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Thread: OF situation thus far, and looking ahead.

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by spycake View Post
    Have you checked Plouffe's numbers lately? His AVG, SLG, and K rate all seem perfectly consistent with years past. His OBP is about .010 higher than last year, but mostly thanks to April (isolated discipline .058 since May 1st, was .062 from 2011-2013).

    And he's starting to get more expensive, $2.35 mil this year as a Super-2 player. Given his starting history, he's probably on his way to $3-4 mil arbitration awards the next few years, regardless of his future role. Which we can obviously afford, but it doesn't look like that's a particularly great value for what would essentially be a 90-100 OPS+ corner player. (If he could backup middle IF again, it could be a different story!)

    If his defense really is average or better at third, he might have more value in trade if someone else sees him as a viable 3B patch.
    Actually, year over year, from 2013 to 2014, Plouffe is better in every batting stat, save BA (.254 vs .245). He's definitely a streaky hitter, but his OPS+ is over 100 right now, and appears more sustainable than ever before. He is only 2 XBHs behind his entire total from last year, and he's currently just 9 XBHs behind his 2012 total.

    He's dramatically improved his pitch selectivity, lowering his O-swing rate from some of the league's worst to some of the league's best- Joe Mauer and Denard Span, two of the most selective hitters in Twins history, each have an O-swing rate of 23.9%, Plouffe's rate is 24%.

    Further, check how he has morphed into a spray-gap-doubles hitter:



    Vs. his spray chart over a similar time frame in 2013:

    Last edited by jokin; 07-15-2014 at 01:53 PM.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by beckmt View Post
    Maybe this is not the spot for this discussion, but I view Dozier as a Brandon Phillips type, with more walks and maybe a little less defense.
    Phillips is actually an interesting comp for Dozier. Struggled big time in his MLB debut (albeit at age 22), busted out with 30 HR (and 32 SB) at age 26, bought out his arb years plus a FA year for 4/27, stabilized around a 105 OPS+ during that time with plus defense.

    The guy I keep thinking of is Dan Uggla, who had an under-the-radar late debut like Dozier (although a better minor league history of power hitting). Uggla was less of a 2B but more of a traditional hitter (116 OPS+ hitter through his pre-FA years, peaking around 130).

    I don't know if either guy ever drew much high-impact trade interest -- Uggla played 5 seasons with the trade-happy Marlins, and was ultimately dealt for a middle reliever and Omar Infante. Suggests we're better off rolling the dice on Dozer for the next 4-5 years, taking the good performance if he can keep it up, not costing much money if he doesn't, and possibly trading him only once we have an actual surplus at the position (i.e. closer than rookie league and A-ball).

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
    Actually, year over year, from 2013 to 2014, Plouffe is better in every batting stat, save BA (.254 vs .245). He's definitely a streaky hitter, but his OPS+ is over 100 right now, and appears more sustainable than ever before. He is only 2 XBHs behind his entire total from last year, and he's currently just 9 XBHs behind his 2012 total.
    2013 was actually his worst year in terms of power and discipline, so being marginally better than that in 2014 is welcomed but not terribly meaningful. And his "above 100" OPS is 101. I believe it was 99 before Sunday's game. His career mark is 96, and he's been between 91-106 every year. For a streaky hitter, he's actually been quite consistent in his year-end results.

    His offensive levels look perfectly sustainable for the next couple years -- but that ~100 wRC+ level ranks about 15th among qualified MLB 3B, maybe 20-25th among regular (300+ PA) third basemen. Does that modest offensive level have any value from a right-handed, $4 million, 29-30 year old corner OF?

  4. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    Barring injury or extreme production drop-off, Dozier's value will still be very high in two years and at that point, this theoretical replacement will be closer to the big leagues and more of a viable option to actually replace Dozier and be productive.

    Teams can't trade off solid, productive players due to irrational fear of collapse... if they operated in that fashion, they'd trade every. single. player. on their roster the moment they got good at hitting or throwing baseballs.

    Teams can't win if they continually trade off their good players without viable replacements on hand. It's that simple.
    There is no right answer on this question but there are several sides. I agree with you, but my points are these:

    1) Dozier has about 5 years of team control left. . he has one year of pre-arbitration left. To many teams (exclude the Dogers, Yankees, Red Sox, etc) those are important features, which as time goes on have lower value to the acquiring team.

    2) IMO the Twins have more than one future 2B (excess inventory). So 2B is a position we can trade someone (for a need)and still be solid.

    3) Since 2012 when he went to AAA, Dozier has never hit well - .241 MLB average and .311OBP as compared to AA and lower .298BA and .370 OBP. If he stops hitting HR's what is his value as a .241 hitting 2B as compared to his "potential" value now.

    4) That's the "rub" in a popular player trade. . . do you bet on his "upside" or his "downside".

    5) If Dozier continues as is. . I like him, pencil him into the #5 hole as a 30HR guy and .250 hitter. If he doesn't continue as is, the question is "could we have gotten something better for him when he was a "potential" forever 30HR guy?

    6) Dozier reminds me of Davey Johnson (Orioles/Braves) who hit 136 homers in a 13 year career (10 HR/year) but had one season in which he hit 43.

    Again, no right or wrong answers here, but from my point of view with Rosario, Polanco, etc. (your term- vialble replacements) I would prefer to get a consensus 20HR - .270 hitter corner outfileder for Dozier at this time. This is why GM's in baseball get paid a lot/don't always last long. . . tough decisions.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by spycake View Post
    2013 was actually his worst year in terms of power and discipline, so being marginally better than that in 2014 is welcomed but not terribly meaningful. And his "above 100" OPS is 101. I believe it was 99 before Sunday's game. His career mark is 96, and he's been between 91-106 every year. For a streaky hitter, he's actually been quite consistent in his year-end results.

    His offensive levels look perfectly sustainable for the next couple years -- but that ~100 wRC+ level ranks about 15th among qualified MLB 3B, maybe 20-25th among regular (300+ PA) third basemen. Does that modest offensive level have any value from a right-handed, $4 million, 29-30 year old corner OF?
    Comparing his most recent two years is extremely valuable in judging his potential career path, and, IMO, his year over year improvement could fairly be regarded as better than marginal- I've presented evidence, as such. And what's wrong with an OPS+ of 101? He's going to have career highs in BBs, XBHs and OBP in 2014.

    And you haven't responded to the evidence of the clear changes he's made in his approach, and results, at the plate, that suggest better things going forward. His oWAR for this season sits at 1.6, last year all season it was 1.7, and in 2012, 2.0, barring injury, it seems he will easily eclipse those previous totals, with a real chance at having close to a 3.0 oWAR season.

    And I haven't recommended that he be permanently ensconced in a corner OF spot. My suggestion for Plouffe is as a Super-Util corner IF-OF guy. And the (estimated) $4M cost would be extremely modest, he's under team control through 2017 and can be a cheap veteran presence as the prospects make their way to the league over the next 3 years.
    Last edited by jokin; 07-15-2014 at 03:33 PM.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lakeside View Post
    4) That's the "rub" in a popular player trade. . . do you bet on his "upside" or his "downside".
    Overall good post. I'm only going to tackle this one comment.

    I feel like I've repeated this a thousand times but if you see downside in a player, so do 29 other GMs in the league.

    The fact is that if Dozier continues to hit in 2015, his value will be higher than it is today. He'll still have three years of control and a track record of 2 1/2 seasons of quality play. That will put to rest any unease with potential collapse. He'll still only be 28 and he'll have the rest of his prime seasons under control.

    And in a year, Polanco, Rosario, and (fill in blank second baseman) will be closer to MLB.

    If the Twins trade Dozier now, they're punting on not only 2014 but 2015 as well. Do any of us want to see that happen? Frankly, I'm tired of losing and I certainly don't want the Twins to act like they're the Kansas City Royals of the 2000s, constantly trading players to build for a future that never comes.

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  8. #27
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    I don't agree that they are punting on 2015 if they deal Dozier. That presumes several things:

    1. They get no help in 2015
    2. Rosario/Polanco/Someone+whatever they get<Dozier, nothing from a trade
    3. They don't trade for another 2B if they want, or sign one
    4. They have a real chance to be good in 2015

    This team can't score runs, and is still last/near last in starter ERA. You seem pretty sure they will be competitive next year, what is that based on? Are you sure they won't get MLB help in teh deal, that might offset the loss of Dozier (at a different position, say)?
    Lighten up Francis....

  9. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
    I don't agree that they are punting on 2015 if they deal Dozier. That presumes several things:

    1. They get no help in 2015
    2. Rosario/Polanco/Someone+whatever they get<Dozier, nothing from a trade
    3. They don't trade for another 2B if they want, or sign one
    4. They have a real chance to be good in 2015

    This team can't score runs, and is still last/near last in starter ERA. You seem pretty sure they will be competitive next year, what is that based on? Are you sure they won't get MLB help in teh deal, that might offset the loss of Dozier (at a different position, say)?
    I'm not sure they'll be competitive at all, I simply believe they should keep the window open to be competitive.

    1. They won't get help that adequately replaces Dozier's bat. He's a pretty good player. 3+ WAR players don't grow on trees.
    2. Help from the minor leagues will perform at a lower level than Brian Dozier. I don't predict many things with utmost certainty but you can pretty lock that in as fact. Brian Dozier is better than 25 other MLB 2B, much less some MiLB players with question marks.
    3. What's the point of trading Brian Dozier if you're just going to trade or sign someone to replace him? And if the production was equal to Dozier, why wouldn't the other team skip trading for Dozier and just sign that theoretical 2B with Dozier-level production?
    4. They have a decent shot at contending in 2015 if a few things break right. Hell, they looked like a fringe contender at times this year and it's unlikely the Twins get worse in 2015 without some unfortunate injury luck.

    Teams rarely go from 72 wins to 90 wins and contention in a season. It's a process. This year, the goal is 75-ish wins. Next year, it should be around 80. If a few things break right, boom, you're a contender at 85 wins.

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  11. #29
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    But if that growth is built on veterans that won't be there in 2 years, they won't have the growth, because they'll be replaced by rookies. OTOH, if they get those guys up here next year, they won't be rookies in 2016.....in other words, if Suzuki and Morales won't be here in 2016/7, have they really grown? How will they plug those holes, if they have not grown them, or acquired younger players that will be here then?
    Lighten up Francis....

  12. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
    I don't agree that they are punting on 2015 if they deal Dozier. That presumes several things:

    1. They get no help in 2015
    2. Rosario/Polanco/Someone+whatever they get<Dozier, nothing from a trade
    3. They don't trade for another 2B if they want, or sign one
    4. They have a real chance to be good in 2015

    This team can't score runs, and is still last/near last in starter ERA. You seem pretty sure they will be competitive next year, what is that based on? Are you sure they won't get MLB help in teh deal, that might offset the loss of Dozier (at a different position, say)?
    1. Polanco and Rosario aren't going to be ready by opening day 2015

    2. The free agents are lacking

    3. Why would a team trade a really good 2B and then try to turn around and trade for another one? This isn't fantasy baseball.

    The other question would be what exactly do you want for Dozier? Pitching prospects? Good long term but doesn't do much for 2015. Trading Dozier is punting any slim chance of competing in 2015 that currently exists.
    Papers...business papers.

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  14. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
    Comparing his most recent two years is extremely valuable in judging his potential career path, and, IMO, his year over year improvement could fairly be regarded as better than marginal- I've presented evidence, as such . And what's wrong with an OPS+ of 101? He's going to have career highs in BBs, XBHs and OBP in 2014. And you haven't responded to the evidence of the clear changes he's made in his approach, and results, at the plate, that suggest better things going forward. And I haven't recommended that he be permanently ensconced in a corner OF spot. My suggestion for Plouffe is as a Super-Util corner IF-OF guy. And the (estimated) $4M cost would be extremely modest, he's under team control through 2017 and can be a cheap veteran presence as the prospects make their way to the league over the next 3 years.
    Plouffe's OBP is set to be a career high by .008 -- if it doesn't continue dropping. Isolated discipline? .005. BB%? 1%. All dropping since April. His ISO is set to be a whopping .010 ahead of his 2011 pre-HR binge figure too. These are improvements that are better than nothing, but they are razor-thin at this point.

    I didn't mean to ignore the swing% and spray charts, I am just not expert in them. Hopefully they prove to be better indicators than the evidence from April that he had dramatically become an OBP machine either, or the evidence in 2012 that he was a HR monster...

    Nothing's inherently wrong with an OPS+ of 101, I just noted his wRC+ of 101 generally ranks in the bottom half of MLB 3B, and ranks much lower (around #30) at 1B, LF, and RF. That's not terrible as a patch when you have no other options, but he's not much of an asset moving that way on the defensive spectrum.

    Hopefully by midseason 2015, there won't be many reps available for Plouffe at 3B, and perhaps even fewer at 1B. I don't particularly mind if he sticks around as a bench player after that, but I would be tempted to flip Plouffe for whatever I could get and give full-time jobs to younger, higher-upside guys in the corner OF spots.

  15. #32
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    I didn't say I'd trade him, I said presuming that trading Dozier alone is punting on 2015 is not a valid assumption.

    I also said, rookie+somthing else vs Dozier + nothing, that's the comparison to make.

    Doesn't matter, they aren't trading Dozier, I was just arguing with Brock because he likes it when I do.
    Lighten up Francis....

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  17. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
    But if that growth is built on veterans that won't be there in 2 years, they won't have the growth, because they'll be replaced by rookies. OTOH, if they get those guys up here next year, they won't be rookies in 2016.....in other words, if Suzuki and Morales won't be here in 2016/7, have they really grown? How will they plug those holes, if they have not grown them, or acquired younger players that will be here then?
    The movement for this franchise will come from Buxton and Sano, hopefully some improvement from guys here (Arcia, Santana, Hicks), current established guys (Mauer, Dozier), the development of pitching, and perhaps a surprise or two.

    Bridging the gap for a year or two with Morales and/or Suzuki does nothing to change this.
    Papers...business papers.

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  19. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
    But if that growth is built on veterans that won't be there in 2 years, they won't have the growth, because they'll be replaced by rookies. OTOH, if they get those guys up here next year, they won't be rookies in 2016.....in other words, if Suzuki and Morales won't be here in 2016/7, have they really grown? How will they plug those holes, if they have not grown them, or acquired younger players that will be here then?
    There's no reason they can't do both. Just like this season, non-contending teams can trade the Kevin Correias and Josh Willinghams of the world to clear space for the Meyers and Mays.

    You keep the window open to contend, hand the team to the young guys in July if it doesn't happen.

    Outside of Josmil Pinto, who would Suzuki or Morales block on Opening Day 2015? Vargas won't be ready and if Pinto is going to catch, he needs to do it in Rochester for awhile. It's pretty obvious that he has a long way to go before he's a MLB catcher. The overwhelming likelihood is that it won't happen between today and April 1, 2015.

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  21. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
    I didn't say I'd trade him, I said presuming that trading Dozier alone is punting on 2015 is not a valid assumption.

    I also said, rookie+somthing else vs Dozier + nothing, that's the comparison to make.

    Doesn't matter, they aren't trading Dozier, I was just arguing with Brock because he likes it when I do.
    I certainly agree with your last point, they aren't trading Dozier.
    Papers...business papers.

  22. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by drjim View Post
    The movement for this franchise will come from Buxton and Sano, hopefully some improvement from guys here (Arcia, Santana, Hicks), current established guys (Mauer, Dozier), the development of pitching, and perhaps a surprise or two.

    Bridging the gap for a year or two with Morales and/or Suzuki does nothing to change this.
    That's kind of my point....they haven't "improved" their team beyond a year or two by signing these guys. The team isn't "growing" by adding those guys at all. That was exactly my point.
    Lighten up Francis....

  23. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by spycake View Post
    Plouffe's OBP is set to be a career high by .008 -- if it doesn't continue dropping. Isolated discipline? .005. BB%? 1%. All dropping since April. His ISO is set to be a whopping .010 ahead of his 2011 pre-HR binge figure too. These are improvements that are better than nothing, but they are razor-thin at this point.

    I didn't mean to ignore the swing% and spray charts, I am just not expert in them. Hopefully they prove to be better indicators than the evidence from April that he had dramatically become an OBP machine either, or the evidence in 2012 that he was a HR monster...

    Nothing's inherently wrong with an OPS+ of 101, I just noted his wRC+ of 101 generally ranks in the bottom half of MLB 3B, and ranks much lower (around #30) at 1B, LF, and RF. That's not terrible as a patch when you have no other options, but he's not much of an asset moving that way on the defensive spectrum.

    Hopefully by midseason 2015, there won't be many reps available for Plouffe at 3B, and perhaps even fewer at 1B. I don't particularly mind if he sticks around as a bench player after that, but I would be tempted to flip Plouffe for whatever I could get and give full-time jobs to younger, higher-upside guys in the corner OF spots.

    Besides his BB% rising from 6.5% in 2013 to 9% in 2014, which augurs well for a continually improving OBP going forward... Added this to my previous post:

    His oWAR for this season sits at 1.6, last year all season it was 1.7, and in 2012, 2.0, barring injury, it seems he will easily eclipse those previous totals, with a real chance at having close to a 3.0 oWAR season.
    We're pretty close to agreement on Plouffe over the next 3 years, if they can get something that projects to Plouffe's likely near-3.0 WAR in 2014 in trade, they should definitely pull the trigger, but it would be nice to have a relatively young and cheap veteran that could be plugged in in multiple spots during this transition period.
    Last edited by jokin; 07-15-2014 at 04:05 PM.

  24. #38
    I wouldn't be trying to trade to Dozier I would be entertaining an extension after this year. He seems to have a little 2002 Twins attitude in him. Playing like he needs it and won't let anyone take it away from him.


    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    As unlikely as it seemed even three months ago, I think the answer to that has to be "yes".

    Over the past 365 days, Dozier has 28 home runs. He's been a masher for roughly 13-14 months now. I think it's safe to say that this is who Brian Dozier is now. He's a low average, high discipline masher at a premium position.

    Unless the offer is "holy crap, yeah, I'll take the #4 prospect in baseball" good, there is no reason to trade Brian Dozier, particularly for a guy owed a bunch of money over the next handful of years (Allen Craig).

    I don't understand why people are in a rush to get rid of Brian Dozier. He's a 2.5-4 WAR player right now. That's a really valuable piece and the return better be amazing if he's moved and it needs to be a lot better than Craig, a defensively-challenged OF/1B type who is owed $25m in the next three years. Trading Dozier seems a lot like shuffling deck chairs. You're closing one hole so you can open another. It doesn't actually improve the team in any capacity.

  25. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
    That's kind of my point....they haven't "improved" their team beyond a year or two by signing these guys. The team isn't "growing" by adding those guys at all. That was exactly my point.
    But the easy counter is that it would be a stretch to think they are actively hurting the team by signing them either. A team can try to compete in the short term while also building for a better future.

    You, among others, say there is no plan, but I would argue this is what they are doing. They are trying to patch in the short term and try to be competitive while doing nothing to compromise the long term future of the organization (i.e. trade prospects).

    I don't think calling up prospects before they are ready is very helpful, and I don't think playing marginal big leaguers like Parmelee and Colabello instead of signing legitimate mlb players does much of anything either.
    Papers...business papers.

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  27. #40
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    Considering it's a thread on the OF of the future (and not a(nother) Dozier trade thread ), I figured I'd try to spark some discussion about less-heralded OF contributors.

    Does anyone know what the reports on Ortiz are like over at AAA? The numbers don't look great since leaving NB, but could he be a role player mid-season 2015? I know nothing of his defense, but he seems to get time at both corners and played some CF in his early pro days. It seems like he is closer than Rosario (or even Hicks ) because he's already shown that he's past AA. Definitely needs AAA seasoning, but I just felt like he doesn't get much talk in these threads.

    It's a little sad that there's really no one else in the upper minors OF to talk about beyond Ortiz, Rosario, and Hicks. Everyone else is a late 20s/early 30s replacement player (Rodriguez/Ramierez/Farris/Wimberly/Rahl). The only exceptions are maybe Herrmann and Kvasnicka who seem to be low-ceiling mid-20s backup catcher/utility types.

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