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Sickels: Top 20 Twins prospects for 2014

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#1 cmb0252

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 11:16 AM

John Sickels over at minorleagueball released his Twins top 20 prospect list.

Buxton/Sano are both A prospects
Stewart/Meyer are both B+
Rosario/Berrios are both Bs

What does he have to say and how does he rank the rest? Who is too high and who is too low? I guess you will just have to look for yourself. Link below:

Minnesota Twins Top 20 Prospects for 2014 - Minor League Ball

Edited by Nick Nelson, 18 October 2013 - 09:42 AM.
corrected spelling of "Sickels"


#2 2wins87

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 11:18 AM

I was a little surprised that Thorpe was as high as he was, given that John is usually pretty conservative on guys in the lower levels. He must have heard a lot of really good things about him.

#3 cmb0252

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 11:31 AM

I was a little surprised that Thorpe was as high as he was, given that John is usually pretty conservative on guys in the lower levels. He must have heard a lot of really good things about him.


That jumped out at me too. I'm hoping the Twins challenge Thorpe next year so we can see what we have.

#4 Shane Wahl

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 11:49 AM

That is pretty aggressive on Thorpe! That's an *incredible* signing if he pans out. Have to think E-Town this year for the whole season there.

#5 ashburyjohn

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 12:10 PM

Waiting for his next team report or two, to gauge just how much fun it is to have 24 C+ or better prospects.

#6 Seth Stohs

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 12:13 PM

Interesting list. The ones I differed most with him on were, to no one's surprise, the Relievers. I have Tonkin at 21 and Z Jones at 24 right now. Other than that, pretty similar. I still had Pinto down at 12, I guess. Good list.

#7 best game in the world

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 12:18 PM

Great list. Hope Travis Harrison can have a strong power year and show better defense and increase his value.

#8 righty8383

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 12:22 PM

One very small thing I found odd. He puts Stewart ahead of Meyer even though he gave them both the same grade. I would think the edge would go to Meyer since he is closer the show.

I was also surprised about Thorpe. Very encouraging to hear he added some ticks to his fastball. Like many, I usually don't put much stock into GCL stats especially for pitchers. But if he's added velocity, we could really have something.

#9 gunnarthor

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 12:34 PM

Fun read. Of the non-elites, I think Harrison could jump up a lot next year. I like him and the reports on his defense were better this year. Another season of improvement there and, hopefully, a few less strikeouts and he could turn into a real nice prospect to have. I'm still not convinced in Rosario but hopefully I'm wrong. Like May a lot more than Sickels. I think he'll be better in the majors but maybe it's just blind optimism. I like seeing Polanco in our top 10.

Next year it'll be a lot of fun watching how the young pitchers - Stewart, Berrios, Eades, Thorpe, Jorge, Gonzalez - perform. There's some serious upside among them. Maybe we'll add that Texan HS pitcher in the draft.

#10 cmb0252

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 12:36 PM

One very small thing I found odd. He puts Stewart ahead of Meyer even though he gave them both the same grade. I would think the edge would go to Meyer since he is closer the show.

I was also surprised about Thorpe. Very encouraging to hear he added some ticks to his fastball. Like many, I usually don't put much stock into GCL stats especially for pitchers. But if he's added velocity, we could really have something.


As Sickel notes he had scouts who preferred Stewart to Appel/Gray so that says a lot. Proximity is important but it isn't everything.

#11 peterukavina

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 12:39 PM

Interesting list. The ones I differed most with him on were, to no one's surprise, the Relievers. I have Tonkin at 21 and Z Jones at 24 right now. Other than that, pretty similar. I still had Pinto down at 12, I guess. Good list.


Perhaps a positional rating - relievers just don't matter as much.

#12 righty8383

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 01:55 PM

As Sickel notes he had scouts who preferred Stewart to Appel/Gray so that says a lot. Proximity is important but it isn't everything.


I don't put much stock into proximity. But as I pointed out, he gave them the same grade, so I figured proximity would be the tie breaker. I asked Sickels about this on twitter, he said he went back and forth with these two and the recent shoulder issue for Meyer was the tiebreaker. He also says he was trying to stay consistent with his last top 75 list.

#13 Seth Stohs

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 02:19 PM

I don't put much stock into proximity. But as I pointed out, he gave them the same grade, so I figured proximity would be the tie breaker. I asked Sickels about this on twitter, he said he went back and forth with these two and the recent shoulder issue for Meyer was the tiebreaker. He also says he was trying to stay consistent with his last top 75 list.


I would go Meyer then Stewart too, but it's close. For me, they both have high upside, and Meyer is closer. It gets foggy when you consider Meyer's injury, but then you remember the 100 mph stuff and I can't help it.

#14 mike wants wins

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 02:33 PM

I like Sickels' site a lot. Great site.
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#15 JustinCB

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 02:42 PM

I was a little surprised that Thorpe was as high as he was, given that John is usually pretty conservative on guys in the lower levels. He must have heard a lot of really good things about him.


Sickels also noted in the comments that Thorpe has potential to be a top pitching prospect in all of baseball in 12 months, based on the way he's pitched in the GCL so far.

Edited by JustinCB, 15 October 2013 - 03:00 PM.


#16 Brandon

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 03:08 PM

I liked that we have C+ or better prospects at almost all positions.

#17 birdwatcher

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 04:26 PM

To have that many prospects grade out at C+ or better is extraordinary. Sickels mentioned about 45 names, and left these guys off the list: Baxendale, Wimmers, Bard, Ortiz, Chargois, Nate Roberts, and Levi Michael. If we have 45 prospects better than any of those guys, we're in decent shape.

#18 Bob Sacamento

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 07:17 PM

I saw him in some GCL games but more in Instructionals and he is good, I hope the Twins are as aggressive with him as they were with Berrios last year but then again we all know how reserve the Twins are about callups.

#19 Joe A. Preusser

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 08:00 PM

I saw him in some GCL games but more in Instructionals and he is good, I hope the Twins are as aggressive with him as they were with Berrios last year but then again we all know how reserve the Twins are about callups.


The Twins showed this year that they will move prospects very aggressively if they deserve it. It is a welcome change, I prefer to push the kids rather then lead them along by the hand.

#20 lightfoot789

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 08:49 PM

I enjoyed the fact that Walker has moved up some and was considered a C+/B- type player. Lets hope he can have a repeat performance or better at A+ and/or AA next year. I'm glad to see I wasn't the only one who thought his defense was a little underrated. Would be nice to see all this potential power in the Twins farm sytem on one team moving forward.

#21 Oxtung

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 12:00 AM

I'll echo most others here and say his placement of Thorpe was pretty surprising. I'd love to know what separates Thorpe from Gonsalves and Jorge by so much. I think Vargas is probably ranked too high. A guy who is all bat had better be phenomenal, IMO. Lastly I'm surprised that Sulbaran isn't ranked. I know that scouts don't love his stuff, but he is a lefty that throws low 90's and dominated low A-ball. Just spit-balling here but I wonder if lefties should get a "positional adjustment" similar to SS or C.

#22 iastfan112

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 02:13 AM

I'll echo most others here and say his placement of Thorpe was pretty surprising. I'd love to know what separates Thorpe from Gonsalves and Jorge by so much. I think Vargas is probably ranked too high. A guy who is all bat had better be phenomenal, IMO. Lastly I'm surprised that Sulbaran isn't ranked. I know that scouts don't love his stuff, but he is a lefty that throws low 90's and dominated low A-ball. Just spit-balling here but I wonder if lefties should get a "positional adjustment" similar to SS or C.


Sulbaran is listed under other C+ prospects so its not as if there is a significant difference between him and anyone in the 14-20 range.

As for Thorpe age relative to league, he's younger than both were when they hit the GCL and put up better K/BB ratios as well. Sickels made his stuff sound more impressive as well. Again its only half a letter grade so its not as if there is a massive gulf between the 3.

#23 Badsmerf

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 05:23 AM

I saw him in some GCL games but more in Instructionals and he is good, I hope the Twins are as aggressive with him as they were with Berrios last year but then again we all know how reserve the Twins are about callups.

Thorpe is just so young right now that even a level a year puts his debut at an age where guys are just finishing college. I doubt they will take him that slow, but at point he is so young that there is no need to get in a hurry. If they had wanted him to be in Cedar Rapids this year they would have promoted him to E-Town. He should have another year of HS left right? That might be why they just left him in the GCL this season and E-Town next season.
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#24 Don't Feed the Greed Guy

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 05:46 AM

No mention of Edgar Ibarra? AA All-Star, -2.00 ERA at New Britian and Rochester? Must be an oversight...

#25 TRex

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 08:19 AM

In regards to Thorpe and other young pitchers making the jump to full season ball...

I think the main driving force for the slow promotions of the Twins (and other clubs) is innings pitched. Berrios was promoted at the end of April due to injuries and look at how he struggled with decreased velocity at the end of the season. It seems like he handled the mental part of his struggles okay, and that his mechanics didn't get out-of-whack (which could lead to injury). But will the 20-30 innings of low-A work he got by being promoted in April vs. mid-to-late May really have that much impact on when he gets to Minnesota!

#26 Seth Stohs

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 08:43 AM

No mention of Edgar Ibarra? AA All-Star, -2.00 ERA at New Britian and Rochester? Must be an oversight...


Not sure that Ibarra is a prospect as much as he is a potential decent LOOGY option down the line.

#27 Seth Stohs

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 09:45 AM

In regards to Thorpe and other young pitchers making the jump to full season ball...

I think the main driving force for the slow promotions of the Twins (and other clubs) is innings pitched. Berrios was promoted at the end of April due to injuries and look at how he struggled with decreased velocity at the end of the season. It seems like he handled the mental part of his struggles okay, and that his mechanics didn't get out-of-whack (which could lead to injury). But will the 20-30 innings of low-A work he got by being promoted in April vs. mid-to-late May really have that much impact on when he gets to Minnesota!


Berrios was called up at the end of April because of his involvement in the WBC. He worked out of Puerto Rico's bullpen, so they kept him in EST to get stretched out. That said, I do agree with your premise that it is about innings and growing those from year to year.

#28 Oxtung

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 11:42 AM

Jorge and Gonzalves were both age appropriate as well. Thorpe is a little younger but he is not like Urias from the dodgers. Stats that low in the minors mean less than scouting reports. I'm sure does have better stuff but I would like to know specifically what makes him better at this stage of their careers.

Sulbaran is listed under other C+ prospects so its not as if there is a significant difference between him and anyone in the 14-20 range.

As for Thorpe age relative to league, he's younger than both were when they hit the GCL and put up better K/BB ratios as well. Sickels made his stuff sound more impressive as well. Again its only half a letter grade so its not as if there is a massive gulf between the 3.


#29 Lefty74

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 12:00 PM

Does anyone have input on Madison Boer? I would have expected our 2nd round pick from 2011? to be on list or at least a mention in "others". Haven't really followed him, but wondering what the word is--clearly he must not be living up to 2nd round status....

#30 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 12:07 PM

Thorpe and Berrios give me the most hope about that list (and over 20 players with a C+ or better grade, WOW). We know about Meyer but he can't pitch five days in a row. The Twins badly need guys who can come up and be an acceptable #3 starter.