Anyway, I came here to play the game and here are my choices in reverse alphabetical order:
Alex Wimmers: I think/hope Wimmers is able to get his changeup back. His fastball might not be as good as it was, but if he can get his changeup back to even 80% of what it used to be, he'll be a guy that recoups some of the value that he had. I still haven't given up hope that he can be a serviceable starter and even stick in a big-league bullpen if he's drafted in the Rule 5 draft, though another fall procedure did set him back a little bit. He should still be ready to go when Spring Training roles around. I'd like to see the Twins make him a non-roster invite.
Tyler Stirewalt: Raw, but electric. It wouldn't shock me if we saw Stirewalt get a chance to start, but I think his home is at the back of the bullpen. His fastball/slider mix might become the talk of the minor league camp - if it wasn't the talk of instructs already.
Miguel Antonio Gonzalez: Gonzalez was the big addition in the 2011 International class... and he totally sucked in the DSL in 2012. He moved to the bullpen in the GCL last year and was lights out. I hope he gets another shot to start and wouldn't be shocked if he made it to Cedar Rapids this year.
Brian Gilbert: Gilbert's gonna be a stud. He's a bulldog. Yet I'm not sure if I want to see him every fifth day or at the end of games. I agree with Thrylos, though his stuff is different, he might end the year closer to the bigs than any of us expected.
Lewin Diaz: My only hitter... and probably a cheap one. Diaz is going to be so much better in the GCL than Minier was this year. I'm hoping they at least give him a shot to play his way out of the outfield and to first base, but even if he has to play 1B, he has the hit tool to settle there. (On an aside: I would like to see the Twins keep Minier in the GCL and move Diaz and Minier together... maybe to E-town later in the summer.)
J.D. Williams, Niko Goodrum, Bryan Haar, Dereck Rodriguez
Alex Wimmers, Aaron Slegers, Kuo Hua Lo, Austin Malinowski
ok ok ok my final choice - Tim Shibuya was lights out for CR and will progres fast through the next stop (A+). Fast Riser and my surprise pick for end of the year Twins All Star 2014. Remember I called it :)
Great thread but a difficult one. I love to follow the Twins minors but simply don't have the knowledge of Seth and Jeremy and others. However....
Kohl Stewart. Might be an easy pick, but this kid, healthy and his head on straight, is primed for a big year. I suspect he'll finish a Ft Myers.
Gonsalves. I think the Twins pounced while other teams slept. I think they really found something there.
Goodrum. The talent is there in spades. I think the light is coming on.
Thorpe. Just a gut feeling, and he is a ways away, but again, I think the Twins really found something.
Turner. I keep thinking we found another Bob Boone type with a little better bat. A guy who will hit a little, work the count, provide a little power, and provide great defense. A solid year this season, and grow even more next season once he has his professional legs under him. Solid this year and a fast riser next year.
Kepler. The talent is there absolutely. But we all new it was raw and would take some time. Unfortunately, injury interrupted his development. What really pleased and surprised me was his play in the AFL. He showed nothing special, but he was facing talent 2 levels higher than anything before and showed some discipline and ability. I think this is the year he really starts to shine.
Wimmers. There has always been doubts about the ceiling for this potentially solid young athlete. And then the injury bug hit him in a bad way. But I have always seen another Tapani in this kid. And a year plus removed from his rehab I see a potential fast riser.
DocBauer, I think you nailed the best candidates!
Gonsalves is at the top of my watch list. Kind of similar to Thorpe before last season. A lot of potential.
Goodrum - He has the physical tools but I think this is the year that Polanco leaves him in the rear view mirror on the MI prospect depth chart.
Kepler - could be due for a big breakout if he can have a healthy season. I have always been a big fan.
Wimmers - who knows. had talent and could come back after a disastrous pro start
I am not the minor league guy most of you are. Given that, I kind of think the minor league breakout pitcher could come from a group of young 20's starters like Atherton, Duffy, Melotakis, Summers, Baxendale and Lee. That is pretty big group, and I don't know which one will figure it out. But these guys have had some success and I expect one of them will jump up a couple of levels this year and maintain success as they or he moves up.
Among the position players I like D. J. Hicks, Goodrum, J.D Williams,and Kvasnicka. This the year for these guys. They have all been in pro ball for awhile, none have had sustained success, all have certain recognized talents amd it is about time for them to turn their talent into skills that can be sustained. If it doesn't happen soon for these guys, it probably won't. Still, if they all take that next step forward, the Twins system would look even better.
I guess I should limit it to two apiece. Since JD Williams is most likely to have a good season at Fort Myers and already has had two very strong seasons, I will go with Goodrum and Kepler who are due to emerge and have breakout years now.
Pitching-wise, Gonsalves is an obvious pick, so I think I will go with D.J. Baxendale and Mason Melotakis, who with good seasons at AA and A+, respectively, will qualify as breakout seasons because they could also be predicted as soon in over their heads.
If, by breakout, you mean a guy who could jump into the top 100 nationally a year from now, I'd say Thorpe and Kepler.
If we're thinking more guys that we'll be a lot more excited about (like Thorpe now or Kepler a year ago), I'd go with Eades (massively underrated by Twins fans) and Minier.
Jim brings up some really good pitchers I didn't even mention, as did Shane. That is what is so great about the depth of our system right now. Including the likes of Hicks and Vargas, Walker and others.
One guy I deliberately didn't mention is Polanco. That was due to the fact I feel he's already broken out, to a certain degree. But I have a general question to all of you concerning him. What is his ceiling potential? I feel he is a bit of an enigma at this point despite what he has shown.
He was signed as a great fielding SS with some speed and athleticism. And he's begun to show some really great potential. But it seems he's been playing more 2B than SS. And I've read reports where maybe his arm isn't the strongest. Is his time at 2B due to Goodrum? Or is he really not a great SS prospect?
Being a great SS is just just arm strength, though it helps. It's also about range, glove work, getting rid of the ball quickly and accurately. Any thought here guys?
Great topic Seth,
My first choice will be Thorpe, who I believe will begin in EST before joining Cedar Rapids in late April/May 1. There is a small chance he moves up to Fort Myers for the last month of the season. Yes, he will be only 18 years old...but he just turned 18 last week and will be pitching to A+, AA and some AAA guys all winter down under.
My second pitcher is D. J. Baxendale, who has a chance to become what he was at A+ last year at AA this summer. If he does, a late season promotion to AAA could be in the cards.
My third pitcher is Matt Summers. Look for the Twins to return Matt to the bullpen where he will be lights out with a season as good as any of the top bullpen prospects in the organization.
As for position players, my leading candidate will be Jorge Polanco. Don't know if he really qualifies as the last two years were very good. Anyway, I expect him to have another bigger year at Fort Myers in 2014.
I look for a big year also from middle infielder Aderlin Mejia, who was awfully good at Fort Myers in 2013. Look for him to continue hitting for a high average as he moves from the Miracle to New Britain.
My final player to have a break-out year is Minnetonka's own A. J. Pettersen. After battling through his wrist injury last year, A.J. will report to spring training healthy and ready to prove he has a future with the Twins. Look for him to return to New Britain as he moves up the ladder as a valuable utility player.
Aaron Slegers is my breakout candidate. We picked him in the 5th round last year after he missed nearly his entire Freshman and Sophomore years before pitching a full season in 2013 at Indiana. If the forearm ailment that caused him to miss time as a prep and in college stays in the past then there is a lot to like about his future prospects. His arm has low miles and at 6'10" he has a distinct advantage vs hitters. Slegers has limited pitching experience so it will serve him well to start at Elizabethton where the short season will allow more time to work with coaches in extended minor league camp this spring. Look for the Twins to get him a spot in the rotation after he made 9 relief appearances at Elizabethton last summer.
Guys i Like as Breakouts
1) Austin Malinowski = Turns into a stud left-handed reliever by end of year for Cedar Rapids/ Ft. Myers.
2) Miguel Sulbaran = Probably a better all-around pitching prospect to Jose Berrios, (for now) and benefits from being a southpaw....might get all the way to AA, possibly just a taste of AAA.
3) J.T. Chargois = the once, top relief prospect, returns with vengence and HE, not Tonkin looks like our future closer in waiting. (although i think Tonkin will be a fine middle reliver or 7th inning secondary set-up man.)
other lefties : Brett Lee, Stephen Gonsalves (1 will probably go bust) hopefully the other stays healthy all year, and turns into a #3 type of starter. Love the Brian Gilbert love too from above BTW.
1) James Beresford , at some point gets a shot/ crack at Utility job for Gardy and his all-around speed/ defense combo at 2B and SS keeps him on the team into 2015. Think Pete Kozma ish.
2 ) Aaron Hicks , returns late in the year to turn into a solid Big League 3rd Outfielder, shouldn't start EVERY day, but maybe 4-5 times a week in CF.
3) Aderlin Mejia , mainly because @ Seth Stohs didn' even have him in his top 50! Although, i probably overate him severely i think he's still a bit underlooked.
People i think totally turn into busts:
Kennys Vargas, Trevor May, Kohl Stewart!?!?! :( , Ryan Eades , Zack Jones :( , Travis Harrison, Eddie Rosario (hate to say it, but) Where'd the power stroke go Eddie?
Still holding out some hope for Berrios and Kepler.
Hope I'm pleasantly suprised by: Taylor Rodgers , Niko Goodrum , Tyler Duffy , Tyler Jones, Stuart Turner, Levi Michael, Alex Wimmers. Eades too!
HOPE I"m REALLY wrong about Kohl Stewart, its just a random gut feeling, mainly about his work ethic, and hair-style and choices with girls, friends, parties, social media.
I feel that it may take longer than we expect but Lewis Thorpe and Amaurys Minier will be good to really really good one day.
To all players involved Please may God willing, blessingly and YOU stay healthy! :)
This is a tough one because I think the term "break out" means different things to different people. I'm not going to put Stewart on the list as he's already a top 50 prospect, had a great start, and was drafted 4 overall. Not really a break out candidate. Most expect him to have an excellent season, so break out for him would be Buxtonesque. I'm not going to put those types of expectations on anyone. My candidates:
The other nice thing is that with this deep of a system, there are A LOT of candidates.
Thorpe - I think this kid will be special. He's already broken out in some ways, as he's in a lot of Twins to 10 lists already. I think he's going to be in a lot of top 100 lists overall next season... I could even see him sniffing top 50.
Gonsalves - He was considered 1st round talent and fell more due to character/signability than to his stuff (though it was questioned). The fact that he's a hard throwing lefty will keep him in the system for a while, and so far he looked to be far superior to his rookie league competition. He's another guy that may be in some top 100 lists next year.
Polanco - If he can stick at SS, this is another break out guy that could hit top 100 lists. He had a pretty good year in CR and if he's average defensively, he will be on a ton of prospect lists.
Kepler - No question on the tools. Just needs to put it all together. Reminds me of a Joe Benson type guy (though hopefully without the mental issues to go with it).
May - Peripherals showed improvement last season. ERA didn't. No question on the talent, but thus far he's been a project. I could see him rewarding fans. It wouldn't take much more of an improvement in the peripherals to really start showing up in ERA, and in all honesty, just putting him with a better defense might do the trick.
Logan Darnell - not going to hit top 100 lists, but I wouldn't be surprised at all if he's the first guy called up in MN next year. I think he's a 3 ceiling type guy, but should be far better than a typical 4/5 starter.
And for the name no one is mentioning:
Aaron Hicks - technically, he broke out last year and then was terrible this year. I think he puts 2013 behind him in AAA, though I don't expect to see him in MN at all in 2014 (baring injury).