the next many years alongside the other top prospects we have in the system, but only time will tell. Thank you for reading, and Go Twins!!!
     
  4. Like
    cjm0926 got a reaction from Richie the Rally Goat for a blog entry, A Trend With Twins First Basemen   
    Like many other baseball fans, I am very bored during this lockout. There are no free agent rumblings or really much of anything in the baseball world currently. I was doing some research on Kirilloff, and something got me thinking. Alex Kirilloff is a young, left-handed hitting first baseman, who projects to be the first baseman of the future for the Twins. The Twins seem to have a history with left-handed hitting first basemen. Some of those first basemen were named Kent Hrbek, Justin Morneau, and Joe Mauer. I am sure you can see where I am going with this, so I will just get into the article.

    Kent Hrbek held down first base for 13 years for the Minnesota Twins. Kent got a glimpse of the big leagues in 1981. In 24 games, he hit .239 with a homer. He also posted an 85 OPS+ (100 is league average) which would be his last time being a below average hitter until his last season in 1994 when he posted a 99 OPS+. He became a full time starter in 1982 and retired at the end of the 1994 season. He was a great hitter with even better defense. Throughout his career he built up a 38.6 WAR (Wins Above Replacement). Over his 14 year career he hit .282 with 293 home runs and 1086 RBI’s in 6192 at bats. He had a 128 OPS+ over his career, making him a well above average hitter. In comparison, Freddie Freeman, one of the best first baseman throughout the 2010’s, holds a career 138 OPS+. Kent was very consistent throughout his career, until the last 2 or 3 years where he dealt with injuries. The odd thing about Kent’s career is that he was an All-Star only one time, which was in his first full year in 1982. He didn’t even make an All-Star team when he was 2nd place for MVP in 1984. Part of that is because he played in the steroid era, when some of the best hitters of all time played, steroids or not. Many of the AL All-Star first baseman awards throughout Hrbek’s career went to Eddie Murray, Mark McGwire, and Frank Thomas. Although Kent Hrbek doesn’t have all of the accolades such as gold gloves and all stars to show off, he had a very good career and is one of the best players in Twins history.
    When Hrbek retired in 1994 until Justin Morneau took over 1B full time in 2004, multiple names split time there. The most notable was Doug Mientkewicz. Also some dude named David Ortiz played there for a few years, I wonder how he turned out? Anyways, Morneau took over 1B in 2004 when Mientkewicz was traded to the Boston Red Sox. Morneau instantly became a fan favorite, hitting .271 with 19 home runs in his first year. He was a well above league average hitter, posting a 122 OPS+. He underwent a bit of a sophomore slump in 2005 before breaking out in a huge way the next year. In 2006 Morneau won the AL MVP by hitting .321 with 34 home runs and 130 RBI. He continued to mash over the next couple years, and signed a 6 year, $80 million extension before the 2008 season. Morneau played in 163 regular season games in 2008, and the contract seemed to be paying off. In 2010, Justin Morneau’s career changed in a huge way. On July 7, 2010 in a game against the Toronto Blue Jays, Justin Morneau slid into second base trying to break up a double play when he was struck in the head by Blue Jays infielder John McDonald. It was a play that had happened hundreds of times without anything bad happening, but this time it did. Morneau had a concussion and was out for the rest of the 2010 season. He was never the same player after that day. At the 2013 trade deadline the Twins traded Morneau to the Pirates for Alex Presley and Duke Welker. Morneau won the 2014 NL batting title with the Rockies, and played his last year with the White Sox 2016. He officially retired in January of 2018 after not playing in 2017 marking the end of a good career. Morneau posted 22.9 out of a 27 total career WAR in a Twins uniform. He had 1318 of his total 1603 hits with the Twins, and 221 of his 247 home runs with the twins. He also had 860 RBI’s in his career with the Twins, and was nearing 1000 for his whole career with 985 total RBI’s. Throughout his Twins 11 year tenure he posted a 121 OPS+. There is no doubt he had a good career but there will always be the thought of what could’ve been.
    Joe Mauer was made the full time 1B of the Twins in 2014 after Justin Morneau had served that role for nearly a decade. Mauer had been bitten by the injury bug many times in his career, which ultimately was the reason the Twins had him move over to 1B in 2014. Joe Mauer was drafted 1st overall in 2001 by the Minnesota Twins. He was drafted as a catcher and had played that position for over a decade before making his move to first base. He was on track to become one of the best catchers of all time, winning 3 batting titles, an MVP in 2006, 5 Silver Sluggers and 3 Gold Gloves. The Twins liked what they saw enough to give Mauer an 8 year, $184 million extension, which is still by far the biggest deal in franchise history. During the 2013 season, Mauer suffered a concussion after being hit in the facemask by a foul tip.  It was determined early in the following offseason that the Twins would move their franchise cornerstone to first base to preserve his health. Like his good friend Morneau, he was never the same player, which could be partly due to increasing age as well. Mauer played 5 seasons at first base before calling it a career. In his final game, he suited back up into his old catcher's gear to catch a pitch and was given an emotional standing ovation. When somebody mentions the Minnesota Twins, Mauer is often a name that comes to mind. He had that kind of impact on the Twins as a former 1st overall pick and hometown hero. He is at the top tier with franchise greats such as Harmon Killebrew, Rod Carew and Kirby Puckett. Mauer will likely join the National Baseball Hall of Fame in the coming years, and rightfully so. He ended his career with 2123 hits (.306 average),143 home runs, 923 RBI’s, a 124 OPS+, and a 55.2 career WAR. He also ended with accomplishments such as 5 Silver Sluggers, 3 Gold Gloves, 3 batting titles, 6 All-Star Game appearances, and last but certainly not least, a 2006 AL MVP Award. It will be exciting to see how his Hall of Fame case goes about in the coming years.
    All of that brings me to the point of this article, Alex Kirilloff. As you may have noticed, I went over 3 of the best first baseman in franchise history, which happens to be the position Kirilloff plays. Like the other 3, Kirilloff also bats left-handed (although that doesn’t matter much, just a coincidence). Kirilloff broke out in the minors in 2018, placing him high on many lists. He made his much awaited debut in 2020, although surprisingly in the postseason. He didn’t make the team out of spring training, but was up with the Twins not too long after. After his 59 game showing in the majors before his wrist injury, it looked like he would be the first baseman of the future. In the majors in 2021, he hit .251 with 8 home runs and 34 RBI’s with a 98 OPS+, which are not numbers that will wow you. However, he made plenty of hard contact, and looked like he belonged, but just had some back luck. I don't want to put massive expectations on him, but it certainly looks like he is poised to be our first baseman for the next decade. It should be fun to watch him for the next many years alongside the other top prospects we have in the system, but only time will tell. Thank you for reading, and Go Twins!!!
     
  5. Like
    cjm0926 got a reaction from Karbo for a blog entry, A Trend With Twins First Basemen   
    Like many other baseball fans, I am very bored during this lockout. There are no free agent rumblings or really much of anything in the baseball world currently. I was doing some research on Kirilloff, and something got me thinking. Alex Kirilloff is a young, left-handed hitting first baseman, who projects to be the first baseman of the future for the Twins. The Twins seem to have a history with left-handed hitting first basemen. Some of those first basemen were named Kent Hrbek, Justin Morneau, and Joe Mauer. I am sure you can see where I am going with this, so I will just get into the article.

    Kent Hrbek held down first base for 13 years for the Minnesota Twins. Kent got a glimpse of the big leagues in 1981. In 24 games, he hit .239 with a homer. He also posted an 85 OPS+ (100 is league average) which would be his last time being a below average hitter until his last season in 1994 when he posted a 99 OPS+. He became a full time starter in 1982 and retired at the end of the 1994 season. He was a great hitter with even better defense. Throughout his career he built up a 38.6 WAR (Wins Above Replacement). Over his 14 year career he hit .282 with 293 home runs and 1086 RBI’s in 6192 at bats. He had a 128 OPS+ over his career, making him a well above average hitter. In comparison, Freddie Freeman, one of the best first baseman throughout the 2010’s, holds a career 138 OPS+. Kent was very consistent throughout his career, until the last 2 or 3 years where he dealt with injuries. The odd thing about Kent’s career is that he was an All-Star only one time, which was in his first full year in 1982. He didn’t even make an All-Star team when he was 2nd place for MVP in 1984. Part of that is because he played in the steroid era, when some of the best hitters of all time played, steroids or not. Many of the AL All-Star first baseman awards throughout Hrbek’s career went to Eddie Murray, Mark McGwire, and Frank Thomas. Although Kent Hrbek doesn’t have all of the accolades such as gold gloves and all stars to show off, he had a very good career and is one of the best players in Twins history.
    When Hrbek retired in 1994 until Justin Morneau took over 1B full time in 2004, multiple names split time there. The most notable was Doug Mientkewicz. Also some dude named David Ortiz played there for a few years, I wonder how he turned out? Anyways, Morneau took over 1B in 2004 when Mientkewicz was traded to the Boston Red Sox. Morneau instantly became a fan favorite, hitting .271 with 19 home runs in his first year. He was a well above league average hitter, posting a 122 OPS+. He underwent a bit of a sophomore slump in 2005 before breaking out in a huge way the next year. In 2006 Morneau won the AL MVP by hitting .321 with 34 home runs and 130 RBI. He continued to mash over the next couple years, and signed a 6 year, $80 million extension before the 2008 season. Morneau played in 163 regular season games in 2008, and the contract seemed to be paying off. In 2010, Justin Morneau’s career changed in a huge way. On July 7, 2010 in a game against the Toronto Blue Jays, Justin Morneau slid into second base trying to break up a double play when he was struck in the head by Blue Jays infielder John McDonald. It was a play that had happened hundreds of times without anything bad happening, but this time it did. Morneau had a concussion and was out for the rest of the 2010 season. He was never the same player after that day. At the 2013 trade deadline the Twins traded Morneau to the Pirates for Alex Presley and Duke Welker. Morneau won the 2014 NL batting title with the Rockies, and played his last year with the White Sox 2016. He officially retired in January of 2018 after not playing in 2017 marking the end of a good career. Morneau posted 22.9 out of a 27 total career WAR in a Twins uniform. He had 1318 of his total 1603 hits with the Twins, and 221 of his 247 home runs with the twins. He also had 860 RBI’s in his career with the Twins, and was nearing 1000 for his whole career with 985 total RBI’s. Throughout his Twins 11 year tenure he posted a 121 OPS+. There is no doubt he had a good career but there will always be the thought of what could’ve been.
    Joe Mauer was made the full time 1B of the Twins in 2014 after Justin Morneau had served that role for nearly a decade. Mauer had been bitten by the injury bug many times in his career, which ultimately was the reason the Twins had him move over to 1B in 2014. Joe Mauer was drafted 1st overall in 2001 by the Minnesota Twins. He was drafted as a catcher and had played that position for over a decade before making his move to first base. He was on track to become one of the best catchers of all time, winning 3 batting titles, an MVP in 2006, 5 Silver Sluggers and 3 Gold Gloves. The Twins liked what they saw enough to give Mauer an 8 year, $184 million extension, which is still by far the biggest deal in franchise history. During the 2013 season, Mauer suffered a concussion after being hit in the facemask by a foul tip.  It was determined early in the following offseason that the Twins would move their franchise cornerstone to first base to preserve his health. Like his good friend Morneau, he was never the same player, which could be partly due to increasing age as well. Mauer played 5 seasons at first base before calling it a career. In his final game, he suited back up into his old catcher's gear to catch a pitch and was given an emotional standing ovation. When somebody mentions the Minnesota Twins, Mauer is often a name that comes to mind. He had that kind of impact on the Twins as a former 1st overall pick and hometown hero. He is at the top tier with franchise greats such as Harmon Killebrew, Rod Carew and Kirby Puckett. Mauer will likely join the National Baseball Hall of Fame in the coming years, and rightfully so. He ended his career with 2123 hits (.306 average),143 home runs, 923 RBI’s, a 124 OPS+, and a 55.2 career WAR. He also ended with accomplishments such as 5 Silver Sluggers, 3 Gold Gloves, 3 batting titles, 6 All-Star Game appearances, and last but certainly not least, a 2006 AL MVP Award. It will be exciting to see how his Hall of Fame case goes about in the coming years.
    All of that brings me to the point of this article, Alex Kirilloff. As you may have noticed, I went over 3 of the best first baseman in franchise history, which happens to be the position Kirilloff plays. Like the other 3, Kirilloff also bats left-handed (although that doesn’t matter much, just a coincidence). Kirilloff broke out in the minors in 2018, placing him high on many lists. He made his much awaited debut in 2020, although surprisingly in the postseason. He didn’t make the team out of spring training, but was up with the Twins not too long after. After his 59 game showing in the majors before his wrist injury, it looked like he would be the first baseman of the future. In the majors in 2021, he hit .251 with 8 home runs and 34 RBI’s with a 98 OPS+, which are not numbers that will wow you. However, he made plenty of hard contact, and looked like he belonged, but just had some back luck. I don't want to put massive expectations on him, but it certainly looks like he is poised to be our first baseman for the next decade. It should be fun to watch him for the next many years alongside the other top prospects we have in the system, but only time will tell. Thank you for reading, and Go Twins!!!
     
  6. Haha
    cjm0926 got a reaction from Danielspr for a blog entry, Revisiting the Twins 2018 Top Prospects   
    Prospects are exciting, but they do come with some risks. The Twins currently seem to have as deep of a system as ever, but until the prospects reach the majors, it doesn’t matter. Today I will be revisiting the 2018 Twins Top 30 Prospects, according to MLB Pipeline, going through #1 to #15 on the list, and give some reason for hope, and some for fear for the current crop.
     
    #1 Royce Lewis
    Acquired: Drafted 2017, 1st Overall
    Current Team: Twins Organization
    Royce Lewis was a bit of a surprise being drafted #1 overall in 2017, many believed it would be high school flamethrower Hunter Greene going to the Twins instead. He is still currently the #1 prospect in the Twins system. Royce Lewis has shown plenty to be excited about, but also has shown some concerns, especially tearing his ACL right before spring training in 2021. He figures to be the most important piece to the Twins success in the coming years, will he be able to live up to the hype?
     
    #2 Fernando Romero
    Acquired: Signed out of Dominican Republic in 2011, $260,000 Signing Bonus
    Current Team: Yokohama DeNA BayStars (Japan)
    Likely the biggest letdown on this list, Romero was a late find for the Twins, who had some competition in signing Romero. Ultimately, it all worked out and the Twins got a deal done. Romero played well in his first couple years of minor league ball before tearing his UCL and requiring Tommy John surgery, knocking him out of the 2014 and 2015 seasons. He came back and worked his way up to his debut in 2018, pitching well for a few starts and ended the season with a 4.69 ERA. The Twins tried to turn him into a bullpen piece in 2019, but to no avail. It failed miserably and he was sent back to the minors. In 2020 he could not get into the United States for Spring Training due to visa issues, and was ultimately released late in 2020.
     
    #3 Stephen Gonsalves
    Acquired: Drafted 2013, 110th Overall
    Current Team: Cubs Organization
    Another massive letdown. Unlike Romero, Gonsalves never found any big league success, even for a few starts. He was expected to go higher, but an incident where he lied to the dean of his high school was made public and as a result, he fell lower in the draft. The Twins signed him away from his San Diego college commitment. He only pitched 24.2 innings in the majors for the Twins, all in 2019 ending with a 6.57 ERA. He has been in multiple other organizations throughout the past 2 years, only having big league time with the Red Sox in 2021.

     
    #4 Nick Gordon 
    Acquired: Drafted 2013, 5th Overall
    Current Team: Twins
    Gordon has had a rather long journey to the big leagues. He was drafted very high in 2013 and posted solid stats in the minors, and was finally added to the 40-man after the 2018 season. Gordon’s season was limited in 2019 due to injuries, and he endured a rough battle with Covid-19 during the cancelled 2020 minor league season, knocking him out of any possible baseball activity. He finally made his long awaited debut with the Twins, playing his way into a possible future role as a super-utility man. I personally am a big fan of Gordon and think he will be a good player for the Twins in the coming years. Fun fact: Outside of baseball, Nick Gordon also raps with his stage name of G Cinco.
     
    #5 Wander Javier
    Acquired: Signed out of Dominican Republic in 2015, $4 Million Signing Bonus
    Current Team: Twins Organization
    When the Twins signed Wander Javier out of the DR, they gave him the highest signing bonus in franchise history, breaking Miguel Sano’s $3.15 Million in 2010. The first 2 years of his professional career looked good, and he could be a big contributor for the Twins in the future. Since then, not much has gone right. He has battled injuries and has been inconsistent to say the least. On the bright side, he is still only 22 years old, and plays a premium position, shortstop. If he can find what he seemed to once have he still has enough time to become a solid Major Leaguer.
     
    #6 Alex Kirilloff
    Acquired: Drafted 2016, 15th Overall
    Current Team: Twins
    Alex Kirilloff was drafted out of Pennsylvania as a good hitting corner outfielder. He didn’t disappoint in his first taste of pro ball in 2016, but in 2017 he needed Tommy John surgery, knocking him out for the year. He really broke out in 2018 and earned a top 20 rank in most prospect lists. Kirilloff had a good first showing in the MLB in 2021, but just had some bad luck on batted balls as well as a wrist injury ended his season early. Although he can play outfield, it appears he will be the Twins first baseman of the future.
     
    #7 Brusdar Graterol
    Acquired: Signed out of Venezuela in 2014, $150,00 Signing Bonus
    Current Team: Dodgers
    Saying Brusdar throws hard is an understatement, he throws extremely hard. He also has good offspeed. The Twins traded him along with Luke Raley to the Dodgers in exchange for Kenta Maeda. Graterol has only been used in the bullpen by the Dodgers, and rightfully so. He had posted mixed results. Personally, I am content with the trade. Sure, Brusdar could have been a good bullpen arm for the next 5+ years, but we got a near Cy Young season with Maeda. An elbow injury ended his season early and will likely eat up his whole 2022 season, but he has shown how good of a pitcher he can be, and in my opinion, you cannot be too upset with the trade.
     
    #8 Brent Rooker
    Acquired: Drafted 2017, 35th Overall
    Current Team: Twins
    What could have been, and what might still be. Rooker has shown off the light-tower power he was drafted for, but also hasn’t been very consistent. He has proven just about everything he has needed to in the minors, but can’t quite figure it out in the majors. Over his 2 partial year Major League career, he has had a 32.1% strikeout rate. He also plays below average defense in right and left field. If he can find his swing in the majors, he could be a great DH or good corner outfielder, but time is running out, especially since he is already 27.
     
    #9 Blayne Enlow
    Acquired: Drafted 2017, 76th Overall
    Current Team: Twins Organization
    The Twins paid Enlow over twice slot value at $2 million, to keep him from going to LSU. He had pitched very well in the minors, but has been injured a fair amount too. A few weeks into the 2021 season it was revealed that he would need Tommy John surgery, keeping him out until mid-2022. The Twins have shown they have faith in him though, adding him to the 40-man roster this offseason rather than risk losing him. He is still young enough though, he is currently 22 and will be 23 on opening day. I think he will become a good starter in the majors.
     
    #10 Lewin Diaz
    Acquired: Signed out of Dominican Republic in 2014, $1.4 Million Signing Bonus
    Current Team: Marlins
    Lewin Diaz was the guy we traded for Sergio Romo at the 2019 trade deadline. More importantly, along with Romo, we obtained Chris Vallimont, who has shown signs of brilliance, but also has had trouble. Lewin Diaz can hold his own at first base defensively, but he has had trouble hitting in the majors. He has hit well enough in the minors, but like Rooker, has never figured it out at the major league level. In his Major League career over 161 AB’s, he owns a .193 batting average. He is currently 25 years old.
     
    #11 Akil Baddoo
    Acquired: Drafted 2016, 74th Overall
    Current Team: Tigers
    The one that got away. The Tigers selected Akil Baddoo in the 2020 Rule 5 draft. Nobody could have expected he would play this well. He only had one really good season in the minors, that being in 2017. In 2019, early in the season it was revealed he would need Tommy John surgery, which seems to be a recurring theme in Twins outfield prospects on this list. Anyways, the Tigers selected him in the Rule 5 draft and he was a well above average hitter in the majors, posting a 113 OPS+.You cannot really blame the Twins for losing him, they appeared to have all of the outfield depth in the world, and Baddoo still looked multiple years away from the show.
     
     
    #12 Lewis Thorpe
    Acquired: Signed out of Australia in 2012, $500,000 Signing Bonus
    Current Team: Twins Organization
    There were reports that he was finally reaching his potential this past spring training. He had increased fastball velocity and was in the best shape of his life. None of that translated to games that mattered. He was signed as a crafty lefty out of Australia in 2012, with a fastball sitting around 90 MPH. He has had no big league success to this point, in all 3 years he has appeared in a major league game (2019 ,20, 21), he has been below average. The only way that seems possible for him to stick in the majors is if he becomes a bullpen arm, and like many other Twins fans, I am not buying it.
     
    #13 Lamonte Wade Jr.
    Acquired: Drafted 2015, 260th Overall
    Current Team: Giants
    Another one that got away. Lamonte Wade Jr. looked like he could have been a decent 4th outfielder for the Twins. The Twins chose Jake Cave over him, and sent Lamonte packing to San Francisco in exchange for project piece Shaun Anderson. Anderson ended up pitching less than 10 innings for the Twins before being released. Wade Jr. on the other hand, broke out in a huge way. He posted a 117 OPS+ for the Giants and looks to be a big piece of their future. He even received MVP votes in 2021. For the record, I always liked Lamonte Wade over Cave, but no one could have expected he would be this good. I am happy Wade broke out, and even happier it wasn’t for an AL team.
     
    #14 Travis Blankenhorn
    Acquired: Drafted 2015, 80th Overall
    Current Team: Mets
    Blankenhorn was pretty average throughout his minor league career for the Twins. His ceiling seemed to be a good utility player. He made his debut in 2020, going 1 for 3 with a double. He played one game for the Twins in 2021, as a defensive replacement. He made a costly error against the Athletics, which was paired with a Luis Arraez throwing error, which cost the game. That game seemed to send the season to the trash can and kind of lost hope for everyone. Days after the error, he was DFA’d and picked up by the Mets, which is where he currently plays. It never seemed meant to be with the Twins, and I hope for the best of luck in the future for Travis.
     
    #15 Zack Littell
    Acquired: From Yankees (Traded for Jaime Garcia at 2017 Deadline)
    Current Team: Giants
    Littell was originally drafted by the Mariners, then a few years later traded to the Yankees. Soon after, he was sent to Minnesota along with Dietrich Enns, in exchange for Jaime Garcia and cash considerations, in one of the most puzzling trades in team history. Littell had success out of the pen in 2019, and then looked lost in 2020. I was always a believer in him but it doesn't really matter what I think. He was eventually released and picked up by the San Francisco Giants. Littell rebounded in a huge way in 2021, posting a 2.92 ERA for the Giants in 61.2 innings. He looks to be a reliable bullpen arm for them in the coming years.

    Notable 16-30
    #19 Mitch Garver
    Acquired: Drafted 2013, 260th Overall
    Current Team:Twins
    Garver broke out fairly late in his career, during his age 27 season. However, he broke out in a huge way, cementing himself as one of the best offensive catchers in the MLB. As a result of Garver breaking out late, he is already getting up there in age for a catcher. He will be 31 on opening day, which is decently old for a catcher. If he is still with the Twins after this offseason, he looks like he will catch for a few more years, and then it is likely he will transition over to a 1B/DH role. There is also a small chance he will play one of the most physically demanding positions in sports, catcher, for 5+ more years, due to how Baldelli rests his catchers.
     
    #23 Luis Arraez
    Acquired: Signed out of Venezuela in 2013, $40,000 Signing Bonus
    Current Team: Twins
    You always know what you will get with Arraez, high average, not a whole lot of power. That is what has made him one of my favorite Twins to watch. Some people believe Arraez will be dealt this offseason, but only time will tell. He currently holds down a utility role for the Twins. He broke out defensively this year, becoming a top 5 defensive 3rd baseman in 2021. He may have found his defensive home for the future, but he will have to beat out young buck Jose Miranda, who is mentioned soon in this list. Arraez also carries injury concerns, he has torn an ACL during his minor league career, and overall has “balky” knees. I think he could be a great leadoff hitter for the next 10 years if his body can hold up.
     
    #25 Ben Rortvedt
    Acquired: Drafted 2016, 56th Overall
    Current Team: Twins
    Like Arraez, you know what you are getting with Rortvedt. Rortvedt isn’t a force with the bat, but does have some power. He is highly regarded for his defense, profiling as the best in the system. With the Twins surplus of catching, he will likely serve as the 3rd catcher, playing most of his games in Saint Paul. It is nice to have him on hand though, as there could be some moves involving catchers after the lockout, and freak injuries happen with catchers. If he can bump his offense to average for a catcher, his defense will carry him to being an above average MLB catcher.
     
    #28 Jose Miranda
    Acquired: Drafted 2016, 73rd Overall
    Current Team: Twins Organization
    It wasn’t until this year that Miranda broke out, and he did it in a big way. Everybody knew Miranda had good tools, maybe they didn’t know they were this good though. He finally put them all together and hit over .340 on the season with 30 bombs between AA and AAA. He looks like he will be the 3rd baseman of the future for Minnesota, but stats don’t matter until the show, so we'll just have to wait and see. He is still fairly young, being 23 years old and he is one of, if not the best hitter in the whole system.
     
    This list should provide a good realization that prospects are just prospects. Some are more likely to contribute at the MLB, hence the rankings, but odd things can happen. Also, it should show that lower ranking prospects can provide a big impact in the big leagues, so don’t always write them off. This list likely brought up some names you have forgotten, and some you wish you could forget *cough cough Baddoo* The future of this team is resting on their current farm system, which should hopefully provide fun baseball for years to come. After all, even Mike Trout was a prospect once. Thank you for reading. Leave a comment. Go Twins!!!
     
  7. Like
    cjm0926 got a reaction from Danchat for a blog entry, Revisiting the Twins 2018 Top Prospects   
    Prospects are exciting, but they do come with some risks. The Twins currently seem to have as deep of a system as ever, but until the prospects reach the majors, it doesn’t matter. Today I will be revisiting the 2018 Twins Top 30 Prospects, according to MLB Pipeline, going through #1 to #15 on the list, and give some reason for hope, and some for fear for the current crop.
     
    #1 Royce Lewis
    Acquired: Drafted 2017, 1st Overall
    Current Team: Twins Organization
    Royce Lewis was a bit of a surprise being drafted #1 overall in 2017, many believed it would be high school flamethrower Hunter Greene going to the Twins instead. He is still currently the #1 prospect in the Twins system. Royce Lewis has shown plenty to be excited about, but also has shown some concerns, especially tearing his ACL right before spring training in 2021. He figures to be the most important piece to the Twins success in the coming years, will he be able to live up to the hype?
     
    #2 Fernando Romero
    Acquired: Signed out of Dominican Republic in 2011, $260,000 Signing Bonus
    Current Team: Yokohama DeNA BayStars (Japan)
    Likely the biggest letdown on this list, Romero was a late find for the Twins, who had some competition in signing Romero. Ultimately, it all worked out and the Twins got a deal done. Romero played well in his first couple years of minor league ball before tearing his UCL and requiring Tommy John surgery, knocking him out of the 2014 and 2015 seasons. He came back and worked his way up to his debut in 2018, pitching well for a few starts and ended the season with a 4.69 ERA. The Twins tried to turn him into a bullpen piece in 2019, but to no avail. It failed miserably and he was sent back to the minors. In 2020 he could not get into the United States for Spring Training due to visa issues, and was ultimately released late in 2020.
     
    #3 Stephen Gonsalves
    Acquired: Drafted 2013, 110th Overall
    Current Team: Cubs Organization
    Another massive letdown. Unlike Romero, Gonsalves never found any big league success, even for a few starts. He was expected to go higher, but an incident where he lied to the dean of his high school was made public and as a result, he fell lower in the draft. The Twins signed him away from his San Diego college commitment. He only pitched 24.2 innings in the majors for the Twins, all in 2019 ending with a 6.57 ERA. He has been in multiple other organizations throughout the past 2 years, only having big league time with the Red Sox in 2021.

     
    #4 Nick Gordon 
    Acquired: Drafted 2013, 5th Overall
    Current Team: Twins
    Gordon has had a rather long journey to the big leagues. He was drafted very high in 2013 and posted solid stats in the minors, and was finally added to the 40-man after the 2018 season. Gordon’s season was limited in 2019 due to injuries, and he endured a rough battle with Covid-19 during the cancelled 2020 minor league season, knocking him out of any possible baseball activity. He finally made his long awaited debut with the Twins, playing his way into a possible future role as a super-utility man. I personally am a big fan of Gordon and think he will be a good player for the Twins in the coming years. Fun fact: Outside of baseball, Nick Gordon also raps with his stage name of G Cinco.
     
    #5 Wander Javier
    Acquired: Signed out of Dominican Republic in 2015, $4 Million Signing Bonus
    Current Team: Twins Organization
    When the Twins signed Wander Javier out of the DR, they gave him the highest signing bonus in franchise history, breaking Miguel Sano’s $3.15 Million in 2010. The first 2 years of his professional career looked good, and he could be a big contributor for the Twins in the future. Since then, not much has gone right. He has battled injuries and has been inconsistent to say the least. On the bright side, he is still only 22 years old, and plays a premium position, shortstop. If he can find what he seemed to once have he still has enough time to become a solid Major Leaguer.
     
    #6 Alex Kirilloff
    Acquired: Drafted 2016, 15th Overall
    Current Team: Twins
    Alex Kirilloff was drafted out of Pennsylvania as a good hitting corner outfielder. He didn’t disappoint in his first taste of pro ball in 2016, but in 2017 he needed Tommy John surgery, knocking him out for the year. He really broke out in 2018 and earned a top 20 rank in most prospect lists. Kirilloff had a good first showing in the MLB in 2021, but just had some bad luck on batted balls as well as a wrist injury ended his season early. Although he can play outfield, it appears he will be the Twins first baseman of the future.
     
    #7 Brusdar Graterol
    Acquired: Signed out of Venezuela in 2014, $150,00 Signing Bonus
    Current Team: Dodgers
    Saying Brusdar throws hard is an understatement, he throws extremely hard. He also has good offspeed. The Twins traded him along with Luke Raley to the Dodgers in exchange for Kenta Maeda. Graterol has only been used in the bullpen by the Dodgers, and rightfully so. He had posted mixed results. Personally, I am content with the trade. Sure, Brusdar could have been a good bullpen arm for the next 5+ years, but we got a near Cy Young season with Maeda. An elbow injury ended his season early and will likely eat up his whole 2022 season, but he has shown how good of a pitcher he can be, and in my opinion, you cannot be too upset with the trade.
     
    #8 Brent Rooker
    Acquired: Drafted 2017, 35th Overall
    Current Team: Twins
    What could have been, and what might still be. Rooker has shown off the light-tower power he was drafted for, but also hasn’t been very consistent. He has proven just about everything he has needed to in the minors, but can’t quite figure it out in the majors. Over his 2 partial year Major League career, he has had a 32.1% strikeout rate. He also plays below average defense in right and left field. If he can find his swing in the majors, he could be a great DH or good corner outfielder, but time is running out, especially since he is already 27.
     
    #9 Blayne Enlow
    Acquired: Drafted 2017, 76th Overall
    Current Team: Twins Organization
    The Twins paid Enlow over twice slot value at $2 million, to keep him from going to LSU. He had pitched very well in the minors, but has been injured a fair amount too. A few weeks into the 2021 season it was revealed that he would need Tommy John surgery, keeping him out until mid-2022. The Twins have shown they have faith in him though, adding him to the 40-man roster this offseason rather than risk losing him. He is still young enough though, he is currently 22 and will be 23 on opening day. I think he will become a good starter in the majors.
     
    #10 Lewin Diaz
    Acquired: Signed out of Dominican Republic in 2014, $1.4 Million Signing Bonus
    Current Team: Marlins
    Lewin Diaz was the guy we traded for Sergio Romo at the 2019 trade deadline. More importantly, along with Romo, we obtained Chris Vallimont, who has shown signs of brilliance, but also has had trouble. Lewin Diaz can hold his own at first base defensively, but he has had trouble hitting in the majors. He has hit well enough in the minors, but like Rooker, has never figured it out at the major league level. In his Major League career over 161 AB’s, he owns a .193 batting average. He is currently 25 years old.
     
    #11 Akil Baddoo
    Acquired: Drafted 2016, 74th Overall
    Current Team: Tigers
    The one that got away. The Tigers selected Akil Baddoo in the 2020 Rule 5 draft. Nobody could have expected he would play this well. He only had one really good season in the minors, that being in 2017. In 2019, early in the season it was revealed he would need Tommy John surgery, which seems to be a recurring theme in Twins outfield prospects on this list. Anyways, the Tigers selected him in the Rule 5 draft and he was a well above average hitter in the majors, posting a 113 OPS+.You cannot really blame the Twins for losing him, they appeared to have all of the outfield depth in the world, and Baddoo still looked multiple years away from the show.
     
     
    #12 Lewis Thorpe
    Acquired: Signed out of Australia in 2012, $500,000 Signing Bonus
    Current Team: Twins Organization
    There were reports that he was finally reaching his potential this past spring training. He had increased fastball velocity and was in the best shape of his life. None of that translated to games that mattered. He was signed as a crafty lefty out of Australia in 2012, with a fastball sitting around 90 MPH. He has had no big league success to this point, in all 3 years he has appeared in a major league game (2019 ,20, 21), he has been below average. The only way that seems possible for him to stick in the majors is if he becomes a bullpen arm, and like many other Twins fans, I am not buying it.
     
    #13 Lamonte Wade Jr.
    Acquired: Drafted 2015, 260th Overall
    Current Team: Giants
    Another one that got away. Lamonte Wade Jr. looked like he could have been a decent 4th outfielder for the Twins. The Twins chose Jake Cave over him, and sent Lamonte packing to San Francisco in exchange for project piece Shaun Anderson. Anderson ended up pitching less than 10 innings for the Twins before being released. Wade Jr. on the other hand, broke out in a huge way. He posted a 117 OPS+ for the Giants and looks to be a big piece of their future. He even received MVP votes in 2021. For the record, I always liked Lamonte Wade over Cave, but no one could have expected he would be this good. I am happy Wade broke out, and even happier it wasn’t for an AL team.
     
    #14 Travis Blankenhorn
    Acquired: Drafted 2015, 80th Overall
    Current Team: Mets
    Blankenhorn was pretty average throughout his minor league career for the Twins. His ceiling seemed to be a good utility player. He made his debut in 2020, going 1 for 3 with a double. He played one game for the Twins in 2021, as a defensive replacement. He made a costly error against the Athletics, which was paired with a Luis Arraez throwing error, which cost the game. That game seemed to send the season to the trash can and kind of lost hope for everyone. Days after the error, he was DFA’d and picked up by the Mets, which is where he currently plays. It never seemed meant to be with the Twins, and I hope for the best of luck in the future for Travis.
     
    #15 Zack Littell
    Acquired: From Yankees (Traded for Jaime Garcia at 2017 Deadline)
    Current Team: Giants
    Littell was originally drafted by the Mariners, then a few years later traded to the Yankees. Soon after, he was sent to Minnesota along with Dietrich Enns, in exchange for Jaime Garcia and cash considerations, in one of the most puzzling trades in team history. Littell had success out of the pen in 2019, and then looked lost in 2020. I was always a believer in him but it doesn't really matter what I think. He was eventually released and picked up by the San Francisco Giants. Littell rebounded in a huge way in 2021, posting a 2.92 ERA for the Giants in 61.2 innings. He looks to be a reliable bullpen arm for them in the coming years.

    Notable 16-30
    #19 Mitch Garver
    Acquired: Drafted 2013, 260th Overall
    Current Team:Twins
    Garver broke out fairly late in his career, during his age 27 season. However, he broke out in a huge way, cementing himself as one of the best offensive catchers in the MLB. As a result of Garver breaking out late, he is already getting up there in age for a catcher. He will be 31 on opening day, which is decently old for a catcher. If he is still with the Twins after this offseason, he looks like he will catch for a few more years, and then it is likely he will transition over to a 1B/DH role. There is also a small chance he will play one of the most physically demanding positions in sports, catcher, for 5+ more years, due to how Baldelli rests his catchers.
     
    #23 Luis Arraez
    Acquired: Signed out of Venezuela in 2013, $40,000 Signing Bonus
    Current Team: Twins
    You always know what you will get with Arraez, high average, not a whole lot of power. That is what has made him one of my favorite Twins to watch. Some people believe Arraez will be dealt this offseason, but only time will tell. He currently holds down a utility role for the Twins. He broke out defensively this year, becoming a top 5 defensive 3rd baseman in 2021. He may have found his defensive home for the future, but he will have to beat out young buck Jose Miranda, who is mentioned soon in this list. Arraez also carries injury concerns, he has torn an ACL during his minor league career, and overall has “balky” knees. I think he could be a great leadoff hitter for the next 10 years if his body can hold up.
     
    #25 Ben Rortvedt
    Acquired: Drafted 2016, 56th Overall
    Current Team: Twins
    Like Arraez, you know what you are getting with Rortvedt. Rortvedt isn’t a force with the bat, but does have some power. He is highly regarded for his defense, profiling as the best in the system. With the Twins surplus of catching, he will likely serve as the 3rd catcher, playing most of his games in Saint Paul. It is nice to have him on hand though, as there could be some moves involving catchers after the lockout, and freak injuries happen with catchers. If he can bump his offense to average for a catcher, his defense will carry him to being an above average MLB catcher.
     
    #28 Jose Miranda
    Acquired: Drafted 2016, 73rd Overall
    Current Team: Twins Organization
    It wasn’t until this year that Miranda broke out, and he did it in a big way. Everybody knew Miranda had good tools, maybe they didn’t know they were this good though. He finally put them all together and hit over .340 on the season with 30 bombs between AA and AAA. He looks like he will be the 3rd baseman of the future for Minnesota, but stats don’t matter until the show, so we'll just have to wait and see. He is still fairly young, being 23 years old and he is one of, if not the best hitter in the whole system.
     
    This list should provide a good realization that prospects are just prospects. Some are more likely to contribute at the MLB, hence the rankings, but odd things can happen. Also, it should show that lower ranking prospects can provide a big impact in the big leagues, so don’t always write them off. This list likely brought up some names you have forgotten, and some you wish you could forget *cough cough Baddoo* The future of this team is resting on their current farm system, which should hopefully provide fun baseball for years to come. After all, even Mike Trout was a prospect once. Thank you for reading. Leave a comment. Go Twins!!!
     
  8. Like
    cjm0926 got a reaction from Heiny for a blog entry, Revisiting the Twins 2018 Top Prospects   
    Prospects are exciting, but they do come with some risks. The Twins currently seem to have as deep of a system as ever, but until the prospects reach the majors, it doesn’t matter. Today I will be revisiting the 2018 Twins Top 30 Prospects, according to MLB Pipeline, going through #1 to #15 on the list, and give some reason for hope, and some for fear for the current crop.
     
    #1 Royce Lewis
    Acquired: Drafted 2017, 1st Overall
    Current Team: Twins Organization
    Royce Lewis was a bit of a surprise being drafted #1 overall in 2017, many believed it would be high school flamethrower Hunter Greene going to the Twins instead. He is still currently the #1 prospect in the Twins system. Royce Lewis has shown plenty to be excited about, but also has shown some concerns, especially tearing his ACL right before spring training in 2021. He figures to be the most important piece to the Twins success in the coming years, will he be able to live up to the hype?
     
    #2 Fernando Romero
    Acquired: Signed out of Dominican Republic in 2011, $260,000 Signing Bonus
    Current Team: Yokohama DeNA BayStars (Japan)
    Likely the biggest letdown on this list, Romero was a late find for the Twins, who had some competition in signing Romero. Ultimately, it all worked out and the Twins got a deal done. Romero played well in his first couple years of minor league ball before tearing his UCL and requiring Tommy John surgery, knocking him out of the 2014 and 2015 seasons. He came back and worked his way up to his debut in 2018, pitching well for a few starts and ended the season with a 4.69 ERA. The Twins tried to turn him into a bullpen piece in 2019, but to no avail. It failed miserably and he was sent back to the minors. In 2020 he could not get into the United States for Spring Training due to visa issues, and was ultimately released late in 2020.
     
    #3 Stephen Gonsalves
    Acquired: Drafted 2013, 110th Overall
    Current Team: Cubs Organization
    Another massive letdown. Unlike Romero, Gonsalves never found any big league success, even for a few starts. He was expected to go higher, but an incident where he lied to the dean of his high school was made public and as a result, he fell lower in the draft. The Twins signed him away from his San Diego college commitment. He only pitched 24.2 innings in the majors for the Twins, all in 2019 ending with a 6.57 ERA. He has been in multiple other organizations throughout the past 2 years, only having big league time with the Red Sox in 2021.

     
    #4 Nick Gordon 
    Acquired: Drafted 2013, 5th Overall
    Current Team: Twins
    Gordon has had a rather long journey to the big leagues. He was drafted very high in 2013 and posted solid stats in the minors, and was finally added to the 40-man after the 2018 season. Gordon’s season was limited in 2019 due to injuries, and he endured a rough battle with Covid-19 during the cancelled 2020 minor league season, knocking him out of any possible baseball activity. He finally made his long awaited debut with the Twins, playing his way into a possible future role as a super-utility man. I personally am a big fan of Gordon and think he will be a good player for the Twins in the coming years. Fun fact: Outside of baseball, Nick Gordon also raps with his stage name of G Cinco.
     
    #5 Wander Javier
    Acquired: Signed out of Dominican Republic in 2015, $4 Million Signing Bonus
    Current Team: Twins Organization
    When the Twins signed Wander Javier out of the DR, they gave him the highest signing bonus in franchise history, breaking Miguel Sano’s $3.15 Million in 2010. The first 2 years of his professional career looked good, and he could be a big contributor for the Twins in the future. Since then, not much has gone right. He has battled injuries and has been inconsistent to say the least. On the bright side, he is still only 22 years old, and plays a premium position, shortstop. If he can find what he seemed to once have he still has enough time to become a solid Major Leaguer.
     
    #6 Alex Kirilloff
    Acquired: Drafted 2016, 15th Overall
    Current Team: Twins
    Alex Kirilloff was drafted out of Pennsylvania as a good hitting corner outfielder. He didn’t disappoint in his first taste of pro ball in 2016, but in 2017 he needed Tommy John surgery, knocking him out for the year. He really broke out in 2018 and earned a top 20 rank in most prospect lists. Kirilloff had a good first showing in the MLB in 2021, but just had some bad luck on batted balls as well as a wrist injury ended his season early. Although he can play outfield, it appears he will be the Twins first baseman of the future.
     
    #7 Brusdar Graterol
    Acquired: Signed out of Venezuela in 2014, $150,00 Signing Bonus
    Current Team: Dodgers
    Saying Brusdar throws hard is an understatement, he throws extremely hard. He also has good offspeed. The Twins traded him along with Luke Raley to the Dodgers in exchange for Kenta Maeda. Graterol has only been used in the bullpen by the Dodgers, and rightfully so. He had posted mixed results. Personally, I am content with the trade. Sure, Brusdar could have been a good bullpen arm for the next 5+ years, but we got a near Cy Young season with Maeda. An elbow injury ended his season early and will likely eat up his whole 2022 season, but he has shown how good of a pitcher he can be, and in my opinion, you cannot be too upset with the trade.
     
    #8 Brent Rooker
    Acquired: Drafted 2017, 35th Overall
    Current Team: Twins
    What could have been, and what might still be. Rooker has shown off the light-tower power he was drafted for, but also hasn’t been very consistent. He has proven just about everything he has needed to in the minors, but can’t quite figure it out in the majors. Over his 2 partial year Major League career, he has had a 32.1% strikeout rate. He also plays below average defense in right and left field. If he can find his swing in the majors, he could be a great DH or good corner outfielder, but time is running out, especially since he is already 27.
     
    #9 Blayne Enlow
    Acquired: Drafted 2017, 76th Overall
    Current Team: Twins Organization
    The Twins paid Enlow over twice slot value at $2 million, to keep him from going to LSU. He had pitched very well in the minors, but has been injured a fair amount too. A few weeks into the 2021 season it was revealed that he would need Tommy John surgery, keeping him out until mid-2022. The Twins have shown they have faith in him though, adding him to the 40-man roster this offseason rather than risk losing him. He is still young enough though, he is currently 22 and will be 23 on opening day. I think he will become a good starter in the majors.
     
    #10 Lewin Diaz
    Acquired: Signed out of Dominican Republic in 2014, $1.4 Million Signing Bonus
    Current Team: Marlins
    Lewin Diaz was the guy we traded for Sergio Romo at the 2019 trade deadline. More importantly, along with Romo, we obtained Chris Vallimont, who has shown signs of brilliance, but also has had trouble. Lewin Diaz can hold his own at first base defensively, but he has had trouble hitting in the majors. He has hit well enough in the minors, but like Rooker, has never figured it out at the major league level. In his Major League career over 161 AB’s, he owns a .193 batting average. He is currently 25 years old.
     
    #11 Akil Baddoo
    Acquired: Drafted 2016, 74th Overall
    Current Team: Tigers
    The one that got away. The Tigers selected Akil Baddoo in the 2020 Rule 5 draft. Nobody could have expected he would play this well. He only had one really good season in the minors, that being in 2017. In 2019, early in the season it was revealed he would need Tommy John surgery, which seems to be a recurring theme in Twins outfield prospects on this list. Anyways, the Tigers selected him in the Rule 5 draft and he was a well above average hitter in the majors, posting a 113 OPS+.You cannot really blame the Twins for losing him, they appeared to have all of the outfield depth in the world, and Baddoo still looked multiple years away from the show.
     
     
    #12 Lewis Thorpe
    Acquired: Signed out of Australia in 2012, $500,000 Signing Bonus
    Current Team: Twins Organization
    There were reports that he was finally reaching his potential this past spring training. He had increased fastball velocity and was in the best shape of his life. None of that translated to games that mattered. He was signed as a crafty lefty out of Australia in 2012, with a fastball sitting around 90 MPH. He has had no big league success to this point, in all 3 years he has appeared in a major league game (2019 ,20, 21), he has been below average. The only way that seems possible for him to stick in the majors is if he becomes a bullpen arm, and like many other Twins fans, I am not buying it.
     
    #13 Lamonte Wade Jr.
    Acquired: Drafted 2015, 260th Overall
    Current Team: Giants
    Another one that got away. Lamonte Wade Jr. looked like he could have been a decent 4th outfielder for the Twins. The Twins chose Jake Cave over him, and sent Lamonte packing to San Francisco in exchange for project piece Shaun Anderson. Anderson ended up pitching less than 10 innings for the Twins before being released. Wade Jr. on the other hand, broke out in a huge way. He posted a 117 OPS+ for the Giants and looks to be a big piece of their future. He even received MVP votes in 2021. For the record, I always liked Lamonte Wade over Cave, but no one could have expected he would be this good. I am happy Wade broke out, and even happier it wasn’t for an AL team.
     
    #14 Travis Blankenhorn
    Acquired: Drafted 2015, 80th Overall
    Current Team: Mets
    Blankenhorn was pretty average throughout his minor league career for the Twins. His ceiling seemed to be a good utility player. He made his debut in 2020, going 1 for 3 with a double. He played one game for the Twins in 2021, as a defensive replacement. He made a costly error against the Athletics, which was paired with a Luis Arraez throwing error, which cost the game. That game seemed to send the season to the trash can and kind of lost hope for everyone. Days after the error, he was DFA’d and picked up by the Mets, which is where he currently plays. It never seemed meant to be with the Twins, and I hope for the best of luck in the future for Travis.
     
    #15 Zack Littell
    Acquired: From Yankees (Traded for Jaime Garcia at 2017 Deadline)
    Current Team: Giants
    Littell was originally drafted by the Mariners, then a few years later traded to the Yankees. Soon after, he was sent to Minnesota along with Dietrich Enns, in exchange for Jaime Garcia and cash considerations, in one of the most puzzling trades in team history. Littell had success out of the pen in 2019, and then looked lost in 2020. I was always a believer in him but it doesn't really matter what I think. He was eventually released and picked up by the San Francisco Giants. Littell rebounded in a huge way in 2021, posting a 2.92 ERA for the Giants in 61.2 innings. He looks to be a reliable bullpen arm for them in the coming years.

    Notable 16-30
    #19 Mitch Garver
    Acquired: Drafted 2013, 260th Overall
    Current Team:Twins
    Garver broke out fairly late in his career, during his age 27 season. However, he broke out in a huge way, cementing himself as one of the best offensive catchers in the MLB. As a result of Garver breaking out late, he is already getting up there in age for a catcher. He will be 31 on opening day, which is decently old for a catcher. If he is still with the Twins after this offseason, he looks like he will catch for a few more years, and then it is likely he will transition over to a 1B/DH role. There is also a small chance he will play one of the most physically demanding positions in sports, catcher, for 5+ more years, due to how Baldelli rests his catchers.
     
    #23 Luis Arraez
    Acquired: Signed out of Venezuela in 2013, $40,000 Signing Bonus
    Current Team: Twins
    You always know what you will get with Arraez, high average, not a whole lot of power. That is what has made him one of my favorite Twins to watch. Some people believe Arraez will be dealt this offseason, but only time will tell. He currently holds down a utility role for the Twins. He broke out defensively this year, becoming a top 5 defensive 3rd baseman in 2021. He may have found his defensive home for the future, but he will have to beat out young buck Jose Miranda, who is mentioned soon in this list. Arraez also carries injury concerns, he has torn an ACL during his minor league career, and overall has “balky” knees. I think he could be a great leadoff hitter for the next 10 years if his body can hold up.
     
    #25 Ben Rortvedt
    Acquired: Drafted 2016, 56th Overall
    Current Team: Twins
    Like Arraez, you know what you are getting with Rortvedt. Rortvedt isn’t a force with the bat, but does have some power. He is highly regarded for his defense, profiling as the best in the system. With the Twins surplus of catching, he will likely serve as the 3rd catcher, playing most of his games in Saint Paul. It is nice to have him on hand though, as there could be some moves involving catchers after the lockout, and freak injuries happen with catchers. If he can bump his offense to average for a catcher, his defense will carry him to being an above average MLB catcher.
     
    #28 Jose Miranda
    Acquired: Drafted 2016, 73rd Overall
    Current Team: Twins Organization
    It wasn’t until this year that Miranda broke out, and he did it in a big way. Everybody knew Miranda had good tools, maybe they didn’t know they were this good though. He finally put them all together and hit over .340 on the season with 30 bombs between AA and AAA. He looks like he will be the 3rd baseman of the future for Minnesota, but stats don’t matter until the show, so we'll just have to wait and see. He is still fairly young, being 23 years old and he is one of, if not the best hitter in the whole system.
     
    This list should provide a good realization that prospects are just prospects. Some are more likely to contribute at the MLB, hence the rankings, but odd things can happen. Also, it should show that lower ranking prospects can provide a big impact in the big leagues, so don’t always write them off. This list likely brought up some names you have forgotten, and some you wish you could forget *cough cough Baddoo* The future of this team is resting on their current farm system, which should hopefully provide fun baseball for years to come. After all, even Mike Trout was a prospect once. Thank you for reading. Leave a comment. Go Twins!!!
     
  9. Like
    cjm0926 got a reaction from 4twinsJA for a blog entry, Revisiting the Twins 2018 Top Prospects   
    Prospects are exciting, but they do come with some risks. The Twins currently seem to have as deep of a system as ever, but until the prospects reach the majors, it doesn’t matter. Today I will be revisiting the 2018 Twins Top 30 Prospects, according to MLB Pipeline, going through #1 to #15 on the list, and give some reason for hope, and some for fear for the current crop.
     
    #1 Royce Lewis
    Acquired: Drafted 2017, 1st Overall
    Current Team: Twins Organization
    Royce Lewis was a bit of a surprise being drafted #1 overall in 2017, many believed it would be high school flamethrower Hunter Greene going to the Twins instead. He is still currently the #1 prospect in the Twins system. Royce Lewis has shown plenty to be excited about, but also has shown some concerns, especially tearing his ACL right before spring training in 2021. He figures to be the most important piece to the Twins success in the coming years, will he be able to live up to the hype?
     
    #2 Fernando Romero
    Acquired: Signed out of Dominican Republic in 2011, $260,000 Signing Bonus
    Current Team: Yokohama DeNA BayStars (Japan)
    Likely the biggest letdown on this list, Romero was a late find for the Twins, who had some competition in signing Romero. Ultimately, it all worked out and the Twins got a deal done. Romero played well in his first couple years of minor league ball before tearing his UCL and requiring Tommy John surgery, knocking him out of the 2014 and 2015 seasons. He came back and worked his way up to his debut in 2018, pitching well for a few starts and ended the season with a 4.69 ERA. The Twins tried to turn him into a bullpen piece in 2019, but to no avail. It failed miserably and he was sent back to the minors. In 2020 he could not get into the United States for Spring Training due to visa issues, and was ultimately released late in 2020.
     
    #3 Stephen Gonsalves
    Acquired: Drafted 2013, 110th Overall
    Current Team: Cubs Organization
    Another massive letdown. Unlike Romero, Gonsalves never found any big league success, even for a few starts. He was expected to go higher, but an incident where he lied to the dean of his high school was made public and as a result, he fell lower in the draft. The Twins signed him away from his San Diego college commitment. He only pitched 24.2 innings in the majors for the Twins, all in 2019 ending with a 6.57 ERA. He has been in multiple other organizations throughout the past 2 years, only having big league time with the Red Sox in 2021.

     
    #4 Nick Gordon 
    Acquired: Drafted 2013, 5th Overall
    Current Team: Twins
    Gordon has had a rather long journey to the big leagues. He was drafted very high in 2013 and posted solid stats in the minors, and was finally added to the 40-man after the 2018 season. Gordon’s season was limited in 2019 due to injuries, and he endured a rough battle with Covid-19 during the cancelled 2020 minor league season, knocking him out of any possible baseball activity. He finally made his long awaited debut with the Twins, playing his way into a possible future role as a super-utility man. I personally am a big fan of Gordon and think he will be a good player for the Twins in the coming years. Fun fact: Outside of baseball, Nick Gordon also raps with his stage name of G Cinco.
     
    #5 Wander Javier
    Acquired: Signed out of Dominican Republic in 2015, $4 Million Signing Bonus
    Current Team: Twins Organization
    When the Twins signed Wander Javier out of the DR, they gave him the highest signing bonus in franchise history, breaking Miguel Sano’s $3.15 Million in 2010. The first 2 years of his professional career looked good, and he could be a big contributor for the Twins in the future. Since then, not much has gone right. He has battled injuries and has been inconsistent to say the least. On the bright side, he is still only 22 years old, and plays a premium position, shortstop. If he can find what he seemed to once have he still has enough time to become a solid Major Leaguer.
     
    #6 Alex Kirilloff
    Acquired: Drafted 2016, 15th Overall
    Current Team: Twins
    Alex Kirilloff was drafted out of Pennsylvania as a good hitting corner outfielder. He didn’t disappoint in his first taste of pro ball in 2016, but in 2017 he needed Tommy John surgery, knocking him out for the year. He really broke out in 2018 and earned a top 20 rank in most prospect lists. Kirilloff had a good first showing in the MLB in 2021, but just had some bad luck on batted balls as well as a wrist injury ended his season early. Although he can play outfield, it appears he will be the Twins first baseman of the future.
     
    #7 Brusdar Graterol
    Acquired: Signed out of Venezuela in 2014, $150,00 Signing Bonus
    Current Team: Dodgers
    Saying Brusdar throws hard is an understatement, he throws extremely hard. He also has good offspeed. The Twins traded him along with Luke Raley to the Dodgers in exchange for Kenta Maeda. Graterol has only been used in the bullpen by the Dodgers, and rightfully so. He had posted mixed results. Personally, I am content with the trade. Sure, Brusdar could have been a good bullpen arm for the next 5+ years, but we got a near Cy Young season with Maeda. An elbow injury ended his season early and will likely eat up his whole 2022 season, but he has shown how good of a pitcher he can be, and in my opinion, you cannot be too upset with the trade.
     
    #8 Brent Rooker
    Acquired: Drafted 2017, 35th Overall
    Current Team: Twins
    What could have been, and what might still be. Rooker has shown off the light-tower power he was drafted for, but also hasn’t been very consistent. He has proven just about everything he has needed to in the minors, but can’t quite figure it out in the majors. Over his 2 partial year Major League career, he has had a 32.1% strikeout rate. He also plays below average defense in right and left field. If he can find his swing in the majors, he could be a great DH or good corner outfielder, but time is running out, especially since he is already 27.
     
    #9 Blayne Enlow
    Acquired: Drafted 2017, 76th Overall
    Current Team: Twins Organization
    The Twins paid Enlow over twice slot value at $2 million, to keep him from going to LSU. He had pitched very well in the minors, but has been injured a fair amount too. A few weeks into the 2021 season it was revealed that he would need Tommy John surgery, keeping him out until mid-2022. The Twins have shown they have faith in him though, adding him to the 40-man roster this offseason rather than risk losing him. He is still young enough though, he is currently 22 and will be 23 on opening day. I think he will become a good starter in the majors.
     
    #10 Lewin Diaz
    Acquired: Signed out of Dominican Republic in 2014, $1.4 Million Signing Bonus
    Current Team: Marlins
    Lewin Diaz was the guy we traded for Sergio Romo at the 2019 trade deadline. More importantly, along with Romo, we obtained Chris Vallimont, who has shown signs of brilliance, but also has had trouble. Lewin Diaz can hold his own at first base defensively, but he has had trouble hitting in the majors. He has hit well enough in the minors, but like Rooker, has never figured it out at the major league level. In his Major League career over 161 AB’s, he owns a .193 batting average. He is currently 25 years old.
     
    #11 Akil Baddoo
    Acquired: Drafted 2016, 74th Overall
    Current Team: Tigers
    The one that got away. The Tigers selected Akil Baddoo in the 2020 Rule 5 draft. Nobody could have expected he would play this well. He only had one really good season in the minors, that being in 2017. In 2019, early in the season it was revealed he would need Tommy John surgery, which seems to be a recurring theme in Twins outfield prospects on this list. Anyways, the Tigers selected him in the Rule 5 draft and he was a well above average hitter in the majors, posting a 113 OPS+.You cannot really blame the Twins for losing him, they appeared to have all of the outfield depth in the world, and Baddoo still looked multiple years away from the show.
     
     
    #12 Lewis Thorpe
    Acquired: Signed out of Australia in 2012, $500,000 Signing Bonus
    Current Team: Twins Organization
    There were reports that he was finally reaching his potential this past spring training. He had increased fastball velocity and was in the best shape of his life. None of that translated to games that mattered. He was signed as a crafty lefty out of Australia in 2012, with a fastball sitting around 90 MPH. He has had no big league success to this point, in all 3 years he has appeared in a major league game (2019 ,20, 21), he has been below average. The only way that seems possible for him to stick in the majors is if he becomes a bullpen arm, and like many other Twins fans, I am not buying it.
     
    #13 Lamonte Wade Jr.
    Acquired: Drafted 2015, 260th Overall
    Current Team: Giants
    Another one that got away. Lamonte Wade Jr. looked like he could have been a decent 4th outfielder for the Twins. The Twins chose Jake Cave over him, and sent Lamonte packing to San Francisco in exchange for project piece Shaun Anderson. Anderson ended up pitching less than 10 innings for the Twins before being released. Wade Jr. on the other hand, broke out in a huge way. He posted a 117 OPS+ for the Giants and looks to be a big piece of their future. He even received MVP votes in 2021. For the record, I always liked Lamonte Wade over Cave, but no one could have expected he would be this good. I am happy Wade broke out, and even happier it wasn’t for an AL team.
     
    #14 Travis Blankenhorn
    Acquired: Drafted 2015, 80th Overall
    Current Team: Mets
    Blankenhorn was pretty average throughout his minor league career for the Twins. His ceiling seemed to be a good utility player. He made his debut in 2020, going 1 for 3 with a double. He played one game for the Twins in 2021, as a defensive replacement. He made a costly error against the Athletics, which was paired with a Luis Arraez throwing error, which cost the game. That game seemed to send the season to the trash can and kind of lost hope for everyone. Days after the error, he was DFA’d and picked up by the Mets, which is where he currently plays. It never seemed meant to be with the Twins, and I hope for the best of luck in the future for Travis.
     
    #15 Zack Littell
    Acquired: From Yankees (Traded for Jaime Garcia at 2017 Deadline)
    Current Team: Giants
    Littell was originally drafted by the Mariners, then a few years later traded to the Yankees. Soon after, he was sent to Minnesota along with Dietrich Enns, in exchange for Jaime Garcia and cash considerations, in one of the most puzzling trades in team history. Littell had success out of the pen in 2019, and then looked lost in 2020. I was always a believer in him but it doesn't really matter what I think. He was eventually released and picked up by the San Francisco Giants. Littell rebounded in a huge way in 2021, posting a 2.92 ERA for the Giants in 61.2 innings. He looks to be a reliable bullpen arm for them in the coming years.

    Notable 16-30
    #19 Mitch Garver
    Acquired: Drafted 2013, 260th Overall
    Current Team:Twins
    Garver broke out fairly late in his career, during his age 27 season. However, he broke out in a huge way, cementing himself as one of the best offensive catchers in the MLB. As a result of Garver breaking out late, he is already getting up there in age for a catcher. He will be 31 on opening day, which is decently old for a catcher. If he is still with the Twins after this offseason, he looks like he will catch for a few more years, and then it is likely he will transition over to a 1B/DH role. There is also a small chance he will play one of the most physically demanding positions in sports, catcher, for 5+ more years, due to how Baldelli rests his catchers.
     
    #23 Luis Arraez
    Acquired: Signed out of Venezuela in 2013, $40,000 Signing Bonus
    Current Team: Twins
    You always know what you will get with Arraez, high average, not a whole lot of power. That is what has made him one of my favorite Twins to watch. Some people believe Arraez will be dealt this offseason, but only time will tell. He currently holds down a utility role for the Twins. He broke out defensively this year, becoming a top 5 defensive 3rd baseman in 2021. He may have found his defensive home for the future, but he will have to beat out young buck Jose Miranda, who is mentioned soon in this list. Arraez also carries injury concerns, he has torn an ACL during his minor league career, and overall has “balky” knees. I think he could be a great leadoff hitter for the next 10 years if his body can hold up.
     
    #25 Ben Rortvedt
    Acquired: Drafted 2016, 56th Overall
    Current Team: Twins
    Like Arraez, you know what you are getting with Rortvedt. Rortvedt isn’t a force with the bat, but does have some power. He is highly regarded for his defense, profiling as the best in the system. With the Twins surplus of catching, he will likely serve as the 3rd catcher, playing most of his games in Saint Paul. It is nice to have him on hand though, as there could be some moves involving catchers after the lockout, and freak injuries happen with catchers. If he can bump his offense to average for a catcher, his defense will carry him to being an above average MLB catcher.
     
    #28 Jose Miranda
    Acquired: Drafted 2016, 73rd Overall
    Current Team: Twins Organization
    It wasn’t until this year that Miranda broke out, and he did it in a big way. Everybody knew Miranda had good tools, maybe they didn’t know they were this good though. He finally put them all together and hit over .340 on the season with 30 bombs between AA and AAA. He looks like he will be the 3rd baseman of the future for Minnesota, but stats don’t matter until the show, so we'll just have to wait and see. He is still fairly young, being 23 years old and he is one of, if not the best hitter in the whole system.
     
    This list should provide a good realization that prospects are just prospects. Some are more likely to contribute at the MLB, hence the rankings, but odd things can happen. Also, it should show that lower ranking prospects can provide a big impact in the big leagues, so don’t always write them off. This list likely brought up some names you have forgotten, and some you wish you could forget *cough cough Baddoo* The future of this team is resting on their current farm system, which should hopefully provide fun baseball for years to come. After all, even Mike Trout was a prospect once. Thank you for reading. Leave a comment. Go Twins!!!
     
  10. Like
    cjm0926 got a reaction from Karbo for a blog entry, A Possible Pitcher Trade Target: Luis Severino   
    As some of you may have already noticed, I like to think outside the box. I could have written an article about an A’s starter we should target or a Marlins starter we should get, but I came up with Luis Severino. It is unlikely the Twins would swing a trade with the dark side for Severino, but here is why it could be exciting.

    Luis Severino was signed out of the Dominican Republic by the New York Yankees in late 2011. He signed for a bonus of $225,000. The Colorado Rockies were originally going to sign Severino for that price, but the Yankees matched the price and Severino signed with the Yankees since he liked them growing up. Severino has been with the Yankees ever since then, making his debut on August 5th, 2015, at only 21 years old. He made that start due to former Twin, Michael Pineda, getting injured in the previous days. In his debut, he threw 5 strong innings, allowing 2 hits, 1 earned run, and punched out 7 Red Sox.
    Severino continued to pitch well in 2015, ending the year with 61.1 IP, and a 2.89 ERA. He also had a 141 ERA+ (100 being league average), but had a 4.37 FIP. 2016 was a year to forget for Luis, pitching to a 5.83 ERA in 71 innings. He was well below league average, posting a 74 ERA+. The funny thing is that in his dominant 2015 showing he posted a 4.37 FIP, but in his awful 2016 showing he only posted a slightly worse 4.48 FIP. He bounced back extremely well in 2017, being named to his first All-Star team and was 3rd in AL Cy Young voting. He pitched to a 2.98 ERA, 152 ERA+, and a much better 3.08 FIP in 193.1 Innings. He had continued success in 2018, pitching to a 3.39 ERA, 124 ERA+, and an even better 2.95 FIP in 191.1 innings. During the 2019 offseason, Severino inked a 4 year, $40 Million extension with the Yankees. The deal includes a club option for a 5th year, being in 2023. Then, the injury bug bit Luis Severino hard. Right before the season he was diagnosed with Rotator Cuff Inflammation, which knocked him out to start the season. He then suffered a Grade 2 Lat Strain which knocked him out for an additional 6 weeks. Severino did not appear in any rehab games until September. He made a few starts in the minors and was brought back up for 2 late September starts, the first being September 17th, against the Los Angeles Angels. He pitched 12 dominant innings in 2019, featuring a 1.50 ERA and a 304 ERA+. He made 2 starts during the 2019 Postseason, one being against our beloved Twins, the other against the Astros in the ALCS. During the 2020 offseason it was revealed that he would have to undergo Tommy John surgery to repair a partially torn UCL and they would also have to remove some bone chips. Severino was set to return in mid-2021 but was set back multiple times. First, he suffered a groin injury during a June rehab start, and then in August he was again set back for “not feeling right.” He eventually made his much awaited return for the Yankees. He pitched 4 games out of the bullpen in late September. He pitched a total of 6 innings and did not give up an earned run.
    There is no doubt that when Severino is on, he is as electric as anyone. Severino was once one of the game's most exciting young arms, lighting up the radar gun on a regular basis. Now he is forgotten by many. He strikes out hitters at a high clip and walks have never been a serious issue. During his breakout 2017 campaign, he ranked in the 89th percentile for K rate, sitting at 29.4%. He also ranked in the 81st percentile for BB rate, being at only 6.5%. There are not any recent advanced stats to compare it to, due to such small sample size in the past few years. One thing I will compare though is his average fastball velocity. During his 2017 and 2018 seasons his heater averaged 97.5 and 97.6 MPH respectively. But during the 2021 season his fastball only averaged 95.4 MPH. It has obviously declined over the past few seasons, but that could go back up with stretching him back out into being a starter. The funny thing is that he used to gain velocity during the games. He would tick up 1 or 2 MPH on average throughout his innings. One encouraging sign is during 2019 and 2021, he struck out hitters over 35% in both years. That is likely due to a small sample size but even with a little decline it would still be elite. Below is his Baseball Savant profile for his 2017 season.

    Luis Severino has an athletic build being 6 feet 2 inches and 220 pounds. He is a great athlete, and it doesn't seem like injuries changed that a ton. With Severino, you are getting a 4 pitch starter. He throws his fastball the majority of the time. His secondary pitch is his slider. As we all know, the slider is a pitch this front office really likes. His close-second best off-speed pitch is his changeup, and it can get very nasty. His last pitch is a cutter, which he throws rarely. His changeup is rather fast, topping out in the low 90's. He even throws his slider a bit slower than the changeup, averaging in the mid to high 80's. He has a good fastball that can run up in the upper 90's, reaching 100 MPH at times, which is rather crazy for a starter. Severino has the ceiling of an ace, but a floor of spending a season on the injured list. Worst case scenario is if he stays healthy is he can be a good bullpen arm. I would definitely be willing to take the risk.
    Luis Severino is still on his 4 year, $40 Million contract I mentioned above. 2022 will be the 4th year and he will earn $11 Million. There is also a club option for 2023 for $15 Million. If Luis shows what he can do during the 2022 season, there is no doubt any team would pick up the 2023 option. But if he still has the injury bug, the team isn’t on the hook for any later than 2022.
    A trade for Severino all depends on the Yankees. There is a very solid chance they wouldn’t even listen to offers for him, due to what he could regain. They made him untouchable as a prospect while they were trying to make deadline acquisitions for the postseason. There is also a chance that they would want to get Major League talent for him to boost their current team and be willing to send him away. The Yankees current rotation is headlined by Gerrit Cole, and after that there is nothing too certain. They have major league guys like Jameson Taillon, Jordan Montgomery, Domingo German, Luis Gil (The guy we traded for Jake Cave), and Nestor Cortes. All of those guys have had major league success, just many haven’t sustained it. They also have a few pitching prospects nearing the majors. A package that I could see happening for Severino could be Max Kepler and maybe another lower end prospect. Last year during the trade deadline, the Yankees showed interest in Kepler, but to no avail. Baseball Trade Values lists Severino at 11.4, and Kepler at 23.6 which seems way too generous. The Yankees do have a need for outfielders though. Currently on their roster they only have Aaron Judge, Joey Gallo, and Giancarlo Stanton. The Yankees do not have any top outfield prospects besides Jasson Dominguez, who is still 3 or more years away from the show. Giancarlo Stanton isn’t much of an outfielder anymore and will likely be a full time DH. Judge is capable of playing centerfield but Max Kepler could be a defensive upgrade. Max’s bat could really play at Yankee stadium, with the short porch in right. It would be tough for many fans to see Max go, but if it could bring a high upside arm like this, I would be all for it, even though there is high risk.
    Severino is currently 27 and will be 28 by Opening Day, which is still fairly young by pitching standards. He has obviously been injured a lot during the past few seasons, but did show he could be a workhorse, pitching almost 200 innings 2 seasons in a row. He will certainly be limited on his innings in 2021, just to what extent? The Twins will likely have to rely on a bounceback candidate if they want to seriously contend. Severino is as much of a candidate as anyone, just prying him away may be tricky. I think he could be an amazing buy low pickup for the Twins, and he has 2 years of possible team control left. Obviously, this has a low chance of happening, but let me know what you think about it. Thanks for reading!
     
     
     
  11. Like
    cjm0926 got a reaction from Karbo for a blog entry, For The Future: A Possible 2025 Roster   
    Recently I was thinking about the future of the Twins past this offseason and was wondering what a future roster would look like. Everybody is so wrapped up in this year's offseason, and rightfully so, that they are willing to sell off the farm to try and jump back into contention with a loaded White Sox team in our division. Personally, I would like to be competitive in 2022, but wouldn’t expect to be World Series contenders without ruining our future. With that being said, I was bored and I drew up an idea for a possible 2025 lineup for the Twins. The kicker though, was no free agent additions. It is too easy to pencil in certain guys that we COULD sign. I went with all home grown talent on this one. I also didn’t set a 26-man limit, moreso just an open roster, to allow more creativity. Without further ado, the 2025 lineup .
    Starting Lineup (Age on 2025 Opening Day in parentheses)
    C - Ryan Jeffers (27)
    1B - Alex Kirilloff (27)
    2B - Jorge Polanco (31)
    3B - Jose Miranda (26)
    SS - Royce Lewis (25)
    LF - Austin Martin (26)
    CF - Byron Buxton (31)
    RF - Trevor Larnach (28)
    DH - Aaron Sabato (25)
    Bench
    Backup Catcher - Ben Rortvedt (27)
    Utility - Luis Arraez (27), or Keoni Cavaco (23)
    4th Outfielder - Gilberto Celestino (26), Emmanuel Rodriguez (22) ETA 2024, Misael Urbina (22) ETA 2023
    Other Options - Matt Wallner (27), Brent Rooker (30)
    This plan really relies on many prospects to live up to a good chunk of their potential, which doesn’t always happen. Hopefully by 2025 many of these guys will have 1-3 years of Major League time though and will be ready. To start it off at catcher, I have Ryan Jeffers. I would assume the Twins could platoon Jeffers and Rortvedt, not making one of them too much more of a Catcher #1 than the other. I think they could both be above average catchers, Jeffers due to the bat, and Rortvedt from the defense. Next, I have Kirilloff manning first base. I think he will be a huge piece for the Twins for the next many years, he could also spend a little time in the outfield if needed, or DH, and give some time at 1B to Sabato. Jorge Polanco is at 2B, there are a couple option years for Polanco around $10 Million leading to 2025, but if he plays anywhere near he did this year, it should be a no brainer. At 3B I have Jose Miranda. I could see where Arraez could take over 3B and Miranda become utility, or visa-versa. They could even split time and the other be a utility man. At SS I have Royce Lewis. I think he is the SS of the future. He can provide good defense, and with a few tweaks his bat could really play. In left field I have Austin Martin. I felt like he could stick at SS for a while, but after some recent research, my opinion really swayed. I think Martin could become a superstar left fielder though. He can provide above average defense and has a super high ceiling with the bat. For centerfield, it all relies on the Twins retaining Buxton. I am speaking for all of Twins Territory when I say this, EXTEND BUXTON!!!! In right field I have Trevor Larnach, his defense is poor, but his bat could really play. Hopefully when we extend Buxton, that can help make Larnach’s defense look better for years to come. Lastly, at DH I have Sabato. DH could very likely be a revolving door where everyone cycles through, or, if Sabato can show something he could be the primary DH. Sabato has light-tower power, and a good eye at the plate. He had a rough start to his professional career but things seemed to be looking up towards the end.
    On the bench I have Rortvedt as the backup catcher. That is very interchangeable though. For Utility, I have Luis Arraez and Keoni Cavaco. You could change Arraez and Miranda, whichever one continues to perform gets 3B. Cavaco has underperformed but has skills to be a solid Major Leaguer. For the 4th Outfielder I have Celestino, Rodriguez, and Urbina. Celestino should be Major League ready in 2022. I am showing optimism for Rodriguez and Urbina. They both may be too young to take on a 4th Outfielder role in 2025, but it could happen. They will set up nicely for the future though. You could take one or even two of the three on your bench. Lastly I have Rooker and Wallner. I truly don’t know how they fit. They both profile similarly, high strikeout rate but light-tower power. Wallner does provide slightly better defense though. Either would be a below average defensive corner outfielder and/or a power hitting DH.
     
    Rotation
    Jordan Balazovic (26)
    Simeon Woods-Richardson (24)
    Blayne Enlow (26)
    Cole Sands (27)
    Josh Winder (28)
    Bailey Ober (29)
    Joe Ryan (28)
    There is plenty that could go right here, but also plenty that could go wrong. The Twins have lots of guys that profile as back of the rotation guys. The only 2 on this list with big league experience are Joe Ryan and Bailey Ober. Balazovic and SWR have the most potential to pitch at the top of a big league rotation. Enlow was profiled as a 2-3 in the past, but has been out due to Tommy John surgery, so we will see how he returns. Although there are all these scouting reports, only time will tell. Heck, Jacob DeGrom, the best pitcher on the planet, was drafted as a shortstop out of college. Some guys could find something out and become the ace of a staff, and some guys could flat out forget how to pitch, only time will tell. Although there are all of these potential arms, it is highly unlikely the Twins roll with all home grown talent, but for the sake of this article, I will. Lastly, I didn’t set a 5-man rotation because I felt that was too restricting. Rather, I added guys that have serious potential to stay in a big league rotation and could be sorted out any which way.
    Bullpen
    Jorge Alcala (29)
    Jhoan Duran (27)
    Drew Strotman (28)
    Louie Varland (27)
    Chris Vallimont (28)
    Matt Canterino (27)
    Jovani Moran (27)
    As you may notice, this bullpen is made up of mostly current minor league starters. One thing that all of these guys have in common (minus Alcala), is that they are currently mostly successful starters but aren’t projected to be great starters in the majors, but they have great stuff. Great stuff is crucial to becoming a great bullpen arm. A bullpen is so unpredictable (*cough cough Alex Colome*), so there are really a lot of routes a team could take. This plan is a super big shot in the dark, because 2025 is 3 full seasons away, and a lot of things could change. It is a given that the bullpen will have some free agents in it. These guys listed haven’t seen an inning in the Majors besides Alcala. I think Alcala or Duran could become the closer due to their great stuff and high velocity. I just included some guys that could become good bullpen pieces for the future, like the rotation, in no certain order.
     
    Making a roster for 3 seasons down the road is really just a shot in the dark, but I had fun doing it. A lot of guys' contracts expire before then so you have to rely on the prospects a lot. I also didn’t include a few guys who will be under team control past 2025. Those guys include Dobnak, Gordon, Jax, etc. These guys could very likely stick, I just don’t see it happening due to the upcoming wave of prospects. If you see anything you could change, drop a comment, would love to hear some feedback!
     
  12. Like
    cjm0926 got a reaction from DocBauer for a blog entry, For The Future: A Possible 2025 Roster   
    Recently I was thinking about the future of the Twins past this offseason and was wondering what a future roster would look like. Everybody is so wrapped up in this year's offseason, and rightfully so, that they are willing to sell off the farm to try and jump back into contention with a loaded White Sox team in our division. Personally, I would like to be competitive in 2022, but wouldn’t expect to be World Series contenders without ruining our future. With that being said, I was bored and I drew up an idea for a possible 2025 lineup for the Twins. The kicker though, was no free agent additions. It is too easy to pencil in certain guys that we COULD sign. I went with all home grown talent on this one. I also didn’t set a 26-man limit, moreso just an open roster, to allow more creativity. Without further ado, the 2025 lineup .
    Starting Lineup (Age on 2025 Opening Day in parentheses)
    C - Ryan Jeffers (27)
    1B - Alex Kirilloff (27)
    2B - Jorge Polanco (31)
    3B - Jose Miranda (26)
    SS - Royce Lewis (25)
    LF - Austin Martin (26)
    CF - Byron Buxton (31)
    RF - Trevor Larnach (28)
    DH - Aaron Sabato (25)
    Bench
    Backup Catcher - Ben Rortvedt (27)
    Utility - Luis Arraez (27), or Keoni Cavaco (23)
    4th Outfielder - Gilberto Celestino (26), Emmanuel Rodriguez (22) ETA 2024, Misael Urbina (22) ETA 2023
    Other Options - Matt Wallner (27), Brent Rooker (30)
    This plan really relies on many prospects to live up to a good chunk of their potential, which doesn’t always happen. Hopefully by 2025 many of these guys will have 1-3 years of Major League time though and will be ready. To start it off at catcher, I have Ryan Jeffers. I would assume the Twins could platoon Jeffers and Rortvedt, not making one of them too much more of a Catcher #1 than the other. I think they could both be above average catchers, Jeffers due to the bat, and Rortvedt from the defense. Next, I have Kirilloff manning first base. I think he will be a huge piece for the Twins for the next many years, he could also spend a little time in the outfield if needed, or DH, and give some time at 1B to Sabato. Jorge Polanco is at 2B, there are a couple option years for Polanco around $10 Million leading to 2025, but if he plays anywhere near he did this year, it should be a no brainer. At 3B I have Jose Miranda. I could see where Arraez could take over 3B and Miranda become utility, or visa-versa. They could even split time and the other be a utility man. At SS I have Royce Lewis. I think he is the SS of the future. He can provide good defense, and with a few tweaks his bat could really play. In left field I have Austin Martin. I felt like he could stick at SS for a while, but after some recent research, my opinion really swayed. I think Martin could become a superstar left fielder though. He can provide above average defense and has a super high ceiling with the bat. For centerfield, it all relies on the Twins retaining Buxton. I am speaking for all of Twins Territory when I say this, EXTEND BUXTON!!!! In right field I have Trevor Larnach, his defense is poor, but his bat could really play. Hopefully when we extend Buxton, that can help make Larnach’s defense look better for years to come. Lastly, at DH I have Sabato. DH could very likely be a revolving door where everyone cycles through, or, if Sabato can show something he could be the primary DH. Sabato has light-tower power, and a good eye at the plate. He had a rough start to his professional career but things seemed to be looking up towards the end.
    On the bench I have Rortvedt as the backup catcher. That is very interchangeable though. For Utility, I have Luis Arraez and Keoni Cavaco. You could change Arraez and Miranda, whichever one continues to perform gets 3B. Cavaco has underperformed but has skills to be a solid Major Leaguer. For the 4th Outfielder I have Celestino, Rodriguez, and Urbina. Celestino should be Major League ready in 2022. I am showing optimism for Rodriguez and Urbina. They both may be too young to take on a 4th Outfielder role in 2025, but it could happen. They will set up nicely for the future though. You could take one or even two of the three on your bench. Lastly I have Rooker and Wallner. I truly don’t know how they fit. They both profile similarly, high strikeout rate but light-tower power. Wallner does provide slightly better defense though. Either would be a below average defensive corner outfielder and/or a power hitting DH.
     
    Rotation
    Jordan Balazovic (26)
    Simeon Woods-Richardson (24)
    Blayne Enlow (26)
    Cole Sands (27)
    Josh Winder (28)
    Bailey Ober (29)
    Joe Ryan (28)
    There is plenty that could go right here, but also plenty that could go wrong. The Twins have lots of guys that profile as back of the rotation guys. The only 2 on this list with big league experience are Joe Ryan and Bailey Ober. Balazovic and SWR have the most potential to pitch at the top of a big league rotation. Enlow was profiled as a 2-3 in the past, but has been out due to Tommy John surgery, so we will see how he returns. Although there are all these scouting reports, only time will tell. Heck, Jacob DeGrom, the best pitcher on the planet, was drafted as a shortstop out of college. Some guys could find something out and become the ace of a staff, and some guys could flat out forget how to pitch, only time will tell. Although there are all of these potential arms, it is highly unlikely the Twins roll with all home grown talent, but for the sake of this article, I will. Lastly, I didn’t set a 5-man rotation because I felt that was too restricting. Rather, I added guys that have serious potential to stay in a big league rotation and could be sorted out any which way.
    Bullpen
    Jorge Alcala (29)
    Jhoan Duran (27)
    Drew Strotman (28)
    Louie Varland (27)
    Chris Vallimont (28)
    Matt Canterino (27)
    Jovani Moran (27)
    As you may notice, this bullpen is made up of mostly current minor league starters. One thing that all of these guys have in common (minus Alcala), is that they are currently mostly successful starters but aren’t projected to be great starters in the majors, but they have great stuff. Great stuff is crucial to becoming a great bullpen arm. A bullpen is so unpredictable (*cough cough Alex Colome*), so there are really a lot of routes a team could take. This plan is a super big shot in the dark, because 2025 is 3 full seasons away, and a lot of things could change. It is a given that the bullpen will have some free agents in it. These guys listed haven’t seen an inning in the Majors besides Alcala. I think Alcala or Duran could become the closer due to their great stuff and high velocity. I just included some guys that could become good bullpen pieces for the future, like the rotation, in no certain order.
     
    Making a roster for 3 seasons down the road is really just a shot in the dark, but I had fun doing it. A lot of guys' contracts expire before then so you have to rely on the prospects a lot. I also didn’t include a few guys who will be under team control past 2025. Those guys include Dobnak, Gordon, Jax, etc. These guys could very likely stick, I just don’t see it happening due to the upcoming wave of prospects. If you see anything you could change, drop a comment, would love to hear some feedback!
     
  13. Like
    cjm0926 got a reaction from Doctor Gast for a blog entry, A Possible Pitcher Trade Target: Zac Gallen   
    I was recently thinking about how everybody wants the Twins to trade with Miami for pitching, and rightfully so, but I tried to think outside the box and I came up with Zac Gallen as a possible trade target.

     
    Zac Gallen played his college ball at the University of North Carolina. He was then drafted in the 3rd Round of the 2016 Draft by the St. Louis Cardinals. Then, in late 2019, he was sent along with another possible Twins trade target, Sandy Alcantara, to Miami for Marcell Ozuna. About a year and a half later, Gallen made his Major League debut on June 20, 2019, for the Miami Marlins. A little more than a month later, he was shipped off to Arizona for Jazz Chisholm. He is currently 26 years old and will not turn 27 until August.
    Zac Gallen finds himself coming off a career worst year in his first full 162 game season. He pitched a solid chunk of the 2019 season, and as everyone knows, the 2020 season was only 60 games, so not a huge showing. In 2021, Gallen pitched to the tune of a 4.30 ERA with a 4.25 FIP. His ERA+ for the year was 99 (100 is league average) which places him as about a league average pitcher for that year. Before 2021, Gallen had never posted an ERA+ below 150, which is pretty insane, albeit only in 2 short years. He also had 3 stints on the 10 day IL in 2021, but before that I couldn't find any injury history, which is a very good thing. He still was able to pitch 121.1 innings in 2021. Also, Gallen posted a 2.3 WAR in 2021. Gallen had a very good K rate in 2021, 26.6% to be exact, which places him in the 70th percentile. But coming with that is a below average walk rate, which in 2021 was 9.4%, which is better than previous years but still not very good. That placed him in the 36th percentile. If you are one for advanced stats, I will post his 2020 and 2021 Baseball Savant profiles below.

    Obviously 2021 looks very bleak besides a few stats, but I think it was just a "down" year, which still made him at worst an MLB average starter. I think the 2020 stats are more of a true showing for Gallen.
    With Gallen you are getting a 5/6 pitch starter. Gallen's main pitch is his fastball, which makes sense, it averaged 93.4 MPH in 2021. His second pitch is his changeup, which he threw 16.7% of the time, and his third pitch is a curve, which he threw 12.5% of the time. His other pitches are a slider and cutter, which he threw 8.5% and 8.3% of the time. Baseball savant also says he has a sinker, but threw it 0.4% of the time in 2021, so it could have been a few game thing or just a misreading. Gallen is a fairly high strikeout pitcher, 25-30% throughout his career, but also walks his fair share, between 8-12% throughout his career, although it is trending downwards. Gallen had good success in his first 2 years, not having an ERA above 3 until this year. He also finished top 10 in NL Cy Young voting in 2020, at 9th place.
    Now onto Gallen's current situation. Gallen is currently pre-arbitration, so he will be making near the league minimum. He is under team control through 25, with arbitration from 2023-25. He will be very affordable to say the least. He is playing on a Diamondbacks team that is nowhere near contention, playing in the most stacked division in baseball, the NL West. The Dodgers aren't going anywhere soon, but the Padres underperformed in 2021, and the Giants could lose some key pieces in free agency, and the Rockies, well, they're the Rockies. So the Diamondbacks could be willing to trade Gallen for younger talent, likely a top prospect or two in the Twins system. Gallen's name was also brought up a little near last years trade deadline, although not to the Twins, making a trade slightly more plausible.
    I cannot think of a specific package the Twins could send over for Gallen. Baseball Trade Values ranks Gallen at a 47.7 value, being Arizona's most valuable trade chip. To put that into perspective, the Twins highest trade chip according to the website is Alex Kirilloff, at 33.6. The Diamondbacks don't have tons of gaping holes like you would expect a 52-110 team to have. Obviously they need pitching help, but It wouldn't make a lot of sense for the Twins to trade young pitching for more young pitchers. They do not need a catcher, which is a position we have a talent surplus at. The Diamondbacks have lots of passable veterans filling in at positions, like David Peralta, Josh Rojas and Cristian Walker. Their best position player without a doubt is Ketel Marte, patrolling centerfield. The Twins could possibly Trade Larnach to help with the D-Backs corner outfield situation. Larnach is a young, cheap outfielder with tons of potential. I am almost positive the Diamondbacks would want some pitching back in a deal, possibly requiring a young arm like Woods-Richardson, Canterino, or Balazovic to name a few. They could also go the route of trying to get a top prospect like what they traded for Gallen. Royce Lewis and Austin Martin fit that bill, especially if the Twins sign a shortstop for the long term in free agency. I have not called the Diamondbacks front office so there is no way I could know exactly what they want or even if they would still trade Gallen so these are all just guesses.
    Although it is very unlikely, I had fun doing research on a future star in Zac Gallen. I truly believe he could become an ace in the future, with the floor of a #3 starter. This offseason brings a bunch of questions for many teams, including the Twins, so obviously we all want to solve them. Would you guys rather jump into contention now at the cost of some very good prospects, or wait it out and have a few bad years and try and make a run with the incoming crop? Drop a comment and let me know, thank you for reading!
  14. Like
    cjm0926 got a reaction from Oldgoat_MN for a blog entry, A Different Idea For Twins Catching   
    I will start it off by saying, this is just an idea, I am not saying it should or will happen. I am also not saying it is a terrible idea and it could possibly work. With that being said, here we go.
    The Twins currently have 2 very good catchers, one being Mitch Garver, a well above average batting catcher who is nearly 31 years old. The other, Ryan Jeffers, a 24 year old catcher who underperformed with his bat this past season. While neither player is an AL MVP candidate Twins are likely set for the coming years with this duo. But I recently had a thought that I will explain below.
    Mitch Garver is a beast with the bat, no doubt about it. But he is getting up there in age for a catcher, being 31 years old by next opening day. If I remember right, that is the age that Joe Mauer moved over to 1B full time. Currently, the Twins are set at first base, with Alex Kirilloff, the expected 1st Baseman for the better part of the 2020's, and Miguel Sano, who appeared to have finally figured something out towards the end of the 2021 season, holding down the position. Nobody is saying that Garver will not catch for another 5 years, but the odds are pointing against it. Garver had a career year in 2019, a horrible year in 2020, and looked to have bounced back in 2021, but was injured for a lot of it. Mitch Garver currently has a 10.9 trade rating on baseballtradevalues.com.
    Ryan Jeffers was a former highly regarded prospect within the Twins system. He debuted in 2020, hitting .273 with 3 homers in 62 Plate Appearances. However, in 2021 he took a massive step back offensively, hitting below the Mendoza line, although he showed solid power hitting 14 home runs in 293 Plate Appearances. He also struck out at a nearly 37% clip. Jeffers was drafted as a bat first catcher, but has turned into a very good defender, which is more important for a catcher than any other position, being directly involved in every play. Jeffers is rated at 19.2 on baseballtradevalues.com.
    Now, we look at the primary catchers for the 2 best teams in their own respective leagues, Travis d'Arnaud and Martin Maldonado. We will start off with d'Arnaud. He hit .220 with 7 homers in the regular season for the eventual World Series champions, the Atlanta Braves, and posted an 0.2 WAR. Maldonado for the Astros hit .172 with 12 bombs, posting a -0.1 WAR. I am not saying that just because these teams had average to below average hitting catchers with very strong defense it improved their World Series odds, but I am saying there could be something to be taken away from that.
    Catcher is the most important on the field defensively, calling pitches, controlling baserunners, aligning defense, etc. But offensively they can get away with things that other positions can't like low averages, low power, etc. which makes a lot of sense. Catching puts a lot of wear and tear on the body causing many to eventually move away from the position or retire early, like Posey and Mauer. 
    The Twins have frankly been spoiled at the position offensively since 2019, and they could try a different approach to fill other holes in 2022. The Twins have a massive need for top of the rotation type pitching, and with many 2022 offseason blueprints being posted on Twins Daily, a catcher is often in a trade to acquire said pitching. I have seen both Garver and Jeffers name thrown around in those blueprints as trade bait for a high end starter. But what if I said the Twins should trade both of them. They both have very good value and could be a solid part of a package to bring back good pitchers. Jeffers has about twice as much value according to a website, but Garver could be a huge addition to almost any team being a veteran and above average hitter. It is better to trade a low risk player away a year too early rather than a year too late. Especially with catchers and freak injuries.
    Say the Twins do trade both away, then what would we do? The Twins have Rortvedt making the league minimum and providing stellar defense, even better than Garver and Jeffers. Rortvedt's huge downside is his bat. In 2021 Rortvedt hit .169 with 3 homers in 98 Plate Appearances. He also struck out at around a 30% rate. If Rortvedt can hit around .200 and cut down the strikeouts a bit, he could become a solid catcher for years to come. That solves half of the puzzle, now what do the Twins do about the other catcher? There are many low risk, low reward catchers available in free agency this offseason that could be had for 1 or 2 year deals at very low prices. Possibly a right handed bat to platoon with Rortvedt, a lefty, like the Twins did in 2019 with Castro and Garver. Although Rortvedt and another catcher wouldn't be as nice offensively as Jeffers and Garver, it could be very nice defensively, which is what a catching tandem needs most. For a catcher 3 or 4, they can call on a guy in AAA or AA to fill in for a week or two.
    What I have noticed is that an offensive catcher is just a cherry on top, not needed, hence the Astros and Braves making the World Series with their average offensive catchers. Defense is needed much more and strong offense can only overshadow bad defense so much *cough cough Gary Sanchez*   I am also not saying the Twins are as talented as Houston or Atlanta at other positions, but filling the holes through trading the catchers could make it much closer. Although this isn't the prettiest or nicest plan to hear as a fan, it could be what is needed for the Twins to jump back into contention and fill the holes. Leave a comment on what you think about this, and don't be afraid to say if you think its garbage, just have some reasoning and I'll happily discuss. Thank you for reading.
     
  15. Like
    cjm0926 got a reaction from Minny505 for a blog entry, A Possible Pitcher Trade Target: Zac Gallen   
    I was recently thinking about how everybody wants the Twins to trade with Miami for pitching, and rightfully so, but I tried to think outside the box and I came up with Zac Gallen as a possible trade target.

     
    Zac Gallen played his college ball at the University of North Carolina. He was then drafted in the 3rd Round of the 2016 Draft by the St. Louis Cardinals. Then, in late 2019, he was sent along with another possible Twins trade target, Sandy Alcantara, to Miami for Marcell Ozuna. About a year and a half later, Gallen made his Major League debut on June 20, 2019, for the Miami Marlins. A little more than a month later, he was shipped off to Arizona for Jazz Chisholm. He is currently 26 years old and will not turn 27 until August.
    Zac Gallen finds himself coming off a career worst year in his first full 162 game season. He pitched a solid chunk of the 2019 season, and as everyone knows, the 2020 season was only 60 games, so not a huge showing. In 2021, Gallen pitched to the tune of a 4.30 ERA with a 4.25 FIP. His ERA+ for the year was 99 (100 is league average) which places him as about a league average pitcher for that year. Before 2021, Gallen had never posted an ERA+ below 150, which is pretty insane, albeit only in 2 short years. He also had 3 stints on the 10 day IL in 2021, but before that I couldn't find any injury history, which is a very good thing. He still was able to pitch 121.1 innings in 2021. Also, Gallen posted a 2.3 WAR in 2021. Gallen had a very good K rate in 2021, 26.6% to be exact, which places him in the 70th percentile. But coming with that is a below average walk rate, which in 2021 was 9.4%, which is better than previous years but still not very good. That placed him in the 36th percentile. If you are one for advanced stats, I will post his 2020 and 2021 Baseball Savant profiles below.

    Obviously 2021 looks very bleak besides a few stats, but I think it was just a "down" year, which still made him at worst an MLB average starter. I think the 2020 stats are more of a true showing for Gallen.
    With Gallen you are getting a 5/6 pitch starter. Gallen's main pitch is his fastball, which makes sense, it averaged 93.4 MPH in 2021. His second pitch is his changeup, which he threw 16.7% of the time, and his third pitch is a curve, which he threw 12.5% of the time. His other pitches are a slider and cutter, which he threw 8.5% and 8.3% of the time. Baseball savant also says he has a sinker, but threw it 0.4% of the time in 2021, so it could have been a few game thing or just a misreading. Gallen is a fairly high strikeout pitcher, 25-30% throughout his career, but also walks his fair share, between 8-12% throughout his career, although it is trending downwards. Gallen had good success in his first 2 years, not having an ERA above 3 until this year. He also finished top 10 in NL Cy Young voting in 2020, at 9th place.
    Now onto Gallen's current situation. Gallen is currently pre-arbitration, so he will be making near the league minimum. He is under team control through 25, with arbitration from 2023-25. He will be very affordable to say the least. He is playing on a Diamondbacks team that is nowhere near contention, playing in the most stacked division in baseball, the NL West. The Dodgers aren't going anywhere soon, but the Padres underperformed in 2021, and the Giants could lose some key pieces in free agency, and the Rockies, well, they're the Rockies. So the Diamondbacks could be willing to trade Gallen for younger talent, likely a top prospect or two in the Twins system. Gallen's name was also brought up a little near last years trade deadline, although not to the Twins, making a trade slightly more plausible.
    I cannot think of a specific package the Twins could send over for Gallen. Baseball Trade Values ranks Gallen at a 47.7 value, being Arizona's most valuable trade chip. To put that into perspective, the Twins highest trade chip according to the website is Alex Kirilloff, at 33.6. The Diamondbacks don't have tons of gaping holes like you would expect a 52-110 team to have. Obviously they need pitching help, but It wouldn't make a lot of sense for the Twins to trade young pitching for more young pitchers. They do not need a catcher, which is a position we have a talent surplus at. The Diamondbacks have lots of passable veterans filling in at positions, like David Peralta, Josh Rojas and Cristian Walker. Their best position player without a doubt is Ketel Marte, patrolling centerfield. The Twins could possibly Trade Larnach to help with the D-Backs corner outfield situation. Larnach is a young, cheap outfielder with tons of potential. I am almost positive the Diamondbacks would want some pitching back in a deal, possibly requiring a young arm like Woods-Richardson, Canterino, or Balazovic to name a few. They could also go the route of trying to get a top prospect like what they traded for Gallen. Royce Lewis and Austin Martin fit that bill, especially if the Twins sign a shortstop for the long term in free agency. I have not called the Diamondbacks front office so there is no way I could know exactly what they want or even if they would still trade Gallen so these are all just guesses.
    Although it is very unlikely, I had fun doing research on a future star in Zac Gallen. I truly believe he could become an ace in the future, with the floor of a #3 starter. This offseason brings a bunch of questions for many teams, including the Twins, so obviously we all want to solve them. Would you guys rather jump into contention now at the cost of some very good prospects, or wait it out and have a few bad years and try and make a run with the incoming crop? Drop a comment and let me know, thank you for reading!
  16. Like
    cjm0926 got a reaction from Minny505 for a blog entry, A Different Idea For Twins Catching   
    I will start it off by saying, this is just an idea, I am not saying it should or will happen. I am also not saying it is a terrible idea and it could possibly work. With that being said, here we go.
    The Twins currently have 2 very good catchers, one being Mitch Garver, a well above average batting catcher who is nearly 31 years old. The other, Ryan Jeffers, a 24 year old catcher who underperformed with his bat this past season. While neither player is an AL MVP candidate Twins are likely set for the coming years with this duo. But I recently had a thought that I will explain below.
    Mitch Garver is a beast with the bat, no doubt about it. But he is getting up there in age for a catcher, being 31 years old by next opening day. If I remember right, that is the age that Joe Mauer moved over to 1B full time. Currently, the Twins are set at first base, with Alex Kirilloff, the expected 1st Baseman for the better part of the 2020's, and Miguel Sano, who appeared to have finally figured something out towards the end of the 2021 season, holding down the position. Nobody is saying that Garver will not catch for another 5 years, but the odds are pointing against it. Garver had a career year in 2019, a horrible year in 2020, and looked to have bounced back in 2021, but was injured for a lot of it. Mitch Garver currently has a 10.9 trade rating on baseballtradevalues.com.
    Ryan Jeffers was a former highly regarded prospect within the Twins system. He debuted in 2020, hitting .273 with 3 homers in 62 Plate Appearances. However, in 2021 he took a massive step back offensively, hitting below the Mendoza line, although he showed solid power hitting 14 home runs in 293 Plate Appearances. He also struck out at a nearly 37% clip. Jeffers was drafted as a bat first catcher, but has turned into a very good defender, which is more important for a catcher than any other position, being directly involved in every play. Jeffers is rated at 19.2 on baseballtradevalues.com.
    Now, we look at the primary catchers for the 2 best teams in their own respective leagues, Travis d'Arnaud and Martin Maldonado. We will start off with d'Arnaud. He hit .220 with 7 homers in the regular season for the eventual World Series champions, the Atlanta Braves, and posted an 0.2 WAR. Maldonado for the Astros hit .172 with 12 bombs, posting a -0.1 WAR. I am not saying that just because these teams had average to below average hitting catchers with very strong defense it improved their World Series odds, but I am saying there could be something to be taken away from that.
    Catcher is the most important on the field defensively, calling pitches, controlling baserunners, aligning defense, etc. But offensively they can get away with things that other positions can't like low averages, low power, etc. which makes a lot of sense. Catching puts a lot of wear and tear on the body causing many to eventually move away from the position or retire early, like Posey and Mauer. 
    The Twins have frankly been spoiled at the position offensively since 2019, and they could try a different approach to fill other holes in 2022. The Twins have a massive need for top of the rotation type pitching, and with many 2022 offseason blueprints being posted on Twins Daily, a catcher is often in a trade to acquire said pitching. I have seen both Garver and Jeffers name thrown around in those blueprints as trade bait for a high end starter. But what if I said the Twins should trade both of them. They both have very good value and could be a solid part of a package to bring back good pitchers. Jeffers has about twice as much value according to a website, but Garver could be a huge addition to almost any team being a veteran and above average hitter. It is better to trade a low risk player away a year too early rather than a year too late. Especially with catchers and freak injuries.
    Say the Twins do trade both away, then what would we do? The Twins have Rortvedt making the league minimum and providing stellar defense, even better than Garver and Jeffers. Rortvedt's huge downside is his bat. In 2021 Rortvedt hit .169 with 3 homers in 98 Plate Appearances. He also struck out at around a 30% rate. If Rortvedt can hit around .200 and cut down the strikeouts a bit, he could become a solid catcher for years to come. That solves half of the puzzle, now what do the Twins do about the other catcher? There are many low risk, low reward catchers available in free agency this offseason that could be had for 1 or 2 year deals at very low prices. Possibly a right handed bat to platoon with Rortvedt, a lefty, like the Twins did in 2019 with Castro and Garver. Although Rortvedt and another catcher wouldn't be as nice offensively as Jeffers and Garver, it could be very nice defensively, which is what a catching tandem needs most. For a catcher 3 or 4, they can call on a guy in AAA or AA to fill in for a week or two.
    What I have noticed is that an offensive catcher is just a cherry on top, not needed, hence the Astros and Braves making the World Series with their average offensive catchers. Defense is needed much more and strong offense can only overshadow bad defense so much *cough cough Gary Sanchez*   I am also not saying the Twins are as talented as Houston or Atlanta at other positions, but filling the holes through trading the catchers could make it much closer. Although this isn't the prettiest or nicest plan to hear as a fan, it could be what is needed for the Twins to jump back into contention and fill the holes. Leave a comment on what you think about this, and don't be afraid to say if you think its garbage, just have some reasoning and I'll happily discuss. Thank you for reading.
     
  17. Like
    cjm0926 got a reaction from TheLeviathan for a blog entry, My 2022 Offseason Blueprint: sign Story, Stroman   
    Like many others on Twins Daily, I will be describing an offseason I hope to see the Twins have. Who to sign, who to trade, and everything else I wish to see happen this offseason. I'd love to see comments about what you like/dislike and anything you might change.
    Below I have included my version on the payroll spreadsheet.

    First off, I sign Buxton to a 5 year, $75 million extension with the incentives wanted by Buxton's party. 
    I also make a few big splashes in free agency, signing Trevor Story to a 5 year, $100 million deal. It may not be very likely to sign him for that little, but if things play out the right way I could see it happening. Also, that means Story is the shortstop of the future, no need to worry about Lewis at SS long term and if he will take over and be the guy. He could be traded, or developed to play another position that doesn't have as much wear and tear on the body.
    Next I sign Stroman to a 3 Year, $70 Million deal. It seems unlikely he would come to Minnesota, but that is why I pay a little more than his expected value (expected around $20 Million) per year to get him to come to Minnesota. I also sign Corey Dickerson for 1 Year, $6 Million to play corner outfield. I also sign a few bullpen arms, them being Brad Hand (1 year, $2 Million), Ryan Tepera (1 Year, $5 Million), and Kendall Graveman (1 Year, $4 Million).
    I also make a few trades during the offseason, the first being Kepler to New York for Luis Severino. I don't know how likely this is, but Baseball Trade Values listed it as an overpay for Minnesota. Also with New York being interested in Kepler quite a bit around last year's deadline, I could see it happen. Severino is coming back from a few injuries and hasn't pitched a whole lot during the past 2 years, but I feel he could regain some of his fire he had before he got hurt and become an amazing #3 starter. If he doesn't have it, he could be gone after this season, or there is a $15 million option for 2023.
    I trade Ryan Jeffers, Matt Canterino, and Taylor Rogers to Arizona for Zac Gallen. I think this could be solid framework for this to happen, although it all depends on what Arizona wants, Arizona gets 2 good, young players with much potential, and one of the games best closers over the past couple years, Taylor Rogers. Arizona is not going anywhere anytime soon and with Gallen's name coming up in rumors during the season I could see him getting traded. I am a little nervous about Rogers coming off a finger injury and getting paid $7 million so that is why I trade him off while he still has solid value.
    Lastly I trade Donaldson for salary relief, which helps us sign some of the big free agents mentioned previously. Donaldson is definitely a good player, no doubt about it, I just don't see it helping a lot in the coming years for the team due to age and injury concerns. All I expect to get out of it is 1 or 2 "Slapdick" - Blake Snell, prospects. We will also eat $7 Million per year.
     
    For everyone else, I see Garver and Rortvedt splitting catching duties, with a current minor leaguer, maybe Tomas Telis or Roy Morales being a short term option incase of an injury. I see Kirilloff and Sano splitting time at 1B, Polanco being primary 2B, Arraez and Miranda splitting 3B and Utility duties, and Story being the shortstop of the future. In the outfield, I trust Larnach will get back on track, Buxton will Buxton, and Dickerson can fill in in RF or LF. I also have Celestino, Gordon, and could call up Rooker or Contreras if needed. Celestino will be 4th OF, and Gordon can be super utility, filling in at SS or CF if needed, as well as almost any other position.
    For the rotation I am going to roll with Stroman, Gallen, Severino, Ryan, Ober. The first 3 I explained above, and Ober and Ryan don't need much explanation. I could see us rolling with a 6 man rotation for a while to keep wear off young arms, but otherwise it is pretty self explanatory.
    In the pen I am returning Duffey, Alcala, Minaya, Moran, and Thielbar. I go out and sign Tepera, Graveman, and Hand as explained above. That gives me 3 lefties and 5 righties with Rogers gone. I think that pen would work out pretty well, and if someone isn't performing, there are young guys in Triple-A ready to show up.
    Went a few million over budget, but that should hopefully be fine. Lastly I am eating up a combined $11.25 Million between Maeda, Donaldson, and Colome buyout.Thank you for reading my first blog on Twins Daily, any feedback would be appreciated.
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