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  1. The Minnesota Twins will be in the market for an answer at shortstop again in 2022. With Andrelton Simmons gone, they’ll inevitably have someone new covering the position. So, who will it be? Assuming Minnesota doesn’t decide to slide second basemen Jorge Polanco, back across the diamond, they’ll need an answer at shortstop for the upcoming season. Polanco going back to his old position would allow Luis Arraez to start and an avenue for consistent playing time geared towards Jose Miranda. That said, it’d also be a decision in reverse with Polanco having been moved off the position in an attempt to avoid his defensive deficiencies there. Having lost the 2021 season due to a torn ACL, Royce Lewis won’t be an option out of the gate, and Austin Martin looks more the part of an outfielder than an infielder. Fortunately for Derek Falvey, this free-agent crop is littered with good shortstop options. So, let’s rank them by considering a fit and potential contract. 5. Marcus Semien What a difference a year makes. Last offseason, the Twins were runner-up for Semien’s services before he chose the Toronto Blue Jays. At that time, the longtime Athletics infielder was coming off a .679 OPS in 2020. Fast-forward to where we are now, and he posted an .873 OPS with a career-high 45 home runs. Semien isn’t going to win the MVP, that’s ticketed for Shohei Ohtani, but he’ll be in the top five and could finish right behind teammate Vladimir Guerrero Jr. As a first-time All-Star, Semien just recently turned 31-years-old. He’s going to get paid and should be looking for no less than a four-year deal. Right now, that isn’t going to fit into the Twins plans given the uncertainty of Lewis’s future role. Coming off such a poor season, that type of commitment could pigeonhole Minnesota negatively in the immediate future. 4. Corey Seager If there’s a guy in this group that doesn’t change teams, I will bet on it being Seager. A second straight season with an OPS north of .900, the Dodgers shortstop has established himself as one of baseball’s best players. He’ll be 28-years-old next season and has spent his entire seven-year career with Los Angeles. Finding something in the range of six to eight years would seem suitable for him, and that’s not going to come cheap. After acquiring Trea Turner at the deadline this season, it would make sense for the Dodgers to run it back with their up-the-middle-duo. The Dodgers are also set to lose Chris Taylor to free agency this offseason, and some of that blow could be cushioned by retaining the services of Seager. He’s been so good for so long, and it’s plenty logical that his prime remains in front of him. 3. Carlos Correa Having just turned 27-years-old, Correa is the youngest option on this list, and he’s quite possibly the most talented. Injury concerns have been a part of his past, by the Astros shortstop did play in 148 games this season. His .850 OPS was not a career-high, but the 26 long balls were. Correa has the cheating scandal tied to him, but it’s clear that the talent is there with or without additional help. A serious on-base threat, Correa has posted a least a 124 OPS+ in five of his seven big-league seasons. He presents the combination of contact, power, and plus-defensive ability, which only enhances his premium at the position. I wouldn’t be shocked if he gets a bigger deal than Seager or Semien, but I think that could go either way, and I believe he’s the best bet for future success. 2. Trevor Story Once assumed to be ticketed out of Colorado at any point during the 2021 season, Story hung on and finished the year there. His .801 OPS was the second-lowest tally of his career, and his 24 dingers matched the lowest full-season totally of his career. Still posting a 103 OPS+, he was above league average, but there’s nothing about 2021 that substantially increased his earning potential. This is Story’s big chance for a long-term payday as well, which would seem counter-productive to the Twins plans. That said, if he’s open to a one-year deal in hopes of increasing his value, that’s where Minnesota should look to pounce. He, too, combines strong defense with contact and power, making the offensive addition equally as enticing. 1. Javier Baez This looked like a better fit when Minnesota still employed Baez’s brother-in-law, Jose Berrios. That said, the soon-to-be 29-year-old still fits wonderfully for the Twins. He’s an elite defender that should be looking to regain some positive momentum on a one-year deal, and Minnesota can afford to pay him handsomely over a single season. Baez posted a lackluster .775 OPS with the Chicago Cubs but turned it on to the tune of a .886 mark in 47 games with the New York Mets. His actual production is probably somewhere in the middle of that, but he should trend above the career .783 OPS as he enters his prime. Javy is an elite defender, can play on both sides of second base if needed and would be a great teacher for Minnesota’s blossoming infield talent. A fan and clubhouse favorite, this is where I’d throw my money if I held the Twins bankroll. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email View full article
  2. The Giants and Red Sox are two of the most successful franchises in baseball over the past 20 years but fell on hard times the previous couple of years. They’re back atop the league again, and they’re proving these three things are unnecessary ... Before we get into those three items, here’s a video that takes a bit of a deeper look at where the Giants and Red Sox were the past couple years and how they re-emerged after quiet offseasons. You Don’t Need A Rebuild All that recent success makes it easy to forget neither the Giants or Red Sox made the postseason the past two years (four years for the Giants). That’s especially noteworthy since 16 teams qualified for the playoffs in last year’s shortened season. With aging rosters and former stars on bloated contracts, both orgs were in the type of position where rebuilding had to have been considered. Yes, Boston traded away Mookie Betts prior to last season, but they never turned it into a full-on tear down, throw in the towel type situation. Meanwhile, several of the league’s bottom teams repeat their place in the standings year after year. Some organizations like the Houston Astros have made rebuilds work in the not-so-distant past, but they are looking more like the exception than the rule. Re-tooling can work. You Don’t Need A Flashy Offseason The Twins spent more on free agents this past offseason than both the Giants and Red Sox. The Twins shelled out $41.75 million while the Giants spent $41.35 million and the Red Sox were at $38.95 million. On the flip side, those teams actually acquired a greater number of players (10 signed for the Giants and eight for Boston), choosing to spread the wealth more than the Twins (six players). Meanwhile, the top two spending teams last winter (the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies) and three of the top-five spenders (adding the New York Mets) all missed the playoffs. And if there’s any team that “won” the 2020-21 offseason it was the San Diego Padres. That’s where their winning streak ended. The offseason most definitely matters — the 2021 Twins are as much proof of that as any team — but big splashes and flashy signings (or lack thereof) still don’t guarantee anything. You Don’t Need A Lavish Bullpen There are some expensive, big-name bullpens among this year’s playoff participants but Boston and San Francisco are not among them. The Red Sox have a couple of highly-paid members of their bullpen, but Garrett Richards isn’t there by design (he was signed as a starter) and Adam Ottavino was acquired as a salary dump. It’s not as if either of those guys is exactly a difference-maker, either. In fact, the Red Sox bullpen leader in WAR was Garrett Whitlock, their Rule 5 pick. They had eight different pitchers record saves in the second half alone, including former Twins great Hansel Robles. The Giants have done even more with a great deal less invested. They signed Jake McGee to a modest two-year, $7 million deal, just $2 million of which was paid this season. Oh, and he was their highest-paid reliever. McGee ended up as one of only nine pitchers to save 30 games this season. San Francisco had a handful of underpaid studs in their pen including Tyler Rogers, Jarlin Garcia, Jose Alvarez, Zack Littell (ouch) and Dominic Leone. When McGee went down, however, it was rookie Camilo Doval who stepped up and was the National League reliever of the month for September. He had a 4.99 ERA and a 7.0 BB/9 in 28 games at Triple-A this season! Sometimes a reliever just happens. That’s exactly the kind of thing the Twins need next year. The Giants ranked sixth in bullpen WAR (per FanGraphs) and the Red Sox were ninth, a spot ahead of the Mets, who ended the year with four of the top-20 paid relievers in baseball (Jeurys Familia, Brad Hand, Trevor May and Edwin Diaz). The Mets also only won four more games than the Twins this year. The Twins have a long way to go from 89 losses back to contention, but they don’t need to tear it down, have an extravagant offseason or spend big on risky bullpen arms to do so. The Giants and Red Sox are proof of that. View full article
  3. Relievers pitch limited innings, but their impact on the game can reverberate through a team’s season. Alex Colome came to the Twins with a successful track record, but things didn’t go as planned. So, does it make sense to sign a reliever to a big contract? Every winter, relievers hit the open market with a proven track record, but relief pitching is never a sure bet. Here is how the top free agent relievers have fared over the last three off-seasons. Last winter, the Chicago White Sox gave Liam Hendriks a three-year, $54 million contract. In his first Southside season, he impressed as he posted baseball’s highest reliever WAR. The other relievers to receive over $10 million per season were Brad Hand and Trevor Rosenthal. Rosenthal was limited to 23 2/3 innings, and Hand was worth -0.3 WAR in 68 appearances. Leading into the 2020 season, Atlanta signed Will Smith to a three-year, $40 million deal following an All-Star Season. Over the last two seasons, he has a 124 ERA+ and a 1.10 WHIP. The other big deals that winter were for Drew Pomeranz (four-years, $34 million) and Will Harris (three-years, $24 million). Pomeranz tore his flexor tendon, and this has limited him to 44 1/3 innings. Harris underwent surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome, and this limited him to 23 2/3 innings. During the 2019 winter, some of the best relievers in recent history all hit the free-agent market in the same offseason. Craig Kimbrel, Zack Britton, Andrew Miller, and David Roberston all signed for an average value of over $11.5 million. However, each of these players had mixed results during the life of their contract. Kimbrel struggled through the first two years before bouncing back in 2021 (191 ERA+). Britton dominated in the first two years of his deal (232 ERA+), but he underwent two surgeries to remove bone chips from his elbow this year. Age started to catch up with Miller as he posted a 4.12 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP during his two-year deal. Robertson was limited to 6 2/3 innings as he needed Tommy John surgery in 2019. Upcoming Free Agent Class This winter’s free-agent crop includes some well-known names, but many top names have questions about their future performance. Kenley Jansen, the top available reliever, is 34-years-old and has pitched a ton of innings throughout his career. Craig Kimbrel has a $16 million option with the White Sox that seems likely to be declined, but he is coming off a strong season. It seems unlikely for the Twins to target either of these options because of the associated costs ($10 million or more per season) and other risks. Other top-tier options seem closer to meet Minnesota’s needs and are available for a more reasonable amount. At 32-years-old, Raisel Iglesias is the youngest among the top-tier relievers. He has been one of baseball’s best relievers for six straight seasons, and this should net him a multi-year contract. Mark Melancon, the oldest top-tier reliever, posted some strong numbers this season (175 ERA+), but he is already 37-years-old. If Minnesota wants one of the top-tier options, Iglesias might be the safest bet. He can provide insurance for Taylor Rogers as he comes back from a finger injury, and he can help improve a bullpen group that improved significantly in the second half. To read more about these relievers and other off-season options, make sure to pre-order your copy of the 2022 Offseason Handbook. Designed to serve as an essential companion for the Twins offseason ahead, this digital Handbook places you in the shoes of the general manager, equipping you with all the information you need to construct your own team-building blueprint (or predict what the real front office will do). Should the Twins spend big on a reliever? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email View full article
  4. Assuming Minnesota doesn’t decide to slide second basemen Jorge Polanco, back across the diamond, they’ll need an answer at shortstop for the upcoming season. Polanco going back to his old position would allow Luis Arraez to start and an avenue for consistent playing time geared towards Jose Miranda. That said, it’d also be a decision in reverse with Polanco having been moved off the position in an attempt to avoid his defensive deficiencies there. Having lost the 2021 season due to a torn ACL, Royce Lewis won’t be an option out of the gate, and Austin Martin looks more the part of an outfielder than an infielder. Fortunately for Derek Falvey, this free-agent crop is littered with good shortstop options. So, let’s rank them by considering a fit and potential contract. 5. Marcus Semien What a difference a year makes. Last offseason, the Twins were runner-up for Semien’s services before he chose the Toronto Blue Jays. At that time, the longtime Athletics infielder was coming off a .679 OPS in 2020. Fast-forward to where we are now, and he posted an .873 OPS with a career-high 45 home runs. Semien isn’t going to win the MVP, that’s ticketed for Shohei Ohtani, but he’ll be in the top five and could finish right behind teammate Vladimir Guerrero Jr. As a first-time All-Star, Semien just recently turned 31-years-old. He’s going to get paid and should be looking for no less than a four-year deal. Right now, that isn’t going to fit into the Twins plans given the uncertainty of Lewis’s future role. Coming off such a poor season, that type of commitment could pigeonhole Minnesota negatively in the immediate future. 4. Corey Seager If there’s a guy in this group that doesn’t change teams, I will bet on it being Seager. A second straight season with an OPS north of .900, the Dodgers shortstop has established himself as one of baseball’s best players. He’ll be 28-years-old next season and has spent his entire seven-year career with Los Angeles. Finding something in the range of six to eight years would seem suitable for him, and that’s not going to come cheap. After acquiring Trea Turner at the deadline this season, it would make sense for the Dodgers to run it back with their up-the-middle-duo. The Dodgers are also set to lose Chris Taylor to free agency this offseason, and some of that blow could be cushioned by retaining the services of Seager. He’s been so good for so long, and it’s plenty logical that his prime remains in front of him. 3. Carlos Correa Having just turned 27-years-old, Correa is the youngest option on this list, and he’s quite possibly the most talented. Injury concerns have been a part of his past, by the Astros shortstop did play in 148 games this season. His .850 OPS was not a career-high, but the 26 long balls were. Correa has the cheating scandal tied to him, but it’s clear that the talent is there with or without additional help. A serious on-base threat, Correa has posted a least a 124 OPS+ in five of his seven big-league seasons. He presents the combination of contact, power, and plus-defensive ability, which only enhances his premium at the position. I wouldn’t be shocked if he gets a bigger deal than Seager or Semien, but I think that could go either way, and I believe he’s the best bet for future success. 2. Trevor Story Once assumed to be ticketed out of Colorado at any point during the 2021 season, Story hung on and finished the year there. His .801 OPS was the second-lowest tally of his career, and his 24 dingers matched the lowest full-season totally of his career. Still posting a 103 OPS+, he was above league average, but there’s nothing about 2021 that substantially increased his earning potential. This is Story’s big chance for a long-term payday as well, which would seem counter-productive to the Twins plans. That said, if he’s open to a one-year deal in hopes of increasing his value, that’s where Minnesota should look to pounce. He, too, combines strong defense with contact and power, making the offensive addition equally as enticing. 1. Javier Baez This looked like a better fit when Minnesota still employed Baez’s brother-in-law, Jose Berrios. That said, the soon-to-be 29-year-old still fits wonderfully for the Twins. He’s an elite defender that should be looking to regain some positive momentum on a one-year deal, and Minnesota can afford to pay him handsomely over a single season. Baez posted a lackluster .775 OPS with the Chicago Cubs but turned it on to the tune of a .886 mark in 47 games with the New York Mets. His actual production is probably somewhere in the middle of that, but he should trend above the career .783 OPS as he enters his prime. Javy is an elite defender, can play on both sides of second base if needed and would be a great teacher for Minnesota’s blossoming infield talent. A fan and clubhouse favorite, this is where I’d throw my money if I held the Twins bankroll. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  5. Every winter, relievers hit the open market with a proven track record, but relief pitching is never a sure bet. Here is how the top free agent relievers have fared over the last three off-seasons. Last winter, the Chicago White Sox gave Liam Hendriks a three-year, $54 million contract. In his first Southside season, he impressed as he posted baseball’s highest reliever WAR. The other relievers to receive over $10 million per season were Brad Hand and Trevor Rosenthal. Rosenthal was limited to 23 2/3 innings, and Hand was worth -0.3 WAR in 68 appearances. Leading into the 2020 season, Atlanta signed Will Smith to a three-year, $40 million deal following an All-Star Season. Over the last two seasons, he has a 124 ERA+ and a 1.10 WHIP. The other big deals that winter were for Drew Pomeranz (four-years, $34 million) and Will Harris (three-years, $24 million). Pomeranz tore his flexor tendon, and this has limited him to 44 1/3 innings. Harris underwent surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome, and this limited him to 23 2/3 innings. During the 2019 winter, some of the best relievers in recent history all hit the free-agent market in the same offseason. Craig Kimbrel, Zack Britton, Andrew Miller, and David Roberston all signed for an average value of over $11.5 million. However, each of these players had mixed results during the life of their contract. Kimbrel struggled through the first two years before bouncing back in 2021 (191 ERA+). Britton dominated in the first two years of his deal (232 ERA+), but he underwent two surgeries to remove bone chips from his elbow this year. Age started to catch up with Miller as he posted a 4.12 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP during his two-year deal. Robertson was limited to 6 2/3 innings as he needed Tommy John surgery in 2019. Upcoming Free Agent Class This winter’s free-agent crop includes some well-known names, but many top names have questions about their future performance. Kenley Jansen, the top available reliever, is 34-years-old and has pitched a ton of innings throughout his career. Craig Kimbrel has a $16 million option with the White Sox that seems likely to be declined, but he is coming off a strong season. It seems unlikely for the Twins to target either of these options because of the associated costs ($10 million or more per season) and other risks. Other top-tier options seem closer to meet Minnesota’s needs and are available for a more reasonable amount. At 32-years-old, Raisel Iglesias is the youngest among the top-tier relievers. He has been one of baseball’s best relievers for six straight seasons, and this should net him a multi-year contract. Mark Melancon, the oldest top-tier reliever, posted some strong numbers this season (175 ERA+), but he is already 37-years-old. If Minnesota wants one of the top-tier options, Iglesias might be the safest bet. He can provide insurance for Taylor Rogers as he comes back from a finger injury, and he can help improve a bullpen group that improved significantly in the second half. To read more about these relievers and other off-season options, make sure to pre-order your copy of the 2022 Offseason Handbook. Designed to serve as an essential companion for the Twins offseason ahead, this digital Handbook places you in the shoes of the general manager, equipping you with all the information you need to construct your own team-building blueprint (or predict what the real front office will do). Should the Twins spend big on a reliever? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  6. Before we get into those three items, here’s a video that takes a bit of a deeper look at where the Giants and Red Sox were the past couple years and how they re-emerged after quiet offseasons. You Don’t Need A Rebuild All that recent success makes it easy to forget neither the Giants or Red Sox made the postseason the past two years (four years for the Giants). That’s especially noteworthy since 16 teams qualified for the playoffs in last year’s shortened season. With aging rosters and former stars on bloated contracts, both orgs were in the type of position where rebuilding had to have been considered. Yes, Boston traded away Mookie Betts prior to last season, but they never turned it into a full-on tear down, throw in the towel type situation. Meanwhile, several of the league’s bottom teams repeat their place in the standings year after year. Some organizations like the Houston Astros have made rebuilds work in the not-so-distant past, but they are looking more like the exception than the rule. Re-tooling can work. You Don’t Need A Flashy Offseason The Twins spent more on free agents this past offseason than both the Giants and Red Sox. The Twins shelled out $41.75 million while the Giants spent $41.35 million and the Red Sox were at $38.95 million. On the flip side, those teams actually acquired a greater number of players (10 signed for the Giants and eight for Boston), choosing to spread the wealth more than the Twins (six players). Meanwhile, the top two spending teams last winter (the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies) and three of the top-five spenders (adding the New York Mets) all missed the playoffs. And if there’s any team that “won” the 2020-21 offseason it was the San Diego Padres. That’s where their winning streak ended. The offseason most definitely matters — the 2021 Twins are as much proof of that as any team — but big splashes and flashy signings (or lack thereof) still don’t guarantee anything. You Don’t Need A Lavish Bullpen There are some expensive, big-name bullpens among this year’s playoff participants but Boston and San Francisco are not among them. The Red Sox have a couple of highly-paid members of their bullpen, but Garrett Richards isn’t there by design (he was signed as a starter) and Adam Ottavino was acquired as a salary dump. It’s not as if either of those guys is exactly a difference-maker, either. In fact, the Red Sox bullpen leader in WAR was Garrett Whitlock, their Rule 5 pick. They had eight different pitchers record saves in the second half alone, including former Twins great Hansel Robles. The Giants have done even more with a great deal less invested. They signed Jake McGee to a modest two-year, $7 million deal, just $2 million of which was paid this season. Oh, and he was their highest-paid reliever. McGee ended up as one of only nine pitchers to save 30 games this season. San Francisco had a handful of underpaid studs in their pen including Tyler Rogers, Jarlin Garcia, Jose Alvarez, Zack Littell (ouch) and Dominic Leone. When McGee went down, however, it was rookie Camilo Doval who stepped up and was the National League reliever of the month for September. He had a 4.99 ERA and a 7.0 BB/9 in 28 games at Triple-A this season! Sometimes a reliever just happens. That’s exactly the kind of thing the Twins need next year. The Giants ranked sixth in bullpen WAR (per FanGraphs) and the Red Sox were ninth, a spot ahead of the Mets, who ended the year with four of the top-20 paid relievers in baseball (Jeurys Familia, Brad Hand, Trevor May and Edwin Diaz). The Mets also only won four more games than the Twins this year. The Twins have a long way to go from 89 losses back to contention, but they don’t need to tear it down, have an extravagant offseason or spend big on risky bullpen arms to do so. The Giants and Red Sox are proof of that.
  7. The Boston Red Sox and San Francisco Giants are two of the five teams still alive in the MLB postseason. They were both also outspent by the Minnesota Twins in free agency this past offseason. Here's a look back on the journey the Red Sox and Giants made back to the top of the baseball world despite not having flashy offseasons. Could the Twins replicate that success in 2022? View full video
  8. The Boston Red Sox and San Francisco Giants are two of the five teams still alive in the MLB postseason. They were both also outspent by the Minnesota Twins in free agency this past offseason. Here's a look back on the journey the Red Sox and Giants made back to the top of the baseball world despite not having flashy offseasons. Could the Twins replicate that success in 2022?
  9. Derek Falvey and Thad Levine took over a Minnesota Twins team that averaged 92.5 mph on four-seam fastballs. In their fifth year at the helm of the organization, the pitching staff averaged … 92.2 mph on four-seam fastballs. What gives? Before we dig into some of the numbers, here’s a quick video on a handful of harder-throwing starting pitchers who could be value targets for the Twins this offseason: Here is a team-by-team breakdown sorted by average four-seam fastball velocity. It’s color coded, so green is good and red is bad. The information below was gathered from FanGraphs. Team vFA ERA FIP xFIP WAR CHW 95.5 3.73 3.74 3.85 27.1 NYY 94.9 3.76 3.90 4.00 22.3 BOS 94.8 4.27 3.95 4.07 19.2 NYM 94.5 3.90 4.04 3.99 16.4 COL 94.5 4.83 4.47 4.38 13.4 SDP 94.4 4.10 4.18 4.08 12.8 CIN 94.3 4.41 4.34 4.18 16.2 ATL 94.3 3.89 4.08 4.09 15.9 LAD 94.1 3.03 3.54 3.75 26.9 TBR 94.1 3.67 3.79 3.97 18.7 PHI 94.1 4.39 4.15 4.02 17.9 DET 94.1 4.32 4.60 4.65 10.2 KCR 94.0 4.65 4.39 4.52 12.5 CLE 93.9 4.34 4.43 4.27 10.2 MIA 93.8 3.96 4.01 4.21 15.1 SFG 93.7 3.25 3.55 3.87 21.9 TEX 93.6 4.80 4.76 4.57 4.5 TOR 93.5 3.91 4.18 4.06 14.6 STL 93.4 4.00 4.30 4.66 12.1 PIT 93.4 5.08 4.74 4.70 5.0 WSN 93.3 4.82 4.87 4.53 6.5 MIL 93.2 3.50 3.72 3.75 23.5 HOU 93.2 3.78 4.12 4.12 16.9 OAK 93.2 4.02 4.10 4.35 15.1 SEA 93.2 4.30 4.26 4.47 14.3 CHC 93.0 4.88 4.88 4.43 4.9 LAA 92.9 4.68 4.25 4.26 15.4 BAL 92.9 5.85 5.15 4.91 7.9 MIN 92.2 4.83 4.66 4.44 8.2 ARI 92.2 5.15 4.88 4.85 4.0 As you can see, there’s a fairly strong correlation between teams that throw harder and success. Not only are the Twins near the bottom, there’s also a significant gap between them and the Orioles. That 0.7 mph gap is the same as what separates the fourth-place team from the 15th. Let’s switch things up a bit and look at pitches in excess of 95.0 mph instead of average fastball velocity. The information below was gathered from Baseball Savant. The color-coded column is percent of pitches thrown at least 95.0 mph. CWS 27.9 6626 23713 NYY 21.5 5112 23761 BOS 20.8 5033 24193 MIL 20.7 4966 23967 NYM 21.4 4799 22405 PHI 20.0 4745 23739 MIA 20.5 4704 22990 COL 20.0 4603 22960 DET 18.1 4339 23914 CIN 17.6 4316 24548 ATL 18.5 4294 23228 LAD 18.3 4187 22927 TB 17.4 4027 23169 KC 16.5 4017 24307 TOR 16.6 3911 23549 SD 14.0 3386 24196 OAK 14.4 3325 23102 STL 14.1 3299 23419 WSH 13.2 3125 23732 SEA 13.0 3111 23859 CLE 13.0 3057 23459 BAL 10.6 2598 24474 SF 10.4 2386 22859 HOU 9.9 2368 23917 CHC 9.4 2238 23877 PIT 9.3 2225 24045 TEX 8.3 1967 23586 LAA 7.6 1847 24415 MIN 6.4 1516 23714 ARI 5.0 1188 23827 Being 29th is bad enough, but even if the Twins were to double the number of pitches that were 95+ mph they’d still only rank 22nd. The Kansas City Royals threw 2,501 more pitches 95+ mph than the Twins — or 15 more per game played — and they barely rank in the top half of the league themselves. Do the Twins have an aversion to high-velocity pitchers? That seems like a crazy question to ask, but let’s take a look at some former Twins prospects who were shipped out in trades. 2021 % of Pitches 95.0+ mph 66.0 Brusdar Graterol 44.2 Luis Gil 38.4 Huascar Ynoa 15.1 MLB Average 6.4 Minnesota Twins Graterol (Kenta Maeda trade), Gil (Jake Cave trade) and Ynoa (Jaime Garcia trade) all have well above average velo, all were traded away. They also just lost Edwar Colina and his triple-digit heat to waivers. Are the Twins actively avoiding high-octane pitchers? At the very least it sure doesn't feel like they’re making them a priority. This seems like a great time to revisit the Twins carpool commercial from 2007 featuring Johan Santana and Joe Nathan. That’s how you win Cy Youngs, baby! While this ia a velocity-obsessed article, pitching in the big leagues is obviously about more than just throwing hard. It sure does seem to help, though. While the lack of velo is nothing new for the Twins, to be fair, it didn’t prevent them from having successful pitching staffs the previous couple years. Here’s a look at some the numbers throughout the Falvey-era: Minnesota Twins Four-Seam Fastball Velo 2021: 29th, 92.2 mph (26th in ERA) 2020: 30th, 92.0 mph (4th in ERA) 2019: 24th, 93.0 mph (9th in ERA) 2018: 21st, 92.7 mph (22nd in ERA) 2017: 30th, 92.4 mph (19th in ERA) Still, any pitcher who tells you he wouldn’t like to throw harder is either a liar or in denial. View full article
  10. The Minnesota Twins had one of MLB's worst pitching staffs and ranked at the bottom of the league in terms of velocity. Here are five free agent pitchers available this offseason who I could envision the Twins targeting who could both help the staff and bring some velo. View full video
  11. Before we dig into some of the numbers, here’s a quick video on a handful of harder-throwing starting pitchers who could be value targets for the Twins this offseason: Here is a team-by-team breakdown sorted by average four-seam fastball velocity. It’s color coded, so green is good and red is bad. The information below was gathered from FanGraphs. Team vFA ERA FIP xFIP WAR CHW 95.5 3.73 3.74 3.85 27.1 NYY 94.9 3.76 3.90 4.00 22.3 BOS 94.8 4.27 3.95 4.07 19.2 NYM 94.5 3.90 4.04 3.99 16.4 COL 94.5 4.83 4.47 4.38 13.4 SDP 94.4 4.10 4.18 4.08 12.8 CIN 94.3 4.41 4.34 4.18 16.2 ATL 94.3 3.89 4.08 4.09 15.9 LAD 94.1 3.03 3.54 3.75 26.9 TBR 94.1 3.67 3.79 3.97 18.7 PHI 94.1 4.39 4.15 4.02 17.9 DET 94.1 4.32 4.60 4.65 10.2 KCR 94.0 4.65 4.39 4.52 12.5 CLE 93.9 4.34 4.43 4.27 10.2 MIA 93.8 3.96 4.01 4.21 15.1 SFG 93.7 3.25 3.55 3.87 21.9 TEX 93.6 4.80 4.76 4.57 4.5 TOR 93.5 3.91 4.18 4.06 14.6 STL 93.4 4.00 4.30 4.66 12.1 PIT 93.4 5.08 4.74 4.70 5.0 WSN 93.3 4.82 4.87 4.53 6.5 MIL 93.2 3.50 3.72 3.75 23.5 HOU 93.2 3.78 4.12 4.12 16.9 OAK 93.2 4.02 4.10 4.35 15.1 SEA 93.2 4.30 4.26 4.47 14.3 CHC 93.0 4.88 4.88 4.43 4.9 LAA 92.9 4.68 4.25 4.26 15.4 BAL 92.9 5.85 5.15 4.91 7.9 MIN 92.2 4.83 4.66 4.44 8.2 ARI 92.2 5.15 4.88 4.85 4.0 As you can see, there’s a fairly strong correlation between teams that throw harder and success. Not only are the Twins near the bottom, there’s also a significant gap between them and the Orioles. That 0.7 mph gap is the same as what separates the fourth-place team from the 15th. Let’s switch things up a bit and look at pitches in excess of 95.0 mph instead of average fastball velocity. The information below was gathered from Baseball Savant. The color-coded column is percent of pitches thrown at least 95.0 mph. CWS 27.9 6626 23713 NYY 21.5 5112 23761 BOS 20.8 5033 24193 MIL 20.7 4966 23967 NYM 21.4 4799 22405 PHI 20.0 4745 23739 MIA 20.5 4704 22990 COL 20.0 4603 22960 DET 18.1 4339 23914 CIN 17.6 4316 24548 ATL 18.5 4294 23228 LAD 18.3 4187 22927 TB 17.4 4027 23169 KC 16.5 4017 24307 TOR 16.6 3911 23549 SD 14.0 3386 24196 OAK 14.4 3325 23102 STL 14.1 3299 23419 WSH 13.2 3125 23732 SEA 13.0 3111 23859 CLE 13.0 3057 23459 BAL 10.6 2598 24474 SF 10.4 2386 22859 HOU 9.9 2368 23917 CHC 9.4 2238 23877 PIT 9.3 2225 24045 TEX 8.3 1967 23586 LAA 7.6 1847 24415 MIN 6.4 1516 23714 ARI 5.0 1188 23827 Being 29th is bad enough, but even if the Twins were to double the number of pitches that were 95+ mph they’d still only rank 22nd. The Kansas City Royals threw 2,501 more pitches 95+ mph than the Twins — or 15 more per game played — and they barely rank in the top half of the league themselves. Do the Twins have an aversion to high-velocity pitchers? That seems like a crazy question to ask, but let’s take a look at some former Twins prospects who were shipped out in trades. 2021 % of Pitches 95.0+ mph 66.0 Brusdar Graterol 44.2 Luis Gil 38.4 Huascar Ynoa 15.1 MLB Average 6.4 Minnesota Twins Graterol (Kenta Maeda trade), Gil (Jake Cave trade) and Ynoa (Jaime Garcia trade) all have well above average velo, all were traded away. They also just lost Edwar Colina and his triple-digit heat to waivers. Are the Twins actively avoiding high-octane pitchers? At the very least it sure doesn't feel like they’re making them a priority. This seems like a great time to revisit the Twins carpool commercial from 2007 featuring Johan Santana and Joe Nathan. That’s how you win Cy Youngs, baby! While this ia a velocity-obsessed article, pitching in the big leagues is obviously about more than just throwing hard. It sure does seem to help, though. While the lack of velo is nothing new for the Twins, to be fair, it didn’t prevent them from having successful pitching staffs the previous couple years. Here’s a look at some the numbers throughout the Falvey-era: Minnesota Twins Four-Seam Fastball Velo 2021: 29th, 92.2 mph (26th in ERA) 2020: 30th, 92.0 mph (4th in ERA) 2019: 24th, 93.0 mph (9th in ERA) 2018: 21st, 92.7 mph (22nd in ERA) 2017: 30th, 92.4 mph (19th in ERA) Still, any pitcher who tells you he wouldn’t like to throw harder is either a liar or in denial.
  12. The Minnesota Twins had one of MLB's worst pitching staffs and ranked at the bottom of the league in terms of velocity. Here are five free agent pitchers available this offseason who I could envision the Twins targeting who could both help the staff and bring some velo.
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