11-20-2012, 10:53 AM #1
Max Kepler Honored By Topps
Looks like some people are noticing Max Kepler's performance. Topps awarded him the Appalachian League Player of the Year. Congratulations Max.
I've heard about Kepler since he signed, mostly because he signed in the same year that the Twins went nuts with international money. But I don't know that I've heard any projections on who or what he could become. Any insight?
11-20-2012, 11:18 AM #2
John, Kepler is that athletic speciman teams in every sport drool over. He stands 6'4, runs like a deer and has a big time arm. He is fast enough to play center, but will probably end up in a corner outfield spot. He has the body and swing that suggests he should develop reasonable power, which began last year at ETon. He has a physical gift and all the tools to become that coveted five-tool player. And with his pedigree, I expect he can dance on his toes.
Coming out of Germany, he didn't have the experience and didn't play against the level of competition you would expect from players in the U.S., Dominican Republic or Venezuela. Everyone knew he would require more time to develop than your typical prospect. After a couple ok years in the GCL and Appy League, he had his first big year last year when he repeated at ETon.
What can he become? I see his ceiling as a corner outfielder who will hit over .300 average with a good walk to strikeout ratio which should put him well over .350 OBP. As for power, I see a reasonable number of doubles, nearly double figures in triples and over 20 home runs. Add twenty or so stolen bases at an 80% success rate and you have a very valuable player. As for his arrival date? I see him breaking in late in 2015.
11-20-2012, 12:01 PM #3
11-20-2012, 12:10 PM #4
The wiki entry lists Max as being 6-4 and 220, is he really that big? Baseball ref and other still have him at 180 pounds. He is in the growing years anyone seen him lately that can give us a first hand observation? In all of the photos I have have seen, he doesn't look over 200 pounds even at 6-4. Curious if he will stay lean and athletic or turn into another Sano, Vargas type power hitter?
11-20-2012, 12:38 PM #5
Justin Morneau is also listed at 6'4, 220lbs (baseballreference.com) In the pics you've seen, are they comparable?
11-20-2012, 01:23 PM #6
I won't ever get a job guessing someones weight at the fair. It is pretty tough just looking at photos, guessing how big someone really is, even if you see them in person it isn't easy.
Someone was at the fall instructional league in late Sept and early Oct and posted photos of just about everyone there. Here are some links to those photos, you be the judge. Very good photos by the way, professionally done.
Miquel Sano, baseball reference has him at 6-3, 195
Kennys Vargas, baseball reference has him at 6-5, 215
Max Kepler, baseball reference has him at 6-4, 180
Byron Buxton, baseball reference lists him at 6-1, 188
All of these photos were taken within a few days. The only definitive thing I learned, is that we have some big boys coming up and that baseball reference is just taking the information from the rosters posted by the Minor league affiliates.
11-20-2012, 01:54 PM #7
11-20-2012, 03:37 PM #8
I took a few pictures of Sano and Kepler both during their first Spring Training after being signed. Maybe this spring I'll dig them out and post them side by side with current pictures, but having seen both guys every spring and Sano during this past season, there's no doubt both have "grown up" since they were 16. Sano was always big, but Kepler I remember thinking sure looked like a tall batboy that first spring, more so than a player. I'd have no trouble at all believing he's gone from 180# up to 210# or more since that first spring.I post regularly on our Knuckleballs blog (http://knuckleballsblog.com/)
~You can get anything you want, at Alice's Restaurant~
11-21-2012, 10:49 AM #9
11-21-2012, 09:00 PM #10
Early on some said that he would be a really good line drive hitter but he might not hit a lot of HR's. With his plate discipline he could be a Mauer type player (upside obviously) in a corner OF spot.
11-22-2012, 08:35 PM #11
Sano is easily 6-4 and 240 pounds and in remarkable shape.
Kepler is definitely 6-4 and probably 210 pounds.
Regarding Kepler, it was great to see his 2nd season in E-Town go well... but, let's see what happens in the Midwest League.
11-29-2012, 08:54 PM #12
Hello Cedar Rapids
I plan on taking in a bunch of Kernels games this summer. I only live about 30 minutes from Cedar Rapids. Looking forward to seeing Buxton, Kepler and maybe Berrios 1st-hand. Will post reports.