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Cap'n Piranha

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2023 Minnesota Twins Top Prospects Ranking

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Everything posted by Cap'n Piranha

  1. I watched the Twins last season. I saw Sonny Gray, Kenta Maeda, and (gulp) Emilio Pagan provide a combined 367.2 IP--that's a full 25% of the total IP by the Twins last year. As you may have heard, none of those pitchers will be with the Twins in 2024. I feel confident that some combination of Correa, Buxton, Jeffers, Kiriloff, Kepler, Polanco, Julien, Lewis, and Wallner (to say nothing of bounce-backs from Larnach/Miranda, or emergences from Lee/Martin/Severino) will produce a good offense. Maybe not great, but good. I feel very nervous about ALL of Ryan, Ober, Paddack, and Varland performing as quality MLB starters across 30 starts. I feel very nervous about Festa and SWR being our only real options for SP depth. And I feel very nervous about at least 5 of the 7 starters (including Lopez) being healthy at the same time for the whole year. I feel very nervous about Duran, Stewart, Jax, Thielbar, Funderburk, and whatever 4 other unproven arms the Twins use to fill out the pen. If Duran and Stewart are both hurt (or unavailable, which will happen regularly at points through the season), I feel very nervous about Jax being the closer, and Funderburk/Thielbar pitching the 8th. I am way more confident about the offense than I am the pitching, and if I can get a solid #2 starter/bullpen alpha without giving up one of the rookies or Lee/ERod/Jenkins, I swing that deal in a heartbeat.
  2. To me, Julien is in another tier of value than Polanco. At 24, in his first taste of the bigs, he basically outperformed every Polanco season except 2021. He’s still young, still learning, and still 3 years away from his prime season. Polanco is a very nice player, and has more than earned the contract he received. That said, he is now now old(er), not still learning, and 3 years past his prime season. If someone wants Julien over Polanco, they’ll have to give me a lot more than if the reverse were the case.
  3. They've done pretty well with Pablo Lopez, Nelson Cruz, Joe Ryan, Sonny Gray, and Kenta Maeda. They've also added Lewis, Jeffers, Julien, Ober, Lee, E-Rod, and Jenkins to the organization during their regime. I'm not suggesting the FO should be trusted implicitly and/or completely, but if you really think they shouldn't be allowed to add players to the organization, then they quite obviously need to be fired.
  4. To be clear, I think WAR has quite a bit of merit, in that it establishes a measure of value that is uniform across all players (different defensive positions are granted WAR bonuses to account for position value to ensure this). My issue with WAR comes only from the fact that fangraphs is projecting an unachievable amount of WAR for 2024 (unless they have altered the formula to untether it from the 1000 number, which would mean they're actually downgrading the value of replacement players). When defining replacement player, what I've always heard is that the idea is a player who is comparable to the type of player every organization would be able to call up at any given time. In that sense, we need to stop looking at replacement as organization specific, but league wide. In this case, replacement assumes that you only have your 26 man active roster; if someone goes on the IL, what quality of player would you be able to acquire?
  5. Unfortunately, the numbers by Fangraphs are inaccurate. Over the last 5 full seasons, league-wide WAR has never been below 999.6, or above 1000.4 (the average is 999.9); this certainly suggests that the WAR formula by design spits out 1000 in WAR. This makes sense, when you consider that anything a hitter does to increase their WAR decreases pitcher WAR, and vice versa. When the figures Fangraphs came up with are totaled, it comes to 1063.5--clearly that's not going to actually happen. That number also doesn't include any free agents (which FG pegs at an additional 148 WAR), meaning fangraphs is somehow expecting more than 20% more WAR than is possible in these rankings. As such, I don't put much stock into these at all.
  6. I assure you I comprehended every word you wrote. Your decision to resort to childish rejoinders while offering no rebuttal whatsoever to even one of my points (some of which should have been simple, given they were merely asks for clarification on your initial assertions) suggests the lack of comprehension lies with you my friend, not I.
  7. Trying to fill the holes in the roster with retread vets is a recipe for disaster. Just look how many retreads have signed with teams, and once it was clear they were done, they were outrighted never to be seen again. I don’t have a problem with trying a retread or 2, but expecting them to fill the roles and stay competitive is not realistic. If the Twins “need” to cut payroll they just need to get lucky with a couple of rookies and hope they can stay competitive. In all seriousness, is your argument really that the Twins should sign the 2024 equivalent of Joey Gallo, Dylan Bundy, Chris Archer, and Joe Smith, and hope it works out better this time?
  8. Concur on trading Polanco—I think Julien is younger, cheaper, and better (the first two really aren’t debatable). Farmer would absolutely return something of value—a year $7M contract for a high-level backup/low-level starting shortstop will find suitors. If the Twins aren’t sold on Castro/Lee/Lewis being Correa’s backup, they might just keep him. Kepler has made it clear he won’t play CF anymore. If that’s the only reason to keep him on the roster, he won’t be.
  9. So much off here. Jenkins plays CF (probably corner OF in MLB), and Lee plays SS (probably 3B in MLB). While a 3B is more valuable than an OF, you'll notice that I was speaking about hitting, which is what wins awards after all. Also, in no way did I use Jenkins to minimize Lee (although you calling him Walker throughout your post, but calling the other players you mention by name Lee, Arraez, and Julien suggests you think Walker is Walker Jenkins' last name; seems minimizing to not even know that name of the player you're rendering an opinion on). I was responding to the assertion in the thread that Lee is more valuable than Jenkins, which I personally disagree with, given Jenkins' much higher ceiling. You are of course free to disagree, but stating a preference for one prospect over another hardly minimizes the latter. You bet you can find 4 18 year olds with similar numbers? If so, why did you include only one (whom you conveniently decided not to name)? Give me three more. You also assert that every 22 year old 1st rounder in AAA a year after the draft is familiar; please share what I'm sure is the exhaustive list you compiled of all 22 year old first rounders in AA a year after the draft from the beginning of the draft until now, so we can all assent and agree. Surely you didn't just throw out a massive oversimplification as if it's gospel. Just because something is "not going to happen" means we can't talk about? I suppose the mods should delete every post that opines the Twins should increase payroll or Falvine/Baldelli should be fired? I would be shocked if Lee is a top 10 global prospect to start 2024. Top 50 for sure, top 25 possibly, but with baseball's current youth movement, a 22 year old has to do better than a .732 OPS in AAA (which is identical to the team OPS for the 20th ranked team--out of 20--in the IL) to be top 10. Lee being traded would be a big trade, and certainly might be a blockbuster; it doesn't come close to being all-time. There are going to be at least 15-20 other prospects who would not be traded straight up for Lee, along with quite a few established MLB players from whom you could say the same (Carroll, Kirby, Gilbert, Rutschman, Garcia, J-Rod, Witt just off the top of my head). The idea that Jenkins will take 6 years is insane. Even if we count 2023 as his first year, he could repeat low A, go to high A in 2025, AA in 2026, and AAA in 2027, and make the bigs in 2028 (start of his 6th year). He would also be 23 years old (the exact same age as Brooks Lee will be in 2024), so it would seem that Brooks Lee is also a "Chase Petty 6 year project," except 3 of those years were in college (because unlike Jenkins, he wasn't good enough to be drafted at the top of the 1st round as an 18 year old--he was drafted in the 35th round). None of that is to disparage Lee, just to point out that even a bad outcome for Jenkins puts him on Lee's timeline. I'm not talking about credit for current performance with Jenkins--it's too soon for that. What I'm talking about is what Jenkins could be, as a guy who performed more or less on a par at the same age and level as a who's who of baseball's best hitters currently. That has value, even if you don't think it does. You can argue that Lee has a higher floor than Julien, but to argue Lee's floor is Julien's ceiling is stupefying. Julien just put up almost 3 WAR in less than 110 games (3.8 WAR/150) as a 24 year old in his first exposure to MLB; that 3.8 mark is better than anything Jorge Polanco has done in his career, outside of 2021 (when he was a 27/28 year old in his prime year). He also did this while nursing a hamstring injury for the last few weeks. I wouldn't be surprised if Lee had a better career than Julien when it's all said and done, but I wouldn't be surprised by the reverse either, and if someone offered me something I wanted in a trade, and let me choose whether to send back Jenkins, Lee, or Julien, sending back Lee is an easy choice.
  10. On the Walker Jenkins v Brooks Lee debate, perhaps the below will be illuminating; Player A--18 year old born in February, at rookie/low A: .26 games, .362/.417/.571, 3 HR, 9 BB, 14 K, 6 SB, 16 R, 22 RBI Player B--18 year old born in August, at rookie/low A: 44 games, .352/.419/.486, 1 HR, 22 BB, 34 K, 13 SB, 30 R, 25 RBI Player C--18 year old born in October, at rookie/low A: 32 games, .351/.415/.505, 3 HR, 12 BB, 9 K, 1 SB, 18 R, 18 RBI Player D--18 year old born in December, at rookie/low A: 42 games, .312/.392/.429, 4 HR, 19 BB, 29 K, 14 SB, 28 R, 19 RBI Player A is Jenkins, Player B is Trout, Player C is Soto, and Player D is Acuna. This is not to say that Jenkins is going to be the equal of any of those players. It is simply to point out that Jenkins, at a similar age and identical level, performed similarly to 3 of the 5 best hitters in the game. Jenkins' 100th percentile outcome is inner-ring HOF, 90th percentile is border-line HOF, 80th percentile is multi-time all star, and 70th percentile is 10 year solid starter. Comparatively, Brooks Lee, as a 22 year old born in February, OPSd .808 at AA/AAA, in 125 games, with 16 HR, 56 BB, 91 K, 7 SB, 83 R, and 84 RBI (Trout at 22 put up 10 WAR in MLB, Soto put up 7 WAR in MLB, and Acuna put up 2.4 in a 46 game covid-shortened season, which would be 7.8 WAR in 150 games). None of this is to say that Brooks Lee won't be a good MLB player, and could be a multi-time all-star himself. It's just to demonstrate that at least based on ceiling, Jenkins and Lee are in completely different prospect tiers, and if you want the Twins to have a true perennial MVP candidate and one of the 10 best players in baseball, Jenkins could be that guy. Lee almost assuredly will not be.
  11. Right now the Twins need a pitcher who slots right behind Lopez (a true number 2). If you get Burnes, you have that box checked. And while you're correct that it opens a hole with your 3rd/4th slot in the rotation, that is a lot easier of a hole to fill than the 2nd slot. In other words--if 3 out of Ryan/Martin/Festa/Polanco/Kepler/Severino/Camargo et al lands you Burnes and a Joe Ryan replacement, (looking solely at the starting rotation) isn't that better than Joe Ryan on his own?
  12. DeMecco Ryans is doing some interesting things in Houston. I do agree that Flores is unlikely to just jump at any HC opportunity; in a league where coaches are getting fired after 1-2 years, you have to go to a place that is either mostly set up for success, or where ownership has a realistic understanding of their team.
  13. I would be shocked if Falvine commits more than $20M per year to a pitcher in his mid-thirties, unless it’s a one year deal. I would be shocked if Sonny Gray can’t get at least 2/$40M (meaning he could certainly do better than 1/$20M on the open market). These two opinions, when combined, tell me that Gray will reject the QO, Falvine will not make a competitive offer, and Gray will pitch somewhere else next year.
  14. No idea where Judge came from, I don't think anyone said Judge as an option at all. No reason Julien can't play second (he got better as the year went along), so eliminating a significant portion of his value makes no sense. Kiriloff--IF--is the key word here; IF healthy is not a bet I'm willing to make at this point, so when you say Kiriloff is a better option than Goldy OR Alonso (which was your original point), you're betting on a guy that's played more than 110 games once in 6 years. Miranda had a sub-.600 OPS last year (even in AAA it was sub-.700); even in his "breakout" season, his OPS was .751 (Goldy or Alonso have literally never been below .800). Brooks Lee has lots of promise, but he still had a .731 OPS in AAA last year. Lewis has the ceiling of above-average 3B or CF; it makes zero sense to sacrifice all that by putting him at 1B.
  15. Please list for me the better internal options than Goldschmidt or Alonso. Keep in mind you can't list Lewis or Julien, as I specifically called out there's no point to move a player down the defensive spectrum to 1B simply because the bat plays.
  16. You're missing the point of what I said. I was responding to a poster who said the Twins had internal options who would be as good as Alonso/Goldy. My point was that they probably don't have an option that good (leaving money aside, since we're talking about player quality, not player value). That said, if the Mets wanted to try and recoup prospect value, they'll have to pay part of Alonso's salary--no one is going to trade much of anything of value for Alonso while having to pay him $20M+ and then have him hit FA. As such, the Twins would probably be able to pay Alonso only about $10M, while getting some 1B insurance in case Kiriloff continues to be injury-prone/ineffective. I don't think the Twins should do that--if they're going to give up prospect capital, it should be for pitching in my opinion, but the cost of Alonso in 2024 will not be a barrier if Falvine want to make that move.
  17. I would be surprised if Sonny Gray was as good as Robbie Ray over the next 3 years. Gray's HR/FB rate is completely unsustainable--that will regress to the mean, especially because his hard hit rate took a jump as soon as he came to the Twins. Last year he outperformed his xERA by almost a full run. He somehow gained a sizable jump in velo across all pitches last year, probably due to being healthy, but is betting on continued health for an about to be 34 year old Sonny Gray a good bet? Nola and Montgomery are both more than 3 years younger than Gray (both will be in their age 31 season next year), and therefore are probably looking for more than 3 year deals; if either of them have a 3/$81M deal, it's because they have an opt-out after year 3, but the full contract is for 5/$125M or so. Given the history of Falvine (trading for good players whose value is depressed for whatever reason), and the unlikeliness of giving a pitcher a 9 figure deal (they wouldn't even do it for a guy they gave up assets for), Ray is probably our best shot at getting a true playoff top 3 starter. I have no clue how you think Pablo had twice the value of Arraez when the Marlins sent us not one but two additional prospects in the deal--clearly Miami valued Arraez more than Lopez. If you're talking about actual 2023 performance, Lopez had 4.5 WAR and Arraez 3.4, so nowhere close to twice the value.
  18. The bundling tickets and streaming access is a fascinating idea to me. Every team would choose to have an individual fan attend an individual game in person over watch it on TV, so doing something like charging $150 a year for streaming with no blackouts (other than games carried by national partners like Youtube and Fox), but lowering that by $10-$15 for every game attended seems like a no-brainer. As others have said, baseball has been gifted a golden opportunity to become a truly national sport in a way that even the NFL is not (for example, it is very expensive for me to watch every Vikings game, living as I do in the Seattle area). If MLB has not figured out a way to make every game available everywhere to everyone willing to pay (again, barring games given to national partners) within the next 5-10 years, something has gone massively awry.
  19. Maybe it's extremely rare that tampering gets punished because tampering (at the FO level) is extremely rare? Do you have any proof that FOs are routinely making contact with other organization's players, or are you simply speculating? By-the-by, even if tampering by a FO can't be "proven", I would imagine any FO that gets the reputation of being willing to tamper will have an awfully hard time working with the 29 other FOs; in a game like baseball where you can't just exclusively draft-and-develop a winner, but actually have to make trades, that's not something any FO would want, and I imagine a number of FOs would adamantly refuse to do business with a FO suspected of tampering, if for no other reason than spite.
  20. Dodgers fans DESPISE Correa, as one of, if not THE ringleader of the cheating scandal that they feel cost them a World Series title. Almost no chance LAD wants to acquire Correa. There is almost no scenario in which another team trades for Correa without having to massively overpay in prospect capital, all for the "right" to acquire an aging player showing potential offensive decline and a growing list of potentially chronic injuries, while being one of the 10 most expensive players in baseball. All of that is not to say that Correa can't be a positive for the Twins, simply that any team trying to acquire him is going to assess for risk in a way the Twins just don't, and C4 has an awful lot of risk associated with him.
  21. The Twins never had a shot at Josh Jung, but man would Corbin Carroll or George Kirby be nice.
  22. Some other interesting similarities between the 4 team LCS field. In the playoffs, the 4 LCS participants had offenses 1, 2, 4, and 5 by wRC+ (MIL was 3). In the playoffs, the 4 LCS participants averaged 1.75 HR/game. The 8 non-LCS participants averaged 0.63 HR/game (only the Twins averaged more than 1 HR/game, and they were at 1.16). In the playoffs, the 4 LCS participants stole 45 bases in 48 games. The 8 non-LCS participants stole 4 bases in 24 games. In the playoffs, the 4 LCS participants had 11 Sac Flies in 48 games. The non-LCS participants had 2 in 24 games. In the playoffs, the 4 LCS participants averaged 4.9 runs/game. 8 non-LCS participants averaged 2 runs/game. In the playoffs, the 4 LCS participants were all top half in OPS, BB rate, and hard hit rate. In the playoffs, the 4 LCS participants were 4th, 5th, 9th, and 12th in k rate (the WS teams are 9th and 12th). In the playoffs the 4 LCS participants were 2nd, 4th, 7th, and 12th in SIERA (the WS teams are 7th and 12th). In the playoffs the 4 LCS participants were 1st, 3rd, 4th, and 9th in HR/9. In the playoffs the 4 LCS participants were 1st, 3rd, 4th, and 5th in WHIP. In the playoffs the 4 LCS participants were 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 8th in BB rate. What can we learn about all this? You have to have a good offense--that is more important than having good pitching (that said, the pitching can't be terrible). That good offense has to be able to hit homeruns, but it also has to be able to grind out runs through taking extra bases, and "small-balling" opponents Your pitching has to be able to limit baserunners and homeruns. That does not mean the pitching needs to strike out a lot of batters.
  23. Ray has 3 years until FA (he technically has an opt out after this year, but it would be shocking to see a guy opt out of a 2 year $46M contract with only a half season under his belt in a TJ return year). He also has far more upside than almost any other pitcher the Twins could reasonably acquire; do Kirby/Gilbert/Luzardo/Perez have more upside? Sure, but they're going to require a package starting with Julien and Lee, and might cost you Varland/Festa and another prospect as well. Ray is a very nice buy low candidate with serious upside--any other arm that realistically profiles as a top 50 pitcher in 2024 is going to cost cheap, controllable, MLB-ready or near to it talent, and while the Twins have a decent amount of that, they don't have so much that they should be fine with simply giving up multiple players who fit that description.
  24. Absolutely zero chance Kepler's option is declined. If Kepler is not on this team next year, it's because the FO picked up the option, and then flipped him for something. According to Gleeman, the Twins had offers for Kepler last offseason, coming off a 95 wRC+ season--they'll certainly have offers (and probably much better ones) with Kepler producing at a 124 wRC+ rate last year. Here are some other players who also had a 124 wRC+ in 2023; Marcus Semien, Adolis Garcia, Ozzie Albies, and Rafael Devers. Further consider that Kepler put up a 154 wRC+ in the second half (Juan Soto had a 155 wRC+ in 2023), with July, August, and September all over 130, and the fact that he'll only cost $10M, and any team with playoff aspirations and a less than solid OF corps would be quite happy to give you quite a bit of value for Kepler, especially because the QO is available for after the year.
  25. Last year Alonso hit 46 HR with an .822 OPS (league average was .734)--and that was pretty easily his worst year influenced by an anomalous BABIP. Goldschmidt hit 25 HR with an .810 OPS--also more or less his worst year, although his underlying metrics were pretty similar. The Twins have no one in their system who looks ready to replicate those numbers at 1B/DH unless you're talking about moving Lewis or Julien down the defensive spectrum just for kicks. If either of those guys are available for a #15-#25 prospect in our system, the Twins should jump on that, even if it means paying the entirety of their contract. That said, I do agree that if no one at least as good as Alonso/Goldy is available, the Twins should stick with internal options, and see if they can develop a bigger bat (or wait until the deadline, and acquire the big bat then).
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