Seth's Preliminary Top 50 Twins Prospects: Part 3 (26-30)
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs (photos of Top L to R: Nelson Molina, Engelb Vielma, Bottom L to R: Tanner English, Trey Cabbage)REMINDER: 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 26-30
#30 – Nelson Molina - 21 – IF – Cedar Rapids Kernels
Molina was the Twins 11th-round pick in 2013 out of high school in Puerto Rico (same high school as Twins catcher Juan Centeno). It is fair to say that he struggled offensively in the rookie leagues his first three seasons. However, watching him, he has the size (6-3), build (175), tools and work ethic to want to stand out. In 2016, he came up to the Kernels at the end of April and played well the rest of the way. He was named to the Twins Daily Minor League All-Star team after hitting .300/.374/.381 (.755) with 15 doubles, three triples and two home runs in 94 games. Drafted as a shortstop, he has played all over the field. He mostly played third base for the Kernels this year, but he ended the season playing shortstop for the team, including in the playoffs.
#29 – Trey Cabbage - 19 – 3B – Elizabethton Twins
Cabbage was the Twins fourth-round draft pick in 2015 out of Grainger High School in Tennessee. After signing, he spent the summer in Ft. Myers, spending some time with the GCL Twins and more time rehabbing a back injury. He spent the first half of the 2016 season at extended spring training before heading north, back to Tennessee, to play in Elizabethton. The third baseman hit .204/.297/.337 (.634) with five doubles, one triple and two home runs in just 31 games with the E-Twins. At 6-3 and a little over 200 pounds, Cabbage is a tremendous athlete. He’s got a sweet, left-handed swing with line-drive power that could turn into home run power from gap-to-gap. Defense continues to be a work-in-progress at third base, but he has a strong arm and puts in a lot of extra work. He could start 2017 in extended with an opportunity to move up to Cedar Rapids.
#29 – Tanner English - 23 – OF – Ft. Myers Miracle/Rochester Red Wings
English was the Twins 11t- round pick in the 2014 draft out of South Carolina. In 2015, he was named the top defensive outfielder in the Twins system for his glove work in center field in Cedar Rapids. At 5-10 and 180 pounds, English has great speed, range and a powerful arm. Offensively, he can be a leadoff type of hitter. He takes quality at-bats and has good pop. He also is a very good base runner and base-stealer. He began the 2016 in Ft. Myers, but he went on the disabled list early in the season. When he was about ready to come back, he had his ankle rolled in an extended spring game. He returned late in the year to the Miracle. When Rochester needed a center fielder for the final week, English was pushed to the level and hit .294 in 17 at-bats. To get some extra plate appearances, English will head to Arizona to participate in the Fall League.
#28 – Akil Baddoo - 18 – OF - GCL Twins
If these lists were solely about upside, Baddoo would likely be a Top 10 prospect. Baddoo was the fourth pick in the 2016 draft and the Twins second compensation- round pick, 74th overall. He was an outstanding high school player from the state of Georgia. After signing, he went to the GCL. At 6-1 and just shy of 200 pounds, Baddoo has a lot of tools. He has good speed (8 steals in 9 attempts). He has good range in the outfield and has a strong left arm. Though he hit just .178 in his pro debut in the GCL, most believe he will hit, and he has already shown that he has some power potential (2 triples, 2 home runs). As it is with most 18 year olds, patience will be a big key.
#27 – Jose Miranda - 18 – SS – GCL Twins
Miranda was selected one pick before Akil Baddoo, 73rd overall, in the June draft out of high school in Puerto Rico. He also began his career in the GCL. He played shortstop and third base equally and also played a handful of games at second base. He’ll likely be given more time at shortstop, but when he was drafted most scouts believed his future was either at third base or second base. He played in 55 games and hit .227/.308/.292 with seven doubles, a triple and a home run. Listed at 6-2 and 180 pounds, he has average speed. Most believe he will hit and has a chance to hit for above average power.
#26 – Engelb Vielma - 22 – SS – Chattanooga Lookouts
Vielma signed with the Twins out of Venezuela in mid-September of 2011, just late enough that he didn’t need to be added to the 40-man roster last year. The Twins will have to make that decision this November. Vielma has been named the Twins top minor league defensive infielder the last two years and earned an invitation to big league spring training after a solid 2015 in Ft. Myers. He spent the majority of the 2016 season in Chattanooga, though he had two stints on the disabled list and played some rehab games in Ft. Myers. With the Lookouts, he hit .271/.345/.318 (.663) with seven doubles and four triples. While he’ll never hit for power, if he can hit for average, he has a chance to be a big league shortstop because of his great defense. He is the total package at shortstop. He has good range, instincts and a powerful arm. Others discuss his leadership
So what do you think of Part 3, Prospects 26-30? Next up will be prospects 21-25. Feel free to discuss, comment and ask questions below.
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