Thursday, August 13, 2009

It's about the tools

Baseball America's annual "best tools" edition popped up in my mailbox today, and it's not particularly encouraging for Twins fans. (The online version is subscription only.) The magazine polls managers to rank the best players in each league. They do top three in the major leagues and a No. 1 in the minors.

I always have some doubts and quibbles about these lists, but they represent a sort of consensus view from inside the sport and thus are informative.

The Twins problem isn't on the major league team. It's the lack of winners in the minors, particularly in the upper reaches.

Here's the Twins system:

Minnesota (American League): Joe Mauer (above) is best hitter and best defensive catcher. He's also the No.2 guy in strike zone judgment (behind Bobby Abreu of the Angels) and the No. 3 "most exciting player." Pretty good haul.

Justin Morneau is No.1 in best power. Orlando Cabrera is No. 2 hit-and-run artist. Joe Nathan is No. 2 reliever.

And ... just to twist the knife on the much lamented Delmon Young trade ... Jason Bartlett is best defensive shortstop. (What's really impressive to me here is that Elvis Andrus, the Rangers rookie, is No. 2, even though the league had only seen him for about four months when the poll was taken.)

Rochester (Triple A, International League): One winner: Drew Butera is best defensive catcher.

New Britain (Double A, Eastern League): Nobody.

Fort Myers (High A, Florida State League): Ben Revere is best batting prospect, fastest baserunner and most exciting player. David Bromberg is best pitching prospect.

Beloit (Low A, Midwest League): Brad Tippett has the best control.

BA didn't rate the players in the short season leagues.

1 comment:

  1. Why does Gardy keep asking his $4M dollar .200 hitting utility INF to lay down a sac. bunt when he cannot do so ?