Thursday, November 29, 2007

Meet the new Twins, including the 2010 AL MVP

I know what you're thinking, "YES! Sidler's back!"

After seemingly spending year after year with only guys like Tony Batista, Rondell White, and Juan Castro to show for offseason acquisitions, the Twins made a major move prior to the even more major Santana trade that will happen.

Packing their bags to play for the Devil, strike that, the Rays:

Matt Garza
Jason Bartlett
Eduardo Morlan

Heading to the Twin Cities:

Delmon Young
Brendan Harris
Jason Pridie

Originally, the rumor had Juan Rincon in the place of Eduardo Morlan. I like that version a lot better than one with Morlan, who some project as a future closer. Let's see, nearly washed up reliever due to make millions, or a guy who could give the team a number of good years at $400m per?

Not sure I'm a big fan of the trade, even if Delmon Young brings a young, potentially star-level bat. For one, the guy doesn't believe in walks and has a hack-a-matic approach at the plate, swinging at the first pitch more often than anyone else in the league. If the Twins had any track record of helping young players develop plate discipline, I might feel better. And don't even think about him filling the enormous CF hole, his defense is shaky enough on the corners. Plus his power has evaporated from his A-AA years, Kubel out-slugged him .450 to .408 last year, will it return as he gets older or will he join Mauer in the "power's coming!" club?

The Twins clearly think he's going to be a star considering the price and it is important to note that he put up slightly below average offensive numbers at 22, a monumental task. That's why a guy like Roberto Clemente shows up on his "Most similar players at age 22" list. Time will tell, but an impact bat has been added for the first time I can remember.

But there is no doubt that having Cuddyer, Young, and Kubel to fill the corner OF + DH spots should be a significant upgrade over any mix with Craig Monroe, Rondell White, Jason Tyner, or Lew Ford.

What about the other two pieces of the deal? Harris hits for more power than Bartlett but has slightly-better-than-Jeter range at SS from what I've read. In other words, he should be at 2B or 3B, not SS. Early indications are that Bill Smith knows he shouldn't play at SS, but then who plays there...Punto?

Pridie's not worth Morlan, that's for damn sure. He actually spent a Spring with the Twins after they took him in the Rule V draft a few years ago; they must have liked him. Look for him to take Lew Ford's role. Awesome.

I guess two of the pieces included shouldn't be a surprise--the Twins have seemingly had issues with Garza's attitude and Bartlett in general for years. Garza's going to be at-worst a league average starter immediately for Tampa and has the potential to give them an awesome 1-2 with Kazmir. Bartlett, despite the errors, is an above-average defender due to exceptional range and a strong arm and provides league-average offense with plus speed on the basepaths, all at a cheap cost. It was fun watching Garza with his "f*ck you" attitude on the mound and Bartlett get to shots up the middle that Guzman and Castro wouldn't have bothered to move their feet for; Tampa is a better team today with both of them on the roster considering their OF depth.

And yes, the Twins did trade for this guy:



Now it is time to wait for the Santana trade to see how it rounds out the roster.

48 comments:

WWWWWW said...

It's certainly been an interesting offseason already. I'll post more detailed thoughts later, but for now let me just say that 26 walks last season makes me nervous, even as much as I love getting a quality bat. And I am so nervous for how Garza will develop.

Sidler said...

I could have gone on and on because I still don't know what to think of the deal. Young's power has to develop quickly since he doesn't get on base very well, but his potential is awesome. Smith clearly believes in that potential.

It bugs me that it seems like the team undervalued Bartlett the entire time he was here...and I will be annoyed by the focus on his errors to form the entire opinion of his D. Harris sucks defensively, both with errors and range.
I'll stop typing again...

Anonymous said...

Delmon Young is 22. He is still very raw. He hit .288 last year playing in all 162 games. I agree, its a bit nerving that he drew only 26 walks. But he was also on a terrible team that did not play a significant game after the all star break. Im guessing he didnt get much pressure to be more patient at the plate.

And Bartlett was a poor-mans Gagne at short. I wont miss him.

Dharma Bum said...

The walks concern me a lot but Bartlett was on a Guzman-like trend. He looked like a high schooler in spring training last year so while we may miss his defense I wasn't counting on him for anything with the bat. And while he actually did look like a high schooler he is 28 and that is old.

LSR said...

Who cares about his walks??? You do not get a guy like Young to come up and take pitches. We already have a #3 hitter who tries to walk all of the time when the Twins have runners in scoring position. Youngs job will be to drive in runs, simple as that. I would guess his pitch selection will improve with age, but we don't need another Nancy boy who takes pitches right down the plate. Last time I checked Kirby used to hack away at every pitch from his eyes to his toes and he did O.K.. Walks are for slap hitters and guys who take slow pitch softball seriously.

WWWWWW said...

This is horrible, horrible thinking.

I can't even begin to tell you how misguided you are right now, and unfortunately, I don't have time, but I'll get back to it.

Anonymous said...

I agree with ISR. Except for walks are for slap hitters. The important stat is he is only 22 years old. he can become a more patient hitter. Although 2 years ago he had 126 atbats and walked
only once. That is amazing.

Also, we have Joe Mauer who can mold Delmon into taking 3-1 fastballs down the middle of the plate with runners in scoring position, to only draw the all important walk on the next pitch.

Anonymous said...

one more thing. he was patient enough to take that close pitch (which was a ball) in the video. Maybe thats why he doesnt walk.
Umpires have it out for him.

Anonymous said...

LSR & Anonymous(s) - You are Fucking Idiots! You don't develope plate discipline with age. You either have it or you don't, and you certainly don't turn it on in pressure situations. The best way to score runs is by getting on base. Yes, even your 3,4,5 hitters. Try reading a book or a website instead of regurgitating Barreio's tedious material. You idiots are clearly huge fans of Gardy.

Anonymous said...

anonymous #2. You're telling me that a 22 year old player cant become more patient at the plate over time? So he can become better in every other catagory but not his plate awareness? Im not talking about becoming a 100 walk year a guy. But 2 or 3 years down the line I can see him doubling his total. Which would mean something.

Dawg said...

Anon-eisen- I know its hard to believe that baseball was ever played before Moneyball was written but you can't quantify some things. Like what good does it do if your best hitter takes a walk with guys on 1st and 3rd and there are 2 outs with Jason Kubel on deck. You need your money guys coming up in RBI situations and swinging the f-ing bat. When Kirby needed to get a run in, he got the run in no matter where the pictch was.

Vladimir is considered a premier hitter and there isn't a pitch that he wouldn't swing at.

Walking is fine and dandy for tabble setters and pirhanas but you need guys that aren't afraid to swing the bat when the situation call for it.

PS You also hate base stealing but your beloved Red Sox wouldn't have beat the Yankees in Game 4 of the ALCS had Dave Roberts not stole 2nd base with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th. Please think outside of the Moneyball box.

PPS I agree that X-tina was smoking hot for being 8 months preggers.

LSR said...

Angrrrrrrry Anonymous- You are the f'ing retard if you think your best players (i.e. 4 and 5 hitters) should be up at the plate trying to walk. I am not talking about swinging at balls 5 feet in front of home plate like J. Jones, but yes they should swing at balls just out of the strike zone. That is what makes Manny and Vlad such good RBI guys. There isn't a pitcher in baseball that is grooving balls down the middle of the plate to those guys. Also, you don't develop as a ball player with age??? So why do players peak at age 28-34???? I would guess that comes from developing plate awareness and learning to be a professional batter, but I haven't read any books on that matter so disregard my opinion.

Also, if I was a fan of Gardy I would applaud guys taking pitches and constantly slapping balls to the opposite field.

I hope you aren't crafting your opinions strictly from moneyball. I forgot how many world series or AL pennants that has won Oakland.

P.S. It is nice to have you back!

WWWWWW said...

Wrong. Walking is good for anybody. Kirby Puckett and Vlad Guerrero are anomalies, not the norm. Most players who hack at pitches like they do end up playing town ball, unless they can field and then they're Greg Gagne. I'm not saying that passively looking for the walk is right, but you also need to have plate discipline and patience, otherwise you end up swinging at Torii Hunter-like pitches.

I also disagree that a young hitter can't learn plate discipline. I'm not saying it's easy, and I've never seen it happen to a Twin, but it can happen.

In a comparable amount of plate appearances, Jose Reyes walked 27 times at the age of 22, and 77 times at the age of 24, so it does happen.

The Sidler said...

Walks have nothing to do with the Oakland A's or Moneyball, even if they were one of the first front offices to recognize that simply getting on base, not making an out, was undervalued. Getting a walk means you didn't make an out and will be as good as a single 65% of the time. OK, I made that % up.

How many times have the Twins allowed a pitcher to make it through 7 innings with about 75 pitches? Way too often since only Baby Jesus, Kubel, and Bartlett worked the count on last year's squad. Young pounding the first pitch into a tailor-made DP ball will look just like the departed #48...at least Mauer waits until the 4th or 5th pitch before his signature 4-6-3.

Let's not pretend Young has the power of supreme outlier hackers like Vlad or Puckett--his slugging % was significantly lower than Jason Kubel last year. So yes, a guy who hits a lot of ground balls like the Delmonator needs to take walks to get on base. That doesn't mean he should head to the plate with Mauer's overpassiveness, but his current approach raises a red flag.

Can the complete lack of discipline have anything to do with Young's magically disappearing power (both doubles and HR) over the past two years? Make the kid chase early in the count and put him in a spot to try for contact over power. Seems logical.

But as WWWWWW points out, Jose Reyes is a great model of an extremely young player learning how to adjust his approach. With Young's talent, he could follow that lead if the Twins have any clue how to teach it.

Anonymous said...

"magically disappearing power"
has nothing to do with lack of
working a count. Its called facing
major league pitching. Dumbest statement ever.

He's young, he's not a diciplined hitter yet. He's got a greater chance to become a superstar than Garza. And lets face it...At least we're talking about baseball in late november. This means the little ball club that could is making some noise.

Sidler Stole My Material Guy said...

"The little club that could." Would you please stop with that annoying, romanticizing of the plucky little club that Bremer does all of the time? That shit makes most of us want to throw up.

I never said that a player couldn't develop with age. I don't hate stolen bases either, I only like them when they are taken at about an 80% clip. Did you forget my favorite player was/is R. Henderson.

"Magically disappearing power" has everything to do working the count. Do you think more home runs are hit on 3-1 or 2-1 counts, or on 1-2 or 0-2.

RBI Guys, that's funny.

Dawg said...

Delmon Young could turn out to be an angrier poor mans version of Marty Cordova and Matt Garza could turn into the white version of Willie Banks if Willie had a lazy eye.

Who knows how it will pan out for either side, because you never know with unproven talent.

I also agree that Youngs power outage the last 2 years has everything to do with minors vs major league pitching. The minor league pitchers groved their average fastball right down broadway.

He does have to be more selective in the majors to produce the same power numbers but that doesn't mean he should be thinking walk first. I want to see him chuck his bat at the pitcher after a walk and call him a pussy for not throwing him anything to hack at.

How can you not love baseball???

One final thought is that Gardenhire is definitely an above average manager. Every fan probably has a gripe with their hometown manager to some degree. Ours would be that Gardy has been thrown out of more games then Billy Martin and looks like a complete jackass everytime. But the guy knows how to prepare his players for the most part and is a pretty solid at managing within a game.

WWWWWW said...

Agreed, we can't really evaluate this trade until a few years have passed and we see how Garza and Young have developed. That being said, I like it.

I agree that you don't want him looking walk first. He should be aggressive, but selective. The problem is jackasses who say things like "Walks are for slap hitters and guys who take slow pitch softball seriously" and think Guerrero and Puckett should be the model of the perfect hitter.

Also, Gardy is a crap manager.

Anonymous said...

The Twins letting a pitcher make it through 7 innings had more to do with them having 2.5 legit bats in their lineup, not taking pitches. You can groove pitches to Tyner, Ford and the rest of the guppy�s all day because chances are they won�t do shit with the pitch.

Youngs biggest issue is he�s 22 years old and facing MLB pitching. 20+ hrs for a 22 year old kid with no protection in a lineup is pretty damn good and far from disappearing power. I would also chalk those low walk numbers up to playing for a complete crap organization where his team is most likely trailing 65-70% of the time. I am guessing that taking a walk at that point is pretty much worthless and not on a young players mind, unless his name is Joe Mauer.

Maddog, Nice Gardy man crush you fag!

reggie said...

Delmon Young is only "good in space."

Anonymous said...

WWWWWW, You're a Fag and your blog is stupid and irrelevant.

WWWWWW said...

Hmmm....you make a good point. Thanks for expressing yourself so intelligently.

LSR said...

WWWWWW, You are a Fag, but I like your blog!

WWWWWW said...

Can we get back to the semi-intelligent baseball talk now?

Dharma Bum said...

Sorry for leaving an intelligent comment but this conversation reminds me a lot of when the Twins faced the A's in the playoffs and made Barry Zito look like a pitcher who deserved 7 years and 126 million dollars. They swung their assess off at curve balls in the dirt the whole damn game and he owned them. Who led the majors in On Base Percentage this year? Big Pappi. Getting on base as much as possible leads to runs. End of story.

That said, despite future Twin Reyes's precedent and the hope that he can develop plate discipline, Young's ceiling is Vlad so lets all pray we get there some day as unlikely as it may be. One thing I can tell you though, no one else in the organization has anywhere near that ceiling.

Dawg said...

DB - Only fags call David Ortiz Big Papi. You sound like a Dominican jersey chaser. Could it be that Ortiz benefitted from being in a super stacked lineup? Maybe there iss a little more incentive to take a walk when you trust that the guys batting behind you are capable of getting a hit with guys on base? Take a look at his walk totals when he played for the Twins and his first year in Boston.

Walks do not necessarily lead to runs scored. Jimmy Rollins, Hanley Ramirez and Curtis Granderson all had less then half the walks of Ortiz but scored more runs. Please refine your very scientific equation to walks equal runs sometimes and other times they lead to squadouche.

Please spare us with your bible (Moneyball) bullshit and try and do some thinking on your own.

Just curious how has Moneyball's philosophy worked for Toronto?

bogart said...

I think the one thing we can all agree on is that Nate is a fag ... and Suzy Kolber is hot.

WWWWWW said...

It's not Moneyball bullshit. It's simple common sense. Getting on base leads to scoring runs, and scoring runs is the whole point of the game.

Last season, the top 6 teams in runs scored were also the top 6 in on base percentage, and 4 of the top 5 were the top 4 teams in walks.

The eight playoff teams this year finished 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 15, and 21st in walks. So maybe it isn't completely necessary for success, but it sure as hell is a good indicator.

Just curious how the never work the count and hack at every pitch approach has been working out for the "little team that could."

Super Sioux Fan who isnt gay like the rest of you! said...

WWWW when did your blog turn into fing TRL. Hey Angry, vicious Bear and Gay Dawg if I wanted to talk about prego, slutty pop stars I would go to MTV.com and read blogs there. Your fucking HOMOS. Save the X-Tina talk for the vaginas and gays of the world.

And to that Laser who was posting at 6:15 lastnight (when most people who have lives would be eating dinner with their family)
get some better material. Your a small fish in a big pond buddy. Maybe you should head over to the MTV blog with Bear and Maddog. You might fit in better over there.

Siouxfan Out!

Anonymous said...

4 out of 6 playoff appearances...I would say it is working pretty well for them! Fag!

Sanke said...

Sioux Fan- You are not talking on a walkie talkie. When you are finished typing You just need to put a period at the end of your sentence and we will know you are finished!

Dharma Bum said...

Ok, first we need to seperate moneyball with smart baseball. Please call it smart baseball bullshit from now on. What moneyball said was that the A's looked at what was undervalued in the market and tried to aquire that. When the book was written it was on base percentage, now that commodity has been valued by more people they concentrated more on defense and signing washed up vetrans who may have more time left in them. This strategy hasn't worked as well but it is still the moneyball strategy because it is looking at what is cheap and undervalued on the market. The Red Sox don't use a moneyball strategy because they use dollar bills to light their blunts. They use a smart baseball strategy because they can afford to do that. On Base Percentage is just smart baseball.

As for your argument that Jimmy Rollins, Hanley Ramirez and Curtis Granderson all scored more runs than Ortiz, well, wow. I don't know if I can even respond to that. You are telling me three extremly fast leadoff hitters scored more than a heavyset man with no cartelige in his knees? I wouldn't have thought that. Thank you for the wonderful insight.

Now lets do a fun experiment. Lets see how many at bats it took them to score a run.
Rollins 5.15
Ramirez 5.11
Granderson 5.02
Ortiz 4.73

So using this crappy made up statistic we can see that a fat man with no knees scored more often per at bat then some young burners. But, they did score more so you are probably right.

WWWWWW said...

TAKE THAT!

Dawg said...

Baseball Nerd - Walks = More Runs. Wasn't that your quote? When your theory springs a leak you try working in scientific things like knee cartillage and age into calculating runs scored. With that logic Alexi Casilla should have scored 100 runs last season with his abundancy of knee cartillage and blazing speed.

WWWWWW said...

Where exactly is this leak you speak of?

Dawg said...

3 gyus with half as many walks scored more runs then Ortiz lord of the OBP.

Plus Sidler used at bats to calculate his made up statistic rahter then total plate appearances.

Don't play stupid with me WWW otherwise I'm gonna come at you like a spider monkey tomorrow.

LSR said...

DB- That was a fun experiment. What in the hell was the purpose of it? You just threw us a stat that hadn't been discussed this entire string of comments. Thanks for making us all a bit more intelligent. Could you please tell us where Young fits into that stat so it will be relevant.

Great, Ortiz scored more per at bat. I thought WWWWWW was quoted as saying the object of the game was to score the most? So what is the objective of this game, scoring the quickest or the most?

Also, not once has anyone said On Base Percentage isn't smart baseball. What was said is you need guys going up to the plate (i.e. Young) looking to put the ball in play an drive in runs. Before you get all excited having guys up at the plate doesn't mean your entire roster.

Dawg said...

TAKE THAT DUBYA!

PS Susy Kolber is HOT!

bogart said...

Amen!

Stupefied said...

Dawg & Snake (or whichever of the 100 other pseudonyms you are using under this post), you are a pair of morons.

Runs and RBI are virtually meaningless stats. If you have a good OBP you will score a lot of runs. However, it will fluctuate based on how good the hitters behind you are. If you have a high SLG you will probably drive in a lot of runs, but not if the hitters in front of you don't get on base. What next? Are you going to enlighten us next week on how W's, L's, and S's are more important than WHIP and ERA.

I'm sure your going to predictably tell me I'm angry and wrong, but I think I'm going to stay on the side of the argument that has done hundreds of thousands of hours of research and run thousands of CPU programs of every MLB game ever played instead of siding with a pair of knobs with a combined 60 years worth of watching baseball, and at least 30 of them wasted watching really bad baseball.

P.S. I think you can have a life and still have dinner at a time other than 6:00 PM.

P.P.S. "most people who have lives would be eating dinner with their family" No. Most people with lives would eat dinner with their families.

Stupefied said...

I'm a hypocrite. I meant, "I'm sure you're going to ..."

bogart said...

Nissie, you're an idiot and you don't know shit about baseball.

Nissie said...

Good one, Fag!

jerry said...

chris What Do you know about sports you can't walk and chew gum at the same time

jerry said...

chris What Do you know about sports you can't walk and chew gum at the same time

Nissie said...

I know, it comes from terrible coaching as a child.

P.S. Have another white whine spritzer, princess.

WWWWWW said...

It's just white wine. No spritzer. Have some respect.

Dawg said...

Nissie - Thanks for help arguing home our points. Stats are affected by situations.

You can't quantify everything you f-ing nerd. RBI's are virtually meaningless? Good one, maybe they should just do away with those "meaningless" stats such as runs, RBI's, HR's, hits, SB's, doubles, triples and BA. Then when Joe Blow Jr. opens up the paper he can see what Nick Punto's OPS was for that game and how many walks Garrett Jones had the night before.

I suppose you are going to tell us that you know way more about baseball then Gardenhire also? Your impressive resume would include: 3 years as a bench warmer in little league, played one season of RF for the Kaisers, read Moneyball, and wears a mint condition, Nascar edition Oakland A's hat.


LSR...