Wednesday, June 27, 2012

NBA Draft - What to Watch For

Probably not the first time P. Diddy had a dude's crotch on his head.

Well, I already did an NBA Draft Preview on 5/30, but that's a complete waste now as Kahn took the train to ginger-town and moved the #18 pick for Chase Budinger.  I literally watched tens of Youtube videos for that piece too.  I get what Kahn did here as he's probably take a Moe Harkless type (from my first preview, thanks for reading) and we'd be a couple years away from knowing if the guy is useful or Wes Johnson.  Budinger shot over 40% from 3 last year, can run and drive to the hoop with athleticism despite looking like that dude from Clerks.  He's never played more than about 22 mpg, and he's about a 10ppg guy in that time.   I've never thought he was much of a man defender, but rather more of a help defense/passing lane type.  Which is similar to how Rubio defends and gets a lot of steals, but obviously not on the level that Rubio does it.

Kahn growing out the Art Garfunkel hair?

So, as a Wolves fan, if there are any of you left - what's the point of watching the draft anymore?  The answer is Kahn.  Kahn can't keep it in his pants during the draft and he really feels like a guy that's constantly working out deals.  People love to hate him, but the Wolves have been kind of getting better, right?  Maybe?  There are a couple of moves that are of interest to me:

1.  Trade Beasley to the Lakers for Jordan Hill.  This is a pretty hot rumor and Laker fans seem to be excited to get him.  The Wolves can make Beasley an 8.2MM qualifying offer, but I'm in the "get anything while you can" boat.  Beasley is a volume shooter and seems to play best with the ball in his hands a lot.  With Rubio and Love and an emerging Pekovic, his touches decrease and he gets pouty.

Hill was the #8 overall pick in 2009 and actually played with Budinger the same 3 years at Arizona.  They both got 18+ppg at Arizona in 08-09.  Hill hasn't got much run and has bounced around a bit, but his per36 min extrapolated stats are 13pts, 10rebs and 1.6 blocks per game.  He's 6'10" and 235 lbs and might be a rotation guy for the Wolves.  Kahn might even get a pick thrown in on this deal, who knows?

2.  A move to get a shooting guard in town.  Rumors I've read are signing cadaver knees Brandon Roy and a potential trade for Jamal Crawford.  Roy is interested, but Craig Stadler probably has better knees.  Several teams appear in the mix for Crawford's wicked crossover and zero defense.


This is not rumored as far as I know, but I know the Bobcats are interested in moving the #2 pick as well as dumping the contract of Tyrus Thomas.  Would the Wolves entertain a redundant Derrick Williams (he can't play the 3) for Thomas and the #2?  Would the Bobcats do it?  Hell, I don't know.  Thomas is another big that's athletic and can contest some shots and many thought he would be a stud coming out of LSU.  I like the idea of these types of guys helping out Love and or Pek down low.

With the #2 the Wolves could fill the SG spot with Bradley Beal or Jeremy Lamb or maybe Austin Rivers or Terence Ross.  Beal is the guy with all of the hype right now.  Knowing Kahn, he'd trade up to #2 and back to #4 and then maybe back again.  This move would obviously be second guessed a lot as Williams definitely has talent, I just feel like he's another stretch 4 and needs a different home. 

Finally, here are some non-Wolves related things to watch for in the NBA draft:

- The suits.  Check this website for some of the best and worst ever.  Bobby Jackson and Johnny Flynn make the list!

- The girlfriends.  Jan Vesely famously threw down with his chick at last year's draft.  It turned out to be the only notable thing he's done thus far as a pro.
Suck face.
- The moms.  Gold everywhere.  Shiny new horsehair.  Bone crushing hugs. Jumping up and down and screaming.  Some of them pretty hot because they had a kid at 13.  Sadly, it seems like more often than not these moms raised their boys virtually by themselves so they really deserve to reap the rewards.  Michael Kidd-Gilchrist's mom, Cindy Richardson will be one to watch.  MKG has a stutter that may or may not pop up during the interview and one can assuming that Cindy has been the point person for him for quite some time.

- Jared Sullinger from the Evil Ohio State University.  Sully boy was a top 5 pick if he would have entered the previous year's draft, but he stayed at OSU and brought them to a final 4.  Now he's not being invited to the green room and may go around 20th overall. says his NBA comparison is Carlos Boozer/Ike Diogu.  That's a pretty wide range.  Oh, and he has a back issue...those don't recur do they?

- Stare daggers into Jay Bilas.  He sucks.  Over/under of number of guys he calls "long" or "has great length" is 20.  Andre Drummond is a lock (7'6") wingspan.

So watch, have fun, and maybe the Wolves will catch a break for once and do something right. (probably not)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Week in Review - 6/25/2012

So in Back to the Future, right, Marty goes back in time and effs everything up by pushing his future dad out of the way of that car and then his mom falls for him instead and puts Marty's actual existence in jeopardy to the point where he starts to fade out of existence before his future parents finally kiss, right?  But if he fades out of existence, then he can't go back in time and screw everything up between his parents, so then he'd exist again, right?

Wait.  Actually they clear all this up in #2.  And pretty much make it clear at the end of #1.  I really shouldn't have written that paragraph up there with 20 minutes left in the movie.  Which, yes, I've seen many times but not in several years.  This intro here is really starting to ramble.  I'm going to stop talking now.  This is me not talking.


1.  Francisco Liriano.  I can't remember the last time I wrote anything good about this guy and who knows when this opportunity will occur again so with apologies to Josh Willingham's clutchitude I'm giving Frankie the Twins' reserved spot this week.  After another good start against Pittsburgh, Liriano's numbers in his last five starts are looking downright respectable - 30ips, 16 hits, 9 runs, 12 walks, 35 Ks, .155 OAVG, .497 OPS, 2.67 ERA.  He's basically been completely different than he was his first first pass through the rotation to start the season where his ERA was near 10 in his six first starts with an OPS over 1.000.  He's throwing more strikes and thus cutting back on the free passes, and his K-rate is actually up as well.  Which is the real, Liriano?  The walk machine who gets knocked around the yard like he's Jason Marquis, or the one who suddenly looks like a capable #3 or #4 starter?  Honestly I don't have a clue, so hopefully they trade him right quick and let somebody else figure it out.  As the honorable barrister Vincent Gambino (aka Jerry Callow) once said, "I'm finished with this guy."

2.  Lebron James.  Others have said it better and I'm sure others have said it worse (although that seems slightly less likely) but holy crap did this guy figure all this shit out.  His numbers were ridiculous (29 pts/10 rebs/7 assists/2 steals for the finals and similar for the overall playoffs, but they don't tell the whole story because he just completely owned that court.  Every time he posted on the wing or block the Thunder could either double, in which case he made the right pass 90% of the time leading to easy Miami baskets, or leave somebody to try to play him one-on-one which led to a Lebron score pretty much every time.  He can control the game posting up the way Barkley did with regularity, but with Magic Johnson's ability to see where the defense is going before they go there and make the perfect pass and (early) Jordan's ability to score by driving if he gets 1-on-1 coverage.  It's just sick, and I fear his stats next year - he may legitimately threaten to average a triple double.  If you're a Lebron hater (and I think somehow I lost my Lebron hate after realizing he's really just a dumb kid who didn't know what he wanted and then seeing him grow up in these playoffs) you better pray to baby santa jesus that he doesn't develop a jump shot.  It would be like watching a real life NBA Jam guy out on the court.   You wouldn't even have to put in the "big head" code because of that giant 'Bron melon. 

3.  Mario Chalmers.  You could put Mike Miller or Shane Battier here as well because all three of those dorks had either a tremendous series or several huge moments/games, but I'm picking Chalmers to single out because he's young while Battier is like a wrinkly-headed Methusaleh and Miller might legitimately retire because of his severe back issues, and also of course because the A-hole Wolves traded Chalmers on draft day when their point guards were Sebastian Telfair and Kevin Ollie (note:  I'm not making this up, those were their PGs that year unless you want to count Randy Foye).Anyway, if you go game-by-game in the Finals you see Game 2:  Battier with 17, Game 4: Chalmers with 25, and Game 5: Miller with 23 - there was always someone stepping up for the Heat.  While this series was billed as Big 3 vs. Big 3 and Lebron will get most of the credit for the win (and deservedly so) it shouldn't be ignored that while the Thunder became the Big 2 (more on this later) the Heat because the Big 4 each night, albeit with a different 4th piece.  Chalmers and Miller hit some big shots which shouldn't be a surprise based on their college resumes, while Battier hitting big shots was a pretty big shock since Duke is a bunch of choking a-holes.

4.  Chris Sale.   I completely loved this dude the last two years as a reliever, and pretty much figured with his stuff (double-figures in K/9 both the last two years) he was setting himself up as Chicago's future save-getting-saver guy.  But, smartly, the White Sox realized he was too good to only use like, 3 innings a week and half of those with a 3-run lead and nobody on base, so they decided to turn him into a starter.  Would it work?  Of course, because Sale is practically unhittable and he's been that most of this year.  After nearly throwing a no-hitter against Milwaukee, Sale now leads the AL in ERA at 2.24 and second in WHIP at 0.96 (behind only teammate Jake Peavy).  He has 89 Ks in 88 innings against just 23 walks and 62 hits, leading to a .193 opponent's batting average, which is third in the league.  In short, this dude is wicked good.  Which is the kind of thing you can get when you spend a high draft pick on a polished college pitcher.  Seriously, Kevin Gausman is going to come back to haunt the Twins.  Bank on it.

5.  Toronto Blue Jays.  Not so much the results because they were only 3-3 (although I guess on the road against Milwaukee and Miami that isn't too terrible), but because of their power numbers, the likes of which we haven't seen in Minnesota since I was still playing softball.  This past week four dudes in MLB hit four homers - three of them were Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, and Colby Ramsus (those are all Blue Jays, dumbass).  Brett Lawrie hit two as well, to make 14 homers for the week.  I'm willing to bet the Twins haven't hit 14 home runs in a week since back in 1930.  Pairing that offense with a young pitching staff to build upon including Brandon Morrow, Kyle Drabek, Ricky Romero, Drew Hutchison, and Deck McGuire and the Blue Jays are set up for a long run of success.  Is what I would be saying if the Jays weren't in the AL East, but they are so they're pretty much effed.


1.  Twins.   I know a 3-3 week with two wins over the Reds for this team is like, the best week in history but honestly this might be one of the worst teams, especially offensively, in the history of the history of the world.  Fourteen total runs in those six games, which including facing studs like Kevin Correia and Homer Bailey.  Twelfth in the AL in runs.  Thirteenth in homers.  The overall average is decent (8th), but there's zero power behind it (13th in ISO - power discarding average) and is boosted by the 7th highest BABIP despite one of the five worst line drive rates in the league.  Awful.  And throw in the pitching woes and it's hard not to believe this is the worst team in the league.  Worst ERA in the league.  Worst opponent batting average in the league.  Fewest quality starts in the league.  Fewest strikeouts in the league.  The only team whose pitching can compete with the Twins in terms of shittiness is the Rockies, and they play in a launching pad so they at least have an excuse.  And the real killer is there is nothing on the horizon to make you at least hope for the future.  So I quit.

2.  Kendrick Perkins.  Now, it's probably a little mean to pick on Perkins because his one real skill is defending big centers and the Heat didn't have a big center who they played at all (Joel Anthony and Ronny Turiaf combined for 5 minutes total in all five games), but man was he exposed out there. Bosh just completely owned him in every game and I'm pretty sure I saw Udonis Haslem school him at least once.  You don't really expect to get any offense out of him, but outside of a 12 & 10 game in Game 3 he averaged just over 5 boards and about 3.5 points per game, well under his season averages.  Basically he was completely useless, but I actually enjoyed watching someone get torched so easily so it was kind of fun at times.  Probably not if you were a Thunder fan or anything, but I bet it was a god damned riot if you live in Seattle.

3.  James Harden.  Remember how the big thing everyone talked about with the Thunder a couple of weeks ago was how they'd have to make a decision on keeping either Harden or Serge Ibaka?  Unfortunately the best thing you could say about Ibaka in the Finals was that at least he didn't play as badly as Harden, and boy was he awful. He was actually good in Games 2 and 5 and the Thunder won Game 1, but he was so terrible in Games 3 and 4 - pretty monstrously important games in a best of 7 series, that you can make a pretty convincing argument that he's the biggest reason the Thunder lost.  Beardy Bearderson was 4-20 from the floor in those games, including 1-9 from three, and lost his confidence to such an extent that he actually started passing up open shots, which probably hurt the Thunder more than the misses did.  Not saying the Thunder could have beaten the Heat even if Harden played well, but they sure as hell weren't going to beat them without him.  I mean, would Three's Company have been as funny and sexy without Janet?  Actually I'm pretty sure yes.

4.  Tim Lincecum.  His final line on his latest start actually ended up ok, 6 innings - 3hits -3runs - 4walks-8 Ks - but the way it started was as ugly as his season has been.  Against a really, really crappy A's offense he allowed single-single-single-walk-groundout-walk and suddenly Oakland had put up 3 runs.  Then he struck out the next three batters and allowed only two base runners the rest of the game.  Some might this is a good sign that the old Lincecum might be back, but he's done this before (8 inning 3-hitter against San Diego and a couple other good outings), but all it's really resulted in is an ERA north of six and a WHIP more than 25% higher than his career number.  I mean, he's lasted less than six innings nine times already this year compared to just six times all of last season.  His walks and home runs are way up, he's allowing way to many line drives and no longer inducing easy pop-ups, and his fastball is down over 2mph to last year - and that last one is really the killer.  A lot of things can be ascribed to luck, and Wiley Wiggins here has had some bad luck this year, but when you drop down to a Blackburn-esque fastball when you're a strikeout pitcher?  Yikestown.

5. Adam Dunn.  Well if you were looking for last year's version of Adam Dunn I think we found him this week, because his extremely stellar season took a short detour off the rails (although not before he covered his season prop of OVER 20.5 HRs - holla).  This week Dunn came up to the plate 27 times.  He walked 5, and struck out 13.  Of the nine times he actually put the ball in play he hit two singles.  All of which adds up to a .095 average (and slugging).  Granted, when you have a dude like Adam Dunn you're going to get weeks like this and have to hope you get enough of those 4 home run weeks to balance it all out, but it's still worth pointing out a shitty week like this, and it's kind of jarring when you see a dude who struck out 13 times last week.  Also I just saw that Michael Cuddyer was 2-25 and I'd love to make fun of him a little bit but now it's too late cuz I wrote all this crap.  And you just read it.  Ha ha I win.

Pretty excited Juwan Howard has a ring, you guys.  I mean he was my fourth favorite Fab Five guy and all (1. Jalen, 2. King, 3. Webber, 4. Juwan, 5. Jackson, 6. Rob Pelinka), but I was/am such a huge fan it's nice to see one of them get a ring, especially since he was such a key cog in that machine.  And as we know, Juwan always wins:
In your face kid from Modern Family

Also seriously how freaking sweet is this thing:

There are, literally, hundreds of college basketball starting lineups I want.  If they exist.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Game 5 NBA Finals Live Blog

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Has Trevor Plouffe figured it out?

For those of you who might not have caught it in several other of my posts, I make a lot of bets (and I mean a lot of bets) on things like "Will Justin Morneau record an RBI" or "Will Adam LaRoche score a run" or "Will David Price record over 5.5 strikeouts."  For example, when lines opened this afternoon Johan Santana was at 5.5k for his OVER/UNDER, was facing the Orioles (who lead the majors in whiffs), and had had 6+ Ks in six of his last seven starts.  Naturally he was an easy over play, which of course meant that he finished the night with five.  Ass.  Anyway, because of that I know lots about Vegas props.  Every so often, probably 1-2 times per week (and there are 70+ bets per day so it's a rare bet) the prop will be "Will So-and-so hit a home run" (with obviously obviously slanted towards no).  Today, that so-and-so was Trevor Mother-Effing Plouffe.  Here's who I remember this bet being on so far this year:  Tony Bautista, Matt Kemp, Josh Hamilton, Curtis Granderson, and Trevor Plouffe.  I may be forgetting someone, but nobody on a Plouff-ian level.

So then I check the stats really quick because I know he's been hot and he has 14 homers, which ranks 14th in the majors.  Fourteenth!  Only he's done it in about 100 less at-bats than everybody in front of him.  He's #1 in homers among middle-infielders (if you still want to count him as one).  Going into tonight he was hitting a homer in every 11 at-bats.  That would rank 54th all-time for a single-season if he kept it up (and would crush the career record held by Ryan Howard (lol wut?)).  If we discount OFers and 1Bs who are supposed to mash, Plouffe's season right now would rank 4th all-time, and if we discount A-Rod's seasons because I don't really feel like looking up which ones he was at third and which at short, it would be the greatest home run hitting season in middle infielder history.  Also feel free to conveniently ignore the fact that Plouffe has only played 21 (of 364) innings in the middle infield this year, because I am.  It's way more fun to compare him to Zack Cozart and Aaron Miles than Joey Votto and Josh Hamilton, so that's what I'm going to do.

In either case that doesn't really matter, compared to if we think he's going to keep doing this, regardless of position, so that's what I'm going to focus on unless I get distracted by this hot, brilliant young cook on MasterChef or the NBA game (OKC rolling as Nick effing Collison takes it at Bosh for the And-1).

The #1 thing we need to look at is HR/FB.  Although this number will vary wildly from player to player, it is also the first place to look when a player (or pitcher) is hitting (or allowing) a ridiculous amount of dingers.  And Plouffe is at 24.6%, which ranks ninth in the majors.  It would have ranked #2 last year.  And in 2010.  And third in 2009.  To put it in perspective, the guys who are always at the top of this metric are always guys like Adam Dunn, Mike Stanton, Mark Reynolds, Jose Bautista, Prince Fielder, Ryan Howard, and Carlos Pena - home freaking run hitters.  Do you think Plouffe goes in this group, personally, I don't.  However.......

Plouffe's career number in HR/FB is 15.8%, so although the 24.6% is a jump we aren't talking going from Denny Hocking to Prince Fielder here.  That 15.8% actually places him 30th among all batters from 2010-2012 (as a combined number for the 3 seasons and if Plouffe qualified).  Not bad.  That's ahead of Carlos Beltran, Adrian Gonzalez, Carlos Quentin, Evan Longoria, and your boyfriend Josh Willingham.  Maybe not in that first tier of sluggers, but definitely somewhere in that second group.  Interesting.

So has he done anything to suddenly jump from good slugger to big-time bomber?

First off, last year after being shipped to Rochester, again, he hit 15 homers in 192 at-bats, a homer every 12.8 at-bats, not far off his current level.   That power sure as shit didn't translate to the majors as he basically hit like an asshole after being pulled back up, but he did have some of it in the minors.  And now?

We know about the jump in HR/FB.  The key is if there is any way to trace that to a change in batting approach or if it just looks fluky.  Do you like how I like all mysterious like a great writer like that broad who wrote Twilight?  Gotta keep you guessing.  Also I write before looking stuff up which is why I sometimes look like an ass dummy, but I'm not exactly ready to stop doing it that way yet so leave me alone.  Anyway, one of the biggest deals I see when looking at his nerd stats are that in his three pro years his K-rate has declined while his walk-rate has increased.  His walk rate this year would rank 26th in the majors if he had enough plate appearances to qualify, while his K-rate would be around bottom-75 or so, and more like Joey Votto and Ryan Doumit than Adam Dunn or Pedro Alvarez.  Combine the two and his BB/K is 0.63, ranking 41st in the majors.  Most of the guys who rank above him are slappers (Jose Reyes, Jamey Carroll) or girls (Joe Mauer, David Wright), so if you want to look at slugging types Plouffe would rank 14th best on my subjective criteria whereby I look at a name and decide if I think he's a "slugger" or not.  Pretty impressive.

Looking a bit deeper, and I promise I'll rap this up soon before we get too far down the nerdhole and also I need to watch some of the basketball game, he's swinging at almost the exact same percentage of pitches as last year.  However.  He has cut way down on swinging at balls outside the zone (29% to 22%) while swinging at more balls in the zone (58% to 62%).  He's also making far more contact when he swings (76% to 82%) and his swinging strike % is way down (10% to 7.7%).  All of these point to someone who is figuring out the major league strike zone and major league pitching.  At the same time is BABIP is way down at .217, and although his high percentage of flyballs hit (another metric that points to a "slugging" type) suggests he'd likely settle under .300, he's still had some bad luck this year.

Put it altogether?  He won't keep up this level of HR production, but it's not as fluky as I first expected, and his batting average will almost certainly rise.  A .270 average with 25-28 home runs seems like where we are probably trending, and that's an awfully solid year for a guy who is trying to find a position.  Looking at his numbers (using Ultimate Zone Rating) he's likely to settle in at either 1b or RF with a chance and becoming a 3b. His value at either RF or 1b is minimized, but if he can stick at 3b it skyrockets.  So that's what the Twins need to do with Plouffe - play him at third, every single day because Jamey Carroll really, and see what we see.

To sum up:

PRO:  Plouffe is really, really fun to say.
CON:  He's a total power hitter and the Twins hate that.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Ben Revere

I suppose it's high time we talked about Ben Revere, who is hitting .342 this season, which is behind only Paul Konerko in the American League among players with at least 100 at-bats.  So, what's up?

Since being recalled from the minors and pretty much put into the lineup, Revere has hit .355 with 11 multi-hit games.  I'm pretty sure that's really good but when I tried to see where that ranked him I see that there have been 3,964 multi-hit games this year and since you can only download the data for 300 at one time I'm going to go ahead and not do anything further with this information.  He is being helped out by a very high BABIP of .365 right now, but with his speed he's bound to beat out a few more balls than most so I'd expect that to settle in around .310 or so.  His walk rate is down a bit, but it was always pretty obvious he wasn't going to be a walk machine so that's not all that troubling to me, and more encouraging is his K-rate has nearly been cut in half, which shows he's figuring out big league pitching.  His line drive rate has also increased compared to last year and he has yet to hit a pop-up in 2012.  These are all encouraging signs that although he might not be a .340 hitter, he's probably trending towards that .310-.320 type of mark.  Excellent.

One of the biggest concerns with Revere last year was an almost complete lack of power.  His Isolated Power (SLG-AVG, a way to look at slugging without it being inflated by a high batting average) last season was just .042, which ranked him dead last in the majors behind such bombers as Juan Pierre, Jason Bartlett, and our own Jamey Carroll.  It wasn't just a lack of power, it was a frightening lack of power.  Happily, with five doubles and two triples so far this year, he's nearly doubled his ISO to .081 - still near the bottom of the league, but at least he's showing middle infielder power now instead of little leaguer power.  His increase in line drive rate says he could maybe even uptick from here a bit if that trend holds, but based on his minor league power numbers this is pretty close to what we can expect from him going forward.  Because of his speed, high average, and fielding he doesn't need to hit for power to be valuable, but it is nice to see he has at least managed to hit a gap now and again.

And speaking of fielding, the dude is just breath-taking out there at times.  Remember this?

I mean.  Like whoa.  Now he's basically blocked from player center field because Denard Span's little tiny baby feelings will be hurt if they move him even though everybody who watches the Twins knows Revere is the better CF, but that hasn't stopped Revere from being the best corner outfielder with a noodle arm he can be.  His Ultimate Zone Rating in right field this year (no I don't know what this is or how to calculate it) is 5.7, which ranks him as the fourth best right fielder in the majors.  But since he missed some time when he was down on the farm and apparently UZR is a counting stat, when that's extrapolated out to 150 games he comes in as the #1 fielding right fielder in the game - and it's not even close.  For reference sake, Revere's UZR in CF last year (he's barely been out there this year so the data is wonky) was 8.5, 15.1 per 150 games.  Span's this year is 0.6 and 1.8 (in fairness last year Denard put up 9.0 and 17.6, so it's not like he's a slug out there or anything and they aren't killing themselves keeping him in center, it's just obvious that Revere has other-worldly range and should cover the 1/3 of the earth that water doesn't cover).  For their careers Revere is 7.5 and 12.8 in center while Span is 5.7 and 2.3.  So, despite Span putting up good numbers last year, that spot should be Revere's.  Holy shit was that a lot of nerd talk but how else do you talk about fielding other than, "Dude did you see that?"  Anyway.

And then there's Revere's speed on the bases.  According to the stat nerds, the risk/reward of a stolen base is worth taking the chance as long as you can steal at a 75% success rate.  Revere is at 78% in his career and 83% this year, with a career minor league success rate of 74%, so yes he should keep stealing and yes he's adding value on the base paths.  He's still mainly stealing off his pure speed with little technique, but his improvement from year-to-year hopefully he means he's refining his technique and will continue to get better with age rather than relying on pure speed, which will eventually drop off.  Running the bases is probably the most difficult thing to put into numbers, but naturally some nerd has done it and Revere rates at 8.3 on the scale where anything over 7.0 is considered an excellent baserunner.  So I guess there's that.

In conclusion, I love Ben Revere and he's rounding into the player Twins' fans hoped he'd be.  He's never going to develop more than 3-tools (speed, fielding, hitting for average with power and arm out of reach) but if he maximizes those three he's going to be the Twins' center fielder of the future and a quality lead-off hitter (and if he learns a little plate discipline he could even edge towards "great.")  In short, trade Denard Span.

Next one of these I'm going to do is on Trevor Plouffe who went yard again tonight.  I was going to do both these guys in this post but holy shit am I lazy.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

NBA Finals Game 1

During the pre-game Magic Johnson dubs this finals the new "Magic vs. Bird".  The only difference being Durant doesn't get the credit he deserves because he's relatively under-sold by playing in OKC and almost everyone either dislikes or hates Lebron James because of his silly "The Decision" gaffe.


This is however, the best two players in the league going head to head and even guarding each other for the most part.  Also, consider that each team's top 3 may be the best two trifectas in basketball with Lebron-Wade-Bosh and Durant-Westbrook-Harden. 

The first quarter starts with the Heat making open shots early.  This is mostly on the back on three big 3s for Battier, who is going Horry here.  This is different than going whorey, but both are awesome 

Durant appears to be the only one that can score the basketball for the Thunder. Westbrook is doing his choke thing by starting 1 of 5 from the field.  In fact, at one point Durant is 4-6 and the rest of the team is 2-9.  :puke:  Meanwhile, Miami is 5-6 from 3 to start.

D-Fish sticking his bum out...he can't help it.

Derek Fisher just looks funny in an OKC uniform, but knocks down his first jumper with old man clutchness.  The Heat immediately answer though and it appears they'll score 200 this game.

Told my girl to check out Harden's sweet beard and she says, "I'll be there's food in there."  Harden does bury a shot to end the first quarter, potentially giving the Thunder some momentum.  29-22 Heat after one.

These Toyota "coach" commercials are miserable.  GAH.

Die in a fire, coach.

The always EXTREMELY IMPORTANT post-quarter interview with a coach has Spoelstra saying "We're going to have to grind this one out."  Doris Burke's sex change appears to be coming along swimmingly.

On the back of a James steal and super dunk the Heat go on a second quarter 8-0 run.  Ibaka gets a dunk and the Thunder have SERGED up to 50% from the field on the backs of hustle by Ibaka and Collison.  The 9:00 mark is also where Seattle Sonics fans get it rubbed in their faces for the first time.

Announcers mention Fisher is 37 and wants to play after this year.  He makes a layup and a jumper and has 6 points.  Worth noting for those of us that went over 8 points+assists.  :0

Lebron waltzing down the lane for layups...crowd getting quiet in their smurf outfits.  Haslem's rebounding is just killing the Thunder inside.  He has 9 boards (3 offensive) with 5 mins to play in the half.  (43-32, Heat)  Westbrook choke level code orange with a 2-8 and 4 assists.

Scott Brooks' moms had a whole gaggle of kids.  She's also too bitter to travel except for when Brooks gets to the finals.  Westbrook 2-9.

Mario Chalmers looking great out there.  Wolves didn't need him. Meanwhile, Bosh is going stretch 4 like my man Kevin Love.  With a minute left in the half, Lebron banks in a 3 to put Heat up 11.  Westbrook gets a hoop and promptly follows it with a technical, but the lead is cut to just 7 with about half a minute left.  Let's keep him code orange for now. (3-10, 1 tech)

The half ends at 54-47, Miami on top.  Looking forward to more shirtless Tom Cruise rock-star commercials during the half. 

Halftime recap:

E-Trade, NBA Self-pimp, McDonald's, Macbook, ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.  No sign of half-naked Scientologists.

The difference in the game so far is OKC's 8 TOs compared to Miami's 4 as well as missed FTs for OKC (they're one of the best in the league at the stripe) and the Heat's hot start from 3point range.

Durant hits a 3 to start the second half and hey lookie here it's only a 4 point game.  The physical play has clearly taken a step up...especially for OKC.  Westbrook up to 5-12, code yellow.  Perkins gets a rebound and Rick Mahorns it despite being non-existent most of the game.  Momentum clearly going to OKC and Sefalosha is absolutely crushing it on defense.

Heat call time out with 7:44 in the 3rd.  58-57 Miami.  Spoelstra likely wants to warn his dum-dums that Thabo Sefalosha is trying to steal the ball from them.

Thabo, the Swiss chocolate knife.

New movie "That's My Boy" with Sandler and Samberg commercial on.  Commercial damn near gives me epilepsy with all of the cut-scenes they show.  I have no idea what it's about by that "Shots-Shots-Shots-Shots" song is now stuck in my head.

Lebron suddenly remembers he can get into the lane and gets back to back layups to go up 4 after OKC tied it. 

New Spiderman movie is apparently Spidey vs. Godzilla.


Westbrook is all systems go with 12 points in the 3rd. (code Green!)  Fouls are piling up. OKC is going to need to make free throws from here on out to take this.  Westbrook ties it up with 16 seconds remaining on a fantastic drive.  Hapless Mike Miller hacks him for one to give the Thunder their first lead of the night.  74-73, OKC to end the 3rd.

Oliver Stone has a new movie called Savages.  Another commercial where I have no idea what it's about, but there's some decent actors in it and also John Travolta...and some guns. 

Anyone's ballgame to start the fourth quarter, but probably not the Heat's.  Lebron and Wade taking turns chucking contested jumpers.  OKC up 5 early in the 4th.

Oh yeah, there's a movie about Abraham Lincoln being a vampire hunter (based on the novel).  What's that, 6 movie previews during this game?  Also, a new, idiotic "reality" show called Glass House where fans decide what people will do.

Miami realizing they're settling for outside crap and are busting a move inside.  Heat down 3 with 9 to play.  Quick check on Fisher shows he's at 7 points+assists...uh oh.  Durant just taking over down the stretch with big jumpers and fantastic moves to the basket.

OMGOMOGMGOMG Macbook pro looks like a laptop!

Another Jason Bourne sequel coming too.  I only saw the first one...maybe I should catch up.  How many are there, 10?  Looks like no Matt Damon this time.  It's not your fault, Matt.

Durant with 13 in the 4th with 4:33 to go.  91-83, OKC. 

New Batman movie too.  Bad guy appears to be some dude in a funny gas mask.

Tom Hardy?

2:44 remaining and the Heat are down 6 after two Lebron FTs.  Lebron continuing to make plays, but not getting the help he got in the first half from the likes of Bosh, Chalmers and Battier.  Collison continuing to be a major nuisance as the guy is just all over the place.  You can box this one up, kids.  More importantly, what commercials are next?

Bose has a wireless mobile speaker that likely costs one million dollars.  Eric from Entourage does voice work for Best Buy. 

MIKE MILLER LAYUP, YES!  105-94 final and Durant with 17 in the 4th. 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Week in Review - 6/11/2012

I'm not really going to talk about Lebron even though by rights he probably deserves a spot in WHO WAS AWESOME because let's face it he was in the last two games.  If he plays like that against OKC Kevin Durant will have to raise his game to match, and that's going to make for a hell of a finals.  Really, this may be the most excited I've been for an NBA Finals match-up since the Lakers/Bulls back the first time Jordan made it.  Of course, Magic and Byron Scott were hurt throughout that match-up, something nobody ever bothers to bring up when they're slobbering over Jordan, so it actually really sucked to watch.  Also if Lebron and Jordan decided to go with dueling pistols at 50 paces I'd strongly hope they both won.  Or lost.


1.  Scott Diamond.  Is it time to buy in?  Am I already too late?  I know Snacks is already considering buying a Diamond shirt so maybe I'm being to cautious, but I think it might be time to stop being such a pussy and hop on that bandwagon.  After yet another stellar outing, this time against the hapless Cubs but still, he's now gone at least six innings in six of his seven starts, has given up zero earned runs in four of them, and is currently rocking a 28-4 K-to-BB ratio.  Looking at all pitchers with at least 40 ips, Diamond ranks first in the majors in ERA.  He also ranks fifth in xFIP, which is a way of evaluating pitchers based solely on what a pitcher can control, which means it looks at Ks, BBs, and what kind of ball is hit off the pitcher (groundballs, flyballs, line drives).  He ranks fifth.  He's behind only Zack Greinke, Cliff Lee, Stephen Strasburg, and Gio Gonzalez.  He's been better than Cole Hamels, Justin Verlander, and Clayton Kershaw.  I mean.  Whoa.

And we aren't talking about ERA or even WHIP.  We're talking xFIP, which takes luck out of everything.  Diamond's 7/1 K-to-BB ERA is not only the best in the league this year (among pitchers with at least 40 ips), it would have led the majors last year and is in the Cliff Lee/Roy Halladay's best years type of range.  His BABIP against is .308, which means if anything he's actually gotten a tiny bit unlucky so far this year.  Honestly he probably deserves his own post at this point, but I'm just so scared to start believing in this guy because I'm so convinced he's less a diamond than iron pyrite, but that's just me.  I tend to not believe in cast-offs from other teams suddenly becoming studs, but then again I'm a moron.  As Snacks told me like 10 times when we were watching Diamond at the bar, a pitcher can suddenly get it by making a small change in delivery, approach, or adding a new pitch.  Let's not forget another lefty the Twins grabbed in the Rule 5 draft was your boy Johan Santana, so it's not unprecedented.  I'm just not ready to buy in yet.  Although I'm not sure what it'll take.  I am, however, pretty excited.

2.  Jarrod Parker.  Sometimes I motivate players or teams when I write about them.  I can't help it.  I'm just so big time that sometimes I light a fire under certain dudes and they come out and dominate, and that's what Jarrod Parker did after I wrote that I didn't understand what the Oakland A's were doing by trading Trevor Cahill.  Of course, the only legitimate answer to that question is "they had a chance to get a guy like Jarrod Parker" and he rewarded them with an 8-inning 1-hitter last Monday, and not against some chump either but against the best team in ball, the Texas Rangers.  Coming into the season Parker was ranked as the #1 prospect in Oakland's system and #26 in all the minors, and after dominating triple A (and the PCL, no lest) in four starts he got his call.  He's now sporting an ERA of X.XX with a WHIP of X.XX and looking like an absolute ace (he got kind of pounded by Arizona on Saturday but whatevs).  The question is can Oakland build a team around him?  The answer, as always, is don't ever fucking question Brad Pitt.

3.  OKC Thunder.  Well I certainly didn't see that coming.   I mean you had to figure OKC was going to be right there with San Antonio, but after the Spurs won the first two of the series to run their winning streak to 20 straight it didn't look good.  Media was starting to talk about the Spurs as a possible all-time great team and giving out verbal handies to tony Paker.  Then Kevin Durant was all like F this garbage and boom, the Thunder are in the Finals.  By beating Dallas, LA, and now San Antonio all the Thunder did was beat the last 13 Western Conference Champions.  Crazy.  And Durant is just so effortless out there.  He spends a lot of time letting everybody else play and then will just be like ok guess what fools and score 10 straight.  This team is so incredibly well constructed they could end up winning the next five titles and it wouldn't surprise me.  I mean, it would totally surprise me, but it would be less surprising than any other team besides the Kevin Love/Ricky Rubio led Timberwolves.  Oh, and I'll be rooting for OKC very, very hard to beat the stupid Heat.

4.  Rajon Rondo.  God I love watching this guy.  He's like, completely unique and yes I understand for the true definition of unique you don't need a qualifier like "completely" but you get my point.   Sure he makes some awful passes and he probably got a few more shots blocked than you'd like in game 7 but he also was the biggest factor in two of Boston's wins so you take the good with the bad.  It's just crazy.  Have you ever seen somebody dominate at a guard spot who completely can't shoot?  And I don't mean like, Magic Johnson has a mediocre jumper or Jason Kidd is a pretty bad three-point shooter, I mean he's so bad the defense plays him like a college center and just dares him to shoot anything outside of 18 feet.  And he won't, because he knows he's just going to be chucking bricks.  And despite all that, he somehow averaged 12-12-5 in the regular season, and then, when defenses are known to clamp down tighter, he upped that to 16-12-6, 14-13-7, and 21-11-7 in the three playoff series.  Not only are the numbers incredible, but he plays with this unshakeable confidence and swagger, like he's completely in charge of the ball when he's on the court.  In Game 6 LeBron slapped his hand at some point in the third like trying to say "hey great game so far" and Rondo looked at him like he was an alien or something, and then in Game 7 Wade started some shit and Rondo didn't even come close to backing down.  I love this crazy guy.  Even if I could probably beat him at 18 feet and deeper HORSE.

5.  Brandon Morrow.   This guy is the kind of pitcher who you should root for, because he's a throwback who was always like, here's my fastball good luck hitting this suckas, to the point where he had the 7th fastest average heater speed last year (93.9mph) out of starters and threw a one-hitter in 2010 with 17 Ks in one of the more impressive starting efforts of the last few years.  Well, this year he's made the proverbial leap from "thrower" to "pitcher" that announcers like to slobber over, and although I hate to repeat anything announcers continually harp on because they're morons, in this case it's true.  Morrow is still throwing his fastball as often as ever, but he's dropped a full MPH in speed, sacrificing velocity for command (bb/9 and hr/9 both down from last year), started using his change-up more often, and he's having a great year with three shutouts already and a WHIP under one.  Now when he's been bad he's been brutal, like when he didn't get out of the first against Texas, but he's gone from fun to watch because he just freaking chucks it to he's fun to watch because he's a real pitcher with killer stuff.  You know, exactly what the Twins tend to avoid whenever possible.  Basically this is the guy I hope Kyle Gibson becomes.


1.  Ron Gardenhire.  Do we really have to keep doing this?  And now that the Twins have won nine of their last twelve I suppose that rules out him getting fired, assuming they keep beating up on the shit teams.  I'm going to leave pinch-running for Morneau alone because even though I'm pretty sure that was stupid I'm going to more focus on pinch-running for Trevor Plouffe with Alexi Casilla when he was on first base even though Chris Parmelee was on second.  So first, let's pretend instead of Alexi Casilla the Twins had Usain Bolt available to run.  It doesn't really matter how fast Bolt is, because I read up on it and it is illegal to pass another runner on the bases, so he can only move up as far as Parmelee.  Why not pinch-run for Parmelee since, you know, he's the tying run and all?  Is it because Parmelee is so fast he doesn't need to be run for?  Well, let's see.  Plouffe has three career steals in four attempts.  Parmelee has zero steals in zero attempts.  So this tells me they're both slow a-holes, but I'd give a small nod to Plouffe in a race just because he's at least tried to steal.  In Parmelee's minor league career he's gone 20-37 stealing with a season high of 8.  Ploufee was 46-78 with a high of 12.  Again, advantage Plouffe.  They both have one major league triple, while Plouffe has 26 in the minors compared to 21 for Parmelee.  So basically they are of similar speed but Plouffe is probably slightly faster, while Plouffe is a better hitter and was 2-3 with a double and a homer that night.  And position means nothing because Plouffe can just swing over to first.  It's yet another inexplicable move by a guy who is clueless with in game management.  He's playing checkers while (most of) the rest of the league has moved on to chess.  I'm just so sick of it.  Between getting out-maneuvered on a constant basis, not understanding basic probability or strategy, and continually running out of the dugout to yell at an umpire despite not being able to catch his breath and all red-faced like a fat little doughboy child whose angry at his birthday party because he got the wrong color Power Ranger I'm just so tired of it.  Isn't it time to move on?

2.  Rickie Weeks.  I know nobody really gives a crap about Rickie Weeks since he plays in the National League, but holy crap has he been a giant pile of hell.   He's hitting .159 and leads the NL with 71 strikeouts.  He's one of only four players who qualifies for the batting who is hitting under .200.  He's behind Jamey Carroll in slugging percentage.  According to some metric that attempts to assign a proper salary to a player's season based on the stats he's put up, Weeks has been worth a NEGATIVE $2.9 million this year.  His hitting ability has actually cost Milwaukee 8 runs so far this year (based on Runs above Replacement), and his fielding has cost them 7 runs.  He makes contact just 73% of the time when he swings, 11th worst in the majors, worse than human fans Chris Davis, Drew Stubbs, and Pedro Alvarez.  All-in-all he's been the sixth worst player in the majors this year according to Wins above Replacement.  And yes, he's Snake and I's fantasy second baseman.  Great.

3.  Kansas City Royals.  I'm beginning to fear I was duped.  The Royals were just swept by the freaking Pirates to drop them to 24-34, almost as bad as the Twins, and it's looking like another lost year in KC, which makes like, 30 in a row and at this point aren't we at make or break time?  Shit or get off the pot?  Throw the bag of cats in the river or let them go?  When is this thing finally going to come together?  Hosmer looks lost out there, and Eric Gordon and Jeff Francoeur are apparently still figuring in their long-term plans even though they're completely terrible.  Chris Getz has one of the highest batting averages on the team, and their ace pitcher is still Bruce Chen, and they still refuse to let go of Luke Hochevar.  This is a crappy team.  How long can you hear about a team's potential and then watch that potential never develop before you bail?  I'm not there yet, but the Royals need to be above .500 next season or it's just straight up over.  Seriously, the one good player on the team right now is Billy Butler, who apparently doesn't figure into their future plans.  Which, I suppose, is a pretty good summation of the situation right there.

4.  Jason Marquis.  It's probably not really necessary to point out how Jason Marquis sucks since I did it last week and the Twins, with the worst rotation in the majors, released him and also anybody who has ever watched baseball knows he's one of the worst pitchers in the history of pitching.  But I feel the need to point out that the Padres signed him and forced him to pitch, only to watch him get rocked by San Francisco for 9 hits over 6 innings and 4 runs.  Actually now that I look at it he wasn't all that terrible in that game but he was terrible all year and I like pointing out that the Twins gave $3 million to a guy who's given up nearly 2,000 hits in his career with a 1.5 K-to-BB ratio.  Thank god for Scott Diamond, amiright?

5.  Fringe Sports.  I could put these both in one place but I don't really have a spot to so here goes.  First, how much did it such that I'll Have Another got scratched?   And then you hear about some controversy about doping or scamming or something I'm not really sure because I didn't read up on it at all so I don't really know what it was all about but it certainly sounds bad and I'm all pissed we didn't get the chance to watch I'll Have Another not win the Triple Crown.  I hope for NBC's sake they sold all their ad space before he got scratched.  Then you have the Pacquiao/Bradley fight and I watched the first half or so but then got bored or distracted and stopped watching but it was pretty clear Pacquiao had that fight in hand.  But then I get in the car Sunday morning and I hear Barreiro talking about how Bradley won a decision.  So I look this up and every single person in the world who watched the fight had Pacquiao winning, and how bad this looks in a "Mayweather isn't going to be ready for the scheduled December fight vs. Pacquiao so we better let Bradley win so we can set up the rematch and make more money" way.  Not good for a sport that's always been shady as hell and is now on its last legs.  Seriously, unless that Mayweather/Pacquiao fight is like one of the Ali/Frazier type bouts I'm pretty sure boxing is as dead as Family Feud.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

More Draft Recappage?

Since DWG hates you and doesn't want you to have any more draft info because the Twins are likely up to their same old tricks that have left them with a mostly devoid minor league system I thought I'd tack on a few notes.

#32 Overall: Jose Orlando Berrios, RHP - Some Puerto Rican HS called Papa Juan's

Any time you can get a Puerto Rican with a whole bunch of names you have to do it, right?  Watching on MLBTV their version of Mel Kiper (who looks like a really pale Martian) said this is the part of the draft where teams start drafting high-schoolers with upside.  He didn't specifically refer to Berrios, but he fits that mold.  Ok, I just looked this draft expert guy up and his name is Jonathan Mayo.  I have no idea how he puts his size small t-shirt on over that head.

Jonathan Mayo
Berrios has a 92-95 mph heater, which is good considering he's just 18.  He throws from a 3/4 arm angle and has a slider type thing and a change.  They're both inconsistent for him and in general he's a bit wild.  He's 6'1" 190lbs, so he's not exactly a giant out there and his arm will probably fall off.  Here's a vid of him throwing it around like the boys:

#42 Luke Bard, RHP - Georgia Tech

Bard has a low to mid 90s fastball, a power slider and an older brother that just got sent down to AAA Pawtucket by the Red Sox.  By most accounts he's destined for the bullpen, which is ok I guess, but it makes me feel like this pick is a reach.  DWG has said it, you convert your starters that don't have a second or third quality pitch to relivers.  Most of the time you don't start them out as a reliever.  Although there are some exceptions like Drew Storen, Huston Street, etc.  In his college career Bard made 5 starts in his 55 appearances.  He walked 39 in 100 IP and struck out 97.  To be fair though, he was shelled as a freshman and his last two years have been pretty stellar.  He had a 0.99 ERA in 25 IP in 2012 before his season was cut short due to lat (back) injury.

The biggest problem with Luke is when has a Luke ever been successful?  Did I mention his middle name is Francis?




Lid Off

I guess it's this guy.


#63 Mason Melotakis, LHP - Northwestern State School for the Blind

 Lefty closer guy that throws 96 MPH and has a decent curve.  Surprisingly, this is the 2nd highest a player from this school has gone.  The Angels took future HOFer Brandon Emanuel 61st overall in 1998.  Mason's TWELVE saves rank 3rd all-time in school history.  He had 129 Ks in 127 college innings and walked 43.

 #72 J.T. Chargois, S/R 1B-P - Rice

Here he is performing a flying knee.

Another closer? Oh, give me a break!  JT also played first base full time for the Owls. says his heater is 95 with movement, so there's that.  He hit .323 last year as well, but with no pop at all, so don't expect any Babe Ruth shtick here.  9.08 K/9 and 2.87 BB/9 last year as the closer.

#97 Adam Walker, R/R OF - Jacksonville University

6'4" 225lb beast-man that is the son of a former Viking RB by the same name.  Going for power like this seems outside the Twins' playbook, so I dig it.  Walker hit .343 with 12 homers in 55 games and also stole 19 bases (and made 11 errors).
#130 Zack Jones, RHP - San Jose St 

Zack was drafted in the 24th round in 2009 by the Royals. Suck it Royals, we have him now!  He was primarily a starter, but also led the Spartans in saves.  :headslap:

#160 Tyler Duffey, RHP - Rice

Rice is usually pretty good at baseball, so I guess we can just draft all of their dudes.  Another reliever.

#190 Andre Martinez, LHP - Archbishop Jenny McCarthy HS

Looks like this guy is a FSU signee so we'll have to see how much he likes Florida.

#220 Jorge Fernandez, S/R Catcher - Colegio Hector Urdaneta

This is apparently the only picture of Jorge on the interwebs.
The Twins definitely could use some catching depth in the system.  However, even though lists him as a catcher, it looks like he's an outfielder and pretty fast (6.7 in the 60) with power upside.  He's committed to Alabama State, which is no Florida State, so maybe they sign him. 

#250 Christian Powell, RHP - College of Charleston

Sweet hat.
Christian was the Southern Conference player of the year.  He has good size at 6'4" and 219 lbs and was drafted in the 47th round in 2009 by the Indians.  Wait, are we just copying off of our division rival's old draft lists?  His fastball is in the low, you know, welcome home. 
#280 LJ Mazilli, 2B - UConn

Ok, so pretty much the only reason I wanted to follow up was to get to Lee Mazzilli.  Lee Junior (assuming) raked at UConn and his dad was a total badass. Lee was kind of a long time utility player type, mostly with the Mets, and he's done a little coaching and managing.  This has been happening for awhile now, but it's both cool and kind of sucky because I'm officially old when the sons of players I've seen play are now playing.  I've seen some other internet knobs say LJ was projected higher and is a bit of steal.  By most accounts his defense and speed are nothing amazing, but this ability to hit for average with a little bit of pop is pretty sweet.

#310 DJ Baxendale, RHP - Arkansas - 91-92mph, #2 starter to a Soph
#340 Taylor Rogers, LHP - Kentucky - 6-3, 4.60 ERA, 71K in 74 IP
#370 Alexander Muren, RHP - Cal State Northridge - Threw a one hitter, doesn't strike anyone out.
#400 Erich Knab, RHP - SC HSer - Signed with Spartanburg Methodist College, I think we can get him.  "...they have great players like Joe Mauer" - Knab
#430 Jake Proctor, OF - Cincy - Typical speedy OFer type the Twins love
#460 Jarret Leverett, LHP - Georgia Southern - Favorite name of the Twins' draft so far. I tried friending him on facebook:
#490 Will Hurt, SS - KY HSer - Insert your favorite William Hurt joke here. I'll go with "Broadcast News: Twins draft Will Hurt"
#520 Dalton (DJ) Hicks, 1B - Central Florida - 6'5" 230lb lefty 1B.  POWER. .316 with 14 homers in 62 games.
#550 William LaMarche, RHP - CA Juco - :shrug:

So, to recap...they have taken one million pitchers, but a lot of the earlier picks were relief pitchers.  They also made a couple of power plays, which you have to like.  No catchers to date, so you have to think a few are yet to come.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Twins Draft Recap (post round 1)

TRE already covered the Twins 1st round pick with this post, so I'm going to handle the later picks with a nice little wtf?

I mean, I get it.  It's the baseball draft.  The majority of these kids won't see the majors at all and the ones who will are at least three years away so it's kind of foolish to put too much stock in these things.  With that caveat out of the way I'm still not really sure I like what I'm seeing. After Buxton at #2, they went with Jose Berrios, a high school power arm from Puerto Rico who can get up to 97mph and whose curve ball has been described as "a hammer."  Sounds good.  I was more of the opinion that I'd prefer a college arm to a high school one, and there were a couple guys available who I highlighted as guys I wanted in this post (Pat Light, Pierce Johnson), but I like what I hear from this Berrios fella so I'm all good with this pick.  After this, however, I have some questions.

Like why would you spend the next three picks on yet another soft-tossing nancy and two college relievers?  The guy they took at #42, Luke Bard, is a college starter, which is good, but I've read he's more a low-90s type, which is bad.  He does have a power slider but to quote ESPN, "most scouts see his future in the bullpen."  Great.  Then the next two picks were college closers with one or one and a half pitchers at most who both project to be bullpen guys as well, which means the Twins are spending their time with a whole shit ton of high draft picks by filling up the future bullpen.  What.  The.  F?

Your bullpen is supposed to made up of guys who are failed starters in the minors/majors, not guys who weren't even good enough to start on their college team.  And I know my emphasis was on college level pitchers, but I meant starters, not relievers.  The last college closer I remember the Twins' drafting early on in the draft was Carlos Gutierrez out of Miami and he's now a fringe prospect at best who walks everyone and strikes out less than a batter per inning and he's now 25 years old and on his second tour through triple-A.  How many closers are actually drafted as closers, anyway?  It's gotta be like, 1% right?  You just take a starter with a killer heater who was never able to develop that third pitch and make him your closer.  WA LA!  Of course, I think I see the problem in that since the Twins traded Billy Bullock they don't have anyone left in the system who throws over 93, so there you go.

I am pretty sure I would have gone completely differently in this draft if I was the Twins.  My first three would have been Kevin Gausman, Pat Light, and Pierce Johnson, but then again, I'm much smarter than everybody else.  Just remember those three names in about  4 years.

Looking at the other picks:

#97 - Adam Walker - OF - Jacksonville:  apparently a monster power machine, but scouts aren't sure if he has this hitting thing quite figured out to make solid contact enough to crush like he could/should.  I swear we heard this same thing about Chris Parmalee, but ESPN projected him as a second round pick so I suppose this is kind of a steal.

#130 - Zach Jones - RHP - San Jose State:  starting pitcher who throws in the low 90s and had a 3.5-1 K/BB ratio last season.  Fucking superb.  Guy could have been genetically engineered by Bill Smith.

#160 - Tyler Duffy - RHP - Rice:  I can't find any solid info on this guy so I will assume he's the brother of KC's Danny Duffy which means he throws super fast and can't get anybody out.

#190 - Andre Martinez - LHP - High School:  Threw a perfect game in high school.  Like that's hard. 

Jesus do you guys know how hard it is to find information on most of these guys?  I'm really kind of sick of looking up info on these guys especially because I could just make shit up and nobody would know the difference and also I'm pretty sure none of these guys are going to get to the big leagues, or if they do, it'll be after the Twins ship them off for the next 89mph fastball all-star who never walks anyone and gives up 2 billion hits per inning.  I'm irritated and drunk.  Also I hate you.  All of you.

I'm watching the MTV movie awards (for some reason) and holy crap Aerosmith guys look like a couple of old lesbians.  Not the good kind.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Twins Draft TREcap

So, DWG emailed me and asked me to do a Twins' draft analysis.  I thought I was crushing it with like 2 posts in a week, but I guess more is expected here at  Hope I don't get burned out.  Speaking of DWG, is that what you guys and gal(s) know him as?  I mean, he doesn't use his real name and he posts as WWWWWWW, what's that all about?  I also call him Frosty sometimes, but that's some obscure reference to a Simpson's episode that no one watched or cared about.  So, he's DWG until further notice.

DWG posted that the Twins needed to go with one of the big arms at #2 in the draft.  With Baltimore selecting Puerto-Rican shortstop and best Carlos available, Carlos Correa; the door was open for the Twins to pick their favorite mega-arm.  They ended up taking a guy with a 99 MPH fastball, but he's a HS outfielder.  Georgia high-schooler Byron Buxton (Appling County High) is considered by most to have the biggest upside in this draft.  He's the protypical "five-tool" player; speed, range, power, average and overall sexiness.  Check that, arm strength is the fifth one.  Watch the video below, he has great bat speed and you can see the pop he gets off of the bat.  He has tremendous outfield range and I've mentioned the arm strength.  He has a 6.6 second 60 yard dash.  He's drawn comparisons as a prospect to BJ Upton. 

The downsides of Buxton are twofold:  1) he's not a pitcher and 2) he's 18.  We'll have to wait a few years to see if he's the beast that many think he could be.  Where will the Twins be at that time and how will they cope in the meantime?  Will a 32 year old Mauer be anchoring the lineup in 3 years or sapping the payroll?  Also, what of Arcia, Hicks, Benson and the other OF prospects?  Chopped liver?  Many of the top collegiate pitchers of late have taken about 100 innings of minor league pitching before reaching the majors.  Appel could be such a player. You can't whine too much about the player with the most upside though. 

Country Musician Sarah Buxton

More to come as picks roll in.  Remember, the Twins go #32, #42 and #63.  I'm not staying up all night DWG, or whatever your name is.