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My top 25 prospects

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#1 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 10:10 AM

Posting starts to drop off after the deadline... Figured I throw something out to talk about.

 

http://twinsdaily.co...prospects-2014/


#2 jokin

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 10:27 AM

 

Forgetting (Burdi's) professional debut, he's striking out nearly 2 batters an inning in Cedar Rapids.

 

Actually his current K/9 is 18.75 (his low point for the year), which is more than 2 batters an inning.  Not sure about his lofty ranking @ #11, but he needs to be in Ft Myers or New Britain yesterday).

Edited by jokin, 07 August 2014 - 10:28 AM.

 

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#3 drivlikejehu

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 11:31 AM

I'd have the same top 5, but 6-10:

 

6. Nick Gordon

7. Jorge Polanco

8. Lewis Thorpe

9. Trevor May

10. Kennys Vargas? Not sure about this one.

 

I think, conceptually, ranking prospects should be straightforward - which player would the average MLB organization prefer? I don't favor his moral philosophy, but a Rawls-like blind starting point seems clearly correct for this purpose. Without knowing anything about the Major League club or the minor league system, who do you take? Focusing on the organization itself is a different question entirely, i.e., how useful is this player to us in particular?

 

Looking at it this way helps illuminate problematic choices; no organization would draft Vargas ahead of Thorpe. Guys like Darnell are available on the waiver wire - clubs would rather have Kepler, despite his struggles and reduced prospect status.

 

Sometimes the Twins actions/non-actions are a helpful guide. Thorpe is a good example. And if the Twins thought Garver was a real prospect he wouldn't be in Cedar Rapids still, so I defer to their evaluation on him, for another case.

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#4 DJL44

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 11:36 AM

Still too high for Kepler


#5 Lazarus

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 11:54 AM

Generally agree with the players on the list - to me, it's not important to quibble about the exact ranking but whether you're stretching to make a list.After reviewing the list and thinking about the current ML roster, it's beginning to feel like the youth wave is finally approaching the shore - not only are older players with expiring contracts going to be leaving in the off season, but some of the fringe "plug the gap" guys should begin to exit the organization as well in 2015 as the prospects are closer to being ready to make the final step.

 

Keeping Suzuki around for another two years should improve the odds of the Twins pitching prospects making successful transitions to the majors.Not sure if Pino is going to make as a catcher in the bigs - starting to feel that his ceiling is a better hitting version of Doumit or Hermann.


#6 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 12:04 PM

I'd have the same top 5, but 6-10:

 

6. Nick Gordon

7. Jorge Polanco

8. Lewis Thorpe

9. Trevor May

10. Kennys Vargas? Not sure about this one.

 

I think, conceptually, ranking prospects should be straightforward - which player would the average MLB organization prefer? I don't favor his moral philosophy, but a Rawls-like blind starting point seems clearly correct for this purpose. Without knowing anything about the Major League club or the minor league system, who do you take? Focusing on the organization itself is a different question entirely, i.e., how useful is this player to us in particular?

 

Looking at it this way helps illuminate problematic choices; no organization would draft Vargas ahead of Thorpe. Guys like Darnell are available on the waiver wire - clubs would rather have Kepler, despite his struggles and reduced prospect status.

 

Sometimes the Twins actions/non-actions are a helpful guide. Thorpe is a good example. And if the Twins thought Garver was a real prospect he wouldn't be in Cedar Rapids still, so I defer to their evaluation on him, for another case.

 

If they are both starting out at the same age, I think you are right in that no org would draft Vargas ahead of Thorpe, but Vargas is also a much more sure bet to succeed at point than Thorpe is.But if this was an expansion draft and a team is looking for someone who can help them now, Vargas goes every time. 

 

Simply put, he's done quite well at AA (and is doing just fine in MLB right now).He has a ceiling of a middle of the order bat.Thorpe is getting his first taste of low A, and while he's clearly improved over the season, he has a much higher bust postential.If I were ranking this purely on ceiling, I'd have Thorpe in the top 10.But I think results matter, and Vargas has gotten them at a much higher level... and it's not like Vargas has a low ceiling either.... 


#7 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 12:06 PM

Still too high for Kepler

 

I actually had him off the list in favor of Kanzler at first.I ended up swapping them.But yeah, I almost left him off.


#8 kdrupp09

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 12:18 PM

Great list and full of great detail, especially on some of the lower Top 25 prospects.Thanks for the hard work!


#9 Mike Sixel

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 12:26 PM

Man, that is one awesome piece of work. thanks for the great read!

 

I have about given up on Kepler. I was so high on him when signed, seemed like the potential was there big time, but there has been no production to back it up. Still hopeful, no longer confident.

I don't know, it is a site to discuss sports, not airline safety.....maybe we should take it less seriously?


#10 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 12:37 PM

Man, that is one awesome piece of work. thanks for the great read!

 

I have about given up on Kepler. I was so high on him when signed, seemed like the potential was there big time, but there has been no production to back it up. Still hopeful, no longer confident.

 

I'm guessing he's going to get pushed to AA next season.That's a bit more of a hitter's league than his previous stops.I'd imagine if he cannot get things going there, that will be it.Next season is pretty critical for him.It's hard to justify giving him a 40 man spot when there's no reason to expect him to be able to even fill in at the big league level. 


#11 lightfoot789

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 01:01 PM

Aaron Hicks had a High OBP and low Average.Harrison has a decent BA and high OBP.Neither produces runs in the manner that people had hoped.Hicks doesn't score enough even with high OBP.Harrison doesn't hit for power despite being a corner OF/IF player.

 

Last year Walker hit 30+ doubles and 27 HRs and 6 Triples.All with a low OBP.Are we making these list based on potential solely, or more on results currently?When do results actually matter.Getting on base is the first part to winning games.Scoring and driving in runs is the ultimate part to winning games.I suspect that Walker will make adjustments like he did in low A last year and flourish in AA next year.A lowered 20% K rate again with lead leading power on display.The funny part is Rob Antony stated that Walker probably would have been thier organizational minor league player of the year- last year if not for Buxton (#1 in baseball) and Sano (#3 in baseball).Low BA and OBP included.I Grade Results and Production.This will be my last comment on Walker on this post.   Promise! - Wow (almost out of the Top 20)

Edited by lightfoot789, 07 August 2014 - 01:07 PM.


#12 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 02:15 PM

To be clear, I really like Walker.I think he's got star potential.I had him in the top 10 last year, and the main reason I backed off on him was his drop off in contact, which is something that a lot of scouts predicted.His next jump to AA will be even harder than his current jump to A+.  I still think he can hit that potential, but I'm recognizing what everyone else has said, he's going to have a tough time if he cannot improve on his contact.You can spin RBIs and HRs all you want, but at the end of the day, he hasn't had a very good season.He's got to be able to foul off more pitches that he cannot hit and he has to be able to lay off pitches outside of the zone.He doesn't do either well.What he does well is punish mistakes.Those mistakes get fewer and fewer as he moves up the chain, and the ability of pitchers to exploit his weaknesses also improves as he moves up the chain.His drop in ranking reflects this.There are some lower ceiling guys ahead of him now, but at the same time, through the first 15 on the list, the ceilings are all pretty high.A large part of that drop has to do with the fact that the system is THAT strong.Walker would still be in the bottom part of the top 10 on a number of teams lists.


#13 drivlikejehu

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 02:15 PM

If they are both starting out at the same age, I think you are right in that no org would draft Vargas ahead of Thorpe, but Vargas is also a much more sure bet to succeed at point than Thorpe is.But if this was an expansion draft and a team is looking for someone who can help them now, Vargas goes every time. 

 

The better prospect is the one you'd rather have, not the one closer to the Majors. There are different kinds of risk. Vargas, in prospect terms, has a very high level of risk. He has no defensive value and is only a regular DH if he hits a ton. Almost no prospect is guaranteed to do that.

 

For another example, Logan Darnell has a very high risk, probably 90%+, of being a AAAA pitcher.

 

So while you are considering the risk that a young player will not reach his ceiling, you are not giving enough weight to the risk that a more experienced player just isn't very good. That's why BA, Law, etc. generally emphasize upside so long as there aren't huge performance problems.

 

Adam Walker is an example of that - he notionally has upside but the results tell us he has little chance of reaching it.

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#14 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 02:22 PM

The better prospect is the one you'd rather have, not the one closer to the Majors. There are different kinds of risk. Vargas, in prospect terms, has a very high level of risk. He has no defensive value and is only a regular DH if he hits a ton. Almost no prospect is guaranteed to do that.

 

For another example, Logan Darnell has a very high risk, probably 90%+, of being a AAAA pitcher.

 

So while you are considering the risk that a young player will not reach his ceiling, you are not giving enough weight to the risk that a more experienced player just isn't very good. That's why BA, Law, etc. generally emphasize upside so long as there aren't huge performance problems.

 

Adam Walker is an example of that - he notionally has upside but the results tell us he has little chance of reaching it.

 

We'll just have to disagree.I really get annoyed with lists elevate guys with tools who get no results.Results matter.If I was picking for ceiling only, no question I'd grab Thorpe ahead of Vargas.The problem is that baseball doesn't work that way.Lots of high ceiling guys never make it, and I think the lists should reward guys who are performing.It's not as if Vargas is a bad prospect.He's a very good one, and while I'd rather have a #1 SP over a middle of the order bat, I have to factor in the very real possiblity that Thorpe still has a very high bust rate, much higher than Vargas does at this point. 


#15 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 02:28 PM

The better prospect is the one you'd rather have, not the one closer to the Majors.

 

Not necessarily. The closer a prospect is to the majors, the lower the chance that prospect has of flaming out of baseball. Some of the most respected prospect analysts vary quite a bit on this subject. There is no right answer and it completely depends on perspective.


#16 TRex

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 02:30 PM

The funny part is Rob Antony stated that Walker probably would have been thier organizational minor league player of the year- last year if not for Buxton (#1 in baseball) and Sano (#3 in baseball).

<snip> I Grade Results and Production.

I think that last point is great, and I always love it when evaluators (including ourselves) take time to let our criteria be known.

 

For myself, I lean a little too far towards the potential role for the major league team, which gives me an odd bias towards mid-rotation starters and toolsy position players.


#17 Shane Wahl

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 02:31 PM

There's a big balancing act between advancement into the upper levels and ceiling at the lower levels. It gets tricky. Logan Darnell is never going to amount to anything beyond a 5th starter and even that is in doubt.

 

I would still chill on Kepler. He is still just 21.5 years old. Now, there is no way he should have been added to the 40-man this year . . . that was pretty wasteful and it forces the issue too fast for him. He really needs three additional years, it looks, to potentially blossom (a split next year between Fort Myers and New Britain, a full season at New Britain, and then much of another season at Rochester).


#18 Willihammer

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 02:33 PM

I'd have the same top 5, but 6-10:Sometimes the Twins actions/non-actions are a helpful guide. Thorpe is a good example. And if the Twins thought Garver was a real prospect he wouldn't be in Cedar Rapids still, so I defer to their evaluation on him, for another case.


Anyone care to explain what's going on with the Twins' handling of Garver? From my perspective, its hard to see why he would not be advanced in front of, for example, Jairo Rodriguez or Kyle Knudson.

Edited by Willihammer, 07 August 2014 - 02:34 PM.

Well, there's that.

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#19 drivlikejehu

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 03:27 PM

Not necessarily. The closer a prospect is to the majors, the lower the chance that prospect has of flaming out of baseball. Some of the most respected prospect analysts vary quite a bit on this subject. There is no right answer and it completely depends on perspective.

 

What is a prospect ranking? It's obviously just for entertainment and discussion purposes at the fan level, but prospect evaluation matters a lot for the actual organizations. So while, as fans, we are limited in many respects, I don't think it's correct to say that there is no right answer.

 

When MLB organizations make decisions involving young players, they are providing answers. If they are consistently valuing prospects in a certain way, I think we need to start there as a guide for how prospects should be ranked.

 

Would the Twins more quickly trade away Vargas or Thorpe? I don't think there is any question at all that they would sooner trade Vargas. Nor do I think there is any question of which player the other 29 organizations would pick if they had the choice. And this isn't idle speculation, because we can look at trade histories and see that young, high-upside prospects bring a better return than more advanced, but lower-ceiling prospects.

 

Opinions will always vary with respect to particular players, but I strongly disagree with the idea that prospect comparisons are completely subjective.

Edited by drivlikejehu, 07 August 2014 - 03:28 PM.

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#20 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 03:28 PM

Anyone care to explain what's going on with the Twins' handling of Garver? From my perspective, its hard to see why he would not be advanced in front of, for example, Jairo Rodriguez or Kyle Knudson.


I kind assumed he'd be bumped by now too. They did the same thing with Walker, I might add, though he has struggled in A+, so I cannot really fault them. I'm guessing they have Garver doing something...