Part 1: Seth's Updated Top 50 Prospects (41-50)
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins DailySo tonight is the first installment. Here are my choices for Twins prospects 41-50. Be sure to ask questions and share your thoughts in the comments after you’ve had a chance to read through this list.
#50 LHP Jovani Moran
The 20-year-old southpaw was the Twins seventh-round draft pick in 2015 out of Puerto Rico. He missed the 2016 season due to bone spurs in his elbow, but he had those cleaned up and went to Elizabethton in 2017. He was named the Twins Daily Short-Season Pitcher of the Year. In 24.2 innings, he walked six and struck out 45 (16.4 K/9). That didn’t include the playoffs where he starred for the Appy League champs. Will he remain in the bullpen? That’s to be determined. As E-Twins manager Ray Smith told Twins Daily, ““We didn’t want to force anything with Jovani due to his arm issues last year. I’ve never seen him being utilized in a starting role, but with this ‘stuff’ being so good, it might turn out to be his role once it’s decided that his arm will continue to be 100%””
#49 LHP Andrew Vasquez
Vasquez was the Twins 32nd-round pick in 2015 out of Division III Westmost College where he teamed with Hector Lujan. The left-hander split his 2017 season between Cedar Rapids and Ft. Myers. He combined to post a 2.02 ERA. In his 58 innings, he walked 20 and struck out 85 batters. While he works in the low-90s, he’s got a lot of movement on his fastball and has a terrific slider that gets a lot of swings and misses. (Get to know Andrew Vasquez)
#48 Alex Robinson
There are a lot of quality relief pitcher prospects in the Twins system, and when it comes to pure ceiling, Robinson might be right at the top. The left-hander consistently hits 97-98 mph with his fastball and has a devastating slider. He was the Twins fifth-round pick in 2015 out of Maryland, but he really fought his control. He spent 2015 and 2016 in Elizabethton where he struck out 67 batters in 45 innings, but he also walked 50! He began 2017 in Cedar Rapids and struck out 51 and walked 15 and struck out 51. He moved up to Ft. Myers and in 17.1 innings, he walked 13 and struck out 27. He turned 23 in August, so it is wise for the Twins to be as patient as necessary to maximize his immense talent.
#47 Tom Hackimer
Hackimer was the Twins fourth-round pick in 2016 out of St. Johns. The side-winding right-hander profiles pretty similarly to Twins rookie of the year Trevor Hildenberger. He began 2017 in Cedar Rapids where he posted a 1.50 ERA and a miniscule 0.58 WHIP in 24 innings. He then worked 37.1 innings in Ft. Myers where he posted a 1.93 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP. Combined, he walked 22 and struck out 71 batters in 61.1 innings. He is now pitching the Arizona Fall League. (Get to know Tom Hackimer, and from last week, Catch Up with him in Arizona)
#46 OF Jaylin Davis
Jaylin Davis was the Twins 24th-round pick in 2015 out of Appalachian State. He ended the 2016 season with 52 games in Cedar Rapids. That’s where he began his 2017 season as well. In 66 games for the Kernels, he hit .267/.316/.486 (.802) with 13 doubles and 12 home runs. After helping the team to a first half playoff berth, he was promoted up to Ft. Myers where he played in 59 games. He struggled, hitting just .237 with three home runs. But his power is legit. He’s a good athlete who took to playing right field in 2017. (Get to know Jaylin)
#45 JT Chargois
If you were like me, you were hoping that the 2012 second-round pick would not be on this list. In fact, I had hopes that he would be the Twins closer by midseason. Instead, he fought elbow issues throughout the entire season and did not pitch outside of two games in late April in Rochester. His mid-to-upper 90s fastball, slider, and performance last September make him incredibly intriguing, and he should probably be higher on this list. He’ll turn 27 in December. (Get to know JT.)
#44 Luke Bard
Bard was the Twins second supplemental first-round pick in 2012 out of Georgia Tech. He has really only been healthy the last two seasons. In 2016, he was known to have one of the top spin rates in the Twins system. In 2017, he was a strikeout machine. In 52.1 innings at Chattanooga, he walked 20 and struck out 78 (13.4 K/9). He moved up to Rochester where he walked four and struck out 21 batters in 13 innings (14.5 K/9). He does struggle with control and command at times, but the soon-to-be-27-year-old should be considered for a 40-man roster spot in November.
#43 OF Jean-Carlos Arias
Arias returned to the GCL in 2017 after posting a mere .531 OPS there in 2016. He broke out, hitting .298/.359/.476 (.835) with seven doubles, four triples and five home runs. He also stole ten bases. Arias has a lot of tools. He’s got speed and a strong arm. He has the potential to hit for some average, but he also has the potential to grow and add more power. Arias will turn 20 in January and should move up to Elizabethton in 2018.
#42 Trey Cabbage
Cabbage was the Twins fourth-round pick in 2015 out of high school in Tennessee. He’s missed some time the last couple of years with injury. He returned to Elizabethton to start the Appy League season, but after just 13 games, he was promoted to the Kernels where he played left field and third base. A left-hander with a smooth swing, the 20-year-old is a terrific athlete, big and strong, with a lot of power potential. He’ll have to work to put the ball in play more, but as he grows, the talent is there to be quite good. (Get to know Trey, and Catch Up with him)
#41 RHP Tyler Benninghoff
20-year-old Benninghoff was the Twins 11th-round pick in 2016 out of high school in Missouri. Almost immediately after signing, he underwent Tommy John surgery. He worked hard to rehab and returned to the GCL mound for his professional debut. He worked four innings in four outings. Benninghoff likely would have been a second or third round pick had he been healthy. He’s blessed with a strong arm and good offspeed pitches. So this ranking is fully based on projection. Hopefully he’ll be fully recovered and be able to get on the mound consistently in 2018. (Get to know Tyler)
So there you have the first installment of my Top 50 Twins Prospects. That was prospects 41-50. In the coming days, the countdown will continue.
Feel free to leave any questions or comments that you may have.
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