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Article: Twins Spring Training Prospect Watch

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#1 Seth Stohs

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 03:04 AM

You can view the page at http://www.twinsdail...-Prospect-Watch

#2 Carneal&Gordon

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 05:21 AM

Good stuff Seth, still confused by the Johnson/Welker trade and it's reasoning but excited to see reports of the prospects over spring training and the year to come.

#3 Seth Stohs

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 08:21 AM

Johnson's a starter and left-handed... that's all I need to know.

We'll definitely have the minor leagues covered in 2014!! I think people are becoming more and more aware that Twins Daily is the best place for Twins minor leave coverage, and we take that really seriously!

#4 whosafraidofluigirussolo

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 09:18 AM

I still don't really get the addition of Kepler to the 40-man roster. He hasn't yet hit to match his scouting reports, if I remember correctly he hasn't played a full minor-league season yet, and at his rate of progress through the minors he may run out of options before he's even ready for the majors. Not that some of the potential everyone loved isn't still there, but that doesn't look like a player who would get claimed for a major-league roster.
Good luck to him, though.

#5 Monkeypaws

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 09:56 AM

Nice write-up sir!

Always fun when ST just begins and everybody is there.

#6 birddog

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 10:33 AM

Yes indeed, great article, Seth. You guys do such a great job keeping us informed of the youngsters in the minors. As we know all too well, that has been our only bright spots of optimism these last few years in Twins territory. Looking forward to keeping tabs on these kids in the minors and hopefully more than a couple of them with the big boys this season.

#7 birddog

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 10:35 AM

Looking forward to seeing them play in 5 days.

Edited by birddog, 27 February 2014 - 10:36 AM.
duplicate


#8 Intramural Legend

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 10:47 AM

I still don't really get the addition of Kepler to the 40-man roster. He hasn't yet hit to match his scouting reports, if I remember correctly he hasn't played a full minor-league season yet, and at his rate of progress through the minors he may run out of options before he's even ready for the majors. Not that some of the potential everyone loved isn't still there, but that doesn't look like a player who would get claimed for a major-league roster.
Good luck to him, though.


I know it is a bit premature, but I just get an ugly feeling that Kepler is our next Joe Benson. Will struggle to put together all of the tools that he clearly has. I hope I am wrong, and it could just be that it seems like we have been talking about him forever.

#9 nicksaviking

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 11:06 AM

I still don't really get the addition of Kepler to the 40-man roster. He hasn't yet hit to match his scouting reports, if I remember correctly he hasn't played a full minor-league season yet, and at his rate of progress through the minors he may run out of options before he's even ready for the majors. Not that some of the potential everyone loved isn't still there, but that doesn't look like a player who would get claimed for a major-league roster.
Good luck to him, though.


The Brewers picked Wei-Chung Wang in the Rule V and he'd only pitched in Rookie League.

It's a little different situation than Kepler, but there's still a risk of losing him. The terrible teams these days acknowledge they are rebuilding, there's a chance that a team like the Marlins would grab a guy they knew couldn't help this year, the Twins did it with Johan Santana after all, he had never pitched above A ball. I know if another team left a high ceiling prospect available to snag, I'd campaign for the Twins to keep a spot open for him. After all, how much are you truley losing having dead weight in Kepler on your bench instead of Mastroianni, or Clete Thomas or Wilkin Ramirez?

#10 Seth Stohs

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 12:37 PM

I know it is a bit premature, but I just get an ugly feeling that Kepler is our next Joe Benson. Will struggle to put together all of the tools that he clearly has. I hope I am wrong, and it could just be that it seems like we have been talking about him forever.


There's nothing really to base that on other than the fact that most prospects/minor leaguers don't become stars.

You make an interesting point. With the increased knowledge and discussion of prospects, especially 16-year-old international signings, we are going to hear their names for a long time. He's 20 and will be starting in Ft. Myers this season... by that, he's progressing very well... But, since we've known about him since July 2009, it seems like he's moving slowly. He's so young, and so talented.

#11 Deduno Abides

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 02:13 PM

Trevor May should be considered to go North with the team in a long relief role. Predicting pitcher success and health is difficult, but, as of today, the Twins' 2015 rotation will likely be composed of Nolasco, Hughes, Pelfrey, Gibson and Meyer. At least one of Deduno, Worley and Diamond likely will also be around. That slots May in, at best, the seventh starting position for 2015, while there are also other starters that are rising through the organization and could be ready to pitch in the majors in 2015. Therefore, keeping May as a starter may not be in his or the team's best interest. Reports are that May has a talent that would be unique on the 2014 Twins - a heavy fastball. The AFL provides a small sample, of course, but he had great stats as a reliever last fall. Promising pitchers on Earl Weaver's Orioles used to begin their major league careers in long relief. May's fastball is going to slow down as he ages, so this may be an opportune time to take advantage of his talent by initially using him in appropriate situations. If he succeeds, he can move either into the rotation or into a higher-leverage relief role. If he doesn't succeed initially, he could still go down to Rochester and work on the lessons he learned in the majors.

#12 Steve Lein

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 04:09 PM

I still don't really get the addition of Kepler to the 40-man roster. He hasn't yet hit to match his scouting reports, if I remember correctly he hasn't played a full minor-league season yet, and at his rate of progress through the minors he may run out of options before he's even ready for the majors. Not that some of the potential everyone loved isn't still there, but that doesn't look like a player who would get claimed for a major-league roster.
Good luck to him, though.


I asked Baseball America a while back about this exact scenario, and J.J. Cooper answered and spoke about the process as it relates to Kepler and other prospects of his type. It's an interesting look at what goes into such decisions:

http://www.baseballa...inors/ask-ba-2/
Scouting Report: Tools - Power: 30, Hitting: 50, Arm: 60, Defense: 40, Speed: 40. "Line drive swing and shows good contact and on-base abilities. Double's power at his peak. Strong arm from 2B or the OF, stiff hands. Not a fast runner, but above average instincts on the bases. Skinny body doesn't look the part, but can sneak up on you. ACL surgery sapped much of his athleticism." (Probably)
Spring Training Regular since 2011.

#13 Steve Lein

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 04:33 PM

And as Seth says, Kepler may be disappointing in the fact he's been in the system for so long already. But in that same breath, he's still only 20, which makes him younger than guys like Eddie Rosario, Alex Meyer, Josmil Pinto, and Trevor May, who all made this very websites Twins Top 10 prospects, a list in which I suspect Kepler would be just outside.

I'd have him in my own Top 10, and I'm a very big believer in Kepler. Every time I've seen him play he's done nothing but impress. 2 years ago at Spring Training, he was playing with the Beloit roster that included Sano, Rosario, and Vargas. He was without-a-doubt the best in-game hitter on that roster in the 3 games I watched, and to be honest, it wasn't particularly close (nobody was pitching to Sano or Vargas, and Rosario was acting very frustrated). I have a notebook on all those games, and even some video of Kepler hitting a double: http://twitpic.com/8zswq4

Needless to say, I was both disappointed and shocked that Kepler did not play for Beloit that season, so I also think they have held him back some to this point. But his injury last year didn't help either. I expect big things from Max this year, and look for him to play 1B moving forward. He resembles more of Morneau to me these days than an OF-er (size-wise).

#14 The Green Monster

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 04:50 PM

For my 1st post on the site I just have to say that you need to go to bed Seth! 3:51 AM post? Haha, just playin', keep up the great work. Your loyal friend and reader, The Green Monster.

#15 clutterheart

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 07:36 PM

You think Arcia will get a long look? I would say he is a certainty to make the 25 man roster.

Kepler is nothing like Benson. Not the same player at all. Kepler is a Corner OF/1B prospect with better plate discipline but Benson was a good fielding CF'er with pop who struck out too much. Kepler needs at bats to see what kind of player he will be. Benson's problem was he got too many at bats and he showed he can't make contact and couldn't take walks

Santana - Why do you think he is at New Britain? Why should roster fillers like Breinier hold him back?
That would make me annoyed.

Edited by clutterheart, 27 February 2014 - 08:40 PM.


#16 Seth Stohs

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 09:32 PM

You think Arcia will get a long look? I would say he is a certainty to make the 25 man roster.

Kepler is nothing like Benson. Not the same player at all. Kepler is a Corner OF/1B prospect with better plate discipline but Benson was a good fielding CF'er with pop who struck out too much. Kepler needs at bats to see what kind of player he will be. Benson's problem was he got too many at bats and he showed he can't make contact and couldn't take walks

Santana - Why do you think he is at New Britain? Why should roster fillers like Breinier hold him back?
That would make me annoyed.


I think Arcia should be a lock... I'm not certain he is yet.

Benson's minor league IsoD was about .100 which is tremendous. He took a lot of walks. Struck out a bunch. Plays great defense. Very strong arm. I have Kepler in my personal top 10 Twins prospects still. Benson was actually more of a prospect. He struck out too much, but he also walked a ton.

Santana could start at New Britain. I don't know that pushing him to AAA is a big deal. Part of me wants to see Buxton, Santana, Sano, Vargas, Meyer all on the same team and move together. Also, Santana needs to figure out how to walk once in awhile and make more routine plays. He also has the 2014 option and 2015, so there's no rush at all.

#17 Halsey Hall

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 10:25 PM

Kepler had a nice day today, and played the entire game. He was 2-4, both line drives to right center, one a double. He did take a bad route on Hick's triple, but then charged and dove in to rob Colabello of a hit. Also made a nice catch near the stands. He's got a sweet swing. No comparison at all to Joe Benson.

#18 clutterheart

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 11:02 PM

I think Arcia should be a lock... I'm not certain he is yet.

Benson's minor league IsoD was about .100 which is tremendous. He took a lot of walks. Struck out a bunch. Plays great defense. Very strong arm. I have Kepler in my personal top 10 Twins prospects still. Benson was actually more of a prospect. He struck out too much, but he also walked a ton.

Santana could start at New Britain. I don't know that pushing him to AAA is a big deal. Part of me wants to see Buxton, Santana, Sano, Vargas, Meyer all on the same team and move together. Also, Santana needs to figure out how to walk once in awhile and make more routine plays. He also has the 2014 option and 2015, so there's no rush at all.


You're right about Benson's walks. His BB% was not terrible I agree with you he was more of a prospect.

Santana - Why do you think AAA would be pushing him? He has red flags, but I can't see why he should be blocked. As prospects get better guys like Bernier need to be gone. Those types of "good story" guys have no place in an organization that is trying to get better and has prospects who can replace them.

#19 jimbo92107

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Posted 28 February 2014 - 12:55 AM

Trevor May should be considered to go North with the team in a long relief role.... Promising pitchers on Earl Weaver's Orioles used to begin their major league careers in long relief....


So you're saying he should spend this season as Anthony Swarzak's shadow. I like that idea. May could learn a lot from Swarzak, whose pitching style relies on mound poise, quick delivery, and hitting his spots. If May could learn to do that, plus a few more mph, he'd be a pretty valuable asset.

#20 highlander

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Posted 28 February 2014 - 12:38 PM

"when you see numbers worn by offensive tackles and wide receivers" i had to chuckle. nice article.