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Twins Prospects: 20-16

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Here is part 7 of my prospect list I hope you enjoyed the earlier parts. Today I will be bringing you prospects 20-16. I will be bringing you 5 a day until we get all the way to number one. This will take awhile so keep checking back here for daily looks at who I have in certain spots and what I think of them. I am sure you will disagree with some and if so by all means leave me a comment in the comment section. If you prefer you can also shoot me an email at [email protected]. Also if you prefer you can hit me up on twitter @texastwinsfan so whichever way you prefer let me know what you think of my list.

20. Miguel Sulbaran LHP 3/19/94 19 Signed as a Free Agent in 2011 from VZ

2013 stats: 9-4 2.96 era 27 games 20 starts 1 save 112.2 inn 110 hits 32bb 101k

2013 teams: Great Lakes(LA Dodgers), Cedar Rapids

2014 team: Fort Myers

ETA: 2016

Most Twins fans were happy when they found out that Drew Butera was traded to the Dodgers last summer. However, most Twins fans were not expecting much in return for the defensive first catcher. So when they got a young pitcher with promise like Miguel Sulbaran for him I for one was like wow he is pretty good. I just didnít value Butera to the point that they could get someone of Sulbaranís caliber. Sulbaran pitched the 2013 season at age 19 so he is very young for his level as he will pitch in the Florida State League at the age of 20 in 2014. Sulbaran was signed in 2011 as a 16 year old kid from Venezuela by the Dodgers. He is slight of build at only 5í10 and 185lbs. He had a very consistant 2013 between Great Lakes and Cedar Rapids. He went 9-4 with a 2.96 era in a little over 112 innings although he gave up about a hit an inning and about eight strikeouts per nine innings. I see his future as a lefty reliever as he just doesnít throw very hard. He typically sits in the high 80ís and if he was a righty he would not survive, but the fact that he is a lefty allows him to get by. He has an unbelievable changeup that is being called big league ready. He throws a slider and a curveball about the same speed that he likely is going to have to speed one up or slow one down or more likely he will have to get rid of one of them. I view him as a LOOGY that will come in and throw fastballs on the corner to get ahead and then put you away with that changeup. He is just so young and if he can develop control of that fastball to consistantly hit the corners with his fastball he can flourish. When he comes into games I think he will be a fastball-changeup pitcher who will throw an occasional offspeed pitch. Whether that is the curveball or the slider to be determined. The key for him is placing his fastball as without control of it he will get lit up, but if he does he can be very effective. Sulbaran is an interesting case as he has potential to be a bigtime relief prospect for the Twins all for Drew Butera.

19. Sean Gilmartin LHP 5/8/90 23 1st round pick in 2011 draft from Florida State

2013 stats: 4-8 5.06 era 21 games 20 starts 105 inn 117 hits 33bb 81k

2013 teams: Rome(A), Gwinnett(AAA) Atlanta organization

2014 team: New Britain

ETA: 2014

The Twins acquired Sean Gilmartin from the Braves earlier this offseason in a deal that sent Ryan Doumit to Atlanta. A little about him he was drafted in the 31st round of the 2008 draft out of high school by San Diego, but decided to attend Florida State. That decision turned out to be a good decision as he was a 1st round pick by the Braves in the 2011 draft. He worked his entire career as a starter and before 2013 a pretty good one. In 2011 he had a 3.09 era between the GCL and A ball. Then in 2012 he split the season between AA and AAA where he went 6-10 with a very good 3.84 era in 157 innings. Then in 2013 he struggled through a shoulder injury that limited him to just 105 innings and a 5.06 era. Gilmartin doesnít impress with the radar gun as he consistantly throws in the high 80ís. He is the typical soft tossing lefty the Twins love to acquire. He has a good plan on the mound and when he hits his spots he can be quite effective. He throws a pretty good changeup and changes speed effectively. He also throws an alright curveball and slider, but neither of those pitches are all that great at this point. It may appear that I am not that high on Gilmartin, but that could not be further from the truth as before 2013 he got guys out. He counts on his guile and his control to get guys to chase pitches outside the strike zone. To me he is a better version of Scott Diamond because when he is on he can paint both sides of the plate and get the umpire to give him that extra six inches that guys with good control usually get. I donít think he is going to be a stallwart for the Twins, but I do think he can make an impact and have a solid career if he gets back to being healthy and the control artist he was before 2013. Odds are he makes some starts for the Twins in 2014 as teams usually have to use more than the five they start with. So if you are looking at Sean Gilmartin my personal opinion is he can be an effective MLB pitcher if he can stay healthy.

18. Jorge Felix RHP 1/2/94 20 Signed as a Free Agent in 2011 out of DR

2013 stats: 2-2 2.95 era 12 starts 61 innings 56 hits 18bb 72k

2013 team: Elizabethton

2014 team: Cedar Rapids

ETA: 2017

Jorge Felix is the final member of the big 3 of Yorman Landa, and Randy Rosario that dominated in Elizabethton in 2013. Felix in my opinion is the best of the bunch and has by far the most upside of the bunch. Felix was signed as a free agent by the Twins in 2011 out of the Dominican Republic as a 17 year old. He made his debut in the United States in 2012 where he went 0-3 with a 2.34 era in just 34.2 innings with 37 strikeouts. That just gave Twins fans a taste of how good he could be. So when he went to E-Town there was hype surrounding him as a bigtime prospect. He did not disappoint in 2013 at E-Town as he went to a 2.95 era in 61 innings along with 72 strikeouts at the age of 19. He faced guys that are two to three years older than him so it is quite impressive. He is getting about ten strikeouts per nine innings in 2013 which is very impressive. Felix is tall and skinny so he has a very projectable frame where he could pick up velocity if he gains some muscle. Felix throws in the 92-93 range which I think in time can be in the mid 90ís. He also is able to place his fastball based on the 18 walks in the 61 innings in 2013. He also has a very good curveball that he can throw for strikes. He is working on his changeup and right now it is much improved over what it was just a year ago. If he can perfect his changeup he has all the makings of a frontline starter. I think he will end up throwing in the mid 90ís with a good curve and if he can use his changeup to get guys off his fastball he will be much more dominant. What people need to remember is this kid just turned 20 so there is plenty of room for improvement. He is definately someone that I expect to be in my top 10 next year at this time and he has all the tools to be a quality Twins starter for a long time.

17. Stephen Gonsalves LHP 7/8/94 19 4th round pick in 2013 draft from HS in Cal

2013 stats: 2-1 0.95 era 8 games 5 starts 28.1 inn 18 hits 11bb 39k

2013 teams: GCL Twins, Elizabethton

2014 team: Cedar Rapids

ETA: 2018

The Twins took the high upside high school lefty from San Diego, California in the 4th round in the 2013 draft. Gonsalves likely would have gone earlier in the draft, but there were some questions about signablility, but honestly the Twins did not have much trouble signing him. Gonsalves did not get much time in during the 2013 season after signing, but boy was he impressive. In just over 28 innings between the GCL and E-town Gonsalves had 39 strikeouts and just 18 hits. He is such a high upside guy the Twins will likely be careful with him. I expect him to start the season at extended spring training and then when the weather warms up he will move up to Cedar Rapids. They will watch his innings count religiously to keep the tall and lanky pitcher healthy. The crazy thing about Gonsalves is he is 6í5, but just 190 lbs which tells me he can get bigger and stronger and when that happens his velocity will increase. Right now his fastball sits in the 90-91 range, but sometimes will hit as high as 94. I really believe when he gains 20-25 lbs of muscle his fastball will rise to the 93-94 range consistantly which is plenty of gas. He is working on a breaking ball and a changeup that are alright right now. He gets by with them, but they need to be perfected as he moves into the full season teams which I have no doubt he will. His upside is limitless and I think a year from now he will be a top 10 prospect as his upside is that good. With any tall pitcher you have to wonder about control, but so far control has not been a problem as he only walked eleven guys last year. If he hits the weight room and gets stronger along with working on his offspeed pitches I think he has the potential to be a solid 2 at the major league level and that just gives me goosebumps as he is another pitcher the Twins have in their system with that type of high upside.

16. Kennys Vargas 1b/DH 8/1/90 23 Signed as a Free Agent in 2009 from PR

2013 stats: .267 avg 19 hr 93 rbi 33 dou 1 trip 68 runs 50bb 105k .344/.468/.813

2013 team: Fort Myers

2014 team: New Britain

ETA: 2015

When the Twins signed Kennys Vargas as a free agent in 2009 out of Puerto Rico they really did not know what they had in the 6í5 big man. Vargas was a slow mover as he spent two years in the GCL and was really not that impressive. It was not until he got to Elizabethton that he started showing the promise that the Twins saw in him. He was hitting .322 with a .865 OPS in 44 games when his season came to a screeching halt. On August 11th 2011, Vargas was hit with a 50 game suspension by Major League Baseball for using a banned substance. He likely would have started 2012 in Beloit, but since he was not on a full season roster when he was suspended he couldnít finish the suspension on Beloitís roster he had to wait for Elizabethtonís season to start to finish his suspension. When he did get activated by the Snappers he came back with a vengence by belting eleven homeruns and having a 1.030 in 41 games with Beloit. It was there that I saw him in person and it is uncanny he looks like a smaller version of David Ortiz enough of a resemblence that he is called baby papi. There was a kinship between Vargas and Miguel Sano as they became unseperable on the field. He was one of the guys I came away from that trip most impressed with. He moved up to Fort Myers in 2013 and belted 19 homeruns and drove in 93 rbiís in 125 games with an incredible 53 extra base hits. What I like about him is he can take a walk as he had 50 walks in addition to the 53 extra base hits. He also did strike out 105 times so that is something he needs to improve on. Vargas is a switch hitter and has good power from both sides of the plate. Of his 19 homeruns in 2013 13 came as a left handed hitter while seven came as a right handed hitter and that should be expected as he faces more right handed pitching. The negative is he is a liability defensively that is the reason he did not join Sano in New Britain in 2013 as they wanted him to work on his defense. I believe his best position is DH and eventually he will settle into that position as he is just too big of a man in my opinion to play 1b for the foreseeable future not withstanding #7 playing first base in Minnesota. I really think Vargas is going to make an impact and eventually be the Twins every day DH. If he can stay on course and do what he is supposed to do I expect big things out of him.
Twins Prospects 50-46
Twins Prospects 45-41
Twins Prospects 40-36
Twins Prospects 35-31
Twins Prospects 30-26
Twins Prospects 25-21
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