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Am I crazy, or isn't Matt LaPorta worth a lot more than Justin Masterson?


JoeHova
I don't know, I'm in a bit of an argument on another site over whether dealing LaPorta for Masterson would be smart and I just don't see what's so great about Masterson. Sure, he gets hype because he has a nice sinker, but where are the results? Or am I crazy? It seems to me like LaPorta has a lot more upside and is also more likely to reach his upside.
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Depends on your organizational needs, I suppose. In a vacuum, I think LaPorta is unquestionably the more valuable talent, by a fairly significant margin, but he is unfortunately in one of the worst organizations for his skill set. Just imagine if LaPorta was on the Twins!
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***Just imagine if LaPorta was on the Twins!***

 

yeah, it would be hilarious to see Gardenhire complaining about LaPorta not grounding out to 2nd enough. http://forum.brewerfan.net/images/smilies/wink.gif

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I looked at the thread in question, and you responded to the following statement:

 

if the Brewers could get back in the race for the Central, LaPorta could be a prime trade chip for them to make upgrades at the deadline. They'd be looking for someone to help them now, though, which from a matching up with the Red Sox/ pitching perspective would probably mean Masterson rather than Bowden.

 

The argument seems to be that Milwaukee would be looking for a young pitcher to plug into the rotation, and use Laporta to make it happen. With all due respect, you provoked a response when you called Masterson a middle relief prospect. Someone responded, hey that's not quite right, though I still wouldn't trade Laporta for him. I didn't see anyone claim that a one-for-one trade would make sense.

 

Then you went off into a bunch of arguments that seemed to boil down to 'Masterson's stats weren't as good as Tim Dillard's or Ben Hendrickson's so he isn't any good.' Pulling Greg Aquino into the discussion was a bold stroke. But I don't think you really addressed the original intent...I also don't really agree with your point, which seems to be that if Ben Hendrickson failed, then Masterson's ceiling is as a middle reliever. And it should be clear to anyone that right now there aren't many starting pitching options in the high minors for Milwaukee that can be expected to provide any hope of immediate success.

 

I think it would be safer to say that the teams don't seem to match up well right now and move on. Presumably a deal involving Laporta would involve a pitcher more established than Masterson if it happens during the season, but one never knows I guess. The scenario in which Boston is dangling a big league pitcher for prospects during the season is pretty hard to imagine, and during the offseason the urgency will have drained away.

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I wasn't making the argument that those scrubs were as good as Masterson, just that they had had more minor league success. Perhaps I could have been clearer. I was just saying that Masterson is no sure thing, just as Hendrickson or any number of other prospects haven't been sure things. The only sure thing I can remember the Brewers having (pitching-wise) has been Gallardo. Gallardo is obviously worth more than LaPorta, but I would think a guy closer to Yo than to Masterson would be what LaPorta would be worth.

 

Also, the middle relief thing was due to Masterson having only one pitch. I don't see why he'd be looked at as a stud ML starter right now, any more than dozens of other guys would.

 

I just think the whole premise of trading LaPorta for a pitcher is stupid, especially for a guy who, according to BP "leaves many scouts believing that the bullpen is his ultimate destination."

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The Twins would tell Matt to hit more ground balls, stop driving the ball, and mostly, quit taking so darn many walks!

 

This is the team that told Dave Ortiz all the above. When he got to the Red Sox, he had a 4-3 groundout, and the coach asked him what he was doing. He proudly reported he had given himself up to move the runner, and they told him, "Great, next time, move him home."

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The Twins would tell Matt to hit more ground balls, stop driving the ball, and mostly, quit taking so darn many walks!

 

This is the team that told Dave Ortiz all the above. When he got to the Red Sox, he had a 4-3 groundout, and the coach asked him what he was doing. He proudly reported he had given himself up to move the runner, and they told him, "Great, next time, move him home."

I have to imagine that story has been significantly distorted in the last couple years. I don't imagine that the Twins discouraged Ortiz from driving the ball, and I don't believe they do the same with their current young power hitters, namely Justin Morneau or Delmon Young.

 

In fact, I'd be willing to be just about anything that the Twins absolutely never told Ortiz to stop drawing "so many" walks, or to stop hitting for power.

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*****their current young power hitters, namely Justin Morneau or Delmon Young.*****

 

they seem to be telling Delmon something, considering he's got only 10 extra base hits for the season (none of them home runs) and an IsoP of a Counsell-esque .071.

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I know that pitching prospects are less "sure things" than hitters, but is Matt LaPorta really a "sure thing"? He seems to me to be more Jason Bay without the speed. Not that I don't like Jason Bay, in fact I was truly hnoping we would be able to acquire him this offseason before moving Ryan, but to say that a AA hitter is more of a sure thing than a gent who has already dominated major league hitting (albeit for 11IP) is a bit skewed. Also, and I hate to throw out this comp but it has to be said, a certain early favorite for the NL Cy Young has done his damage with the same pitch that Masterson sports. So would I do the trade straight-up? Probably not. But would I say Matty LP is worth significantly more than a guy who was supposedly "off limits" in the Johan trade talk? Probably not either.
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*****their current young power hitters, namely Justin Morneau or Delmon Young.*****

 

they seem to be telling Delmon something, considering he's got only 10 extra base hits for the season (none of them home runs) and an IsoP of a Counsell-esque .071.

So because he's not hitting for a lot of power, it's because the Twins are telling him not to? I'd have thought that was a joke but it was said and then reiterated in a previous post.

 

I think it's a little silly how we pick out organizations on here and mock them for these outrageous things that we claim they do as if they don't know as much as us on here. If you ask me, the Twins have a pretty good idea what they're doing with player development. I'm sure Twins fans on a forum could sit there and mock the Brewers management for telling their pitchers in the minors "not to throw strikes", or something equally silly. Wouldn't make it anymore true than this.

 

 

 

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no, I'm not saying they are telling him to hit poorly, but their franchise is well-known to put an almost comical emphasis on "doing the little things", even at the expense of doing the bigger, more important things.
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but to say that a AA hitter is more of a sure thing than a gent who has already dominated major league hitting (albeit for 11IP) is a bit skewed.

 

 

not to be glib, but why even mention this? 11 IP is totally irrelevant.

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no, I'm not saying they are telling him to hit poorly, but their franchise is well-known to put an almost comical emphasis on "doing the little things", even at the expense of doing the bigger, more important things.

Well known by who? I guess frankly, I find it a bit comical that people on a message board are almost mocking the Minnesota Twins player development people speaking about something that I don't believe anyone on here has any knowledge about whatsoever.

 

Again, I don't believe that the Twins have every discouraged anyone from hitting for power. I think these "stories" get lost in translation, get taken too literal, or just flat out embellished(not saying anyone on here would or did).

 

I guess I just see this growing trend of people on message boards almost looking down on all these successful organizations laughing at them for being clueless. Don't ya think they just might have some idea what they're doing?

 

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Ha, no proof? 1 30 home run hitter in 20+ years (Morneau)? Finishing near the bottom of the league in slugging % for those same 20 years? I think it's fair to say that there is something rotten in the state of denmark. If you disagree, fine, but don't assume I look down on them, because I don't. I do, however, think their offensive strategy is lackluster.

 

They've been above the league average in slugging% 3 times in the past 16 years, and the 3 times they were above, it was just by a total of .025 % points. Many years, they've been well below average. If you think it's a coincidence, fine, but either way I'm not going to look at the Twins as some great example of developing hitters.

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Ha, no proof? 1 30 home run hitter in 20+ years (Morneau)? Finishing near the bottom of the league in slugging % for those same 20 years?

The Chicago Cubs have also gone 100 years without winning a world series. I really doubt they've told their players to not win. Which IMO is almost as far fetched as what you're claiming the Twins do.

 

There are a lot of teams who've struggled with one aspect of the game or another for a long period of time. If that's the only "proof" you need that the team in question tells their players not to do whatever it is they're struggling at, then I think it's fair to say that it's probably not the best way.

 

All I asked for was one single site or link saying that the Twins told David Ortiz to not drive the ball.

 

For whatever reason, there seems to be this call to all join together on here and develop these teams that we look down on and mock as if they're not quite as smart as us. That certainly would seem to be the case when you say the Twins tell their players to not hit for power. I'm willing to bet if we ever asked anyone in the Twins organization that question, they'd fall off their chair laughing at us.
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Telling someone to lose is not the same thing as telling someone to go the other way instead of trying to pull the ball.

 

as for some proof (if numbers aren't proof), here you go:

 

"When I first came to Minnesota, that's when I was told, 'Stay inside the ball ... hit the ball the other way.' I always was a power hitter in the minor leagues. Everything changed when I went to Minnesota. I would take a hard swing and my first manager would be in the dugout, saying, 'Hey, HEY, what are you doing?'"

--David Ortiz, 2004

 

link: http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/the-curse-of-big-papi/

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Telling someone to lose is not the same thing as telling someone to go the other way instead of trying to pull the ball.

 

It's also not even close to the same as telling someone "not to hit for power".

 

So it's not that they ever told him anything like don't drive the ball, it's that they placed an emphasis on going the other way like every single other big league team does. In fact, if you'll recall when he was recently struggling, the reason given by the Red Sox was that he wasn't hitting the ball the other way.

What's the problem right now, the only problem in Matt LaPorta's swing? That he's not using the whole field and going the other way.

 

I wish I knew why that means "don't hit for power" to some people, but there answers I fear I'll never get. Like I said, it's almost "cool" for everyone to jump on board and be overly critical of some of these organizations that have long records of success(Twins and Giants to name a few).

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Ortiz explicitly says that Tom Kelly got mad at him if he swung hard. That would seem to pretty clear evidence that they don't value power much over there.

 

and now the Giants are a model organization? They had, arguably, the greatest player of all-time on their team. That can cover a lot of flaws. Sabean made a few nice moves (signing Ellis Burks, trading for Kent and Schmidt) but overall his tenure (especially the last 5 or so years) has been marked by terrible moves. I was (and still am) a huge Bonds fan, so I followed that team closely. There is no excuse for signing Michael Tucker with the express purpose of losing a 1st round draft pick. Their is no excuse for having Bengie Molina be the best non-Bonds hitter on the team. There is no excuse for signing Neifi Perez to a multi-year contract. What about trading Joe Nathan & Boof Bonser for AJ Pierzynski, throwing in Francisco Liriano, then non-tendering AJ after a year?

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One comment taken without the context is not quite enough for me to say the Twins tell their hitters not to drive the ball. What then could you possibly say for Morneau and Cuddyer? Do they not listen to their management?

 

As for the Giants, you can't win with one player. The Giants were a contender year in and year out. They're awful now. That doesn't make their GM a joke. Obviously the deal for AJ was a bad one, but I don't believe anyone, not even the Twins had any idea what Liriano would turn into, or Nathan. Are the Brewers are terrible organization because of their trade last year with the D-backs?

 

By the way, where did I ever say, suggest or insinuate that the Giants were a "model organization"? Perhaps the problem is that you're taking what I say and then adding to it. I simply said they're not the joke that many here would have you believe. They've made some awful moves as of late. Nobody's going to argue with that. Why the hell they'd give Zito that type of deal is beyond me, and that's got nothing to do with how he's pitched this year, that just magnifies it. Everyone knew he was going to get a huge deal, but from what I've heard, they added about 30 million more than anyone else would have. But again, they were a playoff team year in and year out. Sabean's not some buffoon running a team.

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Sabean is a buffoon and the Giants are a joke, at least imo. That's where we differ I guess.

 

The Twins, meanwhile, are a good organization that have not had very good offenses lately but have had good pitching and defense. Cuddyer is hardly a great example of a good power hitter. He;s had one year in his career where his SLG has been better than .020 above league average.

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The Twins, meanwhile, are a good organization that have not had very good offenses lately but have had good pitching and defense. Cuddyer is hardly a great example of a good power hitter. He;s had one year in his career where his SLG has been better than .020 above league average.

I don't care to argue about the Giants. It was just an example. Take it or leave it, but buffoon's don't go to the playoffs year after year. Me saying he's NOT a complete idiots also doesn't mean that I think he's the "model" GM, or the "model franchise".

 

As for the Twins, what about Morneau? I don't really mean to nitpick about a players SLG pct, moreover the point that I find to be ridiculous that the Twins tell people to not hit for power. This all based on the fact that one player made a comment about a team that non-tendered him. Do you think that rather than the Twins being the dumbest organization of all time(which they'd have to be to tell their players to "not drive the ball" he was either using hyperbole, or he was just straight up pissed they let him go?

 

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