The Twins Farm System is stacked, it's not Buxton and Sano stacked, but come on! Is there an ace pitcher or other top end pitching talent? No. Is there another bomber barreling towards Target Field? No. Is there top ten minor league talent waiting in the wings? Not yet. How then is our farm stacked?
We have these guys:
Engelb Vielma – 22 years old
Nick Gordon – 21 years old
Wander Javier – 18 years old
Royce Lewis – 18 years old
Jelfry Marte – 16 years old
There are few things more tantalizing than a highly touted prospect at a highly touted position. A Short Stop that can field AND hit AND hit for power! Amazing! Everyone wants that and will do unspeakable things for it. Now, bear in mind, the Twins do not have one of those players. What they do have, however, are five touted minor leaguers that will offer admirable things to a major league club very soon.
Simply put, prospects are just fun. They just offer so much to an organization that has seen so much losing. How much fun was it when Buxton was going to turn into Willie Mays? Hearing about Sano and his bombs that went so far no one could see them land; amazing! Often we, fans and otherwise, overlook their deficiencies for whatever mysterious potential is written or talked about. Someday, soon, someone is going to do that with Gordon, Javier, Lewis, or Marte.
I believe, that one can make an argument the Twins have much of what they need to compete for many years. Buxton is already the best fielding Center Fielder in the league. Sano is turning into the franchise changing talent all Twins fans hoped for. Berrios is on his way to pitching domination. Mix in other talented players like Kepler, Rosario, Polanco, and Mejia and the Twins have a strong core built for the future. Not all players will stick around, but all should and will continue to improve. Only a few pieces are still missing, namely an ace.
Alex Meyer was supposed to be something special, he wasn't. Trevor May, Phil Hughes, throw in Nolasco even, and what we have in recent past is disappointment. The Twins have not been able to develop a top end pitcher and they haven't been able to sign one either. However, soon, we will be able to trade for one.
When the Cubs won their World Series, they did it with found or bought pitching talent. Jon Lester, free agent. Jake Arrieta, trade. John Lackey, free agent. Aroldis Chapman, trade. They only really developed Kyle Hendricks, a big congrats on that. Look around the MLB, how many teams develop their own top of the end rotation pitching? The Red Sox traded for Chris Sale. The Nationals signed Max Scherzer. The Diamondbacks signed Zack Greinke and before that the Dodgers did the same and before that the Angels traded for him.
Pitching, especially starting pitching is barely better than a coin flip. Personally, I fell in love with the idea of Lewis Thrope and he missed two years of pro ball. Tyler Jay and Kohl Stewart have been major Twins disappointments. However, it is not just this organization. Look at recent draft history for supposed top pitching talent. Mark Appel, Jon Gray, Brady Aiken, Tyler Kolek, Carlos Rodon, Aaron Nola. All have failed to meet their own expectations.
If not this trade deadline, it will be soon. “It” is of course, the time in which the Twins strike and move one their own tantalizing, mysterious, great, yet flawed, talented youngsters for their own ace stud. Nick Gordon rates as the Twins top prospect. Royce Lewis was the first overall pick and is very toolsy. Jelfry and Wander are the next in a line of international signings. Fans love these prospects because they are ours and because they offer great potential. However, in whatever a prospect may become, we know what Chris Sale is. Or we know who Max Scherzer is. One trade and once Mauer is off the books, one free agent signing. That is really as far away as the Twins are. This is season is nice, playoff contention is fun. However, World Series contention is amazing and that should be the goal.
One trade and one free agent. Soon.