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  • Minnesota Twins Top 20 Prospects in Review

    In my fourth annual Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook, which became available in January, I posted my Top 30 Twins Prospect list as well as my annual rankings back five or six years. I enjoy looking at those lists for a couple of reasons. First, it is humbling. No one will likely ever produce a top 10 list that is 100% accurate. Second, its a fun reminder of some of the names from the past that didnt stick around or make it. Third, its just fun to review to see what I have learned since then.

    Today, I would like to take a look at my top 20 Twins prospects from before the season started and provide a quick update on how theyre doing. Some will move up, others will (or have) moved down. In parentheses, you will see where I ranked that player when I did an updated ranking before the June draft. In the comments, please feel free to discuss, but also feel free to post your updated Top 10 list as of now.
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    #1 (1) Miguel Sano 19 years old 3B

    In Beloit, he is hitting .259/.380/.521 (.902) with 24 doubles, 4 triples, 24 homers and 90 RBI. He has stolen seven bases. He has also committed 40 errors.

    #2 (2) Eddie Rosario 20 years old 2B

    Also in Beloit, Rosario missed just over a month of games after being hit in the mouth by a line drive in batting practice, but hes back and hitting again. He is hitting .301/.359/.480 (.839) with 24 doubles, three triples, eight homers and 54 RBI. He has committed just 12 errors at second base, and is also playing about a game a week in centerfield.

    #3 (5) Oswaldo Arcia 21 years old RF

    Its been a great year for the Venezuelan outfielder. After a slow start in Ft. Myers, he took off. He played in the FSL All Star game and then hit a double off of Jameson Taillon in the Futures Game. He was promoted to AA New Britain in mid-June and he has been even better. Overall, hes hitting .319/.390/.534 (.924) with 31 doubles, five triples 14 home runs and 78 RBI. He has six errors defensively, but he also has 15 outfield assists.

    #4 (4) Aaron Hicks 22 years old CF

    Hicks has seemingly turned a corner since his strong showing in the AFL last year. In AA this year, he has taken off. He is hitting .281/.381/.456 with 19 doubles, seven triples, 12 home runs and 55 RBI. Hes also stolen 27 bases and has ten outfield assists while showing great range and a very strong arm.

    #5 (7) Joe Benson 24 year old OF

    Its been a disappointing season for Benson since a nice showing in spring training. He began the season in Rochester where he really struggled before being sent back to New Britain. He then had to have surgery on his hamate bone and missed 5-6 weeks. He has returned and is back at New Britain, but the struggles continue. Overall this season, Benson is hitting .209/.294/.350 (.644) with 13 doubles, three triples and six home runs. Hes also 13/17 in steal attempts. He remains one of the best defensive outfielders in the organization.

    #6 (3) Liam Hendriks 23 years old RHP

    Hendriks made the Opening Day roster but was sent down later in the first month. He got another opportunity in June that went miserably as well. However, in Rochester, he has been terrific. He is a 9-2 with a 1.99 ERA and a 0.95 WHIP. In 99.1 innings, he has given up just 69 hits, walked 25 and struckout 76. He will get another shot soon.

    #7 (6) Kyle Gibson 24 years old RHP

    Hearing reports that Gibson is throwing just as hard, if not harder, than he did before his September Tommy John surgery is certainly encouraging. He has remained on schedule and tonight will make his first start of the year for the Ft. Myers Miracle. In a months worth of rehab games in the GCL, Gibson was 0-0 with a 2.45 ERA and a 0.89 WHIP. In 14.2 innings, he gave up nine hits, walked four and struck out 14. Of course, the numbers are far less important than the process.

    #8 (13) Adrian Salcedo 21 years old RHP

    The lanky right-hander struggled in the early season. He was 0-2 with a 5.87 ERA and a 1.83 WHIP. Unlike his previous seasons, he struggled with control, issuing more walks than ever. Something wasnt right. He was put on the DL with elbow concerns early in the year. He came back and struggled more, and then he was put on the DL with shoulder issues.

    #9 (12) Alex Wimmers 23 years old RHP

    After all of his control issues early last season, he ended the year with a no-hitter for the Miracle. He had a solid spring and was sent to New Britain to start the season. He made his first start and hasnt pitched since. After a couple of months rehabbing, he had Tommy John surgery.

    #10 (N/A) Chris Parmelee 24 years old 1B

    Like Hendriks, Parmelee made the Opening Day roster. He struggled some, but when Justin Morneau started playing more 1B, he also didnt play. He has gone to Rochester and been back up one other time. In Rochester, he is currently hitting .354/.469/.691 (1.161) with 14 doubles, 15 homers and 41 RBI. He has 37 walks to go with 33 strikeouts. Like Hendriks, he should be up again very soon.

    #11 (8) Brian Dozier 25 years old SS

    In 84 Games with Twins, hes hitting .234/.271/.332 (.603) with 11 doubles, a triple, six homers, 32 RBI and nine stolen bases.

    #12 (9) Travis Harrison 19 years old 3B

    Hes hitting .310/.394/.444 (.838) with ten doubles, two triples, three homers and 18 RBI. He has 20 errors in 45 games.

    #13 (25) Tom Stuifbergen 23 years old RHP

    Hes 4-6 with a 5.40 ERA and a 1.65 WHIP. In 53.1 innings, hes given up 78 hits, 10 walks and 30 strikeouts.

    #14 (24) Angel Morales 22 years old OF

    Hes hitting .207/.288/.310 (.597) with seven doubles, four triples, six homers and 28 RBI.

    #15 (11) Chris Herrmann 24 years old C/LF

    Hitting .270/.343/.391 with 22 doubles, a triple, 9 homers and 50 RBI. Hes caught in 70 games and played LF in 26 others.

    #16 (36) Manuel Soliman 23 years old RHP

    He made two starts for Ft. Myers before his season came to an end due to surgery on his labrum.

    #17 (15) Levi Michael 21 years old SS/2B

    Michael was horrible in the first half and has been at least solid in the second half. Hes hitting .238/.333/.303 (.636) with 10 doubles, four triples, two homers and 33 RBI.

    #18 (27) Max Kepler 19 years old OF

    Fair to say hell move way up this list after this season. Hes hitting .298/.399/.536 (.935) with 11 doubles, four triples, eight homers and 40 RBI for Elizabethton. He played solely in CF until Byron Buxton got to E-Town. Now Kepler is playing in the corners.

    #19 (16) Niko Goodrum 20 years old SS/3B

    Like Kepler, Niko returned to E-Town, but the success (in terms of batting average) has not been there. Hes hitting .247/.367/.425 (.792) with ten doubles, six triples, three homers and 34 RBI. Hes got 13 errors between the two positions.

    #20 (10) Hudson Boyd 19 years old RHP

    Boyd jumped to E-Town for his pro debut this year. Hes just 2-5, but his ERA is just 2.40. Half of the 24 runs hes allowed this year have been unearned. He is posting a 1.40 WHIP. In 45 innings, he given up 47 hits, walked 16 and struck out 29.

    #21 (14) BJ Hermsen 22 year old RHP

    After four starts in Ft. Myers (1-0, 0.78 ERA, 0.91 WHIP), Hermsen moved up to AA New Britain where he was an All Star. With the Rock Cats, hes 10-5 with a 3.09 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP.

    #22 (18) Danny Santana 21 years old SS

    With the Miracle, hes hitting .283/.324/.397 (.721) with 18 doubles, eight triples, five homers and 47 RBI. He has 16 stolen bases. He has 16 errors in 67 games at SS, and another 8 errors in 32 games at 2B.

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    There you have it. A look at my preseason Top 20, err Top 22 Twins prospects. What do you think? Whats your updated Top Ten?

    This article was originally published in blog: Minnesota Twins Top 20 Prospects in Review started by Seth Stohs
    Comments 30 Comments
    1. JP3700's Avatar
      JP3700 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by rickyhawaii View Post
      Jorge Polanco should definitely be raising some eyebrows this season. He's hitting more than I imagined and he's doing well drawing walks and making contact. The power although won't ever be a big part of his game as it would seem, has been nice. 4HRs now and he's been getting plenty of doubles. When he was signed the reports said he was a slick defender who should be able to stay at short. If he develops like he's doing he could be a very good player. He should be in the top 20.
      He wasn't a Top 50 guy for me coming into the year, but he'll certainly be in consideration between 30-40 probably. He's been solid.
      Yeah I did a top 50 for fun and I have Polanco at 36.

      Just curious Seth.. Are you high on Baxendale like I am? And do you have any idea if they plan to make Melotakis, Chargois, Duffey, or Zach Jones starters next year?
    1. greengoblinrulz's Avatar
      greengoblinrulz -
      No way I would have Polanco that low when Niko Goodrum is ranked higher. Polanco is absolutely higher in any ranking I do than Goodrum.
      Jorge is a full year younger & while playing in the same league.....has blown Niko away offensively.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by JP3700 View Post
      Just curious Seth.. Are you high on Baxendale like I am? And do you have any idea if they plan to make Melotakis, Chargois, Duffey, or Zach Jones starters next year?
      I saw Baxendale pitch one inning in relief in Beloit and he struckout the side. As I watch him and his delivery, I thought, "How was this guy a starter in college?" I liked what I saw, but I wouldn't make anything out of his numbers this year as a one-inning reliever. Summers and Boer had good K numbers as relievers last year, and this year as starters, their K-rates are pretty pedestrian. Don't get me wrong, I like Baxendale, especially as a 10th round pick!

      I dont know what the plans are, but I think we've heard that Chargois and Duffey are likely relievers only. Melotakis really didn't impress me in his one inning (which of course means nothing). I bet he could start. Jones just throws gas. At the same time, I see no negative in giving some of these guys some starting opportunities next year to see if that is a possibility. Worst case, they can stretch out and work on secondary pitches.
    1. YourHouseIsMyHouse's Avatar
      YourHouseIsMyHouse -
      Quote Originally Posted by mediocre View Post
      What Hermsen's been doing this year with such a low strikeout rate is incredible (incredibly lucky?). Have to imagine he would be making a few more Top 10 lists were he striking more guys out. Still think he can be a serviceable #4/#5 in the show, but I'm curious if he can maintain this success into next season.
      I think he scares many, myself included, as being a Nick Blackburn type.
    1. JP3700's Avatar
      JP3700 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post

      I saw Baxendale pitch one inning in relief in Beloit and he struckout the side. As I watch him and his delivery, I thought, "How was this guy a starter in college?" I liked what I saw, but I wouldn't make anything out of his numbers this year as a one-inning reliever. Summers and Boer had good K numbers as relievers last year, and this year as starters, their K-rates are pretty pedestrian. Don't get me wrong, I like Baxendale, especially as a 10th round pick!

      I dont know what the plans are, but I think we've heard that Chargois and Duffey are likely relievers only. Melotakis really didn't impress me in his one inning (which of course means nothing). I bet he could start. Jones just throws gas. At the same time, I see no negative in giving some of these guys some starting opportunities next year to see if that is a possibility. Worst case, they can stretch out and work on secondary pitches.
      Ah okay. How did his stuff look? And what was wrong with his delivery? Too much going on?

      And yeah they both have been dissapointing. Boer more so. But I read that Boer's fastball drops from high 90's as a reliever to low 90's as a starter. That's why the huge drop off.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      1. Miguel Sano
      2. Oswaldo Arcia
      3. Eddie Rosario
      4. Aaron Hicks
      5. Byron Buxton
      6. J.O. Berrios
      7. Max Kepler
      8. Kyle Gibson
      9. Joe Benson
      10. Travis Harrison
      11. Hudson Boyd
      12. Chris Herrmann
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by JP3700 View Post
      Ah okay. How did his stuff look? And what was wrong with his delivery? Too much going on?

      And yeah they both have been dissapointing. Boer more so. But I read that Boer's fastball drops from high 90's as a reliever to low 90's as a starter. That's why the huge drop off.
      The delivery was really busy, lots of movement. I just thought that it would be tough to maintain that over 7-8 innings. Stuff-wise, he showed a good fastball (92 maybe) with movement, and a terrific breaking ball. He's a starter and he'll start next year, for sure.

      As for Boer, I like the idea of giving them a chance to start, if nothing else to try to develop more pitches. I just think that the floors for these guys are pretty high and they can be very good relievers. I actually think that Matt Summers has pitched very well. The only concern is the lack of strikeouts, which is strange.
    1. Chance's Avatar
      Chance -
      Thanks Seth got it now!
    1. Cap'n Piranha's Avatar
      Cap'n Piranha -
      Obviously the Twins system is short on top-tier pitching prospects, but where would the system rank if we considered only hitters? It seems like we have a ton of solid, high-upside bats, with 2-3 at practically every level AA and lower. Given our preponderance of offense, particularly in the outfield, should we be talking to the Mariners about one of their top pitching prospects?
    1. kab21's Avatar
      kab21 -
      Quote Originally Posted by greengoblinrulz View Post
      No way I would have Polanco that low when Niko Goodrum is ranked higher. Polanco is absolutely higher in any ranking I do than Goodrum.
      Jorge is a full year younger & while playing in the same league.....has blown Niko away offensively.
      Completely agree. Polanco was supposed to be a pretty slick defender as well while Niko was a good athlete that could stick in the MI. The funny thing is that Goodrum has actually been awful for July/August but everyone only remembers his incredible June. the same can be said of Harrison and he carries very little defensive value. I also think that both Harrison and Goodrum have some big issues with their plate discipline so it will be very difficult to get excited about them until they play full season ball. Other appy league players have completely fallen apart moving up to that level.

      Aside from Buxton I would rank the ETown hitters roughly as follows:
      Kepler - near the top of the tier from 8-25
      Polanco - in the middle but moving up in that tier
      goodrum and Harrison - in the middle to the bottom of this tier

      Overall the Twins have a top 7 prospects with sano, buxton, Arcia, Hicks, Rosario, Gibson and Berrios. After that there are a lot of interesting upside guys (and a few high minors average-ish propsects) but nobody has really set themselves apart imo. Kepler is one of my favorites but overall these guys are all in the B- to C+ range. Extensive debate probably won't go anywhere and about the only thing you can do is put guys at the top, middle or bottom of this big tier.
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