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Twins Spring Training Highlights

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 10:01 AM
I'll try to update this thread anytime I'm able to grab some spring training highlights. Here are a few from today:  
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Article: Minor League Pay: Some Progress at Last?

Other Baseball Today, 09:42 AM
When the Cedar Rapids Kernels host the Lansing Lugnuts in a three-game series beginning July 13 of this summer, Lugnuts players will have...
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Twins and Gibson Discussion and Extension

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:17 AM
http://www.startribu...lier/507159692/   Interesting to see how this plays out. I'd have to think an extension is likely since the T...
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Leadoff Batter

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:17 AM
In most games this spring I've noticed Kepler being used as the leadoff batter. And based on results thus far (yeah, yeah, small sample s...
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Article: Twins 2019 Position Analysis: Starting Pitcher

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:04 AM
Nowhere has the reforging of this team's identity over the past half-decade been more apparent than in the starting rotation. Five years...
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TD 2019 Top Minnesota Twins Prospects Recap

The Minnesota Twins have made it clear: they're relying on their own internal pipeline, rather than transformative outside additions, to turn things around.

Fortunately, their system is widely viewed as one of the best in the game. We've been counting down our rankings of the Top 20 Twins prospects over the past few weeks, and today we'll recap the full list, zeroing in on trends and key takeaways.
Twins Daily's Top 20 Twins Prospects of 2019

20. Jose Miranda, 2B/3B: Versatile infielder shows offensive promise with contact/power combo
19. Jorge Alcala, RHP: Big arm acquired in Ryan Pressly trade plagued by question marks
18. LaMonte Wade, OF: OBP machine is almost MLB-ready, profiles as rotation guy in corner OF
17. Zack Littell, RHP: Back-of-rotation type with higher potential if he adds velo or goes to bullpen
16. Gilberto Celestino, OF: Speedy CF with a bit of pop and solid plate approach, lofty ceiling
15. Yunior Severino, 2B: Teenage infielder is still developing physically, projects as slugging 3B
14. Ben Rortvedt, C: Took a step forward with bat in 2018, and reinforced strong defensive rep
13. Ryan Jeffers, C: Blasted onto scene in pro debut, providing critical boost to the system at C
12. Stephen Gonsalves, LHP: Flaws were magnified in rocky intro to MLB, but intrigue remains
11. Nick Gordon, SS: Highly skilled middle infielder looks to rebound after falling flat in Triple-A
10. Akil Baddoo, OF: Rare blend of power, patience, speed commingle in uber-athletic package
9. Blayne Enlow, RHP: Riding signature CB, held his own against advanced competition at 19
8. Lewis Thorpe, LHP: Aussie southpaw has performed everywhere in minors, awaits MLB shot
7. Jhoan Duran, RHP: Biggest surprise from deadline deals dominated with legit stuff after arrival
6. Brent Rooker, 1B/OF: Flashed prodigious power while spending first full pro season in Double-A
5. Wander Javier, SS: Prized international talent is back after losing 2018 to shoulder surgery
4. Trevor Larnach, OF: Last summer's first-round pick mashed in pro debut, could reach MLB quickly
3. Brusdar Graterol, RHP: Among the hardest throwers around, complements FB with filthy slider
2. Alex Kirilloff, OF: Can drive any pitch anywhere, with hit tool ranking among best in minors
1. Royce Lewis, SS: Elite skill and athleticism surpassed only by uncommon maturity and makeup

POSITIONAL BREAKDOWN

C: 2
IF: 5
OF: 6
RHP: 5
LHP: 2

The breakdown here hasn't changed a ton from last year. At that time, I called out catching depth as the biggest area of concern, but things look much brighter on that front now. We still only have two backstops on our list, but that's partially because Mitch Garver graduated with a strong rookie year for the Twins. Meanwhile, he was replaced by a promising talent in second-round pick Jeffers, and Rortvedt took a step forward.

Overall, there's not a glaring weakness (maybe 3B), but the clear area of abundance is outfielders.

WHERE THEY STAND

This system is very highly regarded, and there seems to be consensus that it's on the rise. Keith Law of ESPN ranks Minnesota fourth among all organizations, up from 10th last year. Baseball America, which also pegged the Twins' system 10th last year, now has them up to #7. Few teams can match a 1-2 punch like Lewis and Kirilloff, and there's plenty of functional depth here as well. "A parade of unfamous names who project to at least some tangible big league value," as Law puts it.

In terms of pure upside, I doubt any other farm system can stack up. Therein lies the rub – Minnesota's pipeline is delightfully high on potential, but frightfully low on assurance. None of their top three prospects have played above A-ball, and in fact only two members of their top 10 have done so.

It's a boom-or-bust minefield but the skills, athleticism and projectibility of this group are undeniably tantalizing. It's not hard to envision a toolbox like Baddoo, Javier, Celestino or Severino suddenly emerging as a nationally recognized top-tier talent; it's also not hard to envision any of them bogging down upon reaching the upper levels.

When Minnesota's front office talks about biding its time, and waiting to develop further clarity before charting a decisive course, they aren't just talking about the big-league club. We're going to learn a ton about the farm system this summer.

CREAM OF THE CROP, RISING TO THE TOP

Minnesota's system is on the rise largely because of its two shining stars. Last year, Lewis was the highest Twins prospect to appear on any of the four national lists we track – MLB.com had him at #20. This year, all four have him among their top 10s, with MLB.com placing him highest at #5. Meanwhile, Kirilloff has come out of nowhere to rank in everyone's top 40, with ESPN and MLB.com both placing him among their top dozen overall.

Not since Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano were eligible have the Twins held this kind of national prestige in the prospect arena. I realize that sentence probably made some of you groan, but – FOLKS, you gotta believe me on this – the past does not dictate the future. Everyone should be very, very excited about these two phenomenal incoming talents.

THE NEW WAVE

Derek Falvey and Thad Levine inherited Kirilloff, and had the luxury of a #1 overall pick to procure Lewis, so they can't take TOO much credit for the very top end of this system. But there is zero question they've followed through on a stated mission to thoroughly bolster the minor-league ranks.

Half of our Top 20 now consists of players acquired by the new regime (Lewis, Larnach, Rooker, Duran, Enlow, Jeffers, Severino, Celestino, Littell, Alcala). From the current view, Falvey and Levine have hit on numerous draft picks (notably Larnach and Rooker), and they've gotten solid returns when trading away veterans. In particular, Duran – acquired in the Eduardo Escobar deal and already at #7 on our list – looks like a real find.

HUMBLE BEGINNINGS

Sizing up this system's estimable top five, you see a lot of high-stakes investments paying off. Lewis was obviously a #1 overall pick. Kirilloff and Larnach were also first-rounders. Javier was the most expensive international free agent in franchise history.

And then we have Graterol, who signed out of Venezuela for a mere $150,000 in 2014. He wasn't a big name, or a flashy addition. When he first arrived, the right-hander was throwing in the upper-80s. After logging just 11 innings in the Dominican Summer League at age 16, he tore his UCL and underwent Tommy John surgery.

During the time off, Graterol focused on building strength, and he came back a radically different player, firing in the upper-90s. These are the kinds of development stories that set apart the best organizations; it's important to hit frequently on those crucial top draft picks and high-profile international splashes, but the biggest differentiator is when you can pan this kind of gold from your lesser investments.

UNDER THE RADAR

Speaking of lesser investments, let's talk about the Twins' 2016 fifth-round pick, Jordan Balazovic. He was named by both ESPN's Law and The Athletic's John Sickels as a player who narrowly missed their Top 100s; in fact, Law shockingly had Balazovic (#102) ranked ahead of Graterol (#108).

Balazovic was an honorable mention for us, failing to make our Top 20 cut, but I'm wondering if that'll look silly a year from now. The Canadian right-hander was impressive at Cedar Rapids last year, posting a 78-to-18 K/BB ratio in 61 innings as a 19-year-old, but has totaled only 134 frames since being drafted in 2016.

FINDING FLAMETHROWERS

Where there's smoke, there's fire, and the Twins system has plumes rising from its stellar collection of young arms. It wasn't so long ago that Minnesota had a dire shortage of high-end velo in its minor-league ranks, but now this trait has become a hallmark.

Graterol is of course one of the hardest-throwers out there – a rare starter capable of reaching 100 MPH and maintaining above 95. Duran throws in the upper-90s. Alcala has been known to touch triple digits. And there are a number of other power arms (like Balazovic) that didn't quite crack our list.

MORE PROSPECT COVERAGE

If you want to read up on all of these prospects and many more, I recommend ordering a copy of the 2019 Twins Prospect Handbook (paperback or eBook), which Seth, Cody and Tom worked tirelessly to put together. And of course, you'll wanna stay tuned into Twins Daily, where we'll have on-site reports from camp during spring training, and daily minor-league recaps all season long.

There's no better place to follow the next wave of Minnesota Twins talent.

PAST TWINS DAILY TOP PROSPECT LISTS

TD 2018 Minnesota Twins Top Prospects
TD 2017 Minnesota Twins Top Prospects
TD 2016 Minnesota Twins Top Prospects
TD 2015 Minnesota Twins Top Prospects

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23 Comments

Lewis and Kiriloff really help make the system look better but this seems more like quantity over quality. We only have three consensus top 100 guys (Graterol being the third and even Klaw didn't have him). I know that the team has a ton of upside guys that could rocket up these lists next year (and I expect many will) but right now it seems a bit premature to rave about this group.

 

I'm also a bit doubtful on the best-case ceilings on a number of these guys outside the top three, especially on the pitching side. 

    • spycake, mikelink45 and Hosken Bombo Disco like this

True, there's always a risk when a prospect hasn't played above A-ball.

 

But, the depth of the system....there's safety in numbers. Chances are better that some will will break through and be contributors, maybe even stars.

    • beckmt and Dman like this

Safe to say this is the strongest class since 2014/2015? 

 

True, there's always a risk when a prospect hasn't played above A-ball.

 

But, the depth of the system....there's safety in numbers. Chances are better that some will will break through and be contributors, maybe even stars.

 

Correct... If you have 30ish good prospects, there's a better chance that one or two of them become really solid MLB regulars than if you only have 10 good prospects. 

 

I'm also really impressed with what Jeremy Zoll and all of those coordinators are doing on the player development side. Much more instruction. Much more technology and individual learning to go with games and regular things. We'll see how it works, but it's very much encouraging. 

    • Carole Keller, birdwatcher, gil4 and 5 others like this

"Not since Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano were eligible have the Twins held this kind of national prestige in the prospect arena. I realize that sentence probably made some of you groan...."

 

Pretty hard not to be a little jaded after the Buxton/Sano hype, for years we heard how great they were going to be. They could still become great but I'm not holding my breath. Same way with the current crop of prospects, I'm not holding my breath.

 

Rosario, Kepler, Polanco, and Berrios are good players but when was the last time a Twins prospect developed into a true superstar?? Joe Mauer??

    • mikelink45 and caninatl04 like this

Anyone not in the top 3 should be viewed as expendable to trade for established MLers.

    • mikelink45 and birddog like this

"When Minnesota's front office talks about biding its time, and waiting to develop further clarity before charting a decisive course, they aren't just talking about the big-league club. We're going to learn a ton about the farm system this summer."

 

I'm looking forward to following Ft Myers this year. The A+ rotation should include five real prospects at some time during the season (probably not all together): Graterol, Enlow, Balazovic, Duran, and Colina. I don't recall the Twins ever having that much pitching at one minor league club. Add in Miranda, Jeffers, Larnach, Helman and Baddoo…that's a pretty good team. Hopefully a few break out.

 

Of course, Pensacola will have the top two prospects, if not top three, at some point. AA is a big step - should be fun.

    • gagu, caninatl04, Original Whizzinator and 1 other like this

Nice review - the comment section is also filled with good observations.I start getting excited when the players are ready to step up to MLB.How many of these 20 can we expect to see in 2019 or 2020?

    • dbminn likes this

I didn't see it mentioned here (maybe I missed it), but Law stated the following about Javier:

 

"Javier is expected to be ready for spring training, although that surgery could affect his arm and may push him to second base."

 

Is this rumor-mongering or is there real concern he might have to move to 2nd?That would hurt his value quite a bit considering he probably doesn't hit well enough to be "average" at second, right? 

 

I didn't see it mentioned here (maybe I missed it), but Law stated the following about Javier:

 

"Javier is expected to be ready for spring training, although that surgery could affect his arm and may push him to second base."

 

Is this rumor-mongering or is there real concern he might have to move to 2nd?That would hurt his value quite a bit considering he probably doesn't hit well enough to be "average" at second, right? 

 

I asked him about that on twitter but didn't get a response. 

 

Not sure why an injury to his non-throwing shoulder would affect his throwing shoulder. 

    • Zephrin, DocBauer and dbminn like this
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birdwatcher
Feb 18 2019 11:52 AM

 

"Not since Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano were eligible have the Twins held this kind of national prestige in the prospect arena. I realize that sentence probably made some of you groan...."

 

Pretty hard not to be a little jaded after the Buxton/Sano hype, for years we heard how great they were going to be. They could still become great but I'm not holding my breath. Same way with the current crop of prospects, I'm not holding my breath.

 

Rosario, Kepler, Polanco, and Berrios are good players but when was the last time a Twins prospect developed into a true superstar?? Joe Mauer??

 

Let's keep in mind that Lewis and Kirilloff are not Sano and Buxton for starters. Also, it's mostly ourselves and a few pundits that we hear talking about how great they were, and we're talking the same way about Lewis and Kirilloff now. I don't think the uniques misfortunes that Buxton and Sano encountered in the past couple of years have an ounce of relevance here. There's no pattern to be found. Why would one bet that Lewis is going to be more like Buxton than Mauer? Not that Buxton's a bust.

 

It was advisable to avoid thinking of Sano and Buxton as the next Miggy and Trout, and it's equally advisable to avoid thinking of Lewis and Kirriloff as the next Jeter and Yelich as well, but we still have reason to be very very excited about these two.

 

Here's some optimistic information: of the top ten prospects on TD lists looking back 3 to 5 years, 8 of 10 are having an impact (I'm generously including both Sano and Buxton and expect to be vindicated in 2019). The exceptions have been injury-prone fireballers: Meyer, Burdi, and Jay.

 

You also might feel better if you click on the link to the 2017 TD Top 20 and compare it to this year's. I may be wrong, but I think the current list looks measurably better. Based on the grades others attach to prospects, I think the experts would agree with this, and the rankings suggest it too.

    • mikelink45, DocBauer, howieramone2 and 3 others like this

I really thought this would be the offseason that we would trade some of our plethora of prospects for established, successfulMLB players. We had/have the money and early talk about a Paul Goldschmidt trade and possible Greinke throwin to enhance the deal had me salivating. We've talked hot prospects for a decade now and are finding most are suspects we are still waiting on. We have been dealing with futility for a decade now and should have a solid farm system built up from top picks; however, to get to the level of the top teams we have to cash in some of these top prospects not named Lewis, Kiriloff or Graterolto get established stars. Fans need some excitement from the MLB team and not pipe dreams from the prospects.

From the article:
"Half of our Top 20 now consists of players acquired by the new regime (Lewis, Larnach, Rooker, Duran, Enlow, Jeffers, Severino, Celestino, Littell, Alcala)."

and from Seth:

"I'm also really impressed with what Jeremy Zoll and all of those coordinators are doing on the player development side."

If one doesn't love the new FO, one must, IMHO, at least feel somewhat more optimistic.

This year, picks 13, 41 and 54. Hopefully, they will be buyers at the trade deadline, but they do have a number of one year contracts that might be desirable to buyers if the Twins are sellers.

I know nothing about their International signing pool for either pre-July or post-July (except that for the '19-'20 pool, they'll be in Pool :cool:.

Let's hope the good work in prospect acquisition continues. A bigger hope is that player development is better than ever.
    • birdwatcher, DocBauer, howieramone2 and 2 others like this

 

I really thought this would be the offseason that we would trade some of our plethora of prospects for established, successfulMLB players. We had/have the money and early talk about a Paul Goldschmidt trade and possible Greinke throwin to enhance the deal had me salivating. We've talked hot prospects for a decade now and are finding most are suspects we are still waiting on. We have been dealing with futility for a decade now and should have a solid farm system built up from top picks; however, to get to the level of the top teams we have to cash in some of these top prospects not named Lewis, Kiriloff or Graterolto get established stars. Fans need some excitement from the MLB team and not pipe dreams from the prospects.

1. The DBacks wanted (and got) MLB ready/MLB experienced top prospects. The Twins don't have anybody like that. That means in order to convince them to change their plan and go with a rebuild, instead of a retool, you'd have to give up one of our top 3. I'm cool if that's something you'd like to see, but the idea that you're bringing in a perennial MVP candidate by trading a bunch of non-elite prospects is rather far fetched I think. If you wanted them to trade MLBers for him then I'm not sure what you think this team would have been capable of without a pair of Rosario, Berrios, or Kepler, because that's what it would take to get a perennial MVP.

 

2. Grienke as a thrown in suggests the Twins would have been taking on all, or at least 90%, of his current contract. He is due $34,500,000 in 2019, and $35,000,000 in both 2020 and 2021. Goldschmidt is a free agent after 2019 and is going to get something in the 3-5 years, $30 mil a year range of a contract. That means you're paying 2 guys $60 mil a year for the next 3 years. What sort of team do you think the Twins can put around them? Keep in mind you just traded away either 2 established MLBers and some of your top 4-15 prospects, or a pair of your 3 top prospects. Big names are all well and good, and I'd like to see the Twins a take a swing at them at some point, but this is not the time to do it through trade.

 

Now if you want to argue that the Twins should be in on Harper, Machado, Kimbrel and/or Keuchel I'd be more inclined to agree there. I don't think trades for high priced guys is a smart move at this point. Each year we are seeing more and more that it takes the entire 25 man roster to win in the post season, and the whole 40 man to win in the regular season. A roster with a couple high priced studs and a bunch of sub-replacement level bums is not a recipe for fixing the Twins' woes. But with the hope that your roster is going to be filled with low priced, top flight young talent for the next 6-8 years I think this is a good time for us to make a splash with a FA signing. I'd love to see Keuchel in a Twins uni for something like 3 years and $60 mil. I think the Padres are looking at their next 6-8 years and seeing that their entire team will be pretty cheap as they call up a stable of young stud arms and a few uber-talented position players and that's why they're chasing Harper and Machado. 

 

In conclusion, I'd love to see improved play at Target Field (I actually feel pretty good about this team compared to how I've felt the last few), but it needs to be done the right way so we don't watch it fall off a cliff again in 3 or 4 years. And I think making any trades at this point would really raise the likelihood of that happening. As someone earlier posted, it's a numbers game with prospects. And a team who refuses to (or can't depending on who you ask) spend big money needs to have a constant stream of prospects. I think the FO has that stream in place and will open the tap in the next couple years and we'll see if their plan worked or not. I think we also all need to prepare ourselves to start seeing our top guys get traded as FA gets closer. I think that'll be the next step in the plan for continued contention. We'll see how it all plays out.

    • birdwatcher, Blackjack, DocBauer and 4 others like this
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birdwatcher
Feb 18 2019 03:12 PM

 

1. The DBacks wanted (and got) MLB ready/MLB experienced top prospects. The Twins don't have anybody like that. That means in order to convince them to change their plan and go with a rebuild, instead of a retool, you'd have to give up one of our top 3. I'm cool if that's something you'd like to see, but the idea that you're bringing in a perennial MVP candidate by trading a bunch of non-elite prospects is rather far fetched I think. If you wanted them to trade MLBers for him then I'm not sure what you think this team would have been capable of without a pair of Rosario, Berrios, or Kepler, because that's what it would take to get a perennial MVP.

 

2. Grienke as a thrown in suggests the Twins would have been taking on all, or at least 90%, of his current contract. He is due $34,500,000 in 2019, and $35,000,000 in both 2020 and 2021. Goldschmidt is a free agent after 2019 and is going to get something in the 3-5 years, $30 mil a year range of a contract. That means you're paying 2 guys $60 mil a year for the next 3 years. What sort of team do you think the Twins can put around them? Keep in mind you just traded away either 2 established MLBers and some of your top 4-15 prospects, or a pair of your 3 top prospects. Big names are all well and good, and I'd like to see the Twins a take a swing at them at some point, but this is not the time to do it through trade.

 

Now if you want to argue that the Twins should be in on Harper, Machado, Kimbrel and/or Keuchel I'd be more inclined to agree there. I don't think trades for high priced guys is a smart move at this point. Each year we are seeing more and more that it takes the entire 25 man roster to win in the post season, and the whole 40 man to win in the regular season. A roster with a couple high priced studs and a bunch of sub-replacement level bums is not a recipe for fixing the Twins' woes. But with the hope that your roster is going to be filled with low priced, top flight young talent for the next 6-8 years I think this is a good time for us to make a splash with a FA signing. I'd love to see Keuchel in a Twins uni for something like 3 years and $60 mil. I think the Padres are looking at their next 6-8 years and seeing that their entire team will be pretty cheap as they call up a stable of young stud arms and a few uber-talented position players and that's why they're chasing Harper and Machado. 

 

In conclusion, I'd love to see improved play at Target Field (I actually feel pretty good about this team compared to how I've felt the last few), but it needs to be done the right way so we don't watch it fall off a cliff again in 3 or 4 years. And I think making any trades at this point would really raise the likelihood of that happening. As someone earlier posted, it's a numbers game with prospects. And a team who refuses to (or can't depending on who you ask) spend big money needs to have a constant stream of prospects. I think the FO has that stream in place and will open the tap in the next couple years and we'll see if their plan worked or not. I think we also all need to prepare ourselves to start seeing our top guys get traded as FA gets closer. I think that'll be the next step in the plan for continued contention. We'll see how it all plays out.

 

Excellent post!

    • howieramone2 likes this

 

From the article:
"Half of our Top 20 now consists of players acquired by the new regime (Lewis, Larnach, Rooker, Duran, Enlow, Jeffers, Severino, Celestino, Littell, Alcala)."

and from Seth:

"I'm also really impressed with what Jeremy Zoll and all of those coordinators are doing on the player development side."

If one doesn't love the new FO, one must, IMHO, at least feel somewhat more optimistic.

 

The other way of looking at is that, after two drafts and two trade deadlines, the new FO has brought in one consensus top 100 guy (Lewis). I don't think that's fair but I'm not sure we should be raving about the trade deadline guys. (I was stunned at how bad Littell looked when he was called up last year. It amazed me that our baseball minds thought he was an option as a starting pitcher.) I think the draft/development group is in good hands and I liked the way the FO has dealt with Steil and Johnson.  

    • birdwatcher likes this

There are a number of names on the top 20 that reflect the new management's creativity in acquiring young talent:

 

Severino: scoop up when others mess up.

 

Enlow: work the bonus pool to get guys on day 2 that were otherwise college bound.

 

Duran, Celestino, Alcala, Littel: good return at trade deadline.

 

I think the farm will be rich as long as these guys are in charge. Hitting on your first 2 drafts doesn't hurt either.

    • Nick Nelson, birdwatcher, DocBauer and 4 others like this
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Tom Froemming
Feb 18 2019 04:27 PM

I did a big overview on how the new front office has gone about using all potential avenues to improve this minor league system for the Prospect Handbook. It was really, really good, probably worth the full price of the book on its own, lol :) I believe there are a few copies still available if you hurry! ;)

 

I always like to look at Seth's breakdown of where we each have these guys ranked individually. Being really conservative on Duran and Enlow ended up putting me as the high man on so many of the guys in the upper levels, though we were all relatively close in the grand scheme of things.

 

I was in the middle of all the biggest splits we had among the top 10. Cody and I had a 10-spot disagreement on Enlow and Seth and I had a seven-spot difference on Duran. I was the low man on both of those guys, but then I was the highest on Thorpe, where Nick and I had a six-spot gap. Just an interesting observation ... probably just means I'm going to be wrong a lot, HA!

    • ashbury, birdwatcher, mikelink45 and 2 others like this

I would rather see a prospect list of 20 high ceiling prospects than one that contained 10. Lower ceiling players are always available cheaply to fill in. . See Odorizzi, Perez, Austin, Cave, and other pieces the team has easily picked up. High end major league players are not so easily picked up.

    • birdwatcher likes this
I think it's easy to quibble about the order of the rankings, but that has already been expressed previously.

Based on early results, potential, and the thoughts of others not involved with TD, I do wonder a bit about Balazovic not appearing in the top 20. I have a feeling that will change come this time next year, if not a mid-season re-shuffle.

It may sound strange to say, but one of the things that intrigues me is the listing of prospects that were honorable mention outside the top 20. There are a lot of guys there that have real ML potential in the next couple of years.

My greatest "concern" is also the thing that excites me most. There is just so much talent and potential on this top 20 list, despite some question marks. There are a couple guys here rough around the edges with, maybe, lower floors, but with very high ceilings. Alcala and Duran are prime examples. Both have big arms and each could be part of the rotation in the next couple of years, but each has enough to work on to project as quality relievers instead, or wash out as just tantalizing hard throwers. But that's where the new FO, new coaches, and a new way of doing things comes in to play.
    • birdwatcher likes this

Reminds me of that story Bill Murray told in Caddy Shack, the one about caddying for the Dali Lama. Not the story itself mind you, but his line in the end.

 

"So, I got that going for me." 

 

The team today is the one we're cheering for, the one we will doubtless be cursing for its deficiencies sometime around the All Star break. It's great that the Twins have highly ranked prospects in their organization, but that's actually been true for a while now. We're supposed to be firmly into a wave of players that were supposed to be lifting the team into contention, at least within the humble division. Nope, nope, nope. Injuries, embarrassments, and a failure to lay off outside curve balls has been the yearly gruel of our disappointment. 

 

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst. We are, after all, mostly from Minnesota. Dress warm and stay safe, comrades. 

    • birdwatcher and Blackjack like this
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howieramone2
Feb 19 2019 03:02 PM

I don't think they are going to trade their prospects, not unlike TR. We basically have 3 drafts. Rule 4, IFA, and the trade deadline. And no, they don't have to throw in the towel to have a very active deadline. They showed that in 2017. It's all about asset management to them.

 

When Severino became available from the Braves, we jumped all over him because we came close previously. Look at how many IFA's we picked up at the 2018 trade deadline. I'm guessing we are using our extensive IFA expertise to target these prospects when they become available on the trade market.

 

If we make a blockbuster trade, it will most likely involve the core of 4 plus Rosario and Polanco.

    • birdwatcher likes this
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LylesCrocodiles
Feb 20 2019 05:18 AM
A few years ago I read an article that broke down a decades worth of top 100 MLB prospect lists. Essentially half fail (never make it to the bigs or end up below average). This is the cream of the crop not some squads top 20 or 30 guys. The Twins will be lucky if 2 of their top 3 hit. After that it will be up to the front office to determine which of their prospects have what it takes to help at the big league level down the road. To simply stockpile “talent” is the easy part of this process. But that alone won’t get the Twins anywhere. They need to identify their iffy prospects and try to maximize their value. If that means trading a few lower level guys with upside for ML or close to ML talent Im all for it. There are so many ways to restock the talent pool each year. But there are only so many ways to acquire guys who can help the big club. I will be disappointed if the FO just sits around waiting for their more marginal prospects to develop into “all-star” caliber players. Sure guys like Baddoo Javier Severino ect have high ceilings but I would to willing to part with any of this guys for proven ML help. To just stock the talent pool and hope it carries you to a world championship is a poor plan. Unless this organization starts to spends more $$ to keep or add ML talent they will be at the mercy of the biggest variable in the game - banking on the ceilings of rookie and A ball prospects. Good luck with that.