Minnesota Twins News & Rumors Forum
  • Samuel Deduno showing progress in World Baseball Classic

    Don’t look now, but Samuel Deduno has not walked a batter yet this spring.

    I know, I know: It has been five meaningless spring innings. Give it time, right? And, sure, four of those innings were against Spain in the World Baseball Classic, a team whose lineup was littered with players lacking even minor league deals. Pump the brakes, Parker.


    The reality is that last year he handed out more free passes than the gals standing out front of Dream Girls gentlemen’s club. With 121 innings split between Rochester and the Twins, he walked 75, or 14% of all the hitters he faced. Five measly innings of not throwing four balls in a given at-bat is not going to change that fact.

    His inability to work ahead of hitters put Deduno in many precarious situations in 2012. A whopping 8% of his match-ups resulted in 3-0 counts (league average being 5%). Overall, hitters knew his reputation and refrained from chasing much of anything outside of the strike zone. According to Fangraphs.com Deduno got opponents to chase after just 23.5% of all out-of-zone offerings – the second lowest rate in baseball with a minimum of 70 innings pitched.

    Here’s the catch: Despite being behind hitters frequently, he was not damaged significantly. He walked plenty, but teams were unable to put the ball in play sharply. Thanks to his incredible movement of his fastball which had an MLB-best 67% ground ball rate, the opposition showed they simply could not square up. Even in situations where they should have an advantage, they were unsuccessful. While the rest of the American League’s pitching staffs had a .299/.465/.513 batting line when behind in the count, Deduno produced a walk-heavy yet respectable .244/.524/.389 line.

    With his nearly unhittable fastball (not to mention decent curve), Deduno has the foundations to be a very good pitcher. The giant elephant on his chest is his incapability to throw the ball over the plate consistently. Behind the small sample size, there may be some reason why he is throwing the ball better. Look how free and easy his motion is – particularly his finish - while in the World Baseball Classic compared to last season:






    Notice the “Francisco Liriano” twirl with his back leg after his follow through. He is finishing higher with his upper body. This is the follow through of someone who is not over-thinking, not aiming, not over-throwing on every pitch. He’s just letting it fly, as they say. Maybe that is all that it takes with him to achieve that next level.

    Then again, who is to say that this will carry over to the season? At 29 years old, he’s had numerous opportunities to try to get his walk rate in order and failed. Frankly, Deduno represents a fringe player; one whose skill set can get him near the top level but never fully entrench him into a starting rotation. That said, it is still important for a an organization to have a pitcher like Deduno available. As Russell Charlton’s research at Baseball Prospectus showed that pitchers who have had previous injuries have high odds of a reoccurrence. For example, pitchers who have had elbow injuries have had a 27.4% chance of re-injury. That means three-fifths of the projected rotation - Vance Worley, Scott Diamond and Mike Pelfrey – stand the likelihood of spending time on the DL in 2013. If Deduno is able to harness his control, he could be a valuable contributor in some capacity.

    Deduno will get the start for the Dominican Republic on Thursday, taking on a far superior Team USA lineup. Watch his command, walk total and scrutinize his mechanics – if he is throwing free and easy, it could translate to a rough day for Team USA in the WBC.
    This article was originally published in blog: Samuel Deduno showing progress in World Baseball Classic started by Parker Hageman
    Comments 106 Comments
    1. Brad Swanson's Avatar
      Brad Swanson -
      If Correia and Deduno each threw 200 innings, I guarantee Correia would end with a better ERA.
    1. ashburyjohn's Avatar
      ashburyjohn -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brad Swanson View Post
      If Correia and Deduno each threw 200 innings, I guarantee Correia would end with a better ERA.
      Considering Correia has yet to throw 200 innings in a season, and last year Deduno averaged 89 pitches per start which amounted to only just above 5 innings per start, I think you may have constructed a pretty safe bet for yourself in 2013-14 with that "if" clause, my brother.
    1. Brad Swanson's Avatar
      Brad Swanson -
      89 pitches in just over 5 innings! If Kevin Slowey did that, everyone would be calling for his books!
    1. Brad Swanson's Avatar
      Brad Swanson -
      I'll try to add something of value to this thread now. My issue with the "effectively wild" label, is that I don't see the effective part anywhere.

      As pointed out earlier, he barely averaged over 5 innings per start. He didn't strike many batters out and his strand rate was 77%, which is almost certain to drop. I say that not only because it is an unnaturally high number for the league, but it is high for Deduno, if you look at his minor league numbers. He does get a good deal of ground balls and pop ups, but the sample is extremely small.

      When Deduno actually was able to lower his walk rate, his strikeout rate dropped even more. I'm also not even sure the ground ball rate matters. His GB% was over 60% last September/October, and his ERA was over 6.

      I just find it odd that we (as a fanbase) seem to be so low on Kevin Correia and so high on Sam Deduno. I can find a whole mess of great Kevin Correia starts, many from last season. In fact, Correia was a better pitcher in the second half of 2012:

      Innings
      Correia - 79.2
      Deduno - 73.2

      ERA
      Correia - 4.07
      Deduno - 4.40

      FIP
      Correia - 3.47
      Deduno - 5.28

      K%
      Correia - 15.8%
      Deduno - 16.6%

      Starts
      Correia - 12
      Deduno - 14

      Is this the only factor we are focusing on:

      Salary
      Correia - 5 mil
      Deduno - League Min

      If so, I guess I can understand. However, I don't think the wide range in opinions adds up to 4.5 mil.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Adjust those stats for league and Deduno looks like the better pitcher, if only by a hair (other than the huge discrepancy in FIP). Yikes.
    1. Riverbrian's Avatar
      Riverbrian -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brad Swanson View Post
      I'll try to add something of value to this thread now. My issue with the "effectively wild" label, is that I don't see the effective part anywhere.

      As pointed out earlier, he barely averaged over 5 innings per start. He didn't strike many batters out and his strand rate was 77%, which is almost certain to drop. I say that not only because it is an unnaturally high number for the league, but it is high for Deduno, if you look at his minor league numbers. He does get a good deal of ground balls and pop ups, but the sample is extremely small.

      When Deduno actually was able to lower his walk rate, his strikeout rate dropped even more. I'm also not even sure the ground ball rate matters. His GB% was over 60% last September/October, and his ERA was over 6.

      I just find it odd that we (as a fanbase) seem to be so low on Kevin Correia and so high on Sam Deduno. I can find a whole mess of great Kevin Correia starts, many from last season. In fact, Correia was a better pitcher in the second half of 2012:

      Innings
      Correia - 79.2
      Deduno - 73.2

      ERA
      Correia - 4.07
      Deduno - 4.40

      FIP
      Correia - 3.47
      Deduno - 5.28

      K%
      Correia - 15.8%
      Deduno - 16.6%

      Starts
      Correia - 12
      Deduno - 14

      Is this the only factor we are focusing on:

      Salary
      Correia - 5 mil
      Deduno - League Min

      If so, I guess I can understand. However, I don't think the wide range in opinions adds up to 4.5 mil.
      I agree with you about Correia... I think he has been pre-attacked by some. If you look at his performance start by start last year... It's not overwhelming but its decent and an improvement over what we were throwing outside of Diamond last year.

      The 2nd year is my problem but if that's what it took... It's what it took.

      On Deduno... I am high on Deduno (that sounds like it came from Cheech and Chong). It's purely from a stuff stand point. If he can harness that movement... He can be a plus pitcher easy... I just don't know if he can cuz he's getting long in the tooth.

      As dominating as he was tonight (which says a lot)... That breaking pitch was money... his fastball had a hard sink to it... but he created his own jams as well and that says a lot. He kept missing the strike zone when Bloomquist was trying to give up an out with a bunt and that says a lot.

      I remain hopeful that he will nail his mechanics down... Get more comfortable in his skin... Trust his stuff and go to work. If he does... He will be a big value. I think it can happen.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by Riverbrian View Post
      I agree with you about Correia... I think he has been pre-attacked by some. If you look at his performance start by start last year... It's not overwhelming but its decent and an improvement over what we were throwing outside of Diamond last year.
      Except that once you adjust for league, Correia isn't really much better (if at all). He's going to strike out less batters in the AL. He's going to walk more batters. He's going to give up more hits. His ERA will almost surely inflate. Looking at his NL numbers and expecting them to carry into 2013 is unrealistic.
    1. ashburyjohn's Avatar
      ashburyjohn -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      Looking at his NL numbers and expecting them to carry into 2013 is unrealistic.
      He's better than his numbers. -- Terry Ryan
    1. glunn's Avatar
      glunn -
      Watching Deduno pitch tonight confirmed to me that he has a very high upside, but he could also be a disaster. Assuming that the Twins are probably not going to be contenders this year, I hope that Deduno gets a generous opportunity to prove himself.

      It seems to me that Deduno looked significantly better tonight than he did last year. Do you agree?
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      Deduno and DeVries are both equal to or better than Correia. For 1/9 the cost. Full stop.
    1. glunn's Avatar
      glunn -
      Quote Originally Posted by Shane Wahl View Post
      Deduno and DeVries are both equal to or better than Correia. For 1/9 the cost. Full stop.
      I think that this is probably correct, but I have some doubts. First, maybe the Twins see potential in Correia that we don't see and maybe Correia will surprise us to the upside. Second, DeVries and Deduno are somewhat unproven.
    1. Badsmerf's Avatar
      Badsmerf -
      First of all, the WBC is a small sample size. He got pretty lucky IMO. The USA chased a log of balls out of the zone and helped him get out of trouble. I'm disappointed by the poor AB's of the USA in the WBC. For all the hate MN fans give Joe Mauer, he's taken the best AB's and delivered in some tough spots.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by Badsmerf View Post
      For all the hate MN fans give Joe Mauer, he's taken the best AB's and delivered in some tough spots.
      Anyone who hates on Joe Mauer doesn't understand the game of baseball. That's all there is to it. The guy has one of the best approaches in baseball, period.
    1. spideyo's Avatar
      spideyo -
      I wonder how much better Deduno would have done last night if Mauer hadn't been on the team to give them the full report on him.

      The biggest thing last year that I noticed is that while he walked a lot of guys, the number of those walks that came around to score was surprisingly low. Not sure what, if any, stat would measure that. His shorter outings often seemed more because he drove his pitch count up because of the walks, rather than that he was actually pitching poorly.
    1. Brad Swanson's Avatar
      Brad Swanson -
      For me, walking a lot of batters is pitching poorly. He may have stranded a lot of those runners, but he may not strand them at such a high rate next season. He was at 77% last season, which is very high. That isn't to say he can't sustain it, but it is much higher than his minor league strand rates.

      If his strand rate is a skill and not statistical noise, he could potentially keep up his "good" results. However, there are roughly 15 pitchers from the last 50 years with a walk rate as high as Deduno's. None achieved any level of sustained success. Those with the most success had much higher strikeout rates. Here is the list (at least 200 innings pitched):

      Name K% BB%
      Mitch Williams 21.20% 17.50%
      Ken Wright 17.10% 17.00%
      Brian Bruney 21.30% 15.80%
      Carlos Marmol 30.10% 15.50%
      John D'Acquisto 17.10% 15.50%
      Mark Clear 22.30% 15.30%
      Deduno 16.40% 15.30%
      Doug Creek 22.20% 15.10%
      Jose DeJesus 14.60% 15.00%
      Renyel Pinto 21.90% 15.00%
      Dan Warthen 16.70% 14.80%
      Derrick Turnbow 23.40% 14.80%
      Ed Correa 20.40% 14.80%
      John Parrish 17.60% 14.80%
    1. Willihammer's Avatar
      Willihammer -
      Here's a question. How long would GardyAndy let Deduno get away with that leg sweep if he were pitching with the Twins?
    1. Mr. Brooks's Avatar
      Mr. Brooks -
      Quote Originally Posted by glunn View Post
      I think that this is probably correct, but I have some doubts. First, maybe the Twins see potential in Correia that we don't see and maybe Correia will surprise us to the upside. Second, DeVries and Deduno are somewhat unproven.
      I would think that a 32 year old with 1000 career innings doesnt have much potential or upside at this point.
    1. Nick Nelson's Avatar
      Nick Nelson -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      Anyone who hates on Joe Mauer doesn't understand the game of baseball. That's all there is to it. The guy has one of the best approaches in baseball, period.
      I said this on Twitter last night while watching the game, and it bears repeating: We often lose perspective on Mauer with all the local noise, but the fact that Torre has him batting fourth -- in this lineup -- says a lot about his reputation around the league as a hitter. And he has delivered, taking consistently better at-bats than anyone else in this star-laden group.

      Regarding Deduno... he's the rare pitcher who is 29 but still has intriguing upside. His style is unconventional, but so was Dickey's when he came through the Twins' organization as a 34-year-old. Dickey was trying to figure out a hard knuckleball and it took him quite a while to master; Deduno's stuff, which darts all over the zone, has been likened to knucklers by some catchers. Could he be a late-bloomer in the same vein? I'd like to give him an extended chance to find out, if the alternatives are guys like Cole De Vries.
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      Except that once you adjust for league, Correia isn't really much better (if at all). He's going to strike out less batters in the AL. He's going to walk more batters. He's going to give up more hits. His ERA will almost surely inflate. Looking at his NL numbers and expecting them to carry into 2013 is unrealistic.
      Exactly...and ERA+ covers this. His ERA+ last year was 88 and that's the best it's been over the last 3 years.
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      Anyone who hates on Joe Mauer doesn't understand the game of baseball. That's all there is to it. The guy has one of the best approaches in baseball, period.
      exactly!
©2014 TwinsCentric, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Interested in advertising with Twins Daily? Click here.