Jump to content

Providing independent coverage of the Minnesota Twins.
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

The Forums

Article: Rundown: Mauer Being a Pain, Prospect Lists, Phi...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:03 PM
For as many words as there have been written and said about Joe Mauer, his legacy won’t truly be determined by what anybody outside the g...
Full topic ›

Twins Minor League Coaches/Coordinators

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 07:32 PM
The Twins made some changes this offseason already in their minor league system. Pitching coaches Ivan Arteaga and Henry Bonilla were let...
Full topic ›

Article: AFL Report - Week 5: Air Force Ace

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 07:22 PM
What a difference a week can make in the small sample size of the Arizona Fall League as the Salt River Rafters followed up their string...
Full topic ›

Baseball America's Top Ten Twins Prospects

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 07:14 PM
Looks like Mike Berardino was again in charge of the Twins rankings for Baseball America's Top Prospects. Here are his choices for the to...
Full topic ›

I'm Bored of the Offseason

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 06:53 PM
Why is it in baseball we have to wait for weeks on end for anything to happen in free agency? In other sports like football and basketbal...
Full topic ›

2018 Twins Midseason Top Prospect List: 31-35

The strength of Minnesota's highly regarded farm system is in its depth. Yes, the Twins boast a few top-tier talents that will be profiled at the end of this series, but this organization's intrigue and upside extend beyond the Top 10 and even beyond the Top 30, as the five players below exemplify.
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs (Graphic by Finn Pearson)
35. Tyler Watson – LHP
Age: 21
ETA: 2021
2018 Stats (A-/A+): 56.1 IP, 4.47 ERA, 1.54 WHIP, 7.3 K/9, 3.4 BB/9, 2.33 K:BB
2018 Ranking: NR | 2017 Ranking: NR
Seth: 36 | Tom: 28 | Cody: 44

When a late-July swoon caused them to pivot into seller mode last year, the Twins flipped All-Star closer Brandon Kintzler to the Washington Nationals for Tyler Watson, a former 34th-round draft with a tall frame and a short track record. The 6'5", 200 lb southpaw has a physique any scout can love, and the Nats lured him away from college in 2015 with a $400K signing bonus.

Watson blew hitters away in rookie leagues, but was struggling a bit in A-ball when the Twins acquired last summer. That hasn't changed, as the numbers above illustrate, but Derek Falvey views the burly left-hander as a long-term project.

"Tyler is a young left-handed starter we feel is just scratching the surface of who he can be," Minnesota's chief baseball officer said at the time. "Taller pitchers can take a little longer to develop, but we feel there's more in the tank."

Right now he's a fairly hittable starter with a low-90s fastball and a developing curve, neither of which he commands all that consistently. But Watson is still only 21, with an almost ideal build and an 8.9 K/9 rate through his 250 innings as a pro. I'm definitely curious to see what else is in the tank.

34. DaShawn Keirsey Jr. – OF
Age: 21
ETA: 2021
2018 Stats (Rk): .258/.303/.419 (.722 OPS), 1 2B, 2 3B, 0 HR, 3 K, 2 BB
2018 Ranking: NR | 2017 Ranking: NR
Seth: 43 | Tom: 30 | Cody: 29

Bill Kinneberg, head baseball coach at the University of Utah, knew DaShawn Keirsey Jr. was destined to be an early-round MLB draft pick from the first time he watched him play. "I remember him running faster than anyone we've ever had, and you add that to his 6-foot-2 frame — yeah, it was evident right away."

Last June, he was the 124th player to come off the board when Minnesota took him in the fourth round, and it's possible he would've gone earlier if not for a major injury in 2017 where the aggressive and speedy center fielder collided with an outfield wall (sound familiar?) and came off the field in an ambulance, his hip dislocated and the socket fractured. "Nobody could give us a timetable. That was a scary deal,” said Coach Kinneberg.

It was a very tough break for a player whose game was built around speed, but Keirsey rehabbed hard and bounced back this spring with an outstanding junior season, batting .386 with a 1.049 OPS while leading the PAC-12 in doubles and reaching base in 45 of 50 games. He's a speedy gamer with good contact skills from the left side and an excellent defensive rep (he was three-time PAC-12 All Defense in center), so comparisons to Zack Granite or even Ben Revere are apt, but some foresee more power in Keirsey's future.

33. Gabriel Moya – LHP
Age: 23
ETA: 2018
2018 Stats (AAA): 33.0 IP, 1.64 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 10.4 K/9, 2.5 BB/9, 4.22 K/BB
2018 Ranking: NR | 2017 Ranking: NR
Seth: 40 | Tom: 35 | Cody: 22

Whereas Tyler Watson, profiled above, was clearly more of an acquisition guided by scouting, the Twins were pretty clearly going by the numbers when they picked up Gabriel Moya from Arizona in exchange for catcher John Ryan Murphy around the same time. The rare example of a lefty reliever whose changeup is his best pitch, Moya won't wow you with his high-80s fastball and modest breaking stuff. He'll more likely confuse you with his unique and twitchy mechanics.

But his stats? Those'll wow you. Moya had a 0.82 ERA and 14.0 K/9 rate in Double-A last summer when the Twins acquired him, and he has kept the magic going in Minnesota's system with a 1.32 ERA and 57-to-12 K/BB ratio in 48 innings between Chattanooga (last year) and Rochester (this year).

He has only received limited chances in the majors so far, amounting to 11 1/3 total innings with less than wow-worthy results, but is clearly deserving of an extended opportunity. Maybe it will come if the Twins open a spot by trading Zach Duke before the deadline.

32. Andrew Bechtold – 3B
Age: 22
ETA: 2021
2018 Stats (A): .217/.320/.281 (.601 OPS), 11 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 67 K, 32 BB
2018 Ranking: NR | 2017 Ranking: NR
Seth: 27 | Tom: 41 | Cody: 42

A righty-swinging infielder who grew in the Philly suburbs, Bechtold has followed a winding path to reach this point. He was selected by the Rangers in the 37th round of the 2014 draft following a strong senior year in high school, but elected not to sign, heading instead to the University of Maryland where he'd join fellow current Twins prospects LaMonte Wade and Alex Robinson.

Due to injuries and other factors, things just didn't work out for Bechtold at Maryland. After two years, he transferred to Chipola, a junior college, where he got his baseball career back on track. He hit .419 with 12 home runs and 24 steals in 60 games, impressing the Twins enough that they drafted him in the fifth round and went well above slot to sign him at $600K.

Bechtold's power hasn't shown up yet, as he's managed just three homers and a .337 slugging percentage in 107 games between Elizabethton and Cedar Rapids, but he has shown a solid plate approach and an ability to get on base (he posted a .426 OBP for the Kernels in June). Ultimately the third baseman's development will hinge on his adding muscle and turning it into game power, but as a skilled defender with a good idea of what he's doing at the plate, Bechtold has the right foundation.

31. Jordan Balazovic – RHP
Age: 19
ETA: 2022
2018 Stats (A): 26.2 IP, 2.36 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 13.8 K/9, 2.4 BB/9, 5.86 K/BB
2018 Ranking: NR | 2017 Ranking: NR
Seth: 20 | Tom: 40 | Cody: 34

One year before taking Bechtold in the fifth round, the Twins used that selection on Jordan Balazovic, a Canadian right-hander who was catching some eyes north of the border. Like Bechtold, the Twins went over-slot to sign Balazovic, coaxing him out of a commitment to Auburn.

The organization has taken it slow with Balazovic, who was only 17 when drafted in 2016. He spent two seasons in the rookie Gulf Coast League, with decidedly mixed results. This year he's made the move to Cedar Rapids, and things have really come together. He has struck out 41 in 26 2/3 innings of work, and in his most recent outing on Saturday, hurled six innings of one-hit ball with 10 strikeouts.

Balazovic is a teenager who's thrown less than 100 official innings since being drafted, so all standard caveats apply, but he's a very live arm, and his arrow is pointing directly upward and flashing at this moment.


PREVIOUS INSTALLMENTS:

2018 Twins Midseason Top Prospects: 36-40

  • nclahammer likes this

  • Share:
  • submit to reddit
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

12 Comments

Your profile actually dropped my assessment of Moya.I had been wowed by his stats and we have seen plenty of pitchers who could not replicate their minor league success when they hit the majors. 

 

I am also puzzled by Watson's ranking.If I am reading your notes correctly his big asset is that he is large.  

Disappointed in Watson at this point, though I totally get his frame, potential and being LH. Clearly, his spot on this list is potential.

Very disappointed in Bechtold this season. He had a nice debut last season, and we've heard about a solid bat, good instincts, good defense, and some power potential. It's still very early in his career, so I'm not down on the kid, just really disappointed in his season thus far. His OB is just over a 100 points higher than his BA. That tells me a second half surge may be coming.

Moya is intriguing, though a bit of an enigma. LHRP don't have to throw high heat to be effective, especially with a decent breaking ball, or change. Combine that with his funky delivery, and he could confuse the hell out of anybody trying to read his pitches. He could be anything from a LOOGY, to a guy who could give you a full inning or two. Can he translate his milb success?

Balazovic, WOW, 19yo and from the prospect hot bed of Canada! (Yes, I jest). But seriously, from Canada, only 19 pitching in Cedar Rapids, low A ball or not, below average age where top American drafted players are slotted, and even fresh college draftees make their entrance, and he's put up those numbers? With so few UP, perhaps he tires before the season is done. But this seems to be a kid who could vault in to the top 20 by the end of the year.
    • Dman, tarheeltwinsfan, gagu and 1 other like this

 

Your profile actually dropped my assessment of Moya.I had been wowed by his stats and we have seen plenty of pitchers who could not replicate their minor league success when they hit the majors. 

 

I am also puzzled by Watson's ranking.If I am reading your notes correctly his big asset is that he is large.  

 

I think I ranked him the lowest... His ranking isn't about his ability to pitch in the big leagues. He probably could right now and be just fine. But, he's a left-handed reliever who will probably top out as a 7th/8th inning guy who throws like 50-55 innings a season. There is a lot of value in that role in the big leagues, no doubt. But compare him to Jordan Balazovic whose upside is probably a #3 starter, maybe even a little higher. He's got a ways to go, but if he gets even closer to being a #3 starter, throwing 160-180 innings a season has a ton of value. 

    • gagu likes this

Think I have to lean Seth's way on the rankings for Bechtold and Balazovic - both in the 20's somewhere.

 

Balazovic has pitched well for the Kernels save for maybe one bad outing.Like the review said, he has a very live arm with a lot of upside.

 

Bechtold has come on strong lately after the slow start.Believe the power will come eventually.Rocket arm.Like his future.

    • DocBauer and rdehring like this

I have Keirsey much higher, based on film.Lots of athleticism there.Played FB in HS.Close to a 5 tool player.Reminds me a lot of Joe Benson.

 

Not that concerned about Bechtold other than what position he will play.Down season so far with the bat.It happens

    • Dman and rdehring like this

 

I have Keirsey much higher, based on film.Lots of athleticism there.Played FB in HS.Close to a 5 tool player.Reminds me a lot of Joe Benson.

 

Not that concerned about Bechtold other than what position he will play.Down season so far with the bat.It happens

Just shook my head, Thrylos, when you mentioned Joe Benson.What a talented athlete.He came so close!

 

Is Keirsey as big as Benson?

    • RaymondLuxuryYacht likes this
Photo
Nick Nelson
Jul 03 2018 08:15 AM

 

Very disappointed in Bechtold this season. He had a nice debut last season, and we've heard about a solid bat, good instincts, good defense, and some power potential. It's still very early in his career, so I'm not down on the kid, just really disappointed in his season thus far. His OB is just over a 100 points higher than his BA. That tells me a second half surge may be coming.

I would say the surge is already underway.

 

In April/May Bechtold hit .172/.259/.200 with 4 doubles and 0 HR in 41 games. Since the start of June he's at .288/.408/.413 with 7 doubles and 1 HR in 24 games. 

 

Overall numbers are unimpressive, yes, but that's the kind of progression you're looking for.

    • Tibs, DocBauer, slash129 and 3 others like this

 

Just shook my head, Thrylos, when you mentioned Joe Benson.What a talented athlete.He came so close!

 

Is Keirsey as big as Benson?

 

Indeed.Too many injuries got into his body and head

 

Keirsey is 6'2",195;Benson ended his career at 6'1", 205

 

Indeed.Too many injuries got into his body and head

 

Keirsey is 6'2",195;Benson ended his career at 6'1", 205

So he has similar size.And from everything I read is also fast, possibly faster than Benson.I remember Benson had a full ride to Purdue as a running back.Was out of Joliet Catholic, correct?Rudy's old high school.He may have made the wrong decision, or not?

    • RaymondLuxuryYacht likes this

I have Keirsey much higher, based on film.Lots of athleticism there.Played FB in HS.Close to a 5 tool player.Reminds me a lot of Joe Benson.
 
Not that concerned about Bechtold other than what position he will play.Down season so far with the bat.It happens


Curious about your defensive comment regarding Bechtold. Thought he was supposed to be a true 3B, glove and arm.

Indeed.Too many injuries got into his body and head
 
Keirsey is 6'2",195;Benson ended his career at 6'1", 205


Ahhh, Joe Benson, I had almost forgot about him. Probably deliberately. Might be one of my personal biggest disappointments over the last 20 years or so. Just seemed to have so much potential.

Jersey was still a high selection, but from what you read about him, if there are no additional problems with his hip, and his speed comes back fully, or close, have to wonder if we got a steal there.

 

Curious about your defensive comment regarding Bechtold. Thought he was supposed to be a true 3B, glove and arm.

 

He just does seem like a natural third baseman as far as instincts go, esp. charging the ball. Already been playing some second base this season.He might end up at OF if the arm plays there.Arm is pretty average.


Similar Articles


by Tom Froemming , 13 Sep 2018
Photo


by Tom Froemming , 02 Sep 2018
Photo


by Tom Froemming , 15 Aug 2018
Photo


by Tom Froemming , 11 Aug 2018
Photo


by Tom Froemming , 28 Jul 2018
Photo