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Thread: Don't Build Like The Twins

  1. #81
    Owner MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
    Trading a young player for a proven SS is hardly "giving up on him", imo.
    The Hardy/Gomez trade would have been a win all around had the Twins not, you know, traded Hardy for a faulty 96mph pitching machine.

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  3. #82
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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 agree I hated watching Gomez chase fastballs low and away out of the strike zone. Heck just keep throwing the ball there and he would strike himself out. It took him forever to try and lay off of those. I lived with the hope he would get better because of his speed and defense but when the Twins traded him for Hardy I was more than ready to see him leave. Now I want him back, boy was I wrong about him never figuring it out. Question is though how long are you going to wait?

  4. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by tobi0040 View Post
    I would personally give Hicks the reps through the rest of the year in CF. If Buxton is ready next spring, then bring him up and Hicks is in competition for the corners or explore a trade (which I would do starting next spring anyway).
    I've said all along he may as well play out the year. That was my point - there is no disagreement there, I am not "giving up" on him, etc.

    Now, I do doubt he can hit. I certainly would not assume he will dramatically improve, because we should rarely, if ever, assume that for any player.

  5. #84
    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    I wouldn't assume Hicks will radically improve, but he has three months of OPSes above .700 and a couple below .600. He's also had a pretty low BABIP despite a decent IsO, suggesting he's hitting a lot of balls hard at people. He might not magically improve, but his luck should improve. It's not like we're talking about Florimon. On the other hand, if he doesn't get his OPS over .800 by the end of the year, he's not a very good fit for a corner outfield job either. I project him at about .740 by the end of the year, which is fine for a good fielding center fielder (something he also needs to improve).

    Given how both the manager and the front office routinely rip his intangibles, he's a prime candidate to get the Ben Revere treatment, assuming Buxton comes back this year and returns to form, at least in AA.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

  6. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by tobi0040 View Post
    I acknowledged he was younger. But you have more similarities than differences. Gomez didn't click until 25 or 26 with Milwaukee. His first year there he had an OPS of .655, then .679 before .768 at age 26. That was over 1,500 at bats under his belt.
    Gomez's first year in Milwaukee didn't look good, that's for sure, but his second year was the beginnings of his power spike.

    Outside of having some struggles early and ostensibly both being CFers, I don't think Gomez and Hicks are all that similar, no. Gomez was a consistent performer in the minors who was also consistently ranked on prospect lists, performed well defensively everywhere, and was regarded as rushed and underdeveloped (weight/strength-wise) his entire pro career. Again, he was traded at the same age Hicks is now for an established valuable MLB shortstop. Hicks' performance has been up and down his entire pro career, and outside of skipping AAA at age 23, he's never really been rushed, and I can't recall ever hearing any concerns about his physical development.

    Moreover, while Gomez's development path was not unprecedented, it's not typical either. I always hate when people compare young players to Gomez or Hunter at the same age; sure, it suggests that sort of improvement is possible, but doesn't address if it is really probable.

    By all logic, after his departure from the Twins, even with added strength, Gomez probably should have peaked as a 90 OPS+ speed/glove guy. That he greatly exceeded that is one of the joys and surprises of baseball. If Hicks massively improves from his current performance level, on both sides of the ball, it will be a surprise.

  7. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by tobi0040 View Post
    Give me about 30 seconds to do my own projection. Take current numbers and paste into excel. add the upcoming years. Copy and drag down. Hard key in and remove a stolen base from the 4 and 5 year number to appear I put thought into this.

    I am guessing Gomez 2010 would look like:

    .247 BA, 5 HR, 18 SB, .655 OPS
    .247 BA, 5 HR, 18 SB, .655 OPS
    .247 BA, 5 HR, 18 SB, .655 OPS
    .247 BA, 5 HR, 17 SB, .655 OPS
    .247 BA, 5 HR, 16 SB, .655 OPS

    Spot on to his actual results.
    As much as batting average can be overrated sometimes, not many MLB hitters have sustained marks under .200 for as long as Hicks unless they are cooked (or just not capable in the first place).

    To continue with the cooking analogy, I guess you could argue that Hicks is still "raw" but he's not real young. Gomez was raw but he still consistently hit around .250 over a large (albeit somewhat spotted) sample before his breakthrough -- I think it's easier to project adding strength/power onto that and getting a decent player. Hicks is batting .194 so far -- he has to make some adjustments just to stay in MLB at this point, much less warrant any projections above that.

    That said, I wouldn't give up on him. Unless he came back looking like Mike Trout this spring, I'd have started him in AAA this year. Maybe a little late for that now? I'd trade him for JJ Hardy circa 2010 in a heartbeat, though, faster than I would have Gomez.

  8. #87
    Senior Member All-Star LaBombo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drivlikejehu View Post
    I've said all along he may as well play out the year. That was my point - there is no disagreement there, I am not "giving up" on him, etc.

    Now, I do doubt he can hit. I certainly would not assume he will dramatically improve, because we should rarely, if ever, assume that for any player.
    Yep. There is no contradiction in thinking Hicks should play every day and doubting that he'll turn the corner.

    Something I don't think has been mentioned is that Hicks' sole offensive skill, drawing walks, is the most dependent on how pitchers pitch to him. At some point it would seem that opposing pitchers will pitch him more aggressively if he can't push his average much above .200 and drive the ball more. It's amazed me that he's been able to sustain his walk rate this long with such a low average.

    Another factor in his development ceiling is that, going back to the pre-internet Bill James era, drawing walks has been known as an 'old man' skill, tending to develop later than other skills but lasting later into hitters' careers.

    So while it's great that Hicks has already shown that skill, it's one area that you'd normally expect improvement in a hitter in the second half of his 20's, but one in which Hicks may not improve much, unless a power surge forces pitchers to pitch him more carefully.

    With respect to Gomez, the Twins didn't give up on him, but based on what they got (a very good player, but a devalued one coming off of injuries and a bad season), it's likely that they gave up on him becoming what they thought they were getting for Santana.

    And that was apparently due to a choice of internal scouting over very basic statistical analysis. In 2009, Gomez made significant improvements to his K and BB rates, the two biggest concerns with his offense, yet saw his average fall 30 points off of a 45 point drop in BABIP. His 'reward' was demotion to the bench.

  9. #88
    Please ban me! All-Star stringer bell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    The Hardy/Gomez trade would have been a win all around had the Twins not, you know, traded Hardy for a faulty 96mph pitching machine.
    That is "batting practice" machine.

  10. #89
    Owner MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stringer bell View Post
    That is "batting practice" machine.
    Batting practice machines don't usually throw 96mph, nor do they have a decent chance of taking off the batter's head with errant throws.

  11. #90
    Senior Member All-Star LaBombo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    Batting practice machines don't usually throw 96mph, nor do they have a decent chance of taking off the batter's head with errant throws.
    So Hoey did have one above-average ability, at least. Possible use as warmup intimidation tool...


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  13. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by drivlikejehu View Post
    I've said all along he may as well play out the year. That was my point - there is no disagreement there, I am not "giving up" on him, etc.
    This sounds an awful lot like giving up on him to me.

    "Twins outfielders as a whole this year are far below replacement level. They are the worst in the Majors by an immense margin. If that is your standard, then certainly Hicks can remain a starter. But if you want a productive outfield, Hicks has no place in it."
    Last edited by tobi0040; 05-19-2014 at 09:12 PM.

  14. #92
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer Twins Twerp's Avatar
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    Berrios surely is something to deal around...dealing tonight with ND, 10 k's in 7 innings

  15. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by tobi0040 View Post
    This sounds an awful lot like giving up on him to me.

    "Twins outfielders as a whole this year are far below replacement level. They are the worst in the Majors by an immense margin. If that is your standard, then certainly Hicks can remain a starter. But if you want a productive outfield, Hicks has no place in it."
    Sure, taken out of context. But the post began by noting how bad the Twins other outfielders have been. My point was that Hicks may as well keep playing for now, as I have said consistently.

    However, with respect to the future, Hicks as he is now doesn't cut it. That's not a very controversial position - I guarantee you the Twins agree. Nor can any rational person be 100% certain he will dramatically improve sometime soon.

  16. #94
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    Skipping the last 4 pages of this thread, an OF of Arcia in LF, Buxton in CF and Hicks in RF totally blows away an OF of Hicks in CF and anybody else who has played corner OF since Arcia and Willingham went down in early April. If anything trotting SS's out to play the OF maybe gives the team an opportunity to showcase these players for possible trades.

  17. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by drivlikejehu View Post
    Sure, taken out of context. But the post began by noting how bad the Twins other outfielders have been. My point was that Hicks may as well keep playing for now, as I have said consistently.

    However, with respect to the future, Hicks as he is now doesn't cut it. That's not a very controversial position - I guarantee you the Twins agree. Nor can any rational person be 100% certain he will dramatically improve sometime soon.
    What part was taken out of context? Saying he has no place in a productive outfield sounds an awful lot like you are giving up on him. Unless your point of view is that our goal is to have an unproductive outfield and which case, he is a great fit.

  18. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
    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.
    His tools always rated highly in the minors but there were still comments about creative routes that he made up for with his speed. He wasn't polished defensively and he's still more defensive tools than skill.

    Ideally the Twins would be in a position to stash Hicks (and possibly even Arcia) in AAA for a year. He's a complete mess offensively regardless of his decent OBP.

  19. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twins Twerp View Post
    Berrios surely is something to deal around...dealing tonight with ND, 10 k's in 7 innings
    Kind of what I had in mind. Regarding the fact that Didi was the #3 pick, that is a sunk cost. They have their SS of the future but he is in AAA playing well. Seems like a great fit for both teams frankly.

  20. #98
    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kab21 View Post
    His tools always rated highly in the minors but there were still comments about creative routes that he made up for with his speed. He wasn't polished defensively and he's still more defensive tools than skill.

    Ideally the Twins would be in a position to stash Hicks (and possibly even Arcia) in AAA for a year. He's a complete mess offensively regardless of his decent OBP.
    Last 28 games: .250/.413/.389/.802
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

  21. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
    Last 28 days: .250/.413/.389/.802
    46 PA's.

  22. #100
    Head Moderator MVP glunn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
    And Gomez was a great fielder day one.
    I was about 100 feet away at a game in Anaheim where Gomez took one of the worst routes I have ever seen. Small sample size, but I also recall seeing some miscues on TV.

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