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Thread: What Goes into Making a Minor League Line Up?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer
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    What Goes into Making a Minor League Line Up?

    What goes into making a Minor League Line up?

    As I watch minor league lineups progress thru their respective seasons - I often wonder do the same particulars matter in making a lineup? Does the same reason people cried for Mauer to bat 2nd in MN translate to the development of prospects at the minor league level. Simply put - Are prospects groomed for roles at the higher levels? What and Why do we want particular prospects batting where in the lineup and how does that placement help their development? Are they spoken to in terms of roles in the batting order?

    Example 1: Byron Buxton is an excellent candidate to bat Lead Off for the Twins because he makes great contact and is so incredibly fast.

    Question A: Are you better off having your best hitter batting Second when in fact he should receive more fast balls because of the threat to steal by the Buxton type hitting in front of him? OR Are you better off having that Power Hitter who has trouble with off speed pitches (junk pitches) batting Second because he will probably receive more fast balls because of same stolen base threat?

    Which scenario provides the better logic and better overall long term opportunities to score? If you can guarantee more off speed pitches to your #2 hitter - wouldn't that provide more stolen base opportunities for your lead off man? If the opposite occurs (more fast balls) - wouldn't that provide more true power opportunities for that #2 hitter to do damage?

    Question B: If the object is to have the lead off batter get into scoring position - Wouldn't it serve better to have that true / pure hitter bat 3rd and provide protection for the #2 Power Hitter and generate more RBI opportunities for your best hitter (ala Joe Mauer)?

    My thoughts on a Deep Miracle Lineup
    1) Levi Michael is having a great season as the Miracle leadoff man. Despite average has only attempted 2 stolen bases.
    2) Adam Brett Walker chases too many off speed pitches and the Announcers have stated that teams are throwing him and Kepler the kitchen sink in their early season at bats. Why not assure his chance to see more fastballs?
    3) Jorge Polanco almost never strikes out. His ability to make strong contact and show gap power consistently would make him a RBI machine. He would also serve a protection for Walker.
    4) Max Kepler does an excellent job of getting the ball in the air to all fields and makes consistent contact in his ABs. His sac fly RBI totals would soar and his RBI opportunties would soar as well. He also provides 4 legitimate base running threats at the top of the order.
    5) Travis Harrison is an excellent line drive hitter who serves as your typical middle of the lineup threat. Power potential with strong contact make up.
    6) Dalton Hicks could hit anywhere in the order, but provides the same high RBI threat at this place in the order. His lack of speed also doesn't clog the base paths for the hitters in front of him. His big body and lefty swing provides stolen base protection. His ability to hit the other way also opens up hit and run opportunities.
    7) Mike Gonzalez (DH) provides the same assets as Hicks.
    8) Stuart Turner has shown he does know how to hit and is the perfect late in the line up hitter. He takes good swings and has as many walks as he has srikeouts. Whatever he gives a team at the spot in the order is a bonus. He is an excellent catcher and his role is defined there.
    9) Niko Goodrum is having a great season thus far and his ability to serve as a lead off hitter in the 9th spot is an added bonus.

    Am I way off or do you see any logic in my line up thoughts?

    What would you do with this line up?

  2. #2
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    If AB Walker struggles against breaking pitches and off speed pitches, wouldn't you want him to see MORE of those pitches (so he can improve), not less? That is what the minor leagues are for, to improve where you need improvement, not to win games or pad your stats.

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    Twins Moderator All-Star diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Brooks View Post
    If AB Walker struggles against breaking pitches and off speed pitches, wouldn't you want him to see MORE of those pitches (so he can improve), not less? That is what the minor leagues are for, to improve where you need improvement, not to win games or pad your stats.
    Couldn't have said it better. Walker and Kepler need to learn what not to swing at. Putting them in favorable fastball counts as often as possible isn't the right answer. At the major league level, I'd agree with you. In the minors, if the guy cannot hit a curve ball, I'd make sure's getting a steady diet of them. It's not like he's going to have an easier time of it in the majors.

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    Quote Originally Posted by diehardtwinsfan View Post
    Couldn't have said it better. Walker and Kepler need to learn what not to swing at. Putting them in favorable fastball counts as often as possible isn't the right answer. At the major league level, I'd agree with you. In the minors, if the guy cannot hit a curve ball, I'd make sure's getting a steady diet of them. It's not like he's going to have an easier time of it in the majors.
    Agreed, particularly at a low level like high-A. Maybe, MAYBE, if you manage to advance to AAA but stall, they can start playing with optimizing role deployment (helping a guy carve out at least a AAAA career, maybe a MLB bench role, and keeping your top affiliate happy).

    But you've got to learn to deal with A-ball off-speed stuff first. A-ball players generally don't fall back to limited roles, they fall out of baseball.

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