• Minnesota Twins Top 50 Prospects: 46-50

    As the World Series is about to start, and the Minnesota Twins are not particularly close to that, I thought it would be a good time to talk about Twins minor leaguers. Today, I will be beginning a series showing my top 50 Twins prospects. People often ask why fifty? To that I say, well, why not 60 or 75 or 30? For me, it's always about giving recognition to players who worked hard throughout the 2013 season and deserve to be noticed.

    Prospect rankings are obviously a very subjective thing. As a disclaimer, this prospect ranking is mine and is based on my thinking at this time based on information such as statistics, scouting reports, video, some in-person watching and, frankly, opinion. I would certainly welcome you taking the time to list out the Twins minor league prospects and rank your top fifty.

    Before we get to the list and the series, a quick reminder of my definition of a prospect. First, I follow the guidelines that Major League Baseball uses for rookie of the year eligibility. That is, 130 big league at-bats for hitters and 50 innings pitched for pitchers. There is also a service time piece so that relievers that spend 2/3 of the season with the big league club yet only rack up 40 innings do not quality as a prospect any longer.

    I consider a lot of factors in my rankings. I consider Age-To-Level-Of-Competition. I consider the tools of the player. I look at the numbers, but scouting reports mean more sometimes, especially when the player is further from the big leagues.

    I welcome your feedback as we trek through this series of prospects five at a time. Feel free to ask questions. This ranking will almost certainly change as I continue to get more reports. By the time my sixth annual Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook comes out, I'll have a more official Top 30 list in the book. Enjoy the series.



    Part 1: Prospects 46-50

    Part 1 starts with three relief pitchers, a very intriguing, big upside starter from the 2013 draft, and a highly-drafted defensive-minded catcher. As you would expect, these are not the glamour prospects by any means, but the relievers have a chance to contribute and catchers always have value and if the starter's stuff measures up, well, you never know.

    #50 – Adrian Salcedo – Ft. Myers – RH RP (22)


    Adrian Salcedo was a Top 10 Twins prospect in my rankings as recently as two years ago. Unfortunately, 2012 was a lost year for him because of injuries to his elbow and shoulder. He avoided surgery and returned to the mound in the Miracle bullpen. He remains intriguing because of a mid-90s fastball, a low-90s sinker and a terrific changeup. It will be interesting to see if he gets another shot at a starting spot in the Twins system.

    #49 – Josue Montanez – Cedar Rapids – LH SP (21)

    The left-hander was the Twins 15th round pick in 2011 out of community college. He was impressive in the GCL, though he fought injury and missed time. He has a sturdy frame and a solid, three-pitch mix. He fought consistency in Cedar Rapids, but has shown flashes of potential.

    #48 – Aaron Slegers – Indiana/Elizabethton – RH SP (21)

    Slegers certainly has a lot of mound presence, including a big shadow. The 6-10 righty was a fixture in the Indiana starting rotation that went to the College World Series in June. He hadn’t pitched much due to injury before 2013, his junior season as a Hoosier, but he went 9-1 with 1.93 ERA and hit 93 mph with his fastball. He gave up just one earned run in 19 innings out of the bullpen in Elizabethton. Finding a consistent release point and mechanics could lead to even more velocity. One could say, if one wanted, the sky is the limit.

    #47 – Stuart Turner – Mississippi/Elizabethton/New Britain – C (21)

    With their third-round pick this year this June, the Twins took the best college catcher available. Turner, from Ole Miss, won the 2013 Johnny Bench Award given to the top catcher in college. Known for his defense, Turner hit .264 at Elizabethton before going 2-4 in one game at the end of the season for New Britain. How much will he hit? That is the big question, but his role in the organization is pretty important as he'll be working with some very impressive young pitchers.

    #46 – AJ Achter – New Britain/Rochester – RH RP (25)

    Achter was the Twins 46th round pick in 2010 out of Michigan State. He made the move to the bullpen in 2012 and was my choice for Twins minor league relief pitcher of the year when he posted a 1.70 ERA, a 0.93 WHIP and 10.4 K/9 between Beloit and Ft. Myers. In 2013, he split the season between New Britain and Rochester and earned an opportunity in the Arizona Fall League. He may not be as flashy as Michael Tonkin, but he has put up equivalent numbers without as much acclaim. He'll be considered for a 40-man roster spot this fall and is certainly worth watching.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Tomorrow, we'll be back with Part 2, prospects 41-45.

    Please feel free to leave your thoughts and questions below.
    Comments 18 Comments
    1. clutterheart's Avatar
      clutterheart -
      Seems like there were years a player like Slegers would be in the top 30 while a guy like Turner would be in the 20's!
      This system is pretty good!
      Can't wait for the rest of the series!
    1. mnfanforlife's Avatar
      mnfanforlife -
      I agree that Stuart Turner is top-50. How can MLB.com inlcude Turner, but exlcude Josmil Pinto from their top-20?
    1. Ozziedavisfan's Avatar
      Ozziedavisfan -
      I think of all the prospects if a pitcher is over 6'8 1/2 people like to get exicted about him, I think of randy johnson. That said I think Slegers, is among my favorite prospects.
    1. 2wins87's Avatar
      2wins87 -
      Quote Originally Posted by clutterheart View Post
      Seems like there were years a player like Slegers would be in the top 30 while a guy like Turner would be in the 20's!
      It's a bit hard to say without seeing the rest of the list, but they probably would be higher on my list if I tried to rank out to 50. Probably not until at least the late 20s on either though. Love the upside on Slegers and from what I've heard about Turner, even if he only hits like Drew Butera he'll still be as good as Drew Butera overall. That's not too exciting, but it's a good guy to have.

      Can't wait for the rest of the series!
      Agreed. These lists are always a lot of fun. I appreciate the work Seth.
    1. Let It Sano's Avatar
      Let It Sano -
      Where do you think Turner and Slegers will start out next year? Seems like they could be fast risers.
    1. Kwak's Avatar
      Kwak -
      "...even if he only hits like Drew Butera he'll still be as good as Drew Butera overall."

      Wow. The new benchmark for Twins players--Drew Butera. I never knew the Twins couldn't have too many of Drew Butera clones. My baseball appreciation has just increased from reading another TD thread.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by mnfanforlife View Post
      I agree that Stuart Turner is top-50. How can MLB.com inlcude Turner, but exlcude Josmil Pinto from their top-20?
      Unexplainable, unless they don't include any player that has MLB service time?
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by Let It Sano View Post
      Where do you think Turner and Slegers will start out next year? Seems like they could be fast risers.
      I would expect both to start at Cedar Rapids, though I think Turner's got a shot to start in Ft. Myers. Both should end the season with the Miracle, you would hope.

      And, I agree with those above. As I learn more about them, my sense is they could both move up this list by the time I put a final version in the book.
    1. Badsmerf's Avatar
      Badsmerf -
      That seems pretty low for Slegers Seth. He had some pretty good success in college and hopefully can continue it in professional ball. I loved the draft pick.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by Badsmerf View Post
      That seems pretty low for Slegers Seth. He had some pretty good success in college and hopefully can continue it in professional ball. I loved the draft pick.
      As do I. Like I said, he'll likely be higher once I've done more research and talked to more people. I just don't want his height to be the reason for excitement. He had one good year in college. He's got upside because of his height. It was a great pick. He's definitely a guy who could skyrocket prospect lists.
    1. Ozziedavisfan's Avatar
      Ozziedavisfan -
      I have to agree with seth. Nothing stopping slegers moving up the list if he plays weel next year. I have no problem where he is on the list being that he only played in rookie level ball and it's a small sample size.
    1. YourHouseIsMyHouse's Avatar
      YourHouseIsMyHouse -
      I really like Slegers. More than Turner despite draft position. You could make a top 50 every month, Seth, and I'd still read it every time. I love top prospect rankings. Love em. Love em.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by YourHouseIsMyHouse View Post
      I really like Slegers. More than Turner despite draft position. You could make a top 50 every month, Seth, and I'd still read it every time. I love top prospect rankings. Love em. Love em.
      Catcher is such a difficult position to get to the big leagues. There is so much attrition that it's just hard to know with them. I personally like Butera, so if he's any better than that as a big leaguer, I think that's a good thing. It'll be interesting to see how his 2014 goes. I'm agreeing on Slegers too. Thinking about some that I have higher, he definitely could be higher. But, I'm probably too careful about not looking at college pitchers' stats in the Appy League and overcompensated.

      Thanks for the compliment! I enjoy it, and really believe these guys (all of them) deserve the recognition!
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      I'm with Seth on the success of college players in the appy league....doesn't mean much. Seth, thanks, as always, for your work. Really enjoy it.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      Aaron Slegers struck out 59 batters and gave up 108 hits in his 106 innings at IU in 2013. Judging off of a tiny amount of innings in E-Town is not a good idea. It has burned many a prospect before. The Big Ten was terrible last year other than IU, so his college ERA is wildly low.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by Shane Wahl View Post
      Aaron Slegers struck out 59 batters and gave up 108 hits in his 106 innings at IU in 2013. Judging off of a tiny amount of innings in E-Town is not a good idea. It has burned many a prospect before. The Big Ten was terrible last year other than IU, so his college ERA is wildly low.
      All of that factors in to him being as low as he is... But it shouldn't take away from the possibility that things click for him and he reaches a potential when he cleans up some mechanics.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      All of that factors in to him being as low as he is... But it shouldn't take away from the possibility that things click for him and he reaches a potential when he cleans up some mechanics.
      I have no problem with him there on your list. He's interesting to watch. But general excitement and calling your placement "low" is pushing it quite a bit. Maybe it will become more clear once people see the 45.
    1. clutterheart's Avatar
      clutterheart -
      Quote Originally Posted by Shane Wahl View Post
      I have no problem with him there on your list. He's interesting to watch. But general excitement and calling your placement "low" is pushing it quite a bit. Maybe it will become more clear once people see the 45.
      Exactly,
      If you are going to say someone is low you have to say who you would push down/out of the list
©2014 TwinsCentric, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Interested in advertising with Twins Daily? Click here.