By: John Bonnes | TwinsDaily.com
TwinsDaily Proudly Presents…
The 2014 Officially Unauthorized Minnesota Twins Offseason Video Tutorial
Today’s Lesson: Just How Much Pitching Can The Minnesota Twins Afford?
Summer is giving way to winter and the baseball season is turning to the baseball offseason, when Major League teams rain money on free agents. The Twins will enter the offseason with a payroll of $59 million dollars, which means they should have as much as $25-$30 million to spend this offseason...
Minneapolis, MN – The Minnesota Twins announced today that they have agreed with Manager Ron Gardenhire to a two-year contract extension, through the 2015 season.
In addition, the Twins coaching staff will be invited back for the 2104 season.
By: Sam Ekstrom | KFAN.com
If there’s one thing clear from another disappointing season of Twins’ baseball, it’s that high draft picks – specifically, first-rounders – aren’t guaranteed to pan out.
The Twins hit on a number of first-round picks in the 1990s and early 2000s that paved the way for six division titles. Among the “hits”: Torii Hunter (1993), Michael Cuddyer (1997), Joe Mauer (2001), and Denard Span (2002).
But the next generation of first-round picks has yet to prove that they belong.
Over the past several seasons, only 2004 first-round pick Glen Perkins has delivered consistently at a high level. Besides that, the Twins’ draft record is awfully sketchy.
There is a short list of names that many casual fans probably haven’t come across: 3B Matthew Moses (2003 pick; hasn’t played since 2009), RHP Kyle Waldrop (2004 pick; currently with Pirates organization), and RHP Carlos Gutierrez (2008 pick; currently with Cubs organization).
Then there are RHP Matt Garza (2005 pick; traded to Rays in 2007, currently with Rangers) and CF Ben Revere (2007 pick; traded to Phillies in 2012). Both spent limited time with the Twins’ big-league club, but may be two of their more accomplished draft picks in the past 10 years.
What’s most troubling is that four ex-first-round picks – all given opportunity to succeed at the big-league level – have yet to perform up to par.
Trevor Plouffe, the No. 20 selection in 2004, is now in his fourth season with the Twins. With over 1,000 at-bats now, Plouffe is hitting just .232 as a major-leaguer and strikes out three times more than he walks. Plus, his third-base defense ranks in the bottom-third of the league. Plouffe’s offensive power has opened eyes at times, but streakiness with the bat and glove puts his future in question.
Chris Parmelee, the 20th pick in 2006, is in a similar position. He is a natural fill-in for Justin Morneau at first base and was also a surprise defensive standout in right field. But after mashing minor-league pitching for several seasons, Parmelee has yet to find the same swing with the Twins. A .229 average in 2012 and a .223 average this season have kept him from staying with the big-league club.
Outfielder Aaron Hicks, a first-round pick from the 2008 draft class, came in to 2013 as a project, but nobody could have anticipated his 2-for-48 start to the season. Hicks never truly bounced back from the early-season growing pains and now finds himself scuffling back in Rochester.
Finally, pitcher Kyle Gibson – whose arrival felt long overdue when he debuted in late June – struggled mightily to the tune of a 6.53 ERA with only two quality starts in 10 outings. The 2009 first-rounder was heralded as the Twins’ top pitching prospect for a number of years, even after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2011. Now he is back at Triple-A.
Point is, the prospects that were supposed to lift the Twins out of these lean years have not been able to stay on the field, largely due to their sub-standard performance. It’s a big reason the Twins have been stuck in the proverbial cellar for three seasons now… along with several others.
It’s also a cautionary tale. The current, much-anticipated crop of minor-league talent, including first-round picks Byron Buxton and Kohl Stewart, as well as international signee Miguel Sano, are still just minor leaguers.
Sure, these players were picked higher, or, in Sano’s case, were more highly sought after than your run-of-the-mill prospect. But nothing is guaranteed until they get a bat or ball in their hand at the major-league level.