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Found 12 results

  1. It has been a strange year but the time has come to build this dream together. Here’s to a long and fruitful postseason.
  2. It's time.It has been a strange year but the time has come to build this dream together. Here’s to a long and fruitful postseason. Click here to view the article
  3. If there is one thing you should remember from this article it is that Logan Forsythe rarely swings the bat. Over the last two seasons, Joe Mauer offered at 36 percent of pitches thrown his direction. The only person who swung less than that was Logan Forsythe. He deemed just 34 percent of pitches worthy of his lumber. So when a rare event like a Logan Forsythe swing transpired, you would want results that were worthy of the wait. He is sort of the infield version of Robbie Grossman -- likes to gamble that the pitcher can’t throw two consecutive strikes when down in the count. The Dodgers, however, were not fans of this passive approach of letting very hittable pitches scurry by. If there is a second thing you should remember from this article it is that Logan Forsythe did hit a healthy number of home runs, once upon a time. In 2015, Forsythe hit 17 home runs with the Rays. He followed that up with another 20 in 2016. His play was enticing enough that, when the Twins balked at trading Dozier in 2017, the Dodgers flipped a solid pitching prospect for Forsythe instead. However, upon his arrival to Los Angeles, he stopped hitting for power. There were various ailments cited -- a toe injury in April 2017 and a shoulder injury in April 2018 -- that zapped some of his power potential and limited his time on the field. While those are all factors for the power outage, there is also a component of his swing that changed significantly between 2016 and now. Watch the clip of his swing in 2016 (right) compared to 2018 (left): Both swings are against 93 MPH fastballs away from left-handed pitchers, thrown in plus-counts when a hitter should be hunting. For the most part the swings are similar but Forsythe has toned down his pre-launch bat movement since 2016. The added movement before the launch equated to more bat speed. It's simple: less bat speed, less exit velocity. For whatever reason -- a coach’s instruction, a tip from a player, his own development and feel, etc -- Forsythe has removed this element of his swing. In doing so, his average exit velocity has dropped, his average launch angle has decreased, and his ability to drive the ball to right field for power has declined as well (he hit 10 home runs to right in 2015-2016 and has zero since). There is a lot to like about Forsythe’s ability to get the barrel to the ball. He’s a barrel turner (as opposed to someone who hacks down). Watch as his hands turn the barrel rearward before rotating forward to contact. This gets the barrel on plane longer and allows for him to stay back longer instead of drifting toward the pitcher. The other thing to appreciate is that Forsythe actually has a two-strike approach -- something that isn’t always shared by his contemporaries. In two-strike situations Forsythe tones down, eliminating the leg kick and long distance hand load, to try to wait as long as possible and adjust on off-speed pitches: Forsythe rarely chases breaking balls out of the zone. According to ESPN/TruMedia’s data, since 2017 he’s reached on just 14.3 percent of breaking balls outside of the zone whereas the average hitter has done so on just over 30 percent. For comparison’s sake, Joe Mauer has even chased after 23 percent of breaking balls in that time. Forsythe will swing through some (8 percent, same as Mauer) and the results aren’t great when he does make contact (a .588 OPS vs .657 MLB average) but with baseball’s increasing reliance on nasty breaking balls, being able to wait back and keep from chasing after those pitches is rare skill set. Since coming over to the Twins, Forsythe has been some sort of bizarro Shannon Stewart and has been a spark plug for the offense. The offense, of course, isn’t going anywhere except home in October but Forsythe’s play has at least kept the team from improving its draft position. This isn’t meant to read as a sales pitch to the Twins to try to retain Logan Forsythe. A week ago, Seth Stohs asked “What To Do With Logan Forsythe” and the prevailing sentiment seemed to be “drive him to the airport”. When he was acquired, it was accepted that Forsythe was a placeholder until the end of the year. That should probably stay, but night after night he’s piled on the hits and has given the front office, at the very least, a mild case of the considerations. Truthfully, this is probably more of a sales pitch for contending teams interested in an additional bench bat or utility player. If someone is willing to surrender a prospect or project to have a high-contact right-handed bat on the bench for the playoffs (there’s got to be a team interested in a player who can put the ball in play in a pinch) the Twins should absolutely move him. What’s more, Forsythe would also come with untapped power potential if someone could convince him to rekindle his 2016 swing. If there is a third thing you should remember from this article it is that it ended.
  4. Logan Forsythe’s 19-game run with the Minnesota Twins has been fairly remarkable. In the time since he came over from the Dodgers in the Brian Dozier trade, Forsythe has led the team in batting average (.377) and on-base percentage (.434). Yes, a little over two weeks is the poster child for small sample size enthusiasts and having half of your hits come on ground balls isn’t exactly a roadmap for sustainability, yet Forsythe has looked good considering he was flotsam in LA. While the hits have been nice, it’s a far cry from his days with the Tampa Bay Rays where he was hitting double-digit dingers.If there is one thing you should remember from this article it is that Logan Forsythe rarely swings the bat. Over the last two seasons, Joe Mauer offered at 36 percent of pitches thrown his direction. The only person who swung less than that was Logan Forsythe. He deemed just 34 percent of pitches worthy of his lumber. So when a rare event like a Logan Forsythe swing transpired, you would want results that were worthy of the wait. He is sort of the infield version of Robbie Grossman -- likes to gamble that the pitcher can’t throw two consecutive strikes when down in the count. The Dodgers, however, were not fans of this passive approach of letting very hittable pitches scurry by. If there is a second thing you should remember from this article it is that Logan Forsythe did hit a healthy number of home runs, once upon a time. In 2015, Forsythe hit 17 home runs with the Rays. He followed that up with another 20 in 2016. His play was enticing enough that, when the Twins balked at trading Dozier in 2017, the Dodgers flipped a solid pitching prospect for Forsythe instead. However, upon his arrival to Los Angeles, he stopped hitting for power. There were various ailments cited -- a toe injury in April 2017 and a shoulder injury in April 2018 -- that zapped some of his power potential and limited his time on the field. While those are all factors for the power outage, there is also a component of his swing that changed significantly between 2016 and now. Watch the clip of his swing in 2016 (right) compared to 2018 (left): Download attachment: FSFrameGIFImage (4).GIF Both swings are against 93 MPH fastballs away from left-handed pitchers, thrown in plus-counts when a hitter should be hunting. For the most part the swings are similar but Forsythe has toned down his pre-launch bat movement since 2016. Download attachment: FSFrameGIFImage.GIF The added movement before the launch equated to more bat speed. It's simple: less bat speed, less exit velocity. For whatever reason -- a coach’s instruction, a tip from a player, his own development and feel, etc -- Forsythe has removed this element of his swing. In doing so, his average exit velocity has dropped, his average launch angle has decreased, and his ability to drive the ball to right field for power has declined as well (he hit 10 home runs to right in 2015-2016 and has zero since). There is a lot to like about Forsythe’s ability to get the barrel to the ball. He’s a barrel turner (as opposed to someone who hacks down). Watch as his hands turn the barrel rearward before rotating forward to contact. This gets the barrel on plane longer and allows for him to stay back longer instead of drifting toward the pitcher. Download attachment: FSFrameGIFImage (1).GIF The other thing to appreciate is that Forsythe actually has a two-strike approach -- something that isn’t always shared by his contemporaries. In two-strike situations Forsythe tones down, eliminating the leg kick and long distance hand load, to try to wait as long as possible and adjust on off-speed pitches: Download attachment: FSFrameGIFImage (3).GIF Forsythe rarely chases breaking balls out of the zone. According to ESPN/TruMedia’s data, since 2017 he’s reached on just 14.3 percent of breaking balls outside of the zone whereas the average hitter has done so on just over 30 percent. For comparison’s sake, Joe Mauer has even chased after 23 percent of breaking balls in that time. Forsythe will swing through some (8 percent, same as Mauer) and the results aren’t great when he does make contact (a .588 OPS vs .657 MLB average) but with baseball’s increasing reliance on nasty breaking balls, being able to wait back and keep from chasing after those pitches is rare skill set. Since coming over to the Twins, Forsythe has been some sort of bizarro Shannon Stewart and has been a spark plug for the offense. The offense, of course, isn’t going anywhere except home in October but Forsythe’s play has at least kept the team from improving its draft position. This isn’t meant to read as a sales pitch to the Twins to try to retain Logan Forsythe. A week ago, Seth Stohs asked “What To Do With Logan Forsythe” and the prevailing sentiment seemed to be “drive him to the airport”. When he was acquired, it was accepted that Forsythe was a placeholder until the end of the year. That should probably stay, but night after night he’s piled on the hits and has given the front office, at the very least, a mild case of the considerations. Truthfully, this is probably more of a sales pitch for contending teams interested in an additional bench bat or utility player. If someone is willing to surrender a prospect or project to have a high-contact right-handed bat on the bench for the playoffs (there’s got to be a team interested in a player who can put the ball in play in a pinch) the Twins should absolutely move him. What’s more, Forsythe would also come with untapped power potential if someone could convince him to rekindle his 2016 swing. If there is a third thing you should remember from this article it is that it ended. Click here to view the article
  5. Willians Astudillo is one savvy motherforker. He’s not even 27 years old yet but he’s got the savvy moves of a much older, wiser veteran. We already know that Astudillo is sneaky. Behind the plate during spring training, Astudillo caught the Yankees’ Shane Robinson . It was a move Astudillo has pulled out several times in his winter league career in Venezuela. On Wednesday night, however, he was at third base and the crafty Astudillo pulled the hidden ball trick out in broad daylight.First, take a look at the play Let’s break this sucker down for a moment. The throw comes in from right field, relayed to third where Tigers’ prospect Dawel Lugo had just advanced. Astudillo, who catches the ball on a hop, looks around to find former Twins player Doug Mientkiewicz, the manager and third base coach of the Toledo Mudhens, approaching Lugo for a quick chat and confidence builder at the bag. Astudillo told MiLB.com’s Josh Horton afterward that this was when he knew they had a chance to pull it off. "As soon as I got the ball, I looked at the third-base coach [Toledo skipper Doug Mientkiewicz] and the runner, and they were looking different ways. Petit was the only one who knew that I had the ball in the glove, and then the pitcher, and it worked. It worked the whole time," Astudillo told Horton. On the mound at the time was recent acquisition Chase De Jong. From De Jong’s perspective, he thought Astudillo was messing around. "I'm starting to walk back to the mound and I'm upset. I'm asking [Astudillo] for the ball, and he sort of just gives me a quick head shake, like a quick 'no,'" the right-hander told reporters. "And he's kind of a jokester, so I'm thinking, 'All right, now's not the best time to be joking with me.' So I ask for the ball again and he shakes his head again and I'm like, 'OK, something's up.'” It was great salesmanship all around as Lugo, of course, started to wander off the base and Astudillo quickly applied the tag. It’s a rarity for sure, but things like the hidden ball trick are one of the reasons why baseball might just be the greatest game on Earth. Click here to view the article
  6. First, take a look at the play https://twitter.com/MorrieSilver8/status/1027573652278177792 Let’s break this sucker down for a moment. The throw comes in from right field, relayed to third where Tigers’ prospect Dawel Lugo had just advanced. Astudillo, who catches the ball on a hop, looks around to find former Twins player Doug Mientkiewicz, the manager and third base coach of the Toledo Mudhens, approaching Lugo for a quick chat and confidence builder at the bag. Astudillo told MiLB.com’s Josh Horton afterward that this was when he knew they had a chance to pull it off. "As soon as I got the ball, I looked at the third-base coach [Toledo skipper Doug Mientkiewicz] and the runner, and they were looking different ways. Petit was the only one who knew that I had the ball in the glove, and then the pitcher, and it worked. It worked the whole time," Astudillo told Horton. On the mound at the time was recent acquisition Chase De Jong. From De Jong’s perspective, he thought Astudillo was messing around. "I'm starting to walk back to the mound and I'm upset. I'm asking [Astudillo] for the ball, and he sort of just gives me a quick head shake, like a quick 'no,'" the right-hander told reporters. "And he's kind of a jokester, so I'm thinking, 'All right, now's not the best time to be joking with me.' So I ask for the ball again and he shakes his head again and I'm like, 'OK, something's up.'” It was great salesmanship all around as Lugo, of course, started to wander off the base and Astudillo quickly applied the tag. It’s a rarity for sure, but things like the hidden ball trick are one of the reasons why baseball might just be the greatest game on Earth.
  7. The 2016 Minnesota Twins season was bad. Sure, you can look at how many games the team lost and infer that, however, you can also watch this one minute and thirty second video montage and see just how horrific the play actually was. For those unable to see the embedded Twitter post, click here. https://twitter.com/ParkerHageman/status/782585687144968192 Here's to a better 2017.
  8. I don't know if there is a better way to summarize the 2016 Minnesota Twins season than overthrowing your catcher when you are trying to intentionally walk a batter. https://twitter.com/ParkerHageman/status/779064548695375876 Minnesota Twins' Pat Light now joins that elite club of pitchers who have airmailed what should have been non-competitive throws. Those members include the Nationals' A.J. Cole, who launched a toss over his catchers head and allowed a run to score at the end of April. Cole later said that it was "just one of those things that happened, first time I’ve ever done it and hopefully it never happens again." Amen. Then there was the Yankees Dellin Betances who, just last month, lobbed one to the backstop but was fortunate enough that the Giants runner, Angel Pegan, was napping at third and did not score. As weird of a play as it is, it's actually not that uncommon. It's happened so often, there's a near three minute Youtube video dedicated to it. The question is: Was Pat Light's the worst?
  9. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CAAPDdLxLU As a woodworking hobbyist and a longtime baseball lover, Jim Anderson wanted a fun way to honor the birth of his first child. So, after seeing an ad for trophy bats in a mail order catalog, he decided to make one of his own. "My friend and I made this bat," he said. "We had no idea what we were doing but were both intrigued by the process of turning something out of wood." But something about the bat didn't look right. "I knew it would look weird if it didn't have a logo in the middle," Anderson said. "So I think of the name Max Bat, after my son and I concept a logo and put it on the bat and once I put it on the bat, it looked like a real bat." Anderson start making bats in his basement workshop as a hobby while his son Max slept. "I was playing amateur baseball at the time and guys were asking me to make them bats," he said. Then, 9/11 happened. The company Anderson was working for went out of business, leaving him unemployed. "Here I am, a new dad, I have no job, the world's in turmoil," Anderson said. "So I was having these internal conversations to figure out what I was going to do with my life and something clicked and I decided I was just going to do this." So he reached out to Major League Baseball and received the rules and regulations, made a handful of bats to send in for inspection and waited to hear back. "I was going to be content to get a letter back on MLB letterhead saying thanks but no thanks. I can frame it and put it on the wall and use it as a teaching tool to tell my son Max to pursue his dreams," he said. "The letter came back and said congratulations, you're an approved bat vendor. From there, I can't do this in my basement anymore." The quest to find a scalable manufacturing facility began then, in earnest. After meeting with several smaller shops in the Twin Cities area, the feedback was all the same. " Several of the people I met with said there's an outfit in West Central Minnesota that can help you," Anderson said. The outfit just happened to be the No. 1 custom woodworking company in North America: Glacial Wood Products. The Brooten, Minn. based company was able to take Anderson's custom turned baseball bats and replicate them with precision. Now, Anderson had a scalable production partner to help make the bats ... he just had to find people to buy them. So he did what all aspiring bat makers do ... he went to Spring Training. The Twins equipment manager at the time, Jim Dunn, invited Anderson speak to the team in the clubhouse. Anderson was a little starstruck. "There was a little hesitation for us, you know, we didn't know if we belonged there," he said. "But, we quickly realized we know we make a good product and these guys need this. They're just like you and me, they're just really good at what they do." "I remember wanting to get bats into Jacque Jones' hands. I just grabbed a bunch of bats and walked over and said here try these," Anderson said. "Seconds after I handed those to him I told myself I did that completely wrong. So my next conversation was with Michael Cuddyer and I asked him all sorts of questions before I ever handed him a bat and we had this dialogue and conversation and it was great." Max Bat now manufacturers more than 40,000 bats each year and has more than 400 professional players are using its product. Get more real stories at realstoriesmn.com and on Twitter @RealStoriesMN or on Facebook at Facebook.com/RealStoriesMN
  10. Twins topics include the Cotts trade, Glen Perkins' injury and recovery, Phil Hughes' good days and bad days, Wild Card hopes and more. Listen below, on iTunes or on Stitcher:NO JUICE PODCAST, EPISODE #67: THE FALL GUYS
  11. On this week's NO JUICE PODCAST, Dan Anderson and Parker Hageman visit CHS Field in St. Paul to talk stadium building with the Saints' assistant GM Scott Bush and they also try to catch home run balls fired out of a pitching machine (video below). Meanwhile, on the other side of the river, the Twins are hanging in contention for a playoff spot. LISTEN UP.Twins topics include the Cotts trade, Glen Perkins' injury and recovery, Phil Hughes' good days and bad days, Wild Card hopes and more. Listen below, on iTunes or on Stitcher: NO JUICE PODCAST, EPISODE #67: THE FALL GUYS Click here to view the article
  12. What is the biggest blockbuster coming to Target Field in 2015? VETERAN LEADERSHIP. Check out the movie trailer spoof: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sN-iPar9s2I&feature=youtu.be (WARNING: One NSFW word)
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