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  • Minnesota Twins Top 50 Prospects: 21-25

    After yesterday's prospects were revealed, we have now reached the halfway point of the Top 50 Minnesota Twins Prospect rankings. Today I am presenting my choices for Twins prospects 21 through 25. The discussions of these rankings so far have been fun, and I anticipate the debates growing as we roll closer to Number One.

    If you want to look into some of the things that go into my personal rankings, click on the previous parts of this series at the bottom of today’s group.

    Part 6: 21-25

    Again today I think this is an interesting collection of prospects. There are two relievers, one that Twins fans have already seen in the big leagues and one who could be there quickly. The other three are not yet 20 years old and have high ceilings, but a long ways to go.

    #25 – Michael Tonkin – RH RP (23)

    I often hear about how the Twins promote guys too slowly, and there are a some instances where that may be true. However, when you consider the early stages of Tonkin’s career, you have to appreciate that sometimes patience is a very good thing. Drafted in the 30th round in 2008 out of high school, Tonkin spent parts of the 2010, 2011 and 2012 seasons in Beloit (Low A). The first year, he made a dozen starts. The second year, he pitched adequately out of the bullpen and improvement was clear. He then spent the first half of the 2012 season in Beloit before finishing the season in Ft. Myers. He began 2013 in New Britain, was promoted to Rochester fairly quickly and arrived with the Twins in July. He struggled with Rochester, but he made his Major League debut just 13 months after leaving Low-A. A mid-90s fastball and a slider make him a potential back-end of the bullpen guy.

    #24 – Miguel Sulburan – LH SP (19)

    The fact that he is just 5'-10" creates concern in the minds of some, but to this point in his career, Sulburan has pitched like he’s much bigger. The Twins plucked this left-hander from the Dodgers in exchange for Drew Butera at the July deadline. For the Kernels, he went 3-0 with a 2.70 ERA in four starts. Combined in 2013 in the Midwest League, he posted a 2.96 ERA in 112.2 innings and struck out 8.1 per nine innings while walking just 2.6 per nine. He has a solid four-pitch mix. His best pitch, to this point, is a devastating changeup. He’ll need to get some movement on his fastball to be successful as he moves up.

    #23 – Amaurys Minier – 3B (17)

    Minier was the Twins big international free agent signing in 2012 when he signed as a 16-year-old for about $1.5 million. The third baseman has tremendous power and will likely be a good hitter but he is very young. As you might expect, he was quite streaky in his US/GCL debut. He showed power rarely seen in the GCL with six home runs in 119 plate appearances. However, he fought injury much of the season and hit just .214/.252/.455 (.707) in this small sample in a league where the stats matter very little. His power is legit and he is one who could jump quickly up this list.

    #22 – Zack Jones – RH RP (22)

    Listening to several Miracle games throughout the season, it was hard not to get excited when play-by-play men Brice Zimmerman and Adam MacDonald spoke of Jones and his 96-100 mph fastball. He also has an improving slider. Jones was the Twins 4th round pick in 2012 out of college, where he also was a hitter. Very exciting is his 12.9 K/9 (70 strikeouts in 48.2 innings), but he’ll have to throw more strikes (28 walks) if he wants to move quickly.

    #21 – Jorge Felix – RH SP (19)

    Felix is another very exciting young arm in the Twins farm system. To this point, he has moved up one level each year. He posted a 2.67 ERA in the DSL in 2011. In 2012 in the GCL, he posted a 2.34 ERA in 34.2 innings. With the E-Twins this year, he posted a 2.95 ERA in 61 innings (12 starts). His strikeout rate has increased each of those seasons, from 8.7 to 9.6 to 10.6 K/9. He’s 6-2 and wiry. He throws hard and has a solid breaking ball. The combination of Felix, Landa and Rosario gave the E-Twins some great pitching, and along with a couple guys that are a little higher on this list, they give the Twins and their fans reason to be excited for the future.

    So there's Part 6 of my Top 50 Twins Prospect list. We'll be back soon with Part 7, prospects 16-20.



    Part 1: 46-50
    Part 2: 41-45
    Part 3: 36-40
    Part 4: 31-35
    Part 5: 26-30
    Comments 31 Comments
    1. Heimer's Avatar
      Heimer -
      Sulburan sounds like a Johan Santana. Good pick up by TR!
    1. Kwak's Avatar
      Kwak -
      One thing I've noticed about the pitchers--they haven't thrown very many innings. I fear their results are skewed because they are rarely tired nor spent long enough in a game for the opponents to "get a read" on them.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by Heimer View Post
      Sulburan sounds like a Johan Santana. Good pick up by TR!
      The changeup is certainly interesting, and Santana wasn't a big guy either. Santana hit 94 earlier in his career, but a great changeup can make you a solid big leaguer.
    1. clutterheart's Avatar
      clutterheart -
      milb.com has the name: Felix Jorge. Not Jorge Felix.

      I assume you have him below a player like Gonsalves.

      I see lot of prospect rankings keep players like Landa, Rosario and Jorge down yet elavate a guy like Gonsalves. All of them are teenagers, and Jorge has a longer track record than Gonsalves. Yet Gonsalves gets the higher ranking...I always wonder whats that about.
    1. B Richard's Avatar
      B Richard -
      Thanks for this Seth. Each new installment gives me something to look forward to.

      Question: Is Felix Jorge's height (projectability?) the largest factor in his superior ranking to Landa and Rosario? Or does he just have better stuff and solid peripherals?
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      His actual name is Jorge Felix (according to multiple source, himself included).

      He is said to have a little better stuff than the other two. He's also a little taller which right-or-wrong often means potential for more velocity.
    1. cmathewson's Avatar
      cmathewson -
      Quote Originally Posted by clutterheart View Post
      milb.com has the name: Felix Jorge. Not Jorge Felix.

      I assume you have him below a player like Gonsalves.

      I see lot of prospect rankings keep players like Landa, Rosario and Jorge down yet elavate a guy like Gonsalves. All of them are teenagers, and Jorge has a longer track record than Gonsalves. Yet Gonsalves gets the higher ranking...I always wonder whats that about.
      It's about upside. By my rating system, Gonsalves was the top high school lefthander in the 2013 draft, who only slipped because his coach was a dick and told scouts not to draft him. He also has the body of a future front-line starter. None of the E-Town guys do.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Yeah, I know some fans don't like cliches like downward plane, but it's an important piece to pitching, for sure. Gonsalves will show up on the list soon.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      That list of arms is why I think dealing successful bullpen arms (when your team is bad) is a good idea. There are plenty of guys that could be good in the bullpen in the future, imo, if they move them to the pen sooner. As a player, it really makes sense if you are a marginal starter to move sooner, rather than later, to make some real money someday.
    1. DJL44's Avatar
      DJL44 -
      There is a tendency on lists like these for the draft hype to influence the rankings and bump drafted players ahead of international signings. I think Seth has done a good job making sure it isn't just hype that drives the rankings. So far I think I'd just flip Wimmers and Turner and call it good.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by DJL44 View Post
      There is a tendency on lists like these for the draft hype to influence the rankings and bump drafted players ahead of international signings. I think Seth has done a good job making sure it isn't just hype that drives the rankings. So far I think I'd just flip Wimmers and Turner and call it good.
      To be frank, I'm sure I would flip-flop a few of them already based on good comments and discussion, but I've also received more scouting reports and have more information. A prospect list should always be in flux, in my opinion. Maybe not drastic change based on new information, but all information should be considered.
    1. Tibs's Avatar
      Tibs -
      Quote Originally Posted by Heimer View Post
      Sulburan sounds like a Johan Santana. Good pick up by TR!
      That's exactly what I was thinking. Santana wasn't exactly a big guy either, but I couldn't remember how hard each guy throws. I'm hoping I'm not making an irresponsible comparison.
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      Quote Originally Posted by Tibs View Post
      That's exactly what I was thinking. Santana wasn't exactly a big guy either, but I couldn't remember how hard each guy throws. I'm hoping I'm not making an irresponsible comparison.
      I don't think it's irresponsible to think of Johan when you hear the term "devastating changeup". Whether he develops to that level remains to be seen, but the upside is nice and very exciting.

      And I'd add, for all the talk about the front office, the one thing Ryan has done exceptionally well is to mine prospects from other team's systems.
    1. cmathewson's Avatar
      cmathewson -
      Pedro Hernandez has a great change-up. He got outrighted today, meaning no other team claimed him on waivers. Why? Because he has a below-average fastball. What made Johan so spectacular was the 94-mph fastball with sink, combined with the 78-mph change-up. Also, he had three major-league pitches. When the blister made the slider impossible, he became ordinary. When he had all three going, he dominated.

      I know Sulburan throws harder than Hernandez. But he needs to have a three-pitch mix to be mentioned in the same discussion with Santana. And he needs to add a foot or movement or both to his fastball as well. He's young, so there's some hope. But if he had those things, he would be a top 10 prospect.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      And that's why he's in the high-20s instead of the high-teens. Very well explained.
    1. Madre Dos's Avatar
      Madre Dos -
      Jorge has amazing velocity for 6'3" and 168#. They call him 6:00 because he is so tall and thin. I tried all summer to turn him into 6:15 without success. He is a great kid and his English got good enough this summer to be able to understand humor in English. I can't wait to see him in March.


      Quote Originally Posted by B Richard View Post
      Thanks for this Seth. Each new installment gives me something to look forward to.

      Question: Is Felix Jorge's height (projectability?) the largest factor in his superior ranking to Landa and Rosario? Or does he just have better stuff and solid peripherals?
    1. clutterheart's Avatar
      clutterheart -
      Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
      It's about upside. By my rating system, Gonsalves was the top high school lefthander in the 2013 draft, who only slipped because his coach was a dick and told scouts not to draft him. He also has the body of a future front-line starter. None of the E-Town guys do.
      Don't get me wrong, I like Gonsalves, but the reports I read about Felix combined with the stats he is throwing up make me think he might be the better prospect.
      But if both reach the level of Front Line No Hitter Every Night Ace Pitchers...well thats fine with me.
    1. gunnarthor's Avatar
      gunnarthor -
      Nice write up, Seth. I really like Felix. Hope he has a big jump next season.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Thanks! I would love to see him make a big jump up this list in 2014 too!! He's certainly a talent!
    1. mnfanforlife's Avatar
      mnfanforlife -
      Quote Originally Posted by Madre Dos View Post
      Jorge has amazing velocity for 6'3" and 168#. They call him 6:00 because he is so tall and thin. I tried all summer to turn him into 6:15 without success. He is a great kid and his English got good enough this summer to be able to understand humor in English. I can't wait to see him in March.

      6 o'clock - - hilarious...i am going to use that one.
      Thanks for the interesting tid-bits!
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