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Jeremy Nygaard

Top 20 Prospects

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As the Handbook receives it's finishing touches - and if you follow Seth on Twitter, you know it will be available very soon - I decided that I should put my list on here to get picked apart. Seth and Cody already made their choices public, so what the heck.
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20. Francisco Romero, P
Romero is a long ways away and still has plenty of question marks, but the upside is evident.

19. Kennys Vargas, 1B
I'm probably lower on Vargas than most. I like the switch-hitting prospect plenty, but with the defensive questions, late-season swoon, and, frankly, lack of games (284 in five seasons), I want to see more.

18. Stuart Turner, C
While Turner didn't do much in his pro debut, the Twins are high on him. Couple that with his success at a high college level and his top-notch D, I think Turner could figure into the Twins plans sooner rather than later.

17. Travis Harrison, 3B
Though Harrison dropped from #9 on my list last season, it has less to do with him and more to do with others proving more.

16. Ryan Eades, P
I wanted to rank Eades higher, but his limited pro experience was rocky. He should have dominated and didn't. I get he was stretched thin and probably worn down, but the jump from the SEC to the Appy League is a significant jump down.

15. Adam Walker, OF
Walker should be a Top-10 prospect in most organizations. He's got huge power and athleticism. He'll get his first opportunity to be "the guy" when the season opens and that could do a lot for scouts around the country, who still believe he belongs at first base.

14. Jorge Felix, P
Guys that can maintain the ceiling of #2-#3 starter over the course of a couple seasons - rookie ball or not - deserve to be rated higher. The depth of this system pushes Felix a few notches down.

13. Josmil Pinto, C
Hopefully we're not fooled by the September Pinto had. The Twins are counting on Pinto to be a major league regular. I need to see defensive improvement before I consider him more than a second-division regular.

12. Max Kepler, OF
Kepler battled early season injuries and was slow to get back. Aggressively sent to the AFL, the Twins still believe in him. Similar to Walker, only younger and with less present power.

11. Danny Santana, SS
Still has some rough patches to iron out of his game, but he was the catalyst in a potent Rockcat lineup. This year is going to be a very big one for him.

10. Trevor May, P
Being a potential mid-rotation pitcher only a step away merits this ranking. Needs to be more efficient, but no reason to believe he can't be a solid big-leaguer even if that's the back-end of the bullpen.

9. Stephen Gonsalves, P
Pitching with a chip on his shoulder, Gonsalves was the best of the 2013 draft class. He gets an extra boost from fitting in the "tall, projectable lefty" group.

8. JO Berrios, P
I ranked Berrios #5 last year and don't like him any less. Though his polish would show more in low-A. Very curious about his path.

7. Eddie Rosario, 2B/OF
Uh oh. Rosario after Polanco? Yep. After a long couple of months, show me something in 2014 Eddie and I'll re-consider next November. I still think Rosario has plenty of potential, don't get me wrong.

6. Jorge Polanco, 2B
May be the only person that believes Polanco is the long-term answer at 2B. Still has a long ways to go though.

5. Lewis Thorpe, P
This. High. Hear me out. Thorpe just turned 18. Wouldn't be draft eligible until after this season (would go 1st round) and already had the GCL by it's you-know-whats. He's gotta be in the same relative class as Stewart, right? And he's a lefty.

4. Kohl Stewart, P
Drafted fourth last year, why wouldn't I just leave him hear until I realize he should be much higher.

3. Alex Meyer, P
Meyer would be #1 in plenty of organizations (Stewart too probably), and I had a hard time not ranking him #2, but I let the shoulder problem of old convince me to keep him here.

2. Migual Sano, 3B
He's got power and a cannon and the personality to be the face of the franchise. He might cause benches to clear too. So, really, what's not to love?

1. Byron Buxton, CF
Future superstar.

So there you have it. Fire away.

Comments

  1. johnnydakota's Avatar
    Nice list, Never understood the Keplar love, to me the only thing he brings to the table is the ability to sell MLB-tv to Germany
  2. AScheib50's Avatar
    Not sure about the Polanco love...everyone seems to be on his bandwagon this offseason. I watched him a few times this year when the Kernels were in town playing Kane County and I wasn't blown away personally. Extreme small sample size, I know, but I don't see him above Rosario yet, considering league and track record, Rosario is a ways ahead of him in my opinion.
  3. Jeremy Nygaard's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by AScheib50
    Not sure about the Polanco love...everyone seems to be on his bandwagon this offseason. I watched him a few times this year when the Kernels were in town playing Kane County and I wasn't blown away personally. Extreme small sample size, I know, but I don't see him above Rosario yet, considering league and track record, Rosario is a ways ahead of him in my opinion.
    I'm not going to disagree with anyone that thinks that Rosario should be higher, but I think it's close regardless. Consider their low-A season, Rosario (at age 20) and Polanco (at age 19).

    Polanco had a higher average (.308 to .296) and OBP (.362 to .345). Rosario had the advantage in both HR, SLG and OPS, but in terms of XBH, only had one more than Polanco. Neither are burners, so Polanco's double totals suggest they're a result of having some power to the gaps. Polanco's K rate (only 11% of PAs) is also phenomenal, both for someone his age and with that many extra base hits. Another feather in Polanco's cap is that he had no platoon splits as a switch-hitter. Rosario handled left-handed pitchers well too, but he's always been touted as an advanced hitter.

    Defensively, even though they play the same position, I'm giving a slight nod to Polanco. A second baseman that can fill it at shortstop has got to be better than a second baseman that also plays the outfield.

    Obviously, Polanco needs to prove himself against more advance competition, and AA probably won't happen until 2015, but the points above all had me tip the scale slightly in Polanco's favor.
  4. Thrylos's Avatar
    Actually I believe that Polanco is the long term answer at SS

    Hard to climb on the Thorpe (I need to see some success against batters who have played for a while and not only against kids who just learning how to use wooden bats) and Kepler (one above average pro season in 4 a top prospect does not make) bandwagons these days. And I still have Sano over Buxton

    After I have seen Danny Santana play in a few games live, I think that his upside is a utility guy. Lexi Casilla was a better player in all aspects of the game, and I think that this says a lot about Santana.

    Oh. Felix Jorge not Jorge Felix and I am still waiting to see more from him. Good live arm for sure.

    Stuart Turner smells like the Drew to me. But I have not seen him play. Might change my mind after ST.

    Good stuff. It is amazing how strong the system is and how hard it is to make a list like this.
  5. Jeremy Nygaard's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Thrylos
    Oh. Felix Jorge not Jorge Felix and I am still waiting to see more from him. Good live arm for sure.
    According to the guru (Seth), the Twins have been messing it up since he signed and now they've got it right. He'll be Jorge Felix going forward. (At least we hope so, that's how we've been doing it in the Handbook.)
  6. clutterheart's Avatar
    Wow, you like your young untested pitchers. I like some of those arms too, but you have 6 arms who haven't pitched above Rookie Ball.
    Upside is nice but that seems too heavy to me.
  7. howieramone's Avatar
    Jeremy, I like what you've done. I think next year at this time your list my be closer than most. I really like Gonsalves, but his mechanics are as raw as I can recall seeing. I can't believe he didn't take at least the JUCO route. I played against a lefty about the same size, taken in the 3rd-4th round and he was so much smoother.
  8. Jeremy Nygaard's Avatar
    I may over-value the arms, but given the lack of quality arms the last three seasons, I realize how important they - or the hope of them - are.
  9. AScheib50's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy Nygaard
    I'm not going to disagree with anyone that thinks that Rosario should be higher, but I think it's close regardless. Consider their low-A season, Rosario (at age 20) and Polanco (at age 19).

    Polanco had a higher average (.308 to .296) and OBP (.362 to .345). Rosario had the advantage in both HR, SLG and OPS, but in terms of XBH, only had one more than Polanco. Neither are burners, so Polanco's double totals suggest they're a result of having some power to the gaps. Polanco's K rate (only 11% of PAs) is also phenomenal, both for someone his age and with that many extra base hits. Another feather in Polanco's cap is that he had no platoon splits as a switch-hitter. Rosario handled left-handed pitchers well too, but he's always been touted as an advanced hitter.

    Defensively, even though they play the same position, I'm giving a slight nod to Polanco. A second baseman that can fill it at shortstop has got to be better than a second baseman that also plays the outfield.

    Obviously, Polanco needs to prove himself against more advance competition, and AA probably won't happen until 2015, but the points above all had me tip the scale slightly in Polanco's favor.
    I guess my only real reason for being so much higher on Rosario is the level at which he has played/produced. Once Polanco puts up good numbers at Ft Myers I think I will back off my skepticism. I have faith but I don't know if he ends up being more of an impact player than Rosario, then again I haven't seen Rosario in person...
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