June 24, 2015

Gleeman and The Geek #200: Non-Stop Prospect Talk

In a special midweek, podcast-only "Gleeman and The Geek" episode we go player-by-player through the Twins' preseason top-40 prospects to see how their stock has changed and how close some of the high-end prospects like Miguel Sano and Jose Berrios are to reaching the majors.

Gleeman and The Geek: Episode 200

In addition to the direct download link above you can also subscribe to the podcast via iTunes.


This week's blog content is sponsored by Harry's Razors, where you can get discounted razors and shaving supplies delivered to your door by entering in the code "gleeman" at Harrys.com.

June 22, 2015

Gleeman and The Geek #199: Prospects Are Human Too

Topics for this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode included Byron Buxton putting his Hall of Fame induction on hold, where all the Twins' run scoring went, what happens to the rotation when Ervin Santana returns, releasing Jordan Schafer, Chris Herrmann's job security, first-round draft pick Tyler Jay signing for $3.9 million and going to Fort Myers, what to do and not to do while on the toilet, and Karl-Anthony Towns vs. Jahlil Okafor.

Gleeman and The Geek: Episode 199

In addition to the direct download link above you can also subscribe to the podcast via iTunes.


This week's blog content is sponsored by Uber, which is offering a free ride to first-time users who sign up with the promo code "UberGleeman."

June 19, 2015

Link-O-Rama

• Well, well, well. Now the Twins storing everything on floppy disks doesn't look so dumb, does it?

• Friend of AG.com Matt Hollinger got literally stuck in a Taco Bell drive-through in Iowa.

• One of my favorite writers, Greg Howard, wrote a really good look at Ken Shamrock's sad final act vs. Kimbo Slice.

• Former football star Lawrence Phillips' letters from maximum-security prison are very sad.

Joe Mauer used to be very good and now he's very bad. What happened?

• It turns out that "Mad Max: Fury Road" was a love story, at least for the stunt doubles.

• On this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode we basically talked about Byron Buxton for 90 consecutive minutes.

• These quotes from NBA scouts about Karl-Anthony Towns vs. Jahlil Okafor vs. D'Angelo Russell are really interesting and a must-read for Timberwolves fans.

• This pre-draft workout video of Towns, a 6-foot-11 shot-blocking center, shooting three-pointers is enough to make me start smoking cigarettes again:

I'm fully on the Towns bandwagon and might be less disappointed with Russell than Okafor.

• It's fun having a great closer who's also into analytics.

• I was on KFAN chatting with Paul Allen for a half-hour and we covered some interesting stuff.

• What percentage of Americans use their phone while in the bathroom at work? Pablo Sandoval got punished for it.

• I'm once again featured in The Onion.

• Old friend Kevin Slowey retired and took a job with the MLB Players Association.

When will the Twins call up Miguel Sano to join Buxton in Minnesota?

• It cost $21 million to build "The Walkway" apartments on Lake Street and the developer just sold it for $54 million.

• My friend who fosters dogs has a new guy looking for a home via Secondhand Hounds. His name is Wayne, he's four years old, and he looks like this:

Wayne dog

She says: "Wayne is the most laid back dog I think I've ever met. He likes to cuddle, give kisses, rub his giant body up against you to get petted, and will do anything for a treat. For more info on how you can give Wayne a good, permanent home, click here.

Miguel will be at First Avenue in August. You can bet that, never gotta sweat that I'll be there.

Jon Marthaler, who's one-fourth of "The Sportive" podcast and Minnesota's nicest sports writer, is now writing a weekly soccer column for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

• As a child of the 1990s who grew up listening to hip-hop music Hot 102.5 is a very welcomed addition to the Twin Cities radio scene.

• According to Baseball America the Twins are expected to sign 16-year-old Dominican shortstop Wander Javier for around $4 million.

• I hope another local media outlet hires Tyler Mason, who has consistently produced good Twins and Gophers content for FSN's website and is now being let go through no fault of his own.

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Sure Thing" by Miguel:


This week's blog content is sponsored by Uber, which is offering a free ride to first-time users who sign up with the promo code "UberGleeman."

June 17, 2015

When will Miguel Sano join Byron Buxton in Minnesota?

Miguel Sano Twins

Within minutes of the Twins calling up No. 1 prospect Byron Buxton the ever-present "when will he be in Minnesota?" questions shifted to No. 2 prospect Miguel Sano, who's spent all season in Chattanooga batting behind Buxton in the Double-A lineup. Sano is six months older than Buxton and has more upper-minors experience, playing 67 games at Double-A in 2013 and 56 games at Double-A this year, but in between he missed all of 2014 following Tommy John elbow surgery.

Buxton's call-up filled an obvious need, because through their first 61 games the Twins gave a dozen or more starts to three different center fielders and the trio of Jordan Schafer, Shane Robinson, and Aaron Hicks combined for a sub-.600 OPS to rank among the least-productive positions in baseball. Buxton was also thriving at Double-A, hitting .310/.379/.540 with 18 steals in his last 46 games. Toss in Hicks' recent forearm injury and all the dots were connected.

Sano, on the other hand, plays a position at which the Twins are pretty well set. Trevor Plouffe has slumped of late, but he's hitting .248/.315/.442 to basically match his 2014 numbers while rating as an above-average defender at third base for the second straight year. Plouffe has been one of the Twins' best all-around players, both this season and last season, and the Twins have the fourth-highest OPS in the league at third base.

Plouffe has emerged as an above-average starting third baseman at age 29 and with two more seasons of team control remaining before free agency. Beyond that Plouffe's performance--low batting average, mediocre on-base percentage, good power--is exactly the type of performance the Twins would be hoping to get from Sano as a 22-year-old rookie. Calling up Buxton to replace Hicks/Schafer/Robinson was a clear upgrade. Calling up Sano to replace Plouffe is not.

However, that doesn't mean calling up Sano to take over at another position wouldn't make sense. Defense has never been his strong point anyway and many people were skeptical about his ability to remain at third base long term even before missing an entire season following elbow surgery. His range will always be limited at 6-foot-4 and 260 pounds, surgery may have lessened his arm strength, and Sano has committed 25 errors in 118 games as a Double-A third baseman.

He's also hit .302/.384/.561 in 38 games since May 1 following a rough April, basically picking up where he left off before missing all of last season. If the Twins still believe Sano can stick at third base they may be hesitant to halt his development there, but his bat has always been what makes Sano a top prospect and it looks just about ready now. It would be asking a lot for him to learn a new position on the fly and in the majors, but they could simply ask him to do nothing but hit.

Twins designated hitters rank 13th among AL teams in OPS, combining for a .250 batting average with three homers and a .339 slugging percentage in 60 games. Kennys Vargas has gotten 25 of those 60 starts, with another 18 going to Torii Hunter and Joe Mauer when they take days off from fielding. And the Twins' remaining 17 starts at DH have gone to light-hitting middle infielders Eduardo Escobar, Eduardo Nunez, and Danny Santana.

Vargas is capable of much more than he's given the Twins this season and if Oswaldo Arcia gets on track at Triple-A he's another quality DH option. But if the Twins again run out of patience with Vargas and continue to be less than enthused with Arcia, calling up Sano to take over at DH--with some action at third base and first base mixed in--would make only slightly less sense than calling up Buxton to take over in center field. It's an obvious hole and he's ready to fill it.


This week's blog content is sponsored by Uber, which is offering a free ride to first-time users who sign up with the promo code "UberGleeman."

June 16, 2015

Byron Buxton’s first career hit

Byron Buxton's first career hit was a stand-up triple. Of course.

I'd bet a lot of money on Buxton finishing his career with more than one inside-the-park homer. In the meantime, here are the Twins' all-time leaders in triples:

Rod Carew           90
Cristian Guzman     61
Kirby Puckett       57
Zoilo Versalles     56
Chuck Knoblauch     51

He's gonna be a lot of fun to watch.


If you want a lot more about Buxton's arrival, check out this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode for what was essentially 90 consecutive minutes of Buxton talk.

« Newer PostsOlder Posts »