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History of Twins top 100 prospects

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#1 gunnarthor

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 10:17 AM

Since 1996, the Twins have had 35 different players on BA's top 100. I thought it would be interesting to see how well they did since we now have another crop of big prospects coming up. Also interesting is that guys like Span, Santana, Baker, Koskie and Radke were never ranked. Boof was ranked with the Giants but not the Twins.

Highest ranking in parenthesis, by position.

C - Mauer (1), LeCroy (44), Ramos (58), Valentin (58) - Not too bad, really. Valentin and LeCroy had long careers. Mauer's on a HOF path and Ramos is one of the better young catchers in baseball right now.

1B - Morneau (14), Ortiz (84), Parmelee (94) - again, not bad. Morneau and Ortiz have both had a number of great seasons. Parmelee still has a chance.

2B - Rivas (55) - not quite a bust but never really developed.

3B - Walker (7), Sano (18), Moses (75) - Sano probably moves to the OF. Walker moved to 2B. Moses busted.

SS - Guzman (68) - Nice solid career.

OF - Kubel (17), Cuddyer (17), Hicks (19), Restovich (26), Gomez (52), Revere (59), Hunter (79), Garbe (79), Benson (99) - Solid group with Hunter and Cuddyer both becoming all stars and Revere and Kubel being solid players. Restovich never quite made it but was a big time prospect, struck out too much but had real power. I think he played in Japan.

P - Liriano (6), Garza (21), Milton (25), Hawkins (30), Gibson (34), Guerra (35), Johnson (41), Blackburn (56), Crain (63), Perkins (66), Durbin (66), Slowey (71), Serafini (76), Swarzak (100) - Some successes here as Liriano and Milton were all stars, Garza, Blackburn, Slowey all had some good seasons and Crain, Hawkins, Perkins and Swarzak have been good bullpen arms. Liriano is the big what if guy. But it's also fair to say that Liriano and Garza were the only two that could be a true #1 or #2 type pitcher. Gibson (and Meyer) might move into that group but most of our ranked starting pitching prospects were 3s or lower. That's probably pretty common actually.

Successes* (38%) - Mauer, Morneau, Ortiz, Cuddyer, Kubel, Revere, Hunter, Garza, Milton, Crain, Perkins
Nice seasons/good before injury (21%) - Ramos, Guzman, Liriano, Hawkins, Blackburn, Slowey
Meh - (24%) Valentin, LeCroy, Rivas, Walker, Gomez, Serafini, Swarzak
Busts (17%) - Moses, Restovich, Garbe, Johnson, Durbin
Jury's still out - Parmelee, Sano, Hicks, Benson, Gibson, Guerra (being kind)
* compared to ranking

Of the busts, Moses, Garbe and Johnson were all ranked high after they were drafted but fell off. Durbin and Restovich both actually made it to the majors but didn't do much.

Edited by gunnarthor, 13 February 2013 - 10:19 AM.


#2 Joe A. Preusser

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 10:32 AM

Fun article, I enjoyed reading it. Adam Johnson was the name that leapt to the front of my mind as the biggest bust in recent team history. I was always hearing about how much talent he had, but whenever I'd look at his minor league stats they were always beyond terrible. Too bad.

#3 Boom Boom

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 10:35 AM

Not a whole lot of middle infielders on that list!

#4 Chance

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 10:49 AM

Maybe Rosario next season

#5 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 10:50 AM

I'm not sure I'd call Revere a success... 2012 still had plenty of room for improvement... though I suppose turning him into Worley and May counts as a success...

Rivas was pretty below average his entire career and would likely have been considered a bust on some other teams with middle infilelders in their system... and yes, it seems clear that developing decent MI talent is something the Twins don't do well.... Here's to hoping they can flip Morneau or Willingham for a SS in the top 100 come the deadline.

#6 Seth Stohs

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 11:10 AM

I kind of always feel bad for Restovich. He was a very strong prospect with the Twins when they had an outfield that included Jacque Jones, Torii Hunter and Matt Lawton and then Shannon Stewart and then Michael Cuddyer. He had amazing power but the strikeouts hurt him. Also, when given an opportunity, guys like Dustin Mohr and Michael Ryan came up fairly big in their initial attempts and got more opportunities.

#7 gunnarthor

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 11:15 AM

I'm not sure I'd call Revere a success... 2012 still had plenty of room for improvement... though I suppose turning him into Worley and May counts as a success... .


Revere and Ramos were the tricky ones. On one hand, both are ML regulars now. On the other hand, both have really only had one solid season. Both of them peaked in the late 50s on the list. So I split the difference and put one in the success group and the other in the one below it so it didn't look like I was calling too many guys successes. Hawkins/Kubel was the other split considering their high rankings. Hawkins was a very good relief pitcher but it took him so long to get there. And Kubel came back from the really bad injury to be a pretty solid bat. But you could argue that Kubel has been overrated b/c he's really just a DH.

#8 greengoblinrulz

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 11:24 AM

Carlos Gomez ....meh??? 19HR 37SB .463SLgg .768OPS, pretty solid yr but Twins fans fail to acknowledge it....hes a solid major leaguer.
Todd Walker....meh??? .289/.348/.435 career in 4554 ABs.....very solid career, just not All Star level, again Twins fans never acknowledge him

#9 Kwak

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 11:25 AM

In summary, we should be more subdued with our expectations with the present class of prospects. My inference from reading TD posts concerning "The Magnificent Seven" is that most reactions range from glee to euphoria.

#10 gunnarthor

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 11:42 AM

In summary, we should be more subdued with our expectations with the present class of prospects. My inference from reading TD posts concerning "The Magnificent Seven" is that most reactions range from glee to euphoria.


I was actually thinking the opposite although I don't think about prospects as future HOFers. If you consider the 10 BA prospects that have been ranked or likely will be - Sano, Buxton, Hicks, Arcia, Gibson, Meyer, Parmelee, Benson, Guerra and maybe Rosario, two will bust (just guessing - Guerra and Benson), two be disappointing replacement level pros (Parmelee and Arcia), two will be good regulars for a bit who might be injured later (Meyer and Rosario) and four would be successes (Sano, Buxton, Gibson and Hicks). Of course that just assumes the % stay the same and that the ranking I gave them was right. GG made a solid point about Gomez and Walker.

But I thought it was an interesting way to look at our prospect history. We seem to be weak at developing MI but we've had some nice successes behind the plate (AJ and Morales weren't included) and in the OF (guys like Mohr, Keilty and Ford all had solid seasons too), which bodes well for Hicks, Arcia, Buxton and Sano (who I think ends up in RF).

#11 birdwatcher

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 11:58 AM

In summary, we should be more subdued with our expectations with the present class of prospects. My inference from reading TD posts concerning "The Magnificent Seven" is that most reactions range from glee to euphoria.


I partially agree with this. Although for every pie in the sky outlook about a prospect, you'll find the opposite "Twins track record" stuff, with Adam Johnson as the poster boy of Twins ineptitude. The probability is pretty high that four of five of our top ten prospects have outstanding careers while only a couple are complete dissappointments. Another few are meh.

#12 spycake

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 12:41 PM

Here are compiled lists dating back all the way to 1990:

Compiled List of Baseball America's Top 100 Lists from 1990 to 2010 - Beyond the Box Score

It would add these names to your list:

1B - David McCarty (16), Paul Sorrento (91)

2B - Chuck Knoblauch (72)

OF - Midre Cummings (33), Rich Becker (37)

P - Willie Banks (13), Rich Garces (15), Pat Mahomes (25), Johnny Ard (46), Mike Trombley (53), Marc Barcelo (70), Todd Ritchie (73), Kevin Tapani (88), Alan Newman (96)

#13 greengoblinrulz

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 05:34 PM

Here are compiled lists dating back all the way to 1990:

Compiled List of Baseball America's Top 100 Lists from 1990 to 2010 - Beyond the Box Score

It would add these names to your list:

1B - David McCarty (16), Paul Sorrento (91)

2B - Chuck Knoblauch (72)

OF - Midre Cummings (33), Rich Becker (37)

P - Willie Banks (13), Rich Garces (15), Pat Mahomes (25), Johnny Ard (46), Mike Trombley (53), Marc Barcelo (70), Todd Ritchie (73), Kevin Tapani (88), Alan Newman (96)


Sorrento was a very solid pro for a decade.
Knoblauch should be in the Twins HOF if not for politics
Becker has a couple solid years (pre sabermetrics) before being a Twins laughingstock punching bag (which I dont agree with)

Pitchers show had horrible Tom Kelly/Dick Such were at developing pitchers. Everyone comes to TKs defense that he had nobody to work with, but this shows that the scouts thought they did & they screwed everyone but Tapani up....(maybe Ritchie in Pitt succedded).

#14 SpiritofVodkaDave

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 11:22 PM

I'm not sure I'd call Revere a success... 2012 still had plenty of room for improvement... though I suppose turning him into Worley and May counts as a success...

Rivas was pretty below average his entire career and would likely have been considered a bust on some other teams with middle infilelders in their system... and yes, it seems clear that developing decent MI talent is something the Twins don't do well.... Here's to hoping they can flip Morneau or Willingham for a SS in the top 100 come the deadline.


I think Revere will ultimately go onto to have a pretty long and "meh" career at the plate but has some great defense and speed, much like Juan Pierre, however that certainly has value as does Pierre, so Revere at the end of the day goes down as a success in my book.

#15 glunn

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 12:56 AM

This is a great thread -- both the original post and the comments. Thanks, gunnarthor.

#16 Kwak

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 03:36 AM

Pitchers show had horrible Tom Kelly/Dick Such were at developing pitchers. Everyone comes to TKs defense that he had nobody to work with, but this shows that the scouts thought they did & they screwed everyone but Tapani up....(maybe Ritchie in Pitt succedded).


In many threads of many forums I have read similar comments concerning Gardenhire/Anderson. I wonder: Do the fans of most every team say the same about their Mgr/ pitching coach? Was there a basic similarity of style/thought/something between TK/Such and Gardenhire/Anderson, or is it just something unique to Twins fans?

#17 jay

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 02:11 PM

Not a whole lot of middle infielders on that list!


I would wonder if that's true for most teams. Seems that a lot of the ranked prospects show up because of offensive potential and a lot of those guys that might be MI in MiLB end up moving off to other positions.

#18 TwinsFanInPhilly

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 03:00 PM

In many threads of many forums I have read similar comments concerning Gardenhire/Anderson. I wonder: Do the fans of most every team say the same about their Mgr/ pitching coach? Was there a basic similarity of style/thought/something between TK/Such and Gardenhire/Anderson, or is it just something unique to Twins fans?


Short answer - Yes

#19 Boom Boom

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 03:03 PM

I would wonder if that's true for most teams. Seems that a lot of the ranked prospects show up because of offensive potential and a lot of those guys that might be MI in MiLB end up moving off to other positions.


I'm too lazy to do the work on every other team's top 100 prospects since 1996. Maybe every team has that same difficulty.

3 top 100 MI prospects in the last 17 years (Guzman, Rivas, and Walker) isn't going to cut it for any team.

#20 gunnarthor

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 04:51 PM

I'm too lazy to do the work on every other team's top 100 prospects since 1996. Maybe every team has that same difficulty.

3 top 100 MI prospects in the last 17 years (Guzman, Rivas, and Walker) isn't going to cut it for any team.


I did the same check for the Tigers. 29 players since 1996.

C - Inge (67) - Inge had a nice career.

1B - Munson (23), Clark (86) - Clark had a real nice, long career. 3 30hr seasons. Munson, meh at best.

2B - none

3B - Castellanos (45) - He'll be rated a lot higher in the next BA listing

SS - Infante (95), Santiago (95) - both debuted in 02 and played last year in Det. Both are pretty much replacement level for career but considering their ranking, I think you'd call them both successes.

OF - Maybin (6), Encarnacion (15), Kapler (34), Granderson (57), Jackson (76), Clevlen (98) - Clevlen is the only real bust. Maybin is still young and was part of the Cabrera trade. Granderson is the real prize but the others have been solid.

P - Verlander (8), Miller (10), Bonderman (20), Porcello (21), Turner (21), Anderson (24), Drumright (35), Zumaya (35), Sleeth (36), Cordero (41), German (42), Crosby (47), Weaver (51), Cornejo (55), Greisnger (55), Baugh (79), Oliver (87). Some real successes here, especially with Verlander. Bonderman and Porcello had some good times but considering their ranking, probably a little disappointing. German made the majors, got hurt, no real impact. Nate Cornejo went 6-17 w/ 2.1 K/9!!! in his best year (1.3 WAR year). I guess he's a 'meh'? Baugh never made the majors.

Successes - (42%) Inge, Clark, Infante, Santiago, Encarnacion, Kapler, Granderson, Jackson, Verlander, Cordero
solid for a bit/great but hurt - (21%) Miller, Bonderman, Porcello, Zumaya, Weaver
meh - (13%) Munson, German, Cornejo
busts - (26%) Clevlen, Anderson, Drumright,Sleeth, Greisinger, Baugh
jury's still out - Castellanos, Maybin, Turner, Crosby, Oliver

So a few thoughts. Twins aren't only team that has injuries or a lot of #3 or later pitching prospects. Tigers did two things the Twins don't do much of - they traded a lot of these prospects - Maybin, Miller, Kapler, Cordero, Weaver, Turner. Not all those trades worked. They also went over slot to get guys in the draft like Porcello. MI are tough to find and be ranked.

The Tigers, since 96, have had 9 picks in the top 10. Verlander and Maybin are really the only two successes. Twins had some misses in that period, too, but not quite as many or as bad.

#21 Kwak

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 05:13 PM

What should we conclude? 1) That these rankings aren't all that relevant? 2) Those teams that are expert in MiLB development aren't shown? 3) Many top players are promoted to the majors before they were "ranked"? 4) that signing high-quality, expensive free agents does make a lot of sense because most teams rarely develop them?

#22 beckmt

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 06:45 PM

It shows the draft is a grab bag. Tigers should have done better in the 2000 era with as many of top 10 picks they had. Twins will be judged by how they do during this number of years with early draft picks. Internation stage will help now with the ceiling caps in place.

#23 kab21

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 11:53 PM

What should we conclude? 1) That these rankings aren't all that relevant? 2) Those teams that are expert in MiLB development aren't shown? 3) Many top players are promoted to the majors before they were "ranked"? 4) that signing high-quality, expensive free agents does make a lot of sense because most teams rarely develop them?


Actually it's still the opposite. People just need to stop acting like prospects all succeed. If you adjust your expectations as the analysis shows the future Twins are still in good shape but there could be holes pretty much anywhere to fill. As fun as it is to write in a 2015 lineup with every prospect succeeding is a little too optimistic.

It also shows that prospects are a great currency to trade when you want to go for it.

#24 gunnarthor

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 09:20 AM

What should we conclude? 1) That these rankings aren't all that relevant? 2) Those teams that are expert in MiLB development aren't shown? 3) Many top players are promoted to the majors before they were "ranked"? 4) that signing high-quality, expensive free agents does make a lot of sense because most teams rarely develop them?


1) I think rankings are relevant but fans probably over value ranking lists. Jeremy's article with the scout touches on that slightly. (Twins Daily - Scouting with Sean Johnson). I think it's natural that we overrate rankings since those are one of the few things we as fans get to see about the inside work of developing baseball players. But baseball teams have different rankings and access to more information on those players so, as good as BA, it still misses things on players. One current case in point, according to Mike Newman of fangraphs, the Nationals right now consider Goodwin their best prospect, ahead of Rendon. Nearly every ranking cite would have Rendon #1. I suspect that the Twins, who tend to be pretty patient, might have different views of a player like Koskie, for instance, than BA does.

2) I think the Twins showed that they were pretty good at MiLB development. Maybe they aren't the best but they were able to rebuild a playoff caliber team from one nucleus (Koskie, Dougie, Jones, Hunter) to another (M&Ms) without much of a slip up.

3) I don't think BA misses on many "top players." Santana was a rule V pick who used up his rookie status b/c we had to hide him. But he also spent all of the 2000 and 2001 seasons with the ML club. He started 02 in the minors to get stretched out and only threw 48 innings there before he came up and started 14 games that summer for us. He did a lot of his developing in the ML bullpen. When BA misses on guys like Koskie or Youkliss I think it's b/c he was considered too old for his level (good news for Plouffe and Parmelee?). Sometimes certain tools take longer to develop. Span didn't show his patience until the end of his MiLB career. AJ made it to AAA at 21 but wasn't much of a hitter. And some guys - Baker - are probably straight misses. Baker's stuff might have been better than scouted or his control made it play up. Radke too, for that matter. (Good news for Hermsen?) But I would suspect that, however you want to measure the top players in baseball, BA probably hit on a vast majority of them. Some might have been too low (Utley peaked at 81) but they'll be on the list.

4) Free agency, as the main building block, doesn't really work. And it's working less so now that teams are getting extensions out to younger players. Yankees were able to buy a few great teams but that was the rarity. Longterm big contracts usually hurt in the longrun but can be helpful in the short run. If the Twins were one pitcher away this year, it might have made sense to pay Sanchez nearly 100m.

#25 FrodaddyG

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 09:26 AM

3 top 100 MI prospects in the last 17 years (Guzman, Rivas, and Walker) isn't going to cut it for any team.

Particularly when a team makes no effort to improve the positions through free agency or trades, either.

#26 Seth Stohs

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 01:02 PM

In many threads of many forums I have read similar comments concerning Gardenhire/Anderson. I wonder: Do the fans of most every team say the same about their Mgr/ pitching coach? Was there a basic similarity of style/thought/something between TK/Such and Gardenhire/Anderson, or is it just something unique to Twins fans?


I've often wondered this as well... My assumption is that that worst manager/coach is the home team's manager/coach. THere will always be the people who think they know more than people in the front office, the GM, the manager, the coaches. There are even some who probably think that they're as good as some of the players. It's strange. I'm sure there are Angels fans who think that Mike Scioscia isn't a good manager. And there are Nationals fans who probably don't like what Mike Rizzo has done. Kind of just comes with the territory for those jobs. I definitely think it's due to the advancement of blogs and stats and all that. Everyone can be a armchair GM or manager.

#27 Seth Stohs

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 01:13 PM

A couple of thoughts, and obviously I enjoy reading prospect rankings and making my own, but you have to always take them with a grain of salt. Here are some thoughts:

1.) Some Top 10 prospects become frequent all stars. Some Top 10 prospects bust.
2.) As Kyle Gibson has said in conversations with me a few times, Being ranked is great, but being a "prospect" only means that you haven't done anything yet.
3.) My reason for being more excited about the Twins farm system than I have been for a long time isn't that I think they're all going to make it. I just think that the more high-ranking prospects you have, the more likely you'll get a few who do make it to a very high level of big league play.
4.) As was pointed out above... if high prospects don't meet their full potential (which is always a touchy subject too because no one really knows what "full potential" is, and in reality, what they become likely is their full potential), they can still be a valuable part of a winning team. In other words, if Alex Meyer doesn't become a true #1 ace, but he still becomes a solid #3 starter, that's important. If Oswaldo Arcia doesn't become an every year All-Star, but he becomes a guy who plays well for the Twins for a half-dozen years or more, that's still a good thing.

#28 drjim

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 06:31 PM

I also think just looking at the ranking can be dicey. There is still some context about the prospect that is important.

For example on the Twins Hicks is going to be a major leaguer of some sort while it is still quite possible Buxton never makes it. I would imagine very few of the busts listed had success at AA. BA tries to balance their rankings but I would find it interesting to dig further in those numbers to see what the rankings are with corresponding levels and what that might tell is. It would be enlightening as to how we view the current state of the system.

#29 kab21

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 12:26 AM

2.) As Kyle Gibson has said in conversations with me a few times, Being ranked is great, but being a "prospect" only means that you haven't done anything yet.


He's just trying to be one of my new favorites isn't he?