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Article: 2019 Twins Midseason Top Prospect List: 11-15

matt wallner luis arraez nick gordon lewis thorpe ryan jeffers
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#1 Seth Stohs

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Posted 27 June 2019 - 08:38 PM

Over the past week, we have counted from 40 down to 16 and today you will find out who our choices for Twins prospects 11-15 are. The depth in the organization is clear, and as we’ve seen of late, it has been necessary to help the big league club. And, obviously prospects can help the big league club over the next month or so should the Twins be active in the trade market.

As has seemed to be the case throughout this series, this group provides a range of prospects. There are a couple of long-time minor leaguers who have worked up to the highest levels of the minor leagues. There is a guy who has recently made his major-league debut. And there is a recent draft pick who has a ton of potential. And, could there be a Mitch Garver clone?Continue reading, and then discussing, the Twins Daily choices for the 11th through 15th ranked Twins prospects of the Minnesota Twins below.


15. Matt Wallner - OF
Age: 21
ETA: 2022
2019 Stats (College): .323/.446/.681 (1.127 OPS), 12 2B, 0 3B 23 HR, 50 K, 48 BB.
2019 Stats (Rookie-Adv): .286/.400/.286 (.686 OPS), 0 2B, 0 3B 0 HR, 8 K, 1 BB.
2019 Preseason Ranking: NR
Seth: 18 | Tom: 8 | Cody: 22 | Ted: 12 | Steve: 16

Wallner grew up in Forest Lake (MN) which is where he went to high school. As a prep, he was Mr. Baseball and the Twins drafted him in the 32nd round three years ago. He was set to go to the University of North Dakota, but when the school dropped baseball, Wallner went to Southern Mississippi where he became a two-way star. Matching incredible power with an upper-90s fastball, his name was on the map. So when the Twins were able to get him with the 39th overall pick, they were thrilled. He fits the mold of recent draft picks like Brent Rooker and Trevor Larnach, an advanced bat with good power potential.

14. Luis Arraez - IF
Age: 22
ETA: 2019
2019 Stats (MLB): .452/.538/.595 (1.134), 3 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 9 BB, 2 K
2019 MILB Stats (AA/AAA): .344/.409/.401 (.810), 10 2B, 1 3B, 0 HR, 24 BB, 15 K
2019 Ranking: NR
Seth: 14 | Tom: 20 | Cody: 11 | Ted: 16 | Steve: 19

Luis Arraez can flat-out hit. He’s done it ever since signing as illustrated by a career minor league batting average over .330. But as we have seen from his brief time in the big leagues, Arraez has the things you look for in a strong top of the order hitter. Arraez knows the strike zone and doesn’t often swing at pitches outside of it. In fact, if it’s not a strike, he will shake his had from side to side to let us all know it’s not a strike. And when he does see a strike, he has incredible bat control and does a great job of hitting line drives all over the field. He is still very young, but he would appear to be the leader in the current race for Twins starting second baseman in 2020.


13. Ryan Jeffers - C
Age: 22
ETA: 2021
2019 Stats (A+):.272/.339/.447 (.786), 9 2B, 0 3B, 9 HR, 47 K, 20 BB
2019 Preseason Ranking: 13
Seth: 10 | Tom: 18 | Cody: 13 | Ted: 22 | Steve: 21

The Twins surprised many when they made Ryan Jeffers their second-round draft pick in 2018 out of UNC-Wilmington. And ever since, he has put up big numbers with the bat. After a slow start in Ft. Myers, Jeffers has hit for average and power for the Miracle. There are mixed reports on his defense. Some point out solid pitch framing numbers. Others point out that they wonder if Jeffers can continue to be a catcher moving forward. It’s a wide range in opinions. To be honest, it’s pretty similar to what was said about Mitch Garver as he was working his way up the organizational ladder. It will be Jeffers' bat, however, that propels him to the big leagues.


12. Nick Gordon - SS
Age: 23
ETA: 2020
2019 Stats (AAA): .271/.310/.426 (.735 OPS), 14 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 38 K, 9 BB.
2019 Preseason Ranking: 11
Seth: 16 | Tom: 12 | Cody: 19 | Ted: 13 | Steve: 12

Gordon has been talked about since even before the Twins made him the fifth overall pick in the 2014 draft out of high school in Orlando. He kept moving up, one year at a time until 2018 when he started where he left off in 2017, in Chattanooga. He increased his power production and moved up to AAA Rochester where he really struggled for an extended period for the first time in his career. This spring, he started the season on the IL with a stomach ailment. But he has hit well since returning to the Red Wings lineup. Questions remain about his ability to play shortstop, though with all of the shifting done in the organization, it is probably less important now than it may have been in the past.




11. Lewis Thorpe - LHP
ETA: 2019
Age: 23
2019 Stats (Low-A): 5.71 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, 11.4 K/9, 2.7 BB/9, 4.2 K/BB
2019 Ranking: 8
Seth: 15 | Tom: 11 | Cody: 12 | Ted: 9 | Steve: 9

2019 has been an up-and-down season for the Australian left-hander. In his first six starts, he posted an 8.19 ERA and opponents hit .287 off of him with an OPS of .851. His next six starts were much better. He had an era of 2.87 and opponents hit just .223 off him with a .634 OPS. The entire time he has shown the ability to miss bats while throwing a lot of strikes. Signed in 2011 out of Melbourne, he quickly reached prospect status with an impressive showing in the GCL. Unfortunately, he missed two seasons after needing Tommy John surgery and dealing with an illness. Once back on the mound, however, he regained his prospect status. He is in his second option year and at Triple-A, and that puts him just one call away.


That's it for now. Next week we will jump into our 2019 Midseason Top Ten Twins Prospects! Feel free to ask questions and leave comments below.
Twins Daily 2019 Midseason Prospect Rankings
Prospects 36-40
Prospects 31-35
Prospects 26-30
Prospects 21-25
Prospects 16-20
Prospects 11-15
Prospects 6-10 (Coming Next Week!)

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#2 Danchat

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Posted 27 June 2019 - 10:29 PM

Thorpe is in a funny spot as he's letting in a lot of runs, but I'm surprised how high his strikeout count is with his fastball topping out in the low 90s. With 2020 as his last option year, the clock is ticking and he's going to be out of options before they know it.

 

I'm not sure what to do with Nick Gordon. I think he's definitely tradeable with our current stock of middle infielders and they wouldn't be moving him at a time when his stock is low.

 

Arraez is a stud and should be a starter in 2020. I think he could legitimately be a .300 hitter in the majors with his penchant for hitting so many singles. He's a great fit for our lineup full of boom (HR) and bust (K) potential.

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#3 twinstalker

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Posted 27 June 2019 - 11:15 PM

When in the world will people let Nick Gordon go? The question is not whether he's a better prospect than Luis Arraez, but whether his best year would ever come close to Arraez' worst year.

 

If some organization places value on Gordon, it is imperative the Twins sell. Gordon's upside is Christian Arroyo.

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#4 Thegrin

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Posted 28 June 2019 - 01:21 AM

Arraez is a stud. Instead of waiting till 2020, trade Schoop for some talent and make Arraez the everyday 2b.:)

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#5 HrbekRules

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Posted 28 June 2019 - 04:19 AM

I would put Rortvedt ahead of Jeffers.
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#6 SarasotaBill

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Posted 28 June 2019 - 04:37 AM

Arraez is younger than Gordon.

Gordon may not stay at SS.

Arraez is a much better hitter.

 

Watching Arraez take an at-bat is like looking at art.

 

Gordon is rated higher here only because he was the 5th pick of the draft.

 

Enough said. 

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#7 Tom Froemming

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Posted 28 June 2019 - 05:55 AM

Gordon has a much better set of tools than Arraez. That's why he's higher.

 

Gordon is the better shortstop, he's faster and has more power than Arreaz. I love what Luis is doing right now, but he has a .457 BABIP for the Twins. He's one of my favorite players to watch, but that's not what this is about. We're looking at tools and forecasting potential future value.

 

Luis deserves a lot of credit. This is the best shape I've seen him in, his plate discipline has come a long way and he's showing more arm than I've seen from him at points in the past. Still, if you 1) can't play catcher, shortstop or center field, 2) can't hit for much power and 3) don't have above average speed, it's going to be very tough for you to carve out a role in the bigs for very long.

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#8 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 28 June 2019 - 06:13 AM

I would think most people would have Arraez over Gordon?
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#9 Bavarian

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Posted 28 June 2019 - 06:14 AM

Despite all those "shortcomings for Arraez, he is defying them all carving out a niche for himself on this roster.Anyone who can get on base for the sluggers behind him will find a spot despite all the tool projections of other prospects.Arraez passes the eyeball test as a player.A productive one.The kid can hit.Every team can use a bat for someone who gets on base.I think too many fans and experts alike chase the unicorn of the perennial All-star team when in reality, such dreams always fall short.Look at all those Yankee teams that fell on their face.All-star teams rarely have what it takes from guys like Arraez who do everything they can to make the TEAM better.

 

Anyone building teams in sports or business understands the value of glue guys - those that don't necessarily have all the talent or accolades but instead find a way to make the team better.His energy, his desire and frankly his output will land him a spot somewhere.  Everyone sees this but many don't want to admit to it.He's better than Sano and Schoop now.And he'll get better.If I conducted a poll among the three, it would be a landslide. 

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#10 SarasotaBill

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Posted 28 June 2019 - 06:26 AM

 

Gordon has a much better set of tools than Arraez. That's why he's higher.

 

Gordon is the better shortstop, he's faster and has more power than Arreaz. I love what Luis is doing right now, but he has a .457 BABIP for the Twins. He's one of my favorite players to watch, but that's not what this is about. We're looking at tools and forecasting potential future value.

 

Luis deserves a lot of credit. This is the best shape I've seen him in, his plate discipline has come a long way and he's showing more arm than I've seen from him at points in the past. Still, if you 1) can't play catcher, shortstop or center field, 2) can't hit for much power and 3) don't have above average speed, it's going to be very tough for you to carve out a role in the bigs for very long.

 

Gordon has "better tools" is why he was drafted 5th overall in the draft.

Arraez is a better hitter. He has demonstrated a higher average, a higher OPS, and his BB/K ratio is unbelievable. He's also one year younger.

His better skills:

- Pitch Recognition

- Strike Recognition

- Hand to Eye coordination

 

Gordon is a nice prospect. 

Believe your eyes when Arraez bats.

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#11 Tom Froemming

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Posted 28 June 2019 - 06:50 AM

 

Gordon has "better tools" is why he was drafted 5th overall in the draft.

Arraez is a better hitter. He has demonstrated a higher average, a higher OPS, and his BB/K ratio is unbelievable. He's also one year younger.

His better skills:

- Pitch Recognition

- Strike Recognition

- Hand to Eye coordination

 

Gordon is a nice prospect. 

Believe your eyes when Arraez bats.

 

This comment saying something along the lines of "you guys are wrong because of this, this and this" is great. Please share your opinions. Some disagreement is natural, of course. even just within the five of us who contributed to this list there's a wide range on most of these prospects. Nobody has a crystal ball.

 

I like to say prospect lists are a really fun form of torture. There is a lot of time, effort and energy put in to compiling these things, so when someone comes on here and says stuff like "so and so is only here because they were drafted high or because of their bonus" it's pretty deflating. 

 

I'd encourage everyone to try to make a top 30 or top 50 list of their own. Some things really get revealed even to your own self in the process. When I was just coming up with a loose outline for a top 50, I started by just listing out guys I thought were worthy of inclusion. I ended up with 75 guys! So there are 25 guys who I basically think are top 50 prospects in the system that didn't make the cut. It gets difficult, and really forces you to dig in and take a stance on some guys.

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#12 wabene

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Posted 28 June 2019 - 07:00 AM

 

Arraez is a stud. Instead of waiting till 2020, trade Schoop for some talent and make Arraez the everyday 2b.:)

Sounds good except I don't think we want to give up the depth right now.

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#13 rdehring

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Posted 28 June 2019 - 07:21 AM

I am getting tired of seeing prospect lists that begin with where was he drafted or how big his check was when signed.Yes, that is meaningful the first year or two in the organization because it is based on the opinion of the people that matter, the Twins scouts.But after several years in the organization, rankings should be based on what Player X is doing on the field while the tools factor lessens.

 

Yes, we are looking at this at a very poor time comparing Arraez to Gordon as Arraez is on a streak that none of us could have expected.Including yesterday's (I think it was yesterday as the last two days of games seem like one to me) perfect drag bunt.But if I read what you wrote, Seth, it appears you are in agreement that Arraez is the leader for the Twins starting second base job next year.So is that his floor...starting second baseman for the Twins?And what's his ceiling, a decade long starter putting up eye popping average and on base numbers with little power and only a few stolen bases?  

 

By comparison, what's Gordon's floor and ceiling...remembering he has yet to play the second half of this season when he recently has gone in the tank?I doubt anyone can say his floor is the starting shortstop, or second baseman, for the Twins.Yes, Gordon got a bigger check when signing.Yes, Gordon runs really well and has a chance of sticking at shortstop.Isn't it time to get off the bandwagon until he puts it up on the field for more than a couple months (how many at bats does he have cause I know he was on the IL for awhile?).

 

OK, I'm done with my rant.As for Thorpe, no one is a bigger fan than I.With that said, I am disappointed in his results this year and am surprised he didn't drop further.  

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#14 Bavarian

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Posted 28 June 2019 - 07:56 AM

I understand a lot of time and effort went into that compilation of prospects as I appreciate using this as a reference but it's not a bible.  Some of us are (and can) question the validity of a paper construct much like the so-called "book" in regards to situational bunting being limited to an unwritten rule according to those who "expertly" pontificate the topic based on some irrelevant numbers.I agree that open discussion without simply claiming someone is right or wrong is the best path forward.If you don't agree, state why.Still don't agree?Move on.

 

 

Edited by Bavarian, 28 June 2019 - 07:57 AM.

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#15 beckmt

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Posted 28 June 2019 - 08:35 AM

Prospects do not always pan out.Maybe Gordon's ceiling is higher, but are his chances of reaching it about 10 - 20%.His floor seems much lower, like utility players or AAAA player.If he has little chance of making this club and working out in the next couple of years (my opinion), he needs to be cashed for help this year.

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#16 Dman

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Posted 28 June 2019 - 08:44 AM

Wallner looks to nbe ranked about where Larnach was so this looks like a decent spot for him.We have a pretty tough top 10 to crack right now so putting him in the middle works for me.

 

Arraez appears to have an elite bat but below average tools so will never have elite defense. He looks to be solid at 2nd base but with no real power his bat has to stay hot for him to not end up a utility player.He hits alot of balls away and I think once defenses find his tendancy's hits might get harder to find, will have to wait and see just how good his bat control really is.With such a proven elite hit tool I would have him a few spots higher but it doesn't really matter at this point because he will likely not be eligible for this list in the too distant future.

 

Love where you put Jeffers.He has been a very solid player so far.Good defense, good power, good bat.If he can put a few more points on that OBP I think he moves into the top 10.Those are really nice stats for a catcher in that league.

 

I thought Gordon might grow into some power but he still is pretty rail thin.Happy to see that bat come back.He looked lost in AAA last year.I still think he can be solid SS. Maybe not defensively elite but with that arm and decent speed (he is not a large guy) if he can cut down on the mental errors I think he is good there.He has a nice mix of tools but none appear to be elite.With no power he needs to have very good bat to ball skills.It looks like he might be getting there.I think this is a good spot for him if you are optimistic about his potential if you see a utility player then I would drop him lower.

 

Not sure what to think about Thorpe.He has strike out stuff but also gives up the long ball.Lots of scouts feel his stuff is just average which seems hard to believe when he can get so many K's. It seems they might be correct though as he looks topped out at AAA right now.He needs some kind of refinement to take him to the next level not sure what it is but currently things are not working.Based on current performance I would have him lower than this, but this is about potential and not performance so if you think there is more in the tank this is probably a decent spot for him.


#17 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 28 June 2019 - 08:47 AM

I'd encourage everyone to try to make a top 30 or top 50 list of their own.

The other side of the coin is for the list makers to not stay married to their picks if those picks aren’t working out.

You guys do great work. I value your opinions infinitely more than any of the national list makers. I tried making my own prospect list this spring, but it was too difficult. I only got to about 6 or 7 before realizing I didn’t know what the hell I was doing and could only go off of highlight clips, reading between the lines, and second hand reports. However, there have been some very good first-hand reports on Gordon that talk about more than just the results of his plate appearances. We’ve all seen Arraez if even for a brief period now, and it looks like he belongs. Arraez looks like he will be better than Gordon, if not necessarily better than what we want Gordon to become (if that makes sense).


Some things really get revealed even to your own self in the process.

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#18 birdwatcher

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Posted 28 June 2019 - 08:49 AM

 

I am getting tired of seeing prospect lists that begin with where was he drafted or how big his check was when signed.Yes, that is meaningful the first year or two in the organization because it is based on the opinion of the people that matter, the Twins scouts.But after several years in the organization, rankings should be based on what Player X is doing on the field while the tools factor lessens.

 

Yes, we are looking at this at a very poor time comparing Arraez to Gordon as Arraez is on a streak that none of us could have expected.Including yesterday's (I think it was yesterday as the last two days of games seem like one to me) perfect drag bunt.But if I read what you wrote, Seth, it appears you are in agreement that Arraez is the leader for the Twins starting second base job next year.So is that his floor...starting second baseman for the Twins?And what's his ceiling, a decade long starter putting up eye popping average and on base numbers with little power and only a few stolen bases?  

 

By comparison, what's Gordon's floor and ceiling...remembering he has yet to play the second half of this season when he recently has gone in the tank?I doubt anyone can say his floor is the starting shortstop, or second baseman, for the Twins.Yes, Gordon got a bigger check when signing.Yes, Gordon runs really well and has a chance of sticking at shortstop.Isn't it time to get off the bandwagon until he puts it up on the field for more than a couple months (how many at bats does he have cause I know he was on the IL for awhile?).

 

OK, I'm done with my rant.As for Thorpe, no one is a bigger fan than I.With that said, I am disappointed in his results this year and am surprised he didn't drop further.  

 

 

I don't have an opinion about which of Arraez and Gordon is ultimately going to have the better MLB career. But today, with odds, I'd take the Gordon side of a sizable bet.

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#19 Dman

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Posted 28 June 2019 - 08:57 AM

 

This comment saying something along the lines of "you guys are wrong because of this, this and this" is great. Please share your opinions. Some disagreement is natural, of course. even just within the five of us who contributed to this list there's a wide range on most of these prospects. Nobody has a crystal ball.

 

I like to say prospect lists are a really fun form of torture. There is a lot of time, effort and energy put in to compiling these things, so when someone comes on here and says stuff like "so and so is only here because they were drafted high or because of their bonus" it's pretty deflating. 

 

I'd encourage everyone to try to make a top 30 or top 50 list of their own. Some things really get revealed even to your own self in the process. When I was just coming up with a loose outline for a top 50, I started by just listing out guys I thought were worthy of inclusion. I ended up with 75 guys! So there are 25 guys who I basically think are top 50 prospects in the system that didn't make the cut. It gets difficult, and really forces you to dig in and take a stance on some guys.

 

Yeah it is impossible to see "potential" the same as there are just too many variables. As you watch and follow these players you start to form bias's that can skew your view.You can be too optimistic about potential and too pessimistic. No one gets it right all the time but it is fun to look for trends and hope for star players. Also sometime there is not a lot of difference between prospects 10-15.They could be ordered many different ways with no real issue other than preference.The one thing we do share in common is we like all the players we have in the system.:)

Edited by Dman, 28 June 2019 - 08:58 AM.

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#20 JLease

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Posted 28 June 2019 - 09:13 AM

I can live with Jeffers placement here, but I still think Rortvedt should be ranked above him. He's a better catcher and he's advanced to a higher level successfully at a younger age. Jeffers has a better hit tool, but it's going to have to improve even more if he can't stick behind the plate; right now does he project as a slugging 1B or corner OF? We're already seeing more and more teams get away from concept of a DH-only player, and I suspect the twins will be one of those team once Cruz's contract expires: only a really special hitter will be afforded that opportunity. And I question putting Wallner up this high.

 

I get the SSS issues with Arraez's performance in MLB, but even if his BABIP dropped by 125 pts he'd still be playing great. He's hit pretty much every level he's played at (mediocre at AA in 2018, but that was also a midyear promotion coming off a year he basically didn't play, otherwise...he's always hit) and may just be unlocking his power potential now that he's maturing (and gotten in better shape). He's probably not a long-term guy at SS, but that's more than ok. He's not going to hit .400 all year, but there's reason to believe that he can be a 2B/3B/fill in at SS player who can hit .300/.375/.400 consistently...and maybe even find a little more pop in the bat. 

 

 

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