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Prospect movement trends, 2011-2012

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Twins fans who have a curiosity about how things are "down on the farm" may look at top 10 prospect lists or maybe merely look at those players who are September call-ups and judge the state of the Twins system accordingly. Seth Stohs does more than enough to provide fans with a wealth of information about minor leaguers, but I thought that I would take things a step further and look at the movement of players, by position, on some select prospect lists for 2011-2012.

This does a number of things. First, one can get a picture of the depth of the system as a whole. Second, one can see how the 2011 draft was either satisfactory or not in addressing team needs. Third, we can project potential targeted positions for the 2012 draft. Finally, one can see how players have risen and fallen over the past year to see how the health of the system breaks down by position.

Contrary to much popular belief, especially what passes for "belief" on the Star Tribune comment section, the Twins have a good minor league system, with many good-to-great prospects.

Methodology: I constructed a composite list of top 50 prospects from Twinkie Town, Seth Speaks, and my own list for 2011 and 2012. I compared lists by position and by placement on the lists (top 5, top 15, top 25, top 35, top 50). There are some interesting conclusions to draw and some clear directions the Twins should take in the upcoming draft and in minor league free agent signings.

Composite lists are found here: http://fieldoftwins.blogspot.com/201...2011-2012.html

Prospect movement, by position, the number of players at each positions at various levels (Revere is excluded):

OF 2011:
Top 5: 2 (Hicks, Benson)
Top 15: 7 (Morales, Arcia, Kepler, Parmelee, Rosario)
Top 25: 10 (Tosoni, Ortiz, Goodrum)
Top 35: 11 (N. Roberts)
Top 50: 14 (Herrmann, Bigley, Ray)

OF 2012:
Top 5: 4 (Rosario, Arcia, Hicks, Benson)
Top 15: 7 (Parmelee, Kepler, Morales)
Top 25: 8 (Goodrum)
Top 35: 11 (Williams, Roberts, Perez)
Top 50: 15 (Ray, Rams, Ortiz, Bigley)

Outfield analysis: There has been movement upward, and this is on top of Ben Revere and Rene Tosoni being out of 2012 consideration due to MLB playing time). While Rosario may move to 2B, some players down the list farther may be moving to the OF (Goodrum, Perez, Rams). The depth has remained roughly the same while there is a movement from the top-middle to the top. ROCH: Benson, Parmelee, Bigley eventually. NBR: Hicks, Morales, Bigley, Rams and Perez eventually). FTM: Arcia, Roberts, Perez, Ray, Rams, and Ortiz eventually), BEL: Rosario, Kepler, Goodrum, Williams, Ortiz.

C 2011:
Top 5: 0
Top 15: 0
Top 25: 0
Top 35: 1 (Rams)
Top 50: 2 (Herrmann)

C 2012:
Top 5: 0
Top 15: 1 (Herrmann)
Top 25: 1
Top 35: 1
Top 50: 2 (Rams)

Catcher analysis: Herrmann and Rams are going in opposite directions, and Rams may be moving to the outfield anyway). Herrmann hopefully will be an adequate defensive catcher while providing depth at other positions to keep is on base bat in the lineup. Danny Lehmann, Danny Rohlfing, and Josmil Pinto will be guys to watch at the mid-upper levels this year to try to provide depth at this position. At the lower levels, Matthew Koch and Phillip Chapman need to develop. This is a big area for the Twins to look at in the 2012 draft. ROCH: Butera/Towles, Rivera, Lehmann and Herrmann eventually). NBR: Lehmann, Herrmann, Rams eventually, Rohlfing eventually. FTM: Rams, Rohlfing, Pinto, Chapman eventually. BEL: Chapman, Koch.

1B 2011:
Top 5: 0
Top 15: 1 (Parmelee)
Top 25: 1
Top 35: 2 (Hughes)
Top 50: 4 (Ray, Vargas)

1B 2012:
Top 5: 0
Top 15: 2 (Parmelee, Harrison)
Top 25: 2
Top 35: 2
Top 50: 3 (Ray, lost Hughes and Vargas)

1B analysis: Chris Parmelee has moved up the list and if Travis Harrison moves from 3B to 1B, the Twins may have bolstered the depth at this position. Ray and Michael Gonzales are worthy of watching at Fort Myers this year. ROCH: Parmelee, Pearce, Bates. NBR: Hanson, Colabello. FTM: Gonzalez, Ray. BEL: Rory Rhodes, Vargas, Harrison eventually).

2B 2011:
Top 5: 0
Top 15: 0
Top 25: 1 (Goodrum)
Top 35: 4 (Beresford, Hughes, Dozier)
Top 50: 5 (Santana)

2B 2012:
Top 5: 1 (Rosario)
Top 15: 2 (Dozier)
Top 25: 4 (Goodrum and Michael)
Top 35: 4
Top 50: 6 (Santana and Beresford)

2B analysis: With the potential switch from the OF for Rosario, it would change the entire power structure of the Twins system. That kind of talent in the middle infield is enormous. Let's say, however, that the switch is a bit shaky this year, the addition of Dozier and Michael to the upper half is great). The depth is climbing to the top at 2B.

3B 2011:

Top 5: 1 (Sano)
Top 15: 1
Top 25: 2 (Goodrum)
Top 35: 3 (Hughes)
Top 50: 4 (Hidalgo)

3B 2012:
Top 5: 1 (Sano)
Top 15: 2 (Harrison)
Top 25: 2
Top 35: 3 (Perez, if he stays at 3B, Hughes no longer prospect)
Top 50: 4 (Hidalgo)

3B analysis: Very little movement and that is a problem. It may be that neither Sano nor Harrison can really stick at 3B (and the same for Perez and Hidalgo!). Joe Mauer start fielding grounders at the hot corner . . . and the Twins need to focus on this position in the system. ROCH: Chang, Burroughs. NBR: Deibinson Romero, Hidalgo. FTM: Perez . . . Grimes, perhaps BEL: Harrison eventually, fill-ins . . .

SS 2011:
Top 5: 1 (Sano)
Top 15: 1
Top 25: 3 (Goodrum, Plouffe)
Top 35: 5 (Beresford, Dozier)
Top 50: 7 (Polanco, Santana)

SS 2012:
Top 5: 0 (Sano moves to 3B)
Top 15: 1 (Dozier)
Top 25: 3 (Goodrum, Michael, Plouffe no longer prospect)
Top 35: 3 (Beresford dropped)
Top 50: 5 (Santana, Beresford, Polanco dropped off)

Shortstop analysis: Sano is likely done at short, but Dozier's rise helps this position immensely, as does the drafting of Michael. If they both can stay at SS, this is a great development at a problematic position. Daniel Santana will be someone very important to watch this year, and one hopes that Beresford and Polanco can turn it around. I would think that all goes well at this position this year. ROCH: Nishioka (ideally), Florimon, Chang, Dozier eventually. NBR: Dozier, Beresford. FTM: Santana, Grimes, Michael eventually. BEL: Michael, Bryant, Goodrum, eventually.

RHS 2011:
Top 5: 2 (Gibson, Wimmers)
Top 15: 6 (Hendriks, Bromberg, Salcedo, Soliman)
Top 25: 9 (Hermsen, Holbrooks, Guerra)
Top 35: 11 (Stuifbergen, Lanigan)
Top 50: 12 (Munoz)

RHS 2012:
Top 5: 0 (Gibson, Wimmers drop)
Top 15: 4 (Hendriks, Gibson, Salcedo, Wimmers, Soliman likely converts to RHR in 2012)
Top 25: 10 (Boyd, Boer, Hermsen, Stuifbergen, Bromberg, Hauser, Guerra converted to RHR)
Top 35: 11 (Doyle)
Top 50: 14 (Mata, Shibuya, Lanigan)

Right-handed starter analysis: Liam Hendriks emerged as a true middle of the rotation caliber pitcher and he has the brain for pitching as well. 2011 was a mess in that Gibson and Bromberg were injured, Wimmers lost his control, and Guerra had to convert to a relief role. Soliman is likely to join him as well. So there is movement down towards the middle of the prospect list at this position, but at the same time the 2011 draft provided a lot of depth at the position with Boyd, Boer, Mata, and Shibuya). Wimmers is the key here, and Bromberg is right behind, but keep an eye on Stuifbergen, Hauser, and Boer as well). ROCH: Hendriks, Manship, Suarez, Bromberg eventually, Wimmers eventually, Stuifbergen eventually. NBR: Bromberg, Stuifbergen, Wimmers, Popham, Lanigan. FTM: Hermsen, Salcedo, Achter, Shibuya eventually, Boer eventually. BEL: Shibuya, Boer, Atherton, Christensen.

RHR 2011:
Top 5: 0
Top 15: 1 (Gutierrez)
Top 25: 3 (Slama, Waldrop)
Top 35: 5 (Watts, Pugh)
Top 50: 8 (Oliveros, Jacobson, Tonkin)

RHR 2012:
Top 5: 0
Top 15: 0
Top 25: 2 (Soliman conversion, Gutierrez)
Top 35: 4 (Guerra, Summers)
Top 50: 6 (Watts, DeVries)

Right-handed reliever analysis: The position is bolstered by the conversion from starter of Soliman and Guerra, otherwise this is a deeply problematic position. Lester Oliveros will be an integral part of this depth chart. While it is one thing to simply convert starters into relievers, gearing relievers to be relievers seems to be more likley to produce good relief pitching. There is a movement toward the middle and toward the bottom here. This will be a vital need for the Twins in the 2012 draft. That means hard-throwers. ROCH: Gutierrez, Slama, Guerra, Oliveros, DeVries, Burton, Bulger, Vasquez, etc. A whole bunch of guys.

LHS 2011:
Top 5: 0
Top 15: 0
Top 25: 2 (Dean, Diamond)
Top 35: 2
Top 50: 4 (Darnell, Osterbrock)

LHS 2012:
Top 5: 0
Top 15: 0
Top 25: 0
Top 35: 3 (Darnell, Dean, Diamond)
Top 50: 3

LHS analysis: Logan Darnell's rise is promising. Pat Dean and Scott Diamond need bounce-back seasons. This is another key area for the 2012 draft. ROCH: Diamond, A. Thompson. NBR: Darnell, Osterbrock. FTM: Dean, O'Rourke. BEL: Tomshaw.

LHR 2011:
Top 5: 0
Top 15: 0
Top 25: 0
Top 35: 0
Top 50: 3 (Ibarra, Bashore, Davis)

LHR 2012:
Top 5: 0
Top 15: 0
Top 25: 0
Top 35: 1 (C. Williams)
Top 50: (Tyler Robertson, Matt Bashore, Ibarra and Davis drop)

Left-handed reliever analysis: This is a weak area for the Twins, to say the least. Robertson and Williams are vital to the depth here. Bashore and Davis are coming back from injury. Ibarra is not someone that I personally believe to be a legitimate prospect. ROCH: Robertson, Maloney, Dumatrait, Albers eventually. NBR: Albers, Davis, Nelson, Steedley. FTM: Carter, Gonzales, Ibarra. BEL: Williams, Gruver, Hurlbut, Wheeler.

This was meant to provide an overview of the direction of the farm system. It is an undervalued system, but there are some gaping holes. The Twins need to draft intelligently like they did last year. I do not propose that the MLB draft be positional, since there is and would be great value in simply taking the best guy available, but there are some areas of need to focus on. They are:

LHP in general, RHR, C, and 3B. Of the first 25 picks, I would base my expectations around 6 LHP, 5 RHR, 4 3B, 3C, 2 1B, 2 OF, 2 MI draft.

The future direction of the team is up to the reader. This post was meant to point out some expectations and limitations on players. The future is not bleak, and neither may be the future. Lefty pitching, hard-throwing rights, catcher, and 3B are vital right now.
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  1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
    Very interesting stuff. Thoroughly enjoyed all of it!
  2. John Bonnes's Avatar
    I liked it too. Thanks.
  3. Shane Wahl's Avatar
    Thanks. You can tell by the end that the fatigue had set in. Blogging is somehow tiring.
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