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  • The Blizzard of Oz

    As I look out any window, I am blinded by the results of several recent blizzards that have left Dakota Territory with an ultra-reflective blanket of glaring white snow. Nothing makes me miss Minnesota Twins baseball more. I close my eyes, but it’s not blackness. An orange-ish haze is all see, due to the sunlight attempting to breach my lightly-closed eyelids.

    Despite the overflow of natural light, I am able to envision big things for the Twins in my mind’s eye. A Venezuelan outfielder, Oswaldo Arcia, appears to be a mighty storm of a player. He will be ready to blow through the American League soon. Just how intense will the “Blizzard of Oz” be?


    The Twins signed Arcia as a 16-year-old back in 2007. His numbers as a 17-year-old in the GCL were very similar to Miguel Sano’s at the same age. He has sustained that production successfully up to the AA level. He really has nothing left to prove at any level but AAA.

    He has slow-cooked to perfection and will start his sixth year with the organization on the cusp of forcing a big-league call-up. Please take a look at the things he was doing in New Britain last year.

    Arcia’s accomplishments label him as a pure baller, and he will be a nice addition to the big club very soon. There is no need to rush him to the Major Leagues. But we could see a path cleared for Oswaldo mid-summer in 2013. His arrival would feel like a “Coors Light Blizzard” during the swelter of July and August (refreshing). And that will feel like Venezuela in February.

    This ain't HD, but listen to the wonderful sound Arcia's bat speed creates.


    This article was originally published in blog: The Blizzard of Oz started by mnfanforlife
    Comments 103 Comments
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by mnfanforlife View Post
      Another prospect, Miguel Sano, hit .258 last year....Yet, many pro-scouts project him to hit for a high average as he matures. Hicks' situation is not identical, but I like how he handled AA last year. Made a huge jump in hit/at-bat ratio from A+ to AA...why not expect him to maintain those numbers in AAA, and ultimately in MLB??
      I'm confident that Hicks will be an impactful player once he finally sticks. While it's exciting to see what he did last year, albeit in AA and is certainly the #1 topic this spring, it's important to remember that a "toolsy" Herman Hill was once the talk of spring training before he ended up on a likely 4th OF track before his tragic demise. Not saying that Hicks is Hill, just that thus far this spring Hick's numbers have come against an average pitcher experience level of AAAA, at best. The Twins should handle this potentially huge asset carefully to maximize his value. Is he capable of a Hunter-esque career? Absolutely. Should he be annointed as such now? Definitely not. The body of evidence is simply not there to label him as "can't miss" and applying the label could damage his development. The Twins would be wise to continue to monitor his progression carefully. I hope he makes it North in the opening day lineup and hits the ground running, ala Harper. If the Twins don't bring him up right away, or demote him shortly after an early season failed tryout, it's no reason to panic and every reason to continue the Twins steady and patient course with Hicks.

      The unbiased, and unemotionally attached, "projection experts" (ZIPS, Oliver, Steamer) certainly aren't expecting what you have practically deemed as the gospel outcome. You also failed to note his unrealistically sustainable recent minor league BABIP numbers. Based on their 2013 predictions of around .236/.317/.370/.687, I think realistic enthusiasm for Hicks in his first year would be .250/.330/.395/.725 (his OBP could be even better with the right guy batting #2):

      http://www.fangraphs.com/fanpdetails...71&position=OF









































    1. mnfanforlife's Avatar
      mnfanforlife -
      Thank you. I do not wish to "annoint" anyone as anything. But, I agree that Hicks could have a similar career to Hunter. Its a reasonable comparison, since they are both elite defenders and have seen their share of minor league struggles. Time will tell. Thank you for your research and opinion on Hicks. (somehow this thread got derailed from Oswaldo Arcia, but I am enjoying the discussion none the less)
    1. mnfanforlife's Avatar
      mnfanforlife -
      Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
      I'm confident that Hicks will be an impactful player once he finally sticks. While it's exciting to see what he did last year, albeit in AA and is certainly the #1 topic this spring, it's important to remember that a "toolsy" Herman Hill was once the talk of spring training before he ended up on a likely 4th OF track before his tragic demise. Not saying that Hicks is Hill, just that thus far this spring Hick's numbers have come against an average pitcher experience level of AAAA, at best. The Twins should handle this potentially huge asset carefully to maximize his value. Is he capable of a Hunter-esque career? Absolutely. Should he be annointed as such now? Definitely not. The body of evidence is simply not there to label him as "can't miss" and applying the label could damage his development. The Twins would be wise to continue to monitor his progression carefully. I hope he makes it North in the opening day lineup and hits the ground running, ala Harper. If the Twins don't bring him up right away, or demote him shortly after an early season failed tryout, it's no reason to panic and every reason to continue the Twins steady and patient course with Hicks.

      The unbiased, and unemotionally attached, "projection experts" (ZIPS, Oliver, Steamer) certainly aren't expecting what you have practically deemed as the gospel outcome. You also failed to note his unrealistically sustainable recent minor league BABIP numbers. Based on their 2013 predictions of around .236/.317/.370/.687, I think realistic enthusiasm for Hicks in his first year would be .250/.330/.395/.725 (his OBP could be even better with the right guy batting #2):

      http://www.fangraphs.com/fanpdetails...71&position=OF



      Thanks for your awesome, unemotional projection that you ripped off of some number crunching site. So exciting. I never anointed anyone with any "gospel." I did project what Hicks' career year may look like, which is still reasonable, despite what you think is statistically possible.
      Believe what you want, I will too. And I am not "in the least" persuaded to lose my passion and emotion for baseball and baseball prospects.
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