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Thread: Article: Twins Minor League Report (8/14): Atherton Sparkles

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    Twins Daily Writer Big-Leaguer Cody Christie's Avatar
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    Article: Twins Minor League Report (8/14): Atherton Sparkles


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    Atherton really was impressive. He threw fastballs in the low 90s and a big old slow curve at about 66 and he threw both for strikes, as well as a cutter and changeup somewhere in between. 72 out of his 87 pitches were strikes.

    Then just for good measure, Mason Melotakis came in to pitch the 9th and struck out the top 3 hitters in the Snappers' order.

    Between the two guys, they retired the last 19 batters Beloit sent to the plate.

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    Buxton going forward since he's begin to own the Florida State League.

    -Arizona Fall League in 2013?
    -Start Double A in 2014?
    -Majors in 2015?

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    Hey SD, what does a (presumably) tired-armed Melotakis look like out of the bullpen? Does he show increased velocity? -Thanks!

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    Senior Member Triple-A maxisagod's Avatar
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    Melotakis was sitting at 90-91. But they way he handle the 3 Snapper hitters you'd think he was throw 98-99 MPH. The Twins are starting to collect a few good LHP's in the lower minors, by far the weak spot in the org. Atherton was awesome. I went to see Max Kepler, but Atherton was having a great game.

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    Senior Member Triple-A maxisagod's Avatar
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    I'd like to see Buxton in the AFL, but I know it's more important for Wimmer to get the innings. Otherwise a Buxton 2015 debut seems very possible.

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    I know some will think it's crazy but I really think Buxton will make his debut next season. He will start the 2014 season in New Britain and tear it up just like he has everywhere else. By midsummer our outfield will be Hicks/Buxton/Arcia with Sano at 3rd.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Supfin99 View Post
    I know some will think it's crazy but I really think Buxton will make his debut next season. He will start the 2014 season in New Britain and tear it up just like he has everywhere else. By midsummer our outfield will be Hicks/Buxton/Arcia with Sano at 3rd.
    Not crazy. Mid season might be a little ambitious but 2014 is a real possibility. He should start in AA and if he starts out doing well it shouldn't take long.

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    Senior Member Triple-A Steve Lein's Avatar
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    Sad to hear the Twins have beat the plus-plus fastball velocity out of Melotakis. But I guess that's what the Twins do to 95+ MPH college closers turning into starters.

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    agreed with drjim....aggressive, but not impossible.

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    You believe college radar guns?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Lein View Post
    Sad to hear the Twins have beat the plus-plus fastball velocity out of Melotakis. But I guess that's what the Twins do to 95+ MPH college closers turning into starters.
    If you could believe college and high school radar gun readings there would be dozens of pitchers in the majors who throw 98MPH. It's a lot more difficult to throw that hard for 6 months as a professional than it is to throw that hard for one pitch in front of a scout.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Lein View Post
    Sad to hear the Twins have beat the plus-plus fastball velocity out of Melotakis. But I guess that's what the Twins do to 95+ MPH college closers turning into starters.
    This has happened with several of the guys viewed previously as power arms. Surely a move from the bullpen to the rotation will drop some velocity and a move up from Rookie League will lower the strikeouts, but I too am disappointed how significantly the strikeout numbers have dropped. From last year's draft Baxendale, Duffey, Rogers and Powell have all seen a huge drop in strikeouts, I would assume velocity is a factor.

    From the 2012 draft Boer, Boyd and Summers have also not lived up to their power arm hype. I won't pile on just yet and say the Twins are intentionally doing something that causes this to happen, but this is a trend, not a coincidence, I'd like to find out what the issue is.

    Considering that none of these guys are able to keep a reasonable strikeout rate and considering most were billed as power arms, one would have to think the Twins are either incorrectly evaluating pitchers that can sustain high strikeout numbers or they are changing the approach or technique of these young men.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
    agreed with drjim....aggressive, but not impossible.
    Perhaps it's even likely if Hicks continues to fail to develop. Not too many other CF options.

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    Anyone know what Wimmers injury is? Is it his elbow again? he is listed as disabled.

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    Owner MVP Seth Stohs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nicksaviking View Post
    This has happened with several of the guys viewed previously as power arms. Surely a move from the bullpen to the rotation will drop some velocity and a move up from Rookie League will lower the strikeouts, but I too am disappointed how significantly the strikeout numbers have dropped. From last year's draft Baxendale, Duffey, Rogers and Powell have all seen a huge drop in strikeouts, I would assume velocity is a factor.

    From the 2012 draft Boer, Boyd and Summers have also not lived up to their power arm hype. I won't pile on just yet and say the Twins are intentionally doing something that causes this to happen, but this is a trend, not a coincidence, I'd like to find out what the issue is.

    Considering that none of these guys are able to keep a reasonable strikeout rate and considering most were billed as power arms, one would have to think the Twins are either incorrectly evaluating pitchers that can sustain high strikeout numbers or they are changing the approach or technique of these young men.
    To be fair, it's not on the pitchers to be something other than what they are, but people need to know that if Matt Summers, a terrific college pitcher, is pitching in E-Town after signing, the numbers mean nothing. Good or bad. Summers, Baxendale, those guys were dominant college guys pitching about every 5th day out of the bullpen for 1-2 innings when they can air it out. Once they go into the rotation, things are different. Likewise, Ryan Eades has not been very good at E-Town this fall, but making a big deal out of that isn't smart either.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TRex View Post
    Hey SD, what does a (presumably) tired-armed Melotakis look like out of the bullpen? Does he show increased velocity? -Thanks!
    There's nothing tired about Melotakis' arm, in my view. He is simply approaching his designated inning limit, based on how many he threw last year.

    Keep in mind what we've pointed out before here, the CR stadium speed gun is 1 1/2 to 2 mph slow, so when you see him registering 91 or 92 on the board, which he did last night, he's actually throwing 93-94. The best thing about Melotakis might have been the nasty breaking balls he threw to get the last 2 Ks, both against RH hitters. He hasn't had that kind of breaking ball throughout the whole season.

    I think people get a little too caught up in what role pitchers are playing at Class A. No telling what Melotakis will be by the time he's considered Major League ready, but spending a season throwing over 100 innings while working on secondary pitches is only going to make him better at whatever his eventual role might be. It beats spending the whole season doing nothing but throwing a fastball out of the pen, which wouldn't really improve him at all IMO.

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    Senior Member Triple-A Steve Lein's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJL44 View Post
    If you could believe college and high school radar gun readings there would be dozens of pitchers in the majors who throw 98MPH. It's a lot more difficult to throw that hard for 6 months as a professional than it is to throw that hard for one pitch in front of a scout.
    This I know. But I'm not talking college and high school radar guns. I'm talking scout guns.

    I'd fully expect any guy who is starting a game to not utilize quite a few ticks on his fastball that he'll throw as a reliever. Perkins and Duensing are perfect examples of that on the Twins.

    But, to me, if you've got a guy like Melotakis who is throwing with plus-plus velocity as a reliever, and as a starter he can only throw above average, I think you're vastly wasting his best abilities - even if you subscribe to the "he'd be worth more as a starter" mantra. My answer to that is maybe - if he ever makes it as one.
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  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Lein View Post
    This I know. But I'm not talking college and high school radar guns. I'm talking scout guns.I'd fully expect any guy who is starting a game to not utilize quite a few ticks on his fastball that he'll throw as a reliever. Perkins and Duensing are perfect examples of that on the Twins.But, to me, if you've got a guy like Melotakis who is throwing with plus-plus velocity as a reliever, and as a starter he can only throw above average, I think you're vastly wasting his best abilities - even if you subscribe to the "he'd be worth more as a starter" mantra. My answer to that is maybe - if he ever makes it as one.
    I have no idea if the Twins view him as a starter or reliever long term.... What I do know is at the beginning of the year his off speed pitches were just ok and he generally used his fastball when in need of a strike. Watching him several times this season his strike out pitch became something off speed alot of the time. That to me is learning how to pitch to hitters that can hit your fastball. That is what is needed from starters going more innings. A plus/plus fastball is a great pitch! But if you don't have something off speed, your chance of success in pro ball at any level by relying on throwing fastballs past hitters sitting fastball is not good!If making him a starter and throwing 100+ innings helped him find those pitches and use them with confidence then great! If it had nothing to do with it and it was CR coaching then great! Either way what role he becomes as he moves up isn't effected by this season.

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    Senior Member Triple-A Steve Lein's Avatar
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    ^ And I agree with all of that too.

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