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  #1  
Old 08-20-2006, 04:22 PM
Frater Perdurabo Frater Perdurabo is offline
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Default Comparing Sox & Twins minor league systems

I am grateful that KW has built the Sox into a large-market franchise.

But I envy the Twins' ability to develop their own players. It seems like they have been able to withstand virtually every injury by finding internal replacements. They know which prospects to retain and which are expendable. Even their mistakes (letting Ortiz go) don't seem to hurt them.

For instance, how the heck did their scouts know enough to completely rob the Giants - getting a future ace (Liriano) and a closer (Nathan) plus more pitching (Bonzer) for A.J. Pierzynski?

Also, I know they "lucked" into drafting Mauer, who has been far more valuable to them than Prior has been to the Cubs. But something tells me that if they had drafted Prior instead, he'd have won multiple Cy Young awards by now and pitched healthy every year.

The Twins' inexpensive team of largely home-grown position players leads the league in hitting, but they also play great defense (Saturday night was the glaring exception) and play unselfishly. That indicates to me they are getting fantastic coaching in the minors. The Sox have developed some great hitters like Maggs and Lee in the last decade, but they have tended to be selfish at the plate and haven't played great defense.

The bottom line is that I wouldn't trade places with them, but I sure would like for the Sox to be able to build as good of a minor league system as the Twins to go along with their big-market payroll and KW's ability to make great trades for major league players who were developed elsewhere.

So I ask of the experts here - what do the Sox have to do to build/have an organization as solid top to bottom as the Twins (other than throw millions of dollars to steal away their scouts and minor league coaches)?
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  #2  
Old 08-20-2006, 04:41 PM
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Spend more on scouting and player development, and change their philosphy on how players move up through the system.
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  #3  
Old 08-20-2006, 04:48 PM
Frater Perdurabo Frater Perdurabo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daver
Spend more on scouting and player development
This part I get; it's self-explanatory.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daver
change their philosophy on how players move up through the system.
This is the part I still don't quite understand. What is the Sox' current philosophy on moving up players now? What kind of philosophy should they adopt? What specifically do they do wrong/bad and why is it wrong/bad? What specifically do they need to do and why would that be better than what they are doing now? I really would like to know; thanks for any answers you can provide!
  #4  
Old 08-20-2006, 05:26 PM
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Players move through the Sox system based on how well they swing the bat, as opposed to the Twins, who will not move a player up a level if his defense is suspect. The Sox need to change this philosphy, and start to require players be able to play their position. The Twins are also very conservative on how they promote pitchers, and will usually not promote a pitcher until he spends a full season at one level, as opposed to the Sox who have a tendency to rush pitchers, particularly starters.

The Twins also spend more money on scouting, and employ more scouts than the Sox, because their philosphy is to build their team from within as opposed to paying free agents, while Kenny uses his minor league talent to acquire major league talent. You can make the argument for or against this philosophy and make a decent argument, it is more a matter of opinion, I feel you get a better team player out of a player you developed in your system.


In the end it comes down to money, with the signing bonuses a lot of teams are paying to top draft picks, they want a as fast a turnaround on that investment as possible, even at the expense of bringing up a player that is not ready to play at the major league level. Brian Anderson is a prime example of this.
  #5  
Old 08-20-2006, 05:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daver
Players move through the Sox system based on how well they swing the bat, as opposed to the Twins, who will not move a player up a level if his defense is suspect. The Sox need to change this philosphy, and start to require players be able to play their position.

And this has gotten the Twins what in the past 10yrs?
  #6  
Old 08-20-2006, 05:56 PM
Frater Perdurabo Frater Perdurabo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daver
Players move through the Sox system based on how well they swing the bat, as opposed to the Twins, who will not move a player up a level if his defense is suspect. The Sox need to change this philosphy, and start to require players be able to play their position. The Twins are also very conservative on how they promote pitchers, and will usually not promote a pitcher until he spends a full season at one level, as opposed to the Sox who have a tendency to rush pitchers, particularly starters.

The Twins also spend more money on scouting, and employ more scouts than the Sox, because their philosphy is to build their team from within as opposed to paying free agents, while Kenny uses his minor league talent to acquire major league talent. You can make the argument for or against this philosophy and make a decent argument, it is more a matter of opinion, I feel you get a better team player out of a player you developed in your system.


In the end it comes down to money, with the signing bonuses a lot of teams are paying to top draft picks, they want a as fast a turnaround on that investment as possible, even at the expense of bringing up a player that is not ready to play at the major league level. Brian Anderson is a prime example of this.
Great analysis. Now I understand! Thank you!

My only point is that with the superior revenue stream, the Sox could be unstoppable (well, even more successful than they already are) if they combined those revenues with the kind of discipline and philosophy that Minnesota practices.
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Old 08-20-2006, 06:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CashMan
And this has gotten the Twins what in the past 10yrs?
They may have not won anything, but the fact that they compete on that payroll should tell us that they are doing something right.
  #8  
Old 08-20-2006, 06:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CashMan
And this has gotten the Twins what in the past 10yrs?
The Twins in the last ten years, have feilded a competetive team that has made it's share of playoff appearances, or come close, and have done it on a payroll about half of what the league average is. Granted the Yankees and Red Sox skew that average, but none the less, the Twins are doing something right.
  #9  
Old 08-20-2006, 07:11 PM
Frater Perdurabo Frater Perdurabo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daver
The Twins in the last ten years, have feilded a competetive team that has made it's share of playoff appearances, or come close, and have done it on a payroll about half of what the league average is. Granted the Yankees and Red Sox skew that average, but none the less, the Twins are doing something right.
And if what Daver says is true (and I believe it is), then the Sox really could be dominant if they just combined their superior resources with some of the smarts that the Twins practice. In fact, being more patient/conservative with prospects easily could be combined with KW's tendency to trade prospects for established major league players. The only difference is that the players he trades away might net far more in return.
  #10  
Old 08-20-2006, 08:35 PM
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I'm not sure it's merely a money issue. Minnesota has one of the best scouting directors in the game, they get a lot of extra picks because they have to let a lot of players go via free agency and they never give up young players in trade (at least none of their top prostects). You put all that together and you end up with a pretty deep farm system. The scary thing is, right now I'd rank the Sox 4th in the division after Cleveland, Detroit, and Minnesota. And an argument could be made that KC is ahead of us because Gordan and Butler are real impact players. Now some of that is where the Sox draft every year. Their last top ten pick was Alex Fernandez. But some of it is the go-for-today philosophy epitomized by the acquisition of Javier Vazquez. If the Sox still had Lumsden, Gio, Young, and Cortes, their system would be middle of the pack to top third in baseball. As it is, we've got about two players: Fields and Sweeney. I honestly don't think there's anyone else who's more than a role player or fourth starter. Maybe Carter but he's five years away.
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  #11  
Old 08-21-2006, 09:36 AM
Frater Perdurabo Frater Perdurabo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by California Sox
I'm not sure it's merely a money issue. Minnesota has one of the best scouting directors in the game, they get a lot of extra picks because they have to let a lot of players go via free agency and they never give up young players in trade (at least none of their top prostects). You put all that together and you end up with a pretty deep farm system. The scary thing is, right now I'd rank the Sox 4th in the division after Cleveland, Detroit, and Minnesota. And an argument could be made that KC is ahead of us because Gordan and Butler are real impact players. Now some of that is where the Sox draft every year. Their last top ten pick was Alex Fernandez. But some of it is the go-for-today philosophy epitomized by the acquisition of Javier Vazquez. If the Sox still had Lumsden, Gio, Young, and Cortes, their system would be middle of the pack to top third in baseball. As it is, we've got about two players: Fields and Sweeney. I honestly don't think there's anyone else who's more than a role player or fourth starter. Maybe Carter but he's five years away.
I understand and agree to a point. But unless the Sox have a particular pick taken away because they have signed a free agent, they have an opportunity to draft "Player X" in the second round (for example) before the Twins, Tigers, Indians or Royals draft him in the third round. That has everything to do with scouting. Moreover, the Twins may have excellent scouts, but it seems that they pair that excellent scouting with equally excellent coaching and development philosophies.

When was the last time the Sox drafted and developed an MLB-caliber catcher? Ron Karkovice? Even worse, when was the last time the Sox drafted and developed an MLB-caliber shortstop? (Ozzie doesn't count; the Sox got him from the Padres for LaMarr Hoyt.)

I'm not trying to trash the Sox (who seem to have done a good job drafting and developing outfielders, corner infielders and finesse pitchers), but Minnesota's record on player development is far better and seems to be more than just a function of better draft position and more draft picks.
  #12  
Old 08-21-2006, 10:07 AM
the gooch the gooch is offline
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what has disappointed me the past few years is the sox inability to get draft picks when their guys leave. Magglio, Valentin, S Alomar, Tony G, R Alomar, C Everett, S Sulivan are some of the guys recently denied arbitration. I won't say i wasn't happy to see them go, but I believe we could have offered to valentin and everett and they would have looked elsewhere. I still believe magglio would have turned down arbitration, and because we won a coin flip against florida that year, wouldn't that have given us detroit's #1 pick (#10 overall)?

Kenny Williams' propensity to include many team options in contracts is mainly the cause of this. club options were denied to thomas, eldred, wells, S Alomar #2, C Everett #2, B Davis, and S Schoenweis, which netted us zero draft picks. That is his style, and I think it is still a good one, so please don't blast me for this. It does a good job of avoiding the bad contracts that can cripple teams.

Perhaps to counteract his philosophy of trading prospects for major league talent, KW can trade a MLB ready prospect that is blocked at the big club for a pair of low A prospects with good upside. But the sox have plans with fields and rogowski isn't hyped very much to get a good return.

when thinking about the sox approach to development, it explains why they pick fewer raw talent guys and go for the lower ceiling college players (mostly pitchers). A perfect example of this is the royce ring pick.
i apologize that this post is long and doesnt add any new insight.

We will see how the future stacks for us.
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Old 08-21-2006, 10:11 AM
caulfield12 caulfield12 is offline
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Don't forget Josh Rupe, he played a part in the Rangers' victory yesterday out of the pen for Koronka.

I feel the White Sox have more of a pressure to win now than ever before, although KW has always used the system to fix gaps in the big league roster. A lot of Twins fans always complain that Ryan never makes that finally move (acquiring a Soriano or Lee) that requires shedding one of their best prospects, usually a pitcher. What's better, to win three division championships in a row and fail to make the WS or do what the Sox did last season? I think most of us would take the latter.

I am curious as to why the Sox passed on Garza...and I think he definitely defies the notion of letting the players progress one step at a time, he's gone from the Florida State League to the majors in less than one season. It just shows how desperate the Twins have become that they're willing to jeopardize his career to get to the playoffs this season...and that they started Liriano in questionable circumstances.

The Twins have showed a lot of patience over the last 2-3 years with Mauer, Morneau and Cuddyer. The White Sox haven't had the same luxury in the past with players like Borchard because we always had to "win now," so last year was very important as they players matured and the patience that was shown paid off. Even this May, they were thinking of sending down Morneau for a wake-up call. And Kubel is still recovering from his knee problems.

But if you at Lohse, Santana, Liriano, Nathan, Bonser, Silva...they were all acquired from outside the organization. The Twins have not had success with Baker either. A lot of their top prospects like Adam Johnson failed to pan out.

And they've made great tweaks like adding Kenny Rogers here or Shannon Stewart there to get them over the top...they totally changed their pen of Hawkins/Romero/Guardardo and remade one that is maybe even better, and this was after the loss of Balfour to injury, who was another key piece.
  #14  
Old 08-21-2006, 10:22 AM
caulfield12 caulfield12 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the gooch
what has disappointed me the past few years is the sox inability to get draft picks when their guys leave. Magglio, Valentin, S Alomar, Tony G, R Alomar, C Everett, S Sulivan are some of the guys recently denied arbitration. I won't say i wasn't happy to see them go, but I believe we could have offered to valentin and everett and they would have looked elsewhere. I still believe magglio would have turned down arbitration, and because we won a coin flip against florida that year, wouldn't that have given us detroit's #1 pick (#10 overall)?

Kenny Williams' propensity to include many team options in contracts is mainly the cause of this. club options were denied to thomas, eldred, wells, S Alomar #2, C Everett #2, B Davis, and S Schoenweis, which netted us zero draft picks. That is his style, and I think it is still a good one, so please don't blast me for this. It does a good job of avoiding the bad contracts that can cripple teams.

Perhaps to counteract his philosophy of trading prospects for major league talent, KW can trade a MLB ready prospect that is blocked at the big club for a pair of low A prospects with good upside. But the sox have plans with fields and rogowski isn't hyped very much to get a good return.

when thinking about the sox approach to development, it explains why they pick fewer raw talent guys and go for the lower ceiling college players (mostly pitchers). A perfect example of this is the royce ring pick.
i apologize that this post is long and doesnt add any new insight.

We will see how the future stacks for us.

First of all, the most you could cut those contracts was 20%, so it was a tremendous payroll and personnel issue if we ended up retaining those players we didn't want if we were to move forward as an organization.

For a MLB Type A free agent, the signing team gives up its first round selection (if outside the first half of the first round, otherwise, they give up their second round selection) and the team that loses the free agent gets a sandwich selection between the first-and-second rounds. So, you get two draft picks for one player. If a team signs two Type A players, it loses its first two draft picks. Three Type A free agents, first three draft picks.

Type B is similar, except no sandwich pick.

Type C is a sandwich pick between the second and third rounds.

As you can see, we wouldn't have gotten a top draft pick for Magglio. And the risk of cutting a $14.5 million dollar contract (the numbers for Sox players are always bloated as their deals are back-loaded) 20%, we would have had to pay Magglio between $11.5-12.0 million, and I think every Sox fan agrees that money was better allocated amongst El Duque, Dye, Iguchi, Hermanson, AJ, etc.

If the Tigers didn't exist (bidding against themselves for Magglio it seems), then no team would have paid him that much coming off his injury...the Yankees and Red Sox already had RFers. It was too big a risk for KW imo.
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Old 08-21-2006, 11:23 AM
the gooch the gooch is offline
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yes. it was too big a risk. and im sorry i forgot that bad teams always keep their 1st pick. My point was badly worded, I lamented that the sox didnt offer abritration to a lot of players, but I failed to mention that they were all the correct moves to make. it seems the guys we purge are guys nobody else will want either, because they are either a pure suckfest, are due a huge drop in pay, or injury issues complicate things.
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