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Article: Catching Curiosities

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 02:40 AM
Twins pitchers have been much more successful this season when Jason Castro has been behind the plate. Are there stats we can point to th...
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Article: DET 9, MIN 6: Twins Drop to Third in Division, 2...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 02:40 AM
With an ugly loss to Detroit Sunday, the Twins dropped to third place in the AL Central, and they’re now 2.5 games out of first place. Th...
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Clayton Kershaw to the DL

Other Baseball Today, 02:40 AM
Only 10 game DL but he's been off this year. I wonder if the Dodgers would pay a good price for Ervin Santana. Couple guys in their org w...
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DFA to Breslow

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 02:40 AM
This is probably the end of a long major league career made longer b y Twins decision to give him a roster spot after Spring Training....
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Article: No Garcia Trade: Braves Balk At Twins’ Prospect’...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 02:40 AM
The reason Jaime Garcia pitched a gem in an Atlanta Braves uniform last night -- adding a grand slam at the plate for good measure -- rat...
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Twins Daily Top 20 Prospect Countdown: 11-15

Twins pitchers and catchers reported to Hammond Stadium in Ft. Myers on Sunday. On Monday, those pitchers and catchers participated in their first practice of the year. Pitchers fielding practice (PFP) is already in full effect.

Also on Monday, Nick began our Twins Daily Top 20 Prospect Rankings by providing us with more information on our choices for Prospects 16-20. Today, we continue that list by reviewing our Prospects 11-15. This group contains a couple of pitchers with upside coming back from Tommy John surgery. There are a couple of very young middle infielders who have strong offensive potential. We also have a hitter who is just plain strong.
Let’s get to the list.

15. JT Chargois - RHP
Age: 25
2015 Stats (Hi-A/AA): 48.0 IP, 2-1, 15 Saves, 2.62 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 53/25 K/BB
ETA: 2016

Chargois (pronounced Shag-waa) was the Twins second-round pick in the 2012 draft out of Rice University. In college, he played first base, DH and was the Owl’s co-closer with current Twins starter Tyler Duffey. He worked 16 innings for Elizabethton that summer and then missed two full seasons with injury including Tommy John surgery.

He returned to the mound in games in 2015, throwing as hard as ever. “Hard as ever,” for Chargois means frequently hitting 100 on the radar gun. He began the season with the Miracle but spent the second half of the season in Chattanooga where he was the closer for the Southern League champion Lookouts. In November, he was added to the Twins 40-man roster. Blessed with a big fastball, Chargois also throws a slurve and has a change-up. He will occasionally have trouble finding the strike zone, but often is able to work out of trouble with a strikeout. He will compete for a Twins bullpen spot in spring training. Although he is maybe a long shot to be on the Opening Day roster, we can expect to see Chargois pitching for the Twins in the 2016 season.


Posted Image
Photo: William Parmeter

14. Jermaine Palacios - SS
Age: 19
2015 Stats (rookie): .370/.398/.540, 3 HR, 37 RBI, 36 R, 9/13 SB
ETA: 2019

Signed in July of 2013 out of Venezuela for just $70,000, Palacios was not a highly touted amateur. When he signed Palacios was long, but very thin, weighing in at just 145 pounds. He spent the 2014 season in the DSL where he hit .270/.404/.399 (.802) with 11 doubles and six triples. He had 35 walks to go with 37 strikeouts. The performance allowed him to come to the States in 2015.

He is stronger now, though still real thin. He was supposed to spend the full short season in the GCL, but through 26 games he was hitting .421 (1.061 OPS) so he was promoted to Elizabethton. In 31 games there, he hit .336. Though he didn’t walk much, he had 18 extra base hits. He committed quite a few errors, but many believe that he can become a solid shortstop, though a move is possible. He should start the 2016 season as a 19-year-old in Cedar Rapids.

13. Wander Javier - SS
Age: 17
2015 Stats: Did Not Play
ETA: 2021

In 2009, the Twins signed Miguel Sano, then 16 years old, to a $3.15 million bonus, their largest given to an international player. In July of 2015, the Twins broke that record by handing shortstop Wander Javier a $4 million signing bonus. While Sano was signed as a shortstop too, the general belief is that Javier will be able to stay at shortstop.

Javier is already 6-0 and 170 pounds. He is described as a plus fielder with a plus arm from shortstop. Though he’s not big now, people talk about his great bat speed which could potentially generate very good power. But he’s very raw and hasn’t played a ton of baseball. Most likely, Javier will spend the entire 2016 season in the Dominican Summer League, but it’s possible he could surface in the GCL late in the year.

12. Lewis Thorpe - LHP
Age: 20
2015 Stats: Did Not Pitch
ETA: 2019

Two weeks ago, Lewis Thorpe threw pitches off of a mound. For most pitchers at this time of the year not a big deal, but for Thorpe it was a big deal after having Tommy John surgery last April. His rehab program will continue into the 2016 season. However, he could return to game action by June.

Thorpe burst onto the prospect scene in 2013 when, as a 17-year-old, he went 4-1 with a 2.05 ERA in the GCL. In 44 innings he walked six and struck out 64. The following season, he was promoted to Cedar Rapids in May and experienced some ups and downs in the Midwest League. However, he struck out 81 batters in 71.2 innings while being almost four years younger than the average player in the league.

While it’s difficult to know with complete certainty how a player will come back after Tommy John, Thorpe says he is feeling strong and hopefully will be back to what he was. That was really good. He had a fastball that touched 94-95. He has a good curve ball, and his best pitch could be his change-up. In spite of his youth, the southpaw has a very high baseball IQ and knowledge of pitching.


Posted Image
Photo: William Parmeter

11. Adam Brett Walker - OF
Age: 22
2015 Stats (AA): .239/.309/.498, 31 HR, 106 RBI, 75 R, 13/17 SB
ETA: 2016

The Twins invited Milwaukee native Adam Brett Walker to Target Field days before the 2012 MLB Draft. The Jacksonville University player had posted an OPS of over 1.000 in all three of his college seasons. The Twins selected him in the third round, with the 97th overall pick that year. Since then, the 6-5, 230 pound outfielder has done everything big.

He has hit with big power. Walker has played at one level in each of the four seasons since signing. He has led that league in home runs and RBI each year. In 2013 in Cedar Rapids, his 109 RBI were one less than Dalton Hicks for most in minor league baseball. Despite his size, Walker is a good base stealer. In college, he was successful in 40 of 41 attempts. In minor league ball, he’s 36 for 45. Walker has also has increased his walk rate each season, from 5.6% to 7.9% to 9.1% in 2015.

But obviously we have to get to the other thing that Walker does big, strikeouts. While his walk rate has gone up each season, so has his strikeout rate. He struck out 20.8% of the time in Low A. With the Miracle, he struck out 28.2% of the time. In 2014 with Chattanooga, he struck out 34.8% of the time.
Defense and specifically throwing are also a concern for Walker. Will Walker be able to make an adjustment to cut down on the strikeouts? If so, he can be a solid power producer in the middle of a big league lineup. If not, he will struggle mightily with big league pitching. Most likely, he’ll be somewhere in between.

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12 Comments

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HitInAPinch
Feb 23 2016 08:23 AM

Question on Chargois [and all the other MiLB pitchers touching 95+].What's his motion like?Smooth or jerky?I'm probably like others who are more concerned about a guy throwing 100mph after TJ surgery.Granted, 2 years later.

Here is some video from Mike Berardino on Chargois's first bullpen on Monday: 

 

http://player.tout.c...incities/97gm9q

 

 

I'm just glad I know how to say his name now.....

    • gunnarthor and Broker like this

 

I'm just glad I know how to say his name now.....

 

Important stuff! Ha!

 

Sorry, I'm big on spelling and pronouncing people's names correctly. 

    • Mike Sixel likes this

 

Important stuff! Ha!

 

Sorry, I'm big on spelling and pronouncing people's names correctly. 

 

Agreed....though I stink at the spelling....

Nice list.  I know Walker's a bit of a divisive prospect but I really hope he gets it all figured out. It's nice to see some young players in the 11-20 range that might be able to make some big jumps this year.  If Palacios can stick at short stop, the team really has some nice depth there in the minors.  Thorpe had been ranked by BP on their top 101 a few years ago.  Hopefully he gets back to where he was and continues to develop.  Another good lefty would be really fun to have.

 

If Palacios can stick at short stop, the team really has some nice depth there in the minors. 

 

Consider it's possible that these are the primary shortstops at the Twins four full-season affiliates:

 

Rochester: Jorge Polanco

Chattanooga: Engelb Vielma

Ft. Myers: Nick Gordon

Cedar Rapids: Jermaine Palacios

 

With Javier in the DSL or possibly GCL.

    • gunnarthor, Monkeypaws and big dog like this
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IndyTwinsFan
Feb 23 2016 11:28 AM

 

Consider it's possible that these are the primary shortstops at the Twins four full-season affiliates:

 

Rochester: Jorge Polanco

Chattanooga: Engelb Vielma

Ft. Myers: Nick Gordon

Cedar Rapids: Jermaine Palacios

 

With Javier in the DSL or possibly GCL.

Looks to be an encouraging development, at least at the moment.

 

Consider it's possible that these are the primary shortstops at the Twins four full-season affiliates:

 

Rochester: Jorge Polanco

Chattanooga: Engelb Vielma

Ft. Myers: Nick Gordon

Cedar Rapids: Jermaine Palacios

 

With Javier in the DSL or possibly GCL.

 

Seth, that is a great point, and some real good talent there. It would be nice, and almost unheard of for the Twins to produce a home grown SS of the future for the big league club. One of those 5 should really pan out (or one of those 4, because I think Polanco is not going to stick).

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Brock Beauchamp
Feb 23 2016 06:59 PM

If you graduate as many players as the Twins did from 2013-2015 and still have guys like Walker and Thorpe outside your top ten, your system is doing okay for itself.

    • Seth Stohs, Mike Sixel, gunnarthor and 2 others like this

Consider it's possible that these are the primary shortstops at the Twins four full-season affiliates:
 
Rochester: Jorge Polanco
Chattanooga: Engelb Vielma
Ft. Myers: Nick Gordon
Cedar Rapids: Jermaine Palacios
 
With Javier in the DSL or possibly GCL.


Man...how can you not like this!

There's even a reasonable chance, IMO, that the next Twins SS, 2B AND 3B are in this group. (Assuming Sano as an OF or 1B)
    • Mike Sixel and gunnarthor like this

 

Seth, that is a great point, and some real good talent there. It would be nice, and almost unheard of for the Twins to produce a home grown SS of the future for the big league club. One of those 5 should really pan out (or one of those 4, because I think Polanco is not going to stick).

 

Yeah, I think that would be ideal. These guys all have the talent, but of course none of them have done it yet. Some quality. Quantity. Guys people believe can stick. Guys that can hit a little. I mean, hopefully at least 1-2 of them get all the way and produce in the big leagues.