Twins Sign 2B!

3 Feb

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Just a short posting today. Maybe the title got you excited, thinking maybe that the Twins had ponied up and signed Orlando Hudson or Felipe Lopez, or even Adam Kennedy, but no. According to Baseball America, the Twins have signed minor league second baseman Matt Gaski.

You may be thinking, “Oh boy! Matt Gaski. Who is he?”

So was I, so I looked him up. Gaski spent two years at the University of Florida where he got just 14 plate appearances as a freshman, and hit just .227 as a sophomore. He transferred to UNC-Greensboro for his junior season and finally got a chance to play consistently. He hit .291/.403/.363 with 12 doubles, one home run and one triple. He struck out 28 times and walked 42 times. He went back for his senior season and hit .327/.422/.440 with 11 doubles, a triple and five home runs. He walked 38 times with just 33 strikeouts. He was the Padres’ 34th round pick in 2008 and hit .216/.364/.261 with a double and a homer in rookie league (playing 3B). The Padres must have let him go as he spent time in 2009 in the Mets organization. He hit .291/.371/.316 with a triple in 79 at bats for Low-A Brooklyn. He moved up to Savannah for the final ten games and hit .389/.421/.444 in 36 at bats. Obviously the Mets let him go, and now he is property of the Minnesota Twins.

Based on his college and minimal professional at bats, a few things are noteworthy. First, in those two years at Florida, he got very few at bats per game played, which tells me that his defense must be terrific, maybe a late inning replacement. Second, he has great bat control as he walks more than he strikes out, and doesn’t strike out very much. Third, he has pretty much no pop in his bat at all.

At first, I asked myself “Who?” After looking at his career, my question now is “Why?”

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to e-mail me or leave them in the Comments section.


22 Responses to “Twins Sign 2B!”

  1. Andrew February 3, 2010 at 12:47 am #

    Sounds like an interesting guy. However, it only adds to the current depth but little value of depth at the middle infield positions in the organization.

  2. m-bro February 3, 2010 at 1:26 am #

    What? Sounds like a second baseman that we already know very well…terrific defense, no pop, walks alot…

  3. Josh February 3, 2010 at 2:42 am #

    You suck, Seth! Boo on you for getting my hopes up!

  4. TT February 3, 2010 at 9:37 am #

    My guess Gaski is a minor league organization player. He probably provides some depth since they will need to replace Tolleson at AAA.

  5. Seth February 3, 2010 at 10:04 am #

    Good point m-bro… but hopefully everyone understood the intent of this blog posting. 1.) it was to get Josh’s reaction as it did, and 2.) Gaski is currently a Twins minor leaguer so I wanted to recognize him. If he even makes the Beloit or Ft. Myers roster, I’ll be surprised, and if he plays much at all, I’ll be even more surprised.

    TT is right in that he’d be an organizational player, but I don’t think it has anything to do with replacing Tolleson at all.

  6. thrylos98 February 3, 2010 at 10:21 am #

    The annual $200K that Rantz has to spend is burning a hole in his pocket. Expect 4-5 more MiLB FA signings.

    I don’t get this practice because at the A league level and below the middle infield is well taken care of… Another nobody to block somebodies…

  7. Dave February 3, 2010 at 11:34 am #

    “Another nobody to block somebodies” is spot on and is a characteristic that is embedded in the Twins’ DNA.

  8. Seth February 3, 2010 at 11:36 am #

    Who is he blocking? IF he even makes a team, it’ll be as a 2nd utility player, so it’s not like he’ll even get many at bats.

    • thrylos98 February 3, 2010 at 12:12 pm #

      Chris Cates and Toby Gardenhire (both ‘utility’ players with no ceiling) got 419 and 224 PAs last season (Toby had 372 the season before). So Twins’ utility players get lots of PAs.

      By taking a spot on an A level team, he might be the reason that on of McCallum or Dozier might have to start in a short season league. If you put garbage players with no future on higher level rosters, it trickles down. At least the Twins are full of AAAA type pitchers so I hope that Rantz does not sign any AAA never had beens to pitch.

      • Seth February 3, 2010 at 12:26 pm #

        Believe me, McCallum and Dozier will be getting 80-80% of the middle infield at bats for Beloit in 2010. Reggie Williams will get a lot there too.

  9. mike wants wins February 3, 2010 at 1:33 pm #

    Seth, are you trying to say it isn’t the MO of this minor league staff to have never will bes holding back real prospects (think Slama/Delaney)? It happens a lot with this organization.

    I don’t get this signing at all.

  10. Seth February 3, 2010 at 3:40 pm #

    I don’t think a lot of teams think that Slama and/or Delaney are real great prospects. It happens with many organizations. And, I realize I’m kind of the minor league guy, but I don’t have a problem with it. They promote guys when guys are ready to be promoted. People want to think that Slama is better than Jesse Crain, and the reality is, if Jesse Crain was pitching in AA, he’d probably have equally good numbers. I get the point, but there are prospects that are going to get their at bats and innings, which is what matters.

  11. TT February 3, 2010 at 4:10 pm #

    Its really pretty simple – there area only a handful of players in the minor leagues who are ever going to contribute at the major league level. The rest are so-called “garbage players”, career minor leaguers who should be happy to just get paid to play the game. They have no role beyond filling out the roster around the guys who are prospects.

    No one with a shot gets blocked by these guys. They are there so that the decisions about prospects can be made on the basis of their development, not organizational need. The Twins have an obligation to fill out rosters in 6 cities. They don’t want to move a prospect up who isn’t ready just because a team needs a player. And they don’t want to hold a prospect back because they don’t have someone to replace them.

    Which is why I think this was a move to add organizational depth, at least in part, because they lost Tolleson.

  12. mike wants wins February 3, 2010 at 4:39 pm #

    Fair enough, and I agree with you two. They need guys to fill out the rosters, I totally get that.

  13. TT February 3, 2010 at 4:46 pm #

    Mike –

    The other thing is that players with good defense are going to be helpful for a developing a pitching staff, regardless of how poorly they hit. You can’t teach pitchers to throw strikes if everytime a ball is in play its an adventure.

  14. mike wants wins February 3, 2010 at 5:15 pm #

    TT: great point. And, I’m pretty sure the Twins themselves have said they are lacking a little in MIF defense. You may know I’m a fan of defense, from my posts on the MLB team and the OF….

  15. mike wants wins February 3, 2010 at 5:15 pm #

    lacking in the minors in MIF defense….sigh, I wish I could edit my posts. sorry.

  16. Josh February 3, 2010 at 9:24 pm #

    I get your overall point and I agree that most players in the minor leagues will never play at the major league level. However to refer to them as garbage players is utterly ridculous. They are all extremely talented athlets and baseball players and should not just be happy to collect a check and play baseball. I always get a kick out of people who never played the game and were never athletes themselves that continually rag on other athletes. Show some repect.

  17. TT February 4, 2010 at 12:05 am #

    “to refer to them as garbage players is utterly ridculous.”

    I agree – I was using the term as applied by another poster (8 above) which is why I said “so-called” garbage players.

    “They are all extremely talented athlets and baseball players and should not just be happy to collect a check and play baseball. ”

    Why not? That is more than most extremely talented athletes get. Most end up playing for the love of the sport. Getting paid to do it as your job for several years is a huge bonus.

  18. WV February 4, 2010 at 1:43 am #

    In a sense we should all be happy in this economy for getting paychecks for whatever it is we do.

    TT’s point is well made – Baseball, unlike all other professional sports in the U.S. (with the possible exception of hockey), has a deep minor league system that allows more players to be paid for playing a game.

    It’s more than a little condescending to assume that TT was never an athlete and that a lay person can’t do an elementary analysis of the structure of professional sports. Good grief.

  19. Tim February 4, 2010 at 2:57 am #

    Twins might as well reacquire Luis Castillo from the Mets. I’m sure they could get him for practically nothing and have the Mets pick up most of his salary to boot. He’d fill the Number 2 spot in the lineup, when healthy, and allow Gardy to move Punto around the IF, maybe back to 3B until Valencia is ready.

    It’s never going to happen. And perhaps that’s for the best, but it’s fun to speculate.

  20. Ricky February 4, 2010 at 6:34 pm #

    A guy who id like to sign is Jesus Guzman. He was released from the Giants but he plays third and has some pop. Last week the Twins signed mark mclemore. lefty reliever with a nice k rate and deceptive delivery. He may get a call up if guys get injured

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