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mikelink45

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  1. Like
    mikelink45 reacted to Ted Schwerzler for a blog entry, Jose Berrios Stings Again for Twins   
    The Minnesota Twins dealt Jose Berrios to the Toronto Blue Jays during the 2021 Major League Baseball season. Today he signed a seven year deal worth $140 million to stay in Canada for the bulk of his career. The wound is opened again. 
    When the Twins flipped Berrios to the Blue Jays, they did a great job acquiring prospect capital. Austin Martin and Simeon Woods-Richardson are both top-100 prospects. Despite Martin looking more like a centerfielder than a shortstop, his talent still plays up the middle. Woods-Richardson will get a shot to re-establish himself after competing in the Olympics last season. If Minnesota wasn’t going to sign Berrios, then getting that type of haul was nice.
    In seeing the deal get struck with Toronto, it’s very clear that Minnesota’s sticking point was the duration. As Darren Wolfson points out, the front office is not keen on offering seven year pacts to players. That’s a fair stance, even with someone who’s been as durable as Jose, and even though he’s just 27-years-old. What remains to be seen is how they will compete for those top talents otherwise. If you’re taking a hard and fast approach on avoiding length, then you must make a more aggressive push on value.
    A $20 million average annual value for Berrios seems like a fair amount. That’s below what Noah Syndergaard will get, albeit on a one year deal, despite pitching just two innings since 2019. Should Minnesota look to mitigate risk by avoiding length, they’ll need to tack on a percentage above market rate to lure free agents into their organization. 
    We’ll very quickly get an idea how this plays out for Derek Falvey and Thad Levine. Ultimately, they “saved” the money on Berrios by flipping him for outstanding prospects. Instead of breaking up the $20 million annually across two or three pitchers, they must be willing to spend that type of coin on one arm that fills the void. They’ll be hoping the length of the deal is shorter, but banking that salary flexibility, or trying to patch it together through multiple players is not something that should be met with praise. 
    As I’ve harper on for months, this offseason is going to be the most important in determining the true ability of the front office, and they should be judged accordingly.
    For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz
  2. Like
    mikelink45 reacted to Squirrel for a blog entry, 40-man roster decisions, part 1: position players   
    We’ve had several threads/articles lately about next season … what you think the 2022 lineup will be, who do we want to sign, what are our positions of most need, will certain players have a place on the team next year. All very good discussions. And not too far in the future, we’ll be having discussions on which prospects should be added to the roster. But before we get to all of those, there are larger looming discussions and decisions regarding the 40-man roster … who stays, who goes. When I thought about doing this thread, I ran into a lot of difficulty exactly how to do this. It seemed easy enough initially … who should the Twins jettison? Well, after thinking about it, a lot, hemming and hawing, trying to learn more about the status of individual players (something I am not well-versed in, I fully admit), and after discussing with others what I wanted to discuss, (thank you @ashbury, @Otto von Ballpark and @Brock Beauchamp), I realized the question might not be ‘who do we jettison’, but rather’ Who should we keep?’ I found the question to be, well, daunting. It’s really a big puzzle when it comes down to it. Time is a precious commodity. You want to maximize the time you have of your best prospects/players, so you don’t want to add them before they are ready, so you can capitalize on their best years; and don’t want to jettison a struggling player too soon, only to see them finally figure it out elsewhere. We’ve been down that road, too. Once a player is added, removing them certainly means losing them, if they have any kind of potential, great or small. You want to make sure you’ve really done your due diligence to determine the value you have. So, this 40-man thing is one to be cautious with. In a recent conversation I had with Brock, he said this: “I think of it this way: about 35 spots of the 40-man are locked down with good prospects or MLB veterans. An org might play fast and loose with those final 3-4 spots but they spend A LOT of effort avoiding tampering with that 35 unless they have confidence in what they’re doing.” So … part one of this discussion … position players on the Twins’ 40-man roster … who should the Twins keep? We won’t see these decisions come to fruition all at once. It will happen gradually. I’m sure the Twins have made some decisions already, but others will ‘hang out’ until which time the Twins either feel they have a better replacement, decide to make trades, need the space for prospect additions, or feel they’ve just reached the ‘end of the road’ with them. So … of the listed players, who would you keep? Discuss any reasoning below.
    STATUS PLAYER Options FA FA if outrighted? 28-man Luis Arraez 2 in 2026 (arb eligible 2023) YES 28-man Byron Buxton n/a FA in 2023 YES 28-man Jorge Polanco 0 signed through 2023, club options for 2024 and 2025 YES 28-man Josh Donaldson n/a signed through 2023, club option for 2024 YES 28-man Max Kepler n/a signed through 2023, club options for 2024 YES 28-man Mitch Garver 2 FA in 2024 YES 28-man Miguel Sanó n/a signed through 2022, club option for 2023 YES 28-man Nick Gordon 0   YES 28-man Andrelton Simmons n/a At end of season   28-man Ryan Jeffers 2     28-man Willians Astudillo 1   YES 28-man Jake Cave 1 FA in 2025, arb eligible 2022 YES 28-man Brent Rooker 2               60IL Kyle Garlick 1   YES 60IL Alex Kirilloff 2     10IL Rob Refsnyder 0   YES           40-man Ben Rortvedt 2     40-man Drew Maggi 3   YES 40-man Trevor Larnach 2     40-man Gilberto Celestino 1   YES            
    Many thanks to Otto who did this chart for me, and I filled in some of the contract info, and to Brock and Ash for bearing with my endless questions.
  3. Like
    mikelink45 reacted to Ted Schwerzler for a blog entry, Did the Twins Fleece Tampa Twice?   
    Teams are often considered to be on the losing end of trades when dealing with the Tampa Bay Rays. The brass in St. Pete does more with less, and players seem to get better when going to Florida. Did the Twins just get them for a second time though?
    Derek Falvey and Thad Levine made a deal with Tampa prior to the 2018 season. They sent infield prospect Jermaine Palacios out in exchange for starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi. After a solid but mediocre debut season, Odorizzi was an All-Star in 2019 and posted a career best 10.1 K/9 bolstering his 3.51 ERA. Palacios had a .575 OPS as a 21-year-old during his debut season in the Tampa organization, and dropped to a .542 OPS as a 22-year-old repeating Double-A. Now back at Double-A for Minnesota, he’s 24 and owns a .745 mark at the level.
    Regardless of what happens with Palacios, it’s hard not to see how Odorizzi worked out a win. Could that be happening again in terms of Nelson Cruz and Joe Ryan?
    The Twins had to deal their designated hitter. Cruz is 41-years-old and it’s more than evident this season was lost for Minnesota. Despite his .907 OPS here, Cruz needed to be flipped for any semblance of a return at the deadline. Getting a pitcher like Ryan, capable of fitting into the top-half of a rotation, seemed like a coup for the front office.
    It’s far too early to make determinations on what Ryan will be, but Tampa has to be underwhelmed in what they received. Cruz just recently surpassed the .700 OPS mark (thanks in part to facing his former club), and has just a .219 average with a .273 on-base percentage. It plays for a team that needed a big bat, but Nelson hasn’t been close to the Boomstick the Twins knew him as.
    Minnesota must be pleased with what they’ve seen from Ryan. In 9.0 IP for St. Paul he had a 17/2 K/BB and allowed just two earned runs. After returning from the Olympics as Team USA’s ace, that was enough to earn his first big league promotion. Across five innings he surrendered three runs while punching out five and walking one. The book that was suggested at Triple-A continued to read correctly at the Major League level, and it’s a step away from what has become tradition.
    Ryan is not a fireballer. His average fastball velocity for the Twins sat at just 90.8 mph. In a league focused on hitting triple-digits, it’s an uphill battle for a ball like that to play. His four-seam generated an average of 2,100 RPM and is used up in the zone. Twins Daily’s Parker Hagemen broke down the success of locating that pitch, and why it should be believed that the lesser velocity can still have a tremendous effect at the highest level.
    One start is entirely too soon to crown Ryan as Minnesota’s next ace. From my vantage point, I’m not even sure his stuff has that type of ceiling. What I do know is that the Twins getting this much control over Ryan in exchange for two month of an aging Cruz on a bad big league team is a steal in every sense of the word. Derek Falvey and Thad Levine don’t have a good track record on the free agent market, and their trades could even be questioned at times. When they’ve dealt with Tampa though, it’s hard not to consider the front office a resounding two-for-two.
    For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz
  4. Like
    mikelink45 reacted to Greglw3 for a blog entry, A heavyweight name weighs in on Twins FO and organization   
    Frank Viola had a very interesting tweet this morning. In a recent thread, I intimated that I felt the manager and Falvey and Levine should be dismissed. I’ve vacillated on it but since then, the team and outlook seems even worse. I just found this tweet by Frank Viola, one of the Twins greatest pitchers ever to be a confirmation of what I’ve felt this year. 
    Does what Viola says surprise you? Does it carry weight with you? Do you agree? It rings far too true to me.
    The last sentence of his Tweet is the most significant one "Wrong leadership equals no chance to succeed." That sounds like a call for change to me. I would argue that the failure of Falvey, Levine and Baldelli has been so spectacular that the Twins would be better off replacing Falvey, Levine and Baldelli with the best GM, Manager and and President of baseball operations that they can find. This is a judgement that is probably analogous to the Twins releasing a player that they really like as a person and had high hopes for. It’s a business and winning is the paramount goal.
    There are way too many baseball moves that they’ve butchered to mention but the sequence that lead to Cave playing a significant role and still starting as we approach September is perhaps the most egregious of all. Not acquiring a better option for Buxton’s backup and a better replacement for Rosario cost the Twins wins. Happ and Shoemaker didn’t help.
     
     

  5. Like
    mikelink45 reacted to LA VIkes Fan for a blog entry, Average OPS By Position vs. Twins Starters   
    We often comment on whether current Twins are good, average or bad hitters by using OPS. The problem I see is we're using a broad average for everyone not broken down by position. I looked around the Internet and found an article in ScoreSheetWiz where the author had taken the average of the top 30 players in each position over the last 3 years and averaged their OPS. That should give you what the average starter in MLB does at that position by taking out emergency fill ins, utility players,  etc. and sounds like a good basis for comparison. Here's the comparison to current Twins, based on their performance for this season to date. I've also put their career OPS in parenthesis with the YTD comparison where they'd been around long enough to make that meaningful. The positions go from lowest to highest by MLB average OPS. 
    Position Average OPS Current Twin OPS/(Career) Difference Catcher .748 Garver .889 (.834) Plus .151 (+ .86)     Jeffers .720 Minus .028 Shortstop .749 Simmons .576 (.688) Minus .173 (-.061) Second Base .763 Polanco .797 (.774) Plus .034 (+.011) Centerfield .777 Buxton 1.176 (.751) Plus .409 (-.026)     Kepler .759 Minus .018 Third Base .805 Donaldson .840 (.875) Plus .035 (+.070)     Arraez .747 (.793) Minus .058 (-.012) Corner OF .819 Kepler .722 (.759) Minus .097 (-060)     Larnach .676 Minus .143     Rooker .750 Minus .069 First Base .859 Kirilloff .722 Minus .137     Sano .746 (.819) Minus .113 (-.040) I thought this was kind of interesting and helps explain where our holes are forward. For example, Arraez is a below average hitting starter this year either at 3rd or left-field, about average in 2nd base, but career wise above average at 2nd base, average at 3rd, and below average for corner outfield. Since he adds no surplus defensive value, he really needs to OPS >.800 if he's not going to play 2nd base. Kepler is a little tougher to evaluate since his bat is clearly significantly below average for a corner outfielder, and a little below average for centerfielder, but he does offer surplus defensive value in a corner outfield spots, not so much centerfield. That's why I think is an ideal 3rd or 4th outfielder, but not 1 of our top 2. The 2 Rookies are way below average but this is their 1st year so you hope for improvement and it's a small sample size. Same for Kirilloff. Sano is also a below average hitting starter at 1st Base who doesn't offer any surplus defensive value. I didn't bother with guys like Jake Cave (.508 (.735)) or Willians Astudillo (.721 (.738)) since they are way below an average starter unless they play shortstop, and even then they're not very strong. Both are classic back end roster filler and we should be looking for upgrades like Gordon, Refsnyder and others.
    I do think this helps explain why we're having trouble scoring runs. We only have 3 above average hitters for their position now that Cruz is gone, Donaldson, Polanco and Garver, and only Polanco really plays every day. Most days we're liable to only have 2 players who are average or better hitters for their position. The batting order is really weighed down by poor performance at the corner outfield spots, centerfield when Buxton isn't there (even worse when someone other than Kepler is playing centerfield), and shortstop.
    I guess this tells me 4 things 1st, re-sign Buxton. He is critical to the order. 2nd, I was wrong about Donaldson. He is pretty valuable at the plate and Arraez is not an adequate replacement. 3rd, we need better hitting corner outfielders and Kepler is not the answer. The current strategy of playing Rooker and Larnach every day is the right one because those guys have to improve to give us more balance in the order. 4th, Arraez is probably best used as a utility player with Polanco the better hitter and better fielder at 2nd base. He's a good utility player, more of an average hitter for a starter, and we can get him 400 – 500 bats to utilize his on-base skills by playing him at a variety of spots.
    We talk a lot about how the pitching has to improve to truly contend. I postulate the lineup has to improve as well. I think most contending have average or better hitters for their positions in at least 5 or 6 of the 9 spots. We have 4 if you assume that someone like that Cruz is the DH, a position where I was unable to find an average OPS. otherwise 3. The current lineup isn't good enough to compete and absolutely isn't good enough if the pitching is below average. Helps explain this year's performance and helps us know what we need to do for next year.
  6. Like
    mikelink45 reacted to Ted Schwerzler for a blog entry, Assessing the Twins Trade Deadline   
    It’s been a few days since the Minnesota Twins allowed the dust to settle on their 2021 Trade Deadline moves. With some big names leaving the organization, and some big prospects entering, it’s time to take a look at the talent that moved places.
    The headliner was obviously the Jose Berrios move. As a fan, this one was always going to be hard to stomach. Berrios was drafted by the organization, developed, and became one of the best pitchers in Twins history. As it became increasingly evident that he would not sign a long-term extension with the club, moving him made more and more sense.
    Derek Falvey had to maximize the return on Berrios is there was going to be a deal, and he did absolutely that. I noted Austin Martin being my desired target should a swap with the Blue Jays be the plan of action. Still though, getting controllable pitching needed to happen considering Minnesota was moving an ace. To get both Martin and Simeon Woods Richardson was an absolute coup, and it was the strongest return any swap generated during the deadline.
     
    I wrote up the Cruz swap last week and getting Joe Ryan looks like a very strong return for a guy that’s an impending free agent and had limited suitors. While Nelson Cruz is great, there was never a point in which I thought he’d bring back much to work with. Instead, the Twins got Team USA’s game one starter in Ryan, and a flier that’s close to major league ready in Drew Strotman. No matter how Falvey organized this one, he did incredibly well.
    Flipping J.A. Happ to the Cardinals was impressive as well. I’ve kicked the notion that he could be seen as valuable to someone for weeks. That always was tongue in cheek with how poorly he’s pitched but leave it to St. Louis to make me look smart. John Gant is under team control in 2022, and that gives the Twins a veteran arm with a longer runway to decide a future on. He can both start and relieve, although he’s currently in Rocco Baldelli’s pen. Gant has pitched well above expectations this year, and his FIP suggests some massive regression is coming. That said, if the Twins can unlock another tier, they may have something to work with down the line.
    It wasn’t unexpected to see Hansel Robles moved, although I did think that Alex Colome may wind up being the more coveted reliever. Boston sent back a non-top 30 arm in Alex Scherff, but the 23-year-old has big strikeout numbers and is already at Double-A. Although he’s a reliever, that’s still a useful arm to add for an organization needing to develop pitchers for the highest level. 
    There has to be some criticism directed at Falvey and Thad Levine, although none of it should be for what they did. Instead, not trading Michael Pineda or Andrelton Simmons looks like a missed opportunity. Both are impending free agents and serve no purpose to this club down the stretch. I’d like to see Pineda back next season, but that could happen on the open market anyways. There’s no reason for this team to hold onto any semblance of respectability and turning the results over to youth makes more sense than ever. Simmons has been fine defensively, but he’s non-existent at the plate and some contender could’ve parted with a bag of balls for a shortstop upgrade.
    When the bell run on July 31, we had seen the most exciting trade deadline in Major League Baseball history come to an end. The Minnesota Twins bettered their future, and made some high impact moves that both Falvey and Levine should be praised for. Now it’ll be up to the organizational infrastructure to develop and best position these talents in an opportunity to bear fruit and turn the tides of the big-league club.
    For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz
  7. Like
    mikelink45 reacted to TwerkTwonkTwins for a blog entry, Falvine's Waiver Claim Game   
    Critique of a front office is easy to make in the midst of a deeply disappointing season. While many fans are languishing over the incoming July trade deadline, I've heard a lot of complaints about the lack of waiver claims made this season by the Minnesota Twins.
    Why are the Twins continuing to trot out the likes of Colomé, Happ, and (formerly) Shoemaker, when the front office can claim replacement-level players from other teams for essentially nothing? 
    The outright waiver transaction process is a deeply complicated one. Whenever a team wants to remove a player that is already on the 40-man roster, that player must first be offered to each of the other 29 major league teams. If another team claims that player, the player goes on that new team's 40-man roster. The full definition from MLB can be found here. 
    Because I'm insane, and this season is awful, I decided to compile a list of every player that the Falvey/Levine front office has claimed from other organizations, in addition to players they've lost via waiver claims.
    How have they fared in the waiver claim game?  Should they pick up the pace, now that they have nothing to lose? Do these claims actually amount to anything?
    These questions are important... but so is the trip down memory lane, once you read some of these names. 
    Players Acquired Via Waiver Claim
     
    Date of Claim Player Claimed Position Team Claimed From fWAR in Minnesota 2/6/2017 Ehire Adrianza UTL IF San Francisco Giants 2.1 5/10/2017 Adam Wilk LHP New York Mets -0.2 6/7/2017 Chris Heston RHP Los Angeles Dodgers 0.0 3/24/2018 Kenny Vargas 1B Cincinatti Reds - 4/26/2018 David Hale RHP New York Yankees -0.2 5/28/2018 Taylor Motter UTL Seattle Mariners -0.3 8/3/2018 Johnny Field RF Cleveland Indians 0.1 8/3/2018 Oliver Drake RHP Cleveland Indians 0.2 10/31/2018 Michael Reed CF Atlanta Braves - 11/26/2018 C.J. Cron 1B Tampa Bay Rays 0.3 10/29/2019 Matt Wisler RHP Seattle Mariners 0.6 10/30/2020 Ian Gibault RHP Texas Rangers - 10/30/2020 Brandon Waddell  LHP Pittsburgh Pirates -0.3 2/5/2021 Ian Hamilton RHP Philadelphia Phillies - 2/11/2021 Kyle Garlick RF Atlanta Braves 0.3 6/22/2021 Beau Burrows RHP Detroit Tigers -           Total fWAR 2.6 The Twins have claimed a total of 16 players from opposing organizations since Falvey/Levine took over after the 2016 World Series. Of these 16 claims, their most consequential claim was their very first one. Ehire Adrianza was never a star, but a very productive role player for a number of contending Twins teams. 

    After that, the list isn't so impressive. Matt Wisler was great at slinging sliders in the bullpen during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, but the Twins cut him last offseason in a puzzling move. C.J. Cron and the currently-injured Kyle Garlick have been the largest "successes" outside of Adrianza and Wisler, each account for 0.3 fWAR as right-handed hitters that were acquired to mash left-handed pitching. 
    Most of these players did not remain on the 40-man roster for a long time. Quite a few were lost to waivers shortly after the Twins acquired them, which include Kenny Vargas, Johnny Field, Oliver Drake, and Brandon Waddell. Such is the life on the waiver wire for many MLB players. 
    Players Lost Via Waiver Claim
     
    Date of Claim Player Position Team Claimed By fWAR after Minnesota 11/18/2016 Adam Brett Walker LF Milwaukee Brewers - 8/26/2017 Tim Melville RHP San Diego Padres -0.2 9/14/2017 Engelb Vielma SS San Francisco Giants -0.1 11/3/2017 Randy Rosario LHP Chicago Cubs -0.3 11/3/2017 Daniel Palka OF Chicago White Sox -0.7 11/6/2017 Nik Turley LHP Pittsburgh Pirates 0.2 1/22/2018 Buddy Boshers LHP Houston Astros 0.1 2/23/2018 JT Chargois RHP Los Angeles Dodgers 0.5 3/22/2018 Kenny Vargas 1B Cincinatti Reds - 7/9/2018 Ryan LaMarre CF Chicago White Sox 0.4 10/10/2018 Juan Graterol C Cincinatti Reds -0.2 11/1/2018 Johnny Field RF Chicago Cubs - 11/1/2018 Oliver Drake RHP Tampa Bay Rays 0.4 1/11/2019 Aaron Slegers RHP Pittsburgh Pirates 0.4 5/26/2019 Austin Adams RHP Detroit Tigers -0.1 7/20/2019 Adalberto Mejia LHP Los Angeles Angels 0.0 8/14/2019 Ryan Eades RHP Baltimore Orioles -0.2 9/16/2019 Marcos Diplan RHP Detroit Tigers - 11/4/2019 Stephen Gonsalves LHP New York Mets - 9/5/2020 Ildemaro Vargas 2B Chicago Cubs -0.5 10/1/2020 Sean Poppen RHP Pittsburgh Pirates -0.1 5/8/2021 Brandon Waddell LHP Baltimore Orioles 0 5/14/2021 Travis Blankenhorn 2B Los Angeles Dodgers -0.1 6/5/2021 Dakota Chalmers RHP Chicago Cubs - 6/18/2021 Shaun Anderson RHP Texas Rangers -           Total fWAR -0.5 You'll immediately notice this list of players lost via waivers during the Falvyey/Levine regime is a lot longer than the list of players they've acquired via waivers. All together, they have lost 25 players, which is 9 more players than they've claimed from other teams. 
    The good news for the organization, is that this cumulative list has not come back to bite them. 10 of the 25 claimed players provided negative value for their new teams, after departing Minnesota. Daniel Palka's 2017 season really sunk this group, as he posted a -1.4 fWAR in only 93 plate appearances for the White Sox (after he provided 0.7 fWAR and a 109 wRC+ in 2018). 
    The largest losses from this group have definitely been in the relief category, highlighted by JT Chargois, Oliver Drake, and Aaron Slegers. However, most of these players have had inconsistent careers, injuries, or both, in their time after playing for Minnesota. 
    Even when factoring in some bullpen pieces this organization might regret losing, the total fWAR from these players after departing the Twins is -0.5 fWAR. The current front office has been right far more than wrong, when deciding how to churn the 40-man roster. 
    Yearly Trends And Overall Takeaway
    Year Players Claimed From Other Teams Players Claimed By Other Teams 2016/2017 3 6 2018 7 7 2019 1 6 2020 2 2 2021 3 4 Total Players 16 25       Total fWAR 2.6 -0.5 fWAR Difference   3.1 Overall, the Twins have gained 3.1 fWAR from their decisions to gain and lose players from the waiver wire. That's a pretty decent result for a type of front office transaction that is often overlooked. It averages out to about 0.69 fWAR per season, factoring in the 4.5 seasons of the Falvey/Levine regime. 
    Most of that waiver activity came in 2017 and 2018, when the front office was still adjusting to their inherited players from the previous front office. Successful teams don't always gamble roster spots on players exposed to outright waivers, which is evident in the 2019 team. 
    One major caveat to point out across the yearly trend is that teams were probably hesitant to claim players from other organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic, so 2020 and early 2021 should be viewed through that lens.
    However, that didn't stop the Twins from claiming 3 bullpen arms (Ian Gibault, Brandon Waddell, and Ian Hamilton), and Kyle Garlick this offseason. The jury is still out on these claims, but Waddell did not go well. 
    The most interesting thing about 2021 is that the Twins lost 4 players during their early season free-fall (Brandon Waddell, Travis Blankenhorn, Dakota Chalmers, and Shaun Anderson), before claiming Beau Burrows a few weeks ago from the Detroit Tigers.
    Is former first-round draft pick Beau Burrows the tip of the iceberg? Now that 2021 is officially kaput, will the front office be more aggressive? 
    I sure hope so. Moves will be made in the next few weeks, and this 40-man roster will be significantly different as we approach the trade deadline. The 40-man roster will likely be smaller, and the Twins will be in front of the line when contenders have to cut players to account for their deadline additions. 
    Waiver claims are rarely sexy transactions, but sometimes you stumble into a Ehire Adrianza or a Matt Wisler. The Twins have proven to be more successful than not when it comes to their waiver claim game. It's time to play, because there's simply nothing to lose. 
  8. Like
    mikelink45 reacted to Tim for a blog entry, Wheeling n' Dealing in The West - Dodgers and Padres   
    The National League West is looking like it will be a battle to the end. Maybe even to the death ? Ok, not that far.
    The first place San Francisco Giants have been the surprise team in baseball this season. It's a great story as they've been able to hold off the Dodgers and Padres, two teams many had as the favorites to battle for the National League pennant. 
    I like the Giants. Gabe Kapler seems like a cool manager with his cool shades, they've pieced it together without a true star, and you cant forget they have sweet uni's. As much as I like them, they aren't going to hold off the Dodgers and Padres. 
    The Dodgers (1 GB) are the defending world series champions and the front office has constructed this roster to go back to back in 2021.
    The Padres (4.5 GB) are the new team on the block. The most exciting team in baseball and the flashy young star in Fernando Tatis. The Padres General Manager, Aj Preller, was extremely aggressive this past offseason pushing all the chips in the middle to take down the Dodgers.
    Both teams are built to win now and have world series hopes.
    Both teams happen to be struggling with pitching. 
    Now before you jump down my throat, this is a hypothetical scenario and just a mythical piece of writing that some kid whipped up on the couch today.
    Ok, Let's get into it.
     
    Dodgers
    Los Angeles bolstered the rotation this past offseason, signing the reigning Cy Young winner Trevor Bauer to a 3 year / 102 million dollar deal. Unless you have been living under a rock, you've probably heard that he doesn't treat women with the most respect. He's been placed on the commissioners list and it doesn't sound like he's coming back anytime soon.
    Adding insult to Trevor's horrible decisions, Clayton Kershaw was recently placed on the Injured list with what's being called a "sore right forearm" . That's typically not what you want to hear in baseball when it comes to pitchers, and we don't want to speculate.  He could be back in a week for all I know. The point is they are down 2 of their top starters who happen to be 2 Cy young winners.
    Now, the bullpen. Closer Kenley Jensen has been fantastic with a 1.27 ERA, but he's a free agent after this season and is going on age 34. Joe Kelly has bounced back this season with a 3.86 ERA, but has a 12 million dollar team option following the season and the Dodgers aren't picking that up. Newly signed Blake Treinen has been just what they hoped for with a 2.78 ERA in 36 games. Looks pretty good right? Statically these 3 have been great. They also all happen to be right handed, have less han 2 years remaining on their current deal or have an option that won't be exercised. Throw in the fact they all are 34 next year. Not exactly spring chickens.
    Victor Gonzalez, the only trusted lefty out of the pen this year, just went on the IL. His timetable for a return is unclear at this point. Prior to that he had a 5.06 ERA in his previous 8 outings. 
    They need a lefty reliever and they need someone to potentially fill in for 1 or both of their 2 top starters. Like, right now.
     

     
    Dodgers - Jose Berrios, Taylor Rogers
    Self explanatory after what we just broke down. They acquire 2 controllable assets through next year and fill glaring holes in the pitching department as they chase another ring. I'd assume the Dodgers are going to treat the Bauer situation like he's not apart of the team, until, well he is. Truthfully no one knows when that might be and no one knows what long term repercussions will result from the situation. Jose Berrios isn't Trevor Bauer, but he's a better and cheaper option, than anything you can acquire at the deadline or this upcoming offseason. Taylor Rogers is the shutdown lefty they don't currently have. Younger and Controllable through next year, Rogers gives the team payroll flexibility, fills empty an empty bullpen spot next year and enables them to move on from whatever long-term commitment a 34 year old Jensen might command.
    Twins - Dustin May, Ryan Pepiot, Andre Jackson
    Prior to going down with Tommy John in the spring, Dustin May was on his way to becoming an ace. The 23 year old had a 2.74 ERA with 35 K's in 23 IP. That seems good. Personally I don't care if you have to wait until the middle of next season if you get a pitcher of this caliber, who ill say again, is 23.. . Fun kicker, he's controlled through 2026.  The Dodgers are giving up a lot in May but they can't wait and need reinforcements now. Ryan Pepiot has been on every "name to watch" prospect report since May. He's lit up AA with a 1.73 ERA in 41.2 IP to go along with 57K's.. Pepiot's fastball works around 93-95, with his changeup being the best pitch. He wasn't really stretched out much early in the season but in his last 2 starts he's gone over 6 innings twice, might be to boost trade value or for their personal use, not sure. Andre Jackson is currently at AA right now and is a bit older of a prospect being 25. He's got a 3.78 ERA, with 63 K's in 50 IP. 
     
    Padres
    If you want to talk about a team that's built to "win-now", your in luck. The Padres have dealt away pretty much half the farm system in the past 365 days to build an all-star rotation. Now im embellishing, they still have a ridiculously good farm system. But in the past year they have added Yu Darvish, Jose Musgrove, Blake Snell, and Mike Clevinger. This is a team that already had the top pitching prospect in all of baseball being Mackenzie Gore. We can't forget Ryan Weathers, Dinelson Lamet, and Chris Paddack. Talk about an embarrassment of riches. So much depth they cant fail, wait......
    Clevinger is currently recovering from Tommy John. Blake Snell has been absolutely horrible. Failing to pitch over 5 innings in all but 1 of his last 7 starts. He currently has a 6.60 ERA in his last 30 IP to pair with 19 BB's, and is thought to be headed to the IL as he's struggled to "build strength" following his last start. Dinelson Lamet is on the IL with forearm issues after dealing with a setback. Ryan Weathers is on a 120 inning limit and currently at 60.1 IP. Chris Paddack allowed 9 runs last night and has a 7.71 ERA over his last 7 starts... Maybe Mackenzie Gore can step in? He's got a 5.85 ERA at AAA.
    Things are tough in slam diego.

     
    Padres - Jose Berrios, Taylor Rogers
    In an offseason of all-in moves, why stop now? I've read reports about them potentially going after Joey Gallo of the Rangers, but if the pitching is this bad, you can't splurge when you have a lineup that's more than capable of scoring runs already. Jose Berrios gives them a durable, reliable, starter behind the 1-2 punch that is Yu Darvish and Joe Musgrove. Taylor Rogers anchors the setup role in the bullpen that can be safely handed over to Mark Melancon in the 9th. Hoarding prospects isn't really an option for a team that is so committed to winning and Aj Preller has never shied away from doing so. The Padres ease their pitching concerns with this deal.
     
    Twins - Robert Hassell, Ryan Weathers, Justin Lange, Brayan Medina
    The headliner for the Twins is outfielder Robert Hassell. MLB.com has him as the no. 62 prospect in all of baseball and he's going to sky rocket in upcoming years. Through 51 games at low A, "bobby barrels" as Padre fans refer to him as, owns a .379 OBP, .297 AVG, .843 OPS, and 19 stolen bags. This is also his first taste of pro ball, as he's only 19. Ryan Weathers isn't a bad no. 2 return in this deal either. The lefty has a 3.02 ERA through 10 starts and 16 games this year at the major league level and he's only 21. He works in the mid 90s with a solid curve and slider to back it up. Justin Lange is a 6'4, comp. round selection from 2020. Having a 65 grade fastball and wipeout slider, Lange may be more of a project but the potential if he reaches his ceiling is worth it. Brayan Medina is actually my favorite piece of this deal. Medina is a 6'1, 180lb, 18 year old who already is working in the mid 90s. He looks to have the control and delivery to stick as a starter. Similar to Lange, he may be a bit of a project but from a few reports I've read, some scouts think he could move through the system quickly with his  advanced control.
     
    These teams are desperate. It's not often the top starter on the trade market has control beyond this year. There also aren't too many controllable dominant lefty relievers laying around either.
     
    Let me know what you guys think about these 2 options.
  9. Like
    mikelink45 reacted to Ted Schwerzler for a blog entry, Larnach Leading Rookie for Twins   
    Alex Kirilloff was the Twins first round draft pick in 2016. When the new front office took over, they went with Royce Lewis the next year, and then followed up with Trevor Larnach. Since that point I’ve contended the separation between Kirilloff and Larnach shouldn’t have been presumed to be much. We’re now seeing that take shape.
    Kirilloff is playing through an injury, and while he’s having himself a nice debut, I don’t think it’s quite to the level he’ll reach in short order. That’s given way for Larnach to shine though, and he’s done exactly that. Trevor was thrust into a Major League role given the Twins outfield health issues. Having played just three games at Triple-A, and only 43 at Double-A two years ago, a premature call-up is probably fair to suggest.
    Despite taking some time to acclimate, he’s begun to settle in. Now with 31 games under his belt, the former Oregon State Beaver owns a .263/.386/.421 slash line. The .807 OPS isn’t all that noteworthy, but the 131 OPS+ plays, and the number that jumps off the page is the .386 OBP backed by a strong 33/14 K/BB.
    Larnach hasn’t yet ran into much power. He has just nine extra base hits, of which only three have left the yard. That isn’t to suggest the process isn’t sound, though. Drafted with notes of high exit velocities, that has played out at the highest level. Larnach owns a 37.1% hard hit rate and a 14.5% barrel rate. His xSLG sits 40 points higher at .466 and he owns a max exit velo of 116 mph.
    I don’t think you’ll find anyone jumping to suggest that Larnach is otherworldly on either of the corners, but it’s more than apparent he can stick. With the bat profile he has, a traditional corner outfielder with pop is exactly what he’s trending towards. This isn’t a finished product by any means, but I think the Twins have to be thrilled with the early returns. Recently at Fangraphs, Paul Sporer also took a look into where Larnach could go from here.
    Both Larnach and Kirilloff should be mainstays in the Minnesota lineup for years to come. We have seen both of them bat in the heart of the order this year, and while that’s more reflective of circumstance, they’ve held their own plenty. In lieu of so many injuries having piled up on the Twins this season, it’s been nice to see opportunity parlayed into production for a guy like Larnach.
    Not every prospect comes up and flourishes. The Seattle Mariners just had to demote top prospect Jarred Kelenic after a terrible start. Baseball is hard, and even moreso when the runway for readiness hasn’t been there in a traditional sense. Give it to Larnach for battling that adversity and still producing at the level he is.
    While Kirilloff is still my pick to be the better player with a more likely shot to win a batting title, I wouldn’t be shocked to see Larnach round out into a more complete specimen with an opportunity to bang 40 homers in a single season. It’s been a good start, and this is just the beginning.
    For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz
  10. Like
    mikelink45 got a reaction from Vanimal46 for a blog entry, Our foundational players - the big six   
    We were excited when our prospects came up and the future looked bright - in 2019 that future arrived and it was great, but we expected a longer run.  The foundation was going to be Berrios - I know all the arguments that he is not a true Ace, but he has been our best pitcher and is a solid middle of the rotation arm that we did not build around.  53 - 40 with a 4.11 era for his six years 8.1 WAR. 
    The expected stars on offense were Sano and Buxton
    Miguel Sano - who is in his 7th year (7.8 WAR).  He has played in 100+ games three times.  236/329/489 is his seven year slash line, but look at the trends - BA - 269, 236, 264, 199, 247, 204, 158.  His last three OPS - 923, 757, 656.  BR offensive War (defense is negative so I won't bother.  He is here for his bat.) 2.4, 1.7, 3.1 0.1, 3.7, 0.5, 0.1.  Miguel seems like he plateaued and is lost. 
    Byron Buxton - 7 years and 14.5 WAR - if only he could stay healthy.  No doubt his hitting is on the rise - here is his yearly OPS 576, 714, 728, 383, 827, 844, 1.180.   Buxton has found his bat, but he has played in 456 games out of a possible 922.  He has missed half his possible games.  This does not diminish his quality when he is on the field, but makes it hard to cover CF when your other option is moving Kepler or using Cave. 
    The next three foundation pieces did not have the same star power potential, but they were expected to be solid pieces to round out the team 
    Jorge Polanco - no longer a SS his value has diminished in the field.   He has contributed 8.8 WAR.  His career slash is 274/333/430/762 and he has been fairly steady, but in 2019 his OPS was 841 after a career streak of 700s+, but then 2020 and 2021 that OPS mark dropped below 700 and with his fielding not being an asset any longer he career seems to have flattened out and his value may have peaked.
    Max Kepler shocks me with a 13.2 WAR.  A slash line of 236/318/443/761 does not seem to warrant such a good WAR grade. When I look at his OWar 9.7 and his DWar 2.1 they add up to 11.8 so someone will have to explain BR math to me.  He peaked in 2019 like so many did and had his only year with more than 20 HRs,  It was the only year he hit more than 250.  And it was the only year he slugged more than 500.  Surrounding 2019 his BA was 224 in 2018, 228, and 212 the last two years.  
    Eddie Rosario is the last of the big six and they have already given up on him and let him shuffle off to Cleveland, so he was the first of the six to disappoint enough to be moved on.  His seven year slash line is 274/308/469/777.  His peak was 2017/2018.

    Buxton 14.5According to BR WAR Rosario had a total of 12 which means it we rank the six by WAR it would be 
    Kepler 13.2
    Rosario 12
    Polanco 8.8
    Berrios 8.1 (he is the only one with six seasons instead of seven)
    Sano 7.8
     
     
  11. Like
    mikelink45 reacted to stringer bell for a blog entry, Ch-ch-changes?   
    The Twins play their 30th game this afternoon and are currently 11-18. They've been beset by bad luck, bad play and have taken a beating with two rule changes (extra-inning runner on second, 7-inning games for doubleheaders). How do they get out of this funk? I'm sure many in the organization will preach patience and they may be right, but that isn't any fun. Here are some possibilities for change that might help the team:
     
    Role change. We've already seen one role change. At least temporarily Alexander Columé is not going to see high-leverage innings. Columé has been a huge disappointment and even when he has worked scoreless innings, he's been shaky. The problem is that taking Columé out of high leverage situations leaves the Twins with few good options, particularly when going 6 or more innings for a starter is a rarity. I think one pitching role change that should be made is to use Taylor Rogers in non-save high leverage situations as happened early in 2019 and sometimes use him for multiple innings. Rogers shouldn't be used in back-to-back days. Moving Alcala to high leverage situations seems to be gradually happening. If things continue to go bad, it makes sense to have him give a shot as a closer. Position players--it seems to me that both Polanco and Kepler should have their roles diminished from full-time regular to something different. Kepler can play a corner and center and Polanco has played short and second, maybe Max should be slotted as the fourth OF or at least platooned with Garlick. I think giving Polanco the role of three-position infielder wouldn't be a stretch. He could get some at-bats as a platoon partner for my choice of regular second baseman (Arraez) and left-handed at-bats in place of Simmons and when Donaldson takes a day off (or is injured).
     
    Promotions/demotions. Assuming that Alex Kirilloff is in the big leagues to stay, when healthy the Twins have one extra position player and someone will have to be sent to the minor leagues or released. Discussion has centered on Jake Cave. Several others could be sent down and that doesn't begin to discuss the pitching staff. Many pitchers'performances could merit their demotion.
     
    Trades. It is unlikely that anyone will make a significant trade this early in the year. However, the Twins would be a good candidate for a major trade nearer the trade deadline. They have some redundancy (left handed hitting corner outfielders) and holes that need patching (bullpen, perhaps catching) and many candidates to trade. They also have a lot of players who would be free agents after this season. I do wonder if someone who was considered a cornerstone (Polanco, Kepler, Sanó) could be traded. None of these guys have performed remotely well so far but an uptick could make them more marketable. I have to believe that the Twins will bring in new pitchers either in the bullpen or the rotation. What they have at this time in the bullpen just hasn't worked.
     
    Personally, I think the Twins will need to do a little bit of everything to turn the corner. I am a proponent of changing roles. I think Kepler and Polanco could be candidates to have limited roles. The Twins need to add at least one strong arm in the bullpen, most likely by trade and Trevor Larnach is reputed to be nearly as much a sure thing as a hitter as Alex Kirilloff, plus he is a better outfielder. There is too much talent for the club to continue to play sub.400 baseball, but I think they need to make changes immediately.
  12. Like
    mikelink45 reacted to Ted Schwerzler for a blog entry, Kirilloff Injury Affords Opportunity to Twins   
    Yesterday the Minnesota Twins had to scratch Alex Kirilloff from the starting lineup when it was discovered he was dealing with wrist discomfort. It sounds as if a looming IL stint is around the corner, and that’s disappointing news for Rocco Baldelli’s hottest hitter. What happens from here could set the tone for the rest of the way.
     
    Miguel Sano has been on the Injured List for Minnesota as he dealt with a leg injury and was working on timing prior to an activation. Kirilloff had been playing first base but could’ve slid back in to left field where Jake Cave has done little more than take up space this season. Now without Kirilloff in the mix, the front office has a decision to make.
     
    The immediate answer would seem to be a veteran placeholder such as Keon Broxton. He looked the part in Spring Training and has had big league success previously. Success is relative however when you’re talking about a guy with a .685 OPS across just north of 1,000 plate appearances. Broxton is a plus defender and does have some pop in his bat, but he’s hardly a sustainable bet to push the bar for a failing Twins team.
     
    Much like Kirilloff before him, if Minnesota wants to respond with the opportunity to make an impact, it’s time for the training wheels to come off top prospect Trevor Larnach. Now 24, the 2018 1st round pick is currently at Triple-A St. Paul. He only has two career games at that level, but the assumption should be that he would’ve spent considerable time there in 2020 had a season take place. The former Oregon State Beaver is a polished hitting prospect with an .850 career OPS in pro ball. He has an advanced approach at the plate and is hardly a strikeout machine despite being a power hitter.
     
    Unlike Kirilloff, Larnach should be ticketed for a corner outfield spot. Whereas Alex is destined to play first base, and do it well, Larnach’s athleticism will keep him in the grass, and he should be able to provide average or better defense out there. Given the shortening length of Rocco Baldelli’s lineup at the big-league level, adding another bat like this that can start in the bottom half would give hope to a club floundering out of the gates.
     
    It’s probably unfair to pin the expectations that were placed on Kirilloff directly to Larnach. That said, they’ve consistently ranked as eerily similar prospects to me, and I’d be far from shocked if the bat didn’t immediately translate for Trevor as well. Keon Broxton is a player in the same vein as Kyle Garlick or Jake Cave. They have utility but asking them to be a regular stretches their overall value. Putting Larnach into a spot where he can contribute at the highest level raises the overall water level, and who knows where things go from there.
     
    He’d need a 40-man roster move, and this is probably sooner than the front office wanted to unleash him, but it’s time for Trevor Larnach to become a Major Leaguer.
     
    For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz
  13. Like
    mikelink45 reacted to Ted Schwerzler for a blog entry, The Nightmare Ends this Week   
    Tomorrow, for the first time since 2019, we will have affiliated Minor League Baseball. The Minnesota Twins farm system is still stocked with strong prospects, and there’s been a good deal of change. We’ll finally get to see it unfold again.
     
    Having the 2020 Minor League Baseball season be cancelled was arguably the most disappointing baseball decision from last year. While it’s understandable given the logistical hurdles during a global pandemic, not seeing development on a nightly basis was a tough pill to swallow. Minnesota had players working out in St. Paul at their alternate site, but sim games and manufactured action can only take guys so far.
     
    Fast forward to where we are now, and the return of baseball on the farm couldn’t be more welcomed. Minnesota will do so without top prospect Royce Lewis on the diamond, and both top pitching prospects Jhoan Duran and Jordan Balazovic will begin the season on the IL. That said, there’s still a ton of development to take place and so much excitement around a system that has been substantially changed.
     
    First and foremost, the locations are no longer what we are used to. Triple-A is now housed just down the road from Target Field as the Saint Paul Saints begin their long-awaited affiliation with the Twins. At Double-A, the Wichita Wind Surge will play their inaugural season, and for the Twins instead of the Miami Marlins as was intended in 2020. High-A has been relocated from Fort Myers to Cedar Rapids, and the Low-A Florida State League club is now dubbed the Mighty Mussels rather than the Miracle.
     
    On the player specific side of things there’s plenty of names to watch. Trevor Larnach is the top position prospect at Triple-A, and Double-A Wichita will start quick rising Josh Winder on Opening Day. I still think reliever Ryan Mason is a name to watch as an option for the big-league club this year, and we’ll get to see the likes of Keoni Cavaco and Aaron Sabato as they continue their ascension towards the Major League roster.
     
    As a contributor over at Twins Daily, I’ll once again have the Minor League report on Wednesday nights, and those will again become a daily mainstay to catch up on the action. This aspect of the game was severely missed a season ago and having it back couldn’t be more welcomed.
     
    For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz
  14. Like
    mikelink45 reacted to Ted Schwerzler for a blog entry, The 60 Game Season Ruined Us   
    It’s April 21 and the Minnesota Twins are 6-10. They have looked every bit as poor as the record indicates and their Postseason odds have dropped below 50% at FanGraphs. Let’s take a step back and breathe though.
     
    Being that it’s April 21, the Twins have yet to play more than 10% of their total schedule in 2021. They have been at Target Field for just two total series on the year, and they’ve also had a three-day hiatus due to Covid. Byron Buxton, Nelson Cruz, and Josh Donaldson have all been in the starting lineup together just twice, and injuries have ravaged the club early.
     
    That’s not to say things are entirely worth casting aside. The lineup still looks as lethargic as it did to end the 2020 Postseason. Rocco Baldelli has made some head scratching decisions in regards to managerial moves, and a team that was expected to be good has fallen flat. It’s in that last revelation that reality lies, however.
     
    Going into 2021 the Minnesota Twins were expected to be good. Not just by Twins fans, but analysts and national writers across the sport. With that being the case, there shouldn’t be a substantial alteration in that belief due to the results of 16 games. Baseball is a marathon, not a sprint, and the 60-game season we dealt with in 2020 might have ruined us.
     
    During a sprint, each game is worth over-analyzing and diving into moves that could cost each club on a more substantial level. In a marathon that is a 162-game slate, there’s room for nuance. The same Oakland Athletics team that Minnesota was swept by in a doubleheader on Tuesday night started the season 0-6 only to go 11-1 since. On May 23, 2019, the Washington Nationals were 19-31, 50 games into their season. They went on to finish 93-69 and win the World Series.
     
    There’s no sugar coating it, the Twins have been bad. They’ve even been very bad. The bullpen has not looked good, the outfield has been a mess, injuries have bit them, and the lineup could use whatever infusion the Bomba Squad has left from it. All of that is true, but it’s simply too early. That can change in an instant, and it may wind up getting late early on the season but being willing to bet on a good team coming together is a logical stance to take.
     
    Covid is still going to dictate parts of this season in same form or fashion, but the calendar is not one of them, and 162 games are on the docket. Let’s get to at least one-third of them being completed before we make any sweeping assessments.
     
    For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz
  15. Like
    mikelink45 reacted to Ted Schwerzler for a blog entry, Kirilloff’s Confusing Decision   
    The Minnesota Twins decided that Alex Kirilloff was the best option for their Postseason elimination game, but following a lackluster spring, he wasn’t a fit for the Opening Day roster. Let the second guessing commence.
    As Rocco Baldelli breaks camp with a 26-man roster top prospect Alex Kirilloff will not be on it. He won’t travel with the big-league club to Milwaukee, and the assumption would be that he’ll remain in St. Paul across town until sometime near May 1. This affords the Twins a business-first opportunity, but also gives them some different options in terms of roster flexibility.
     
    It should’ve been assumed that Brent Rooker would crack the Opening Day club. He had a solid showing with Minnesota in 2020 and has more than held his own this spring. Kyle Garlick could force his way into the picture with a strong Spring Training and 40-man roster spot, as could non-roster invitee Keon Broxton. The decision also leaves the door open for another utility type, namely Willians Astudillo should Rocco want the three-catcher flexibility.
     
    There’s really no problem with the Twins deciding to keep Kirilloff in the minors, but it’s certainly little more than a business first decision. Sure, he’s been beyond mediocre this spring. A .440 OPS through 31 at bats is nothing pretty, but the flip side is the reality of that sample size. He’s played in 12 games, generating a total of 33 plate appearances. Less then seven months ago he was the answer for Minnesota despite a grand total of zero plate appearances in games that tracked statistics.
     

     
    From a service time standpoint in the current CBA landscape, Kirilloff would afford the Twins an extra year of control if they keep him in the minors for a matter of weeks. The problem is that the CBA is set to expire following the 2020 season, and much has been made about the implications of service time and team control as a whole. In short, the entirety of the business-first side of this coin could become moot in less than 12 months.
     
    There’s no guarantee that Minnesota is worse off without Kirilloff out of the gate that they are some platoon featuring Rooker, Garlick, or Luis Arraez. However, what happens in April still counts and the division is expected to be hotly contested by the Chicago White Sox. Dream on a scenario in which Minnesota finishes second by just a couple of games, or their Postseason seeding is impacted, and it’s worth wondering if they’d have decided to start on a different foot from the get-go.
     
    Alex Kirilloff beginning the 2021 season in the minor leagues during a season in which he’d get actual at bats makes some sense. It makes much less in a year where he’ll see no game action until May, and then seemingly be determined ready by the big-league club. Here’s to hoping that whenever he debuts the mashing will commence, but the timing of questionable decision making here will be worth scrutinizing as the calendar flips forward.
     
    For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz
  16. Like
    mikelink45 got a reaction from Dman for a blog entry, Prospects number 125-150   
    https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories/how-many-mlb-draftees-make-it-to-the-majors/ It would be nice to think that everyone signed to a baseball contract would see a day in the majors, but here is what this site has to say, "Over three days in early June, more than 1,200 players will have their long-time dreams come true. They will hear their names called as selections in the 2019 draft.
     
    Of those more than 1,200 draftees, more than 900 players will agree to terms and sign contracts to become professional baseball players. With one dream fulfilled, they will set their sights on a bigger dream—becoming a major league player.
     
    And for more than 700 of those 900 pro players, that dream will go unfulfilled.
     
    In studying every draft since Baseball America began covering the draft in 1981, we wanted to answer a very simple question: how many players drafted in June’s MLB draft will eventually make it?
     
    The answer is less than one in five. It’s too early to judge the 2011 to 2018 drafts, but from 1981-2010, 17.6 percent of players who were drafted and signed ended up making it to the majors.
     
    Those odds vary dramatically depending on where a player is drafted. First-round picks can expect to reach the major leagues. First-round picks who don’t make it are the exception. From 1981 to 2010, 73 percent of first-round picks reached the majors. In 2004, only two of the 29 first-round picks who signed failed to make the majors—a 93 percent success rate that will be hard to beat.
     
    But that success rate drops off quickly. By the second round, the rate of players who reach the majors dips to 51 percent. In the third round, 40 percent are eventually going to be major leaguers. From there it continues to steadily dip."
     
    There are four minor league affiliates plus two short season teams for each MLB team now. In 2007 the average lifetime of a MLB career was 5.6 years. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070709131254.htm
     
    "Early in the talks between MLB and MiLB, MLB discussed a roughly 150-player limit for teams’ domestic minor league rosters. Players playing in the Dominican Republic would not be subject to this limit. MLB teams are already limited to two clubs in the Dominican Summer League.
     
     
    A 150-domestic player limit would ensure each MLB team would be limited to one U.S. complex-based team in the Gulf Coast or Arizona leagues. When you include players on the injured list, restricted list and other non-active players, a 150-player limit would mean MLB teams have no choice other than to field only five domestic minor league teams—four full-season clubs plus one complex team. One size fits all." https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories/mlb-expected-to-expand-milb-player-limit-for-full-season-clubs/#:~:text=When%20you%20include%20players%20on,clubs%20plus%20one%20complex%20team.
     
    Of course MLB has continuously underpaid the players in the minors and (I think) overpaid those in the majors.
     
    So who are those prospects at the bottom of the 150 player limit? And why do they hang on? Love of the game? No marketable skills? MLB needs them to fill the roster and they should pay them.
     
    Who are the ten players in Elizabethtown who played the fewest games and what do we expect from them? In AAA there were 7 position players over 30 years old, and seven pitchers in the same age range. What do we expect them to do? I do not mind that we have these older players still chasing their dream, in fact I like it, but MLB is cutting them out, cutting teams, cutting dreams.
     
    I enjoy the lists that TD writers put up, but I wonder about the bottom 20. Those who have no chance, but love the game and love the opportunity. They need to be recognized too. When MLB cut the minor league teams these underpaid, under appreciated ball players were the ones who suffered. One year of Trevor Bauer's salary would keep them employed for the rest of the century.
  17. Like
    mikelink45 got a reaction from tarheeltwinsfan for a blog entry, Prospects number 125-150   
    https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories/how-many-mlb-draftees-make-it-to-the-majors/ It would be nice to think that everyone signed to a baseball contract would see a day in the majors, but here is what this site has to say, "Over three days in early June, more than 1,200 players will have their long-time dreams come true. They will hear their names called as selections in the 2019 draft.
     
    Of those more than 1,200 draftees, more than 900 players will agree to terms and sign contracts to become professional baseball players. With one dream fulfilled, they will set their sights on a bigger dream—becoming a major league player.
     
    And for more than 700 of those 900 pro players, that dream will go unfulfilled.
     
    In studying every draft since Baseball America began covering the draft in 1981, we wanted to answer a very simple question: how many players drafted in June’s MLB draft will eventually make it?
     
    The answer is less than one in five. It’s too early to judge the 2011 to 2018 drafts, but from 1981-2010, 17.6 percent of players who were drafted and signed ended up making it to the majors.
     
    Those odds vary dramatically depending on where a player is drafted. First-round picks can expect to reach the major leagues. First-round picks who don’t make it are the exception. From 1981 to 2010, 73 percent of first-round picks reached the majors. In 2004, only two of the 29 first-round picks who signed failed to make the majors—a 93 percent success rate that will be hard to beat.
     
    But that success rate drops off quickly. By the second round, the rate of players who reach the majors dips to 51 percent. In the third round, 40 percent are eventually going to be major leaguers. From there it continues to steadily dip."
     
    There are four minor league affiliates plus two short season teams for each MLB team now. In 2007 the average lifetime of a MLB career was 5.6 years. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070709131254.htm
     
    "Early in the talks between MLB and MiLB, MLB discussed a roughly 150-player limit for teams’ domestic minor league rosters. Players playing in the Dominican Republic would not be subject to this limit. MLB teams are already limited to two clubs in the Dominican Summer League.
     
     
    A 150-domestic player limit would ensure each MLB team would be limited to one U.S. complex-based team in the Gulf Coast or Arizona leagues. When you include players on the injured list, restricted list and other non-active players, a 150-player limit would mean MLB teams have no choice other than to field only five domestic minor league teams—four full-season clubs plus one complex team. One size fits all." https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories/mlb-expected-to-expand-milb-player-limit-for-full-season-clubs/#:~:text=When%20you%20include%20players%20on,clubs%20plus%20one%20complex%20team.
     
    Of course MLB has continuously underpaid the players in the minors and (I think) overpaid those in the majors.
     
    So who are those prospects at the bottom of the 150 player limit? And why do they hang on? Love of the game? No marketable skills? MLB needs them to fill the roster and they should pay them.
     
    Who are the ten players in Elizabethtown who played the fewest games and what do we expect from them? In AAA there were 7 position players over 30 years old, and seven pitchers in the same age range. What do we expect them to do? I do not mind that we have these older players still chasing their dream, in fact I like it, but MLB is cutting them out, cutting teams, cutting dreams.
     
    I enjoy the lists that TD writers put up, but I wonder about the bottom 20. Those who have no chance, but love the game and love the opportunity. They need to be recognized too. When MLB cut the minor league teams these underpaid, under appreciated ball players were the ones who suffered. One year of Trevor Bauer's salary would keep them employed for the rest of the century.
  18. Like
    mikelink45 got a reaction from tarheeltwinsfan for a blog entry, Baseball economics   
    I once had a degree in economics - admittedly it was in the 1960s so it is out dated. What I am trying to figure out is how do these intelligent, super rich owners in major league baseball get bamboozled.
     
    Okay, the LA Dodgers got Bauer. Wow is that special. Were they not going to win the NL West before they got him? What will he add? What if he gets hurt? How many people/teams were they bidding against?
     
    Last year the Angels signed Mike Trout to a $30 million dollars a year contract because he is the best in baseball and he had given them how many championships? I guess it was because their long term investment in Albert Pujols paid off so well.
     
    Now we have a $40 million dollar a year pitcher - and of course pitchers are not prone to injuries. Trevor Bauer really blossomed in a short strange Covid year. He is now 75 - 64 in 9 MLB seasons according to BR. Not even 10 victories per year. I know wins don't count (BS). If he starts 40 games (unlikely)he will be paid one million per game - does he have a refund for bad games?
     
    So what are they getting? Yes he has talent and will be really good for them, but how good? How much better than if they had signed Jake Odorizzi?
     
    Next year we will need a $50 million per year player and on and on. Why? What is the madness?
     
    I do not want billionaires to pocket all the profit, but my god is this ridiculous. The dollars are so insane I am losing my ability to watch the ball as it comes across the plate.
     
    Sorry for the rant, but I cannot help it. I remember when players got jobs in the off season.
     
    But I am sorry to be so old fashioned, poor MLB owners are hurting and want to have some relief from their Covid losses!
  19. Like
    mikelink45 got a reaction from Hosken Bombo Disco for a blog entry, Ten Moments that shook the sports world   
    Stan Isaacs chose ten events from his sports writing history that he thinks are significant world events. These are not in order - Munich is his number one on his count down
    Superbowl I and II
    The Knicks Willis Reed NBA championship
    The Amazing Mets World Series
    Bobby Thompson's "Shot heard round the world" home run
    Harvard - Yale tie game
    Secretariat race at Belmont
    Ali/Fraser - first fight
    Jets win Superbowl III
    Bjorn Borg - John McEnroe tennis Wimbeldon
    The 1972 Munich Olympics

    He was choosing events he covered. I then tried to think of the ten events in Minnesota Sports history (my history from 1958 on) and this is my list:
     
    1 - Elgin Baylor joins Minneapolis Lakers - I watched him play in the Minneapolis Armory with its 8400 capacity - so close!
    2 - Gophers national champions in Football - I saw them play under Murray Warmath and it was an amazing team
    3 - Twins move to Minneapolis from Washington DC and I become an usher for the first season
    4 - Vikings first game - Rookie Tarkington leads team to defeat of Chicago Bears - I saw this game at the Metrodome
    5 - 1965 Twins world series against Sandy Koufax Dodgers - I watched this in the break room at Dayton's where I worked stock
    6 - 1967 Harmon Killebrew hit 520 foot HR - longest for Twins
    7 - 1987 Hrbek in WS wrestle Cardinal off 1B and tags him out - we win series - Kate and I watched this in a bar restaurant in Sierra Vista AZ. Most patrons were St Louis fans - I loved it. It still makes me smile.
    8 and 9 - 1991 We beat Atlanta and I was at all four games - we won the home games and Morris pitched the classic 7 and Kirby won game six by his own personal effort - and thankfully I was at all four home games - game seven with Jon Horn
    10 - Lynx win first of four championships 2011 - sorry Timberwolves you are not on the list even though I got to go on court at half time with Jim Brandenburg to present you with his book on wolves. - I did not see the championship game, but we did get to see the team.
     
    Since this is a Twins forum and I have four non-Twins events I would have to add these in replacement:
    Calvin Griffith driving away Rod Carew by his racism
    The pop-up that never came down in the Metrodome
    Kirby Puckett losing his eyesight
    The Dean Chance no-hitter

    Your turn.
  20. Like
    mikelink45 got a reaction from D. Hocking for a blog entry, Ten Moments that shook the sports world   
    Stan Isaacs chose ten events from his sports writing history that he thinks are significant world events. These are not in order - Munich is his number one on his count down
    Superbowl I and II
    The Knicks Willis Reed NBA championship
    The Amazing Mets World Series
    Bobby Thompson's "Shot heard round the world" home run
    Harvard - Yale tie game
    Secretariat race at Belmont
    Ali/Fraser - first fight
    Jets win Superbowl III
    Bjorn Borg - John McEnroe tennis Wimbeldon
    The 1972 Munich Olympics

    He was choosing events he covered. I then tried to think of the ten events in Minnesota Sports history (my history from 1958 on) and this is my list:
     
    1 - Elgin Baylor joins Minneapolis Lakers - I watched him play in the Minneapolis Armory with its 8400 capacity - so close!
    2 - Gophers national champions in Football - I saw them play under Murray Warmath and it was an amazing team
    3 - Twins move to Minneapolis from Washington DC and I become an usher for the first season
    4 - Vikings first game - Rookie Tarkington leads team to defeat of Chicago Bears - I saw this game at the Metrodome
    5 - 1965 Twins world series against Sandy Koufax Dodgers - I watched this in the break room at Dayton's where I worked stock
    6 - 1967 Harmon Killebrew hit 520 foot HR - longest for Twins
    7 - 1987 Hrbek in WS wrestle Cardinal off 1B and tags him out - we win series - Kate and I watched this in a bar restaurant in Sierra Vista AZ. Most patrons were St Louis fans - I loved it. It still makes me smile.
    8 and 9 - 1991 We beat Atlanta and I was at all four games - we won the home games and Morris pitched the classic 7 and Kirby won game six by his own personal effort - and thankfully I was at all four home games - game seven with Jon Horn
    10 - Lynx win first of four championships 2011 - sorry Timberwolves you are not on the list even though I got to go on court at half time with Jim Brandenburg to present you with his book on wolves. - I did not see the championship game, but we did get to see the team.
     
    Since this is a Twins forum and I have four non-Twins events I would have to add these in replacement:
    Calvin Griffith driving away Rod Carew by his racism
    The pop-up that never came down in the Metrodome
    Kirby Puckett losing his eyesight
    The Dean Chance no-hitter

    Your turn.
  21. Like
    mikelink45 got a reaction from Dave The Dastardly for a blog entry, The Shortstop factory   
    The Twins have Jorge Polanco at SS. In 2019 he was an all star. Now all of Twins fandom wants him at utility and hope for the team to sign another SS. I am not sure why. Our number one prospect remains Royce Lewis who is still listed as a SS who should be ready by the end of the year at least. So why do we want to demote Polanco and block Lewis? This is reasoning that does not work for me.
     
    Then we have Wander Javier who came to us in the same international draft that produced Vladimir Guerrero, jr. and Yordan Alvarez. To say that he is behind them on the development level is an understatement. I am still not sure why he is rated so high as a prospect. He has had a hamstring injury during his 2016 debut, a torn labrum costing him all of 2018 and a strained quad keeping him from making his full-season debut in 2019. Then he came in and looked lost for 300 at bats. And MLB.com still has him listed at number nine.
     
    Above him on the mlb.com site is Keoni Cavaco who is given great grades for athleticism, which is fine in the Olympics, but batting and fielding count in baseball. I am not sold on him. He was a fast riser in HS according to his notes. Another prospect who does not make my list.
     
    At 17 is Nick Gordon. He seems to be on a slippery slope to a forgotten prospect, but I hope he will find a way to get to the majors someday. He just isn’t going to make the team as a starter.
     
    Will Holland is next on the prospect list at 19. Notes about him say that he was doing great at Auburn until his Junior year where he bombed and slipped to fifth round. Then he came to rookie ball and still bombed. Not looking good.
     
    Today the Twins made an big international signing – Danny De Andrade who is 16. He could be projected to arrive when Lewis runs out of arbitration and signs elsewhere. He is big, potential middle of the order project (typically that means not staying at SS). At 16 he is a project. I know what my grandsons are like at that age – I would not sign them for $2.2 million and I love them. If he makes it he will probably replace Donaldson and not Lewis.
     
    Finally the second signing is Fredy LaFlor who is already projected in the mlb.com writeup to shift to second or CF. He said to be a high energy top of the lineup prospect.
     
    So there is the Twins SS list. I would like to see us develop one of them into the next great SS rather than sign one who is already down the road of his career and will be overpaid. How do you see these names playing out?
     
    The Athletic summary of international signings did not include the Twins - disappointing. https://theathletic.com/2326602/2021/01/16/mlb-international-signing-period-day-1/?source=weeklyemail For those of us who do not know who they are it is important to have outside opinions.
  22. Like
    mikelink45 got a reaction from ToddlerHarmon for a blog entry, The Shortstop factory   
    The Twins have Jorge Polanco at SS. In 2019 he was an all star. Now all of Twins fandom wants him at utility and hope for the team to sign another SS. I am not sure why. Our number one prospect remains Royce Lewis who is still listed as a SS who should be ready by the end of the year at least. So why do we want to demote Polanco and block Lewis? This is reasoning that does not work for me.
     
    Then we have Wander Javier who came to us in the same international draft that produced Vladimir Guerrero, jr. and Yordan Alvarez. To say that he is behind them on the development level is an understatement. I am still not sure why he is rated so high as a prospect. He has had a hamstring injury during his 2016 debut, a torn labrum costing him all of 2018 and a strained quad keeping him from making his full-season debut in 2019. Then he came in and looked lost for 300 at bats. And MLB.com still has him listed at number nine.
     
    Above him on the mlb.com site is Keoni Cavaco who is given great grades for athleticism, which is fine in the Olympics, but batting and fielding count in baseball. I am not sold on him. He was a fast riser in HS according to his notes. Another prospect who does not make my list.
     
    At 17 is Nick Gordon. He seems to be on a slippery slope to a forgotten prospect, but I hope he will find a way to get to the majors someday. He just isn’t going to make the team as a starter.
     
    Will Holland is next on the prospect list at 19. Notes about him say that he was doing great at Auburn until his Junior year where he bombed and slipped to fifth round. Then he came to rookie ball and still bombed. Not looking good.
     
    Today the Twins made an big international signing – Danny De Andrade who is 16. He could be projected to arrive when Lewis runs out of arbitration and signs elsewhere. He is big, potential middle of the order project (typically that means not staying at SS). At 16 he is a project. I know what my grandsons are like at that age – I would not sign them for $2.2 million and I love them. If he makes it he will probably replace Donaldson and not Lewis.
     
    Finally the second signing is Fredy LaFlor who is already projected in the mlb.com writeup to shift to second or CF. He said to be a high energy top of the lineup prospect.
     
    So there is the Twins SS list. I would like to see us develop one of them into the next great SS rather than sign one who is already down the road of his career and will be overpaid. How do you see these names playing out?
     
    The Athletic summary of international signings did not include the Twins - disappointing. https://theathletic.com/2326602/2021/01/16/mlb-international-signing-period-day-1/?source=weeklyemail For those of us who do not know who they are it is important to have outside opinions.
  23. Like
    mikelink45 reacted to Chris Spicer for a blog entry, A Movie That Stand’s On Its Own. Revisiting a Baseball Classic: A League Of Their Own   
    One of the greatest baseball movies of all time wasn’t played with men as the lead actors but was with women. In 1992, Penny Marshall directed A League Of Their Own. To this date it is one of the most highly regarded baseball movies of all-time and was set in a time in which there was a chance that baseball was put in the backburner to World War II. At this moment in time, while a lot of the men were out fighting the war there were a lot of the women home taking care of their families. Cub’s owner Walter Harvey (Gary Marshall) decides to talk other owners of the Major League Baseball to create a women’s baseball league to help fill the void. This movie helps capture this moment in time with a story of two competitive sisters, memorable supporting characters, and great acting.
    The heart of this film rests on sisters Dottie (Geena Davis) and Kit Hinson’s (Lori Petty) competitive nature and love for each other. The movie starts off with the two going back and forth about Kit’s batting while scout Ernie Capadino (Jon Lovitz) looks on and determines that Dottie is the player he wants on his team for this new big-league team. Dottie refuses but it’s Kit that insists this is her chance to get away. Ernie tells Kit that if she talks Dottie into playing than they both can play, and she does. Throughout the movie there is a glaring difference between the two’s talent level and Dottie is a star while Kit is too stuck in playing the game her own way and often does not rise to the challenge. Kit begins to become very resentful of Dottie’s success to the point that she is traded to a new team. The movie makes it apparently clear that if each sister could trade places, that they would, and that Dottie would be just as happy at home waiting on her husband to come back from the war. It’s this moment in the movie that you wish the two could have just made up and kept winning on the Peaches. But what would be the fun it that; there had to be a rivalry with a climax that pays off this rivalry. Both sisters meet up In the World Series and the rivalry is settled. Watching this the first time, I had wished it went the other way but after repeat viewing it is a very satisfying conclusion.
    The best movies have supporting characters that help carry a movie. Jimmy Dugan (Tom Hanks), the Peaches manager who is an alcoholic has some of the best moments of the movie. He starts off treating the whole thing as a joke and then begins to warm up to the team. Everything from taking an extended pee in front of the girls to yelling there’s no crying in baseball to one of the girls is some movie magic. There’s also the teammates of the Peaches that include Mae Mordabito (Madonna), Doris Murphy (Rosie O’ Donnell), and Marla Hooch (Megan Cavanagh) who also become the heart of the movie as well. Their all dealing with their own issues on the field and off the field that really help audiences want to rally around them. Mae helps a fellow player how to read, Doris keeps the team engaged, and Marla finally feels comfortable in her own skin and marries a man. The team becomes a sisterhood, and they all keep each other accountable.
    The acting in this movie is what make this film tick. Before the movie even started filming; all the actors had to spend eight hours a day, six days a week doing baseball drills so that the movie looks realistic. Penny Marshall wanted the film to look very authentic. Geena Davis was a perfect choice as Dottie because she does a good job of coming off as a talented baseball player and you feel like her character is genuine. Tom Hanks is a scene stealer who injects the movie with a sense of sarcasm and charm that it would be hard to imagine anyone else playing the part. Rosie O’Donnell also steals scenes with her comedic timing and her heartwarming scenes of reacting to the huge stage they were playing on. Madonna has some good moments too but at the time this came out may have been more of a distraction based off her popular music career. Even some of the smaller parts like Jon Lovitz and Garry Marshall all do a good job with what they are given. Davis has even said that a lot of the women playing baseball in scenes suffered ripped off skin from sliding home in continuous takes. All the hard work and research done in these characters really shown through the actor’s great work.
    In the end, this movie packs an emotional punch with the characters returning over 40 years later to open an All-American Girls Professional Baseball League exhibit at the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1988. We than see the characters reminiscing and we see the fates of these characters and they all sing their team’s song one last time together. It’s movie moments like this that we remember why we love the game of baseball and why we love playing baseball and that’s because we loved playing the game with our teammates. A league of their own does a good job of letting us remember the spirit of being young and making the game about our love with it by giving us a good story of two sisters, memorable supporting characters and great acting!
     
    Rating: Grand Slam! 5 out of 5 stars.
  24. Like
    mikelink45 got a reaction from tarheeltwinsfan for a blog entry, The Shortstop factory   
    The Twins have Jorge Polanco at SS. In 2019 he was an all star. Now all of Twins fandom wants him at utility and hope for the team to sign another SS. I am not sure why. Our number one prospect remains Royce Lewis who is still listed as a SS who should be ready by the end of the year at least. So why do we want to demote Polanco and block Lewis? This is reasoning that does not work for me.
     
    Then we have Wander Javier who came to us in the same international draft that produced Vladimir Guerrero, jr. and Yordan Alvarez. To say that he is behind them on the development level is an understatement. I am still not sure why he is rated so high as a prospect. He has had a hamstring injury during his 2016 debut, a torn labrum costing him all of 2018 and a strained quad keeping him from making his full-season debut in 2019. Then he came in and looked lost for 300 at bats. And MLB.com still has him listed at number nine.
     
    Above him on the mlb.com site is Keoni Cavaco who is given great grades for athleticism, which is fine in the Olympics, but batting and fielding count in baseball. I am not sold on him. He was a fast riser in HS according to his notes. Another prospect who does not make my list.
     
    At 17 is Nick Gordon. He seems to be on a slippery slope to a forgotten prospect, but I hope he will find a way to get to the majors someday. He just isn’t going to make the team as a starter.
     
    Will Holland is next on the prospect list at 19. Notes about him say that he was doing great at Auburn until his Junior year where he bombed and slipped to fifth round. Then he came to rookie ball and still bombed. Not looking good.
     
    Today the Twins made an big international signing – Danny De Andrade who is 16. He could be projected to arrive when Lewis runs out of arbitration and signs elsewhere. He is big, potential middle of the order project (typically that means not staying at SS). At 16 he is a project. I know what my grandsons are like at that age – I would not sign them for $2.2 million and I love them. If he makes it he will probably replace Donaldson and not Lewis.
     
    Finally the second signing is Fredy LaFlor who is already projected in the mlb.com writeup to shift to second or CF. He said to be a high energy top of the lineup prospect.
     
    So there is the Twins SS list. I would like to see us develop one of them into the next great SS rather than sign one who is already down the road of his career and will be overpaid. How do you see these names playing out?
     
    The Athletic summary of international signings did not include the Twins - disappointing. https://theathletic.com/2326602/2021/01/16/mlb-international-signing-period-day-1/?source=weeklyemail For those of us who do not know who they are it is important to have outside opinions.
  25. Like
    mikelink45 got a reaction from GNess for a blog entry, The Shortstop factory   
    The Twins have Jorge Polanco at SS. In 2019 he was an all star. Now all of Twins fandom wants him at utility and hope for the team to sign another SS. I am not sure why. Our number one prospect remains Royce Lewis who is still listed as a SS who should be ready by the end of the year at least. So why do we want to demote Polanco and block Lewis? This is reasoning that does not work for me.
     
    Then we have Wander Javier who came to us in the same international draft that produced Vladimir Guerrero, jr. and Yordan Alvarez. To say that he is behind them on the development level is an understatement. I am still not sure why he is rated so high as a prospect. He has had a hamstring injury during his 2016 debut, a torn labrum costing him all of 2018 and a strained quad keeping him from making his full-season debut in 2019. Then he came in and looked lost for 300 at bats. And MLB.com still has him listed at number nine.
     
    Above him on the mlb.com site is Keoni Cavaco who is given great grades for athleticism, which is fine in the Olympics, but batting and fielding count in baseball. I am not sold on him. He was a fast riser in HS according to his notes. Another prospect who does not make my list.
     
    At 17 is Nick Gordon. He seems to be on a slippery slope to a forgotten prospect, but I hope he will find a way to get to the majors someday. He just isn’t going to make the team as a starter.
     
    Will Holland is next on the prospect list at 19. Notes about him say that he was doing great at Auburn until his Junior year where he bombed and slipped to fifth round. Then he came to rookie ball and still bombed. Not looking good.
     
    Today the Twins made an big international signing – Danny De Andrade who is 16. He could be projected to arrive when Lewis runs out of arbitration and signs elsewhere. He is big, potential middle of the order project (typically that means not staying at SS). At 16 he is a project. I know what my grandsons are like at that age – I would not sign them for $2.2 million and I love them. If he makes it he will probably replace Donaldson and not Lewis.
     
    Finally the second signing is Fredy LaFlor who is already projected in the mlb.com writeup to shift to second or CF. He said to be a high energy top of the lineup prospect.
     
    So there is the Twins SS list. I would like to see us develop one of them into the next great SS rather than sign one who is already down the road of his career and will be overpaid. How do you see these names playing out?
     
    The Athletic summary of international signings did not include the Twins - disappointing. https://theathletic.com/2326602/2021/01/16/mlb-international-signing-period-day-1/?source=weeklyemail For those of us who do not know who they are it is important to have outside opinions.
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