Jump to content

Providing independent coverage of the Minnesota Twins.
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

Recent Blogs

Photo

Article: 2018 Twins Midseason Top Prospect List: 26-30

john curtiss zack granite jake cave tyler wells griffin jax
  • Please log in to reply
22 replies to this topic

#1 Seth Stohs

Seth Stohs

    Owner

  • Administrators
  • 16,350 posts

Posted 04 July 2018 - 09:02 PM

Hopefully you all had a fantastic Fourth of July holiday! After discussion our Twins Daily choices for Twins prospects 31-40 earlier in the week, today we begin diving into our choices for the Top 30 Twins. In Part three of our series, today we look at our choices for prospects 26-30. As you can see, this group has a few players that we have already seen in a Twins uniform. These are guys who have and probably will again play a role with the big league club. But there are a couple of Miracle pitchers with upside that are in this group as well.30. John Curtiss – RH RP
Age: 25
ETA: 2017
2018 Stats (AAA): 31.2 IP, 2.56 ERA, 1.1 WHIP, 11.7 K/9, 4.5 BB/9, 2.56 K:BB
2018 Ranking: NR | 2017 Ranking: NR
Seth: 32 | Tom: 31 | Cody: 28

John Curtiss was called up to the Twins right before September last season. After a couple of rough games, he ended the season strong. This year, he began the season in Rochester but got another call up early in the season. He had two outings, and neither was good. He was sent back down, but he has pitched quite well in late innings for the Red Wings.

Curtiss began his career with an opportunity to start, but he was moved to the bullpen and he flew up the organization, pitching at each level from Cedar Rapids to the big leagues between 2016 and 2017. He’s blessed with a mid-90s fastball and a couple of breaking pitches. He has the ability and the mentality to be a quality late-inning reliever for years.


29. Zack Granite – OF
Age: 25
ETA: 2017
2018 Stats (Rk): .211/.291/.240 (.531 OPS), 6 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 22 K, 25 BB
2018 Ranking: NR | 2017 Ranking: 16
Seth: 34 | Tom: 32 | Cody: 24

Zack Granite came up midway through the 2017 season and showed glimpses of what he can be on the baseball field. For most of his career, he has exemplified what a team might want from a leadoff hitter. He takes pitches, walks more than he strikes out, steals bases and has a little extra base pop at times.

Granite was one of the last players optioned at the end of spring training this offseason, a surprise for many. Unfortunately, he soon hurt his non-throwing shoulder and had to miss about six weeks. He’s struggled to get things going since he’s been back, but that doesn’t take away what Granite can be and the role that he can play on the big league club as a fourth outfielder who will play quality defense at three outfield positions and put together quality plate appearances.


28. Jake Cave – OF
Age: 25
ETA: 2018
2018 Stats (AAA): .265/.349/.386 (.735 OPS), 9 2B, 1 3B, 5 HR, 26 K, 55 BB
2018 Stats (MLB): .233/.267/.488 (.755 OPS), 2 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 2 K, 14 BB
2018 Ranking: NR | 2017 Ranking: NR
Seth: 25 | Tom: 23 | Cody: 39

The Twins acquired Cave in a late spring training trade with the New York Yankees. After missing some time in the early part of his career with injury, Cave really took off after being selected by the Reds in the Rule 5 draft. While he was one of their final spring training cuts, he returned to the Yankees with renewed confidence and his career took off.

A year ago, Cave hit .324 with a .921 OPS at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre. The Yankees added him to their 40-man roster. Of course, they have a pretty strong outfield and Cave was DFAd which allowed the Twins to acquire him. The Twins have called him up three times already this season and he is now getting an opportunity to play every day, at least until Byron Buxton is ready. At 25, he’s still got some upside.


27. Tyler Wells – RHP
Age: 23
ETA: 2020
2018 Stats (A): 63.2 IP, 2.54 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 7.6 K/9, 2.0 BB/9, 3.86 K:BB
2018 Ranking: NR | 2017 Ranking: NR
Seth: 18 | Tom: 37 | Cody: 31

The Twins drafted Wells in the 15th round of the 2016 draft out of Cal State San Bernadino. He’s experienced a lot of success during his first two seasons as a professional, pitching in Elizabethton in 2016 and Cedar Rapids in 2017. In the past offseason, Wells went to work and lost 30 pounds from his 6-8 frame. That has really helped him in the Florida State League. While his strikeouts have been down, his control and command of pitches has become much better. Wells has the ability to reach into the 94 mph range with a fastball. His best pitches may be his breaking balls. He throws a 12-6 curveball, but he also has a sharp slider that can get strikeouts. He was the Twins Daily choice for Starting Pitcher of the Month in June.


26. Griffin Jax – RHP
Age: 23
ETA: 2020
2018 Stats (A): 30.1 IP, 3.26 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 4.7 K/9, 0.9 BB/9, 5.33 K/BB
2018 Ranking: NR | 2017 Ranking: NR
Seth: 26 | Tom: 21 | Cody: 37

When the Twins used their third-round draft pick in 2016 on Griffin Jax, he became the highest-drafted player from a military academy. There have been some challenges associated with that, but in mid-April, Jax learned that he would be able to serve the remainder of his active duty while pitching in the Twins system (more specifics here).

In 2017, Jax was limited to just five games before returning to duty. He has made five appearances this season. The first four were starts. His most recent appearance came after Ervin Santana’s rehab start went three innings. Jax finished the remaining six innings. He has worked at least six innings in all but his first appearance of the year. Jax profiles as a starter with three good pitches. The strikeouts are low so far, but the walks are very low.


PREVIOUS INSTALLMENTS:

2018 Twins Midseason Top Prospects: 36-40
2018 Twins Midseason Top Prospects: 31-35

Click here to view the article

#2 Danchat

Danchat

    Pro Bowl Armchair QB

  • Members
  • 3,877 posts

Posted 04 July 2018 - 09:21 PM

I don't know about Granite... I just don't think he has an MLB toolset. Zero power, bad arm, and now he can't hit at AAA anymore. The ups and downs for him at AAA have been crazy.

 

Cave looks like he could at least make a solid bench bat. I'd keep giving him PAs in the majors.

 

I'm hoping Curtiss can crack the bullpen this season, but these young relievers have been having a very difficult time staying on the roster. Right now they've been ferrying guys from MLB to AAA back and forth, and while that's a good strategy, I'd like to see a young guy take Belisle's spot and earn a roster spot like Hildy did last year.

  • Dman, jud6312, caninatl04 and 2 others like this

#3 benji21

benji21

    Member

  • Members
  • 145 posts

Posted 04 July 2018 - 10:05 PM

Geez Seth, your standards are astronomical! Jax with the low low k rate of 13.8! Thanks for this piece of the list, great mid season distraction.
  • caninatl04 likes this

#4 Dman

Dman

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 1,234 posts

Posted 05 July 2018 - 05:53 AM

Good to see Wells crack the top 30.Been watching that guy for a while and they got a steal where they drafted him.He was a strikeout machine in the lower levels and he continues to pitch well.I was hoping he would move up to AA soon so that he could possibly factor in to next year as an option for the big league club.


#5 rdehring

rdehring

    Chattanooga Lookouts

  • Members
  • 637 posts

Posted 05 July 2018 - 06:29 AM

Expect we will see Jax much higher next winter.Can see him as a #3 starter about the time he will need time off for the next Olympics.

  • RaymondLuxuryYacht and tvagle like this

#6 diehardtwinsfan

diehardtwinsfan

    Twins Moderator

  • Twins Mods
  • 12,401 posts
  • LocationThe charred ruins of BYTO

Posted 05 July 2018 - 06:48 AM

I think Cave can replace Grossman next season. A .755 OPS is a bit better than league average as it is, more so for a CF (SSS I know). I woudln't mind him in that role. I don't think he will get worse, and there's a chance he gets better.

 

As for Granite, I don't know. I can give him a mulligan for his injury, but truthfully, I've never been that high on him to begin with. For a team carrying a 3 man bench, I'm not sure what value Granite will have once his options expire. 

 

Curtiss just needs an extended shot. They need to figure out if his numbers can translate to MLB. I'm hoping after the deadline that we will have a few new relievers and that Molly will play them.

 

Wells and Jax are the only real prospects here. Both though are not old for their league. Jax hasn't played as much as everyone else and could have a break out season rocketing him up the list. I don't have super high expectations for either though.

  • adorduan and caninatl04 like this

#7 Seth Stohs

Seth Stohs

    Owner

  • Administrators
  • 16,350 posts

Posted 05 July 2018 - 07:17 AM

 

Geez Seth, your standards are astronomical! Jax with the low low k rate of 13.8! Thanks for this piece of the list, great mid season distraction.

 

Corrected... thank you!


#8 olivia11

olivia11

    Cedar Rapids

  • Members
  • 97 posts

Posted 05 July 2018 - 07:31 AM

I'm wondering why Cody ranked Cave (39) so much lower than Granite (24). Seems to me that Cave's better power tool and Granite better speed/defense tool would put them right around the same ranking. Genuinely curious about Cody's reasoning.

 

Very much enjoying these updated rankings with the MLB team struggling so much. Thanks, guys!

  • Seth Stohs, Mike Sixel, 70charger and 3 others like this

#9 JLease

JLease

    Ft Myers

  • Members
  • 253 posts

Posted 05 July 2018 - 09:33 AM

Granite is having a bit of a lost season; with Cave on the roster and Buxton coming back it's hard to see him getting anything more than september callup this year. I was hoping he could be that high-average, high OBP plus defender guy that could make it easy for the Twins to move on from Grossman and slot him in as a 4th OF. Right now, hitting for average is an increasingly absent skill, and I suspect it's an undervalued one as well. Hopefully, the injury has only delayed Granite's evolution. 

 

Curtiss looks like another one of those fungible relievers that's good to have in your system but you shouldn't ever spend real money on. I suspect he'll eventually stick on the MLB roster and then have a really nice season that will sucker someone into giving him a multi-year deal. but maybe not. The walks might limit his effectiveness as a fireman, but it's always good to have relievers of his capacity waiting in AAA.

  • birdwatcher and mikelink45 like this

#10 nater79a

nater79a

    Chattanooga Lookouts

  • Members
  • 873 posts

Posted 05 July 2018 - 01:32 PM

 

I don't know about Granite... I just don't think he has an MLB toolset. Zero power, bad arm, and now he can't hit at AAA anymore. The ups and downs for him at AAA have been crazy.

 

Cave looks like he could at least make a solid bench bat. I'd keep giving him PAs in the majors.

 

I'm hoping Curtiss can crack the bullpen this season, but these young relievers have been having a very difficult time staying on the roster. Right now they've been ferrying guys from MLB to AAA back and forth, and while that's a good strategy, I'd like to see a young guy take Belisle's spot and earn a roster spot like Hildy did last year.

 

 

Agree that Granite doesn't provide any power, but I think you're short-changing him on his arm. It's fine.Not a Buxton type arm, but who is?


#11 nater79a

nater79a

    Chattanooga Lookouts

  • Members
  • 873 posts

Posted 05 July 2018 - 01:34 PM

Hey Seth, I think the hyperlink is missing under the Griffin Jax capsule--"more specifics here" .

 

Just an FYI...


#12 mikelink45

mikelink45

    Junior Member

  • Members
  • 1,996 posts

Posted 05 July 2018 - 02:16 PM

This group does not inspire me for the future.But in some ways it is really good to know that we have 25 players better than Curtiss, Cave, and Granite. 

  • Mike Sixel and gagu like this

#13 Mike Sixel

Mike Sixel

    Now living in Oregon

  • Members
  • 26,693 posts

Posted 05 July 2018 - 02:54 PM

I think Cave has a shot at a long career as a backup OF....and he should be playing every day until Buxton is back.

One of the best opening day rosters in years. Now go get 'em.


#14 Danchat

Danchat

    Pro Bowl Armchair QB

  • Members
  • 3,877 posts

Posted 05 July 2018 - 05:46 PM

 

Agree that Granite doesn't provide any power, but I think you're short-changing him on his arm. It's fine.Not a Buxton type arm, but who is?

I clearly remember Granite's throws didn't reach the cut-off man several times. Maybe it's not as bad as I think it is... but I am getting flashbacks of when Granite threw the ball to 1B on a play where a runner was tagging up and going home. He has no ability to throw baserunners out.

Edited by Danchat, 05 July 2018 - 05:46 PM.

  • Mike Sixel and tvagle like this

#15 Yoke

Yoke

    Junior Member

  • Members
  • 53 posts

Posted 06 July 2018 - 07:47 AM

 

I think Cave has a shot at a long career as a backup OF....and he should be playing every day until Buxton is back.

I think he'd fit in really well as the 4th OF. Seems like he has a little pop, and he plays solid defense.


#16 FormerMinnasotan

FormerMinnasotan

    Chattanooga Lookouts

  • Members
  • 617 posts

Posted 06 July 2018 - 08:42 AM

I am surprised Wells hasn’t been promoted as of yet. He has a 0.93 WHIP, 2.54 ERA, 7.6 K/9 (and his K rate has gone up as of late), and on top of all of that he has an opponents batting average against of .194. Time to promote him, if you do that now there is a chance he could pitch as a September call up next year and make a push for the rotation by 2020.
  • Mike Sixel, Twins33 and caninatl04 like this

#17 caninatl04

caninatl04

    Chattanooga Lookouts

  • Members
  • 520 posts

Posted 06 July 2018 - 01:08 PM

Well, the Twins will need a fourth and fifth starter, a fourth outfielder / PH / PR with stats better than Grossman’s and a fourth or fifth bullpen arm in 2020. It is impossibly optimistic to believe these five would fill those five roles. But, hey, if these five could fill 2 or 3, I, for one, would be ecstatic. Any thoughts on Cave’s regression from his last year with the Yankees?
  • jkcarew likes this

#18 mngopherguy

mngopherguy

    Cedar Rapids

  • Members
  • 167 posts

Posted 07 July 2018 - 07:54 PM

Did Cody accidently flip Cave and Grantie's rankings?Seems to me that Cave is player who should be ranked 15 spots higher.Better bat, better arm, and has enough defense to be effective.  


#19 nicksaviking

nicksaviking

    Billy G.O.A.T

  • Twins Mods
  • 12,460 posts

Posted 07 July 2018 - 08:12 PM

Geez Seth, your standards are astronomical! Jax with the low low k rate of 13.8! Thanks for this piece of the list, great mid season distraction.


It was originally listed as 13.8? That just so happens to be what Jordan Balazovic is posting.

An Easter Egg for #25 perhaps?
  • tvagle likes this

#20 nicksaviking

nicksaviking

    Billy G.O.A.T

  • Twins Mods
  • 12,460 posts

Posted 07 July 2018 - 08:20 PM

Expect we will see Jax much higher next winter. Can see him as a #3 starter about the time he will need time off for the next Olympics.

I thought people were interested in Jax because his situation was a bit of an oddity. I didn't think he profiled to be much more than a swing man at best.

I just remember he didn't have great strikeout numbers despite coming from a rather weak conference. What is it about this guy everyone likes?



Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: john curtiss, zack granite, jake cave, tyler wells, griffin jax