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Brewers Core?

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Offline  Brewers Core?
#1

Posted: July 16, 2017, 7:10 PM Post
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I'd like to know people's opinion on the following three players:

Jimmy Nelson, Travis Shaw, and Domingo Santana

I'm starting to feel like these three might be current and future core guys.

Shaw, this season he is currently sitting between two guys by the names of Bryant and Arenado in OPS. Is this a career year or has he made some fundamental changes and this is a real representation of the player he is?

Santana, is currently sitting at about a .900 OPS, and has improved his R/L splits this season. I tend to think there might be some untapped potential even still in that bat. I think most of us would agree he's got some defensive shortcomings but the bat is above average. Should he be in the discussion for extension talks? Do others think there's an additional level for him to reach yet?

Jimmy Nelson: Is this the ACE we've been waiting for? He's hanging out with the likes of Strasburg and Greinke in terms of WAR (Fangraphs) this season. Just a couple months ago I was insisting he'd never figure it out and should be shifted to the bullpen. Glad I was wrong on that. Has he turned a corner and figured "IT" out or will he regress back to being an inconsistent strike thrower? He's got the body frame, velocity, K/BB% and GB% now and looks the part. I'm almost to the point where it might be time to take the plunge with him and really consider getting him locked up. If he continues the success through the end of the season, I think extending him in the off-season becomes a priority.

Opinions?


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Offline  Re: Brewers Core?
#2

Posted: July 16, 2017, 7:14 PM Post
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Nelson and Shaw doing this for the first time at 27 and 28 makes me skeptical that this is who they actually are.

Cards' fans wear jorts.


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Offline  Re: Brewers Core?
#3

Posted: July 16, 2017, 7:34 PM Post
Posts: 1359
Shaw was outstanding to start last season but think it was an injury and then went cold. He just seemed not to mentally be able to get through slump. Rookie in Boston.... you go cold, you start pressing & pressing...fans start to turn on you a bit & you lose over half of your at bats. He seems to be more relaxed & confident. When he has had a few cold streaks he has been able to snap out of them fairly quick.

Jimmy was flashing this in first half last year a bit until he dropped off. Talent is there & he is getting more consistent.

Domingo is think 24 & really the Corey Hart type of hitter we were expecting & hoping for. He has went from a guy who could get traded off in beginning of year to make room (after really bad, injury filled season last year) to a guy who has earned being out there everyday & being part of the future.

Think these guys all will be big parts over the next two seasons at least. Nelson & Shaw don't have prospects pushing them out of jobs. Out OF, Santana has proven himself


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Offline  Re: Brewers Core?
#4

Posted: July 16, 2017, 9:05 PM Post
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trwi7 said:
Nelson and Shaw doing this for the first time at 27 and 28 makes me skeptical that this is who they actually are.


Shaw's first shot was last year and injury/slump/Boston needs to win now took AB's away from him so this is really the first time he's been given regular AB's. This is Jimmy's 3rd full season and his numbers progressively got worse until this year. Shaw's playing maybe a little over his head but I think what's he been so far is pretty close to what he really his. I have no idea what to think of Jimmy. We thought Peralta had figured it at one point and now he's pretty much toast.


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Offline  Re: Brewers Core?
#5

Posted: July 16, 2017, 9:15 PM Post
Posts: 10730
trwi7 said:
Nelson and Shaw doing this for the first time at 27 and 28 makes me skeptical that this is who they actually are.


Nelson has shown flashes of dominance every year he's been up. Sustaining it sometimes takes maturity. Shaw was a 9th round pick. He wasn't handed a job in the majors. He posted an .813 OPS as a 25 year old rookie in 2015 in 65 games. Now he's putting up numbers we haven't seen from a LH hitting 3rd baseman in Milwaukee since the heyday of the great Eddie Mathews. I'd say he's part of the core.


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Offline  Re: Brewers Core?
#6

Posted: July 16, 2017, 10:48 PM Post
Posts: 575
Location: New Berlin, WI
JohnBriggs12 said:
trwi7 said:
Nelson and Shaw doing this for the first time at 27 and 28 makes me skeptical that this is who they actually are.


Nelson has shown flashes of dominance every year he's been up. Sustaining it sometimes takes maturity. Shaw was a 9th round pick. He wasn't handed a job in the majors. He posted an .813 OPS as a 25 year old rookie in 2015 in 65 games. Now he's putting up numbers we haven't seen from a LH hitting 3rd baseman in Milwaukee since the heyday of the great Eddie Mathews. I'd say he's part of the core.


This is probably a career year for Shaw, I highly doubt he ever has another year like this. I'm a bit nervous that Stearns will overpay on an extension for him this off season. Nelson has a phenomenal work ethic and it shows. The main things I've noticed this season are improved command and sequencing of his pitches. The high and away fastball and curve for a strike are a devastating combo for him right now. With his work ethic, I think he'll continue to get better. Santana I think is a very good hitter but not a star to the point that his production can't be replaced by our stock of outfielders. He also is a liability in the field, so the bat has to carry him. I'm less concerned with a "core" which I think lead to a window situation rather than sustained success. Find a way to keep the stars and cycle out above average players to keep talent coming in. Nelson I would for sure try to extend, Shaw I'd explore but I'm more hesitant, Santana I almost certainly would keep through arbitration and try and trade with 1-2 years of team control left... assuming he keeps producing of course.


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Offline  Re: Brewers Core?
#7

Posted: July 16, 2017, 10:58 PM Post
Posts: 575
Location: New Berlin, WI
jerichoholicninja said:
trwi7 said:
Nelson and Shaw doing this for the first time at 27 and 28 makes me skeptical that this is who they actually are.


Shaw's first shot was last year and injury/slump/Boston needs to win now took AB's away from him so this is really the first time he's been given regular AB's. This is Jimmy's 3rd full season and his numbers progressively got worse until this year. Shaw's playing maybe a little over his head but I think what's he been so far is pretty close to what he really his. I have no idea what to think of Jimmy. We thought Peralta had figured it at one point and now he's pretty much toast.


Wily was lazy. Dude was so out of shape this season. I've read and seen a much better work ethic from nelson. Peralta never committed to developing new pitches like nelson did, and surely never worked at it like nelson. I'm much more apt to believe in a guy with that kind of talent with an incredible work ethic than a talented lazy dude.


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Offline  Re: Brewers Core?
#8

Posted: July 16, 2017, 11:08 PM Post
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I hate to always be the "negative Nancy" but I feel that all three of these players are having their career years.

None are franchise type players despite the numbers they are putting up this season, IMO.

Shaw and Santana can be solid regulars going forward. Nelson to me is a good 4th starter on a playoff caliber team.


This same post could have been made this time last year with the names Jonathan Villar and Junior Guerra, IMO.

If by "Core guys" you DON'T mean franchise type, all-star level players but simply guys you'd want to hold onto because they are cheap solid regulars, then that's something different.


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Offline  Re: Brewers Core?
#9

Posted: July 17, 2017, 12:06 AM Post
Posts: 301
A Swing and A Drive said:
I hate to always be the "negative Nancy" but I feel that all three of these players are having their career years.

None are franchise type players despite the numbers they are putting up this season, IMO.

Shaw and Santana can be solid regulars going forward. Nelson to me is a good 4th starter on a playoff caliber team.


This same post could have been made this time last year with the names Jonathan Villar and Junior Guerra, IMO.

If by "Core guys" you DON'T mean franchise type, all-star level players but simply guys you'd want to hold onto because they are cheap solid regulars, then that's something different.


I don't see how anyone could make a comp between Nelson and Guerra from last year. One was a 2nd round pick who'd had at least some success every step of the way, the other was a 31 year old pitcher from independent ball.

And as for Villar, people are writing him off this year the same way people wrote Segura off after he struggled his second year with the Brewers. In fact people were questioning if Arica could hit enough to be a valuable player next year.

I don't think any of these guys are franchise type players by any means, but valuable pieces? Yeah...I don't see how you get that Nelson is a #4 unless you've got Kershaw, Grienke and Scherzer in your rotation. He's a solid #2 starter. A low end ace, but a solid 2. Shaw I would guess is probably playing about as well as he can defensively, but I think he can be a top 5 offensive 3rd basemen in the NL and Santana...he's the most replaceable, but he's only 24 years old. I think we should be able to get a few 280/360 30 HR years out of him.

I would say the only core pieces at this time are Arcia and Nelson. And I wouldn't go out on a limb to sign either to extensions unless we can get team friendly deals for both. Especially Nelson given we have him under control until he's 31.


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Offline  Re: Brewers Core?
#10

Posted: July 17, 2017, 12:33 AM Post
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I agree with much of your assessment, but you must really be buying into Nelson's sudden breakout this year.

Even as such, here are the Rotations of likely NL Playoff teams:

Nationals
1. Max Scherzer
2. Stephen Strasberg
3. Gio Gonzalez
4. Tanner Roark
5. Joe Ross-inj

Dodgers
1. Clayton Kershaw
2. Alex Wood
3. Rich Hill
4. Kente Madea
5. Brandon McCarthy

Cubs
1. Jake Arrieta
2. Jon Lester
3. Jose Quintana
4. Kyle Hendricks
5. John Lackey

Arizona Dbacks
1. Zack Greinke
2. Robbie Ray
3. Taijuan Walker
4. Patrick Corbin
5. Zack Godley

Nelson would be the #4 starter on all of these teams and likely the 5th stater on the Cubs.

You may be the first person to ever call Jimmy Nelson a "low end ace".

I hope you are right.


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Offline  Re: Brewers Core?
#11

Posted: July 17, 2017, 1:22 AM Post
Posts: 301
A Swing and A Drive said:
I agree with much of your assessment, but you must really be buying into Nelson's sudden breakout this year.

Even as such, here are the Rotations of likely NL Playoff teams:

Nationals
1. Max Scherzer
2. Stephen Strasberg
3. Gio Gonzalez
4. Tanner Roark
5. Joe Ross-inj

Dodgers
1. Clayton Kershaw
2. Alex Wood
3. Rich Hill
4. Kente Madea
5. Brandon McCarthy

Cubs
1. Jake Arrieta
2. Jon Lester
3. Jose Quintana
4. Kyle Hendricks
5. John Lackey

Arizona Dbacks
1. Zack Greinke
2. Robbie Ray
3. Taijuan Walker
4. Patrick Corbin
5. Zack Godley

Nelson would be the #4 starter on all of these teams and likely the 5th stater on the Cubs.

You may be the first person to ever call Jimmy Nelson a "low end ace".

I hope you are right.


Rich Hill? You're talking about how much I'm buying into Nelson, but you're telling me that Rich Hill is better than Nelson?
Beyond that, I'm curious why you're having so much trouble accepting Nelson this year, but just accept these other guys who are having breakout years are better than him? Walker? What exactly makes Walker better than Nelson? His FIP is half a run better than Ray's.

Obviously he'd be #4 on the Nats...the Nats have 3 aces, that's the only team. You have to really stretch to make that argument for the D-backs and Dodgers and he's pitching as well as anyone on the Cubs this year.


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Offline  Re: Brewers Core?
#12

Posted: July 17, 2017, 4:46 AM Post
Posts: 437
YoungGeezy1 said:
Jimmy was flashing this in first half last year a bit until he dropped off. Talent is there & he is getting more consistent.

Jimmy’s Best Months with over 10 IP
July17: 31.9 K% 26.4 K%-BB%
June17: 30.3 K% 24.9 K%-BB%
May17: 27.4 K% 22.1 K%-BB%
July15: 23.4 K% 14.6 K%-BB%
May16 20.9 K% 12.3 K%-BB%
Jimmy has never flashed anything close to this before, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing or de-legitimizing. To me it makes it more likely that there actually has been skill growth. Nobody can say for certain what will happen going forward, but the Jimmy Nelson of the last 3 months can pitch for any team in baseball.


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Offline  Re: Brewers Core?
#13

Posted: July 17, 2017, 6:03 AM Post
Posts: 2439
In my mind "Core" guys are those you are thinking could likely retire with the team. So players who are so good that even on down years they re still probably generating solid value. Which makes starting pitchers really hard to put into that category, too much of a chance of repeated break downs. Both Shaw and Santana as others have pointed out are either a bit old or have other flaws that keep them out of that category. Arcia comes to mind as the one guy who stands a good chance at the moment. A bunch of our prospects could be those guys as well, but time will tell.


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Offline  Re: Brewers Core?
#14

Posted: July 17, 2017, 6:59 AM Post
Posts: 228
I'm probably in the minority on this, but I see Santana as someone we should at least explore the trade market for. I think he's a very good hitter, and he is young enough to potentially get even better (I don't expect that, but it's possible). But he's also a defensively poor corner outfielder, playing for a NL team with significant outfield talent and prospects at all levels. He's valuable to us, as he would be to any team. But his value is even greater to an AL team with little outfield depth. If we can strengthen our rotation, without giving up major pitching prospects, in exchange for Santana (Plus probably some lesser prospects) I'm open for that. If we trade Braun (Seems unlikely now) I'd be more inclined to keep Santana for the long term. One bat first poor defender in the outfield is OK, two starts to hurt. All that being said, I'm also happy to keep Santana around for a long time to come. He will produce offensively. I just think he can be even more valuable as a trade piece, if the demand for such a player is there.

As for Jimmy, I believe in his breakout. He always had the stuff, but pitching is as much about having that as putting it together. There's also a significant mental side to it, and that can take time to master. His pitch selection is different this year, and seems to work better. He's done some mechanical changes, which is perhaps what's allowing him to throw strikes more consistently; which is what I believe the major difference is. Statistically there's nothing that suggests a regression either from what I can see. His FIP and xFIP are exactly in line with his ERA. HR/FB ratio is at about his career avg. In fact his BABIP, at .330, is even higher than his career .303 avg. He's getting half the % of infield fly balls compared to his career. If anything, he should give up even fewer hits than he is.

I doubt Shaw is a .300 hitter going forward, and I expect he'll not hit HRs at quite the same rate (IFFB% and HR/FB % would certainly suggest that as well), but even with some regression he's a very useful player going foward.


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Offline  Re: Brewers Core?
#15

Posted: July 17, 2017, 7:19 AM Post
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igor67 said:
In my mind "Core" guys are those you are thinking could likely retire with the team. So players who are so good that even on down years they re still probably generating solid value. Which makes starting pitchers really hard to put into that category, too much of a chance of repeated break downs. Both Shaw and Santana as others have pointed out are either a bit old or have other flaws that keep them out of that category. Arcia comes to mind as the one guy who stands a good chance at the moment. A bunch of our prospects could be those guys as well, but time will tell.


I 100% agree with this.

Orlando Arcia would probably be the only player that I would consider a current core Brewer.

A defensive minded SS who can hit is a rare commodity in baseball.

Like I've said before, I don't think he's a "franchise" player however.

Ten years ago, I'd say we had two of those in Braun and Fielder.


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Offline  Re: Brewers Core?
#16

Posted: July 17, 2017, 7:26 AM Post
Posts: 262
I'm more Gallardo/Weeks/Hart on that group than I am Braun/Sheets/Fielder. I feel like this was the pitcher that Nelson was supposed to be so I buy him and I buy Santana as a guy that was a touted prospect. Shaw may be a bit over his head but he did show some ability last year. I wouldn't rush to call any of them "franchise cornerstones" but I think all could be solid contributors on a winning team. That my be what we end up with here is a team built of a bunch of really good ballplayers but no real superstars. Which would be the opposite of the '11 team which had a few superstars but some black holes as well.


EDIT: I'd add Arcia and Brinson to that list as well.


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Offline  Re: Brewers Core?
#17

Posted: July 17, 2017, 7:54 AM Post
Posts: 5858
igor67 said:
In my mind "Core" guys are those you are thinking could likely retire with the team.


That's a tough bar to use these days, pretty rare for anyone to stay with the same team their entire career. I think you can be a core part of the next successful run without having to retire as a Brewer.

Nelson, Shaw, Santana are no different than any other player on the roster. If you can get good value in a trade, you do it. If not, they will all be relatively cheap for a while so not a lot to lose by hanging on to them.


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Offline  Re: Brewers Core?
#18

Posted: July 17, 2017, 8:12 AM Post
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Sounds like I have a more loose interpretation of "core". I'd consider Core different than Franchise Cornerstone types. I don't see any Franchise types on the current roster or really in the minors. Maybe Arcia. I guess I consider core guys who you'd like to be here 5-6 years; guys you'd explore extending beyond their arbitration years.

I'm not saying they're Braun or Fielder. They are guys I see being part of the vision for the future and not place holders or potential trade chips.


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Offline  Re: Brewers Core?
#19

Posted: July 17, 2017, 9:27 AM Post
Posts: 1804
A Swing and A Drive said:
You may be the first person to ever call Jimmy Nelson a "low end ace".


Fangraphs did:

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-brew ... ctual-ace/


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Offline  Re: Brewers Core?
#20

Posted: July 17, 2017, 9:41 AM Post
Posts: 1804
NievesNoNO said:
Sounds like I have a more loose interpretation of "core". I'd consider Core different than Franchise Cornerstone types. I don't see any Franchise types on the current roster or really in the minors. Maybe Arcia. I guess I consider core guys who you'd like to be here 5-6 years; guys you'd explore extending beyond their arbitration years.

I'm not saying they're Braun or Fielder. They are guys I see being part of the vision for the future and not place holders or potential trade chips.

This is a great topic. A few years back there was a similar discussion on BrewHoop about the Bucks, and people got into the same kind of interesting discussion about what "core" means.

The funny thing about the Brewers now is that our best contributors, with the exceptions I think of Arcia and Santana, are older breakout guys, like we've been talking about. I believe in Nelson's breakout, and I think Shaw looks pretty legit, but I probably wouldn't extend those guys, because they're cheap into their 30s. So I think they're "core" in the sense of being legit first-division starters right now, but not in the sense that I can likely see them retiring here.

Arcia looks really good. I don't think he's a guaranteed franchise cornerstone, but I think he has that ceiling. With Santana, the concerns about his defense are serious, but I'm not sure we're sufficiently appreciating that we have a legit power bat on an upward trajectory, and he just turns 25 next month.


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