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Article: Part 5: Seth's Midseason Top 40 Twins Prospect (6-10)

travis blankenhorn tyler jay wander javier lamonte wade adalberto mejia
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#1 Seth Stohs

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 11:52 PM

Today, we continue to look at and update my midseason Top 40 Minnesota Twins prospects rankings. In Part 1 I shared my choices for prospects 31-40. Part 2 was prospects 21-30. Earlier this week, we entered the Top 20 with my selections for Twins Prospects 16-20. Yesterday, in Part 4, we discussed Twins prospects 11 through 15. Today, we jump into the Top 10 with my choices for Twins prospects six through ten. Below you’ll find brief profiles on those five prospects, and we certainly welcome your questions and discussion in the forum.In this group, there is another variety of prospects. A couple were signed to big deals, one as a high draft pick, one as a big international signing. One arrived in a trade. One was a later-round draft pick who has put together an impressive resume while working his way up the ladder. We also find prospects who are at four different levels of the organization. There are definitely a couple of players in this group with major upside, and a couple of others that profile as reliable, long-term big leaguers.
Of course, only time will tell what they become, but these are five worth watching closely.


10. Travis Blankenhorn, 3B, 20
Blankenhorn was the Twins third-round draft pick in 2015 out of high school in Pennsylvania. He was an athletic shortstop in high school, though it was known that shortstop wouldn’t be his long-term position. He played mostly third base that season in the GCL and Elizabethton. In 2016, he transitioned some to second base. He hit well in E-Town and moved up to Cedar Rapids for the final month. That’s where he has begun his 2017 season, though he is back at third base and reports have generally been fairly positive on his defense. But it is his offense that people tend to be most excited about. In 49 games so far this year, he’s hitting .230/.320/.362 (.682) with nine doubles and four home runs. Blankenhorn has the size, strength and athleticism to make adjustments. His big leg kick can help with his timing and provide some extra power. However, his timing is still a work-in-progress as he has struck out in about 25% of his plate appearances.

Preseason Ranking: 7
Pre-2016 Ranking: 20


9. Tyler Jay, LH RP, 23
Jay was the Twins first-round pick in 2015, sixth overall, out of the University of Illinois where he pitched nearly exclusively out of the bullpen. The Twins drafted him knowing that was a possibility, but with his four-pitch mix, many scouts and national rankers (including Keith Law) believed he could transition to being a starter. And, it’s very possible that he could have. However, this spring, the Twins announced that he would be moving to the bullpen, and that it was a mutual decision. Most believed that it is what Jay wanted to do and was most comfortable with the role. Late in spring training, he had some biceps tendinitis. He just returned to game-action with the Lookouts a week ago and has pitched in two games so far. As a reliever, Jay has a chance to have an very strong fastball, reaching into the upper 90s. He also has a very strong slider that can be a wipe-out pitch. He also has a changeup and a curveball. With his pitch mix, and healthy, he has a chance to be an elite bullpen arm… at some point, probably in 2018.

Preseason Ranking: 5
Pre-2016 Ranking: 9


8. LaMonte Wade, OF, 23
Wade was the Twins ninth-round pick in 2015 out of the University of Maryland. Most believe that he would have been drafted much higher if not for an injury that cost him most of his junior season. Wade’s stock as a prospect has continued to rise. It is under two years since Wade was drafted, and he’s already in AA Chattanooga. In 48 games, he is hitting .294/.419/.421 (.840) with seven doubles and four home runs. Wade has consistently shown a great approach at the plate. He knows the strike zone very well. He walks more than he strikes out. He also attacks the ball when he does see pitches he likes. While he hasn’t hit a lot of home runs in his career, he does have a lot of power, but that part of his game is still developing. For now he’s a gap-to-gap doubles type of hitter. Defensively, he has played a lot of center field since signing. He has good speed, though he is best in a corner. He should spend the full season in Chattanooga, though if there’s a need in Rochester, he could be summoned.

Preseason Ranking: 14


7. Wander Javier, SS
Javier signed a huge, $4 million bonus with the Twins in July of 2015. Last year, he made his debut in the DSL where he played well, but was limited to just nine games by hamstring injuries. Still, he came to the States for spring training this year and made a strong impression. While it is likely he starts the season with the GCL Twins, he could spend time in Elizabethton too if things go well. Javier, as an 18-year-old is all about the tools. It was those tools that got him such a big bonus and puts him this high on the prospect rankings. He has good size, but he’s got quickness to play shortstop. Most believe he can stay there, which factored into the bonus. He can hit, and although he’s not big now, he has the potential to keep growing and become a 15-20 home run guy. He’s got a good arm too. This is probably a pretty conservative ranking as after playing in the short season later this summer, it is likely he could move up quickly.

Preseason Ranking: 8


6. Adalberto Mejia, LHP, 23
Mejia came to the Twins last July from the Giants organization in the Eduardo Nunez trade. The Dominican has had an interesting career already. He served a 50-game PED suspension a couple of seasons ago, and he’s been on some Top 100 lists. Since coming to the Twins, Mejia has impressed. A burly left-hander, Mejia has all the pitches to be a long-time starting pitcher in the big leagues. He’s got a good fastball that he throws from angles at times and at different speeds. The same is true of his offspeed pitches, a couple of breaking balls and a changeup. We have seen Meija in a couple of stints in the big leagues. As you would expect, he’s had ups and downs. He made the Opening Day roster and struggled with command early. His pitch counts rose quickly. He had one great start, a spot start in game 2 of a double header. He came back a week later and struggled again to provide innings. But a look at this stuff and makeup and it’s easy to get excited about what Mejia can be for the Twins in the very near future.

Preseason Ranking: 12


Tomorrow, we’ll discuss the Top 5 Twins prospects, but for today, discuss and ask questions about prospects six through ten, or even six through 40.

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#2 HitInAPinch

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 02:19 AM

I wouldn't necessarily rule Tyler Jay out as a starter.  It may be just a thing where he needs to get "stretched out" more.

It's not my fault !


#3 Seth Stohs

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 07:07 AM

 

I wouldn't necessarily rule Tyler Jay out as a starter.  It may be just a thing where he needs to get "stretched out" more.

 

While it's possible that he could move back to being a starter, the decision was made this spring to move him to the bullpen... 

 

http://twinsdaily.co...-notebook-r5435

 


#4 JaleelWhite FanClub

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 07:12 AM

Love the fact Wade has cracked the Top 10. A lower-round pick who has done nothing but produced in his time with the organization. It's been fun to follow he and Gordon tearing up AA.

 

IMO, Garver falls in the same boat as Wade, but at a more prominent defensive position. I guess I just need to come to terms with the idea that Garver is the "Rodney Dangerfield" of TD rankings. He gets NO RESPECT.

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#5 mikelink45

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 07:40 AM

Blankenhorn would be my biggest question on this list. All the reports through TD have done nothing to get me excited about him so far.  There are interesting names, but if Jay is not going to make it until 2018 and then as a reliever I am consider that the list demonstrates the low status of the current minor league system. 


#6 Mike Sixel

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 08:05 AM

I can't see any reason for Wade not to be in AAA this year, and MN next year. 

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I remain hopeful on Buxton and Sano.....but I'd not bet the franchise on them.


#7 BK432

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 08:23 AM

 

Love the fact Wade has cracked the Top 10. A lower-round pick who has done nothing but produced in his time with the organization. It's been fun to follow he and Gordon tearing up AA.

 

IMO, Garver falls in the same boat as Wade, but at a more prominent defensive position. I guess I just need to come to terms with the idea that Garver is the "Rodney Dangerfield" of TD rankings. He gets NO RESPECT.

 

A million times this. He's been extremely fun to follow. Has hit at every level. It's fun to see guys picked in later rounds (not super late, but 9th isn't that early) work hard and move up the rankings. Would be fun to see him debut in Minneapolis sometime in 2018. We'll see.


#8 joey emerson

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 08:54 AM

wow 5-40 not much starting pitching that excites you at all just a bunch of 4-5 starters at best besides like a graterol or ynoa but they are in rookie ball 5 plus years away. hopefully they can get some higher end pitching in this draft and by trading guys like santana dozier and kintzler

 


#9 rghrbek

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 10:14 AM

 

I can't see any reason for Wade not to be in AAA this year, and MN next year. 

Couldn't agree more here.  With Rosario being...well Rosario, they should not be conservative with Wade.  If he continues what he has done for AA, then a promotion to AAA in July seems warranted.

 

Love that he has worked his way into the top 10.  I think he will be in the top 5 somewhere by the end of the year.

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#10 goulik

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 02:50 PM

 

wow 5-40 not much starting pitching that excites you at all just a bunch of 4-5 starters at best besides like a graterol or ynoa but they are in rookie ball 5 plus years away. hopefully they can get some higher end pitching in this draft and by trading guys like santana dozier and kintzler

I don't know if it is fair to say 4-5 starters. I don't see any 1's but I see potential 2-3's in the list. I think Mejia is most likely a 2-3 if he can gain the confidence to attack and not nibble. He has some nasty stuff that has left some of these MLB hitters shaking their heads. If the kid can put it together, he is not going to be an Ace but he is not a 4-5 either. If he does not put it together, he's not a 4-5. That's just how prospects work. We just gotta get used to young guys taking lumps early and learning (Now I'm talking about Berrios too...)

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#11 Mike Sixel

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 02:52 PM

I'd be surprised if ANY team had guys ranked "low" that profiled as a 1 or 2.....if they profile that way, they would be ranked high!

I remain hopeful on Buxton and Sano.....but I'd not bet the franchise on them.


#12 goulik

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 02:56 PM

 

I can't see any reason for Wade not to be in AAA this year, and MN next year. 

Wade has a habit of spending half a year at a level before promotion. I definitely can see him in AAA with a very outside shot at a Sept Cup of Coffee. I think that would take an injury, trades, or a whole team melt down but I think there is a possibility to see Wade in the Majors this year.


#13 drjim

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 02:57 PM

You don't need your entire hand to count the number of guys in the minors that profile as a 1 or 2 at the moment. It's not all that surprising that the Twins lack one.
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Papers...business papers.

#14 Mike Sixel

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 02:59 PM

 

You don't need your entire hand to count the number of guys in the minors that profile as a 1 or 2 at the moment. It's not all that surprising that the Twins lack one.

 

Ya, agreed.

I remain hopeful on Buxton and Sano.....but I'd not bet the franchise on them.


#15 nicksaviking

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 03:17 PM

 

You don't need your entire hand to count the number of guys in the minors that profile as a 1 or 2 at the moment. It's not all that surprising that the Twins lack one.

 

I'll settle for having one come June 11th.

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#16 Twinsoholic

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 03:36 PM

Tyler Jay back on DL according to Bernadino.

 


#17 Mike Sixel

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 03:42 PM

 

Tyler Jay back on DL according to Bernadino.

 

booooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

I remain hopeful on Buxton and Sano.....but I'd not bet the franchise on them.


#18 birdwatcher

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 04:30 PM

 

Tyler Jay back on DL according to Bernadino.

 

 

You've got to ****ting me. This is insanely bad luck.


#19 joey emerson

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 04:54 PM

 

I don't know if it is fair to say 4-5 starters. I don't see any 1's but I see potential 2-3's in the list. I think Mejia is most likely a 2-3 if he can gain the confidence to attack and not nibble. He has some nasty stuff that has left some of these MLB hitters shaking their heads. If the kid can put it together, he is not going to be an Ace but he is not a 4-5 either. If he does not put it together, he's not a 4-5. That's just how prospects work. We just gotta get used to young guys taking lumps early and learning (Now I'm talking about Berrios too...)

who are the potential 2-3s? berrios is considered a 2-3 from every major prospect site. mejia is more like a number 4 but if he reached his 90 percentile he might be a number 3, gonsalves is a number 3 at best. romero has a long ways to go but he is the only one with the stuff to consider front end guy that has played in the US.

Edited by joey emerson, 01 June 2017 - 05:00 PM.

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#20 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 05:21 PM

You've got to ****ting me. This is insanely bad luck.



At this point, I think, it's fair to wonder if some part of the Twins development is causing the injuries.
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