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Everything posted by RJA

  1. Great summary, Ted. Three thoughts. First, Steer continues to impress, which adds another legitimate prospect to move up and/or use for trade capital for pitchers. I suspect in the next month we will lose a few prospects. Second, it was nice to see Balazovic make it through 3 decent innings. I confess I am having doubts about him even with his incredible stuff. Finally, I think if I were the Twins, I would move Wallner up to St. Paul as he is pounding the ball at Wichita.
  2. This draft is so hard to predict that I think outside the top 3 or 4, there may be some surprises. I agree with Dman that we don't need another DH type, or someone with defensive issues. The nice thing about drafting shortstops is that they often can transition to other positions defensively if need be so long as the hit tool is there. Actually, while it is important to have players who can drive the ball, I think Arraez is proving that having players who use the whole field and take great at bats is just as important if not more important than hitting the ball over the fence. So Neto's lack of big time power is not an issue for me. I think we may see teams adding these types of players in the next few years as they try to add balance to their offenses. IMHO, it would make the game more interesting.
  3. Good article. I had my doubts when he was selected, but he is making me a believer. He has hit a bit of a rough spot in his hitting, but that is not unusual for a young hitter experiencing his first full year of professional baseball--it can wear young players down a bit physically. However, he has never let his defense slide, and he has a great eye at the plate. I like his future.
  4. Boy, tough night on the farm. I am not going to read too much into the pitching failures, especially for those guys who have been throwing well this summer. And, Gipson-Long was probably a bit nervous about his first start at AA. I think Winder will be fine long term--he has good stuff, and has performed in the past. But, Balazovic is not right, whether due to injury or lack of control, he really is not throwing well. If it is his leg, that would explain his control being off, but it is certainly a concern. He has always been a prospect whose potential seems to outpace his performance. Hopefully, he will start realizing his potential. I still think Canterino is the closest to ready if he ever gets healthy.
  5. If the Twins add a starting pitcher, it only makes sense if he is truly a number 1 starter. Trading for another starter similar to Gray and Ryan does not make a lot of sense as Ober is a pretty decent number 3 as it stands now. To get a true number one is going to cost a ton, probably too much, and if the FO was interested in that they should have signed somebody in free agency. At this point, I would accept the fact that Ryan can be very good for 5 innings, maybe 6 on a good day, Gray is good for 6, and Ober is good for 5. Smeltzer may also surprise. Instead of overpaying for a starter, I would try to add a couple of top quality bullpen arms--mayber even 3--to add to Duran, Jax and Thielbar, and maybe Smeltzer and Archer, to create a lockdown bullpen that will protect leads. That is somewhat of a Tampa Bay strategy, but I think it could make sense for the Twins with the hitting they have. If the bats go totally cold, nothing can be done about that, but adding another bat beyond Kirilloff makes no sense to me. We have to believe this team can hit even in big games.
  6. I agree with Jeremy that this draft is really going to be full of surprises. With so many injured players, and so many players that have great skills but also some flaws, I think the top 10-15 are going to be really unpredictable. I think there will be a lot of variation in how teams value some of these prospects, meaning that there will be players taken in the top 15 that will cause some people to shake their heads. With all its picks, Baltimore could really shake things up if they draft to save money. I actually think this draft will be an absolute blast to watch.
  7. Great summary as usual, Seth. Couple of comments. Sisk has been lights out in Wichita this year, especially against left handed hitters, many of whom almost appear lost at the plate. My goodness, they are hitting .082 against him. IMHO, he could be a left handed specialist at Target Field later this summer if all goes well for him. Second, it was great to see Soto promoted. Everyone raves about him as a teammate and a teacher. Do you think the Twins will add him to the coaching staff somewhere in the minors when he finishes his playing career? Third, Festa continues to impress--BTW you have two lines for him in the prospect summaries :). I have not seen him live or much on MiLB TV. Do you see him as a starter or reliever long term? Thanks again for all your work.
  8. Obviously, Correa is everyone's first choice. If he doesn't stay, I would give Palacios a shot for a year. If Kirilloff is healthy--it looks like he is--the lineup will have enough punch with Buxton, Arraez, Polanco, Kirilloff, Miranda, Larnach, Urshela, Celestino, Kepler and maybe others coming up to allow Palacios to play even if he doesn't hit a ton, and I think he might do ok at the plate anyway. Also, we have Steer in the mix that could also factor sometimes. Even if the Twins end up trading one of the prospects for pitching, there will still be plenty of offense. The question long term with Lewis is if he will still have the same athleticism after a second major surgery on the same knee. I think he will, but it is not a slam dunk that he will. I would stay away from free agent shortstops at this point.
  9. I think in order to be a regular catcher, he will need to make some significant adjustments at the plate as he chase way too much, and simply can't drive the ball with any consistency. I hope I am wrong, and as others have suggested, he still has time to develop, but I think he is going to be a platoon catcher, starting maybe 60 games and playing against teams that don't run much and against pitchers he can handle. I think his DH days are over.
  10. Great summary of the situation, Sherry. I would be open to trading prospects for the right pitcher, but I would not trade Kirilloff as I think he, like Lewis, is a special talent. I don't think the FO is going to trade away the farm for Montas, and if the A's demand Kirilloff, I think the deal will not happen. We do have an abundance of position players ready for the majors, so I suspect they will be willing to part with one of them and others farther away if the A's are open to that. My guess is the A's will ask everyone for their best offer and take their pick. If Gray, Ober and Ryan return and are healthy in the next few weeks, and with Smeltzer showing well, I think they may focus on bullpen additions. This might be a year to make additions as this team has shown incredible grit, and looks like it is ready to play with the big boys in the East.
  11. I hope Canterino only has a short setback and that the Rodriguez injury is less severe than it looks. Hate to see young players fighting injuries. The Twins do have a talented bunch of young hitters--Lewis, Larnach, Kirilloff, Miranda, Steer, and Celestino. Now that Wallner is starting to rock, and with CES showing great promise, it looks like more are on the way. The young pitching also looks great with Ryan, Ober, Winder, Duran, Jax, Alcala, and Canterino, but five of them are injured. The future looks bright so long as they can get and stay healthy. I do think at least one of the young guys will be traded for pitching by the deadline.
  12. I often question Rocco's game management skills, but frankly the bullpen does not give him a lot of options, especially when the starter can't get to five innings. With Paddack, Gray, Ober, Maeda, Dobnak, and Ryan all out of action, the starting pitching is in shambles, and that puts pressure on the bullpen which is also short handed with Stashak, Alcala, Coulombe, and WInder all out, and, therefore, not uber-talented. If you go Duran in the 7th, then what do you do in the 8th and 9th? I have very little faith in Pagan, so that leaves Smith or Duffey for the 8th and Pagan for the 9th. If the Twins can stay relevant until they get some players back on the field, that would be an accomplishment given the injuries.
  13. Spencer is another example of the quality of young men the Twins are drafting, not just in terms of baseball ability, but also in terms of maturity and character. He has worked hard, improved his game, and should be at the MLB level either this year or the next. I think as the game seems to be evolving away from homerun/strikeout craziness, his ability to make consistent contact while still hitting with power will serve him well in the bigs.
  14. Thanks so much for the response. Great thoughts. I totally agree about placing young players too high and moving them too quickly. I think Steer is a good example of allowing a prospect to have success at each level before you move him. He started in the APPY League and progressed step by step through the ranks, becoming a better ballplayer in the process. Prospects will tell you by their performance when it is time to move them, and I think building confidence is a big part of long term success. Thanks again for all you do to provide us with information. Go Jackets.
  15. Great summary. You spoil us, Seth. What is your take on Martin? I keep expecting him to break out but he has not looked good, especially the past week or 10 days. It is interesting how prospects heat up--like Rodriguez--and hit slow periods--like Miller. It all goes to prove that player development is not linear. Actually, I think it is good for them to have some struggles on the way up as it contributes to their growth as players.
  16. I have to disagree. First, I am not suggesting that they trade him for 50 cents on the dollar as Sixel suggests, I am simply suggesting that he has not shown a lot in the field or at the plate this year. He now has almost a year's worth of at bats in the minors, and this year his BA, OBP, SLG, and OPS are all lower this year than last. His OBP has gone down since he was in the Toronto system, and there is no way he will maintain that in the bigs as the walks will be harder to come by as he climbs the ladder. He has 35 total extra base hits in 634 plate appearances. It is not secret that Toronto had concerns about how his game would translate to the pros, and the Twins have already announced that they are trying to get him to drive the ball more so that he can be successful in the majors. He is not doing so as yet. Arraez has a great on base perecentage but it is based on his ability to work counts and get hits, not simply by drawing walks. Look at the difference in batting averages. Finally, if you have watched his defensive performance at all this year and think he is doing well I have to disagree. I am not sure he has a defensive home, much like Arraez. I am not suggesting Steer is better, but I do not think the Twins would have promoted him over Martin if they thought Martin was ready. So, personally, I think Martin has a lot to prove before we say he is another Arraez.
  17. Honest question. I am curious what your take on Martin is. I have watched a lot of his games on MiLB tv and he has not impressed me, either defensively or offensively. Do you think there is more there, and if so, what do you think needs to be done to get him playing better and driving the ball more? I admit I am beginning to question whether he is a top prospect.
  18. What yesterday's results show is that the Twins have a lot of great young position players either in the majors--Miranda, Celestino, Lewis, Larnach, etc.--or the minors--Kirilloff, Steer, Wallner, etc.--who are major league ready. I would not be surprised to see them move one of them and/or one of the younger guys for pitching at the deadline as I think they need both bullpen and rotation help. They also have a lot of younger guys like Miller, CES, Rodriguez, and Cavaco that are showing promise. Throw in Sabato if he continues to improve and there are a lot more bats looking like they could help in the future. This is a fun year for the big league club and the farm system.
  19. It is really quite easy to come to this conclusion if you look at the game logs. After three games, his ERA was .59. Since then, his ERA has climbed to 5.57. Since the first three games, he has given up something like 25 earned runs in roughly 25 some innings. I am not suggesting he is the only problem, but I fear I must disagree with you that his game logs show anything other than a trend much like Shoemaker's last year.
  20. Berrios was obviously highly motivated against his old club. When he pitches like he did today, with his great stuff and good location, he is among the best. Unfortunately, he is just as likely to follow this game up with one where he gives up 6 runs. I always loved his passion, and how hard he worked to keep himself in shape and get better, so I am pulling for him--whenever he isn't playing the Twins. As for the Twins staff, Bundy and Archer look like the wheels are coming off, so I expect an additional arm will be added before the deadline. Likewise, the bullpen is going to need help, so it could be a busy summer for trades.
  21. The best news out of this game is that Buxton had three hits and a homerun. If Buck gets back on track it will be a huge plus. The second best news is Miranda getting two homeruns. Like with Buxton, if he gets untracked and more comfortable in the bigs, it will be a second huge plus.
  22. It is too early to judge this trade. Berríos might bounce back this year and in future years, or he could continue to struggle. Martin could breakout or remain a prospect that seems a tad overrated. SWR might also breakout this year, or he could swoon later this summer like he has in the past. Let’s revisit this a year or two from now. Frankly, Berríos never was as successful as he should have been given his stuff, but if he reaches his potential, he will be very good. That might be true of Martin and SWR as well.
  23. Thank you, Seth, for the information on Swain and Hanner. I saw Swain and Hanner last year and liked their stuff, but both had iffy control in the games I saw. Hanner really looks like he has solved that problem this year, and Swain has improved as well. I hope both get bumped up to see how they do at the next level. I will say it for the hundredth time, the pitching depth in this system is amazing and bodes well for the future.
  24. I agree with Bunsen82 that they have drafted a lot of shortstops, but I think the feeling is that prospects with shortstop skills are often able to transition with ease to third, second or an outfield position, so I wouldn't rule out a highly skilled shortstop for a pick. But I also agree with Bunsen82 that if Parada were to fall, he would be the pick, especially given Jeffers' struggles at the plate. I disagree with Mayo about college bats as the farm system and the MLB roster are full of college bats--Larnach, CES, Martin, Wallner, Sabato, etc. Plus, they have Kirilloff, Lewis, Miranda, and others ready for MLB duty. I would not mind it if the Twins went Lesko or Prielipp if the opportunity presented itself, especially in lieu of bat only players who don't have a real position.
  25. I love the article, Matt. Thank you. I love these archive displays as they bring back great memories, especially when accompanied by background stories. Baseball is so rich in history--it is great to see the Twins recognizing this and keeping the past alive.
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