Originally published at The Tenth Inning Stretch
This is the third segment in the 2018 Twins top 60 prospect list. You can find the introductory segment that discusses qualifications to be on this list and presents the players who were on the 2017 list but are not in this list here. You can find the list of the previous rankings here: 56-60. You can find all segments in this series here.
Here are players 51-55 in reverse order with their 2017 ranking in parenthesis. Players no in the 2017 top 60 list are indicated by (--)
55 Carlos Suniaga, (--)
DOB: 5/26/1997; Age: 20
Bats: R, Throws: R
Height: 6'2", Weight: 187 lbs
Acquired: Signed as international free agent by Twins on September 19, 2014
Professional Experience: 3; Highest level: ELZ (2017)
Carlos Suniaga is a late bloomer pitcher from Margarita Venezuela. He was signed by the Twins as a 17 year old, played his first professional season the the DSL as an 18 year old and other than having good control of his fastball things were tough for him: He appeared in 23 games, all out of the pen for 50 IP, struck out 35 (6.3 K/9, 15.6 K%) and walked only 6 (1.1 BB/9, 12.9 K-BB%), but had a 1.54 WHIP and ended up with a 6.48 ERA and 3.99 FIP. He repeated the DSL as a 19 year old in 2016 with stellar results: 16 G, 6 GS, 57-2/3 IP, 58 K (9 K/9, 25 K%), 13 BB (2 BB/9, 19.4 K%), 1.01 WHIP, 2.03 ERA and 1.83 FIP. In 2017 he came to the States and played in the GCL as a 20 year old (about half a year less than average age for the league) and his success continued: He appeared in 11 games, 6 starts for 48 IP, stuck out 38 (7.1 K/9, 19.4 K%), walked 12 (2.3 BB/9 and 13.3 K-BB%), with a 1.00 WHIP, 1.69 ERA and 3.51 FIP. He pitched one game (3-1/3 innings) for the Elizabethton Twins where he allowed only one hit, no runs, and struck out 4 hitters.
Suniaga's best pitch is his change up that has plus flashes. His sinker is heavy and has improved much this season to say that it is an above average pitch. He throws it at 90-92 mph and has good control of it. When it works, he generates about twice as many ground balls as fly balls. He has been experimenting with a breaking ball, but at this point it is a work in progress. He has an effortless 3/4 arm delivery and good mechanics that will allow him to get deep into games once he develops.
Likely 2018 path: Extended Spring Training and in the Elizabethton rotation.
54 Ruben Santana, (--)
DOB: 11/30/1997; Age: 20
Bats: S, Throws: R
Height: 5'6", Weight: 160 lbs
Acquired: Signed as international free agent by Twins on September 15, 2015
Professional Experience: 2; Highest level: DSL (2017)
Ruben Santa who is from Monte Plata, Dominican Republic was signed as a 17 year old in 2015. His first professional season in 2016 he hit .248/.300/.297 with a .299 wOBA and 80 wRC+. He repeated the DSL last season and he improved vastly hitting .340/.418/.453 with .427 wOBA and 154 wRC+. Additionally, he walked as many times as he struck out.
He played every single infield position last year, even though at 5'9", middle infield is probably his calling. His arm is accurate enough to play shortstop. The switch hitter has been hitting well from both sides of the plate, however he has more power from the left side, hitting against RHPs. Yet another Latin American middle infielder in the footsteps of Louis Arraez and Jermaine Palacios. It will be interesting to see how he performs Stateside.
Likely 2018 path: Extended Spring Training and all over the infield for the GCL Twins
53 Alex Robles, (--)
DOB: 7/7/1995; Age: 22
Bats: R, Throws: R
Height: 6'0", Weight: 200 lbs
Acquired: Drafted in the 30th Round of the 2017 draft
Professional Experience: 1; Highest level: GCL
Alex Robles was drafted by the Twins in the 30th round of Austin Peay State University. The Senior from Tuscon, AZ, was a two way player thoughout his college career. He pitched in 71 games (50 starts) and ended with a 28-19 record, 4.53 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 7.8 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9. As a hitter he hit .336/.410/.477 with his senior year being his best hitting .347/.414/.551 with a .204 IsoP and a sustainable .366 BABIP (his NCAA average BABIP was .368). He walked 20 times, struck out 32 and hit 10 HR (22.5 AB/HR) and 11/14 SB. His pitching was the worst of his career as a Senior when he started only 10 of 23 games, had a 6.75 ERA and 1.54 WHIP. He was drafted by the Twins as an outfielder and played 18 games at RF, 8 games at LF, 13 at 1B, 2 at 2B, and 8 at 3B. He hit a very respectable .324/.369/.407 with 8 BB, 14 K, 3 HR, and 10/14 SB in 199 PA, the first time he played with a wood bat. Actually it was the second time, since he went to the Cape Cod League as a pitcher in the summer of 2015. There he was hittless in 12 AB.
His arm is strong and his fielding at the corner OF positions and at 1B is acceptable. Cannot see him ending up long term at 3B or 2B, because he lacks the instincts and range for those positions and tends to be erratic and uncomfortable. His .082 isoP was the lowest of his career, but there is the wooden bat to blame here. At this point his bat is ahead of his glove that will catch up once he is dedicated to fewer positions. Very good contact tool, despite his longish swing, very good eye, and good instincts on the bases.
Likely 2018 path: Extended Spring Training and 1B/OF at Elizabethton.
52 Jaylin Davis, (39)
DOB: 7/1/1994; Age: 23
Bats: R, Throws: R
Height: 6'1", Weight: 190 lbs
Acquired: Drafted in the 24th round in 2015
Professional Experience: 2; Highest level: A+ (2017)
Jaylin Davis was drafted by the Twins in the 24th of the 2015 draft as an outfielder from Appalachian State University. The Greensboro, NC native missed almost all his junior season with a shoulder injury that was later diagnosed as a labrum tare and was operated upon. Davis lost all of 2015 in the disabled list for that reason. Last season he started in extended Spring Training and was assigned to Elibatheton. His college numbers (career: .268/.337/.411 10 HR, 22/28 SB in 126 games and 482 PAs with .143 isoP and .331 BABIP) were solid but not close in predicting how Davis will do in his first pro season. In 12 games (47 AB) in Elizabethton he hit .277/.346/.745 with 7 HR, and 2 SB, an unreal .468 isoP and a .353 BABIP. He walked 4 times and struck out 23 (for a scary 44.2 K%). Hot streak or not, his stint with Elizabethton was enough for the Twins to promote the 22 year old to Cedar Rapids for the last 52 games of the season. There at 192 AB, he hit .250/.339/.469 with 9 HRs and 3/3 SB. His isoP was .219 and BABIP .328. He walked 21 times and struck out 64 (29.4 %). Davies has power, but that 6.7 AB/HR at Elizabethton was unsustainable and dropped to a 21.3 AB/HR in Cedar Rapids, which, even though respectable, is not elite. Surprisingly he started the 2017 season at Cedar Rapids where he hit as well (.267/.316/.486, .357 wOBA, 123wRC+, 20.9 AB/HR) as his 2016 season. However upon promotion to Fort Myers he frizzled (.237/.288/.335, .291wOBA, 81 wRC+, 71.7 AB/HR, 30.0 K%, 5.2 BB%)
Interestingly enough, his biggest problem was against opposite side pitchers. He hit just .207/.250/ .293 against LHPs. He did have a better August (.310/.362/.425 overall) which means that Fort Myers might not be the end of the train for Davis, but he has to produce better than this from the corner OF position. Davis can play all 3 OF positions, but RF is his best position. He did have 17 assists there between Cedar Rapids and Fort Myers last season.
Likely 2018 path: Davis will likely start the 2017 season at Fort Myers with a mid-season promotion to Chattanooga, if the numbers are there.
51 Cody Stashak (55)
DOB: 6/4/1994; Age: 23
Bats: R, Throws: R
Height: 6'2", Weight: 169 lbs
Acquired: Drafted in the 13th round in 2015
Professional Experience: 3; Highest level: AA (2017)
Cody Stashak was drafted by the Twins in the 13th round of the 2015 draft from St. Johns University. The New Jersey native majored in Criminology and St. John's was his second College, transfering there in 2015 from Cumberland (NJ) County (Junior) College, where he was a two way player, starting pitcher and outfielder. His pitching record was 16-5 with a 2.92 ERA, including 7 complete games and 130 Ks in 129-1/3 innings. He was very good as a position player as well, hitting .359 with 23 2B, 7 3B, 7 HR, and 91 RBI in 104 games, helping his team reach number 1 in national NJCAA Division III ranking and second in the 2014 NJCAA Division III World Series. In St. Johns he made 16 starts (85-2/3 IP), struck out 69 (7.3 K/9) and walked 24 (2.9 BB/9), ending up with a 3.57 ERA and 1.21 WHIP. He begun his professional career at Elizabethton in 2015, where he started 10 games (44-2/3 IP), struck out 53 (10.7 K/9, 29% K%) and walked 11 (2.2 BB/9, 23 K-BB%) and finished with a 5-2 record, 3.43 ERA, 3.18 FIP, and 1.119 WHIP (.310 BABIP). He begun last season at EST and moved up to A Midwest League Cedar Rapids where he appeared in 18 games (17 starts and a 4 IP relief appearance) pitching 105-1/3 innings, striking out 80 (6.8 K/9, 18.8 K%) walking 30 (2.6 BB/9, 11.8 K-BB%), finishing with a 3.16 ERA, 3.39 WHIP and 1.139 WHIP (.279 BABIP). He was promoted to the A+ Florida State League Fort Myers in August where he pitched 3 games for 16-2/3 innings, with 10K and 3 BB, 0.54 ERA, 2.59 FIP, 0.960 WHIP (.260 BABIP), before going to the disable list with "shoulder discomfort" for the rest of the season. His 2017 season was limited because of injuries and he lost the best part of 2 months (including a 3 game rehab stint at the GCL) At Fort Myers he starte a total of 16 games (83-1/3 IP) striking out 72 (7.8 K/9, 21.4 K%) and walking 20 (2.16 K/9, 15.5 K-BB%), finishing with a 3.89 ERA, 3.54 FIP, 1.10 WHIP (.279 BABIP). He pitched 3 scoreless games from the AA pen at the end of the season allowing 4 hits and striking out 10 in 6 innings.
Injuries aside, Stashak has been a very steady pitcher. The strikeout to walk ratio, other that his short Elizabethton stint in 2015, is a tad lower than optimal, allowing more contact than necessary, which combined with the fact that he is a fly ball pitcher (about 2 fly outs per ground out) make one worry whether Stashak will have success in higher levels of professional ball. He throws an above average 88-92 mph fastball that he commands well complements with an above average curveball. He has been also working on a changeup and a slider/cutter. Stashak is a player who can move though a system fast if a couple of his pitches develop to a plus level and his control improve. His small sample size success at the Chattanooga pen at the end of last season, makes one wonder whether he can shine in the pen if his fastball gets a couple of ticks.
Likely 2018 Path: Starting the season in the Chattanooga rotation
Next: Prospects 46-50