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Article: Supplementing the Twins: Lance Lynn

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Article: Sizing Up The 2017-18 Offseason

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Go Bold: Trade for Gerrit Cole

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Used to be, time of game didn't bother me.

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Then I partially watched game five between the Yankees and Indians. Close to four hours for a nine inning game. And the strikeouts. 31...
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Cody's Top Prospects: 1-5

With the season fast approaching, I have been spending time reviewing the top prospects in the Twins system. There are plenty of players to be excited about in the years to come. Here's a recap of the previous posts:

Prospects 11-20

Prospects 6-10

A year after players like Byron Buxton and Max Kepler impacted the big league squad, there's a chance that none of the players below will debut this year. Who will be number one?
Image courtesy of Linwood Ferguson, Captive Photons
5. Tyler Jay, LHP
Age: 22/ Highest Level: Double-A
Jay's first five 2016 starts were rough as he was knocked around for 11 earned runs in 19.1 innings. He failed to pitch more than five innings in any of these starts and opponents were getting on base 33% of the time. Over his next 38.1 frames, he posted a 0.70 ERA with 42 strikeouts and nine walks. He went 4-2 during this stretch as batters were held to a .OPS of under .500. He made his Double-A debut on July 10 and over his next two starts he allowed eight earned runs across 10 innings. His final three appearances came out of the Lookouts’ bullpen where he allowed one earned run on three hits. Jay, a left-handed pitcher, struck out lefties in 22 of their 66 at-bats while limiting them to a .645 OPS. Right-handed batters hit .249/.306/.355 with a 55 to 18 strikeout to walk ratio. His season would be done on July 30 after dealing with some neck and shoulder issues. In August, doctors diagnosed him with neuropraxia, or nerve irritation, in his neck.

4. Alex Kirilloff, OF
Age: 19/ Highest Level: Rookie
The Twins recently announced Kirilloff will miss the entire 2017 season as he will be undergoing Tommy John surgery. This takes little away from his promising future. Kirilloff skipped the GCL and headed to the Appy League. He was 2.5 years younger than the competition at this level. In fact, he never faced a pitcher younger than himself in over 230 plate appearances. He came out hitting well in his first full month as a professional. He batted .373 with a .919 OPS for the month of July. This included four home runs and seven doubles. He cooled a little in August as his average dipped to .232 but he was still getting on base over 30% of the time with six extra-base hits. Kirilloff, a left-handed batter, posted an OPS that was 155 points higher against right-handed pitching. Kirilloff started games at all three outfield positions and the majority of his appearances came in right field. In the outfield, he combined for four errors in 86 chances with seven assists.

3. Fernando Romero, RHP
Age: 22/ Highest Level: High-A
Romero made his presence known on his return to the mound in 2016. Even after missing all of 2015, he was almost a year younger than the competition in the Midwest League and he was over two years younger than FSL opponents. This resulted in 85% of his at-bats coming against older batters. He started the year by making five starts for the Kernels. He allowed six earned runs over 28 innings (1.93 ERA) with 25 strikeouts and five walks. Near the end of June, he was promoted to Fort Myers where he allowed seven earned runs across 29 innings (five starts). He posted a 26-to-5 strikeout to walk ratio while holding batters to a .225 average. From July 23 to August 25, he compiled a 1.62 ERA with 39 strikeouts in 33.1 innings. Left-handed batters struck out in 29% of their at-bats. He struck out 26 or more batters in every month where he made four starts or more. For the season, he set career best marks in wins, innings pitched, strikeouts, and WHIP. He made it an easy decision for the Twins to add him to the 40-man roster at season’s end

2. Stephen Gonsalves, LHP
Age: 22/ Highest Level: Double-A
For the third consecutive season, Gonsalves split time between two different levels. His first 11 starts came back in the FSL, where he finished the 2015 campaign. After allowing three runs in his first outing, he allowed three runs over his next six starts (36.2 IP). Overall at High-A, he had a 2.33 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP and a 66 to 20 strikeout to walk ratio. Gonslaves had one bad Double-A start in his second appearance (6 ERs in 3.2 IP) before going on a dominant stretch for the rest of the season. Across 65.2 IP, he allowed seven earned runs (0.96 ERA) with 75 strikeouts and a 0.95 WHIP. He held opponents to batting .144/.263/.177 during that stretch. Batters never hit higher than .228 against him in any month. He struck out 20 batters or more in any month he made at least three starts. Over 80% of his at-bats came against older batters. Even though he is a lefty, left-handed batters hit 20 points higher than righties but they also struck out in 34% of their at-bats.

1. Nick Gordon, SS
Age: 21/ Highest Level: High-A
For the third consecutive season, Gordon was over two years younger than the competition. In 494 total at-bats, he faced a younger pitcher twice. At the beginning of the season, only three players were younger than him in the FSL. Gordon got the season off to a good start as he hit .333/.363/.483 with nine extra-base hits in April. He ended June on a nine game hit streak. July saw him set season highs with 17 runs and 20 RBI. He got on base over 31% of the time in every month except August. Gordon, a left-handed batter, hit .315/.356/.431 against righties. A year after stealing 25 bases, he stole 19 and was caught 13 times. Overall, he had 35 multi-hit games and reached base in 74% of the games he played. After posting fielding percentages of over .960 in both of his professional seasons, he saw that number dip to .952. He was charged with 24 errors in 503 chances. Gordon carried over his strong regular season to the Arizona Fall League. As one of the younger players in the 2016 AFL, he hit .346/.418/.444 with six extra-base hits and 15 runs in 21 games.

Who is too high? Is anyone too low? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.


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12 Comments

The link for the "Prospects 6-10" article seems to be broken,

I am a big fan of Romero. Possible #1 starter. 

Don't know if the 'stuff' Gonsalves has will play in MLB higher than a 4 or 5.

Tyler Jay occurs as a long shot to hit his ceiling, but his ceiling is a 1 or 2.

I'm starting to warm up to Nick Gordon.

Fun list Cody. Thank you

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tarheeltwinsfan
Mar 16 2017 09:36 AM
Since he was drafted as a SS and is being groomed as a SS, and since I feel SS is the most important defensive position on the field, and since the Twins have a critical need for a good defensive SS, having used 10 different SS's on opening day the last 11 years, I'm more interested in Gordon's fielding than I am his hitting. How do you rank his fielding as a SS?
    • ScrapTheNickname and gagu like this
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Lee-The-Twins-Fan
Mar 16 2017 10:57 AM

Fun list, thank you.

 

As for the final five, I'd swap Romero and Gordon. Romero has the stuff to be a No. 1, and Gordon is really good, but feels more like a No. 3.

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ashburyjohn
Mar 16 2017 02:38 PM

The link for the "Prospects 6-10" article seems to be broken,

I fixed it in the Forums version. I don't have edit permission on the Article version. A quirk of the system, it seems.

Move Romero to #1 and everyone else down a notch
    • Oldgoat_MN likes this
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Deduno Abides
Mar 16 2017 07:43 PM
Thank you for not mentioning Gordon's lineage as support for your ranking of him and for instead focusing on his success at a young age against the competition.
    • Mike Sixel, Oldgoat_MN and HitInAPinch like this

 

Since he was drafted as a SS and is being groomed as a SS, and since I feel SS is the most important defensive position on the field, and since the Twins have a critical need for a good defensive SS, having used 10 different SS's on opening day the last 11 years, I'm more interested in Gordon's fielding than I am his hitting. How do you rank his fielding as a SS?

 

He's not Vielma good, but that's a pretty high scale. Gordon is good. A little better than average range. Average or a little better than average arm. Good instincts. He's good.

    • Oldgoat_MN likes this

 

Thank you for not mentioning Gordon's lineage as support for your ranking of him and for instead focusing on his success at a young age against the competition.

 

No one used his lineage as support for a ranking anymore. He's had 2+ seasons of pro ball of his own to go off of at this point. When people mention it, it's just for background information.

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Deduno Abides
Mar 17 2017 03:31 PM

No one used his lineage as support for a ranking anymore. He's had 2+ seasons of pro ball of his own to go off of at this point. When people mention it, it's just for background information.


Sorry, I was trying to give a compliment about things I liked about the rating.

BTW, as an example, from November 29, 2016, MLB.com twitter: "He has the pedigree. Will Nick Gordon match the @MLB success of his father and brother?" Also, a bunch of articles say something like his family background causes him "to know what's needed" at "the highest levels."

Seth, you do fantastic things for Twins fans, but I guess we can disagree about whether people are still citing Gordon's lineage as a reason to have expectations for Gordon.

 

Sorry, I was trying to give a compliment about things I liked about the rating.

BTW, as an example, from November 29, 2016, MLB.com twitter: "He has the pedigree. Will Nick Gordon match the @MLB success of his father and brother?" Also, a bunch of articles say something like his family background causes him "to know what's needed" at "the highest levels."

Seth, you do fantastic things for Twins fans, but I guess we can disagree about whether people are still citing Gordon's lineage as a reason to have expectations for Gordon.

 

I would say that some do. And I would agree that he has learned a lot from Dee and Tom about the game and how to handle things... I'd say early in his career more people used his pedigree/genes as a reason he was going to be good... but like I said I think he stands fully on his own at this point. 

After a month of play, here are my top 15 Twins prospects:

1. Nick Gordon: Has raked at AA. Only 21.

2. Fernando Romero: Promoted aggressively to AA, has held his own, especially in last two starts. 

3. Mitch Garver: Raking at AAA, and everyone talking about his improved defense. Very exciting.

4. Alex Kirillof: Tommy John creates risk/delay, but not as much as it would for a pitcher.

5. Stephen Gonsalves: Still a lot of promise, but repeated shoulder problems very very worrying.

6.  Adalberto Mejia: Looks great at AAA and has the stuff for majors, just needs to refine command & efficiency.

7.  Wander Javier: Reports from extended spring training are glowing.

8. Lamonte Wade: Fantastic plate discipline/zone control at AA as 23 yo, and BABIP still low. If power improves a little he's a potential starting corner OF.

9. Tyler Jay: Obviously, move to bullpen hurts his stock.

10. Engelb Vielma: has been showing more of a bat at AA, only 22.

11. Mason Melotakis: Killing it in the bullpen. Lefty.

12. Nick Burdi: Killing it in the bullpen at AA, finally seems healthy.

13. Travis Blankenhorn: Has shown power at A-, but K/BB not great.

14. Zach Grantie: Injury problems, but floor of 4th/5th OF/PR. 

15. Daniel Palka: Most are higher on him, but although K% is down, want to see him sustain it for longer.

Honorable Mention: Nik Turley (Can a 27 yo be a prospect!?!). Clearly doing something right, given #s.

    • Deduno Abides likes this