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End of Year Prospect List (A New Angle)

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As the minor league seasons wind down and the trading period is over for the season, I have established my new Twins prospect list heading into the offseason. While I will post the full list at the end of this series, I decided to take a different approach and list the players not in rank order, but in year of birth order. Within each calendar year I then order players by level in the system, not by actual birthdate.

The period goes from 1986 to 1996, which was an interesting fact alone. Organizing the system in this way actually helped me construct a better rank order anyway, so without further ado:

1986 (1):
40. Deibinson Romero, 3B/1B, RH, DOB: 9/24/86

2013 AA/AAA (stats from AAA): 358 plate appearances, .266/.369/.421 (.790) (.759 career), 15 doubles, 1 triple, 10 homers, 47 walks, 75 strikeouts, 4 steals and 0 times caught stealing.

Romero is an adequate defensive third baseman and has also played first. His future looked very bright about fours ago but then the Twins soured on him and he has been a slow-mover in the system. That said, the Twins ought to be feeling tired with Trevor Plouffe, and especially with Trevor Plouffe at third base. Furthermore, if Wilkin Ramirez and Chris Colabello don't prove to be good enough RH bats off the bench, Ramirez would deserve a look. Finally, if Miguel Sano is not ready at the beginning of 2014, Romero could be the fill-in if the Twins either move Plouffe via trade or via position change.

1987 (3):
32. Dakota Watts, RHR, DOB: 11/16/87

2013 A+/AA (AA stats): 35.1 innings, 0.76 ERA, 29 k/10 bb (8.2/4.6 k/bb career)

Watts has struggled with inconsistency and injuries in his career, but is currently lights out in the Eastern League. He could challenge for a bullpen spot in ST next year or he will certainly be the setup man or closer for Rochester when the season starts. I hope for the Twins to give him a chance by trading away Jared Burton and Casey Fien.

65. Kyle Knudson, C, RH, DOB: 9-12-87

2013 A+/AA (combined stats): 200, .273/.355/.352 (.707) (.660), 8-0-2, 18-31, 0-1

Knudson is a good catcher with decent offensive capabilities. If the Twins finally part with Danny Lehmann and also opt not to bring Eric Fryer back (both wise moves) next year, Knudson should join Danny Rohlfing in Rochester next year and be the next guy in line after Mauer, Doumit, Herrmann, and Pinto. Given that Mauer is likely going to see a steady decline at the plate, Doumit should be traded, and the latter two aren't established, Knudson might see some time in the big leagues in 2014 or 2015.

73. Evan Bigley, RF/LF, RH, DOB: 3/9/87

2013 all over the place, ending with New Britain (AA stats): 201, .216/.264/.308 (.572) (.727), 9-1-2, 11/56, 0/1

Bigley was injured this year after doing well in 2012 in AA. He could have been a contender for a Twins roster spot this year given the outfield calamity of 2013 for this organization. And now the Twins have added Alex Presley into the mix for no good reason. To me it seems that Bigley might be best served by signing with another organization in the offseason because the Twins continue to fill-in with older AAAA types.

1988 (6):
26. A.J. Achter, RHR, DOB: 8/27/88

2013: AA/AAA (combined stats): 59.1, 2.58, 56/33 (9.6/3.2)

Achter is off to the Arizona Fall League and is surely the reliever next in line to get a gig with the Twins after Michael Tonkin and before Watts. Achter is a very solid pitcher with a good fastball and is another reason why trading Burton and Fien is ideal.

41. Matt Hauser, RHR, DOB: 3/30/88

2013 A+/AA (AA stats): 39.0, 6.00, 35/12 (8.4/3.8)

Hauser has a solid start to his AA campaign but then had several terrible outings. I was looking for him to emerge as the next setup type for the Twins, but it would appear that this project is on hold for another year.

67. Ryan O'Rourke, LHR, DOB: 4/30/88

2013: A+/AA (combined stats): 44, 3.27, 39/15 (8.5/2.5)

O'Rourke is a lefty and he doesn't walk all that many guys. This is going to be useful for him, but he has to continue to strike batters out. He may not be spectacular, but no one really thought of Caleb Thielbar as spectacular either.

54. Cole Johnson, RHR, DOB: 10/6/88

2013: A+/AA (combined stats): 59, 3.20, 65/20 (9.7/2.6)

Johnson could shoot up the list quickly if he can maintain this strikeout rate. I imagine he will start at AA next year, but could be quick to ascend if anyone at AAA or with the Twins falters (and someone likely will).

49. Alex Wimmers, RHS, DOB: 11/1/88

(AA), but 2013 GCL stats: 15, 7.20, 18/15 (9.8/4.2)

Any stats don't matter at all as long as Wimmers has a 2014 with at least several dozen innings pitched with effectiveness. Seven dozen innings would be more than his current career innings total. Any more significant setbacks and Wimmers' career is in total jeopardy. Hopefully he rises on this list by midseason 2014.

60. Matthew Koch, C, RH, DOB: 11/21/88

2013 A+: 393, .278/.346/.401 (.749) (.768), 20-1-7, 35/75, 1/1

Koch has a solid bat and I was surprised that the Twins didn't promote him in the second half of the season this year. If he starts the season well at New Britain next year, this could lead to a jump on this list.

There you have it, the Twins prospects from 1986-1988 years of birth. The prospects range from Achter at no. 26 to Bigley at no. 73.

My next entry with focus exclusively on the 20 Twins prospects born in 1989.

Updated 09-01-2013 at 04:14 PM by Shane Wahl

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  1. howieramone's Avatar
    Great idea Shane!
  2. jorgenswest's Avatar
    Nice angle.
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