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Thread: Top 20 Prospect Lists

  1. #1
    Twins Moderator All-Star diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
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    Top 20 Prospect Lists

    For fun, minor league seasons are over and I don't see AFL changing people's rankings. I'm going to toss my top 20 in there. Feel free to add yours flame me, I really don't care.

    1) Byron Buxton CF - I didn't think he was 2 overall last season given his inexperience, but he did everything possible to make me look silly. And I hope he continues to do that. He's now the top prospect in baseball. Hopefully, he continues that in AA as there's now here to go but down.

    2) Miguel Sano 3B - You could make a case that he's the 2nd best prospect in baseball, though some will rate him otherwise. I expect him to start in AAA, but his AA season did leave a bit to be desired. Considering that he was struggling with the Mendoza line for a bit and managed to raise his average about 40 points, I'm not worried about 2014. I suspect he starts in Rochester, but he might spend a bit of time with Byron in NB.

    3) Alex Meyer SP - Outright dominant when he pitched. If he hadn't had shoulder problems, I wouldn't be surprised if he was in a lot of top 20 lists, but instead he's going to get dropped a bit. Hope he does well in the AFL. Should start in Rochester.

    4) Eddie Rosario 2B - I still think this kid is underrated. He can flat out hit, and he does so at a position where hitting is hard to find. He struggled a bit down the stretch in NB. Not sure if that was facing better talent or just being tired. I suspect he also starts in Rochester next year. If I lived anywhere near there, I'd go just to see these 4 guys play, as there's a chance they all end up playing there for a few weeks midseason.

    5) Kohl Stewart SP - I know a lot of lists will rank him higher because they like tools. I tend to favor results at higher levels. That's not a knock on Stewart, but I'd like to see how he fairs in low A ball next season.

    6) Josmil Pinto C - Another hitter with mixed reviews on defense at a hard to staff positions. His caught stealing rate dropped this season, though last year I think he nailed about 38%, which is not bad. Not sure how he does on pitch framing and calling games, but a catchers that post .900 OPS don't exactly grow on trees. I still think Mauer should catch, but Pinto should be able to fill the Doumit role quite well and the bat is good enough to DH as well. I also think he squeaks into some top 100 lists this offseason. I don't see Doumit getting traded this offseason, but if he does, Pinto moves into the role. If not, here's to hoping Doumit gets off to a great start next season.

    7) Trevor May SP - I don't get the dislike for him. His K rate was up this year. His walk rate was down. His FIP was pretty good too. Yes, the ERA was not what you want, but he's striking out more than a batter per inning. I don't see him going to the pen until he's out of options and there's no one pushing him. He starts in Rochester, and I wouldn't be terribly surprised if he's called up ahead of Meyer, much to the dismay of many TD readers.

    8) JO Berrios SP - Apparently he throws mid 90s, which for some reason I missed in his scouting reports. His low A season was a success, but he reminded us why it was that you don't always trust rookie ball stats. He definitely met his first challenges in CR, but as a 19 year old to post an ERA around 4 and strike out a batter per inning, I'll take it.

    9) Adam Walker 1B - A little older than I'd like for his league, but 27 HRs is nothing to sneeze at. He did drop his K rate pretty substantially from his rookie ball season, but he needs to improve that walk rate. Fort Meyers will be fairly telling for him in this area. Like CR, it's another pitchers league so a similar season with slight improvements in the K and BB rates will tell a lot as to whether or not he has a major league future.

    10) Kennys Vargas 1B - You could probably swap Vargas and Walker as the two are similar. To Vargas's credit, he put his .800 OPS up at a higher league. His walk rate is a bit better though he didn't have the power. He will start in NB for his age 23 season. A good season there will tell what kind of future he has.

    11) Jorge Polanco 2B/SS - 2 years in a row posting an OPS > .800 for a middle infielder will get some notice. He wasn't as good as he was last season, so I wouldn't be surprised if the bat tailed off next year. If he can do what he did this year in Fort Meyers, he will start getting some attention. Oh, and he'll be 20 next July.

    12) Felix Jorge SP - The Twins had a lot of success from rookie ball pitchers this year. This 19 year old struck out 72 in 61 innings while walking 18. Should be another nice one to watch in CR.

    13) Lewis Thorpe SP - I'm high on this 17 year old kid. He did better than Stewart and Gonslaves in the GCL, and he's still in high school. I'm not sure if his lack of promotion was due to him being in school or something else, but given his results, I have to rank him. I'm guessing he will start in the Appy next year, but given what he did in the GCL, I'd love to see him in Cedar Rapids. A Stewart, Gonslaves, Thorpe, Jorge, Eades rotation would look nice.

    14) Stephen Gonsalves SP - What can you say, I like my rookie ball pitchers with sexy stats. The kid has a chip on his shoulder too, and he fell due to a perceived character issue involving beer (really, just beer?) and the perception he wouldn't sign. Good catch by Twins scouting. He could start in the Appy, but I'd like to see the Twins try him out in CR.

    15) Michael Tonkin RP - If I remember right, he's Kubel's brother in law. He's dominated in Rochester and I think will do just fine in Minnesota. Relief pitchers don't get a ton of love, but like starting pitchers, I like power in my pens. Tonkin should be a late inning reliever and could succeed quickly.

    16) Miguel Sulbaran SP - Put up better numbers than Berrios in low A ball, though supposedly he doesn't throw as hard (low 90s). I'm still in awe of Terry Ryan for pulling a legit prospect for Butera. I don't know if he will make it, but that was impressive.

    17) Max Kepler CF - He's 20 and got his first taste of full season ball. He's loaded up with tools, but also very raw. It's hard to believe he's been with the org for 4 years, but he has. He was signed in the same year as Sano, but due to being signed before rookie leagues started, he's a 40 man decision this offseason. He didn't exactly dominate in CR, though he got off to a great start. He's going to be an interesting rule V choice as there's potential for him to be left unprotected and potential for him to be taken, even though he clearly would not do well on a major league roster.

    18) Logan Darnell SP - I'm higher on him than most. I see him as a #3/4 type guy. He took some lumps going from AA to AAA, but this 24 year old did a pretty good job in NB and settled down in Rochester after his initial start. I think he starts in Rochester, but this is another kid that might get an early call to Minnesota.

    19) Ryan Eades SP - Didn't do as well as I'd like in rookie ball, but this was another potential 1st rounder that fell. Ceiling is Scott Baker. Should start in CR.

    20) Mason Melotakis SP - Took a substantial hit in the K and BB rates in his first year as a starter. I suspect he returns to relief role and could quite possibly be a dominant late inning guy. In the mean time, he will start in Fort Meyers.

    21) Zach Jones RP - Another 2012 RP draftee. Needs to cut down on the walk rate, but a hit rate of 5 per 9 innings makes up for a lot of that. A bit more control and this is another power pitcher out of the pen.

    HM: Travis Harrison, JT Chargois (injury), Daniel Santana, Zach Larson, Randy Rosario, DJ Baxendale, and Luke Bard.

    What I liked, positions of need: 11 SP, 1 C, and 2 MI. Also have what most would call a sure thing at CF and 3B to go with them. Couple of nice 1B prospects, though these guys will be looking at ETAs in the 2015/16 timeframe.

    What I really like is that there were a lot of guys who were not on this list who would be on other teams lists. The top 5 guys could be the number 1 guy on many team's lists. Beyond the top 20, there are plenty of guys that Sickle's would give C+ grades to and who would be top 20 guys in other systems. This is an exceptionally deep system that will go deeper before it really starts graduating guys.

    Edit: Added Kepler in.
    Last edited by diehardtwinsfan; 09-09-2013 at 07:21 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer Monkeypaws's Avatar
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    Nice write up. I am sure there will be some variations in other lists, but worthy effort.
    Last edited by Monkeypaws; 09-08-2013 at 10:18 PM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Double-A
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    Not a bad list here's where I'd quibble with it:

    Pinto feels too high, with the pretty iffy defensive reports and his being relatively old for a prospect I think he's a couple spots too high. He's similar to Dozier a couple years ago for me. Probably switch him and Berrios, I tend to buy into
    Berrios being fatigued at the end of the year, his first half was excellent.

    Polanco would make my top 10, hardly unusual for players to see a step down in production going into full season ball. A 19 year old holding his own while also being MI prospect is pretty impressive.

    Notable Omissions: Travis Harrison- Again like Berrios those first months were very solid but tailed down the stretch, first full year makes me think those first half numbers more representative of what we'll see going forward.

    Max Kepler- I've read too many prospect guys excited about his potential to get down on him in an season he spent recovering from injury.

  4. #4
    Good list, definitely an original one. No Kepler though?

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    Senior Member Big-Leaguer
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    I like Walkers placement on your list, but should note he is an OFer. He plays OF better than some may think. And I don't say that because of his size. He runs well and fields well. If he refines his throwing mechanics (strong enough arm), he could be a very serviceable OFer moving forward. Not afraid to leave his feet and make an attempt with dives or climmbing the wall. [And he is only 21 - Has not been legal to drink for a full year yet? How is that old? ]
    Last edited by lightfoot789; 09-09-2013 at 04:35 AM.

  6. #6
    Twins Moderator All-Star diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
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    I realized this morning that I left Kepler off. I was looking at him when I put the list together, but forgot about him. I'm not terribly high on him mainly due to the fact that he's been with the org longer than Sano has and he's only in CR, and didn't exactly light the world on fire there either. I get that he's young, but he's a 40 man decision this offseason, and he looks to have another 3 years in the minors yet. That leaves him little room for error. I almost hope he does poor enough in the AFL to not be on anyone's rule V radar so that the Twins get an extra year to make a decision on him.

    I intentionally left Harrison off, though I need to look at him a bit closer. I think he should have at least been an HM. I don't remember his season at CR being all that great. Though he's very young for that league.

    I'll probably edit my list a bit later today or tomorrow with that in mind.

  7. #7
    Senior Member All-Star Badsmerf's Avatar
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    No Kepler, Harrison, Minier (not sure if I'd put him in the top 20, but might). I'd probably drop some of those relief pitchers in favor of Kepler and Harrison but to each their own. Pretty good list.
    Do or do not. There is no try.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Triple-A
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    nice top 21 list haha. But nice writeup.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer Oldgoat_MN's Avatar
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    Great list. Fun thread. Thanks!

    Eddie Rosario - I, too, am a fan and have been tracking him. However, he did not dominate at AA. I cannot see him starting 2014 in AAA.

    In A+ ball this year - 231 PA - .329/.377/.527 (.903)
    In AA ball this year - 313 PA - .284/.330/.412 (.742)

    Really like Rosario, but I think it's back to New Britain to start 2014.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Double-A
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oldgoat_MN View Post
    Great list. Fun thread. Thanks!

    Eddie Rosario - I, too, am a fan and have been tracking him. However, he did not dominate at AA. I cannot see him starting 2014 in AAA.

    In A+ ball this year - 231 PA - .329/.377/.527 (.903)
    In AA ball this year - 313 PA - .284/.330/.412 (.742)

    Really like Rosario, but I think it's back to New Britain to start 2014.
    He didn't exactly struggle there either though. I wonder if his AFL performance might impact what level he starts out next year. Rosario and Sano have been linked for the past few years as well, wonder if, despite Rosario's merely good NB line, they will want to keep the two of them together.

  11. #11
    Twins Moderator All-Star diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
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    It seems as though Rosario's power seems to be the last that returns when he gets promoted. He will hit for contact, but the power lags for a few weeks. For a while he seemed like it was returning, but then he hit a couple week long slump that sapped his overall numbers. I agree, he may start in AA, but I could see him in Rochester too.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Triple-A
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    I would be pretty surprised if the Twins put Keple on the 40 man this off-season. He is no where near playing at that level. He's only 20 and hasn't played a full season anywhere yet. He will not get picked up by a major league team. I have Kepler just outside of the top 10 in the organization. I would also move up Polanco and Santana. Both of these guys will turn out all right.

  13. #13
    Twins News Team All-Star PseudoSABR's Avatar
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    Given Kepler's 40-man status, I see him as a the perfect trade bait for some established pitching when the time comes. Though I'd wait until next year, for him to reestablish value. Don't forget he's going to the AFL, so the Twins clearly think highly of him if their putting him against that competition, and clearly they plan to add him to the roster.

  14. #14
    I think this is a good list. nice job. However, there are some I'm a little higher on than most probably. I like Aderlin Meijia a lot. Also, I think Darnell shouldn't be on this list but that's just me. I like him but he's more of a Duensing clone to me rather than a realistic long-term starter option. Now, I do think Taylor Rogers should be on this list. The way he pitched this year, that's a notable omission. Some of this year's draft picks may move into the top 20 by next year (Slegers, Stuart Turner, Navaretto, Lewin Diaz, Garver, Verkerk). I don't think Minier is deserving yet of a top 20 status...maybe a couple more years.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Triple-A maxisagod's Avatar
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    Thanks for the post Die Hard. During a losing season it's sometimes hard to stay positive, but looking ahead at our prospect it becomes easier to do. I think your list is pointing out a trend, that the Twins have a lot of strong pitching prospects In rookie thru A ball. Giving there pitching heavy International signings and drafts this isn't surprising, but After two years when Buxton, Pinto, Sano, Santana, and Rosario have all been promoted This system looks like it going to flip from being a hitting heavy system to a pitching heavy one. I can't wait to see what the systems top 10 looks like then.

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    Thanks for posting this. In all the negative talk on the forum, which is to be expected, I always enjoy reading positive threads.

    Solid list. Really well done. I would have Stewart at #3, Kepler at #10, and Vargas/Logan out with Harrison/Santana in. As you said in your post you like guys who have performed in higher levels while I prefer tools. Just a preference thing.

    Bold prediction! If Stewart has a good instructionals and starts in CR I think he finishes the year in A+ and jumps on the Buxton timeline. I have faith!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmb0252 View Post
    Bold prediction! If Stewart has a good instructionals and starts in CR I think he finishes the year in A+ and jumps on the Buxton timeline. I have faith!
    Bold! That is the Jose Fernandez/Dylan Bundy schedule. Even if he doesn't reach A+ next year, he could still be on pace to reach AA by 2015. Several of the top HS arms from the 2011 draft made it to AA this year.

  18. #18
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    I think people are being overly optimistic about Stewart's timeline. High school pitcher who hardly threw in high school and is considered very raw. I just don't see him arriving before 2017.

  19. #19
    I know Nygaard's roster sheets say that Kepler needs to be added this off-season, but those same sheets say that Sano does not need to be added until after 14, and they were signed during the same International signing period. I think it is 14.

  20. #20
    Also, I think Pinto and Walker are a bit high on your rankings. I would probably drop Pinto 10 spots, and Walker into the low teens. Kepler is one that should move up.

    I'm not sure Vargas is a top 20 prospect at all. I like him fine, but do you prefer him to Dalton Hicks? Also, I think there is skepticsm that Harrison can stay at 3rd, (not to mention a guy named Sano ahead of him in the 3B pecking order), if you consider him along with Vargas and Hicks how is he not the highest of the three on the list?

    Minier would make my list towards the end. Also, I have trouble keeping our talented young pitchers straight. You have Jorge and Thorpe in the low teen area, Rosario in HM, but no mention of Landa. Where does Landa fit in the pecking order?

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