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Updated: 2017-03-07T09:13:01.348-06:00

 



Phil Miller in today's STRIB mentioned Buxton&...

2017-03-07T09:13:01.348-06:00

Phil Miller in today's STRIB mentioned Buxton's "dazzling September call-up last season". Apparently last year's Twins' performance has made three weeks as a .225 hitter "dazzling" to reporters. What was more disturbing is that Paul Molitor apparently agrees with them. Buxton has yet to prove he can hit big league pitching and Paul Molitor is already comparing him to hall-of-famer Kirby Puckett. We have seen the same thing with Sano and Berrios. These are young players with the tools to be stars, but Berrios has said he wants to "dominate" major league hitters, instead of just getting them out. Buxton is supposed to be Kirby Puckett, not just a solid major league contributor. Sano sees himself as the next David Ortiz. They may all live up to that hype, or they may all turn out to be Delmon Young.



Every so often I check your site. Wish you would ...

2017-02-04T11:31:03.087-06:00

Every so often I check your site. Wish you would post more often.

I agree with a lot of your comments and thoughts but perhaps I have a slightly different take on some things. I believe that there is so much parity in major league baseball that most teams tend to hang around .500 most of the year. The difference between "good" teams and "bad" teams isn't all that profound. Most of the time it is one long hot streak or one long cold streak, often brought about by injuries or just a run of poor pitching. There are always a few superior teams and a few really bad teams, but most teams, in any given year, are really pretty much in the middle. There isn't all that much to separate them, though they all have different strengths and weaknesses.

I don't know if Buxton is truly ready for big leagues now or not, but I believe he is going to be one of the best players in baseball, sooner or later. His physical tools are just overwhelming, he apparently is more than willing to work on his weaknesses, and most of his tools are close to being elite skills. I think it is just a matter of time with him, and not necessarily a lot of time either.

I tend to agree with the thought that if the Twins are going to be better soon, it will largely be with what is already in the organization. There is a quite a bit of pitching that could quite a bit better than it showed last year, if they are healthy a develop a little more. There is also a fair amount of both starters and relievers who have reached AA or AAA who have quite a bit of promise. This year may show a bit more clearly how good all of these guys could be.



Welcome back. I was afraid you had died.

2015-05-31T14:39:44.556-05:00

Welcome back. I was afraid you had died.



While I agree with you that 3rd is the best place ...

2013-04-04T17:48:53.197-05:00

While I agree with you that 3rd is the best place for Mauer, I think you might be overreacting a bit. Carroll is a utility guy. You can run him out there on a more regular basis if you have to, and you can certainly bat him 2nd when he is in the lineup but he isn't, and really has never been a major league regular.

Now, Dozier might not be one either, but now is the time to find out. His minor league numbers are fine, he seems to be a better fit at 2nd, and if the Twins are patient(like they often are) he will probably hit well enough to fill the 2nd spot in the order. Dozier didn't struggle any worse than any number of future Twins regulars did in their initial stint in the majors. Hunter, Bartlet, Cuddyer, Morneau and many others struggled in their first look in the majors. That doesn't mean Dozier will make it, but I think he probably will.

As far as Gardy goes, he does this every spring. He screws around with the lineup, he mixes and matches and after about 40 games, he usually settles on something that will work. Now, he might not have 40 games to work with this year, but I wouldn't write off the season just yet. Some of the starters will struggle, but there are some possible replacements who seem to have a better chance to be good, than last year's group. The young guys, Hicks, Plouffe, Parmelee, Dozier, and Florimon will likely not all work out perfectly, but I think most will eventually settle in as solid big league regulars.

I also expect that the Twins will make a strong effort to keep Morneau as a Twin, though that maybe overly optimistic.



I generally agree. Part of the problem has been th...

2013-03-26T13:32:48.549-05:00

I generally agree. Part of the problem has been that Gardy is a "players manager" who sticks with players like Nick Punto because they "battle their tails off." Gardy would probably have been more effective on a more veteran-laden team. What they needed the last decade was a incarnation of TK.

I disagree that Gardy has been successful. With the talent on the team in the last 10 years he should have gotten out of the first round more than once (and in his first year after taking over for TK so there's that too). A better manager more than better players would have seen actual success that made division titles seem the baseline, not the ceiling.



Santana, Silva, Romero, and others had success und...

2013-03-25T19:41:04.441-05:00

Santana, Silva, Romero, and others had success under Gardy. I don't think that part of your argument holds much weight. I do agree on fundamentals. Kelly demanded solid fundamentals from his players. If they came to the majors, without being sound, and many did, they became sound or went away.


I will say that Gardy is probably sounder on in game decisions than many give him credit for. Using his bench is also something he does pretty well. I think Kelly was better, but Kelly was better at many things than Gardy.

In general I would say that Gardy deserves as much blame for team failures over the last 2 years, as he deserved credit for the successes the team had the previous 10.



I agree that Rosario is a better prospect if he ca...

2013-03-23T19:11:41.102-05:00

I agree that Rosario is a better prospect if he can stick at 2nd. Gladden was an unfortunate choice on my part. He is a bit overrated by some in the Twins community. He was a pretty much below average lead off hitter. I suspect that Rosario's injury last year probably hurt his numbers. I do think his bat is a better than you give him credit for. Comparing him to Stewart and Revere is something of a compliment. I don't think he has much of a chance to be as good as Stewart. Revere is a lot different hitter. Rosario has more pop, if that tranlates to the majors, Rosario could be fairly useful. Again I am not sure Rosario is quite the prospect some of Twins prospect hounds think he is, but I think he has a good chance to be a big league regular, even if he can't stick at 2nd.



"Hicks and Benson were/are prospects but ahea...

2013-03-23T12:09:20.334-05:00

"Hicks and Benson were/are prospects but ahead of him in the organization."

I think Benson is a good example of why a team doesn't move a player in A ball because of prospects "ahead" of them in the organization.

Shannon Stewart is another example of a Twin left fielder who lacked a lot of power. So it certainly isn't impossible, it just becomes harder.

As I understand it, one of Rosario's weaknesses as an outfielder is his arm. Of course that didn't keep Ben Revere out of center field. But Revere's average was 80 points higher than Rosario's at Beloit, he stole 44 bases compared to Rosario's 11. He was also almost a year younger.

Shannon Stewart also hit 30 points higher in A ball than Rosario. And he had also shown off his ability on the base paths stealing bases. Gladden hit ten points better than Rosario and he stole over 50 bases twice in the minor leagues. His career minor league average was 20 points higher than Rosario's.

In short, when you compare Rosario to guys who have been successful as top of the order corner outfielders, his numbers don't really look so hot. He may step it up, but his offense last year is not a sign of a guy likely to succeed in he big leagues as an outfielder.

So what we have is an A-ball players who may or may not have the defense to play second base. And who may or may not have the offense to play the outfield. Is he a prospect? Yes. But until he shows either more offense or better defense he is not someone to get too excited about.



Actually, it is not that unusual to see regular co...

2013-03-23T10:42:58.186-05:00

Actually, it is not that unusual to see regular corner outfielders on postseason teams who didn't hit 15 home runs. Often a leftfielder who bats leadoff, like Gladden did for the Twins. There a quite a few other examples as well. I don't really know how good a CF Rosario is. When he was moved to 2nd, the Twins had 4 CF ahead of him in the organization. Hicks and Benson were/are prospects but ahead of him in the organization.


I am not sure I would consider 2nd a lesser defensive position than CF either. Although you could make that argument. It seems Rosario is fast enough, probably, to play center, he may not have the instincts of others in the organization.



Jim - You are right, if Rosario hits for a high ...

2013-03-23T09:27:44.962-05:00

Jim -

You are right, if Rosario hits for a high enough average, he might hold down a corner outfield spot. Although I am hard pressed to come up with a list of regular corner outfielders on championship teams who only hit 15 home runs. In any case, Rosario didn't hit .300 in low A ball last year.

As for center field, I think if he was a center fielder he would be playing there. You don't move players to a less valuable position in A-ball because you have some other prospects who might be better if and when they both get to the major leagues.




I don't really disagree with your list. Pitch...

2013-03-22T20:09:36.215-05:00

I don't really disagree with your list. Pitchers often get injured and I wouldn't be surprised if at least one of these 3 has a major setback because of injury. I like May because he could be a frontline starter. Of course that is his ceiling and he probably won't reach that.

To pick nits, I think Rosario has a solid future even if he can't stay in the infield. He can hit, and I think he will hit as he moves up the ladder. He probably can play centerfield too, just not too likely for the Twins. You can be a valuable corner OF if you can hit 300 and with around 15 homers. I expect that he has a good chance to do that. It wouldn't make him a star, but valuable production, nevertheless.




If they think Mastroianni is a better player, then...

2013-03-22T14:31:59.270-05:00

If they think Mastroianni is a better player, then he will win the job and Hicks will start the year at AAA. At that point, whether that is for three weeks or three months will be determined by Mastroianni's play.

I don't think that is going to happen.




2013-03-22T11:57:58.784-05:00

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.



Isn't Mastroianni hitting over .400 this Sprin...

2013-03-22T10:08:04.913-05:00

Isn't Mastroianni hitting over .400 this Spring while playing good D and stealing a bunch of bases? Explain to me again why Hicks in AAA for 3 weeks is bad. Saying that this is somehow this "sacrifice" for a few bucks is ludicrous. Playing a raw rookie over a more seasoned player having a great Spring is not the obvious choice here.



"a few of the highest rated prospects" ...

2013-03-22T09:50:39.617-05:00

"a few of the highest rated prospects"

I don't think its surprising that over-rated prospects are highly rated do you? And yes, the point of the post was that people are getting way ahead of themselves. The idea Sano is going to compete for a roster spot next spring is a bit ludicrous.

Worse is when people criticize the Correia signing because the Twins have May or Berrios.

The reality is that half the "top prospects" below AA may never see the major leagues. And there are some reasons why these five in particular may not make it and are getting far more notice than they deserve.


" the most underrated prospects are the lowest rated ones?"

Yeh, a couple years ago my top five underrated prospects included Trevor Plouffe and Chris Parmelee. And, yes, that was because people underrated them.



What does overrated even mean? You basically just ...

2013-03-22T09:05:56.476-05:00

What does overrated even mean? You basically just took a few of the highest rated prospects in the twins' system. I suppose the most underrated prospects are the lowest rated ones?

You really made no point other than to try to take people who are excited about the future down a notch.



In three weeks, they would lose him for 10% of the...

2013-03-22T07:56:09.639-05:00

In three weeks, they would lose him for 10% of the games this season where he is paid the minimum salary. In 2020, he would be in his fourth, most expensive, year of arbitration. A lot can happen by then. He will almost certainly have lost a couple steps in the outfield.

The bigger problem is that making decisions like that is a lousy management. You have told everyone in the organization that you are willing to sacrifice their chances to win this year to save a few bucks. That isn't the way to build a winning organization.



You only have to send him to the minors for 3 week...

2013-03-21T19:48:14.444-05:00

You only have to send him to the minors for 3 weeks to gain the 2020 season. It would be short-sighted to keep him in the majors.



I may have underestimated Roenicke. He has really ...

2013-03-21T12:39:58.208-05:00

I may have underestimated Roenicke. He has really only had one bad outing all spring. And, you are right, he was pretty solid last year in Colorado.



"I'm almost positive you're wrong abo...

2013-03-21T11:03:50.075-05:00

"I'm almost positive you're wrong about this"

I guess we will find out in 10 days.



Based on Roenicke's stellar stats in Colorado ...

2013-03-21T10:58:16.477-05:00

Based on Roenicke's stellar stats in Colorado and the amount of innings he ate up last year, I don't see how he doesn't make the team. Aside from Alex Meyer, I thought he was the Twins best piece of business this off-season.



I'm almost positive you're wrong about thi...

2013-03-21T10:15:30.317-05:00

I'm almost positive you're wrong about this, but okay. Hicks needs to show better plate discipline, and the Twins are going nowhere in 2013. It makes perfect sense to stash him in AAA for development reasons alone. Finances make it a near certainty.



I think Deduno has probably moved himself ahead of...

2013-03-20T18:11:20.175-05:00

I think Deduno has probably moved himself ahead of most of his competition. He will get a start or 2 before ST ends. I think he makes the rotation, DeVries gets the long reliever spot. Deduno may not be the answer but he has looked good against pretty good competition, with a quite a bit of pressure. I am pretty sure the Twins would like Hendriks to make the rotation, but I don't see an opening to start the year.

I don't know who the other relievers will be. I think you are right about Pressly. Hernandez starts at AAA. One of Wood or Roenicke gets waived.



Jim - They need a 5th starter on April 6th or 7th...

2013-03-19T22:06:10.478-05:00

Jim -

They need a 5th starter on April 6th or 7th, depending on whether they want to give the opening day starter an extra day off. I don't think these starters are going to pitch deep enough into games for Gardy to go with 11 pitchers.



One thing that could change the initial roster is ...

2013-03-18T17:28:29.704-05:00

One thing that could change the initial roster is that the Twins don't need a 5th starter for the first 2? weeks. That could mean an extra reliever or perhaps the bat that Gardy wants. Or perhaps both Butera and an extra utility infielder.

While I think Butera likely makes the team, they may not really need him for the first month. At some point I think Gardy would like to get down to a 11 man pitching staff. That probably won't happen to begin the year.