Seth's Preliminary Top 50 Twins Prospects: Part 2 (31-40)
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs (photos of Top L to R: Cody Stashak, Edgar Corcino, Eduardo Del Rosario, and Bottom L to R: Jaylin Davis, Randy Rosario, Jermaine Palacios)Players eligible to be on this list include players who remain eligible for Rookie of the Year voting in 2017. That is to say, hitters with less than 130 at-bats and pitchers with less than 50 innings. (The list is preliminary. Following research for the Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook 2017 - which Cody Christie, Jeremy Nygaard and I are working on - I’ll provide my final Top 30 prospects list.)
Top Prospects 31-40
#40 – Cody Stashak - 22 – RHP – Cedar Rapids Kernels/Ft. Myers Miracle
Stashak was the Twins 13th-round pick in 2015 out of St. Johns (NY). He went 5-2 in ten starts in Elizabethton. He began the 2016 season at extended spring but was quickly promoted to Cedar Rapids. There, he went 8-5 with a 3.16 ERA in 18 games (17 starts). Late in the season, he was promoted to Ft. Myers where he 2-0 with a 0.54 ERA in 16.2 innings for the Miracle. Stashak fits into the mold of Twins starter in the last decade. He’s not real tall and he’s thin. He throws 90-92 and has good command of a three-pitch mix.
#39 – Eduardo Del Rosario - 21 – RHP – Cedar Rapids Kernels
The Twins signed the very skinny Del Rosario in 2012 out of the Dominican Republic. He spent a year in the DSL. He pitched out of the GCL bullpen in 2014. He returned to the GCL in 2015 to start, nearly doubling his innings count. He ended the season with one start in Elizabethton. He began 2016 in extended spring but he was promoted to the Kernels in early June. In his first six Kernels starts he went 0-2 with a 6.25 ERA and opponents hit .314 (.882) off of him. Then he figured something out. Over his final 10 starts, he went 6-0 with a 2.09 ERA. In 51.2 innings in those starts, he walked 20, but he struck out 64. He is 6-0 all and 170 pounds. He throws a good fastball and is mixing in some improving secondary pitches as well.
#38 – Jordan Balazovic - 18 – RHP - GCL Twins
Balazovic was committed to Auburn, but the Twins' fifth-round pick is out of high school in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. He was one of the last 2016 picks to sign, and when he did, he reported to Ft. Myers to play in the GCL. While the organization was obviously, wisely, very cautious with him in his debut, Balazovic pitched quite well. In 32 innings over eight games (six starts), he went 2-1 with a 1.97 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP. He struck out just 16 batters but the youngster (just turned 18 after the season) worked on just throwing strikes with an upper-80s fastball (touching 90-91). His breaking pitches have a way to go also. But size (6-4) and mechanics indicate that he has a ton of potential.
#37 – Jaylin Davis - 22 – OF – Elizabethton Twins/Cedar Rapids Kernels
Davis was the Twins 24th-round draft pick in 2015 out of Appalachian State. He fell in the draft because he was injured and, in fact, didn’t play in the Twins rookie leagues at all last year. He began this season in extended spring training and actually ended up starting his playing season in Elizabethton. He spent just 12 games there and hit seven home runs before moving up to Cedar Rapids for the remainder of the season. With the Kernels, he hit .250/.339/.469 (.808) with 13 doubles, a triple and nine home runs. At 6-1 and nearly 200 pounds, Davis’s best tool is clearly his power. He has the potential to strike out a lot, walk a bit, display some speed and hit a lot of home runs.
#36 – Edgar Corcino - 24 – OF – Ft. Myers Miracle/Chattanooga Lookouts
Corcino was originally the 26th-round pick of the Detroit Tigers in 2009. He remained in that organization through the 2012 season. He spent the 2013 and 2014 seasons playing independent league ball. The Twins signed the Puerto Rican before the 2015 season. After spending some time in EST, he spent the final three months of the season in Cedar Rapids where he displayed tremendous defense all around the outfield. He began 2016 in Ft. Myers. In 74 games, he hit .266 (.760) with 24 extra base hits. He was promoted to Chattanooga and played in 50 games. He hit .280 (.754) with 15 extra base hits. He’s got good speed and makes a ton of web gems.
#35 – Aaron Slegers - 24 – RHP – Chattanooga Lookouts
Slegers was the Big 10 Pitcher of the Year in 2013, his junior season at Indiana. Following the college season, he was the Twins fifth-round pick. He has consistently moved up one level each year. In 2016, he spent the full season in Chattanooga. He went 10-7 with a 3.41 ERA. In 145.1 innings, he walked 46 and struck out 104 (6.4 per nine). From mid-May until just after July 4th, he posted nine straight quality starts. Unfortunately, he then went on the disabled list and missed about three weeks. He did end the season strong. At 6-10, we all are aware that he doesn’t throw real hard, topping out at about 91-92. But he knows out to pitch and has improved each year.
#34 – Pat Light - 25 – RHP – Pawtucket Paw Sox/Boston Red Sox/Rochester Red Wings/Minnesota Twins
The Twins finally got the guy they drafted seven years earlier. Late in the 2009 draft, the Twins selected Light out of high school. He wisely chose to go to college and three years later, he was a supplemental first-round pick of the Red Sox. He worked his way up the ladder there, first as a starter, but more quickly as a reliever. Blessed with a fastball that can reach into triple-digits at times, he came to the Twins at the July trade deadline in exchange for Fernando Abad, who has an ERA over six since joining the Red Sox. In Rochester, he was still hitting 100 mph with regularity, but with the Twins, he’s been sitting 93-96. Could just be tiring at the end of a season, but his struggles and the velocity drop have me a little nervous. He struggles with command and control, but he does have the ability to miss bats, so it would be silly to give up on him at this point.
#33 – Mason Melotakis - 25 – LHP – Chattanooga Lookouts
Melotakis was the Twins’ second-round pick in 2012 out of Northwestern State University of Louisiana. The hard-throwing left-hander spent about a year given the opportunity to start, but he was moved back to the bullpen (which is where he performed in college). Unfortunately, he had Tommy John surgery and missed the 2015 season. He came back for Instructs and was throwing in the upper 90s. Wisely, the Twins were patient and cautious with “Melo” during the 2016 season. He struggled early, and then spent seven days on the DL. When he returned, he pitched much better. He spent one more stint on the disabled list later in the season, but they were able to get him through the season healthy. And he pitched fairly well for the most part. In 33.1 innings (over 36 games), he posted a 2.97 ERA, walked 12 and struck out 42. He is now essentially where JT Chargois was a year ago at this time. Look for Melotakis to start next season in Chattanooga with the opportunity to quickly get up to Rochester before getting an opportunity with the Twins.
#32 – Jermaine Palacios - 20 – SS – Cedar Rapids Kernels
Palacios came into the 2016 season as one of the most interesting, intriguing prospects in the Twins minor league system. He came to the States in 2015 and put on an offensive display in the rookie leagues. In the GCL, he hit .421 in 26 games before moving up to Elizabethton where he hit .336 in 31 games. At 19, he moved up to Cedar Rapids in 2016 and to call it a struggle might be putting it kindly. Palacios got off to a slow start in the cold weather and saw his batting average hover around the Mendoza line. He ended at .222/.276/.287 (.564) thanks to his final ten games of his season when he hit .349. Unfortunately, his season came to an end when he was hit in the wrist by a pitch on July 16. His defense is still suspect, though he has the ability to improve. I wouldn’t give up on him. I suspect he’ll return to Cedar Rapids in 2017, still just 20. He has a chance to move back up this list quickly due to the lumps he took in 2016.
#31 – Randy Rosario - 22 – LHP – Ft. Myers Miracle/Chattanooga Lookouts
The Twins signed Rosario out of the Dominican Republic as a 16-year-old in 2010. He has gradually moved up the ladder. As he continued to grow, his velocity continued to rise. Unfortunately, early in 2014, Rosario hurt his elbow and had Tommy John surgery early in the 2014 season. He returned to the Kernels midway through the 2015 season, and he was throwing hard, touching 97 at times. He was added to the 40-man roster following the 2015 season and went to spring training with the big league club in 2016. He started the season in the vaunted Ft. Myers rotation and had some ups and downs, but in 21 games (16 starts), he went 6-6 with a 3.34 ERA. In 94.1 innings, he walked 34 and struck out 68. He ended the season with four relief appearances in Chattanooga. In his first outing, he gave up two hits and walked two before leaving the game without recording an out. He threw two shutout innings in each of his next two appearances for the Lookouts before another tough one in his fourth and final outing. Rosario has electric stuff so I believe he has a chance to make a big jump forward in 2017. He’ll head to the Arizona Fall League next month for an opportunity to keep working on things.
So what do you think of Part 2, Prospects 31-40? Next up will be prospects 26-30.
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