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Thread: Article: Twins Minor League Hitter of the Month - May 2014

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    Article: Twins Minor League Hitter of the Month - May 2014


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    Great series as always Seth.Thanks.

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    Looks like Adam Walker warmed up a bit in May. I am getting more and more excited to see Vargas with the Twins.

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    "Although his MLB future would appear to be a fourth or fifth outfielder, he is the kind of guy who is still young and could play for a long time" Whenever I see a guy like this having this kind of season that has that kind of projection I think about what the scouts thought about Kirby Puckett or Pete Rose. Puckett was considered an outside shot to ever make a major league team and this is what they said about Rose " can’t run, can’t throw, does not have a specific position, and he should try to learn to hit right-handed before trying to hit left-handed.” . Then on the flip side they take a guy like Hicks that never really dominated a stretch of minor league and project him as a Tori Hunter. I know Ortiz is older and maybe that is his ceiling but that was one heck of a month. If Buxton ever has a month like that at New Britain we will consider it proof positive that he will be an all star in the majors within a couple years.

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    Owner MVP Seth Stohs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dantes929 View Post
    "Although his MLB future would appear to be a fourth or fifth outfielder, he is the kind of guy who is still young and could play for a long time" Whenever I see a guy like this having this kind of season that has that kind of projection I think about what the scouts thought about Kirby Puckett or Pete Rose. Puckett was considered an outside shot to ever make a major league team and this is what they said about Rose " can’t run, can’t throw, does not have a specific position, and he should try to learn to hit right-handed before trying to hit left-handed.” . Then on the flip side they take a guy like Hicks that never really dominated a stretch of minor league and project him as a Tori Hunter. I know Ortiz is older and maybe that is his ceiling but that was one heck of a month. If Buxton ever has a month like that at New Britain we will consider it proof positive that he will be an all star in the majors within a couple years.

    This is why I choose to follow the minor leagues so closely. It's not just about those that are first-round picks, or highly touted guys. There are so many examples of guys who always had question marks tied to them who have proven a lot of people wrong. Ortiz could be one of those guys. He's a good enough hitter and fielder that he can play the game. Will he ever get a real chance? If he does, will he take off, or will we find out why he didn't get much of an opportunity? I don't know. But , like I said, that's the fun of it.

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    [QUOTE=Dantes929;236332]"Although his MLB future would appear to be a fourth or fifth outfielder, he is the kind of guy who is still young and could play for a long time"
    Regarding that same paragraph, like we don't need one of those right now, do we?

  7. #7
    Just a little nit pick Vargas wont be 24 till August

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    Puckett was considered an outside shot to ever make a major league team
    I am not sure anyone ever said Puck would not make the majors, although I doubt anyone predicted his actual career trajectory!

    I understand that he was selected in a now-deduct draft, but the fact remains that the first time he was eligible for the draft as a collegiate he was selected third overall. Somebody obviously thought he would make the majors!

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by TRex View Post
    I am not sure anyone ever said Puck would not make the majors, although I doubt anyone predicted his actual career trajectory!

    I understand that he was selected in a now-deduct draft, but the fact remains that the first time he was eligible for the draft as a collegiate he was selected third overall. Somebody obviously thought he would make the majors!
    This from Puckett's Pond: When Puckett is referred to as the 3rd overall pick in 1982, there is a bit of a lie of omission involved, as these January drafts were really a bunch of leftover players from the previous draft class.

  10. #10
    Also this from Puckett's Pond: Therefore, Puckett was not considered a big-time prospect. He was small, which probably was the main reason why he was not drafted in the first place.

  11. #11
    And more info from Twins Daily's Seth Stohs on 1-12-13: As you know, in June, players out of high school, junior college and those having finished three years at a four-year college are selected. However, from 1965 through 1986, there was also a draft in January for high school and college players who graduated in the Winter. Kirby Puckett fit into that category.
    I assume many know the history of Kirby Puckett. He's a Hall of Famer and one of the greatest players in Minnesota Twins history. His legend grew as the leader of the 1987 and 1991 World Series championship teams.

    For someone in my age group, we know all about the Kirby Puckett story. However, consider that he has been retired since spring training of 1996. Anyone born after September 28, 1995, was not born while he was still playing. That means that no one under the age of around 23 or 24 would have memories of watching him during his playing career.

    Puckett was born and raised in the projects on the South Side of Chicago, some of the roughest neighborhoods in the country. Following his high school playing days, he didn't receive any scholarship offers. He went to work on the assembly line at a Ford Motors plant. He was given an opportunity to play at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, but after one year, he went to Triton Community College.

    That's where the Jim Rantz legend was born. Rantz went to Triton one day to watch his son play, but in the process, he got to see Kirby Puckett play. He was so impressed that he recommended the Twins continue to send scouts to watch him.

    Then 31 years ago today, they used the third overall pick to to select the outfielder.




    As a 22-year-old, he went to Elizabethton where he hit .382/.438/.491 with 15 doubles, three triples, three home runs and 35 RBI. It may surprise some, but he also stole 43 bases (in 47 attempts) during the short-season.

    In 1983, he moved up to Visalia where he hit .314/.366/.442 with 29 doubles, seven triples, nine home runs and 97 RBI. He stole 48 bases in 59 attempts.

    Let me make a brief sidenote here. Puckett was putting up monstrous numbers in A-Ball, but he was already 23 years old, so I imagine had prospect rankings ben done by more at that time, he may have been dropped a few spots because he was "too old for the level."

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    By the way, Danny Ortiz was promoted to Rochester today.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TRex View Post
    I am not sure anyone ever said Puck would not make the majors, although I doubt anyone predicted his actual career trajectory!

    I understand that he was selected in a now-deduct draft, but the fact remains that the first time he was eligible for the draft as a collegiate he was selected third overall. Somebody obviously thought he would make the majors!
    From an article in 2013 in the Pioneer Press. "
    According to Earl Brown's 1982 scouting report released by the Hall of Fame as part of its Diamond Mines exhibit, Puckett had no better than an "outside chance" of reaching the majors.
    "And that was generous," Ryan says.
    Then Midwest scouting supervisor for the New York Mets, Ryan watched Puckett quite a bit as an amateur and had many of the same doubts as the rest of the industry. "He didn't even play center field for his junior-college team," Ryan says. "

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    Sweet on Ortiz.

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    Quote Originally Posted by blairpaul715 View Post
    That's where the Jim Rantz legend was born. Rantz went to Triton one day to watch his son play, but in the process, he got to see Kirby Puckett play. He was so impressed that he recommended the Twins continue to send scouts to watch him.
    I guess I didn't state my point very well...

    I just meant that SOMEONE thought he would make the major leagues.

    And that is why Jim Rantz has a legend, and you and I just push keys around. While I love the quantitativeness that is baseball, the mental side of it is still my favorite.

    You know… 90% of the game IS half mental (or is that half-mental)!

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by TRex View Post
    I guess I didn't state my point very well...



    And that is why Jim Rantz has a legend, and you and I just push keys around. While I love the quantitativeness that is baseball, the mental side of it is still my favorite.

    You know… 90% of the game IS half mental (or is that half-mental)!
    Also why I love baseball..........and everyone can predict and project , and test if their theory comes true........if only the team would listen to me LOL

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    Seth,

    When do you plan on updating the prospect ranking list?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tibs View Post
    Looks like Adam Walker warmed up a bit in May. I am getting more and more excited to see Vargas with the Twins.
    +1. +1.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
    By the way, Danny Ortiz was promoted to Rochester today.
    0-4 and starting in LF this evening in his debut. How soon does he get his chance to try on CF for a spell?

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    Ortiz was 0 for 4 in his AAA debut? Alas, another dream of greatness goes poof!

    On a completely unrelated note, one of the kids on my 13U team (also named Danny) hit a lead-off home run, then later pitched two shut-out innings. I told him he had a pretty good day. Oh, and he stole second, third and home, too. Pretty good day. Mr. Rantz, your next big prospect awaits!

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