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Article: Part 5: Seth's Updated Top 50 Twins Prospects (16-20)

john curtiss felix jorge travis blankenhorn jermaine palacios jose miranda
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#1 Seth Stohs

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 10:27 PM

Today we enter the Top 20 of my postseason Minnesota Twins Prospect rankings. Since we started, two ranked players are no longer in the organization. Dereck Rodriguez signed with the Giants, and the Twins voided their deal with Jelfry Marterecently.

The group below contains a couple of players that we saw in a big league uniform and likely will again in 2018. The other three players are infielders who have several levels to go, but the talent needed to get there.We begin a review of our Top 20 Minnesota Twins prospects with prospects 16-20. Below you’ll find five more intriguing prospects with big potential.

#20 SS Jermaine Palacios

After a disappointing 2016, his debut with a full-season league in Cedar Rapids, Palacios returned in 2017 and put himself in position to move up prospect lists again. He returned to the Kernels where he .320/.362/.544 (.907) with 13 doubles, six triples and a surprising 11 home runs in 62 games. He earned a mid-season promotion to Ft. Myers and hit .269/.303/.359 (.662) with eight doubles, four triples and two homers in 62 games. Palacios signed with the Twins after the 2013 season so he doesn’t need to be added to the Twins 40-man roster until after the 2018 season. He turned 21 in July. He should spend most of the 2018 season with the Miracle.


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#19 2B Jose Miranda

Miranda was the first of two consecutive compensatory following the second round of the 2016 draft. He is a 19-year-old drafted out of the Leadership Christian Academy in Puerto Rico. He spent 2016 in the Gulf Coast League. In 2017, he made the move across the diamond to second base though many still believe that he could eventually move over to third place. With the E-Twins, he hit .283/.340/.484 (.824) with eight doubles, two triples and 11 home runs in 54 games. Miranda is a good athlete with room to grow and continue to add power.

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#18 RHP Felix Jorge

In 2017, Felix Jorge received the call every ballplayer dreams of, the call to the big leagues. On July 1st, he made his MLB debut. Through five innings, he gave up two runs. He gave up a single to lead off the 6th inning and was replaced by Buddy Boshers who gave up a two-run homer to Eric Hosmer. So, three runs in five innings in his debut was pretty good. He made a second start that didn’t go quite as well. The 23-year-old went back to Chattanooga and later ended the regular season with a promotion to AAA. In Chattanooga, he went 10-3 with a 3.54 ERA. He made three starts in AAA which is where he’ll begin the 2017 season. He was added to the 40-man roster a year ago, so he has used one option year.


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#17 2B/3B Travis Blankenhorn

Blankenhorn was the Twins third-round pick in 2015 out of high school in Pottsville, Pennsylvania. A year ago, he began the season in extended spring training before posting a .900 OPS in 34 games in Elizabethton. That earned him a promotion to Cedar Rapids where he spent the final 25 games and playoffs. He spent the full 2017 season with the Kernels and hit .251/.343/.441 (.784) with 22 doubles, 11 triples and 13 home runs. He also stole 13 bases, including home twice. He just turned 21 in August, and he doesn’t need to be added to the 40-man roster until after the 2019 season. He played third base the first half of the season and then moved over to second base in the second half. He could see time in the outfield too.

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#16 RHP John Curtiss

Curtiss needed to be added to the Twins 40-man roster before Monday (Nov 20). Instead of wondering for the next few days, the Twins called him up in late August to work out of their bullpen over the final month. Curtiss was the Twins Daily Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Year. He began the season at AA Chattanooga where he didn’t give up an earned run until June 13th. A week later, he was pitching in AAA Rochester. Overall in 49.1 innings, he walked 22 and struck out 68 before getting The Call. The Twins sixth-round pick in 2014. He struggled some in the big leagues, but the 24-year-old showed his repertoire which includes a mid-90s fastball and a potentially great breaking ball. He’ll likely start next season in Rochester, though he will compete for a spot in the big leagues from day one.


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So there are my choices for Twins prospects 16-20. Just three more parts coming next week and we’ll reach #1. Feel free to discuss these players, ask questions and start contemplating the Top 15.

Part 1: Prospects 41-50
Part 2: Prospects 31-40
Part 3: Prospects 26-30
Part 4: Prospects 21-25

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#2 SarasotaBill

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 06:05 AM

Palacios is the same age as Blankenhorn.

Palacios out hit him in single A.

Palacios is playing the more difficult position (SS vs 2B)

Blankenhorn is rated higher.

 

Are you assuming Palacios power was a one time occurrence and Blankenhorn will develop much more power?

 

Would you trade Jay before any of these players? My answer would be definitely NO.

Jay has potential of a power closer.

Jay is way under rated in your rankings.

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#3 Han Joelo

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 06:57 AM

Seth,  Your list so far seems like there have almost been themes to each grouping.  This grouping might be "The Youngish, Not Quite Elitish Infielder Group."  The last group was kind of the Questionable and Injured First Round Pitcher group.  I like it chunked, and I don't pay much attention to the individual rankings, just the range.

 

This year I feel a big distinction between TOTAL prospects and high floor guys.  By that I mean Granite, Jorge, and Curtiss all have made their debut and have shown they aren't going to be washouts, thus a high floor--they are going to contribute, at least as young and cheap players.  Curtiss at 16ish is high floor, but still reflects some good hope for upside--he could be a MLB closer.  Or just a guy.

 

I still like Jorge as someone who has a long MLB career.

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#4 rdehring

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 07:40 AM

Two pitchers who barring injury will have solid major league careers, plus three young infielders with good upside makes for a bright #16-#20.

 

Doubt there are any future stars in this group, although any of them could surprise us.  

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#5 MN_ExPat

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 07:43 AM

Well said Han,

 

I've seen Jorge pitch 3 or 4 times for the Lookouts now, and each time I've come away with the impression that his stuff pitches "up". Not anything that will blow you away, just kind of a "sneaky" good.  

 

Probably not a front line starter type, but if he realizes his full potential, maybe somewhere in the same ball park as Santana.


#6 prouster

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 07:54 AM

Well said Han,

I've seen Jorge pitch 3 or 4 times for the Lookouts now, and each time I've come away with the impression that his stuff pitches "up". Not anything that will blow you away, just kind of a "sneaky" good.

Probably not a front line starter type, but if he realizes his full potential, maybe somewhere in the same ball park as Santana.


How do you feel about Stewart? It's definitely not a perfect comparison, but their MiLB track records aren't all that different.

#7 MN_ExPat

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 08:04 AM

 

How do you feel about Stewart? It's definitely not a perfect comparison, but their MiLB track records aren't all that different.

I haven't seen him pitch in person. For some reason we always seemed to not be able to make those games. Otherwise I'd have to agree, at least stat comparison wise and what other posters have said who have seen him pitch.

 

I fully believe he has the talent and skill level to succeed, probably even at a high level. His "thing" (if you can call it that) like most pitchers and position players, seems to be the mental side of the game. Not worried yet as some guys just take longer to figure it out (Arrieta anyone?).

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#8 gunnarthor

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 08:14 AM

As a group, I like 21-25 much better. Miranda is the only one I'd keep and I'd bring Jay, Stewart, Rortvedt and Granite down into this ranking.

 

Miranda I'm really high on and would probably have him even higher. He's going to turn into a slugging third baseman. The rest I'm quite meh on, frankly. I like Curtiss, I think he'll end up a big part of the pen next year but he's the only one I think will do anything for the ML club. Jorge is a AAAA type in my view and I'm not sure the other two are even that good. Obviously, I hope they prove me wrong.

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#9 clutterheart

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 08:24 AM

Why do we like Blankenhorn?I like him too but I look at his results and I don't know why.Is it draft position?is it he is (kind of) young for his level? 

 

He doesn't seem to be a wiz at the corner spot, he strikes out a bit too much and his offensive stats are pedestrian.He might be on the verge of being passed by.

 

 

 

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#10 Vanimal46

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 08:27 AM

 

As a group, I like 21-25 much better. Miranda is the only one I'd keep and I'd bring Jay, Stewart, Rortvedt and Granite down into this ranking.

 

Miranda I'm really high on and would probably have him even higher. He's going to turn into a slugging third baseman. The rest I'm quite meh on, frankly. I like Curtiss, I think he'll end up a big part of the pen next year but he's the only one I think will do anything for the ML club. Jorge is a AAAA type in my view and I'm not sure the other two are even that good. Obviously, I hope they prove me wrong.

 

Yeah, the 21-25 group had a lot of potential to shoot back up the list, for various reasons. Stewart (potential breakout) Jay & Arraez (injury recovery) Rortvedt (if his 2nd half was for real) 

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#11 DocBauer

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 08:57 AM

I guess I'm confused a bit on Blenkenhorn. He is still pretty young, reportedly a good athlete has some power, and is already being pulled off 3B? Can he just not play the position at all? Is his arm weak? Seems to me with all the various middle infield prospects in the system, why convert a potential 3B to 2B at this time? Or is this just a case of increasing his positional flexibility going forward?
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#12 ashburyjohn

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 09:01 AM

How was Palacios's defense this year? Is it a given he will stick at SS?

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#13 mikelink45

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 10:27 AM

Each year the ranking get toa section where I just don't have a lot of expectations and this is a group, other than Curtiss, that just does not excite me. 


#14 Rosterman

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 10:49 AM

Looks like the Twins may be taking a hit on all those minor league free agents they have. Rodriguez is an interesting loss. The Twins were pushing him, but transforming from a position player to a position player hurt him in the ultimate pecking order. Again, this is a prospect that yelled "trade me" last season. Waiting to see if the Twins lose Perez. The Red Wings roster looks pretty slim right now. Of course, most of their roster will be on the Twins 40-man this season, I imagine. Or at least a comfortable percentage.

 

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#15 rdehring

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 12:11 PM

 

Looks like the Twins may be taking a hit on all those minor league free agents they have. Rodriguez is an interesting loss. The Twins were pushing him, but transforming from a position player to a position player hurt him in the ultimate pecking order. Again, this is a prospect that yelled "trade me" last season. Waiting to see if the Twins lose Perez. The Red Wings roster looks pretty slim right now. Of course, most of their roster will be on the Twins 40-man this season, I imagine. Or at least a comfortable percentage.

Like you Rosterman, I always wonder why we don't see some of these guys moved before we lose them in either the Rule 5 or ML free agency.Perhaps someone knows, but I am guessing there isn't much of a market for these type of trades.Wouldn't help to get somebody's player back who is in the same situation.Anyone have any insight into this problem?


#16 Seth Stohs

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 12:19 PM

 

Like you Rosterman, I always wonder why we don't see some of these guys moved before we lose them in either the Rule 5 or ML free agency.Perhaps someone knows, but I am guessing there isn't much of a market for these type of trades.Wouldn't help to get somebody's player back who is in the same situation.Anyone have any insight into this problem?

 

It'd be nice to get something back, but these are guys that probably had very little trade value in-season. So they take their chances on trying to sign them. 

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#17 Seth Stohs

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 12:21 PM

 

Looks like the Twins may be taking a hit on all those minor league free agents they have. Rodriguez is an interesting loss. The Twins were pushing him, but transforming from a position player to a position player hurt him in the ultimate pecking order. Again, this is a prospect that yelled "trade me" last season. Waiting to see if the Twins lose Perez. The Red Wings roster looks pretty slim right now. Of course, most of their roster will be on the Twins 40-man this season, I imagine. Or at least a comfortable percentage.

 

Lose Perez? Which Perez?

 

The Red Wings starting rotation and bullpen should be full of 40-man roster guys and prospects. Position players, they're likely to need more minor league free agents.


#18 ashburyjohn

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 12:45 PM

Like you Rosterman, I always wonder why we don't see some of these guys moved before we lose them in either the Rule 5 or ML free agency.Perhaps someone knows, but I am guessing there isn't much of a market for these type of trades.Wouldn't help to get somebody's player back who is in the same situation.Anyone have any insight into this problem?

I think you answered your own question. All but the top prospects have minimal trade value, the next tier maybe are sweeteners in a trade for bigger names, and that value drops to zero as rule-5 eligibility approaches. Good players in an absolute sense, at least compared to the guys we knew in high school, but too many interchangeable parts to make it worth it to someone else to trade anything of value for them. Bundling up several doesn't help either - it just makes the other team's 40-man problems that much worse. Roster churn is hard to watch sometimes, but that's the business side of baseball.

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#19 Seth Stohs

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 01:29 PM

 

I think you answered your own question. All but the top prospects have minimal trade value, the next tier maybe are sweeteners in a trade for bigger names, and that value drops to zero as rule-5 eligibility approaches. Good players in an absolute sense, at least compared to the guys we knew in high school, but too many interchangeable parts to make it worth it to someone else to trade anything of value for them. Bundling up several doesn't help either - it just makes the other team's 40-man problems that much worse. Roster churn is hard to watch sometimes, but that's the business side of baseball.

 

Correct... I mean, the three Twins minor leaguers who made it from the 2011 draft without getting added to the 40-man roster (hence making it to free agency) are: 

 

Levi Michael, Dereck Rodriguez and David Hurlbut.Rodriguez (especially based on comments received) was probably a stretch at #29. The other two aren't Top 50 guys. Just hard to find trade value, except as toss-ins. 


#20 Dman

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 02:06 PM

 

Why do we like Blankenhorn?I like him too but I look at his results and I don't know why.Is it draft position?is it he is (kind of) young for his level? 

 

He doesn't seem to be a wiz at the corner spot, he strikes out a bit too much and his offensive stats are pedestrian.He might be on the verge of being passed by.

Blankenhorn started the season red hot.I was almost ready to say they should promote him to the next level and he tapered off and then slumped badly.I'm not sure what to think but I am still high on him.If he figures things out as a hitter they can find a position to play him at. 

 

I think he came in as a Shortstop so he should be able to handle third but I haven't seen him play there.They must like his speed and agility if they are playing him at 2nd.Maybe looking for another Dozier type player because it looks like Blanky has power.I am thinking he might follow the Max Murphy path at a younger age.It seemed like it took Max a bit to hit the offspeed stuff and be more patient at the plate.If he breaks out offensively then he will be a top ten prospect.I am betting on the Blanket tomake it.

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