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Part 4: Seth's Updated Top 50 Twins Prospects (21-25)

The countdown continues. Today I’ll share my postseason choices for Minnesota Twins prospects ranked 21-25. (You can find a link to the previous rankings at the bottom.) Injuries were a factor for several of the guys in this group of five. There are a couple of first-round picks, a second-round pick, an international signing (not for big money) and a later-round draft pick.

At the end of the day, one of these guys has reached the big leagues and the other four all have a chance to get there as well.
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily
With that, let’s take a look at my choices for Twins prospects 21-25.


#25 2B Luis Arraez

Maybe we can collaborate with DJ Khaled on a song, something like:

All I do is hit, hit, hit
No matter what
Got singles on my mind
And I never pop up.

Or something like that… Arraez has hit at every level. .348 in 2014 in the DSL. .306 in 2015 in the GCL. A Midwest League leading .347 in Cedar Rapids in 2016. He even hit .335 against much older competition in 45 games in the Venezuelan Winter League last year. The 20-year-old was even hitting .385 in Ft. Myers last year (though in just 13 at-bats in three games) last year when he tore his ACL which ended his season.

Posted Image

#24 C Ben Rortvedt

Rortvedt hit .224/.284/.315 (.599) on the season at Cedar Rapids. However, he did not turn 20 until after the playoffs ended However, after struggling with the bat for the first two months, he hit .273/.324/.397 (.721) the rest of the way. He has a nice left-handed swing, and eventually he will add a bit more power. He is probably at his best when he’s using the whole field, but a couple of times, he showed he can hit the ball a long way when he pulls it. Ranking catchers can be tough because defense is such an important factor. And that’s where Rortvedt really shines. He works really well with coaches and pitchers. He is smart and knows how to call a game. He is quite athletic and blocks the ball well. And he has a rocket for an arm.

Posted Image

#23 LHP Tyler Jay

Before the season started, the Twins and Jay mutually decided that his future was in the bullpen rather than spending years trying to work his pitch count up as a starter. Unfortunately, he spent most of the season on the disabled list with shoulder and neck injuries. He came back late in the season and has pitched in the Arizona Fall League. While it was kind of a lost season for Jay, it’s important to remember that he has a very high ceiling as a reliever whether it’s a one-inning type or a guy who could work a couple of innings. And, he won’t turn 24 until after the 2018 season begins. We said it a year ago too, but if Jay is healthy, we could see him in the big leagues in 2018.

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#22 RHP Kohl Stewart

Stewart was the Twins first-round pick in 2013 out of high school in Texas. He’s always been at least two years younger than league average but put up solid numbers at each level. Reports indicated that he gave up very little hard contact despite the fact that his strikeout numbers were not high. He reached AA midway through the 2016 season. He made 16 more starts in 2017 at AA (and one in Rochester), but he struggled with control like he never has before. Some of that could be the result of a knee injury that put him on the disabled list a couple of times. When it comes to pure ‘stuff,’ Stewart’s is as good as anyone. If he is healthy, he could move back into the Top 10 Twins prospects list.

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#21 OF Zack Granite

Granite showed in 2017 what he can be in the big leagues. The speedy outfielder has good range in the outfield. He’s not Byron Buxton in center field (no one else is either), but he can play the position very well. He can play all three outfield positions well. Offensively, he has a cool and calm at the plate that is impressive. He is an ideal leadoff man in terms of his approach at the plate. He is a line drive hitter who takes what the pitcher gives him. He has even credited Doug Mientkiewicz and Tommy Watkins with his willingness to drive the ball a bit more. But speed is his game, and he can be a guy who plays in the big leagues for many years.

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Please feel free to leave comments or ask questions below. If you missed previous rankings, click the links below:

Part 1: Prospects 41-50
Part 2: Prospects 31-40
Part 3: Prospects 26-30

Check back later this week for Part 5.

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25 Comments

Is Arraez expected to be ready by spring training?

BTW, sad to see recent 1sts this far down the list....

    • mikelink45 and tarheeltwinsfan like this
I’m just curious. How many other teams could take their top 50 prospects, and from that list create a 25 man roster using only those that are on the DL? To put it more objectively, if one were to peruse the Top Prospects list for all 30 teams, how frequently would one come across “missed the entire so-and-so season”?
    • mikelink45 likes this

Love following this series, thanks.

    • Otwins, tarheeltwinsfan and Tom Froemming like this
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Tom Froemming
Nov 14 2017 08:10 AM

Man, these are five super talented guys to be outside the top 20. Would you say the depth across the system is above average compared to the last 10-15 years?

    • twinssouth, tarheeltwinsfan and MN_ExPat like this
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clutterheart
Nov 14 2017 08:25 AM

Its unfortunate that Arraez went down when he did.I had him higher than a guy like Palacios at the start of the 2017.  

That's a pretty strong group of 5 and I'd probably push four of them into the top 20, myself. We'll see who else is ranked.Jay and Granite are both so close to the majors, I think they should be higher. Granite seems like a decent 4th OF/speed bench guy but b/c he's left handed, he's not a perfect fit for this squad. I'd like to include him in something this offseason when we try and improve our pitching.Jay, if healthy, could really help the pen but, as you said, we've been saying that for years about several minor league arms.We'll see.

 

Stewart is a lighting rod. We'll see how the season goes for him. I still like him. Rortvedt is a guy I'd have five spots higher but that's not really important. He - along with Miranda and Baddoo - were an amazing group of second round picks in 2016. Really enjoy watching those three develop for us.

    • Yoke, Dman and howieramone2 like this

 

Man, these are five super talented guys to be outside the top 20. Would you say the depth across the system is above average compared to the last 10-15 years?

 

Not as much high-end talent as 3-5 years ago, but this is a very, very deep system with lots of guys who can make it to the big leagues. Much, much stronger than it was from like 2007-2010.

    • howieramone2, gagu, Shaitan and 2 others like this
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ashburyjohn
Nov 14 2017 08:45 AM

Some really nice photos, Seth. Are they yours? Did you get them to pose for you, as opposed to purely candid/action shots?

 

Some really nice photos, Seth. Are they yours? Did you get them to pose for you, as opposed to purely candid/action shots?

 

I took them all in Ft. Myers at spring training in March. I just click away and hope a bunch of them end up being ok so we can use them in minor league reports and stories.

 

    • ashburyjohn, tarheeltwinsfan, dbminn and 1 other like this

 

Man, these are five super talented guys to be outside the top 20. Would you say the depth across the system is above average compared to the last 10-15 years?

Our peak years - say 2014 and 2015 - are untouchable overall but I would argue that our system depth now, after two really strong drafts is just as good as it ever was. The current top 10 won't be anywhere near those peak top 10s in depth or upside. 11-30, however, could be a wash or even go to the current system. We'll see.

    • howieramone2 and Tom Froemming like this

Ten years ago everyone of these guys would be in the top 10. What vast improvement in our Minor League system.

    • Tom Froemming likes this

 

Ten years ago everyone of these guys would be in the top 10. What vast improvement in our Minor League system.

Per BA: the top 4 were also in the top 100.

1. Matt Garza, rhp
2. Glen Perkins, lhp
3. Kevin Slowey, rhp
4. Chris Parmelee, of
5. Anthony Swarzak, rhp
6. Pat Neshek, rhp
7. Alexi Casilla, ss/2b
8. Joe Benson, of
9. Paul Kelly, ss
10. J.D. Durbin, rhp

 

Kind of hard to guess where these five guys would fit since we know what happened. 

Love Rortvedt as a prospect. Heard he has a ton of leadership qualities and is a "gamer". Think he and Royce Lewis could be the two main leaders of a future Twins club a few years down the road. Sort of our own version of Jeter and Posada.

    • TRex and Tom Froemming like this
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SarasotaBill
Nov 14 2017 03:13 PM

Seth,

Nice work as always.

I know you reduce a relief pitcher's ranking but if tomorrow another team offered a trade and you could keep Granite or Jay, your rankings indicate you would want to keep Granite.

Right now, I would not rank Granite above Jay.

Jay has too much potential compared to Granite.

 

Love Rortvedt as a prospect. Heard he has a ton of leadership qualities and is a "gamer". Think he and Royce Lewis could be the two main leaders of a future Twins club a few years down the road. Sort of our own version of Jeter and Posada.

 

Watching these guys down in Cedar Rapids actually impressed me a great deal with their cohesiveness and leadership abilities.As you could imagine, they definitely had fun with Lewis having so much hype and his own t-shirt jersey already (which Rortvedt bought and wore to batting practice), but Lewis could hold his own.That, and how he carried himself, got their respect right away.

 

I'm going to bite my tongue on Rortvedt, hope I'm wrong, and trust in Seth's decision to put him on the list.

Rortvedt has yet to impress me.I think he is developing slower than I had expected and I am disappointed.Top 40 yes, but not top 25 yet for me.Jay is interesting because in the past as we read about him as a starter he was much more intriguing, but knowing that failed starters can be outstanding relievers I hope that he shines soon.

​Granite is interesting because this past year I would have thought he would be higher than this considering his year and his promotion to MLB.Are the top 20 that good or is he overrated as a major leaguer?

 

Kohl Stewart keeps getting the same review - lots of stuff, does not strike anyone out.For some reason his rankings and the words that are written about him to not correspond.

​The top 20 should be quite interesting.  

I'm also not impressed at all with Rorteved, but fully admit that catchers are a whole different category.
I actually like Rotroverdt. I would have him probably in the 10-15 range. He was challenged by being in low A ball. From all reports his defense was ahead of schedule. At the beginning of the seasons his bat wasn’t there but then it clicked in the 2nd half. Would like to see him continue that momentum into next season
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ashburyjohn
Nov 14 2017 08:07 PM

I'm also not impressed at all with Rorteved

I actually like Rotroverdt.

As the Adopt-A-Prospect sponsor for Ben Rortvedt, I gotta stand up for my guy. I don't know if he'll eventually hit either*, but it's spelled Rortvedt, just like it's pronounced. :)

 

*Actually I think he will.

    • Seth Stohs, Eephus, dbminn and 1 other like this
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diehardtwinsfan
Nov 15 2017 08:29 AM

 

Rortvedt has yet to impress me.I think he is developing slower than I had expected and I am disappointed.Top 40 yes, but not top 25 yet for me.Jay is interesting because in the past as we read about him as a starter he was much more intriguing, but knowing that failed starters can be outstanding relievers I hope that he shines soon.

​Granite is interesting because this past year I would have thought he would be higher than this considering his year and his promotion to MLB.Are the top 20 that good or is he overrated as a major leaguer?

 

Kohl Stewart keeps getting the same review - lots of stuff, does not strike anyone out.For some reason his rankings and the words that are written about him to not correspond.

​The top 20 should be quite interesting.  

 

very few 19 year olds start in full season ball. Most that do are first round HS picks, not 2nd round picks. I think you're probably being a bit hard on Rortvedt personally. His bat clearly wasn't ready, though he adjusted. I'm not sure what the plan here, whether that's to keep challenging him in an even tougher hitters league, or hold him back and see if his bat can catch up to his defense.

 

He's a very good prospect, though I don't expect to see him knocking on the door any time soon.

    • ashburyjohn, gunnarthor, DocBauer and 1 other like this

Yeah, I think people are focusing too much on Rortvedt's batting line and not considering the improvements made after that abysmal start and that he was in full season ball already.

    • ashburyjohn, diehardtwinsfan, clutterheart and 2 others like this

Rortvedt definitely improved in the second half, but even his second half split would be indicative of a marginal MLB bat.That said he is young and evaluators still seem to like his tools a decent amount.I think there are a few examples of catchers that didn't hit great in the minors, but had good defensive tools and managed to steadily improve their bats over time.

 

I have tempered expectations at this point, but I'm definitely not writing him off.I have him around 30, but it's a deep and intriguing system.

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diehardtwinsfan
Nov 15 2017 06:56 PM

 

, but it's a deep and intriguing system.

this.. this and this...

 

I started putting one together, but it has been very difficult this year. Lots of ceiling way down in the ranks. It's almost like our new FO made a lot of improvements in the development area and suddenly a lot more guys are showing promise... :)

I think Jay and Stewart should probably be higher, but nothing unreasonable given the injuries.

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