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Part 2: Seth's Updated Top 50 Prospects (31-40)

Last week, I began to review my Top 50 Minnesota Twins prospects by looking at prospects 41-50. That list was comprised of several nearly-ready relievers and some young players with plenty of promise.

Today, the list continues with a look at my choices for prospects 31-40. This group is kind of all over the place. There are some upper-level arms that are likely big leaguers, maybe back-end of the rotation types. There are some very young, high-risk, high-reward players as well. Injuries have been a factor in some of these rankings also.
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily
Let’s get started by reviewing prospects from 40 down to 31, starting with a left-hander selected out of Clemson in 2017.

#40 LHP Charlie Barnes

The Twins made Barnes their fourth-round pick in 2017 after three years at Clemson. Touted as one of the best changeup pitchers in the draft, Barnes made six appearances for the Elizabethton Twins and then was promoted to Cedar Rapids where he made another six starts. After working 101 innings in college, he worked 48.1 innings in pro ball. He walked 18 and struck out 46 batters in his debut. Barnes turned 22 following the minor league season.

#39 Ricky De La Torre

When the Twins used their sixth-round pick in 2017 on the shortstop, he became the highest-drafted player from the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy since Carlos Correa was the #1 overall pick in 2012. De La Torre was projected to go earlier in the draft, so the Twins were happy to swoop up the athletic, 6-2 shortstop. The 18-year-old hit .268/.341/.359 (.701) in 42 games during his pro debut. He played a bit of second base when Royce Lewis was in the GCL, but upon Lewis’s promotion, De La Torre played mostly shortstop. He should advance to E-Town in 2018.

#38 LHP Tyler Watson

The Twins acquired Watson from the Nationals at the trade deadline for Brandon Kintzler. The 20-year-old had been Washington’s 34th-round pick in 2015 out of high school in Arizona. Most believed he would go to college. He had posted a 4.35 ERA at Hagerstown (Low A) in 98 innings. In 120.1 combined innings, he walked 32, struck out 116. At 6-6, there is a lot of projection. He’s throwing a little over 90 now with good, but still developing, secondary stuff.

#37 LHP Lachlan Wells

As a 19-year-old, Lachlan Wells spent the second half of the 2016 season in Cedar Rapids. He went 6-4 with a 1.77 ERA in 12 starts. In 71.1 innings, he walked 16 and struck out 63. In 2017, he moved up to Ft. Myers where he went 4-10 with a 3.98 ERA. His peripheral numbers were all pretty similar to his numbers a year earlier. He did miss nearly two months with an elbow flexor muscle strain. He did return to the Miracle late in the season. He won’t turn 21 until late February.


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#36 RHP Jake Reed

Like Nick Burdi, Reed was a 2014 draft pick that we figured we would see before now. He dominated pro ball his first season. Since then, he has had some control issues and some injury issues that have cost him time. He was well on his way in 2017 until an oblique injury on the final day of spring training cost him the season’s first two months. He remains a legit relief pitching prospect. He has a fastball with a lot of movement at 97. He also has a darting slider.


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#35 RHP Landon Leach

Leach was a prospect who had a lot of helium as the draft approached. He had been a catcher in the Canadian youth leagues until the last couple of years when he got a shot on the mound and reached into the mid-90s with a fastball. He agreed to the terms set out by the Twins and they took him in the second round of this year’s draft. It took several weeks for Leach to get his work visa and then he headed down to Ft. Myers. He turned 18 in July and pitched in 13.1 innings over five appearances before the end of the season.

#34 RHP Aaron Slegers

Slegers was the Twins fifth-round pick in 2013 out of Indiana where he was the reigning Big 10 Pitcher of the Year. He has moved up one level each season. He received an invitation to big league spring training in 2017, and had a really nice season with the Red Wings. He went 15-4 with a 3.40 ERA. In mid-August, he made a spot start against Cleveland and responded b y giving up just two runs in 6.1 innings. He made four total appearances for the Twins. He is 6-10. He doesn’t throw real hard, sitting mostly in the low-90s but occasionally touching 94. He’s got the secondary pitches and know-how to pitch. He can be a solid back-of-the-rotation starter.

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#33 LHP Gabriel Moya

Moya came to the Twins in late July from Arizona in exchange for catcher John Ryan Murphy. At the time of the trade Moya had a 0.82 ERA and a 0.78 WHIP for Jackson (also in the AA Southern League). After the trade, he helped Chattanooga to a share of the Southern League championship. With the Lookouts, he had a 0.61 ERA and a 0.75 WHIP in 14.1 innings. When the Lookouts finished their playoff run, Moya was summoned to the big leagues. He posted a 4.26 ERA in seven games for the Twins. The left-hander has a herky-jerky, deceptive motion and delivery making his 90 mph fastball appear much faster. He has a good slider and a changeup and has a chance to be a good lefty-reliever for years. Recently, he was named MiLB.com’s minor league relief pitcher of the year.

#32 RHP Tyler Wells

Another tall starter, Wells spent most of his 2017 season in Cedar Rapids. Drafted in the 15th round in 2016 out of Cal State - San Bernadino, Wells has a good fastball. His best pitches might be his breaking balls. He has a really good 12-6 curveball, but he also has shown a really sharp slider. He was limited to 14 starts in 2017 due to a couple of stints on the disabled list with biceps tendinitis. He went 5-3 with a 3.11 ERA and 1.13 WHIP. In 75.1 innings, he walked 22 and struck out 92 (11.0 K/9).

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#31 RHP Nick Burdi

Like Reed, the assumption was that Burdi would already be on the 40-man roster, an established, dominant, late-inning reliever for the big league club.. Instead, he is now a question mark to be added to the 40-man roster in November after having Tommy John surgery early in the 2017 season. But this almost still feels too low. Yes, he’ll probably miss a majority of the 2018 season, but when he comes back from surgery, he’ll still be a reliever with upper-90s fastball and an upper-80s slider. And, he’ll only be 25 throughout the 2018 season.

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So there you have it, my choices for Twins prospects 31-40. What do you think of these choices or these rankings? Feel free to ask questions or leave your comments below.

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28 Comments

Surprised you don’t have Leach higher given his draft status
    • Mike Frasier Law, nytwinsfan and DelusionalTwinsFan like this

 

Surprised you don’t have Leach higher given his draft status

 

He's got a chance to move up quite a bit after this year. 

    • Mike Frasier Law, MN_ExPat, Respy and 1 other like this
Tyler Watson struck out 116 in 2017, not 16.
Before trade = GS 18, IP 93, H 92, K 98, BB 24
After Trade = GS 05, IP 27, H 28, K 18, BB 08

Twins have a large number of players that have some chance in the major leagues.Will be interesting on how many are exposed to the rule 5 draft.

Burdi does seem low and a number of these should move up or down based on the season.

I like Leach, Reed and Burdi among this group.Couple of the starters could make it.Might use some of them as lottery tickets as I feel the Twins need to thin some of the prospects rather than lose 3 - 4 this winter.

    • DelusionalTwinsFan likes this
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clutterheart
Nov 07 2017 05:37 AM
Hmmm
Scratching my head over this...Aaron Slegers at 34?
I agree he isn't much of a prospect but for me, his proximity to the MLB team moves him up 10 spots or so.
    • mikelink45 and Lefty74 like this

 

Tyler Watson struck out 116 in 2017, not 16.
Before trade = GS 18, IP 93, H 92, K 98, BB 24
After Trade = GS 05, IP 27, H 28, K 18, BB 08

Now corrected--editor

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diehardtwinsfan
Nov 07 2017 06:15 AM

 

Hmmm
Scratching my head over this...Aaron Slegers at 34?
I agree he isn't much of a prospect but for me, his proximity to the MLB team moves him up 10 spots or so.

 

I don't think that ranking is too far off. This is a deep system, and while Slegers is a prospect close to the majors, he's not a high ceiling guy by any means.

 

I would note that the encouraging thing is all the guys in the 30-50 range who could be contributing major leaguers in the not so distant future. Some could be pretty good.

    • birdwatcher, howieramone2, gagu and 3 others like this

If there are 30 players better than this group, the Twins organization is good...really good.  

 

Would love to see the Twins move a couple players in the next week so they don't lose several players in the Rule 5 draft.Unfortunately, most teams are facing the same problem and those type of moves probably won't happen.

    • birdwatcher, Mike Frasier Law, Monkeypaws and 5 others like this

I liked the De la Torre pick. Always nice to nab falling talent. From what I've read, he'll stick at short and the big question is his bat. But true shortstops are rare so he'll get plenty of time to develop.

 

A lot of relief arms and a couple backend starters in this group but not anyone with a huge ceiling. Maybe Leach could get there but he isn't there yet.

    • bluechipper, Ben Noble and caninatl04 like this

 

Tyler Watson struck out 116 in 2017, not 16.
Before trade = GS 18, IP 93, H 92, K 98, BB 24
After Trade = GS 05, IP 27, H 28, K 18, BB 08

 

Thank you. I see the typo has now been corrected. 

 

Hmmm
Scratching my head over this...Aaron Slegers at 34?
I agree he isn't much of a prospect but for me, his proximity to the MLB team moves him up 10 spots or so.

 

I can agree with that. I guess pending seeing the next 10 prospects or so may (or may not) sway your opinion. I think he can be an MLB 4-5-6 starter, and that has value. It's always that ceiling versus likelihood conversation. There's a very good chance he will be a 4-5-6 MLB starter because he's basically already there. Then there are a lot of guys who have a ceiling of 2 or 3 starter if things go well, but they may be in the lower levels, so the odds of them getting to that level aren't great. Their odds of becoming a 4-5-6 starter aren't necessarily great. But that's the discussion on every prospect. 

    • caninatl04 and MN_ExPat like this

 

If there are 30 players better than this group, the Twins organization is good...really good.  

 

Would love to see the Twins move a couple players in the next week so they don't lose several players in the Rule 5 draft.Unfortunately, most teams are facing the same problem and those type of moves probably won't happen.

 

The purge has begun. With Palka, Randy Rosario and Turley already lost in the DFA process, and O'Rourke and Goodrum and Gimenez off the 40 man there are spots. And, frankly, there are another handful that can come off soon as well (whether by DFA, trade, etc.). There are also several guys that they can keep on the 40-man roster until they sign a free agent or something and need a spot. 

    • howieramone2 and caninatl04 like this

 

A lot of relief arms and a couple backend starters in this group but not anyone with a huge ceiling. Maybe Leach could get there but he isn't there yet.

 

I would think Watson could get there, too. There's a lot of room for projection with a skinny 6'5" 20-year-old lefty who averages over a K per inning. Looks a lot like Gonsalves on paper. 

    • birdwatcher, gunnarthor and 70charger like this
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Tom Froemming
Nov 07 2017 11:23 AM

 

Hmmm
Scratching my head over this...Aaron Slegers at 34?
I agree he isn't much of a prospect but for me, his proximity to the MLB team moves him up 10 spots or so.

That's some odd logic. You don't think he's much of a prospect, but you think he should be higher up on a top prospect ranking?

 

I guess it all depends on your methodology in ranking guys. Personally, I wouldn't put much of an emphasis on proximity to the majors and may have Slegers even lower than Seth. That's not to say I don't like him, but his ceiling is quite a bit lower (funny thing to say about a guy that's 6'10") than a Leach/Lachlan/other guys of that ilk.

 

I would think Watson could get there, too. There's a lot of room for projection with a skinny 6'5" 20-year-old lefty who averages over a K per inning. Looks a lot like Gonsalves on paper. 

 

Looks a bit like Gonsalves physically... on the stat-sheet paper, he just hasn't put up numbers anywhere near Gonsalves has, and his 'stuff' isn't there either... But... with his size and such, he has lots of room for improvement. 

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clutterheart
Nov 07 2017 12:07 PM

 

That's some odd logic. You don't think he's much of a prospect, but you think he should be higher up on a top prospect ranking?

 

I guess it all depends on your methodology in ranking guys. Personally, I wouldn't put much of an emphasis on proximity to the majors and may have Slegers even lower than Seth. That's not to say I don't like him, but his ceiling is quite a bit lower (funny thing to say about a guy that's 6'10") than a Leach/Lachlan/other guys of that ilk.

 

For me its floor & ceiling.A guy like Slegers has a high floor, so I would move him up the prospect rankings.But his ceiling is probably #5 pitcher for a few months.Its the same idea where a guy like Mejía was a top 10-15 prospect last year.His ceiling is probably a #4 but he was so close to the MLB team his floor was high so he got ranked higher.  

Watson is way too low.He is one of those prospects that flashes top of the rotation potential, but there is a lot of risk, since he has not put it all together. Yet.He is not quite at the Romero / Graterol level, but deffinitely a top 20 talent in this organization.

 

Burdi and Moya are also ranked very low.Moya had a video game season last year.

Slegers was horrifying in the majors, is a definition of replacement player and will likely moved from the 40-man roster.Way too high.

Can't remember, Seth....did Cody Stashak make your top 50 the last time you did this ranking? Doesn't look like he'll make the cut this time. Guess he just had an "ok" year at Fort Myers plus some new 2017 draftees are going to push some folks down in the rankings.

 

Think he has a chance if he stays healthy though.Only 23 years old, but will need to make a solid move forward in 2018.

 

Can't remember, Seth....did Cody Stashak make your top 50 the last time you did this ranking? Doesn't look like he'll make the cut this time. Guess he just had an "ok" year at Fort Myers plus some new 2017 draftees are going to push some folks down in the rankings.

 

Think he has a chance if he stays healthy though.Only 23 years old, but will need to make a solid move forward in 2018.

 

I think Stashak was at the back end of the Top 50 last time. I think he's got a chance. He just missed a bunch of time with a couple of injuries, so I wouldn't make too much of the numbers. I was impressed that they sent him straight to AA at the end of the year.  

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biggentleben
Nov 07 2017 02:55 PM

 

I think Stashak was at the back end of the Top 50 last time. I think he's got a chance. He just missed a bunch of time with a couple of injuries, so I wouldn't make too much of the numbers. I was impressed that they sent him straight to AA at the end of the year.  

 

...and he didn't look out of place, either. That part impressed me quite a bit.

Thank you, Seth. I might be asking too much, but in future, could you add Rule 5 status (i.e., the year in which the prospect would be subjected to the Rule 5 draft)?

My humble opinion. I would rate Moya higher. I could see him as a key part of the 2019 bullpen.

 

Thank you, Seth. I might be asking too much, but in future, could you add Rule 5 status (i.e., the year in which the prospect would be subjected to the Rule 5 draft)?

My humble opinion. I would rate Moya higher. I could see him as a key part of the 2019 bullpen.

 

I can try to do that... I hope to update the "Organization Chart" during the offseason.

 

Moya could be a big part of the Twins bullpen in 2018. 

    • MN_ExPat likes this

I don't think that ranking is too far off. This is a deep system, and while Slegers is a prospect close to the majors, he's not a high ceiling guy by any means.
 
I would note that the encouraging thing is all the guys in the 30-50 range who could be contributing major leaguers in the not so distant future. Some could be pretty good.

I am surprised Slegers is so far down. Agree that his ceiling is low, but he has had a reasonable amount of success in MILB. Are there really that many pitchers in the system ahead of him....we will see. My impression is pitching is our weak link. I guess it is important to understand the methodology. Most rankings of top prospects are weighted heavily towards the "what if". What If the guy who throws 95+ starts hitting his spots, or the 6'6" pitcher is projected to add 5 MPH To his FB. In reality most often they don't achieve these projections, yet they are considered more valuable because if they do they are higher ceiling guys. Lots of Sleger types end up have MLB careers, but most often they are not highly regarded in these types of evaluations.
    • ashburyjohn likes this

I am like a lot of people and look at rankings in a different way, thinking close to the MLB team, versus potential.I just cannot assess potential - with all the previous years ink I kept thinking Burdi and Reed would blow people away in the major league BP, but here we are still ranking them in the potential arena. 

 

Frankly, I would not be surprised if all of these players made the bigs, but also I would not be surprised if that ranged from the cup of coffee to a small role.Star status does not seem likely.  

 

Moya is intriguing, but that might just be that we are always curious about the new acquisitions and tend to hope for more than those we know well. 


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