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2015 Twins Daily Top Prospect Summary

Last month, Twins Daily posted its Top 20 Prospects. In previous years, we had just done the Top 10, but the Twins system is so strong that we felt that we should highlight twice as many prospects this year. In reviewing the prospect list, there are several very interesting topics that came up.
The first thing that became apparent were that there were a few clear groupings that create some interesting discussion.

THE ELITE PROSPECTS

2014 was a rough year for Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano. Buxton suffered from several injuries and never was able to get into any sort of rhythm. Miguel Sano missed the entire season with Tommy John surgery. However, elite tools are elite tools.

Byron Buxton not only remained the #1 prospect in the Twins farm system, but he ranked #1 or #2 in all of the major national prospect rankings as well. Why? His elite tools, his speed, his defense and his arm. Meanwhile, most believe in his hit tool and believe he will be able to hit some home runs too.

Miguel Sano has as much power as anyone in minor league baseball, including Cubs’ 3B prospect Kris Bryant. His missed season does not change that. Sure, it may make some question his ability to throw as hard, but he had an ‘80’ arm before, so if he lost a little zip, he’s probably still got ‘70’ arm strength. Questions regarding his ability to play 3B are no more or less than a year ago. Sano remained a top 20 prospect in baseball.

The hope for both of these guys is that they can be organization-changing talents. They are both still just 21 years old and have plenty of time.

THE THREE TOP PITCHERS

Twins Daily’s final ranking had Jose Berrios at #3, Kohl Stewart at #4, and Alex Meyer at #5. However, we all acknowledge that there could be compelling arguments to ranking each ahead and behind each other. All three of these guys were Top 10 prospects one year ago. Berrios was the choice for Twins pitcher of the year in 2014 after pitching at three levels, pitching in the Florida State League All -Star Game and the Futures Game. Stewart fought injuries again and a lack of strikeouts, but he’s still just 20 years old and has as much potential as anyone if he can be healthy. Meyer is clearly the closest to the big leagues and has a chance to be a top of the rotation starter soonest, possibly by late 2015. All have a chance to be good MLB pitchers.

THE MIDDLE INFIELDERS

Jorge Polanco became the youngest player to debut with the Twins since Joe Mauer in 2004 when he was called up as a 20 year old in May. Nick Gordon was the Twins top draft pick in 2015, a shortstop out of high school with great baseball genetics. He clearly has the higher upside, but also presents a larger risk because he has a long way to go.

CLOSE TO THE BIG LEAGUES

The Twins have struggled over the past four years. There’s no questioning that. They have had a top-five draft pick each of the last three seasons. All three of those players rank in the Twins Daily top-six prospects. Twins fans, understandably, want to start seeing the fruits of the Twins strong farm system and player development in recent years.

For each of the Top 10 prospects, we added an ETA in their profile. Two of the Top 10 prospects debuted in 2014 (Polanco and May). The year 2015 was shown as the ETA for seven of the Top 10 prospects, and in reality, it is possible that as many as eight of the Top 10 could debut with the Twins in 2015. The only two that really have little opportunity to debut in 2015 would be Kohl Stewart and Nick Gordon, the last two first-round draft picks out of high school.

MORE TOP 10 TIDBITS
  • In the Top 10, we had five hitters and five pitchers.
  • All five pitchers are right-handed. Should that be a concern? Probably not. Lefties Lewis Thorpe (#11), Stephen Gonsalves (#13) and Taylor Rogers (#15) are all found among prospects 11 through 15.
  • Two relief pitchers made the Top 20. Nick Burdi (#10) and Jake Reed (#18) were both 2014 Twins' draft picks. Burdi was the team’s second round pick out of Louisville, and Reed was their fifth round pick out of Oregon.
  • The oldest player among the Top 20 is Trevor May (#9). He was the only one on the list not to be born in the 90s. The 25-year-old was born in September of 1989. Alex Meyer was close, born January 3, 1990.
  • The youngest player among the Top 20 is Amaurys Minier (#20) turned 19 just over a month ago. Thorpe turned 19 in late November. Nick Gordon turned 19 in late October.
  • Who is on the Twins 40-man roster? Miguel Sano (2), Alex Meyer (5), Jorge Polanco (7), Eddie Rosario (8), Trevor May (9) and Max Kepler (12).
  • Who were non-roster invitees to Minnesota Twins' spring training? Byron Buxton (1), Jose Berrios (3), Taylor Rogers (15), Tyler Duffey (16) and Stuart Turner (17).
  • Who was next? In our rankings and discussion, Chih-Wei Hu would have been Prospect #21 had we chosen to extend the list beyond 20. Others who were strongly considered included (alphabetically) C Mitch Garver, RHP JR Graham, RHP Zack Jones and RHP Aaron Slegers.
TD Top Prospects 16-20
TD Top Prospects 11-15
TD Top Prospect #10: Nick Burdi
TD Top Prospect #9: Trevor May
TD Top Prospect #8: Eddie Rosario
TD Top Prospect #7: Jorge Polanco
TD Top Prospect #6: Nick Gordon
TD Top Prospect #5: Alex Meyer
TD Top Prospect #4: Kohl Stewart
TD Top Prospect #3: Jose Berrios
TD Top Prospect #2: Miguel Sano
TD Top Prospect #1: Byron Buxton


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14 Comments

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AlwaysinModeration
Mar 02 2015 10:33 PM
That's one helluva system. Add in Wander Javier and Brady Aiken, and they will be all set.
    • nytwinsfan likes this
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clutterheart
Mar 03 2015 01:19 AM
Is it too optimistic to hope that 4 players graduate from prospect status to MLB regulars this year? (May Meyer Rosario and Sano)

If that happens it means the big league club might have some struggles, but I would still like to see those kids play.
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diehardtwinsfan
Mar 03 2015 06:29 AM
I think May graduates. Meyer will get some time, not sure if it will be enough to graduate. Really not sure on Sano and Rosario. Sano is going to need some time to shake off the rust and needs to show that his contact issues in 2013 were more due to impatience than anything else. Rosario has yet to prove he can hit advanced pitching. Other than May, I think the guy who is most likely to graduate at some point this year is Burdi.
    • HitInAPinch likes this
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HitInAPinch
Mar 03 2015 08:46 AM

Would be nice to see an add-on to this article on how the prospects in camp are doing so far.Example:How is Sano's arm?Has the scar tissue "broken" yet?

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lightfoot789
Mar 03 2015 09:45 AM

I'm anxious to see how Duffy does this year.He quietly goes about his business and gets the job done. Don't be surprised if he continues to get promoted at a quick pace.He actually has risen faster than anyone from that 2012 draft class.    Just saying............Tyler Duffy

Tyler DuffEy went to a pretty well regarded baseball college and is already 24.  I hope they move him through fairly quickly. He's got the traditional Twins combo going as well, not a lot of Ks and not a lot of walks. :-)

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DAM DC Twins Fans
Mar 03 2015 03:45 PM

I have enjoyed reading about the great Twins prospects here on Twins Daily for the past several years.I have been watching baseball for almost 60 years and in that time I have learned that most prospects become suspects.So don't count on all of these guys to make it...most wont...

 

On the Aaron Gleeman thread somebody broke down the prospect list into 6 categories--here are my 5...

 

HOF quality--if we are lucky one will emerge from this group of 20

Star--like Torri(version 1)--again if we are lucky one (or possibly 2) will emerge

Regular (I use Cuddyer or Dozer here)--hopefully 3-5 including pitchers

Hanger on--go with one of the Chris (Parmalee, Callobello)

Suspects--if we are lucky--less than half.

 

If I was betting man--I would put Buxton in HOF,Sano, Meyer and Berrios in next two categories and hope we get 5 to 7 regulars.That would be a great return.Given last summer I put Rosario in suspect category...

 

Just something to think about.

I like the breakdown... My saying the last 2-3 years has been that the importance of a strong and deep minor league system is that it gives a better percentage of one or two of them becoming pretty good.

 

I'd never put someone in the Hall of Fame category. I just don't think that's fair to anyone.

I'd like to see 1 guy become a perennial All Star, get to 5-6 of them (or more) in his career.

I'd like to see 3-5 of them become solid everyday regulars, the kind that may get to 1-2 All Star games but always be a reliable player.

And then if 3-5 of them become part-timers, bullpen options, that would be great. 

 

It's fun to look at these lists 5-8 years later and just see how they look. 

    • DAM DC Twins Fans likes this
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KirbyHawk75
Mar 03 2015 09:20 PM

Great article, makes me excited for the future.

This is cool. Although I'm not exactly sure about his methodology, which I don't see on this page, but this guy attempts to aggregate all of the prospect rankings published for each team, presumably by assigning points for finish on each list. He has done it for quite a few Twins lists (18 by my count - but no Gleeman).

 

https://stealofhome....-prospect-list/

 

1Byron BuxtonCF797100 0
2Miguel Sano3B786980
3Jose BerriosRHP748903
4Alex MeyerRHP74794-1
5Kohl StewartRHP73995-1
6Nick GordonSS724931st Round
7Jorge Polanco2B653420
8Nick BurdiRHP614822nd Round
9Lewis ThorpeLHP58788-1
10Eddie RosarioCF54386-5
11Trevor MayRHP469 -2
12Max KeplerLF460 -1
13Stephen GonsalvesLHP45242-1
14Amaurys MinierLHP318 14
15Travis HarrisonLF309 -2
16Adam WalkerRF290 -1
17Stuart TurnerC280 4
18Jake ReedRHP234 5th Round
19Chih-Wei HuRHP210 Unranked last year
20 Michael CederothRHP183 3rd Round
21Felix JorgeRHP111 -5
22Taylor RogersLHP101 8
23Mason MelotakisLHP68 1
24Mitch GarverC66  
24Tyler DuffeyRHP66 14
26Fernando RomeroRHP59 -7
27Lewin Diaz1B42  
28J.R. GrahamRHP40 Rule 5 from Braves
29J.T. ChargoisRHP39 16
30Levi Michael2B36 30
 

Interesting question. I was asked where I would rank Wandy Javier. For me, I would rank him #11 initially, but I think he's the type that after a year of short-season ball, he could be a Top 5 guy.

 

The other interesting question is, if the Twins were to draft Brady Aiken, where would he rank in this list? For me, probably #3 (after Sano, before the pitchers).

 

What do you think?

Interesting question. I was asked where I would rank Wandy Javier. For me, I would rank him #11 initially, but I think he's the type that after a year of short-season ball, he could be a Top 5 guy.

 

The other interesting question is, if the Twins were to draft Brady Aiken, where would he rank in this list? For me, probably #3 (after Sano, before the pitchers).

 

What do you think?

I would agree Aiken would rank 3rd, unless Meyer starts of the year in AAA scorching hot (i.e. goes into the 7th routinely and drops his walk rate to 2.5 per 9 innings). I would probably put Javier down at like 15-20, just because I think there is so much risk with a 16 yo, and as Parker pointed out, his swing needs a lot of work.

Since this is a prospect discussion, a little tidbit about Buxton's offseason:

 

Got Milk?

 

Interesting question. I was asked where I would rank Wandy Javier. For me, I would rank him #11 initially, but I think he's the type that after a year of short-season ball, he could be a Top 5 guy.

 

The other interesting question is, if the Twins were to draft Brady Aiken, where would he rank in this list? For me, probably #3 (after Sano, before the pitchers).

 

What do you think?

 

Aiken would be 3rd for me as well. Which say how good Buxton and Sano are, because I'd say for at least 1/3 of the teams, he'd become the top prospect in their system. 


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