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Fanatic Jack

Examination Time.

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The front office surprised Twins fans earlier this week by trading outfielder Denard Span to the Washington Nationals for pitching prospect Alex Meyer. Span is an excellent leadoff hitter, solid player on both sides of the diamond, and has a dirt cheap contract for another two seasons. He also has a $9 million team option for 2015. Most people expected the Twins to trade Span for an experienced pitcher or at the very least a major league ready one. Meyer looks like a very intriguing prospect. He was selected in the 1st round (23rd overall) and is a hard thrower. He made it up to High A this year and looked good until he hit his limit on innings pitched.

Most fans have fallen in love with this trade and have went out of their way to compliment the front office. I remain skeptical because Meyer is only a prospect and was traded for a proven commodity. Meyer is 6-9, 220 lbs, and throws a fastball clocked between 93-98 MPH on the radar gun. Sorry to insult people but this is just not that impressive! Now if it were the 1990's this would mean more to me, but today most starting pitchers have an average fastball speed of 93-94 MPH. Meyer only has two quality pitches which are his fastball and slider. His changeup is considered by many to be a work in progress. If for whatever reason Meyer is unable to establish a third pitch he instantly becomes a reliever instead of a starter. Maybe Storen/Bernadina for Span would have been a good trade? Meyer has been competing against younger players (18-20) in the minors and we will know more after seeing him play in New Britain or Rochester. Meyer is a tall lanky pitcher who has struggled with his command in the past. He does not throw over the top like most pitchers his size but instead at a three-quarters delivery. This has Tommy John surgery written all over it. My last point is 90% of all signed players ever make it to the big leagues. The Twins should of demanded a second, more accomplished player in return for the trade to work for me. However, I absolutely love that the front office is trying something different and thinking outside the box.

Updated 12-02-2012 at 11:42 AM by Fanatic Jack

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  1. Jim Crikket's Avatar
    Jack, I don't disagree that a pitching prospect is a risk, but given the total absence of even potential top of the rotation pitching in the Twins organization, I believe this was a reasonable risk for the Twins to take. I was not in the least bit interested in seeing Span traded for a relief pitcher, I don't care who it is.

    But the biggest objection I have to your post is the statement that Meyer competed against younger kids who were 18-20 years old last year. I'm sorry to pick on you, because you certainly aren't the only person to make a comment like this. It's one of those things that seems to have become acknowledged as fact just because it's been stated so often.

    But go look at the rosters of full-season Class A teams. They are certainly not full of nothing but 18-20 year olds. For example, look over the Beloit Snappers roster at the end of their season. A 20 year old would have been born some time in 1992, right? The Snappers had exactly ONE PLAYER born in 1992 or later... Miguel Sano. Every other player on their roster was born in 1991 or earlier.

    As a regular fan of a Class A team in Cedar Rapids, I can say this is typical. Sure you'll see a Sano (or, in CR, a Trout) come through as an 18-19 year old from time to time, but they are the exception, not the rule. Teenagers tend to spend their time in rookie/short season leagues. Typically, we see players 21-22 years old in Class A. In fact, just for the heck of it, I glanced at the end-of-the-season roster of the Nationals' Class A team in Hagerstown and not a single position player on that roster was born after 1989, so that would indicate that all of the guys lined up behind Meyer while he pitched there were older than Meyer.

    It's fair to question whether getting a pitcher who hasn't pitched above Class A for Span was a good deal, but anyone who claims he built his stats at Class A against a bunch of younger players simply is not taking the time to research the facts.
  2. Chance's Avatar
    Also, many reports say he throws between 93-99 mph. The 93-95ish mph are his 2seamer which is pretty impressive. He's above average for a major league pitcher in the velocity department and leaps and bounds ahead of the Twins options. We need front of the rotation pitchers and span would never have brought us a big league or big league ready starter that could eventually even have the potential to be a top of the rotation guy. We got the best player we could have.
  3. Chance's Avatar
    I do praise you for taking a different approach. But really besides the fact that he (might not) reach the majors, there aren't a lot of negatives.
  4. Rosterman's Avatar
    He's a guy the Twins may have drafted if they drafted earlier in 2011. The Nats drafted him, paid him a $2 million bonus, and the Twins got to see him pitch at two levels in 2012. They dealt from a position of strength in the organization. And if you look at the overall picture, Span is a great contract, but to advertise him as the best centerfielder out there is hardly a given. They are a lot of similar, if not better (and higher priced) centerfielders as free agents, a decent choice of corner outfielders, and other teams willing to part with players. Just as long as he doesn't pull up totally lame (you can live thru Tommy John), this is a great top of the rotation pitcher. For an organization that has questionable prospects, it made us look better with Gibson, Wimmers, Hermson, Salecedo, Hendriks, maybe Hernandez, plus Barrios and possibly Bard filling spots in 2014 and 2015. We all have this "win now" mentality brewing....but the Twins may have too many holes and not enough committed funds to pull it off in 2013.
  5. shs_59's Avatar
    I'm really eyeing 2015. (i have been for the past 9+ months now)

    LF Arcia B ......CF Hicks B+..........RF Revere B-

    3B T-Money Plouffe C+.........SS Escobar / trade in prospect Gregorius.....2B Rosario B-.........1B Morneau B+...new contract for less $.

    C Joe Mauer A- ............DH ... Cheap FA.... ... Seth Smith/ Kubel/ Cuddyer anybody.

    reserves: OF Nathan Roberts, OF Joe Benson, INF Brian Dozier, INF Danny Santana, C Herrmann (hopefully)


    Brandon McCarthy, Alex Meyer, Kyle Gibson, Scotty Diamond, BJ Hermsen

    Glen Perkins, Dakota Watts, Luke Bard, Alex Burnett, Brian Duensing, Matt Hauser, Pedro Hernandez...


    SP- Hendriks. Wimmers, Melotakis , Zach Jones, Dean, Oliveros, Pugh, Waldrop?, Theilbar.

    1B/ DH- Sano. Beresford, Knudson, Jairo Rodriguez, Bigley, Clement, Kepler.


    L. Michael


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