Archive for the ‘Minnesota Twins’ category

Does speed nullify weak statistics?

April 24, 2008

Speed on the bases is an asset that any manager would love to have. A burner at first keeps the pitcher nervous, can get into scoring position, and ease the manufacture of runs. But looking at a few of the MLB leaders in steals, you wonder if having this luxury of speed on the bases is worth the atrocious numbers at the plate.

OF Michael Bourn-Houston Astros

Bourn is the current MLB leader in steals at a perfect 13 for 13. He is undoubtedly one of the fastest players around, his 2004 season at A Lakewood when he stole 57 of 63 is evidence. His 2007 in Philadelphia showed some promise at the plate with a .277 over 105 games and a sturdy .348 OBP. Again, he was almost perfect with 18 steals and one caught stealing. But this year, he is off to a weak start at the plate batting .216. On the positive side, he has 10 BB so far, contributing to a .310 OBP. It would be nice to see him get that average up because he has the speed of the prototypical lead off man, he has shown he can take a walk, and past performance suggests that he can bump up the batting average and be one of the league’s most dangerous men on the bases.

OF Carlos Gomez-Minnesota Twins

Carlos Gomez is an absolute speed demon, but wow, for a guy touted as a “five-tool” player (minus the power so I guess four), this guy is off to a horrendous start. He has been a total liability at the plate. His OBP of .247 is unacceptable at the top of the Twins lineup. Perhaps the ugliest stat of the first month of the season is Gomez’s K/BB ratio. 24 K and 2 BB (second only to SS Bill Hall with 26 K and 2 BB, but apples and oranges since Hall hits the ball sometimes). I am definitely not sold in the least bit on Gomez. I don’t care if he’s 9 for 10 on steals this year because that speed is not doing much walking back to the dugout. Get really good at bunting and just do that every time. Is the cure for the Wobegon batting .230? Get it together because we don’t want to see you turn into Alex Escobar.

OF Joey Gathright-Kansas City Royals

Gathright is another speedster who needs to get it together at the plate. Gathright is about as entertaining as a baseball player can be on the bases. He has wide receiver speed and he can jump over fielders and cars. That’s pretty damn cool. The main beef I have with Gathright, and many other speedy guys, is in the walks department. Take some pitches please.

These three guys are still young and have time to fix some things in their game and become hot commodities. If they can combine the offensive portion of their game with the speed and base running ability they already possess, then we are looking at a nice crop of classic lead off men. Speed is a great tool, but you can’t steal a base when you get out every time. In the meantime, these managers should let these guys find their ways offensively by leaving them in the lineup, despite substandard numbers.

Puckett and Gaetti on steroids? Wh-Wh-What?

April 5, 2008

Apparently, senor statistician Bill James thinks that the 1984 Twins, specifically Gary Gaetti and Kirby Puckett, were on the juice the years after their unremarkable performances in the 1984 season, according to this well written piece from Bugs and Cranks (wonderful blog by the way), and my reaction is, “are you serious?” Steroids were not that prevalent even in the National Football League until the late 1980s, specifically 1988, where 6 percent of users tested positive for the stuff, and that is a small number of users, when, obviously, you have 94% of players testing clean, and even with fake testing procedures, that number is probably still really high, going with the assumption that more NFL players do steroids than MLB players.

To quote the blog article:

“Suggesting the possibility that the Twins’ two World Championships may have been aided by their team being among the first to discover…well, I’d better not go there. Nor will I point out that Gaetti was bald and had acne and Puckett died young.”

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Division Preview: AL Central

March 12, 2008

The AL Central is the best division in baseball. I am not basing this solely on my Tigers being in this division, but it is definitely a reason. I won’t be too much of a Dickie V homer though. The last few years in the AL Central have been the most exciting since its inception in 1994. Cleveland won the division last season but the Tigers made a blockbuster deal this off season in hopes of ruining Cleveland’s attempt at defending the AL Central throne. The White Sox, Twins, and Royals are still around, but most likely will not play a huge role in the playoff picture this season because Detroit and Cleveland will be too dominant. The AL Central is as strong as ever and the wild card winner will be come from this division. Here is a preview of what lies ahead this season. (more…)

Carlos Gomez suffering from Lake Wobegon effect

March 11, 2008

carlos_gomez.jpg

Lake Wobegon is in Minnesota, and Carlos Gomez plays for the Minnesota Twins. Maybe it will be the 21-year old prospect’s offseason home. Coincedence?

Well, here is Gomez trying to prove he’s the fastest man in baseball and stuff. The Lake Wobegon effect, as stated in Wikipedia, is the tendency to overstate one’s achivements, and I am pretty sure Gomez is suffering. Here is what Gomez is probably thinking right now:

Jose Reyes? Slower than a garbage truck in the snow.
Juan Pierre? Makes the most outs in baseball and he sucks anyways.
Hanley Ramirez? I’ve never heard of the Florida Marlins so he might be fictional. Same with Carl Crawford, he plays for the Marlins too, right?
Brian Roberts? On HGH and every other drug possible.
Eric Byrnes? White.

Fastest man in baseball? Pointless argument. Here’s another pointless argument: At least he’ll probably have an OPS better than Jack Wilson. He did steal 64 bases in A-Ball though. To be fair, he might be a great base stealer in his future. Determination is always good on a team, right?

Fastest in baseball? Minnesota Twins prospect Carlos Gomez believes he is, and he is ready to prove it (Twincities.com)