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Cody Christie

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  1. Haha
    Cody Christie got a reaction from TiberTwins in Twins' April Schedule Could Decide Fate of the 2023 Season   
    If the Twins sweep the Yankees, the earth might fall off its axis 😆
  2. Like
    Cody Christie got a reaction from Doctor Gast in The Twins Most Underrated Player?   
    This is an interesting thought. I can see both sides of the argument. On one side, he plays injured and underperforms. Some fans are happy that he "fought through" the injury and stayed on the field. Others are upset that his numbers dropped at the plate. If he sits out when injuried, some fans are going to treat him like Buxton. They won't be happy even when he is on the field and performing well. 
  3. Like
    Cody Christie got a reaction from Doctor Gast in The Twins Most Underrated Player?   
    I had forgotten about this segment. Thanks for sharing. His Barrel% has increased in recent years. One has to wonder if these pre-game changes helped him to have more power. 
  4. Like
    Cody Christie got a reaction from Doctor Gast in The Twins Most Underrated Player?   
    His 10.2 barrel% ranked in the 70th percentile last season, which was a career high. 
  5. Like
    Cody Christie got a reaction from se7799 in Twins' April Schedule Could Decide Fate of the 2023 Season   
    Not meant to be clickbait. They have a tough schedule in April and that was the point of this story. The 2021 team did terrible in April and didn't recover. Some teams get off to a great start and it carries them throughout the season. There are ebbs and flows to a 162-game season and getting off to a good start can help.
  6. Like
    Cody Christie got a reaction from Karbo in Twins' April Schedule Could Decide Fate of the 2023 Season   
    I think there are still question marks around players like Kirilloff and Mahle. Will they be ready for April? Kirilloff's surgery is rare for professional athletes, so his workload will be something to watch this season. I'm interested to see what Mahle looks like in spring training. Is his shoulder back to full health?
  7. Like
    Cody Christie reacted to Don't Feed the Greed Guy in Twins' April Schedule Could Decide Fate of the 2023 Season   
    The two AL Central teams worth noting, the Guardians and the White Sox, don't have cupcake schedules, either.
    Chicago opens with a four game series in Houston, and they play 13 games against the AL East in April. They better pack a lunch if they want to be above .500 in May.
    Cleveland has an easier April, but if Seattle is all that they are supposed to be, watch out. They open with 4 games in the Emerald City. Then host the Mariners for three more. Then the Yankees visit for three games. The rest of their schedule is relatively easy. What will Boston have? They end up April with four games at Fenway.
    My prediction: Cleveland leads the division by two games on May Day, the Twins are in second, and Chicago is a game or two under .500.
  8. Like
    Cody Christie got a reaction from Doctor Gast in Twins' April Schedule Could Decide Fate of the 2023 Season   
    Like I said in the article, I hope the Astros are dealing with a little bit of a World Series hangover and the Twins can be more competitive against them. They were dominated by Houston last season. 
  9. Like
    Cody Christie got a reaction from ashbury in Twins' April Schedule Could Decide Fate of the 2023 Season   
    Not meant to be clickbait. They have a tough schedule in April and that was the point of this story. The 2021 team did terrible in April and didn't recover. Some teams get off to a great start and it carries them throughout the season. There are ebbs and flows to a 162-game season and getting off to a good start can help.
  10. Like
    Cody Christie got a reaction from Cory Engelhardt in Twins' April Schedule Could Decide Fate of the 2023 Season   
    Not meant to be clickbait. They have a tough schedule in April and that was the point of this story. The 2021 team did terrible in April and didn't recover. Some teams get off to a great start and it carries them throughout the season. There are ebbs and flows to a 162-game season and getting off to a good start can help.
  11. Like
    Cody Christie reacted to stringer bell in Twins' April Schedule Could Decide Fate of the 2023 Season   
    At some point the Twins will start winning more games against the Yankees than the odds say they should. I would like to see it in my lifetime. I would like to see it this year TBH. The projection ends up being about .500 and it wouldn't surprise me if that is what it ends up. I think the Twin win four games (or more) versus New York and Houston, but isn't as dominating against the bad teams.
  12. Like
    Cody Christie reacted to Cory Engelhardt in Twins' April Schedule Could Decide Fate of the 2023 Season   
    Good thing the games aren't played on paper then :)
  13. Like
    Cody Christie reacted to LastOnePicked in Twins' April Schedule Could Decide Fate of the 2023 Season   
    I love that they'll play the Yankees and Astros right away in April. Let's see what they've got. If they go 0-10 in these games (let's admit it, that's highly likely), then it's time to right-size expectations. If they go 5-5 or better, then maybe it's time for me to readjust my persistent pessimism. Let's start the season already!
  14. Like
    Cody Christie got a reaction from Cory Engelhardt in Twins' April Schedule Could Decide Fate of the 2023 Season   
    Those were my predictions, but they can certainly be swept in all the games versus the Astros and Yankees. That would put them under .500.
  15. Like
    Cody Christie reacted to sun in The Twins Most Underrated Player?   
    He must have an eagle's eye to hit the ball on the 3 spot. The best hitters in history are said to have their dominant eye on the opposite side or across of their batting side. When a switch hitter is as good as Jorge, you know he must be benefitting by having cross eye dominance. It helps to have the eye closest to the pitcher be the dominant eye. Then it's a matter of execution with his bat speed & a great swing & focus due to training.
  16. Like
    Cody Christie got a reaction from sun in The Twins Most Underrated Player?   
    I had forgotten about this segment. Thanks for sharing. His Barrel% has increased in recent years. One has to wonder if these pre-game changes helped him to have more power. 
  17. Like
    Cody Christie reacted to sun in The Twins Most Underrated Player?   
    This 2019 video with "El Capitan" and Justin Morneau shows Jorge's pregame workout which he does off of a hitting tee before games. It's amazing how much work that Jorge puts into his hitting which is why he's one of the best. He started switch hitting when he was 12 years old! He's given the Twins fans so much to be proud of, He's a true pro!
  18. Like
    Cody Christie got a reaction from glunn in Twins Front Office Testing an Unsustainable Rotation Solution   
    On paper, the Twins have depth in the starting rotation for the first time in years. However, the front office's path to building this rotation could be more sustainable.
    Image courtesy of Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports Last week, Minnesota completed a trade that will add Pablo Lopez to a starting rotation that includes Sonny Gray, Joe Ryan, Tyler Mahle, and Kenta Maeda. None of these pitchers is considered an ace, but all five have shown the ability to be playoff-caliber starters at different points in their careers. Also, the Twins didn't develop any of these pitchers, which might become a problem for the front office.

    Maeda was the first of the group to join the Twins rotation. Minnesota acquired Maeda along with Jair Camargo for Brusdar Graterol and Luke Raley. Graterol was one of the Twins' best pitching prospects at the time of the trade, but it was expected that he would shift to a bullpen role. Now, he has only pitched 106 1/3 innings with a 7.8 K/9. Maeda finished runner-up for the Cy Young during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season and will return to the mound in 2023 following Tommy John surgery. He is a free agent following the season and has been limited to 173 innings in a Twins uniform. 

    Ryan was the next pitcher acquired among this group. The Twins traded Nelson Cruz and Calvin Faucher to the Rays for Ryan and Drew Strotman at the 2021 trade deadline. Cruz was integral to Minnesota's success during the 2019 season, but he wasn't on an expiring contract. Tampa is known for its ability to develop pitching, and Ryan was nearly big-league-ready. In two seasons, he has posted a 3.63 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP with 9.4 K/9. Since he debuted at age 25, the Twins have team control over Ryan into his early-30s. 

    The Twins had to give up a substantial amount to acquire Sonny Gray during the last off-season. Minnesota had selected Chase Petty with the 26th overall pick in the 2021 MLB Draft. In his age-19 season, the Reds pushed him to High-A, and he compiled a 3.48 ERA with a 1.17 WHIP and 8.8 K/9. Gray is no stranger to trades because he was traded three times in six seasons. In 2022, he pitched 119 2/3 innings with a 125 OPS+ and 8.8 K/9. Like Maeda, he can be a free agent following the 2023 campaign. 

    Minnesota reengaged Cincinnati at last year's trade deadline to acquire Mahle. This time the cost was significantly more, with the Twins trading multiple top prospects, including Christian Encarnacion-Strand, Steve Hajjar, and Spencer Steer. Mahle was limited to 16 1/3 innings with the Twins due to a shoulder injury, but the Twins hope he's healthy in 2023. This trade may haunt the front office if Mahle's shoulder continues to be an issue. 

    The Lopez trade differed from many others mentioned above because both teams included an established big-league player. Lopez and Ryan are the only two pitchers under team control beyond the 2023 season. Over the last three seasons, Lopez has posted a 3.52 ERA with a 1.16 WHIP while averaging 113 innings per season. Fans will expect a lot from Lopez, mainly since the Twins traded fan favorite Luis Arraez.

    One of the reasons Minnesota hired Derek Falvey was because of the pitching pipeline he helped develop in Cleveland. So far, the Twins have yet to see the results of pitchers developing in the organization's farm system. Every team needs more than five starting pitchers, and the Twins will use homegrown players like Bailey Ober, Josh Winder, Cole Sands, Louie Varland, and Jordan Balazovic. Minnesota's top pitching prospects, Connor Prielipp and Marco Raya don't figure to impact the 2023 roster. Starting pitching depth is critical, but the Twins might not be able to continue to trade for rotational help. 

    Time will tell if the Twins surrendered too much to acquire their projected starting rotation. Minnesota has shown a tendency to avoid long-term contracts for starting pitchers, and that's why the trade market has been their go-to method for acquiring talent. The organization's farm system already ranks in the middle of the pack compared to the rest of the league, so it is unsustainable to think the front office can continue to trade prospects to acquire talent. Mid-market teams like the Twins thrive with young players supplementing the big-league roster, and that can't happen if the team continues to trade away prospects. 

    Is this model of building a rotation sustainable for the Twins? Will any of the organization's homegrown pitchers break out in 2023? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

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  19. Like
    Cody Christie got a reaction from glunn in The Twins Continue to Deal in Distressed Assets   
    Minnesota's front office continues to collect players with injury concerns. Will these distressed assets come back to haunt the Twins?
    Image courtesy of Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports Derek Falvey and Thad Levine have followed different trends since taking the Twins' front office reins. Those trends include the types of players they target in the draft process, using a patient approach in the offseason, and acquiring players that some may consider distressed assets. Some distressed assets have provided value for the Twins, but others have been unmitigated disasters. Can the Twins find a way to be successful while following this player acquisition trend?

    Reasons for this Trend 
    The current front office has placed a premium value on acquiring players on good contracts or with multiple years of team control. There is risk involved with long-term deals for free-agent players, and the Twins typically aren't swimming in the deep end of the free-agent market. However, there have been multiple instances when a player's value had dropped enough that the Twins were comfortable offering multi-year deals. Minnesota was willing to make the highest offer because the front office felt the player would provide enough value in the contract's early years to make up for the back end. 

    On the pitching side, Minnesota has recently traded for multiple arms, and there have been injury concerns with some of those acquisitions. Trading for any pitching asset comes with some level of trepidation. Last season, Twins fans clamored for the team to acquire Frankie Montas, but he was traded to the Yankees and will start the 2023 season on the injured list because of a shoulder injury. Only some pitchers can perform at a high level after a trade. 

    Also, the Twins value the prospects this regime has accumulated, so they have shown a hesitancy to deal top prospects for pitching assets. That made last year's trade deadline so intriguing because it looked like the front office was putting the team in the best position to win. Unfortunately, recent seasons haven't played out in the team's favor. 

    Distressed Assets: Pitchers
    Sam Dyson was one of this front office's first significant trade deadline deals in 2019. His Twins' tenure was disastrous as he allowed nine earned runs in 11 1/3 innings while making multiple trips to the Injured List. Eventually, he revealed that he had been pitching through shoulder discomfort for multiple weeks. The Twins tried to investigate if the Giants knew anything about his injury before the trade. There were no signs of his injury or poor performance before the trade, so this deal looks like bad luck for the Twins. He hasn't pitched in professional baseball since 2019 because of sexual assault allegations and a suspension. 

    Leading into the 2020 season, the Twins traded for Kenta Maeda from the Dodgers. Los Angeles expressed concerns about Maeda's elbow when he initially signed in 2016, and that's why he signed an incentive-laden contract. He pitched nearly 590 innings with the Dodgers before being traded and showed no signs of his elbow being an issue. His first season in Minnesota couldn't have gone much better, as he posted a 2.70 ERA while leading baseball with a 0.75 WHIP. Maeda's performance declined in 2021, forcing him to undergo Tommy John surgery. He pitched over 760 big-league innings before his elbow gave out, so this wasn't a red flag before the trade. 

    Minnesota recently finished an extension with Chris Paddack to keep him with the organization through the 2025 season and delay free agency by one year. The Twins acquired Paddack leading into the 2022 season after he dealt with a sprained UCL at the end of the 2021 season. He pitched well in limited action last season, and the Twins are hoping he can return in 2023 following his second Tommy John surgery. His extension gives the Twins some cost certainty and has the potential for Paddack to provide the team upside over the next three seasons. 

    Tyler Mahle was arguably the Twins' most prominent trade deadline acquisition in 2022. The front office attempted to add a playoff-caliber starter to the rotation, but it came at a cost. Shortly before the trade, Mahle missed time with a shoulder injury, and those issues continued with the Twins. He couldn't help the team down the stretch, and now there are questions about his health entering the 2023 campaign. Mahle is a free agent at season's end, and the Twins hope his off-season regime has built up his shoulder enough to provide value at the rotation's front end. 

    Distressed Assets: Position Players
    Entering the 2020 season, the Twins planned to target free-agent starting pitching, but the market didn't work out in the club's favor. Instead, Josh Donaldson was still available because of lingering injury concerns and the fact that he was in his mid-30s. Minnesota hoped that Donaldson could be an asset to help push the team to postseason success. However, he didn't appear in either playoff game during his Twins tenure. Luckily, the Twins were able to trade Donaldson, which helped pave the way for signing Carlos Correa. 

    Carlos Correa 's free agent journey has been well documented in recent weeks, but there's no question he remains with the Twins because of long-term health concerns. Minnesota offered a front-loaded contract that is very team friendly, but there are risks involved with any free-agent signing. Even Byron Buxton 's extension can be viewed as a distressed asset, because of his long-running injury concerns. The Twins' success is now tied to Correa and Buxton staying healthy. Minnesota's line-up should have two of baseball's best hitters if both players perform up to expectations. 

    Are you concerned with Minnesota's trend of acquiring distressed assets? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

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  20. Like
    Cody Christie got a reaction from tarheeltwinsfan in New Year's Resolutions for the Top 5 Twins Prospects   
    Flipping the calendar to a new year allows everyone to reevaluate themselves and adjust for the coming year. Here are resolutions for Minnesota's top five prospects.
    Image courtesy of Darren Yamashita, USA Today Sports Multiple names listed below had tremendous stretches during the 2022 season, which is why they are ranked so highly in 2023. Nearly every top-5 Twins prospect has a chance to impact the 2023 big-league roster if everything breaks right. Each player needs to set a resolution for the new year to reach those lofty goals. 

    Royce Lewis , SS/3B/CF
    Current Twins Daily Prospect Ranking: 1
    Unfortunately, Lewis won't be ready for spring training after ACL surgery ended his season for the second consecutive year. Expectations are that he will be able to rejoin the club near the middle of the season. Last year, he was electric in his big-league debut by hitting .300/.317/.550 (.867) with four doubles and two home runs in 12 games. There are questions about his long-term defensive home as the Twins moved him to multiple defensive positions last year. After missing out on Correa, the Twins hope Lewis can fill their shortstop void for multiple years. 
    Resolution: Prove he can be a long-term big-league shortstop

    Brooks Lee , SS
    Current Twins Daily Prospect Ranking: 2
    Minnesota was elated when Lee fell to them with the eighth overall pick since he was arguably the best college bat in the 2022 draft class. He flew through the Twins system during his professional debut by hitting .303/.389/.451 (.839) across three levels. Lee finished the season at Double-A, where he is expected to begin the 2023 season. Many national prospect rankings have him ranked as the organization's top prospect, even though there are questions about his long-term defensive home. He will have plenty of pressure on his shoulders next season as he works his way through the upper levels of the organization.
    Resolution: Prove he is the team's top prospect

    Emmanuel Rodriguez , OF
    Current Twins Daily Prospect Ranking: 3
    Rodriguez made his full-season debut in 2022 and had a breakout season. As a 19-year-old, he hit .272/.493/.552 (1.044) with five doubles, three triples, and nine home runs in 47 games. Unfortunately, his season ended prematurely after he tore his meniscus, which required surgery. He is expected to be ready for the season's start and has all the skills to be a five-tool player. By this time next year, he will likely be the Twins' top prospect, and he has a chance to be an exceptional player for the long-term. 
    Resolution: Prove that 2022 wasn't a fluke

    Connor Prielipp , SP
    Current Twins Daily Prospect Ranking: 4
    The Twins snagged Prielipp in the 48th overall pick in the 2022 MLB Draft, but he wasn't always expected to fall that far. There was talk of him being a potential number-one overall pick, but he injured his elbow in the first start of his sophomore season. Leading into the draft, he pitched in front of evaluators multiple times to prove he was fully healthy. Prielipp has yet to make his professional debut, and the Twins will take it slow since he was limited to 28 collegiate innings. He still has unbelievable upside, and the Twins hope he is a long-term answer for the rotation in the years ahead.
    Resolution: Prove he can be a top-of-the-rotation starter

    Simeon Woods Richardson , SP
    Current Twins Daily Prospect Ranking: 5
    Woods Richardson broke out in 2022 after struggling for much of the 2021 season. He posted a 2.77 ERA and a 1.053 WHIP with 9.6 K/9 at Double- and Triple-A. By season's end, he made his big-league debut, and the Twins hope he can build off that performance in 2023. Minnesota has yet to add to the rotation this winter, so Woods Richardson has a chance to earn a starting spot coming out of spring training. Other pitchers are ahead of him on the depth chart, so he will need a solid performance to come north with the club.
    Resolution: Prove he deserves a rotation spot during spring training. 

    Do you agree with these resolutions? What other resolutions should the organization's other top prospects make? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

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  21. Like
    Cody Christie got a reaction from glunn in 3 Top Twins Prospects with Something to Prove in 2023   
    Every prospect dreams of putting together a season that solidifies their top prospect status. These three Twins prospects have something to prove in 2023.
    Image courtesy of Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports (Martin), William Parmeter- Mighty Mussels (Rodriguez), Gary Cosby Jr. via Imagn Content Services, LLC (Prielipp) Minnesota saw multiple prospects break out last season, including Edouard Julien, Matt Wallner, and Simeon Woods Richardson. Based on those performances, all three players are expected to impact the big-league roster in 2023. Even with these players, the Twins' farm system ranks in the middle of the pack compared to other organizations. Minnesota's farm system can continue to improve if these three players prove something in 2023.

    Emmanuel Rodriguez, OF
    Current Twins Daily Prospect Ranking: 3
    Rodriguez needs to prove that his shortened 2022 campaign was legitimate. Last season, he hit .272/.493/.552 (1.044) with five doubles, three triples, and nine home runs in 47 games. As a 19-year-old, he was over two years younger than the average age of the competition in his league. Few Twins prospects have power like Rodriguez, and his numbers are expected to improve as he continues to improve and add to his frame. 

    National prospects rankings have started to take notice of Rodriguez, who has all the tools to be considered one of baseball's best prospects. To do that, he must compile strong numbers as he moves up the organizational ladder. He has the chance to be a superstar player, but he has a long way to go before reaching Target Field. 

    Connor Prielipp, SP
    Current Twins Daily Prospect Ranking: 4
    An argument can be made that Prielipp is facing one of the most crucial development seasons in recent Twins history. He needs to prove he can be a top of the rotation starter after only pitching in seven college games since the start of 2020. The Twins will likely take it slow with Prielipp when he makes his professional debut, but the left-handed starter has the potential to be an ace. 

    Prielipp will likely get most of his innings in Fort Myers, where he will be closer to the team's training facilities. His performance may dictate a second-half promotion, but there is no rush to get him to the big leagues. For Prielipp, the 2023 season is about proving he is healthy and has the potential to be Minnesota's best starting pitching prospect in quite some time. No pressure, kid. 

    Austin Martin, SS/CF
    Current Twins Daily Prospect Ranking: 6
    Entering last season, Twins Daily ranked Austin Martin as the Twins' top prospect. From there, things couldn't have gone much worse for one of the key pieces from the Jose Berrios trade. In 92 games, he hit .241/.368/.317 (.685) with 19 extra-base hits and a 55-to-49 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Luckily, he ended the season on a high note and carried that performance into the Arizona Fall League, where he posted a .936 OPS. Over the last two seasons, he has played at Double-A, so expectations are for him to make his Triple-A debut in 2023. Can he prove that he is still one of Minnesota's top prospects? 

    It's easy to look at the Twins' top prospects and have hope for the future. Minnesota's farm system will be sitting in a much better place if these three players take the next step in 2023.
    What can these three prove next season? What other prospects have something to prove? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

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  22. Like
    Cody Christie got a reaction from glunn in 3 Twins Players Who Need to Step Up in 2023   
    As the calendar turns to a new year, it is often a time for players and fans to reflect on the future. Here are three players the Twins need to step up in 2023 for the team to return to contention.
    Image courtesy of Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports When it comes to 2023, improved health has to be the Twins’ most important resolution. Minnesota sat atop the AL Central for most of 2022, but the club couldn’t overcome one of baseball’s most injured rosters. Luckily, a new year brings hope for the club’s future, and these three players need to prove they can fit into new roles for the club. 

    Jose Miranda, 3B
    Minnesota showed plenty of faith in Miranda by trading away Gio Urshela earlier this offseason. Urshela was coming off a season where he posted a 121 OPS+ in 144 games, so Miranda will be stepping into some big shoes to fill. However, it was clear from the onset of the offseason that the Twins wanted Miranda to take over an everyday role at third base. He was the organization’s 2021 Minor League Player of the Year after destroying the upper minors with a .937 OPS, 32 doubles, and 30 home runs. Now the Twins hope he can produce at a similar level in the big leagues. 

    Projection systems point to Miranda being an above-average offensive third baseman. Baseball-Reference projects Miranda to post a .748 OPS with 22 doubles and 13 home runs in just over 400 at-bats. FanGraphs' ZiPS points to Miranda having a better season with 31 doubles, 19 home runs, and a .778 OPS. It is important to note that ZiPS projects Miranda to get over 140 more at-bats than Baseball Reference. Minnesota would undoubtedly be happy if Miranda could reach his 119 OPS+ projected by ZiPS.   

    Jorge Lopez, RHP
    Reliever’s on-field results can be fickle, especially with the small sample sizes pitched by bullpen arms in any given season. Lopez was terrific during the first half of 2022 as he shifted from starting pitcher to the bullpen. He was selected to his first All-Star Game and posted a 1.68 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP in 44 games. For Lopez, nearly every statistical area declined after the Twins acquired him, including strike rate, walk rate, exit velocity, etc. Minnesota tried to adjust Lopez, but the results were not positive, as Parker outlined (for Twins Daily Caretakers) last week. 

    Few relievers can post the numbers Lopez compiled with Baltimore in 2022’s first half. Baseball-Reference projects Lopez to post a 4.28 ERA with a 1.36 WHIP and an 8.4 K/9 across 80 innings. FanGraphs’ ZiPS projects have Lopez compiling a 4.41 ERA with an 8.7 K/9 in close to 86 innings. To put that in perspective, ZiPS projects Emilio Pagan to have a better ERA and a higher strikeout rate than Lopez. For Minnesota’s bullpen to be successful, Lopez needs to improve over his second-half numbers and be a late-inning bullpen weapon.  

    Ryan Jeffers, C
    The Twins signed Christian Vazquez to add to the team’s catching depth, but Jeffers is still part of the team’s long-term plans. Last winter, the club dealt away Mitch Garver, assuming that Jeffers was ready to take on a more significant catching role. Like many Twins last season, injuries limited Jeffers to 67 games with a .648 OPS and a 62-to-23 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He doesn’t turn 26 until next June, and he is under team control for four more seasons, so the Twins have hopes he can put it all together. 

    ZiPS projects Jeffers to hit .226/.302/.406 (.708) while producing a career-high 1.9 WAR. Those totals are in 355 plate appearances, over 60 more than he has accumulated in any previous season. Baseball Reference projects him to get 347 PA with a .682 OPS and double-digit totals in doubles and home runs. It’s also important to consider that Jeffers was limited to 24 games above High-A before debuting as a 23-year-old. COVID impacted player development, and Jeffers can continue to make adjustments at the big-league level.

    Which players do you hope make the most significant improvements in 2023? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. 

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  23. Like
    Cody Christie got a reaction from glunn in Looking Ahead to Joe Mauer's First Hall Of Fame Ballot   
    Next winter, Joe Mauer's name will appear on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time. Let's look ahead at the players that may join him in the hunt for Cooperstown.
    Image courtesy of Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports There are a variety of ways to examine a player’s Cooperstown case. JAWS is one way to measure a player's Hall of Fame worthiness as it averages their career WAR with their seven-year peak WAR. Jay Jaffe developed it to compare players' Hall of Fame candidacy across different eras. Some positions have fewer players currently elected to the Hall of Fame, which can skew the averages. However, JAWS provides a solid baseline for comparing a player's candidacy. 

    Hold-Overs from 2023
    Currently, voters are considering candidates for the 2023 voting cycle, and Ryan Thibodaux does a masterful job of tracking the publicly available ballots. Players must be listed on 75% of ballots submitted to be elected. Scott Rolen and Todd Helton are the two players tracking above 75%, but their support is not overwhelming. Rolen ranks as baseball's tenth-best third baseman, according to JAWS, while Helton ranks 15th among first basemen. Both players likely fall short of 75% as more ballots become available, resulting in both remaining on the ballot for the 2024 voting cycle, with some other strong candidates joining them. 

    Strong First-Ballot Considerations
    In recent years, some strong players have fallen off the ballot, but Mauer will join the ballot with some other players that will be Hall of Famers. Adrian Beltre is a lock to be elected next year. His accolades are nearly endless, and he is the only player in big-league history with at least 3,000 hits and 450 home runs among players who appeared in at least 50% of their games at third base. According to JAWS, Beltre only ranks behind Mike Schmidt, Eddie Mathews, and Wade Boggs among third basemen. Beltre should be a nearly unanimous selection.

    Chase Utley doesn't have the open and shut case like Beltre, but he is still among the all-time best second-basemen. He was one of his era's best players with some tremendous Phillies teams. His resume includes being a six-time All-Star and a four-time Silver Slugger with over 30 home runs and 100 RBI in multiple seasons. JAWS ranks him as baseball's 12th-best second baseman, with multiple players ranked behind him already inducted to Cooperstown. He won't be a unanimous selection, but he is a Hall of Fame-caliber player.

    Catching Counterparts
    For Mauer to be elected, many voters will compare him to other top catchers of his era. In recent years, Buster Posey and Yadier Molina have retired, and each has a strong case for the Hall of Fame. According to JAWS, Mauer (7th) ranks significantly higher than Posey (14th) and Molina (22nd). Molina's JAWS ranking has him behind catchers like Jason Kendall and Jorge Posada, who didn't get significant support in their HOF voting cycles. Like Mauer, Posey retired earlier than some of the all-time great catchers. However, he will likely garner enough support when he appears on the ballot for the first time in 2027. 

    Mauer's accolades were significant during the years he could stay behind the plate. He was a six-time All-Star and a five-time Silver Slugger while winning three Gold Gloves. He is the only catcher in big-league history to win three batting titles, and he finished in the top 10 for AL MVP in four seasons, including winning top honors in 2009. He is the only catcher who started his career after 1930 to top the .400 mark in OBP in six seasons. Concussions forced him to move out from behind the plate, but his case is still strong enough for induction. 

    Do you think Mauer will be a first-ballot induction to the Hall of Fame? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

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  24. Like
    Cody Christie got a reaction from glunn in Shortstop Continues to Be a Revolving Door for the Twins   
    Shortstop is one of baseball's most important positions, and the Twins have had minimal long-term stability at that spot. So, is there hope for the future?
    Image courtesy of Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports (Correa), David Berding (Polanco), Brad Rempel (Escobar)  
    Shortstop is a challenging position for any team to fill in the long term. Many teams rotate through players as younger and more athletic prospects reach the big-league level. However, calling the Twins' shortstop position a revolving door is not just hyperbole. Cristian Guzman was the last Twins shortstop to start on Opening Day in more than two consecutive seasons, and he hasn't worn a Twins uniform since 2004. 

    There have been 13 Opening Days since Target Field opened in 2010, and the Twins have used nine different players as their starting shortstop. Jorge Polanco provided a brief respite for the revolving door as he made Opening Day starts in three seasons (2017, 2019, and 2020). Eduardo Escobar (2016, 2018) and Pedro Floirmon (2013, 2014) each made two Opening Day starts. Otherwise, the Twins have rotated through JJ Hardy (2010), Alexi Casilla (2011), Jamey Carroll (2012), Danny Santana (2015), Andrelton Simmons (2021), and Carlos Correa (2022). Minnesota fielded some sub-par Twins rosters during the Target Field era, but this list is tough to digest. 
    Minnesota made other mistakes at shortstop during this stretch as well. Entering the 2011 season, the Twins signed Tsuyoshi Nishioka to play shortstop while trading away JJ Hardy for Brett Jacobsen and Jim Hoey. Nishioka only played 71 games in Minnesota while hitting .215/.267/.236 (.503) with a 41 OPS+. Hardy went on to be an All-Star and a three-time Gold Glove in Baltimore, averaging 136 games per season with a .700 OPS over six seasons. Moving on from Hardy is one of the biggest blunders in team history. 

    Fans often look at a team's top prospect rankings to search for the team's long-term shortstop solution. However, this is only sometimes the best option because many prospects play shortstop during their minor-league career with little chance to stick at the position at the big-league level. Shortly after Derek Falvey took over the organization, three of the Twins' top six prospects were shortstops. Out of that group, Royce Lewis still has an opportunity to play multiple years at shortstop, but Nick Gordon and Wander Javier will see minimal time at the position. Also, Lewis is rehabbing from a second ACL surgery, so there are no guarantees he will play shortstop for multiple seasons. 

    Minnesota's top prospect list currently contains multiple shortstop prospects, but there continue to be questions about whether each player can stick at the position. Brooks Lee had an impressive start to his professional career last season, but when the team drafted him, the Twins knew he would likely move to third base. Royce Lewis has played some outfield and third base, but his most recent ACL injury happened when he crashed into the outfield wall. Austin Martin was one of the key pieces acquired for Jose Berrios, and he's been playing other defensive positions. Outside of Lewis, Noah Miller offers some long-term hope for shortstop even though he is multiple levels away from making his big-league debut.
    For now, Twins fans can put their hope in Royce Lewis being an above-average regular at shortstop. He showed plenty of promise during his big-league debut, even if he is limited at the position. If the season started today, Kyle Farmer is the likely Opening Day shortstop, and few would call him a long-term solution. There is a chance the Twins will trade for a starting shortstop, but it still seems unlikely for the revolving door to stop anytime soon. 

    What player can stop the revolving door? Is it a good strategy for teams to rotate through shortstops? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

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  25. Yikes
    Cody Christie got a reaction from Malachi in Minnesota’s 3 Most Tradeable Prospects   
    MLB’s Winter Meetings can be a time for front offices to put the finishing touches on trades. If the Twins want to add to the 2023 roster, here are the organization’s three most tradeable prospects.
    Image courtesy of Lon Horwedel, USA Today Sports  
    The Twins were very active at last year’s trade deadline, which saw the team acquire two relievers (Jorge Lopez and Michael Fulmer) and one starter (Tyler Mahle). Acquiring these players cost multiple prospects that were close to big-league ready. Minnesota may need to dip deeper into an already depleted farm system to acquire other players to improve the 2023 roster. 

    Rising Stock: Edouard Julien
    Twins Daily Prospect Rank: 10
    Earlier this week, MLB Pipeline named Julien as the most tradeable prospect. Last season at Double-A, Julien hit .300/.441/.490 (.931) with 39 extra-base hits in 113 games. He carried that performance to the Arizona Fall League, where he led the league in hitting (28-for-70, .400 BA). Julien did so well that he was named the AFL’s Breakout Player of the Year. Currently, there is no direct path for Julien to the big leagues, as his defensive future isn’t clear. Minnesota may decide that other better infield options can make Julien expendable. His stock is likely at its highest point, so the team may want to sell high. 
    Top Talent: Brooks Lee
    Twins Daily Prospect Rank: 2 
    On most national rankings, Lee is considered the team’s top prospect entering the 2023 campaign. He was widely considered the best college bat in the 2022 MLB Draft, and the Twins were lucky he fell to them with the eighth overall pick. During his pro debut, he impressed by hitting .303/.389/.451 (.839) with ten extra-base hits in 31 games. Minnesota was also aggressive with him by pushing him all the way to Double-A for Wichita’s playoff run. The Twins will likely want to hang on to Lee, but the club might want to acquire a top of the rotation starter. Trading for that type of pitcher will require Lee to be included in the prospect package. 
    Upside Starter: Simeon Woods Richardson
    Twins Daily Prospect Rank: 5
    At this time last year, Woods Richardson saw his stock drop to the point where he fell off national top-100 prospect lists. He had a resurgent year in the upper minors with a 2.77 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP on his way to making his big-league debut. Woods Richardson is entering his age-22 season, so it seems likely for him to reappear on top-100 prospect lists this winter. Woods Richardson seems the least likely to be traded out of the players on this list. He has multiple years of team control, and he is big-league-ready. Minnesota can include him in a trade for a top-tier starter, or the club can hold on to him and hope he continues to develop.
    Many fans get attached to top prospects because they offer unlimited hope for the future. Unfortunately, no prospects are guaranteed to succeed at baseball’s highest level. The Twins roster is far from complete for 2023, and trading prospects is undoubtedly one path the front office has to consider. Do the Twins want to go all-in for 2023 and trade other top prospects? Or should the team hang on to the names above and hope they can help the club in the years ahead? 

    Will the Twins consider trading any of these prospects? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. 

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