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An online community of Twins fans mourning the death of Prince Rogers Nelson.



Updated: 2017-11-19T09:00:01-05:00

 



Who do the Twins need to protect from the Rule 5 draft?

2017-11-19T09:00:01-05:00

The deadline to protect players is tomorrow. Who should the Twins make sure they keep safe? Tomorrow is the deadline for players to be added to their team’s 40-man roster in order to be protected from the Rule 5 draft. Lets take a look at who the Twins will need to protect, and take a guess at who they actually will. If you’re not sure of the rules, or want a bit of history, click here. The Twins currently have 33 players on the 40-man roster, which means they could add up to seven players, but also need flexibility to add free agents. My guess is they will add five players, but could add more, with an eye towards some future cuts. The Twins have a few obvious candidates they WILL be protecting, no doubt about it. I’m pretty sure Stephen Gonsalves, Jake Reed, and Zack Littel will be added to the roster. That makes them not very interesting to talk about, but the Twins have some interesting edge-cases to consider as well. Here are a few guys I’ll be watching closely. Lewin Diaz The problem with prospects signed from Latin America is you often have to protect them way, way too early in their career. That ended up costing the Twin’s Randy Rosario, as he is still nothing but potential. Lewin Diaz falls into the same sort of category. He started playing professional baseball at age 17, and therefore will need to be protected on the same day he can legally order a drink in the USA. (Happy Birthday, Lewin!) After tearing up E-town in 2016, Diaz had a very successful A-ball campaign at Cedar Rapids in 2017. He plays first base, which makes this a little bit simpler. In the last five years, only three first basemen have been taken in the Rule 5 draft, and you probably haven’t heard of any of them. A MLB team would have to hide him as a low-versatility bench player, or perhaps a DH. With the large number of available players in free agency who fill that role, it makes him less likely to be taken. This is also an area the Twins currently have a lot of options. Verdict: probably not protected Kohl Stewart The fourth pick of the 2013 draft hasn’t worked out quite the way the Twins wanted, but is still a valuable player. He’ll be 23 for all of the 2018 season, and got a taste of triple-A in 2017. The vast majority of players taken with the rule-5 draft are pitchers. While the numbers aren’t where one would hope, the combination of his pedigree and his level in the organization make him a good prospect for a team to stash in the bullpen for a season, and convert back to starting later; ala Johan Santana. Verdict: probably protected Nick Burdi If he had been healthy in 2017, we probably would not be having this conversation. The reliever has the stuff to be successful in the MLB, but has been plagued by injuries. His health was supposedly the hang-up in acquiring Jaime Garcia this summer. Due to mid-season Tommy John Surgery, he is likely to miss most or all of 2018, and will likely be in his late 20’s before a possible MLB debut for the Twins. Verdict: probably not protected Lewis Thorpe Another player who’s age and injuries have left him more projection than results at this time, the 21 year old Australian made it to Chattanooga by the end of 2017. He’s a left-handed pitcher with good stuff, which makes him an in-demand prospect. Similar to Stewart, he would be an easy player to hide in low-leverage relief this season, and convert back to a starter afterwards. Verdict: probably protected. Luke Bard Bard showed good results in Chattanooga and Rochester this season, and with the “graduation” of Curtiss and Moya, is one of the most MLB-ready pitchers the Twins have left to protect. Due to this, I think you have to protect him, if you see him having a moderate MLB ceiling — unlike players who haven’t made it to the higher levels of the minors, he is likely to be able to actually contribute in a major league bullpen. This one is going to come down to what the Twins think of his future. Verdict: 50-50 Obviously, there are a lot of other eligible players, but with limited space, these are t[...]



Sunday Twins: Morneau, trade ideas, and more

2017-11-19T08:00:04-05:00

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Twins related links for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Song of the day:

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Minnesota Twins 2018 MLB draft order set

2017-11-18T17:46:16-05:00

The Twins won’t pick first overall, but they still have a good crop of picks within the first 100 selections For MLB draft nerds like me, we got a small but well-loved early Christmas present this week, as Major League Baseball released the draft order for the 2018 MLB draft. While the Twins do not have the first overall pick in 2018, or the most money to spend in the draft like last year, the team still has four selections in the first 100 picks. Here is where the Twins draft selections fall: Round 1: Pick 20 Round 2: Pick 59 Competetive Balance Round B: Pick 75 Round 3: Pick 95 Draft Pick History These picks are still very solid, providing the Twins a great chance to select great talent to fill up its minor league system. In 2017 the Mets had the 20th overall pick, select LHP David Robertson out of the Univeristy of Oregon. Robertson is rated as a 50 grade prospect by MLB.com, and is actually the top rated prospect in the Mets system after SS Amed Rosario graduated from the list this fall. In 2016, the Dodgers selected 20th overall, grabbing prep SS Gavin Lux, a 50 grade prospect who figures to stay at short. With the 59th pick, the Mets selected 3B Mark Vientos, who doesn’t turn 18 until December and is graded as a 45 overall prospect, the Mets’ 10th best. In 2016 the 59th pick was taken by the Giants, who took OF Bryan Reynolds out of Vanderbilt, another 50 grade prospect who posted a .826 OPS in Single-A Advanced as a 22 year old in 2017. The 75th pick in the 2017 draft was actually taken by the Astros in the Competetive Balance B round, and they selected OF J.J. Matijevic out of the University of Arizona, also ranked as a 45 grade prospect. In 2016 the Brewers had the 75th selection, taking prep C Mario Feliciano, currently ranked as a 45 grade prospect. Draft Bonus Pool In 2017 the Mets had a bonus pool of $6,212,500, the 24th largest pool. The Mets had no competetive balance picks in 2017, but the Twins do have the 75th pick in Competitive Balance Round B, which carried a bonus slot of $767,400 in 2017. With the 75th pick added to the Mets’ Bonus pool last year, the team would have had the 18th largest bonus pool in 2017. While the Bonus Pool figures may shift a bit for the 2018 MLB Draft, the Twins should still have a decent budget to work with. Thoughts Picking 20th overall is not nearly as exciting as picking first overall for draft nerds like me, but it does mean the team is playing competitive baseball. For small-to-mid market teams like the Twins, drafting in the late first round is incredibly important for sustained success, as draft busts can lead to a team’s downfall like it did for the Twins between 2011-2016. Teams routinely drafting in the late rounds need to supplement their prospect lists with international signings and good trades, something the Twins’ new front office has shown a history of doing. Free agency also becomes an important key to success for teams drafting ‘lesser’ prospects in the late first round, and the Twins have a chance of making a big splash in free agency this winter. [...]



Your grandmother ‘thrilled’ with Twins return to WCCO

2017-11-17T09:47:01-05:00

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Would also like you to call more, is that too much to ask?

The Minnesota Twins are returning to their longtime radio home of WCCO. This move has excited many of the team’s fans, none more so than Agatha, your grandmother.

“I’m thrilled about this, I really am,” said the 81-year-old resident of Sleepy Eye, a town she’s lived in her entire life. “Ever since they left ‘CCO, I’ve had to futz with the dial to find the game and it never came in right. It’s quite the deal.”

The team had spent the last decade-plus on 1500ESPN and later GO96, a station owned by the Pohlads.

“It used to be I could just leave ‘CCO on all day,” said your grandmother. “It drove Frank (your late grandfather) nuts. He thought Steve Cannon was a communist.

“Frank also wrote a bunch of checks to that televangelist who it turned out was a sex pervert, so he could get a little out there sometimes. I always thought Ma Linger was a hoot.”

Per the Star Tribune, the Twins’ current broadcast team of Cory Provus and Dan Gladden should remain unaffected.

“I like them,” said your grandmother. “Danny gets a little excited, but that’s OK. He has a good heart.”

Your grandmother says that, although Ruth Koscielak and Boone and Erickson are no longer on the station, she still listens from time to time.

“I do like to watch my stories, but if I’m in the kitchen I’ll listen to Sid’s boy (Chad Hartman), he’s really smart. He always makes fun of that DeRulo fellow (Jason DeRusha) from the TV news. I don’t like him. He’s from Chicago.”

The team’s return to WCCO, where they’d been from 1961-2006, was not the only thing on Agatha’s mind.

“Would it hurt you to call a little more often?” asked your grandmother. “I hear from Sean (your brother, who is a kissass) all the time. I know he lives closer and you live in the Cities, but it’s always nice to hear your voice. Are you seeing anybody?”

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Original piece quoted Agatha as saying “WCCO”. A local south metro homebrewer correctly noted that everyone in Agatha’s demographic calls it “‘CCO”. We regret the error.]




Byron Buxton wins 18th Most Valuable Player in the AL award

2017-11-16T19:56:14-05:00

(18th) MVP! (18th) MVP! (18th) MVP! The MLB awards season has been good to the Twins’ Byron Buxton, who has won the Rawlings Gold Glove Award for AL center field, the Wilson Award for Best Defensive Player in Baseball, and the Rawlings Platinum Glove Award — but that’s not all! Buxton has done it once again, winning the award for the 18th best MVP in the American League. This is a real award. Buxton achieved this win by receiving one vote for 7th place, one vote for 9th place, and one vote for 10th place in MVP voting, which apparently gave him seven overall points and ranked him 18th in AL MVP voting. Considering how just earlier this year people were debating about whether Byron Buxton was a bust, I feel like an 18th place finish in MVP voting is absolutely fantastic. Buxton only hit .253/.314/.413 with 16 home runs, 6 “show-off” doubles, 14 actual doubles, and 29 stolen bases — but he played absolutely remarkable defense all year. Heck, maybe he should have been even higher! Just take a look at some of these other yahoos who finished higher than Buxton: Jose Abreu (14th place), Justin Upton (16th place), and some guy named... Brian Dozier? He ended up in 11th place in AL MVP voting, earning one 5th place vote, one 6th place vote, one 7th place vote, three 8th place votes, and one 10th place vote for a total of 25 points. As for the first place winners, those came out just as expected: the the Astros’ Jose Altuve won the AL award (405 total points), and the Marlins’ Giancarlo Stanton won the NL award (302 total points — just narrowly beating the Reds’ Joey Votto, who received 300 points). You can check out the BBWAA’s full results for the AL MVP voting here, and their full results for the NL MVP voting here. [...]



Twins radio headed back to WCCO

2017-11-16T18:45:01-05:00

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Hope you like the soft crackle of AM radio, Twins fans.

After spending eleven years on other radio channels, the Twins are headed back to WCCO AM 830 in 2018. For you bright eyed and bushy tailed youngsters who don’t remember, that’s the channel that broadcast Twins games from their birth in 1961 up until 2006.

How is this a big deal? Well, if you never listen to Twins games on the radio, it’s not a big deal at all. If you do listen to Twins games on the radio, it’s also not that big of a deal. If you live way off in the Dakotas or something and like listening to Twins on the radio, then maybe it’s a blip on your radar. WCCO radio’s clear-channel status means it’s possible to pick up the station all over Minnesota and states away, which is convenient.

Twins radio broadcasts moved from WCCO to ESPN AM 1500 back in 2007. In 2013, the Pohlads decided to move Twins broadcast to their family-owned station, GO 96.3 FM. It was a little weird, in my opinion, since GO 96.3 normally plays, like, Coldplay and old Sublime songs and stuff? It always seemed unnatural.

In case you were wondering, this probably has no effect on the main Twins radio broadcast team, Cory Provus and Dan Gladden (according to the Star Tribune).




Thursday Twins: I would die 4 Yu

2017-11-16T08:00:03-05:00

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Who really is Yu anyway? Plus Thad Levine’s underrated staff members, Bert Blyleven’s new hardware, Japan, and more.

Here’s some delicious mental fodder served up to you all, all in one place:

  • Get to know top free agent pitcher and potential new Twin, Yu Darvish. SI has a great long-form piece on him!
  • Fangraphs asked a bunch of MLB General Managers who the most underrated member of their organization was, and Thad Levine gave some props to his advanced scouting department. A couple of our AL Central rivals answered the question too, but one of them was a total cop-out.
  • HOF pitcher and Twin’s broadcaster Bert Blyleven was given some hardware of his own the other night, which was totally overshadowed by Molitor winning AL Manager of the Year
  • The four-letter network took a look at who the next “Super-ace” in the MLB could be. Remember that guy we chased out of the wildcard game in the first inning? Yeah, he’s on there. There are a few names that could surprise you, as well as one of our own.
  • The Twins expect the now-bionic Miguel Sano to be ready for opening day. If Sano isn’t ready or able to play third, the Twins have a back-up plan, according to Mike Berardino. Yes, it is exactly who you are thinking.
  • Former Twins reliever/prospect Jason Wheeler has found a new team in Asia. He’s only 27 years old! Hopefully he can build his value back up, and find some success.
  • MLB Daily Dish took a look at the Twins’ off season and wondered “Where do they go from here?” Up, that’s what I say.

And, for your listening pleasure, one of my personal favorites, being covered by an underrated man who recently passed from this earth.

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Twins void contract with international signee Jelfry Marte

2017-11-15T12:56:32-05:00

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Marte had a $3 million signing bonus, but that fact probably sounds more interesting than it actually is.

Ben Badler of Baseball America reported some interesting news today related to the Twins: apparently, they voided a contract they had to sign one of their international prospects — 16-year-old Dominican shortstop Jelfry Marte. Marte had been ranked the 13th best international prospect in 2017 by Baseball America, and third best by MLB.com, but apparently the Twins that he had crappy vision during his physical.

What caught my eye about this news was Marte’s $3 million signing bonus. The bonus, along with the contract, was voided and goes back into the Twins’ international signing bonus pool. If you’ve read anything about Shohei Ohtani lately, you know why this is important. Basically, international signing bonus money is the only way teams can financially entice Ohtani to sign with them, and the Twins had the third most left in their pool ($3,245,000). The only teams with more money to offer are the Rangers ($3,535,000) and Yankees ($3.25 million), and every other team has substantially less.

So dos this mean the Twins now have $6,245,000 to offer Ohtani!? Sorry, but no.

According to JJ Cooper of Baseball America, the Twins have the reported $3,245,000 left because the Marte contract was voided. It makes sense based on simple math: The Twins’ started with a bonus pool of $5.25 million and got $500,000 more from the Nationals in the Brandon Kintzler trade. $5.25 million plus $500,000 doesn’t equal $6,245,000.

The Twins originally signed Marte on July 2nd, so the contract was probably voided at some point awhile ago and we just never heard about it. Voiding the contract means Marte becomes a free agent again, but it doesn’t sound like he’s signed anywhere new yet. The timing is a shame, since teams are now clinging to their international signing money in hopes of winning the Ohtani sweepstakes.

Marte could also still sign a new contract with the Twins, likely for a smaller bonus.