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MLB Draft Insider Top 14 in' 14 Minnesota Twins

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#1 cmb0252


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Posted 21 January 2014 - 01:24 PM

Christopher Crawford, one of the two writers who helps Keith Law around draft season, released his top 14 Twins prospect list last night. He does great work. The list is very interesting with a surprise pick at #3. Also, some of his grades seem a bit conservative but it is worth the read. Here is his intro to the list:

[FONT=Arial]"Well, when your system starts out with arguably the two best offensive prospects in baseball, you’re off to a pretty good start. The Twins have drafted extremely well the past few years, and have used their limited big-league assets to help build the quantity of the system, as well. As good as Buxton and Sano are, Minnesota’s pitching is the highlight of the system, with a trio of hard throwing right-handers that project to be No. 2 starters or better. There are several names here that would be top ten — maybe even top five — prospects in other systems that didn’t make this list, which speaks to the depth they’ve accumulated over the past few years. If this isn’t the best system in baseball, I’m not sure what is."[/FONT]

Here is the link to his article:


Edited by cmb0252, 21 January 2014 - 01:26 PM.

#2 twinsfan34


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Posted 21 January 2014 - 02:47 PM

Interesting take on things...

I suppose outside many of the top 2, there's not much of a difference in terms of ability/ceiling and likeliness to cash on that ability/ceiling.

The three #2 starters is interesting.

To kind of go with the idea of ranking and actually turning into something I found an article I I read recently on some research on Baseball America's top 100 prospect lists. Which can be found here.

What I really liked was how the top 20 position player prospects had at least 50% success rate (1.5-2.5 WAR over first 6 cost controlled years) and 30-44% of those players had an average WAR of 2.5+.

Some of that includes slower starts and only partial years. So my application is that Buxton and Sano are the "top 20".

Players in the top 20-40 percent had 30% 'success' rate (1.5-2.5 WAR average) and around 20% of 2.5+ WAR average. So a big drop off.

Thus, wondering if Alex Meyer, Eddie Rosario, or any other prospects would fall into that top tier bucket (top 20 prospects).

#3 Mike Sixel

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 02:55 PM

He has Sano and Rosario with 2015 ETAs......I hope he's wrong about Sano.

Also, if he's right about Rosario, I hope he doesn't sit around while Dozier is good, but not great. I still think Dozier is dealt, if Rosario looks like a legit 2B at the end of the year.

I don't know, it is a site to discuss sports, not airline safety.....maybe we should take it less seriously?

#4 righty8383


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Posted 21 January 2014 - 04:59 PM

Did you guys see his ETA on Santana? My take is, if you don't expect a AA player to make ML contributions within 3 years, you can't call him a prospect. Yeah, I know the Twins have a reputation for being slow promoters, but this guy is too conservative on his ETA's.

#5 PseudoSABR


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Posted 21 January 2014 - 06:36 PM

I think some of the ETAs are typos.

#6 righty8383


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Posted 21 January 2014 - 07:18 PM

Crawford responded to my tweet saying that the ETA on Santana was a typo. It has been changed to 2015.

I also noticed a couple other changes. He changed Sano from late 2015 to just 2015. I still think he comes up this year unless the elbow needs surgery.
He also changed Polanco from 2017 to late 2016. Still too conservative IMO. Polanco seems to me like a player with not a high ceiling but seems pretty well polished with the bat. A player like that should not take THAT long but we'll see.

Edited by righty8383, 21 January 2014 - 07:27 PM.

#7 Monkeypaws


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Posted 21 January 2014 - 09:21 PM

Nice read - thanks for posting it.

#8 clutterheart


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Posted 21 January 2014 - 10:14 PM

My one lowly contact on the Twins says Ryan is high on Santana. Likes him a lot. I have also heard Ryan speak well of him on radio.

If Santana bats with a reasonable average, and cuts down on errors he is on the team by mid 2014

#9 DocBauer


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Posted 21 January 2014 - 10:31 PM

Very good read and some real positives. Not that anyone can really say much negative about the Twins system at this point both in quality and depth. But it is very interesting some of the variations of top 10, 15 (14 in this case) and top 20 lists.

Santana's rank is a little surprising to me. Not because of his athleticism or potential, but simply because he lacks overall refinement. Like anyone who posts their opinions here, I/we seldom get to see these kids in person. We rely on word of mouth and various scouting reports and box score stats. With all due respect to minor league coaches and instructors everywhere, based on the youth of prospects, uncertain field conditions, travel times and bus lag, lesser quality players around them, I sometimes wonder if we get too caught up in error totals. I think potential based on range, hands, body control/athleticism may be better projectable factors. As has been pointed out in other blogs, and I think someone willing to do the research could confirm, a good many Inf. prospects show larger error totals than they show in the majors. Further, I believe if you take even a casual glimpse at most MLB SS's you'd see higher error total initially that lower as they gain more experience.

I have a feeling that lower in the Twins system, Goodrum may actually turn out to be an even greater talent and the better player. And while I wish and hope Santana learns to curb his patience at the plate, if he can harness all the defensive ability we've heard about, hit, run and provide some of the XB power we've seen and heard about, he could be a very valuable player for us, even if at the bottom of the order.

#10 DocBauer


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Posted 21 January 2014 - 11:16 PM

Also a little surprised as to the high ranking of Turner. Every report I've ever seen has him as so good defensively he could catch in the majors now. That's impressive. But of course, he has to hit as well. Now, he hit fairly well in college, but this is, and is going to continue to be, a whole different level of competition. Reading between the lines a bit in this scouting report, I see decent hitting potential, some patience and pitch recognition, and some decent power potential IF he can gain a little better bat speed and possibly weight shift through the zone. I find myself wondering if Dwyer and others might be able to make a few adjustments over the next couple of years to gain that bit of bat speed that might make him a more dangerous hitter.

While there was certainly nothing remotely negative about the Twins pitching prospects, I think I am a bit more bullish on them than Mr. Crawford. He obviously likes Meyer a lot and believes in his potential, but I think we all know he needs a little more time and a little more mechanical consistency. And that's true of many young hurlers, especially tall ones. (Think Randy Johnson and you aren't far off) Watching him pitch in the AFL, you could see him get sloppy once in a while. And then BAM, you wondered what he just did, just like the batter.

He seems relatively high on May, (number 10 on his list for what might be the best system), but then seems to cut him down a bit. I don't think there is any question this is a big year for May, whether he starts in AAA, or AA again with a quick move up. And I am not advocating him becoming an ace, but to me, referring to him as a #4 at this point is a little off. Yes, I know he says potentially more, but if becomes our #4 starter, hallelujah! Lol I find myself disappointed in posters who are already calling the trade for him a failure, or clamoring for him to be sent to the pen. Really? Just a couple years ago we'd be optimistically promoting him as one of our very top prospects.

In six seasons in the minors, he's only had an opponent BA above .250 twice, his first year and last. He has allowed fewer hits than IP his entire young career. Except by one, his GCL debut of 12 innings, he has had more SO's than IP every year. He's shown improvement each time he repeated a level, or a partial level, including last season, though the improvement might have been slighter. But it was there, and reports have him finishing strong. I feel expectations and hope might be skewing perspective slightly.

I very much like Berrios as well. And perhaps he will reach a very solid #3 status, but his stuff seems to play well so far, he is an excellent athlete with a dedicated training regiment, and seems to remind me of a young Pedro Martinez type who defies prototypical "size" parameters.

Youngsters like Berrios, Stewart, Thorpe and Gonsalves are so hard to predict not only due to control, and learning to pitch, developing that second or third option, but also physical growth adding potential velocity. But how can you not be excited for the potential of these youngsters?

#11 ericchri


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Posted 22 January 2014 - 09:00 AM

I really like the increasing notice that Santana seems to be getting recently. All I have to go by is what I read about him (almost exclusively on this site), and he just has never seemed to gain much notice as a prospect, but now suddenly there seems to be a little traction behind him. My general impression previously had been he's the next version of Pedro Florimon, but there's definitely some hints that he's going to be better than that, and if so, we may have a solid shortstop to work with.

This was definitely an interesting list to read. It's always fun reading a list that has a few names in different places than the usual. I like the Stuart Turner spot, he's actually one of the players I'm most interested in this coming season. I'll assume for now that all of our top 5 or 6 will put up good numbers, moving them that much closer to playing in the bigs, but players like Turner are really intriguing in that they're the ones who potentially fill in the extra slots on the roster around the big names. I like the notion of an above-average hitting/average defense (Pinto) catcher paired with a great defensive/slightly-below-average hitting partner (Turner) to man the catching duties, it seems like a good combination. Hopefully those two can get to that point, though they're not the only two catcher with potential, either.

#12 Mike Sixel

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 09:19 AM

forgot to mention, I love his work. Really like reading his stuff.

I don't know, it is a site to discuss sports, not airline safety.....maybe we should take it less seriously?

#13 cmb0252


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Posted 22 January 2014 - 03:36 PM

forgot to mention, I love his work. Really like reading his stuff.

Mr.Crawford does a great job. This is his first year to break down teams best prospects. Normally he focuses more on the draft.

#14 birdwatcher


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Posted 22 January 2014 - 04:28 PM

Three things stick out: first, Crawford describes pitching as the highlight of our system. Other than quiet hints from the Twins since a year ago, no one has said this to my recollection. Second, he said that "several" Twins prospects that did not make our top 14 would be ranked in othewr systems perhaps even as top five prospects. That is an amazing thing to contemplate. Third, Crawford believes we have three pitching prospects with top of the rotation potential.

Kepler as #9 excites me a lot.

#15 Willihammer



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Posted 22 January 2014 - 07:33 PM

I'm as impressed as anyone by Buxton. But I read something like this and think, maybe our expectations are spiraling out of control a little.

The power isn’t elite yet and his swing doesn’t have a great deal of natural loft, but as he fills out his frame and makes some mechanical adjustments to his lower half (keeping his back foot down longer, for instance), the power should be plus-plus in time.

#16 diehardtwinsfan


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Posted 23 January 2014 - 05:38 PM

What sticks out to me is Pinto at 12. He's a catcher that put up a .900 OPS last year and did it in the majors too. I know it's a deep system, and I know Pinto has warts, but to put him ahead behind guys like Kepler, Santana, etc. is kind of odd in my opinion.