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  1. It`s nice to have money like NYY to be able buy expensive, proven, developed, polished players. These exceptional players I will convey them as "diamonds". Most teams have to settle for what`s left over in FA or try to scout, draft, develop & trade for prospects that have great potential to become "diamonds" or what I`ll call "diamonds in the rough". They are & should be valued & hard to come by because teams don`t want to give them up. Some get lucky get a prospect which quickly shine & develop into stars other prospects need a lot of patience. Stars like Cruz & Donaldson developed later in life. When a "diamond in the rough" has a set back & develop slower some teams & fans are ready to devalue & dispense of them which normally proves regrettable. Of course a true evaluation is needed to determine if indeed you have a diamond or a lump of coal. But once it`s determined you have to be patient. I believe Romero could be a "diamond in the rough". Pertaining to pitching teams like Cleveland & LA have a system to eye & develop "diamonds in the rough". Cleveland like us are low market they never are buyers of "diamonds" but always sellers, which produces resources to obtain more "diamonds in the rough". LA & Cleveland hold onto their "diamond in the roughs". This is what I aspire for the Twins, w/ Wes Johnson to obtain & develop these "diamonds in the rough" where we have a steady influx of aces & cull out when needed.We need to hold onto our "diamonds in the rough" like LA so I was disappointed when we traded Graterol. LA really develop their pitchers so when you get a pitcher from them, they aren`t much up side for improvement. On the other hand a team like PIT does not, so a pitcher from them, there is a lot of up side for improvement. Therefore a pitcher like Archer I am very high on. He could have been very cheap but now his stock is constantly rising. People look at him & say look at his stats even at Tampa they weren`t that impressive. At Tampa, everyone saw his potential so PIT got him & couldn`t develop him. With new coaching at PIT, Archer will take off but not as much as if we had him here at MN, he should have been pursued. Jon Gray is another "diamond in the rough" which his stats don`t show his true value. At Colorado the ball really carrys so they stress GP% & pitchers are limited to that style. MN has a lot of very good pitching prospects but I featured Romero, Graterol, Archer & J Gray because they are under valued. Although I enjoy watching "diamonds" pitch, I get excited about "diamond in the rough" because that`s where the greatest value & opportunities lay.
  2. Couple links about this story this AM. Phil Miller of the Strib says: "The Twins’ piece of the blockbuster Mookie Betts trade has reportedly stalled the rest of the deal, plunging Minnesota’s acquisition of Dodgers righthander Kenta Maeda into doubt on Wednesday, a major league source confirmed. Talks are continuing, the source said, and the deal could still be salvaged. But a review of Brusdar Graterol’s medical records by the Red Sox has raised issues that the teams are working to resolve." More below: https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/28644920/prospect-health-holds-3-team-trade-involving-mookie-betts http://www.startribune.com/trade-of-brusdar-graterol-called-into-doubt-because-of-medical-records/567611702/
  3. For more precise discussion I decided to open this blog. I have great hopes for Graterol! What we need most is starting pitching, we need him to work on what needs to be worked on thru spring training & minors until he`s ready. Then take him slow, maybe use him as an opener & gradually increase his innings. He has pretty good spin rate. Seems like most of the top pitchers both SP & RP have high spin rates. All top pitching teams are going after (Astros, Indians & Rays) high spin pitchers. Can high spin rate be taught? High strike zone pitchers like ODO do well w/ high spin rate it seems. Don`t you think that the go after high spin rate pitchers? Chris Stratton, Pirates has very high spin rates & isn`t pursued. Any issues he may have can be worked on. I`m anxious to hear from others in what you think!
  4. So we whiffed in FA and now we have the feeling that we never really had a chance and no one wants to come here! Boo hoo! People say trade the prospects. Wait a minute - they have to come here. They have no choice. For six years they are ours. So lets play them. Cleveland where our FO was trained moved their prospects up to their team and have had a good winning record for a few years now. Forget where they were in the minors - many teams are now running players out at a much younger age - see Acuna (22), Soto (19), Tatis 20, Jimenez (23), Lindor (22), Corey Seager (21), Corea (21), Gleyber Torres (22)... Forget the lets play keep them in the minors for years and push them forward. Noah Syndergaard is one of our targets and he is 26 and came in to the league at 22. Many players have started young and succeeded: Vada Pinson, RF: 19 years, 247 days in 1958 (Reds) ... Sibby Sisti, 2B: 19 years, 265 days in 1940 (Bees) ... Brooks Robinson, 3B: 19 years, 332 days in 1957 (Orioles) ... Rogers Hornsby, SS: 19 years, 351 days in 1916 (Cardinals) ... Adrian Beltre, 3B: 19 years, 363 days in 1999 (Dodgers) Lewis is still our number one rated player - put him at 3B if you want to put Sano at 1B. If he is not ready put Kiriloff, Rooker, or Raley at 1B. If Wade or Kiriloff is better than Cave then replace cave. Put Kiriloff or Larnach in LF since people complain about Eddie Rosario. If Lewis is going to take Marwin's place give him time at all the positions. Then package Gonzales, Rosario, and Cave and instead of trading prospects trade these players for Boyd or some other starter. I want to see the team start to push the envelop and get away from scraping up the crumbs at the end of FA. In other words, what is the plan?
  5. Brusdar Graterol made his much-anticipated debut this afternoon as part of the Twins' 8-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers. The 21-year old has been raising eyebrows and expectations primarily because of his velocity and the impact he could make down he stretch run and hopefully a long run into the playoffs. Comparisons have been made and dreams have been dreamt of the Twins striking gold for this year in much the same way the Angels did in 2004 with Francisco "K-Rod" Rodriguez. Graterol pitched a scoreless ninth to close out the victory for the Twins, as they were able to stretch the lead in the AL Central over Cleveland to 5.5 games. This was a great way for a guy like Graterol to make his debut: a low leverage situation against a weak offense. And he performed. His first pitch as a big leaguer was advertised on TV broadcasts at 100 MPH because of rounding. Baseball Savant had it at 99.6. This would be a good time to note that I am not projecting anything about how hard Graterol may throw in the future or analyzing how hard he threw in the minors - just a few thoughts on how hard he threw today. Graterol began his outing with a four-pitch strikeout of Dawel Lugo. Lugo didn't swing at any of the four, which came in at 99.6, 99.3, 99, and 98.5 MPH. Graterol then faced Brandon Dixon, who hit a single on the fifth pitch of the AB and second slider. To Dixon, Graterol threw three fastballs at 98.5, 99.1, and 98.6 MPH. Then Jordy Mercer saw two fastballs at 99.3 and 98.5, a slider at 88.1 and hit a 98.7 MPH fastball for an infield single. The first pitch to Jake Rogers was another 99.6 MPH fastball (tying his first pitch for the fastest of the outing) for a game-ending double play. So what did he throw today? Overall, there were 14 pitches with 10 for strikes. His fastball accounted for 11 pitches and 8 strikes. He topped out twice at 99.6 MPH with his first and final pitches. His fastball averaged 99 MPH and none were thrown slower than 98.5 MPH. And here is why that matters to Twins fans. After 14 pitches, Brusdar Graterol now sits in positions 2-7 for individual pitch velocity by Minnesota Twins this year. Position #1 is still held (for now) by Trevor May who hit 99.8 MPH on August 5 against Atlanta's Johan Camargo. Extend that out throughout the Statcast era (since 2015) and Graterol is tied for third in individual pitch velocity behind that May 99.8 MPH pea, a 99.7 MPH fastball thrown by Ryan Pressly in 2016 and tied with a 99.6 MPH pitch thrown by JT Chargois in 2016 also. For a long time, the Twins have been left out (somewhat intentionally and also unintentionally) from baseball's growing velocities. In Brusdar Graterol, Twins fans have someone exciting to watch who has the potential for missing lots of bats. Ironic note to end: Graterol missed exactly zero bats today against the Tigers. But that will change.
  6. Eric Longenhagen and Kiley McDaniel have released their Top 100 Prospect List with brief summaries of each player. They have also added simple charts for each player, estimating the probability of future value. I like the charts because they are a reminder of how few players become MLB regulars. No big surprises with the list: 6. Lewis 16. Kirilloff 64. Graterol 99. Larnach The list includes 30 bonus players so that all 50FV players are included. "Kirilloff has a one in six chance of turning into Joey Votto".
  7. Bowden top 100 and TD top 20 The TD list and the Bowden rankings Once again I am interested in the ratings of Bowden just to give us a national perspective. This is not about right or wrong. I cannot judge any of them, but I do enjoy the ratings: 20. Jose Miranda, 2B/3B 19. Jorge Alcala, RHP 18. LaMonte Wade, OF 17. Zack Littell, RHP 16. Gilberto Celestino, OF 15. Yunior Severino, 2B 14. Ben Rortvedt, C 13. Ryan Jeffers, C 12. Stephen Gonsalves, LHP 11. Nick Gordon, SS 177 10. Akil Baddoo, OF Balazovic 170 9. Blayne Enlow, RHP 8. Lewis Thorpe, LHP 162 7. Jhoan Duran, RHP 181 6. Brent Rooker, 1B/LF 5. Wander Javier, SS 4. Trevor Larnach, OF 3. Brusdar Graterol, RHP 66 2. Alex Kirilloff, OF 10 TD Top Prospect: #1- Royce Lewis 7 The result of Bowdens ratings would have the top rookies for the Twins as 1. Lewis 2. Kiriloff 3. Graterol 4. Thorpe 5. Balazovic 6. Gordon 7. Duran I like this rating, but I am not an expert on prospects (not even close).
  8. Baseball Prospectus has issued their Top 101 Prospects for 2019. The basic list is free for all interested. They issued a slew of supporting articles but they are protected by paywall. I need to resubscribe. Lewis, Kirilloff and Graterol make the grade but in a different order than usual. Larnach is on the "10 Just Missed" list.
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