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November 16th Bleacher Report Farm System Ranking


weitz41

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Twins Video

Looks like my previous Blog had a bad link. This one seems to be working for me.

I prefer the tier rankings over 1-100 type. Most tier 1's are in your top 100 type listings. Tier 2 prospects are usually 75-200 range. Keith Law pointed out that the difference between a #1 prospect and a #25 is usually huge. Where a 50th ranked player and a 100th ranked player is pretty small.

Updated MLB Farm System Rankings at Start of the 2022-23 Offseason | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors | Bleacher Report

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14 minutes ago, Doctor Gast said:

Twins farm isn't so bad as some may think, pretty impressive. LAD never tanked yet they alway develop very good propects being ranked #1.

I noticed a few people saying we parted ways with a lot of prospects at the deadline. Which we did, but the cupboards not bare.

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I am pleasantly surprised by the Twins farm system high ranking (number 6). I noticed Petty was ranked a tier  3 and Steer was a tier 2 for the Reds. Even though Cleveland had success with the youngest team in the majors last year, the Cleveland team still ranks better than the Twins with their farm system.  Tigers looked pretty good, but not the other AL Central teams.  And don't get me started about the Dodgers. That's just not fair. By the way, I wonder if it is the Twins policy to not grow catchers in the Twins farm system? If so, why?

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The Bleacher Report ranking of the Twins prospects is certainly encouraging. Minor league players are quite difficult to assess at times. It is worth a look at all of the various ranking of MLB farm systems. Different people and sites can hold widely separate views of individual players. A player like Eduoard Julien can be evaluated so differently. I wonder where he could play effectively in the field. If he gets an opportunity Julien could be a stronger bat than Miranda considering his triple slash numbers and hard hit rates. I find it useful to read the reports written by Keith Law.

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Thanks for the link.  Nice to see several Tier 1 players.  But all of those are hitters.  Three Tier 2 pitchers and a Tier 3 peeking into the Top Ten (guess I wanna see their Top 25 or so).  Doesn't look like these evaluators are all-in on the Twins' vaunted Pitching Pipeline™.

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22 hours ago, tarheeltwinsfan said:

I am pleasantly surprised by the Twins farm system high ranking (number 6). I noticed Petty was ranked a tier  3 and Steer was a tier 2 for the Reds. Even though Cleveland had success with the youngest team in the majors last year, the Cleveland team still ranks better than the Twins with their farm system.  Tigers looked pretty good, but not the other AL Central teams.  And don't get me started about the Dodgers. That's just not fair. By the way, I wonder if it is the Twins policy to not grow catchers in the Twins farm system? If so, why?

Pretty sure it's not a "policy" to not grow catchers.  I agree, that it's currently a weakness of the system but I don't think it's intentional.  You may also remember that eight months ago we just traded two of them with major league credentials.  That tends to thin your numbers out a bit especially at a position without a lot of flexibility.  You see lots of prospects with labels of "maybe he's this and maybe he's that."  Very seldom do you see "maybe he's a catcher."  Either they are or they aren't.  Most aren't. 

 

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On 11/19/2022 at 4:53 PM, Doctor Gast said:

Twins farm isn't so bad as some may think, pretty impressive. LAD never tanked yet they alway develop very good propects being ranked #1.

It goes to show what your scouting and development teams can produce if you have good people.

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21 hours ago, tony&rodney said:

The Bleacher Report ranking of the Twins prospects is certainly encouraging. Minor league players are quite difficult to assess at times. It is worth a look at all of the various ranking of MLB farm systems. Different people and sites can hold widely separate views of individual players. A player like Eduoard Julien can be evaluated so differently. I wonder where he could play effectively in the field. If he gets an opportunity Julien could be a stronger bat than Miranda considering his triple slash numbers and hard hit rates. I find it useful to read the reports written by Keith Law.

Keith's reports are usually pretty good. Although I do remember him questioning the Jose Berrios drafting.  But this was based on his size primarily.  He developed very nicely even though he had a rough year with the Jays this past year.

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Are they really #6? Maybe. Rankings like this are just so subjective that I don't know how on earth you can have any sort of general consensus. But despite trades and promotions of a number of young players...not necessarily 100% proven at this point...I never bought the system was suddenly downgraded to the bottom third. That's a pretty good looking top 10, IMO, even if it's hitter heavy. Outside that top 10...and this is to offer a little more hope and perspective...what happens if Balazovic is 100% and rebounds next year? Varland, maybe not a stud, isn't even in that top 10. While I don't think either Sands or Henriquez are going to probably stick in the rotation, I could see both transitioning to being really solid bullpen pieces. And there's real value in that, even if neither are the type to bump rankings. And the same may be true of LH Headrick, who might stick as a rotation piece.

If there is a "problem" within the system, and the rankings, it would be an absence of top prospects around the AA level. Not saying there's not talent that will be at that level in 2023, but it feels the best talent is at AAA and low A and the Rookie level. But I think recent foreign signings and the 2022 draft, and the 2023 one, could change that perspective very quickly. 

Maybe most encouraging by that differential in talent levels? Over the next couple of seasons we're going to see Lewis, Lee, Wallner, Julien, SWR, Varland, Larnach, Kirilloff, and others being low cost and very good young players at the ML level allowing for those A and Rookie level players rising through the system.

Things are not dark in the system at all.

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On 11/20/2022 at 8:16 AM, tarheeltwinsfan said:

I am pleasantly surprised by the Twins farm system high ranking (number 6). I noticed Petty was ranked a tier  3 and Steer was a tier 2 for the Reds. Even though Cleveland had success with the youngest team in the majors last year, the Cleveland team still ranks better than the Twins with their farm system.  Tigers looked pretty good, but not the other AL Central teams.  And don't get me started about the Dodgers. That's just not fair. By the way, I wonder if it is the Twins policy to not grow catchers in the Twins farm system? If so, why?

It was the catching comments that caught my eye. I think the Twins place a huge emphasis on catching, from the coaches they've added to their change in approach to the catcher stance, to taking batting practice before defensive work while their legs were fresh. They've moved some guys to catcher, and they've acquired a few defense first catchers in various trades all while hoping to catch lightning. And other than Jeffers being picked high, they've also drafted guys like Williams, and Isola, and others in 2018 and 2019. Other than Jeffers, nobody has really shown much other than Williams and Isola, who look like AAAA options with different hitting profiles at this point.

But here's what I think happened.

The FO brought Castro in and developed Garver. And they had Rortvedt in the system that they thought had a chance to be something. Whether bad scouting or not drafting high enough, or just believing they were OK for the short term, they didn't look hard enough to add to what they had. At least not soon enough! And they've been caught short handed now, pun intended.

They drafted 3 catchers in 2021, Cardenas in the 8th round, Winkel right after in the 9th, and Tatum in the 20th. 2022 was their 1st full season after brief appearances in 2021. In 2022 they selected Cossetti in the 11th round and Baez right after in the 12th. So while they may have been unlucky in previous picks post Jeffers or not attentive enough, they've drafted 5 catchers the past 2 drafts. And there are things to like about all of them, they're all 2-3 years plus away from the ML level, they aren't ignoring the position.

Did they strikeout with some of the catchers they traded for? So far, yes. Other than Jeffers, debatable thus far, have they struck out on other catcher draft picks in 2018 and 2019? Probably. Way to early to speculate on the draftees in 2021 and 2022. But I think it's fair to say they either blew or ignored the position for a couple of years and that's left us with a huge gap in available talent at an important position which is in direct opposite to their coaching and development approach. 

In 2-3 years we MIGHT have a collection of quality catching prospects coming up in the system. But for now, it's Jeffers and huge question marks. And that leaves trade or FA to "fix" things in the short term. NOT saying the FO missed another Mauer STUD draftee they passed on. But somewhere along the line they missed out or didn't prioritize a position of importance enough soon enough.

 

 

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Another thing to consider is the Twins graduated Ryan, Duran, Miranda and traded Petty from their Jan 2022 list. Maybe the quality of hitting prospects gets them to spend on a high end pitcher? One can hope...The lack of catching prospects about A ball is definitely a glaring weakness on the Twins system. Maybe they address that yet this offseason in trades.

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Catcher, SS, and CF are the three positions where teams are most likely to sacrifice offense in favor of defense. This isn't because they don't want good offensive players there, it is simply because the demand for top notch two way players at those positions far outstrips the supply.  To make matters worse, the shelf life is short, especially for catchers, shortstops, and Byron Buxton. The almost inevitable move to 3B (for shortstops) and 1B or DH (for catchers) leaves teams greatly overpaying for players at less crucial positions on long term contracts later in their careers.

The point of the above is simply to say that you should never discount the value of defense first players at these positions.  An above average defensive player at one of these crucial spots is very valuable, with the added benefit that the investment is generally lower and shorter term. My guess is that they were not dumping Rortvedt, but that the Yankees insisted on him to make the trade work, because they saw value. If Cardenas, or one of the other recent draft choices makes to the bigs as a defense first catcher it should be seen as a success rather than some level of failure that you are forced to live with.

If the opportunity arises to draft the next Joe Mauer, Buster Posey, or Adley Rutschman, by all means jump on it. But recognize that in exchange for probably 5-7 years of high end production (rookie/arb years and first few years of a long term), you will probably end up with an extremely overpriced 1B/DH for 4 o 5 years.

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