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Prospect list in depth, Part Seven: 6-10

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10. Trevor May (DOB: 9-23-89), RH starter: May came over with Vance Worley in the Ben Revere trade. That trade was a steal for the Twins. Not only did they get a competent middle of the rotation guy for 2013, but they got another for 2014 or 2015 in May. There has been some talk about May’s struggles in AA in 2012 and the potential move to the bullpen. I am not at all clear as to why such nonsense has been uttered. If one actually looks at the numbers, May in 2010 at A ball was dominant. He struck out 92 and walked 20 in 65 innings with a 2.91 ERA. After being promoted to A+ in Clearwater, he kept the K rate high but basically just gave up more homers and a lot more walks. In 2011, he spent the whole year in Clearwater and was quite successful with a 3.63 ERA in 151+ innings. He struck out 208 and walked 67 that year. In 2012, he was promoted to AA and went through a stat decline which should have been suspected. He posted a 4.87 ERA in 149+ innings. He still struck out 151, but walked 78 in that time. His problem was with hits given up and especially with homers given up. He generally looks like a guy who struggles somewhat a level and then with a repeat year dominates again. I am not sure why any “reliever” talk is really in play at this point. May looks like a solid middle rotation guy with mid-90s heat, a good curve, and a good changeup. May will be an interesting pitcher to watch in 2013 and should be advanced to Rochester at some point in order for a 2014 appearance with the Twins. Expected start: New Britain. ETA: 2014-2015.

9. Max Kepler (DOB: 2-10-93), LH outfielder: Kepler’s youth is a bit scary because 2012 may have been his coming out party in that we got the chance to see what the hype surrounding this German was about. His 2010 and 2011 seasons were OK and encouraging, but the return to Elizabethon in 2012 set the stage for a dominant season for the young outfielder. In 269 plate appearances he compiled 16 doubles, 5 triples, and 10 homers on the way to a .297/.387/.539 line. The walks stayed at roughly the same rate but the strikeouts dropped significantly. Kepler is an above average defender who can play all three outfield positions (though LF is the likely route for him). The increase in slugging is a remarkable improvement and indicates that Kepler may be developing all five tools into actual skills. And this all comes at a very early age. He has the potential to be an elite major league baseball player, but I temper my enthusiasm some until he has a full season under his belt. The Twins have been patient with him early on but it is very possible that he will force the issue in 2013 and could be promoted near the end of the season. Expected start: Cedar Rapids. ETA: 2015-2016.

8. Kyle Gibson (DOB: 10-23-87), RH starter: Gibson came back from Tommy John surgery to have a chance to pitch during the season and then was sent to the Arizona Fall League where he pitched well. He was particularly dominant over his first three starts, giving up only one earned run in 13 innings pitched. He is supposedly on an innings limit of around 140 innings and since this team is not the 2012 Diamondbacks there is no reason to expand much beyond that. I personally would opt for the bulk of those innings to come with the Twins during the last 3/5 of the season, so that would mean Gibson starts either in extended spring training or in Rochester on an innings limit. I am not really sure why anyone would argue for starting Gibson in the Twins rotation in April and then have to shut him down by the beginning of September. It is certainly the case that Gibson has the potential to be a number one starter and I would think this to likely be the case starting in 2014. Expected start: Rochester. ETA: 2013.

7. Jose Berrios (DOB: 5-27-94), RH starter/reliever: The 32nd pick in the 2012 draft was dominant in 30+ innings split between the GCL and the Appy leagues. He struck out 49 and walked only 4,with a WHIP of 0.62, which is preposterously low for an 18-year-old. Berrios would have been the top-rated pitcher in the Twins system if it weren’t for the acquisition of Alex Meyer in the Denard Span trade. Berrios is very young and it is important to temper expectations. That said, the numbers don’t lie. It will interesting to see innings limits as the Twins go forward developing Berrios. He throws mid-90s on a regular basis and his fastball moves. This year he will undoubtedly be working on his slider and changeup. It is hard to tell how fast he might move up the system. I would expect him to continue to see some time in the bullpen to keep the innings low, but he will be starting some as well. He will likely be in Cedar Rapids at some point during the season. Expected start: EST, then maybe to Elizabethon for a bit or straight to Cedar Rapids. ETA: 2016-2017.

6. Eddie Rosario (DOB: 9-28-91), LH second baseman/center fielder: Rosario’s prospect status does depend on where he is to play in the field. As a second baseman he is a legitimate top prospect, but as an outfielder he might move to around 10-12. That said, even if Rosario merely reproduces 2012 numbers at Fort Myers in 2013 it will bode extremely well for him. His slugging dropped .180 points between 2011 and 2012, but both his batting average and on-base percentage barely moved. It is perhaps the case that his homerun power will only really be doubles power going forward, but as a second baseman that can be lived with pretty easily. The key is going to be getting acclimated to second base and he was more comfortable at the position later on in 2012. This year is vital for his development as an all-around potential strong regular. People may overlooking the fact that he still did hit 12 homers in 429 plate appearances, many of them after returning from injury. Expected start: Fort Myers. ETA: 2015-2016.
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  1. Chance's Avatar
    I think we could see Berrios and Rosario in the top 3 after this season. Rosario is my favorite prospect. I believe that he could eventually put up Mauer MVP numbers (with a lower average) while playing a decent second base.
  2. beckmt's Avatar
    I agree on Rosario, he plays a position of need and hopefully we be able to play the position or will go down in the rankings.
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