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Don't Fret About Twins Prospect Rankings

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#1 Brandon Warne

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Posted 06 March 2017 - 02:39 PM

Wrote about how I'm not worried that the Twins are coming off a 100-loss season with a middling farm system here: 

 

http://zonecoverage....spect-rankings/

 

As always, discussion and critiques are welcome.

 

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#2 gunnarthor

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Posted 06 March 2017 - 02:49 PM

Nice article.

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#3 Mike Sixel

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Posted 06 March 2017 - 02:57 PM

Disagree. This team will never compete by signing big time FAs, it needs to be BETTER than "average" at developing from the minors to be successful. Also, drafting high a lot should mean you have more higher on the list than teams that win all the time. Simply dividing 100 by 30 is about as bad a logic as possible, as it ignores all draft position implications. 

 

Also "three in the top 100 is average" is misleading. There is a HUGE difference between a top 5 or 10 or 100 prospect. The Twins have none in most top 50 lists. That's an issue.

Edited by Mike Sixel, 06 March 2017 - 02:57 PM.

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#4 Sconnie

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Posted 06 March 2017 - 08:21 PM

Disagree. This team will never compete by signing big time FAs, it needs to be BETTER than "average" at developing from the minors to be successful. Also, drafting high a lot should mean you have more higher on the list than teams that win all the time. Simply dividing 100 by 30 is about as bad a logic as possible, as it ignores all draft position implications.

Also "three in the top 100 is average" is misleading. There is a HUGE difference between a top 5 or 10 or 100 prospect. The Twins have none in most top 50 lists. That's an issue.

i also disagree, in that the young talent recently graduated are all hitters and their pitching is terrible, esp starters. There's very little starter depth in the high minors and not many expected to graduate in 2017.

#5 glunn

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Posted 06 March 2017 - 08:44 PM

Good article -- thanks for sharing.


#6 Riverbrian

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Posted 06 March 2017 - 08:47 PM

In the Twins defense... We've been drafting late in each round because of our great regular season records the past 5 years and that makes it hard to replenish a farm system. 

 

(pause)

 

Wait... I may have that completely backwards. 

 

 

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#7 Thrylos

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Posted 06 March 2017 - 08:50 PM

Right on the button.

 

(other than not mentioning Antony's stupid move of getting rid of their second best starter and their highest ceiling pitching prospect for Hector Santiago, and he had to pay to get it done...)

Edited by Thrylos, 06 March 2017 - 08:50 PM.

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#8 markos

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Posted 06 March 2017 - 09:00 PM

I worry for several reasons:

 

The current rankings are a sharp criticism to the organizations ability to select and develop talent over the past half-decade. You mentioned that there is a lot of young talent on the roster, guys like Sano, Polanco, Kepler, Rosario, Buxton and Berrios. What you don't mention is the majority of the young talent on the roster was acquired prior to all the losing. Buxton and Berrios are the only two players that were acquired post-2010. So despite having all those 90 loss seasons - and the high draft picks and giant bonus pools for both the domestic draft and international signings that come with all the losing - the talent they acquired and developed has been frankly underwhelming, not hiding on the big league roster.

 

Even if one is very optimistic about the future projections of the current team and the players in the upper minors, you have to squint pretty hard to envision a path to 95 wins by 2020. To get to 95 wins, a team basically has to be above-average at every single position. Or it needs some true superstars to make up the difference. And at this point, who in the organization - at any level - has a decent shot at producing multiple 6+ WAR seasons over the next few years? Probably just Buxton, right? Having only one or two elite players surrounded by a average-at-best supporting cast is a great way to get stuck around 80-85 wins a year. With zero potential superstars on the horizon, and frankly few average-regulars either, I'm extremely worried that this Twins core is going to peak at about 85 wins.

 

Mid-market and small-market teams that want to push themselves up to the next level often have to acquire superstars in the trade market. They aren't signing superstars in free agency. And to acquire major stars, a team needs prospect capital. The Royals, to take one example, spent a ton of prospect capital to acquire Shields and Davis (which helped kickstart them up to the 90-win level) and then Cueto and Zobrist. With the current state of the farm system, the Twins can't really compete for any elite players.

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#9 TheLeviathan

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Posted 06 March 2017 - 09:16 PM

Yes, your point that the young talent on the roster still gets to count is a good one, but almost all of that talent is of the non-pitching variety.

 

So, yes, I still fret.  Considering where we have drafted and that we have frequently taken pitchers with those picks - it does bother me that our farm is still considered average or sub-par.  That suggests we haven't made the most out of those picks.

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#10 theBOMisthebomb

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Posted 06 March 2017 - 09:29 PM

It's hard not to feel that the cupboard is bare in the minor league system.  My hope is that there is a diamond in the rough that will rise up and make a difference at the MLB level.  Otherwise, the possibility of another 5 years of futility is more than real if all of the former top prospects don't hit close to their ceiling.  At least it's still fun to watch a ball game outside at a beautiful Target Field.  

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#11 gunnarthor

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Posted 06 March 2017 - 10:58 PM

I've mentioned this before but this really depends on how you look at Tyler Jay. The 2012 draft was a big success from a prospect standpoint and it's given us five MLers (and possibly one more if Melotakis makes it) and two big time prospects.And the 2016 draft, where we picked in the middle of the first round and picked five 17 year olds is too recent to have a real impact. So basically it's 2013-2015 that's causing the fretting.

 

The 2013 draft is essentially down to Stewart, Gonsalves and Garver (unless you're a huge Granite or Slegers fan). We don't know how that will play out but if you want to knock the Twins for Stewart not being the next Roger Clemens you should at least acknowledge that 1) that's why HS pitchers are risky as **** and 2) getting a top 100 prospect out of a fourth round pick ain't bad. Regardless of how you feel Stewart's strike out numbers are, having two 21 year old pitchers in AA and pitching well there is pretty good. I think the 2013 draft strategy (taking high upside HS arms and "safe" college arms) was the Twins smartest draft.

 

In 2014, the Twins took Gordon and Burdi, two pretty good picks at the time although Burdi has been hurt, reminding us all that pitchers get hurt. After that they took a crap ton of relievers. Gordon's a good prospect (and I'm higher on him than most). And if Gordon turns into a starting ML shortstop and Burdi becomes a strong closer, it's a good draft, despite all the other relievers.

 

But 2015 is the one that's really contentious. Because we signed Ervin Santana, we didn't have a second round pick and our next pick after that didn't sign. So we only had our #6 pick and then third round pick Blankenhorn. If you think Jay can start, the system looks better. If you think he's a relief pitcher, than less so.

 

If you're complaining about the international signings, it's worth remembering that it takes longer to figure those out but the Twins signed Amaurys Minier, #4 on mlb.com's 2012 list, Lewin Diaz (#10, 2013), Ynoa (#14, 2014) and Wander Javier (#12, 2015). And they also signed a bunch of lesser guys in that time frame as well. It's just too early to judge most of those (although Minier ain't looking good).

 

So that's probably a long way of saying this is just a snapshot in time. In a few months our system will look a lot better and it might not be just because we added a #1 pick. There are some very high upside players with a lot to prove and the players currently in the system could turn the system into a top 10 one if they make the jumps we hope/expect.

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#12 TheLeviathan

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Posted 06 March 2017 - 11:14 PM

As of today, Tyler Jay and Kohl Stewart have simply not lived up to their draft position.  And a team like the Twins can't afford to whiff on picks like that.  

 

Maybe this season we see some real advancement and things do look better.  Or maybe this is the season that puts the nail in the coffin of Kohl Stewart's future upside and pushes Jay further towards the bullpen.  And, perhaps worst of all, Berrios fails to show he can step up his game in the bigs.

 

We'll have to see, but as of today a system with two top ten pitcher selections has both of those guys showing considerably less upside than their draft position.  That's reason enough to fret.

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#13 The Wise One

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Posted 07 March 2017 - 01:03 AM

 

Right on the button.

 

(other than not mentioning Antony's stupid move of getting rid of their second best starter and their highest ceiling pitching prospect for Hector Santiago, and he had to pay to get it done...)

Nolasco now gets love from Twins Daily

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#14 The Wise One

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Posted 07 March 2017 - 01:40 AM

The Twins have Kirilloff, Diaz, Blankenhorn, Javier, Ynoa, Thorpe and Rortvedt all under 20. High or medium ceilings but a long ways off. These players do not show up on the hot 100 being so far from the majors.There is talent in the pipeline, just not close.The Twins prospect ranking for those who worry about such things, would be much worse if they had drafted Trea Turner instead of Gordon.

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#15 Oldgoat_MN

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Posted 07 March 2017 - 03:23 AM

 

...

So that's probably a long way of saying ...

Yeah, long, but it was an excellent look at things. Thank you.

 

The prospect rankings suggest that one day Gordon will be a league average SS, but with the #5 pick overall you always hope for someone who will be an impact player. Nothing against Gordon, just wish he was Trea Turner (and yes The Wise One, our farm system ranking would be even worse).

 

Tyler Jay is a puzzle. Two years ago he couldn't get RH batters out but was death to LH batters. In 2016 his splits weren't far apart at all. If he can bring his A+ WHIP and SO/9 to AA he will get a lot of attention, especially if he shows that he can get RH batters out as well.

 

Those two seasons had very odd splits. Like it wasn't even the same pitcher.

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#16 HitInAPinch

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Posted 07 March 2017 - 03:47 AM

"The strategy this season seems to be surrounding these youngsters with mentally-capable veterans".

Totally agree.Almost seems like the Twins have a plan this year.

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#17 Thrylos

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Posted 07 March 2017 - 07:54 AM

 

As of today, Tyler Jay and Kohl Stewart have simply not lived up to their draft position.  And a team like the Twins can't afford to whiff on picks like that.  

 

Jay has had only 2 professional seasons and only one as a starter.  2.84 ERA and 68 K in 69-2/3 innings is not that bad in his first season as a starter at Fort Myers, is it?  Then he ran out of gas in 14 IP in AA.  I would not put him in the same sentence as Stewart, and give him another season or 2.  By then, he should be knocking on the Twins door

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#18 markos

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Posted 07 March 2017 - 08:13 AM

 

The Twins have Kirilloff, Diaz, Blankenhorn, Javier, Ynoa, Thorpe and Rortvedt all under 20. High or medium ceilings but a long ways off. These players do not show up on the hot 100 being so far from the majors.There is talent in the pipeline, just not close.The Twins prospect ranking for those who worry about such things, would be much worse if they had drafted Trea Turner instead of Gordon.

Yes, the Twins have a lot of interesting guys in the low minors, and it is certainly true that the Twins system might look a lot better in a year or two if these guys all develop like we hope. But the problem is that the Twins are not unique in this regard. There are probably 20 teams that have half-a-dozen or more interesting guys in rookie ball or instructional league, and each one can make the same arguement that there farm system will be so much better if these kids just develop like they hope.

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#19 gunnarthor

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Posted 07 March 2017 - 08:19 AM

 

Yeah, long, but it was an excellent look at things. Thank you.

 

The prospect rankings suggest that one day Gordon will be a league average SS, but with the #5 pick overall you always hope for someone who will be an impact player. Nothing against Gordon, just wish he was Trea Turner (and yes The Wise One, our farm system ranking would be even worse).

 

Tyler Jay is a puzzle. Two years ago he couldn't get RH batters out but was death to LH batters. In 2016 his splits weren't far apart at all. If he can bring his A+ WHIP and SO/9 to AA he will get a lot of attention, especially if he shows that he can get RH batters out as well.

 

Those two seasons had very odd splits. Like it wasn't even the same pitcher.

Actually, if Gordon turns out to be a league average shortstop, he's a great #5 overall pick. The draft is really hard. I wish he was the next Lindor but being a tier below that - and scouts seem pretty high on his bat - isn't a botched pick.

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#20 Thrylos

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Posted 07 March 2017 - 08:20 AM

 

Nolasco now gets love from Twins Daily

 

I don't know about the "Twins Daily", but I always liked Nolasco

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