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Prospects For "Bounce-Back" Seasons

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#1 bobby_baseball

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 11:51 AM

Prospects for Bounce-Back Years:

Each of the Minor Leaguers have appeared somewhere on the Top-10 list at various times over the past few years. At least a few of them are due to have bounce-back campaigns when you consider - Aaron Hicks and Kyle Gibson probably would have made this list last spring. If even a few of the guys listed can bounce back – it will help the cause for the Twins being recognized as one of the Farm Systems in baseball.

Who is going to “BUST” and who is going to “Bounce-Back” in 2013:

CF Joe Benson (25) – The hype is on him competing for the opening in centerfield, but last season was an absolute disaster after two very nice seasons at Fort Myers and New Brittan. He dropped from a top 5 prospect heading into 2012 to not even listed on peoples top 10 lists this spring. Out of options next season - at this point I’d be satisfied with an MLB defensive replacement who can make a living as a 4th outfielder hitting lefties well.

SP Adrian Salcedo (22) - Considered a top 3 starter and top 10 prospect heading into the 2012 season; obviously before his shoulder gave out and the Twins acquired Alex Meyers, Trevor May, Pedro Hernandez in trades and recent drafts that yielded the likes of: Berrios, Bard, Melotakis, Boyd, Summers, Boer, Wheeler, Duffey. Will Salcedo even be healthy to start the year – if so he might find a way to resurface onto the prospect map.

SS Levi Michael (22) – Hopes were high after the Twins made the UNC product a 1st round pick. Reality is he’s probably on track for a repeat performance at Fort Myers after batter .246 with a .311 slugging. The good new is his numbers improved in the 2nd half in a tough hitters league and showed enough with the glove - to make those believe he can at least be a utility infielder in the big-leagues someday. The question is will he ever be more than that.

SS Niko Goodrum (21) – Baseball minds still gush about Goodrum’s tools, but his numbers hardly improved in his second season at Elizabethton – which is widely considered a hitter league. Yet still has found a way to make it on some Top-10 lists. He’ll play in full-season ball in Cedar Rapids, but questions surround not only his bat, but if he can stay at SS long term. If he doesn’t hit this year – they might consider just moving him to the outfield so he can focus exclusively on his swing.

SP Alex Wimmers (22) – His minor league career has been a wild-one to say the least. Underwent Tommy John surgery last August and I’m sure the hope is to get him back on the mound for a few starts before the season ends – and send him off to winter ball like Kyle Gibson last season. If he can come back and make even 2 or 3 successful outings he could sneak back onto some prospect lists.

SP Madison Boer (23) – Looked like the Minnesota-boy might be on the fast-track after tearing up Elizabethton and Beloit after signing. & already earning comparisons to Scott Baker. Last year was dismal in Fort Myers as a starter. He’ll repeat that level in 2013 where hopefully he can have more success – if he continues to struggle expect the Twins to move him back to the pen by 2014 where his plus fastball might be better suited.

CF Angel Morales (23) – Looks to have “BUST” labeled all over him. Will probably get a 4th try at Fort Myers after an anemic 2012 effort unless the Twins decide on a change of scenery and put him in New Brittan instead. He did miss most of 2011 with injuries – which can explain some of it. Before that he was considered a Top-10 prospect after crushing Appalachian League pitching in 2008 and having a nice year in 2009 in Beloit as a 19 year old. Still has all the tools – 5 to be exact – but there are serious question if they will ever materialize.

#2 cmathewson

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 12:23 PM

Nice list. Here's hoping at least three of them bounce back.

#3 Oldgoat_MN

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 12:31 PM

Fun stuff to look at
Angel Morales hasn't had an OPS higher than .715 since low A ball. I cannot be optimistic about his future.
Neither Levi nor Niko at the SS position look to be any threat offensively. Not optimistic.
Having been a catcher for years, pitchers always puzzle me.

I wish these kids all the best, but there is a reason so few ball players ever make it to the major leagues.
Maybe I'd be the most optimistic about Benson. In spite of the red flags from last year.

#4 John Bonnes

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 01:18 PM

Wimmers - good call. I think he is being consistently overlooked, though given his control problems in 2011, maybe he should be. But control problems and an elbow injury often go hand in hand. If he recovers to where he should be, suddenly the Twins have one more good young arm in their high minors.

I'm optimistic about Benson this year. Between him and Arcia, I hope the Twins end up with a serious log jam in the outfield next offseason.

#5 jtrinaldi

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 02:37 PM

Big year for Salcedo and Solliman. Both got injured last year only appearing in 2 games, after having a decent 2011 season
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#6 cmathewson

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 02:58 PM

I think Wimmers' control issues were related to the elbow. Ligaments don't tear all at once. They fray and gradually tear completely. The Twins medical staff acknowledged that he had a partial tear at the end of 2011, but refused to do the surgery until it completely tore in July of 2012. WImmers is just one of several Twins pitchers who delayed their TJ surgery on the advice of the medical staff, and to the organizations' detriment. Hopefully, he can be ready to contribute in 2014, 'cause he has the stuff and control to do it when healthy.

#7 Thrylos

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 03:17 PM

Wimmers is a different pitcher than Gibson. He is a high 80s/low 90s sinkerballer who tops out at about 92. Think Hendriks/Blackburn/Walters/DeVries/Stuifberger/Hermsen etc. The keys to Wimmers will be control of his two seamer and development of his secondary pitches (change up and esp. curve - his change up is his out pitch and is already a plus pitch.) Unlike Salcedo and Boer in the list, who have stuff that can potentially translate to the 'pen, Wimmers doesn't, unless it will be something in a long reliever mop-up role, so he really has to make it in the rotation...
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#8 cmathewson

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 03:54 PM

I don't know how accurate the reports were, but when he was healthy at the end of his first season in Fort Myers, he was rumored to be throwing much harder than he did in college, more like sitting at 93 and touching 95. We don't have a lot to go on because he was the pitcher you describe at OSU. But those Friday/Sunday pitchers don't give maximum effort to save their arms, so college scouting reports aren't always what we see when the guy gets to the pros. Then again, he only had six healthy starts since being drafted. And perhaps throwing harder than he had been in college contributed to his injury. Anyway, it will be interesting to see. When he was healthy in Fort Myers, he was lights out, even better than Gibson had been the year before.

#9 Thrylos

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 04:35 PM

I don't know how accurate the reports were, but when he was healthy at the end of his first season in Fort Myers, he was rumored to be throwing much harder than he did in college, more like sitting at 93 and touching 95. We don't have a lot to go on because he was the pitcher you describe at OSU. But those Friday/Sunday pitchers don't give maximum effort to save their arms, so college scouting reports aren't always what we see when the guy gets to the pros. Then again, he only had six healthy starts since being drafted. And perhaps throwing harder than he had been in college contributed to his injury. Anyway, it will be interesting to see. When he was healthy in Fort Myers, he was lights out, even better than Gibson had been the year before.


I saw him in last years' ST and he was between 88-91 (with the radar gun staffed by Twins' pitchers just outside the ballpark, for probably a good 3 innings or so) The Hammond Stadium scoreboard radar gun is ridiculous. I kid you not. According to it, last Spring Brian Duensing hit 96 and Liriano 97 :) I would easily subtract 3 mph from that gun to get close to reality...
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#10 gunnarthor

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 08:32 PM

I think Michael is a good dark horse bet right now. Keep in mind that, while he was a college guy, he was still over a year younger than the league avg age last year. He got better as the year wore on and his walk rate was pretty solid for a low power guy.

I'm not very optimistic about any of the three pitchers but I wouldn't be surprised if Boer made a nice transition to the pen eventually. Wimmers and Salcedo are probably in the wait until they prove something camp.

Too early to knock Goodrum. The Twins are patient as hell with toolsy prospects. Fangraphs quoted a scout that said he was a nice prospect but needed 2000 AB in the minors.

#11 stringer bell

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 10:07 PM

I have liked Benson since he joined the organization. He has plus power and speed and a good throwing arm. I'd like to see him get a good chance and find out if he can produce. I also have hope for Michael. The FSL has killed a lot of guys' stat lines. I hope Levi makes it to NB sometime and flourishes.

#12 drjim

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 07:22 AM

I like the Michael call as well. He was young and he battled injuries. Needs to show more pop though.

#13 Seth Stohs

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 02:13 PM

Big year for Salcedo and Solliman. Both got injured last year only appearing in 2 games, after having a decent 2011 season


Two very interesting situations...

First, Soliman did have surgery, but it was the same surgery that Michael Pineda had last year in April or May, and he's not expected to be back until June. So, Soliman could miss the first half of the season still rehabbing.

Salcedo did NOT have surgery and rehabbed until the middle of December and they had him back in Ft. Myers the first full week of January. Hopefully that was the right strategy because if it wasn't, it'll be another wasted year for him.

#14 Seth Stohs

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 02:14 PM

I like the Michael call as well. He was young and he battled injuries. Needs to show more pop though.


I think he's definitely a comeback candidate for the reasons you mentioned, but he won't show a lot of pop even when healthy. Maybe doubles power with a few homers, but don't be expecting a lot. The question is, does he return to Ft. Myers or move up to New Britain.

#15 righty8383

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 03:36 PM

Who in their right mind would have Goodrum in their top 10 list? Even before May and Meyer came along, he was not close. I wouldn't call him a bust yet but he is pretty close. Angel Morales on the other hand, I don't even consider a prospect at all anymore. He has already busted.

I think Madison Boer goes back to the pen this year. He got lit up in the pitcher friendly FSL last year as a starter.

I would say Alex Wimmers is the most likely player on that list to be a solid MLB player some day. I still have hope for guys like Benson, Salcedo and even Michael.

#16 drjim

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 05:32 PM

I think he's definitely a comeback candidate for the reasons you mentioned, but he won't show a lot of pop even when healthy. Maybe doubles power with a few homers, but don't be expecting a lot. The question is, does he return to Ft. Myers or move up to New Britain.


I'm definitely thinking doubles/triples more than bombs for Michael.

#17 bobby_baseball

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 12:54 PM

Two very interesting situations...

First, Soliman did have surgery, but it was the same surgery that Michael Pineda had last year in April or May, and he's not expected to be back until June. So, Soliman could miss the first half of the season still rehabbing.

Salcedo did NOT have surgery and rehabbed until the middle of December and they had him back in Ft. Myers the first full week of January. Hopefully that was the right strategy because if it wasn't, it'll be another wasted year for him.


It was his elbow and not his shoulder correct? I thought I read he was going under the knife - but they decided to rehab it like they did with Wimmers?
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#18 johnnydakota

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 01:19 PM

Where is Kyle Gibson on this list?
Recovering from T.J. , never been in the show,
has about 270 innings pitched in the minors, he is not a sure fired mlb ,Yet
Many are predicting Kyle to be a #3 or even a #2, but remember he is a 2 time sore armed pitcher
who maybe needs to be in the pen if he wants any kind of career, you know save on the wear and tear of his arm

#19 cmathewson

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 01:31 PM

I'm with you. I have Polanco knocking on the door (12th). But Goodrum is a low 20s prospect at best. He needs to make more contact. That said, I don't like to give up on guys with his tools. Everybody matures at different rates. Sometimes guys struggle in their teens and put it together in their early 20s. With his tools, he could get into the top 15 with a good year at Cedar Rapids.

#20 birdwatcher

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 01:56 PM

In 2011, Baseball Prospectus ranked Goodrum #16; MILB had him at #20. Aaron, Seth, and Twinkietown ranked him at #23, #26, and #30.

#21 birdwatcher

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 01:58 PM

In 2012, it looks like almost every ranker had Goodrum in their top 20, but no one ranked him higher than #16.

#22 YourHouseIsMyHouse

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 07:38 PM

This thread should get a bump. Benson obviously turned into a club failure recently. Levi Michael has been terrible with New Britain in the field and in the batter's box. It's getting to be about time to call Madison Boer a bust. He's been unable to pitch in a pitcher's league that he's getting to be old for. Haven't heard too much about Wimmers, but I'm sure he'll get a chance next season for sure pending recovery.

I like what I've seen so far from Salcedo, Goodrum, and Morales this year. Salcedo is doing decent as a reliever and the other two are hitting well enough. They aren't necessarily raking, but those guys have all made huge strides towards success.

#23 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 08:01 PM

I find it interesting that John Bonnes went from being still very high on Joe Benson this year, to agreeing that he should be waived not even 2 months into the season. Seems like a pretty small sample size for that big of a swing in opinion on the guy.

#24 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 07:12 PM

I've been a big fan of Bensons and have been tracking him nearly daily. I'm not sure he should have been first in line to waive, but it's painfully obvious that whatever he needed wasn't happening in this org.

I think in this org he'd have been a 4th OF. Not sure he'd have amounted to much more. In Texas, he might have a chance at reclaiming his career. I wish him nothing but the best.

#25 Tibs

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 08:29 PM

Some of the simple statistics for each prospect.

Adrian Salcedo: 13 Appearances, 3-1 with 4.71 ERA and 24 Ks in 21 innings, only 1 walk (Fort Myers)

Levi Michael: .233/.310/.379 .689 OPS, 8 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR and 9 RBI as well as 3 SB. Has a .922 fielding percentage at SS (Fort Myers)

Niko Goodrum: .265/.375/.394 .769 OPS, 11 2B, 3 3B, 1 HR and 22 RBI with 4 SB. .936 fielding percentage at SS (Cedar Rapids)

Madison Boer: 3 Appearances (2 starts), 1-0 with an ERA of 11.81 and 5 Ks in 10.2 innings, 7 walks (Fort Myers)

Angel Morales: .278/.353/.473 .826 OPS, 13 2B, 4 3B, 4 HR and 26 RBI with 3 SB. .982 fielding percentage at CF (Fort Myers)