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Twins Daily Top Prospect Countdown: 15-11

Many Twins players and Twins minor leaguers are already in Ft. Myers. On Tuesday, pitchers and catchers report. Yesterday, Nick began the Twins Daily Top 20 Prospect Rankings by providing us with more information on our choices for Twins prospects 16-20.

Today, we continue to count them down with our choices for Twins Prospects 11-15. This group includes a potential closer, and a total of four guys who will be in big league spring training this year. This is an exciting group of players with the potential to play in the big leagues as early as 2017.
Let’s get to the list, and please feel free to discuss our choices and how they may rank on your personal top 10 or top 20 lists.

15. LaMonte Wade - OF
Age: 23
2016 Stats (A/Hi-A): .293/.402/.438 (.841), 8 HR, 51 RBI, 49 R, 6/10 SB
ETA: 2019

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Wade fell to the ninth round of the 2015 season, in part due to an injury that cost half of his junior season at Maryland. Since signing, he has been a very productive hitter. In 2015 in Elizabethton, he .312/.428/.506 (.934) with eight doubles, five triples and nine home runs in 62 games. He stole 12 out of 13 bases, and he walked 46 times with just 34 strikeouts.

He continued those patterns in his first full season. In 56 games in Cedar Rapids to start the season, he hit .280/.410/.396 (.806) with 13 extra-base hits. He walked 44 times with just 27 strikeouts. He was a Midwest League All Star and was moved up to Ft. Myers where he began on the DL. In 32 games with the Miracle, he hit .318/.386/.518 (.904) with 13 extra-base hits.

Wade primarily played center field throughout 2016, though he is most likely to be a corner outfielder as he moves up. Injuries curtailed his 2016, but he’s healthy and looking to take the next step in 2017.


14. Daniel Palka - OF
Age: 25
2016 Stats (AA/AAA): .254/.327/.521 (.848), 34 HR, 90 RBI, 73 R, 9/14 SB
ETA: 2017

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Palka is a South Carolina native who was the third-round pick of the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2013 out of Georgia Tech. He had a strong 2015 season in High-A when he hit .280/.352/.532 (.885) with 36 doubles and 29 homers. Following that season, he came to the Twins in exchange for Chris Herrmann.

He made quite the impression quickly on the Twins organization. In his first big league spring training game, he hit homers in his first two at-bats. He went to Chattanooga and hit .270/.348/.547 (.894) with 12 doubles and 21 homers. In July he was promoted to AAA Rochester and hit .232/.296/.483 (.799) with 12 doubles and 13 home runs. He was added to the 40-man roster following the season.

13. JT Chargois - RH RP
Age: 26
2016 MiLB Stats (AA/AAA): 46.2 IP, 2-1, 16 Saves, 1.35 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 55/13 K/BB
2016 MLB Stats (Twins): 23.0 IP, 1-1, 0 Saves, 4.70 ERA, 1.61 WHIP, 17/12 K/BB
ETA: 2016

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The Twins drafted Chargois in the second round of the 2012 draft out of Rice University where he had been a closer and played some first base. He spent that summer in Elizabethton. However, he missed the 2013 and 2014 seasons due to elbow issues and Tommy John surgery.

Chargois returned in 2015 and pitched well in Ft. Myers and Chattanooga. By season’s end, he was the closer for the Lookouts through their Southern League championship run. He returned to Chattanooga to start 2016 and completely dominated before moving up to Rochester where there was more domination. He made his big league debut in June, and it didn’t go as planned. He gave up five runs on three hits and two walks in just 0.2 innings. He returned to the big leagues in mid-August. Once September came, he took off and showed the type of pitcher that he can be in the late innings… Dominant!


12. Felix Jorge - RHP
Age: 23
2016 Stats (Hi-A, AA): 167.1 IP, 12-8, 2.69 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 109/23 K/BB
ETA: 2018

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Signed in February of 2011 Jorge has gradually worked his way up the Twins system. The last two years, he has turned himself from a suspect to a prospect and for his efforts he was added to the Twins 40-man roster in November.

In 2014, he was sent back to Elizabethton from Cedar Rapids after some real struggles. He was the Appy League Pitcher of the Year. In 2015, he went 6-7 with a 2.79 ERA in Cedar Rapids. He is remarkably consistent. Of his 22 starts, he worked at least six innings in 20 of them. In 2016, 13 of his 14 starts in Ft. Myers were at least six innings. He found some struggles in Chattanooga, but even then eight of 11 starts went six innings. The other three went at least five. Jorge is very aggressive in the strike zone with good stuff in the low-90s. He hits 93, but his very smooth delivery makes it jump on batters. He’s got a very good changeup and a slider that doesn’t move a lot, but enough so that hitters can’t barrel it.

11. Mitch Garver - C
Age: 26
2016 Stats (AA/AAA): .270/.342/.422 (.764), 12 HR, 74 RBI, 50 R, 1/4 SB
ETA: 2017

Garver was the Twins ninth-round draft pick in 2013 after four years at the University of New Mexico. In 2014, he was the Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Year after a strong first full season in Cedar Rapids. He played in Ft. Myers in 2015. After a nice showing in the Arizona Fall League, he began 2016 in Chattanooga. For the Lookouts, he hit .257/.334/.419 (.753) with 25 doubles and 11 homers. He participated in the Southern League All-Star Game. He spent most of the final month of the season in Rochester where he hit .329/.381/.434 (.815) with five doubles and a homer in just 22 games.

Known more for his offense, Garver has worked very hard on his defense the last few years. The hard work has begun to pay off. He is now considered ready to be a quality receiver in the big leagues. His pitch framing numbers were strong, and he threw out nearly 50% of would-be base stealers. He was added to the Twins 40-man roster in November and should receive a legitimate shot to compete for an Opening Day roster spot.


Please feel free to ask questions and leave comments about Twins Daily's choices for prospects 11-15. Stop by next week when we start out Top 10 Countdown.


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26 Comments

Jorge seems really low to me.
A few thoughts:

1] Is Wade one of those guys just so all around good that he sort of sneaks up on you as to how all around good he really is?

2] Palka hits decently, and has hit at every level, thus far, with some normal adjustment period. He will probably always SO more than you'd like, but he also takes walks. He power is definitely there. And he seems to move very well. I'm excited for him and wonder if he's not the heir for 1B while still being able to play the OF.

3] Big believer in Garver's all around ability and think he will be very solid.

4] Have we all fallen asleep on Jorge and his potential?
    • glunn and Vanimal46 like this

 

A few thoughts:

1] Is Wade one of those guys just so all around good that he sort of sneaks up on you as to how all around good he really is?

2] Palka hits decently, and has hit at every level, thus far, with some normal adjustment period. He will probably always SO more than you'd like, but he also takes walks. He power is definitely there. And he seems to move very well. I'm excited for him and wonder if he's not the heir for 1B while still being able to play the OF.

3] Big believer in Garver's all around ability and think he will be very solid.

4] Have we all fallen asleep on Jorge and his potential?

 

1.) I've said before that I talked to Mike Radcliff at spring training last year while Wade was hitting. He said that he doesn't really have any tools that jump out at you, but he also doesn't have a real weak spot in his game either. He said that his makeup is plus-plus. His approach and thinking at the plate is very advanced. I was told that he has some sneaky power too. He's not a big guy, but when he does look to pull the ball, he can drive it a long way. 

 

2.) Palka is similar to AB Walker, in my opinion. I think he can be a solid MLB hitter in time. He certainly can hit a ball a long way. He certainly will strike out a lot. His defense is describe as 'shaky.' He can probably play some 1B, but he won't get great there either. I woudln't be surprised, and I think it would be good, if he did play some 1B in 2017 just to give him more versatility. 

 

3.) I'm definitely a believe in Garver as well. I think you nailed it. None of his skills necessarily jump out, but he does everything pretty well. 

 

4.) Jorge is easily Top 10 for me, but for the TD voting, he dropped some.

    • gunnarthor and Vanimal46 like this
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clutterheart
Feb 10 2017 07:59 AM

I hope they push wade this year.  Would be nice to see him start the year at AA

    • gunnarthor, KGB and Vanimal46 like this
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Comrade Bork
Feb 10 2017 08:06 AM
Chargois is only 13th? Dominant MiLB numbers and a good September call up. I would have thought he'd be higher but it just makes me excited for the rest of the list!

Big fan of LaMonte Wade. 

I've got to imagine the new regime loves his approach at the plate as well... The MLB team sorely needs a lead-off type hitter who can draw more walks than strikeouts. 

    • gunnarthor and rghrbek like this

This is a good list and just frustrates me when I see our high powered FO grabbing Gimenez, a one year 36 year old bullpen pitcher, and trying to go for the left over sluggers.  Let's develop these players. 

 

This is a good list and just frustrates me when I see our high powered FO grabbing Gimenez, a one year 36 year old bullpen pitcher, and trying to go for the left over sluggers.  Let's develop these players. 

They are developing Garver.... He'll get every day at-bats in AAA while Murphy or Gimenez finds at-bats when they can behind Castro. 

If Castro is hurt for a long period of time, Garver should and probably will get the call to be the every day MLB catcher. 

    • goulik likes this

Hard to argue with any of that.

 

I have Jorge a tad lower because at this point I see him more as a reliever.Not convinced that he will be an MLB starter (which is ok, see what Rogers has done, I'll take that from Jorge.)

 

Philosophical question, comparing 2 LH OFs:

 

Apparently Kirilloff is in the top 10.If someone's crystal ball said that he would be a 30 HR, 25 SB player in high A, and next season lead the minors in HRs in AA and AAA, would that be meeting, not-meeting, or exceeding expectations from a top 5-10 ranked prospect?I'd say likely exceeding.So in other words, we will be ecstatic if Kirilloff does what Palka did, yet the sure thing that has done that is ranked lower.

 

Just some food for thought.

 

    • DocBauer and KidBro like this

I think the problem with Palka / Kiriloff comparisons is that Palka's weak spots - plate discipline - is a real issue that Kiriloff hasn't shown.  Everyone knew Palka (and ABW) could hit the ball a mile.  Frankly, the minors are full of hitters with plus or even plus plus power that never made it because they couldn't hit ML caliber pitching.

 

I like Palka a lot and I think it was one of Ryan's sneaky trades.  I'm actually optimistic on him and think he'll be a solid ML for a few seasons.  But Kiriloff has the much higher ceiling, even if he's farther away.  I think he's the better prospect. 

    • Mike Sixel, nicksaviking, ThejacKmp and 2 others like this

another part of the list I like, if not LOVE.

 

I think Jorge and Chargois are legit MLB RPs, it's really a question of floor vs ceiling on where you rank them, imo. But those two play in the majors for sure (barring injury, of course). Garver will also play in the majors for more than a cup of coffee.

 

I think Wade is one of those guys that is always under rated. Does everything well, few weaknesses. The ceiling isn't there, but the floor is way up on the 2nd level....I think he plays some MLB ball, just not sure how much.

 

Palka is probably the highest ceiling guy here, but that hole in his swing needs some plugging. for me, the question is also, can he play defense at all (and at 1B or OF)?

    • gunnarthor, Vanimal46 and D.C Twins like this
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Poli_Crandall
Feb 10 2017 09:30 AM

 

Hard to argue with any of that.

 

I have Jorge a tad lower because at this point I see him more as a reliever.Not convinced that he will be an MLB starter (which is ok, see what Rogers has done, I'll take that from Jorge.)

 

Philosophical question, comparing 2 LH OFs:

 

Apparently Kirilloff is in the top 10.If someone's crystal ball said that he would be a 30 HR, 25 SB player in high A, and next season lead the minors in HRs in AA and AAA, would that be meeting, not-meeting, or exceeding expectations from a top 5-10 ranked prospect?I'd say likely exceeding.So in other words, we will be ecstatic if Kirilloff does what Palka did, yet the sure thing that has done that is ranked lower.

 

Just some food for thought.

Palka was a college hitter coming into the draft while Kirilloff came out of high school.  You have to think of the age at the level that they are competing in.  Alex Kirilloff will be much younger then Palka was when starting out in A ball (19 compared to 23).  Thats a big difference.  Palka has always been older then his competition while conversely Kirilloff has been younger. 

    • Mike Sixel, gunnarthor, nicksaviking and 2 others like this

 

Hard to argue with any of that.

 

I have Jorge a tad lower because at this point I see him more as a reliever.Not convinced that he will be an MLB starter (which is ok, see what Rogers has done, I'll take that from Jorge.)

 

Philosophical question, comparing 2 LH OFs:

 

Apparently Kirilloff is in the top 10.If someone's crystal ball said that he would be a 30 HR, 25 SB player in high A, and next season lead the minors in HRs in AA and AAA, would that be meeting, not-meeting, or exceeding expectations from a top 5-10 ranked prospect?I'd say likely exceeding.So in other words, we will be ecstatic if Kirilloff does what Palka did, yet the sure thing that has done that is ranked lower.

 

Just some food for thought.

 

You literally ranked them w/in 1 of each other.....

 

You literally ranked them w/in 1 of each other.....

 

Yes.That's the point. Palka's floor is much higher than Kirilloff's whose ceiling is higher than Palka's, but Palka's floor is not that bad.

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Physics Guy
Feb 10 2017 10:13 AM

 

Yes.That's the point. Palka's floor is much higher than Kirilloff's whose ceiling is higher than Palka's, but Palka's floor is not that bad.

Isn't Palka's floor never making it to MLB?  He's probably better than ABW, but not by much.  ABW will probably never see time in the majors.  I get the sense that Palka will get a chance with the Twins, but he better take advantage of it when he gets it.  I doubt he gets to hang around as much as Vargas has.  From what I've read about Kirilloff, his defense is not an issue and may be above average, not true of Palka.  Kirilloff had a 13.7% K rate vs. 32.7% for Palka.  That's a huge difference.

    • Mike Sixel, gunnarthor, nicksaviking and 2 others like this

 

They are developing Garver.... He'll get every day at-bats in AAA while Murphy or Gimenez finds at-bats when they can behind Castro. 

If Castro is hurt for a long period of time, Garver should and probably will get the call to be the every day MLB catcher. 

There is a point where that develop has to be in the bigs.  No catcher should be behind the plate seven days a week and Garver is now of an age where we should be hitting his peak performance. 

    • Mike Sixel, Danchat and rghrbek like this

 

There is a point where that develop has to be in the bigs.  No catcher should be behind the plate seven days a week and Garver is now of an age where we should be hitting his peak performance. 

I agree, but that point is not right now for Garver IMO... He's had 76 ABs in AAA. Last year was his first full season above A ball. I'm not concerned about his age considering he was drafted at 22 years old.

He'll develop more in the minors instead of the alternative - playing once every 5 games in the majors.  

    • Mike Sixel, ThejacKmp and mikelink45 like this

 

I agree, but that point is not right now for Garver IMO... He's had 76 ABs in AAA. Last year was his first full season above A ball. I'm not concerned about his age considering he was drafted at 22 years old.

He'll develop more in the minors instead of the alternative - playing once every 5 games in the majors.  

My last thought on this is that when we draft college players - especially in their senior year they are supposed to be on a quicker path to the majors.  The fact that he was 22 was a factor of 4 years playing at New Mexico. 

There are some guys on this list who have some real upside.  

    • DocBauer and D.C Twins like this

 

They are developing Garver.... He'll get every day at-bats in AAA while Murphy or Gimenez finds at-bats when they can behind Castro. 

If Castro is hurt for a long period of time, Garver should and probably will get the call to be the every day MLB catcher. 

 

Agreed. Gimenez was brought in because of JRM, not Garver. I support the FO wanting Garver to play everyday in AAA and work on his receiving a bit more. I'm hopeful that JRM has the edge on Gimenez because he offers upside but I like that they have another option for backup catcher that isn't "Garver sitting on the bench most days".

 

Next year, a Garver/Castro platoon looks really nice with it tilting towards Garver as he gets more comfortable at the MLB level. 

    • diehardtwinsfan and Vanimal46 like this

 

I think the problem with Palka / Kiriloff comparisons is that Palka's weak spots - plate discipline - is a real issue that Kiriloff hasn't shown.  Everyone knew Palka (and ABW) could hit the ball a mile.  Frankly, the minors are full of hitters with plus or even plus plus power that never made it because they couldn't hit ML caliber pitching.

 

I like Palka a lot and I think it was one of Ryan's sneaky trades.  I'm actually optimistic on him and think he'll be a solid ML for a few seasons.  But Kiriloff has the much higher ceiling, even if he's farther away.  I think he's the better prospect. 

 

Agreed. Hard to see Palka being an opening day starter for even three years, let alone 5-6 years like you can project for Kiriloff. That K rate is just troublesome and unless he can cut it in AAA, he seems like a 4th OF or platoon DH or 1B at best. That's not a bad thing to get for Chris Hermann, I'm not complaining. But I'd say that Palka is rated a bit too high even.

 

Isn't Palka's floor never making it to MLB?  

 

Sure.But Kirilloff's floor is Matt Moses, which is much less that Palka has already achieved.

 

Sure.But Kirilloff's floor is Matt Moses, which is much less that Palka has already achieved.

 

I mean, every minor league player's floor is Matt Moses. Kirilloff has a way higher ceiling and the only reason his floor is lower is that he's five years younger. Palka is already potentially hitting his head on the ceiling. That power is nice but the AAA to MLB jump is tough for someone who K's as much as he does. I'm excited to see Palka in AAA but I'll be paying little to no attention to his power numbers - I want to see him get that K rate low enough that I can be excited about him as more than a September bench bat who goes on a power binge before pitchers adjust to him.

    • Mike Sixel and gunnarthor like this
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diehardtwinsfan
Feb 10 2017 02:24 PM

On Jorge, he needs to get more Ks. His stats have been pretty good, but that K rate is too low. Given his age, there's room to improve, but I don't think that rank is unreasonable at all. I like guys like Jay and Romero much more than Jorge.

 

If I remember right on Wade, he would have been drafted much higher had it not been for that injury. Personally, given how few of those mid-to late round picks make it, I like the strategy of taking guys who would have been higher picks but fall due to injury. Wade is a guy I hope starts in AA. He's another CF as well, which makes me think he can provide above average defense at the corner.

100% honest, I was impressed with what Walker produced, power and RBI and a sense of consistency through his 5 milb seasons. I was tantalize by what he might produce if he could continue to produce at the same level, overall, and maintain his level of production the majors. And I kept hearing his arm was good and he was a great athlete, and in time his defense would catch up and he'd be at least OK in that department.

But I am kind of tired of the Walker vs Palka comparisons.

I am not going to do the research for every single statistical comparison to the two. But I have looked at the most basic numbers between them. Overall, 5 milb seasons for Walker vs Palka's 4:

Walker: .251BA/ .310OB/ .487SLG/ .796OPS
Palka: .273BA/ .350OB/ .508SLG/ .859OPS

SB and SB% almost identical, though Palka has a couple more in one less season.

Not saying Palka will be good, much less great,but thus far, he ranks ahead of Walker in BA, OB%, SLG% and OPS. Same age within days of one another, one less season of time for Palka. Can we stop with the comparisons? Palka seems to clearly be a better prospect.
    • Thrylos and diehardtwinsfan like this

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