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Thread: Don't Build Like The Twins

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
    Aaron Hicks has a negative 4.0 DEF score for WAR right now on Fangraphs. He had a negative score last year. I find it hard to believe that major league hit balls are so much harder hit than minor league balls, requiring a MLB who has been a profession baseball player for 6 years to literally get turned around on multiple occassions.

    So if we had a replacement level player over Hicks in CF, we would have 4 more wins this year? Thru 42 games? Baseball reference has him at -.4. I am hoping that was a typo. If not, lets hit the pause button on this discussion.

  2. #42
    Owner MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tobi0040 View Post
    So if we had a replacement level player over Hicks in CF, we would have 4 more wins this year? Thru 42 games? Baseball reference has him at -.4. I am hoping that was a typo. If not, lets hit the pause button on this discussion.
    Those are runs, not wins.

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  4. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by PseudoSABR View Post
    While I can't access the article, if it failed to note how the Twins traded outfield defense (Revere, Span) for strikeout pitching (Meyer, May), that would be a rather unforgivable oversight.
    It did not. It's a rather short little read made to allow the mainstream to laugh at the debacle that is the Twins OF right now. Is it super thorough? No. Is it effective? Basically. You could nitpick it all you want (what the internet does), but it gets to the point.

    1. The Twins starting staff can't strike anyone out.
    2. The OF sucks...hard. No range and no glove.
    3. The SP staff puts the ball in the air or the ground (obviously, based on #1), which is dumb based on #2.
    4. The Twins have dealt with injury, using SS at OF...but the OF guys they do have suck at OF too.
    5. The Twins did it to themselves. Specifically, the Bartlett situation. Morons.
    6. You can pitch well or you can defend well...but if you can't do both...you're the Twins.

    This is a very short summary of the article. It is a decent read for most people, but most who frequent this site would be disappointed. Look up online for cheap or free (survey reward) subscriptions to ESPN the Mag. You can register your subscription and get insider access that way. 2 years for $9, worth it for me.

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  6. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    Swap out Hicks, Parmelee, and Arcia/Willingham/whatever for Buxton, Hicks (if he can hit), and Arcia and the outfield goes from bad to very good in a hurry.
    I'm not just picking on you Brock, but to those that think Hicks in RF provides ANY value are going to be sadly disappointed (if they can be even more disappointed). Hicks was supposed to be Gomez-lite defensively in CF and he has proven to be worse that both Span and Revere (although Hick's arm is great). BUT he will never produce offensively enough to warrant being in a corner position. I know NEVER is a really strong word, but his hit tool is just not good enough. I would rather them stash a good-hitting guy like Vargas out there and deal with bad defense than Hicks be our RF. At his ceiling, he MIGHT be Nick Markakis. He will be traded by year 2016 after Buxton is firmly established.

  7. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by drivlikejehu View Post
    You can't look at the batting components separately. Increasing his batting average may require a change in approach that reduces his walks. This may happen whether he likes it or not, because pitchers are increasingly going to just serve up hittable pitches and force him to swing.

    The problem is that Hicks does not make good contact. He doesn't actually swing and miss all that much - 7.1% this year, which is OK. But the results on his balls in play are horrible, and were last year too. A little tweak here or there is not going to be enough. Something big will have to change that allows him to hit the ball hard, or he will wash out. He absolutely cannot be counted on at this point.
    Here is my point. It has been 400 at bats for a guy that never played at AAA and has a ton of talent. I am not ready for blanket statements quite yet.

    Over the course of 3 seasons and 1,000 at bats, we put up with Carlos Gomez and a .650 OPS and sub .300 OBP. Milwaukee then put up with 2 seasons in the .650-.670 range before he absolutely broke out. His combined WAR last year was over 9. Not only that, but after watching Go-Go those first two years, I have seen more flashes out of Hicks at the plate then I did with Gomez. Gomez looked completely lost for years, he didn't know if he was a contact guy, a power guy, etc.

    Hicks had a .338 slugging last year with 8 HR in 80 games. The 15th best CF in the MLB last year had a .350 slugging. Hicks .339 OBP ranks 8th in the MLB among CF. His overall game has been ugly and he does not project as the defensive player Gomez is, but he has shown flashes and it is very early in the book.

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  9. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by Riverbrian View Post
    I typically over value defense. I watch for it and I appreciate it.

    I am not even close to satisfied with the level of defense played in the Twins OF.

    I will give two current players a passing grade... Parmelee and Fuld. The rest of the OF is below average in my opinion and in that group.. I include Hicks.
    I agree that Fuld is the best defender of the group, but Parmelee is much worse than Hicks. He has terrible range so he can't get to a lot of balls -- he only looks good because he catches nearly everything he can reach, so he makes the most of his abilities.

  10. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Siehbiscuit View Post
    I'm not just picking on you Brock, but to those that think Hicks in RF provides ANY value are going to be sadly disappointed (if they can be even more disappointed). Hicks was supposed to be Gomez-lite defensively in CF and he has proven to be worse that both Span and Revere (although Hick's arm is great). BUT he will never produce offensively enough to warrant being in a corner position. I know NEVER is a really strong word, but his hit tool is just not good enough. I would rather them stash a good-hitting guy like Vargas out there and deal with bad defense than Hicks be our RF. At his ceiling, he MIGHT be Nick Markakis. He will be traded by year 2016 after Buxton is firmly established.
    Let's go back to after the 2009 season, Gomez has had 700 more at bats than Hicks to this point. What was your opinion about Gomez and his ability to be our CF?

    I had seen enough and would have traded him for a Diet Coke, and that is what scares me about the blanket statements about Hicks to this point.
    Last edited by tobi0040; 05-19-2014 at 11:51 AM.

  11. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by tobi0040 View Post
    If you are referring to Pelfrey and Kevin C, I think they are stop gaps to keep us respectable, chuckle chuckle regarding Pelfrey. But I think that was what they were trying to do.

    And why are Pelf and KC stopgaps? Where is the pitching rotation we have been able to "build" so we dont need them and Hughes and Nolasco and Deduno to fill out (or make up entirely, sans Gibson)? You comment on it like it starts today and moving forward with the guys in the minors. Where is the wave of players that should have already been built up in the past to be playing for us?

  12. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by edavis0308 View Post
    And why are Pelf and KC stopgaps? Where is the pitching rotation we have been able to "build" so we dont need them and Hughes and Nolasco and Deduno to fill out (or make up entirely, sans Gibson)? You comment on it like it starts today and moving forward with the guys in the minors. Where is the wave of players that should have already been built up in the past to be playing for us?
    Uhh....look at the Rochester Red Wings pitching numbers. And then compare them to the 2013 numbers. The AAA club has gone from Worst in the IL to nearly First, in terms of ERA and K%. Looking for near-future replacement pitchers? Rochester is a good place to start.

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  14. #50
    Owner MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Siehbiscuit View Post
    I'm not just picking on you Brock, but to those that think Hicks in RF provides ANY value are going to be sadly disappointed (if they can be even more disappointed). Hicks was supposed to be Gomez-lite defensively in CF and he has proven to be worse that both Span and Revere (although Hick's arm is great). BUT he will never produce offensively enough to warrant being in a corner position.
    There is simply no way to know that for sure. Hicks has looked awful but he's just 24 and has less than a season of plate appearances. I'm as disappointed in him as the next guy but there's simply no reason to make that kind of declaration at this point in Hicks' career.

    Does he look like he'll be an adequate corner OF at the plate? Right now, absolutely not... But he still has a lot of plate appearances in front of him before we'll know that for sure.

  15. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by tobi0040 View Post
    Let's go back to after the 2009 season, Gomez has had 700 more at bats than Hicks to this point. What was your opinion about Gomez and his ability to be our CF?

    I had seen enough and would have traded him for a Diet Coke, and that is what scares me about the blanket statements about Hicks to this point.
    I couldn't agree with you any more than I already do. Hicks has BARELY played as a major leaguer, but we're already to declare that he'll never hit, his defense is terrible, and Sam Fuld is a better choice than him? Seems silly.

  16. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by edavis0308 View Post
    And why are Pelf and KC stopgaps? Where is the pitching rotation we have been able to "build" so we dont need them and Hughes and Nolasco and Deduno to fill out (or make up entirely, sans Gibson)? You comment on it like it starts today and moving forward with the guys in the minors. Where is the wave of players that should have already been built up in the past to be playing for us?
    My point is this article is about a year too late. They didn't mention that we signed two FA arms that have more than 7 k's per 9. We are probably 2-4 weeks away from Alex Meyer in the rotation, who will strike out a ton of batters. And we drafted a high upside arm that should be a strike out guy last draft.

    If you are saying we could have done these things starting in 2010, you are preaching to the choir. I think the lack of moves from the dismantling of the 2010 team to 2012 are the main reason why we are where we are. But the timing of the article was off to me.

  17. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by tobi0040 View Post
    My point is this article is about a year too late. They didn't mention that we signed two FA arms that have more than 7 k's per 9. We are probably 2-4 weeks away from Alex Meyer in the rotation, who will strike out a ton of batters. And we drafted a high upside arm that should be a strike out guy last draft.

    If you are saying we could have done these things starting in 2010, you are preaching to the choir. I think the lack of moves from the dismantling of the 2010 team to 2012 are the main reason why we are where we are. But the timing of the article was off to me.
    Point taken. I just wanted the portion clarified that you can't look at things starting today moving forward, but in the past and how we got to this point also. Agreed on preaching to the choir.

  18. #54
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    It is an article on a national website, not a book written on the entire Twins strategy and minor leagues. I'm not sure what people expect. The Twins can't strike guys out, and they are playing SS in the OF. What do people expect an article written for a national audience to say.
    Lighten up Francis....

  19. #55
    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
    Aaron Hicks has a negative 4.0 DEF score for WAR right now on Fangraphs. He had a negative score last year. I find it hard to believe that major league hit balls are so much harder hit than minor league balls, requiring a MLB who has been a profession baseball player for 6 years to literally get turned around on multiple occassions.
    He was always rated very highly in the minors. So why has he struggled up here? Maybe if we listen to what he has said, it might help.

    He has said his biggest challenges in learning how to play up here include the bigger second deck behind home plate and the higher drives that get lost in the sea of white shirts up there. In the minors, balls hit high tend to not be as deep as they are up here. So you have a chance to get under them. That makes sense, because if they hit them high and deep, they end up in the MLB.

    Not to make excuses, just to point out that he has a learning curve and miscues should diminish over time. It also makes it tougher that he has played next to a first baseman and a DH for most of the year. Maybe the learning curve would be easier if he had real outfielders next to him.

    Obviously, he's still learning. He probably needs to play deeper. That might help. But Levi and others seem to believe that he is hopeless out there. That conclusion is premature.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

  20. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by tobi0040 View Post
    Over the course of 3 seasons and 1,000 at bats, we put up with Carlos Gomez and a .650 OPS and sub .300 OBP.
    Well, Gomez was significantly younger (750 MLB PAs, plus 2 WAR from defense alone, by the time Hicks made his MLB debut). The shape of his poor offense was also quite different from Hicks, for better or worse. Even at that young age, Gomez was around a .250 hitter for us. It really looks like he was one of those skinny guys who could hit a little, but eventually needed to beef up to consistently drive the ball with authority.

    Interestingly, Gomez was also a very consistent AVG hitter in the minors. Career MiLB of .278, and he never strayed from that .275-.281 range (and his last 3 years with the Brewers have been at .276). Hicks' minor league career, while better in some respects, has been much more volatile -- harder to project? Harder to focus improvement?
    Last edited by spycake; 05-19-2014 at 12:35 PM.

  21. #57
    Twins Moderator MVP ashburyjohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
    It is an article on a national website, not a book written on the entire Twins strategy and minor leagues. I'm not sure what people expect. The Twins can't strike guys out, and they are playing SS in the OF. What do people expect an article written for a national audience to say.
    That it's a team in transition and the Twins themselves would agree "don't build [a team you expect to contend for a few years] like this"?

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  23. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by spycake View Post
    Well, Gomez was significantly younger (750 MLB PAs, plus 2 WAR from defense alone, by the time Hicks made his MLB debut). The shape of his poor offense was also quite different from Hicks, for better or worse. Even at that young age, Gomez was around a .250 hitter for us. It really looks like he was one of those skinny guys who could hit a little, but eventually needed to beef up to consistently drive the ball with authority.

    Interestingly, Gomez was also a very consistent AVG hitter in the minors. Career MiLB of .278, and he never strayed from that .275-.281 range (and his last 3 years with the Brewers have been at .276). Hicks' minor league career, while better in some respects, has been much more volatile -- harder to project? Harder to focus improvement?
    Agreed they were different. Gomez hit more for average, Hicks got on base. But I can't help but see parallels. Ton of tools, young, probably promoted too soon and took awhile to figure it out.

    But between Hicks 8 HR in half the year last year, his .338 slugging. His .338 OBP this year and his .382 OBP in May, I stand by the fact that I have seen more glimpses of an MLB player out of Hicks then I saw in Gomez first three years here. And Hicks is at about 40% of the games, albeit a little older.

  24. #59
    Senior Member All-Star JB_Iowa's Avatar
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    Is the idea to BUILD a team or to have one already constructed?

    If you are building, it seems to me you let Hicks continue to play out there until it becomes apparent that he isn't making any progress on the learning curve.

    Same thing with Arcia once he is back from his rehab (okay it was a minor league assignment but he was still having wrist problems at the beginning of the 10 days).

    Keep Parmelee up and let's see what an Arcia-Hicks-Parmelee outfield can do. Use Kubel and Willingham at DH with a few outfield stints just to keep them ready (and also because we can't seem to keep an entire outfield healthy).

    That leaves the whole issue of Sam Fuld and I'm not really sure what to do there. How the Twins can have a shortage and abundance of outfielders is a little befuddling.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JB_Iowa View Post
    How the Twins can have a shortage and abundance of outfielders is a little befuddling.
    It gives new meaning to the phrase "an embarassment of riches."
    6 players and none of them are quite ready for prime time (or they've grown out of the regular role in the field and are better suited to DH)

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