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Thread: Pleskoff: Athletic Kepler boasts broad skill set

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    Pleskoff: Athletic Kepler boasts broad skill set

    http://minnesota.twins.mlb.com/news/...ticle_66238584

    MLB.com's Bernie Pleskoff wrote up a solid scouting report on Max Kepler, admittedly based on what he saw in limited time in the AFL.

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    I wonder how well he can dance.
    I couldn't be a player because of bad eyesight, so I decided to be an umpire instead.

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    Senior Member All-Star Thrylos's Avatar
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    Lot's of batting averages, HRs and RBIs in the piece, but I think that his conclusion is somewhat intriguing:

    He projects to become an imposing hitter, one that can have a role as a prime utility player.
    Would love to know what he means by "prime utility player", but I suspect that he has Micheal Young in mind more than Jamey Carroll. On the other hand he says multiple times that he will be a bench player either LF or 1B.

    Still I think that the Twins should sell high, while his stock is high...
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    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thrylos View Post
    Lot's of batting averages, HRs and RBIs in the piece, but I think that his conclusion is somewhat intriguing:



    Would love to know what he means by "prime utility player", but I suspect that he has Micheal Young in mind more than Jamey Carroll. On the other hand he says multiple times that he will be a bench player either LF or 1B.

    Still I think that the Twins should sell high, while his stock is high...

    His stock is not all that high right now because of the injury. I predict his stock will be considerably higher after this year, if he stays healthy. He should bea bit of a late bloomer because of his relative inexperience in the game, sort of like Australian players.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

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    Senior Member Triple-A B Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
    His stock is not all that high right now because of the injury. I predict his stock will be considerably higher after this year, if he stays healthy. He should bea bit of a late bloomer because of his relative inexperience in the game, sort of like Australian players.
    Agreed. We ought to wait until he progresses further on his development curve before either trading him for an inferior return or mis-evaluating his true talent.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
    His stock is not all that high right now because of the injury. I predict his stock will be considerably higher after this year, if he stays healthy. He should bea bit of a late bloomer because of his relative inexperience in the game, sort of like Australian players.
    I'd add to this in that if someone else doesn't pan out, there might suddenly be a need for Kepler should he make those strides forward. H could definitely be a nice trade chip at one point if everything else falls into place.

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    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    To be clear, I don't think trading Kepler is a good idea at all. I was just responding to Thrylos' assertion that we should trade him now. Kepler is a special talent. You make room for guys like that when they're ready.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

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    Senior Member All-Star Thrylos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
    Kepler is a special talent. You make room for guys like that when they're ready.
    According to at least that one scout type, Kepler has a utility/bench type ceiling. Plenty of room on a bench. He does not sound that special and his numbers so far are not that special. A single above average pro season in four.
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    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    I would not base my opinion on Kepler's upside on one scout's evaluation, especially when several other scouts rate his upside much higher. Even then, it seems to me the scout was talking about his versatility, not whether he is a future bench player. He was injured last year. The year before that, he was very good, especially as one of the youngest players at his level. Let's give him a healthy year before we give up on him, shall we?
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

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    Senior Member All-Star Shane Wahl's Avatar
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    I have no problem keeping Kepler around 10 on the Twins list of prospects right now. He needs a full season to get going. He wasn't that ridiculous in the AFL. He did better at the plate than players like Schoop and Moran.

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    Senior Member Triple-A Steve Lein's Avatar
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    I've said this many times on this site and elsewhere in reference to Kepler:

    He's a guy that hasn't really 'wowed' anybody yet with his stats (except for his 2nd year at Elizabethton power binge) but I can say from watching him in person several times, that those stats don't demonstrate his potential, but his actions and play on the field does.

    One example is when I got to watch him play several games with the Beloit Snappers roster that included Eddie Rosario and Miguel Sano at Spring Training the year of his 10HR breakout at E-Town. I have a notebook on all his at-bats I watched in 3 games: 13 PA's, 7-11, 3 2B's (here is one of them on video), 2 BB's, 1K. Every one of his hits were line drives, and had a couple of 'loud' outs. He was the best in-game hitter on that roster while I watched, and it wasn't even close. Not Sano, not Rosario, not even any of the Twins MLB-ers who came over to get some extra at-bats. During those games, he was the best player on that roster no doubt about it, so I was actually very surprised he never played for Beloit that season.

    He is definitely the first player I've watched whom my eyes told me was better than his stats or everything else I had read and researched about him. I think he'll be a stud in the future, and will be an elite 1B defender with his athleticism (I would compare his athleticism at 1B to Mauer's at Catcher). Many people seem to not know, that until the year before he signed with the Twins and was playing on national teams, the only position he had ever played was 1B.

    I'll probably get mocked for some of those statements, but I'm bullish on him. He is one of my favorite prospects in the Twins organization, likely behind only Sano and Buxton. i think this year will be a big one after having his 2013 ruined by injury.
    Last edited by Steve Lein; 12-31-2013 at 12:41 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shane Wahl View Post
    I have no problem keeping Kepler around 10 on the Twins list of prospects right now. He needs a full season to get going. He wasn't that ridiculous in the AFL. He did better at the plate than players like Schoop and Moran.
    So....are you tipping your hand on the long-awaited final installment of your prospect list?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thrylos View Post
    According to at least that one scout type, Kepler has a utility/bench type ceiling. Plenty of room on a bench. He does not sound that special and his numbers so far are not that special. A single above average pro season in four.
    I wonder if there were any players with less experience in the AFL this year. We will learn a lot more as he hits AA in 2014 or 2015.

    I did not read this scout's projection as a ceiling. At 20, the floor is flame out in AA and the ceiling is solid every day LF. I look forward to your reports as he hits AA and AAA.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Lein View Post
    I've said this many times on this site and elsewhere in reference to Kepler:

    He's a guy that hasn't really 'wowed' anybody yet with his stats (except for his 2nd year at Elizabethton power binge) but I can say from watching him in person several times, that those stats don't demonstrate his potential, but his actions and play on the field does.

    One example is when I got to watch him play several games with the Beloit Snappers roster that included Eddie Rosario and Miguel Sano at Spring Training the year of his 10HR breakout at E-Town. I have a notebook on all his at-bats I watched in 3 games: 13 PA's, 7-11, 3 2B's (here is one of them on video), 2 BB's, 1K. Every one of his hits were line drives, and had a couple of 'loud' outs. He was the best in-game hitter on that roster while I watched, and it wasn't even close. Not Sano, not Rosario, not even any of the Twins MLB-ers who came over to get some extra at-bats. During those games, he was the best player on that roster no doubt about it, so I was actually very surprised he never played for Beloit that season.

    He is definitely the first player I've watched whom my eyes told me was better than his stats or everything else I had read and researched about him. I think he'll be a stud in the future, and will be an elite 1B defender with his athleticism (I would compare his athleticism at 1B to Mauer's at Catcher). Many people seem to not know, that until the year before he signed with the Twins and was playing on national teams, the only position he had ever played was 1B.

    I'll probably get mocked for some of those statements, but I'm bullish on him. He is one of my favorite prospects in the Twins organization, likely behind only Sano and Buxton. i think this year will be a big one after having his 2013 ruined by injury.
    This is great. Glad you get to (and go to) see these guys in person. For those who've played baseball, as many who are on Twins Daily likely have, you can tell a lot from those in person encounters if you can get close enough to the players. That's one reason I love minor league baseball. I can usually get within 5-10 seats of the field of most any game for on the cheap, meanwhile MLB games I typically rely on free tickets to get that close instead of popping down $90+ for a ticket.

    I've love to see any more stuff you have like this. I was 'positive' on Kepler, but with this, I'm higher.

    MLB Network showed a few AFL games (only one of Glendale other than the AFL All-Star Game), he's bigger than websites say "6'4'' 180" and also was nice to see him on 1B. He's very agile.

    If my wife would let me, and if I had more vacation, I'd love to venture down to Ft. Myers this Spring to see a number of these guys play in person.

    Hoping for a health 2014 for him, so we can talk about when he might come up in 2015 (mid season or Sept).

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    Quote Originally Posted by twinsfan34 View Post
    If my wife would let me, and if I had more vacation, I'd love to venture down to Ft. Myers this Spring to see a number of these guys play in person.

    Hoping for a health 2014 for him, so we can talk about when he might come up in 2015 (mid season or Sept).
    After having watched Max since he got here, in my springs at Ft Myers, I'm really high on him. It might take a couple years, but he could be alot better than projected.

    As far as watching in Ft Myers, it looks as though the locker room won't be ready for Minor League spring training and it will be moved to the Sox fields. A final decision will be made this week, but that info was given yesterday. This really p's me off.

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    Thank you so much Steve for your personal and very relavent observations. At the end of the day, most of us have box scores and various scouting reports made to us to wet our appetites on the potential of prospects, without real life data to fall back on.

    As stated in another thread on Kepler, my father saw him in ST 2012 and was impressed by their short conversation, and told me "he just looks like an athlete when you watch him. Smooth in everything he does."

    Also, as previously stated, you can't hide pure athleticism, which Kepler seems to have in abundance. Talent without work means nothing. But there has never been a negative word mentioned as to his ethic or attitude.

    While he may not have had a dominating season to hang his hat on to this point, though 2012 at Eliz. may come close, he has shown spurts and quality overall skills. Based on his 2012, had he not had the injury problems early in the year, I think he would have made a believer out of everyone at CR this past season. Now, at his VERY young age and limited experience, would it have been enough to get him promoted to FtMyers at some point is difficult to say.

    In every sport, you find talented young athletes who have all the skill set in the world but who played at a lower level of competition, or weren't able to concentrate on a single sport, and need a little time to devote themselves to adjusting and learning and growing. Not comparing their game, but consider Torii Hunter for example.

    A little time, coaching, experience, and it starts to click. Kepler is one of my chief picks to click this year for the Twins prospects. Ft Myers wouldn't surprise me, but betting a short sting at CR just to start and then a promotion. This will be his year. AA in 2015, alternating between OF corners and 1B.

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    From the little I've seen of the kid, I still think he's the surest thing in the system with the exception of Buxton.

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    He came over here young, can't speak the language. Started at the "academy" so to speak. Has overall athletic talent. A bigger guy with a certain skill set and some power. The Twins now have four years to put him thru the system, fast or probably slow. A next year. AA with a callup in 2015. A full year of AAA with a callup as needed in 2016. On the bench in 2017. See where he sits against other 1B and OF prospects in 2018.

    We are looking at him making an impact at age 24 or 25. Even if he ends up being a bench guy, filling in for injured players and doing some DH/LF/1B, he would be valuable, and a trading chip if he compares to Kubel at the same age.

    Th Twins are not going to throw him away. They have invested in him. He will follow slightly behind Buxton in the minors, for sure, but let us see. Start at Cedar Rapids and then back to Ft. Myers where they can keep a good eye on him. New Britain at age 22. That will be his showcase.
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    Kepler is a very solid outfielder and can be a better than average 1st baseman with his athleticism and size. That being said: What do the Twins do as a system with Vargas; Hicks; M. Gonzalez; & Kepler; as potential 1st basemen this year? Who starts in Cedar Rapids (if anyone)? Who starts in Ft. Myer? Who starts in New Britian? Does Harrison end up at 1st base long term? Whoever is penciled in at 1st Base will have another 4-5+ years to unseat Mauer anyway. Will that be considered a wasted prospect (letting them age and mis-used to their fullest)?

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    Senior Member Double-A Wookiee of the Year's Avatar
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    I'm pleasantly surprised by the positive reviews of Kepler here. My perception is that to date, he's all pedigree without performance, so I've tended to be a bit lower on him.

    Next year stands to be a defining year for him. Now that he's on the 40 Man and the option clock is ticking, he needs to live up to some of the potential people think he has. The positive reviews here reassure me there's a decent chance he'll do that.

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