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2018 Twins Midseason Top Prospect List: 21-25

First-round picks carry a lot of weight in any organization. Some teams are consistently making strong picks but the art of drafting players can be a tough endeavor. If a team misses out multiple first-round picks, there can be a void near the top of an organization’s prospect rankings.

In Twins Daily’s updated top-40 prospect list, two former first-round picks fall into the 21-25 range. Each of them was a top-10 prospect as recently as 2017. Their fall in the rankings is connected to multiple factors but each of them has the potential to help the Twins at some point in the future.
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily (graphics by Finn Pearson)
25. Tyler Jay – LHP
Age: 24
ETA: 2018
2018 Stats (AA): 1-1, 3.64 ERA, 1.58 WHIP, 29.2 IP, 35 H, 12 BB, 26 K
2018 Ranking: 19 | 2017 Ranking: 5
Seth: 30 | Tom: 26 | Cody: 26
Jay was Minnesota’s first-round pick back in 2015 and he was taken with the intention of turning him into a starting pitcher. That plan didn’t work and he has since shifted to a bullpen role. His first 10 appearances (16.2 IP) this season resulted in a 1.62 ERA with a 13 to 7 strikeout to walk ratio. Over his next eight appearances (13.0 IP), things haven’t gone as smoothly. He has allowed nine earned runs and opponents are hitting .321/.377/.571 against him. At the University of Illinois, Jay was a shutdown relief pitcher and he has the potential and pitches to get there again. However, fans haven’t seen that version of Jay in the Twins organization.

24. Felix Jorge – RHP
Age: 24
ETA: 2017
2018 Stats (AA/GCL): 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.67 WHIP, 3.0 IP, 2 H, 0 BB, 2 K
2018 Ranking: 20 | 2017 Ranking: 12
Seth: 37 | Tom: 24 | Cody: 18
We compiled these rankings prior to Jorge being designated for assignment. He's since been released.

23. Kohl Stewart – RHP
Age: 23
ETA: 2018
2018 Stats (AA): 3-4, 4.76 ERA, 1.54 WHIP, 68.0 IP, 84 H, 21 BB, 71 K
2018 Ranking: NR | 2017 Ranking: 8
Seth: 31 | Tom: 22 | Cody: 25
Minnesota took Stewart with the fourth pick of the 2013 MLB draft with hopes of turning this strong athlete into an elite pitcher. He has been slowly making his way through the Twins system and he even made one start with Rochester last season. Consistency has been the biggest issue for Stewart. His pitching performance has been up and down and he currently sits on the temporary inactive list after being limited to four starts in June. Stewart has his highest strikeout per nine total since his professional debut season (9.4 K/9) and his walks per nine is lower than his career average (2.8 BB/9). Stewart is still only 23 and he might finally be showing signs of putting it all together.

22. Landon Leach – RHP
Age: 18
ETA: 2022
2018 Stats (Rookie): Has Not Played
2018 Ranking: NR | 2017 Ranking: NR
Seth: 28 | Tom: 25 | Cody: 20
Leach, a Canadian native, was taken by the Twins in the second round of the 2017 MLB draft and he made his pro debut with the GCL Twins. In five appearances (13.1 IP), he allowed five earned runs and posted a 10 to 6 strikeout to walk ratio. He’s on the GCL Twins roster now but he is starting the season on the disabled list. He throws hard with a mid-90s fastball and multiple off-speed offerings including a curve and a changeup. His secondary pitches need some work but he was a multi-star athlete in high school and his natural athleticism make him very projectable.

21. Jose Miranda – 2B/3B
Age: 20
ETA: 2021
2018 Stats (Low-A): .255/.308/.405 (.713), 16-2B, 1-3B, 7-HR
2018 Ranking: NR | 2017 Ranking: NR
Seth: 17 | Tom: 18 | Cody: 30
Miranda debuted in the GCL after being drafted in the second round of the 2016 MLB draft out of Puerto Rico. With the E-Twins last season, he hit .283/.340/.484 with 21 extra-base hits in 54 games. This season he has played the entire year at Cedar Rapids where he has continued his trend of being over a year younger than the competition. He started this season slowly with the Kernels as he hit .170/.230/.259 through the team’s first 30 games. As a right-handed hitter, his OPS is over .800 against left-handed pitching so most of his issues have come against righties. He has started to come on as of late and he has plenty of power potential.

What are your thoughts on the latest set of rankings? Who’s ranked too high? Who’s ranked too low? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

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13 Comments

Jay's too high. he's 24 and can't get out AA hitters as a RP. Awful pick, and not in hindsight.

 

Stewart? I have no idea, but it's possible he's one of those guys that induces soft contact....we can hope.

 

I have no idea why Jorge was cut, or whatever, even after clearing waivers. must be something....though I always figured he had to move to RP sooner rather than later.

    • Twins33, rghrbek, Tomj14 and 1 other like this

Really expect Miranda to move up these rankings over the next year.Have him penciled into my Twins lineup at third base by sometime in late 2021.

 

Leach just needs to pitch!

This is puzzling, we draft a relief pitcher, change him to a starter, then change him back to relief and now he has the Dozier syndrome - half great/half horrible.Not expecting much from him.Kohl Stewart is annually a mystery and eventually it will be a mystery why we drafted him in the first round.Felix Jorge looks like the best of the bunch - oh never mind we just cut him.Leach is a shiny new thing so he might be good, but then he is on the disabled list.  

 

Let's hope Miranda does something. Looking forward to some good players in the top 20.

Strange to release the 24th best prospect huh?

    • ken and caninatl04 like this

 

Jay's too high. he's 24 and can't get out AA hitters as a RP. Awful pick, and not in hindsight.

 

Stewart? I have no idea, but it's possible he's one of those guys that induces soft contact....we can hope.

 

I have no idea why Jorge was cut, or whatever, even after clearing waivers. must be something....though I always figured he had to move to RP sooner rather than later.

Jay was certainly a bad pick, and made worse by the fact that they signed him for the full slot value. It would have been one thing if they would have saved $1.5M+ and used that money elsewhere in the draft.

 

I think Jay's ranking really depends on the quality of his stuff right now (which I don't have any information at the moment). If he is still touching 95 from the left side, he is probably ranked appropriately despite the mediocre results.

 

Regarding Stewart, he is certainly inducing a lot of ground balls this year. In all of AA, he is 3rd in GB%. Results aren't there, but he does have a .389 BABIP, so maybe just unlucky? Do you think he gets added to the 40-man this offseason?

    • birdwatcher likes this

I hate to talk poorly about prospects, but man Tyler Jay was a horrible pick.

 

Pretty weird that a guy can go from making a couple spot starts on the big league team in his first option year to being released the next year. Was Jorge's recovery going really badly?

Photo
108Stitches
Jul 06 2018 08:50 AM
Are you sure you didn’t mistake the last set of guys with this set? Personally I take Wells and Jax over Jay and Stewart all day any day.
    • Mike Sixel, Dman, caninatl04 and 1 other like this

 

Are you sure you didn’t mistake the last set of guys with this set? Personally I take Wells and Jax over Jay and Stewart all day any day.

For what it's worth, I'd still take Stewart - he is only one month older than Jax.

    • Vanimal46 and jkcarew like this

 

I have no idea why Jorge was cut, or whatever, even after clearing waivers. must be something....though I always figured he had to move to RP sooner rather than later.

maybe they thought the same thing and he was behind all of the other relief pitchers on the 40 man?

Good thing the person who bought into the strategy of drafting relievers and convert them to starters is no longer here.

2 good months of Duffey in 2015 is all we got from that strategy. Along with multiple blown arms.
    • Mike Sixel, Danchat, rghrbek and 1 other like this
I concur- I am much more excited by 26-30 than by 21-25.

I concur- I am much more excited by 26-30 than by 21-25.


You know what, I have to admit I feel the same way. At least at first. And then I thought about it for a while and ran some things through my head. And afterward, I'm not so sure. These 5 guys are about projection.

Jay may be a washout. But how many times have we seen a big arm just "get it" after a few seasons? With just a little more consistency, that arm is still plus.

The same could be said for Stewart. He was a top selection with a huge arm, all the athletic talent in the world, and we were all tempted to think we drafted a big horse #1 SP. He has teased and frustrated the hell out of us. We've heard report after report about velocity and weak contact. And we've also heard, over and over, about how he was football first and was still very raw as a pitcher. (Also heard a few innuendos about attitude and maturity). And now, here he is, on a bit of a hot streak, at the ancient age of 23, hitting AAA with the highest SO numbers of his career. Maybe he simply has been a longer term project than we hoped.

Leach is a big project, with projectability, and I think we all know that. Think Balazovic, also from the baseball hotbed of Canada.

Miranda should bring excitement and optimism.

Not trying to spin things. Just taking a step back and looking closer at this group. Jay is 24. Sucks he isn't already what we hoped for. But what if he's 26 in 2020 and rocking it in the pen? Not the SP we hoped for when drafted, but what if he's a big cog in the pen then? Would still be a quality contributor.
    • beckmt likes this

You know what, I have to admit I feel the same way. At least at first. And then I thought about it for a while and ran some things through my head. And afterward, I'm not so sure. These 5 guys are about projection. Jay may be a washout. But how many times have we seen a big arm just "get it" after a few seasons? With just a little more consistency, that arm is still plus.The same could be said for Stewart. He was a top selection with a huge arm, all the athletic talent in the world, and we were all tempted to think we drafted a big horse #1 SP. He has teased and frustrated the hell out of us. We've heard report after report about velocity and weak contact. And we've also heard, over and over, about how he was football first and was still very raw as a pitcher. (Also heard a few innuendos about attitude and maturity). And now, here he is, on a bit of a hot streak, at the ancient age of 23, hitting AAA with the highest SO numbers of his career. Maybe he simply has been a longer term project than we hoped.Leach is a big project, with projectability, and I think we all know that. Think Balazovic, also from the baseball hotbed of Canada.Miranda should bring excitement and optimism. Not trying to spin things. Just taking a step back and looking closer at this group. Jay is 24. Sucks he isn't already what we hoped for. But what if he's 26 in 2020 and rocking it in the pen? Not the SP we hoped for when drafted, but what if he's a big cog in the pen then? Would still be a quality contributor.


What if the guys before them are great? I mean, that's basically your argument to some extent....

At this point, they are all major question marks, and pretty much rated the same. It hurts this team a lot how bad, so far, these two high picks have been. If Gordon washes out, that's potentially a very bad streak of number one picks.

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