• Seth's Preliminary Top 50 Twins Prospects



    Now that the TwinsCentric Offseason Handbook is available, itís time for me to hunker down and dive head-first into the 2013 version of the Twins Prospect Handbook. Itís hard to believe that this will be the 5th annual prospect book already. I enjoy doing the research and the writing, for sure.

    As I did last year, I want to welcome your feedback. To encourage that, I am sharing my early, preliminary Top 50 Twins Prospect list. As I research and write over the next two months, it is not only subject to change, but likely to change.
    So, here is my preliminary Top 50 list without much comment. Please feel free to discuss, disagree, ask questions, mention players that I didnít, and generally just chat away.

    Sethís Preliminary Top 50

    Rank Player POS
    1 Miguel Sano 3B
    2 Byron Buxton OF
    3 Aaron Hicks OF
    4 Oswaldo Arcia OF
    5 Eddie Rosario 2B
    6 Kyle Gibson RHP
    7 Jose (JO) Berrios RHP
    8 Max Kepler OF
    9 Kennys Vargas 1B
    10 Joe Benson OF
    11 Travis Harrison 3B
    12 Adrian Salcedo RHP
    13 Danny Santana SS
    14 Chris Herrmann C/OF
    15 BJ Hermsen RHP
    16 Alex Wimmers RHP
    17 Adam Walker OF
    18 Mason Melotakis LHP
    19 Jorge Polanco IF
    20 Pedro Hernandez LHP
    21 Danny Ortiz OF
    22 Matt Summers RHP
    23 Luke Bard RHP
    24 Levi Michael 2B
    25 Hudson Boyd RHP
    26 Nate Roberts OF
    27 Niko Goodrum SS
    28 Kuo-Hu Lo RHP
    29 Michael Tonkin RHP
    30 Madison Boer RHP
    31 Bruce Pugh RHP
    32 JD Williams OF
    33 Angel Mata RHP
    34 DJ Baxendale RHP
    35 Tyler Duffey RHP
    36 JT Chargois RHP
    37 Zach Jones RHP
    38 Randy Rosario LHP
    39 Jason Wheeler LHP
    40 Josh Burris RHP
    41 Matt Hauser RHP
    42 Josue Montanez LHP
    43 Tom Stuifbergen RHP
    44 Dereck Rodriguez OF
    45 Corey Williams LHP
    46 Romy Jimenez OF
    47 Austin Malinowski LHP
    48 Tyler Jones RHP
    49 Brett Lee LHP
    50 Jeremias Pineda OF


    There you have it, 1-50. There are some names that Iím sure we all think have been left off. Guys like Pat Dean and Lance Ray and Evan Bigley have been on the list before. Left-handers who pitched incredibly well in Beloit (like David Hurlbut, Matt Tomshaw and 2012 draft pick Taylor Rogers) could be on this list. Minnesota native and former Gophers infielder Nate Hanson did a terrific job for the Rock Cats this year, especially after moving to second base. Fellow Rock Cat James Beresford would be on this list, but at this point, he has not re-signed with the Twins. Aderlin Mejia was an All-GCL choice this year. Candido Pimentel was the Appy League MVP.

    To come up with a Top 10 list of Twins prospects this year is really easy. However, I have not had this much trouble starting at about 16 or so in my 7-8 years of making these types of lists. Itís not that there isnít some really good talent. There are a lot of players who were just recently drafted. There are some really talented, potentially impact relievers. Injuries have had some effect on this list, no question.

    I feel like Kyle Gibson, who I ranked #6, should be several places higher. However, I just canít get myself to move him in front of the top 5. But thatís a great place to start the discussion. I think most would agree with who is in the top seven on this list, but what order would you have them in?

    Again, feel free to discuss, ask questions, make cases for players, whatever you like.
    This article was originally published in blog: Seth's Preliminary Top 50 Twins Prospects started by Seth Stohs
    Comments 44 Comments
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      as always, hard to deal with those lists... And really if you look you have Buxton who has proven nothing and Gibson who has proven something (and even more in the AFL) vs Hicks who by any means I can count is "it" and Hermsen who just deserves it. Hard to argue with this list on the top other than I love Buxton's and Kepler's potential but I do have to see more...
    1. gilesferrell's Avatar
      gilesferrell -
      #6 is the right spot for Gibson. But, he is having a terrific performance in the AFL, so he should be in the discussion for Top 5.
    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      Just curious, what is it that causes you to rank Bard third among this year's pitching draft class? There were half a dozen guys who were lights out but he was not one of them.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by nicksaviking View Post
      Just curious, what is it that causes you to rank Bard third among this year's pitching draft class? There were half a dozen guys who were lights out but he was not one of them.
      His draft status means that he's thought of more highly than those other guys. When healthy, he can be very good. He will likely get the opportunity to start which (in my opinion) is more valuable than relieving. Also, it's hard to make much of anything that happens in 15-20 games (especially remember that a couple of those relievers will move to starters next spring and we'll learn a lot more about them then).
    1. maxisagod's Avatar
      maxisagod -
      Vargas at 9 is very aggressive, fun! Why did you rate Jorge Polanco ahead of Levi Michael and Niko Goodrum? Is it all glove or do you think Jorge will out hit the other two?
    1. ScottyB's Avatar
      ScottyB -
      Has Angel Morales really fallen so far? He's still listed as the #10 prospect on Twins site. He hasn't shown much in a couple of years because of injuries, but to not even show up in the top 50?
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by maxisagod View Post
      Vargas at 9 is very aggressive, fun! Why did you rate Jorge Polanco ahead of Levi Michael and Niko Goodrum? Is it all glove or do you think Jorge will out hit the other two?
      Goodrum probably has the highest upside offensively. I've never been real high on Michael. Polanco finally did something this year, and he's so young. In reality, I think the main point about the three of these guys is they're all in the same range. As of right now, I rank them Polanco, Michael, Goodrum, but of course, that's subject to change.
    1. iastfan112's Avatar
      iastfan112 -
      Vargas(SSS), Hermsen(disappearing K rate), and Wimmers(control, then injury) all feel overrated imo. Hudson Boyd and especially Levi Michael feel low. I can understand the drop with disappointing seasons but mid 20's seems overly harsh.
    1. righty8383's Avatar
      righty8383 -
      Quote Originally Posted by ScottyB View Post
      Has Angel Morales really fallen so far? He's still listed as the #10 prospect on Twins site. He hasn't shown much in a couple of years because of injuries, but to not even show up in the top 50?
      That same site has Kyle Gibson at 16, Max Kepler at 18 and Adrien Salcedo at 7. Its as if thier not even trying. To get back to your original question, yes, Morales has fallen that far. He had one decent offensive season and that was in the hitter friendly Appalachian league. Since then he has been a strikeout machine who has hit for little power.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by ScottyB View Post
      Has Angel Morales really fallen so far? He's still listed as the #10 prospect on Twins site. He hasn't shown much in a couple of years because of injuries, but to not even show up in the top 50?
      The short answer is "Yes!" A few years ago, I ranked him #3 in the organization, and I kept him in the Top 10 for awhile. The guy is an incredible athlete with great talent, but last year was a mess. He had a great first 2 weeks and then struggled like crazy the rest of the year. HE is terrific defensively. He has great speed and a strong arm. That said, I believe that he can be a guy that goes up to AA and does better. We'll see.
    1. Top Gun's Avatar
      Top Gun -
      Prospects are prospects and notting more, only a very few will ever make it, and who's
      to know who they wil ever be.
    1. righty8383's Avatar
      righty8383 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Top Gun View Post
      Prospects are prospects and notting more, only a very few will ever make it, and who's
      to know who they wil ever be.
      I think that anyone who follows baseball closely(everyone on this site) is fully aware of this.
    1. SpantheMan's Avatar
      SpantheMan -
      When people say only a few will ever make it, it gets me thinking. In the top 10, there are a few who will certainly make it. Hicks and arcia could probably be 4th outfielders right now. Gibson will make it unless his arm falls off. How much would it take or Sano to not make it?
    1. mlhouse's Avatar
      mlhouse -
      1. I think your Joe Benson is rated too high. I know that position should not be a major deciding factor, but with 4 other OFs ahead of him in the top 10, his chances of making it have been severely diminished.

      2. To a lesser extent, same with Adrian Salcedo. His 2012 campagin was a major setback and there is no way that he should be considered a top 15 prospect. Alex Wimmer is also rated way too high. He has only pitched 45 innings in the past two years. same with Matt Summers. You need to have BJ Hermsen rated ahead of either just for production, Hudson Boyd for potential, and Luke Bard also for highly drafted potential.

      3. Danny Santana is ranked way too high for a guy with a sub-300 OBP at Elizabethton/Beloit. His HR pop is nice, but not signficant. He certainly cannot be seen as highly of a prospect as Dozier, who performed much better at those levels.

      4. All of the college relief arms that the Twins drafted need to be considered much higher than they are.
    1. johnnydakota's Avatar
      johnnydakota -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by nicksaviking View Post
      Just curious, what is it that causes you to rank Bard third among this year's pitching draft class? There were half a dozen guys who were lights out but he was not one of them.
      His draft status means that he's thought of more highly than those other guys. When healthy, he can be very good. He will likely get the opportunity to start which (in my opinion) is more valuable than relieving. Also, it's hard to make much of anything that happens in 15-20 games (especially remember that a couple of those relievers will move to starters next spring and we'll learn a lot more about them then).
      so because he was drafted higher , he is better? wonder if mike piazza thinks that way,
      also a reliever in college and we are going to transorm him here?why not just draft say gausman or zimmerman?
    1. lightfoot789's Avatar
      lightfoot789 -
      I like your list and find myself intrigued with the kids from the Appy League. I watched the Appy league over the last few years and have a special feeling about several of those kids. As teams draft on potential and look for that special "Thing / Tool" from each draftee - You could see some of those Tools on display with these kids and see them only getting better through the system (regardless if it was only the Appy League). From Buxton to Berrios to Duffy to Melotakis to Walker to Chargois to Palanco to even Burris who was lights out with a crazy fast ball and curve ball. I'd like to know what the coaches thought of these guys after a short season and instructionals.
    1. johnnydakota's Avatar
      johnnydakota -
      wow and you dont even have slama in the top 50 ?
      so much for stats huh...hermsen is rated high and heres a kid with a below average fastball no out pitch who the twins hope and believe can be a back of the rotation starter , maybe a decent #4 or 5 guy , and once again athony gets dissed
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by Top Gun View Post
      Prospects are prospects and notting more, only a very few will ever make it, and who's
      to know who they wil ever be.
      Of course, this is correct. However, I would (or at least could) argue that the more good prospects a team has, the more likely that one or two will turn out. Also, I'm not looking for superstars (although I think the first 7 on this list could potentially be), and it's important to realize that those in the 30s could be valuable big league relievers, and that utility infielders have good careers. And also, these guys work hard and deserve to be recognized.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by mlhouse View Post
      1. I think your Joe Benson is rated too high. I know that position should not be a major deciding factor, but with 4 other OFs ahead of him in the top 10, his chances of making it have been severely diminished.

      2. To a lesser extent, same with Adrian Salcedo. His 2012 campagin was a major setback and there is no way that he should be considered a top 15 prospect. Alex Wimmer is also rated way too high. He has only pitched 45 innings in the past two years. same with Matt Summers. You need to have BJ Hermsen rated ahead of either just for production, Hudson Boyd for potential, and Luke Bard also for highly drafted potential.

      3. Danny Santana is ranked way too high for a guy with a sub-300 OBP at Elizabethton/Beloit. His HR pop is nice, but not signficant. He certainly cannot be seen as highly of a prospect as Dozier, who performed much better at those levels.

      4. All of the college relief arms that the Twins drafted need to be considered much higher than they are.
      All fair points which is why the title of the blog includes my name. I definitely encourage people to post their own blogs with their Top 20s or Top 50s or whatever.

      I try not to let injuries factor into my rankings too much. Kyle Gibson missed a year with Tommy John and I don't think I ever had him lower than #7. Wimmers was hurt last year and had Tommy John. Salcedo rehabbed a shoulder injury most of last year. Benson had about 3 different injuries last year. It is difficult to determine how much a guy should fall due to injury. Benson moved down 6 spots for me. Salcedo and Wimmers each dropped a few as well.

      Also, Matt Summers threw 148.1 innings last year. Low K total, but having seen him pitch, he's got the stuff. I can't believe he won't strike more out.

      I fully admit that I'm a Danny Santana believer. I've seen him play a few times and (maybe that clouds my judgment some) I think he's going to be good. Don't get me wrong... I had Dozier ranked #11 last year. To me, that was a spot where he could be a solid every day big leaguer, not an all-star, but a contributor. Likewise, I'm not saying that Santana will be an All-Star, but his tools are incredible and I think he can stick at SS. And if he puts together another solid year next year in New Britain, he could move up a few more spots. Or, if he doesn't post a .300 OBP again, he could drop precipitously. I definitely acknowledge I'm out on a limb on Santana.

      Regarding the college relievers, you're probably right... It's actually unusual for me to include this many relief pitchers in my rankings. Not that I don't respect the position. I just have a hard time ranking guys that will pitch 60-70 innings ahead of guys that will throw 170+ innings. But the Twins definitely have some power arms in their system now.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by johnnydakota View Post
      so because he was drafted higher , he is better? wonder if mike piazza thinks that way,
      also a reliever in college and we are going to transorm him here?why not just draft say gausman or zimmerman?
      At this stage, yes... do you think that Piazza was instantly a top prospect when he was a 62nd round pick? No, but he played great and moved up lists quickly. We've got like 20 innings on all of these college relievers, at low levels, so we know pretty much nothing yet.

      And, they took the best player available (Buxton), so they couldn't get Gausman or Zimmer.
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