Jump to content
Twins Daily
  • Create Account

Twins Daily 2023 Top Prospects: #16-20


As we kick off our annual top 20 countdown with a renewed order based on voting from the Twins writer community, we already have some (former and future?) big-name prospects showing up at the back end of the list.

Image courtesy of Thiéres Rabelo, Twins Daily

Earlier this week, Seth Stohs took a dive into the deeper end of the Minnesota Twins system, highlighting players who finished in the 21-30 range of our voting tabulation, and honorable mentions who fell just outside that threshold. (For what it's worth, note that Luis Arraez was once found in these very same outside ranks of our lists and others. And he's only one fresh-in-mind example.)

With that said, the odds of an MLB future start to increase as we break into the top 20 of our list. In this group of five, representing Twins Daily's choices for the organizations 16th-through-20th best prospects of 2023, we find an intriguing mix of untapped promise and fading high-end upside.

20. Misael Urbina, OF
Age: 20
2022 Stats: 263 PA, .247/.323/.407, 5 HR, 27 RBI

He was the Twins' big-money signing out of the Dominican Republic in 2018, scoring a $2.75 million bonus, but four years later he hasn't played a game above Low-A. That's how it can go for players that sign as extremely raw talents at age 16 (especially with a lost COVID season mixed in). Through it all he still won't reach legal drinking age until this April.

Urbina's outstanding tools remain intact but he needs to start backing them up with production in order to keep his prospect status from fading. Thus far he has a .228/.326/.359 slash line as a pro.

19. Jose Rodriguez, OF
Age: 17
2022 Stats (Rookie): 219 PA, .290/.361/.605 , 13 HR, 49 RBI

Typically speaking, when teenage players sign from another country and head to the States to play pro ball, it takes a little while to acclimate and warm up. You'll often see meager results in short-season debuts for players who go on to accomplish a great deal. Rodriguez broke the mold after he signed last summer and joined the Twins' affiliate in the Dominican Summer League.

He wasn't the most high-profile player acquired in Minnesota's 2022 international signing class, which helped make his spectacular showing on the field so jarring. Rodriguez posted a jaw-dropping .966 OPS and led the short-season league with 13 homers in 55 games. He was an absolute slugging machine and it's scary to think how that might evolve as he ages. The stellar showing earned him Twins Daily's nod as short-season hitter of the year.

"Rodriguez’s exit velocities may have been even more impressive than his homer total," wrote Aaron Gleeman, who is higher than most on the prospect, ranking him 13th on his list. "He destroyed the ball, in an environment where that isn’t supposed to take place."

So far, so very good. And the strikeout/walk rates are promising for future development. But Rodriguez has a long way to go, as a player from a mold that has high burnout rates. He's a candidate to fly up these rankings with a reinforcing 2023 campaign.

18. Tanner Schobel, 2B
Age: 21
2022 Stats (Rookie/A): 136 PA, .242/.367/.303, 1 HR, 11 RBI

The Twins snagged Schobel in the second round of last year's draft out of Virginia Tech, where he emerged as a slugging shortstop to boost his appeal. After signing him to a $1 million bonus the Twins him to get his feet wet in Low-A. There, Schobel's power evaporated.

Following a 19-homer outburst in the college season, Schobel managed just one home run in 120 plate appearances at Fort Myers, producing a mere .303 slugging percentage. He did, however, show good plate discipline with a 23-to-18 K/BB ratio while swiping seven bags.

The power drop-off and move from short to second keep Schobel's helium in check, leading to a lower ranking than you'd normally see from such a highly-drafted prospect in the latest class. But there are some Brian Dozier parallels here, and he's the poster child for late-blooming middle infield power. 

17. Ronny Henriquez, RHP
Age: 22
2022 Stats (AAA): 95.1 IP, 5.66 ERA, 10.0 K/9, 3.1 BB/9 

The Twins were excited to get Ronny Henriquez as an addition to Isiah Kiner-Falefa in last offseason's Mitch Garver trade. They viewed him as underrated addition to their pitching pipeline, capable of racking up strikeouts and moving quickly to the majors.

They were correct on those two counts. Henriquez tallied 106 strikeouts in 95 innings at Triple-A, and reached the majors in September at age 22, posting a 2.31 ERA in three appearances.

data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAPABAP///wAAACH5BAEKAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAICRAEAOw==

With the goods news out of the way, he also allowed a 5.66 ERA at St. Paul, coughing up 19 homers and 33 walks in those 95 innings. Some changes in pitch usage could help Henriquez take the final step to fulfill his potential, and that'll probably start with moving him to full-time relief duty. The righty made 14 starts for the Saints last year among 24 appearances. Don't sleep on him as a significant factor in Minnesota's bullpen this year.

16. Jordan Balazovic, RHP
Age: 24
2022 Stats (AAA): 70.2 IP, 7.39 ERA, 9.7 K/9, 4.5 BB/9

What was supposed to be Balazovic's breakthrough year turned into a total breakdown. From start to finish it was an abject disaster. He was all over the place, utterly hittable when in the zone, and incredibly home run prone. Virtually every start unraveled on the big right-hander, at least up until a decent final month softened his landing at season's end.

There were reports of a bothersome knee issue, but Balazovic was healthy enough to avoid the injured list following his late start, so this seems more an issue of mechanics and execution. The reason he remains as high as he does in our ranks is because Balazovic had elevated himself to such a level prior to this lost season. 

Bad as it was, it's only one season, and the 24-year-old still has time to get (at least somewhat) back on track to recapture the form that made him arguably the system's best pitching prospect prior. Over the past three years he's ranked fourth, sixth, and fifth on this list. 

 

Feel free to discuss these prospects and ask as many questions as you like in the COMMENTS below. I will try to get to as any of them as I can. 

For more Twins Daily content on these ten Twins prospects, click on the link with their name here: Jordan Balazovic, Ronny Henriquez, Tanner Schobel, Jose Rodriguez, Misael Urbina

Previous Installments
Honorable Mention
Prospects 21-30
Prospects 16-20 
Prospects 11-15 - Coming Soon! 


View full article

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Recommended Posts

I remember looking at the DSL box scores last year and thinking I don't remember guys hitting this many home runs there.  I believe others echoed the same thing.  I can't remember a guy with that kind of power right out of the gates in the DSL. Even Sano didn't start hitting them that often until he got to Elizabethton.  I don't know how much projection is left but that is already really good power.  While he had good plate discipline in the DSL I still think the FCL will set him back as the pitching is much better there.  If he masters the zone though this kid could be a super star.  Probably right there with Emmanial Rodriguez except from the other side of the plate.  If those guys turn out having righty, lefty mashers would be really fun to watch.

I think Nick is right when the Twins looked at Schobel they saw Brian Dozier.  Likely a plus defensive second baseman with enough pull side power to make him dangerous.  We will see if he can pull it off.  Not horrible numbers for his first time out but I am hoping for bigger things next year.

The guy I am rooting for the most in this list is Henriquez.  If he can keep that fastball around 98 coming out of the pen with his two slightly plus secondary's he could be an 8th inning, 9th inning stopper reliever.  He could really solidify the pen if he can stop giving up the HR balls.  The Twins are finally getting some high octane bullpen arms and I think that could really help them become a shut down pen.  Hopefully Henriquez finds a Santana like debut this year.

Have to believe Jordon can come back and be better.  Have no idea what happened last year but it does happen. Hopefully he takes the offseason to rework his mind and body to gain the control he needs to be successful.

Canterino could be another big arm in this pen once he gets going again.  Control will be key for him as well but really not much to say until next year.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It feels like our #15-30 prospects are considerably worse than we've had the past, partly to due graduation to the majors, trades, and regression/release. Thankfully we have some quality prospects in the top 10, but overall the depth is lacking and our farm system is being ranked below average, which seems about right.

And I don't say that to be a Debbie Downer, it's just pretty apparent when comparing these guys to previous years. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

24 minutes ago, Danchat said:

It feels like our #15-30 prospects are considerably worse than we've had the past, partly to due graduation to the majors, trades, and regression/release. Thankfully we have some quality prospects in the top 10, but overall the depth is lacking and our farm system is being ranked below average, which seems about right.

And I don't say that to be a Debbie Downer, it's just pretty apparent when comparing these guys to previous years. 

Some of the guys in the top 10 would have gotten knocked down here if we still had Petty, Povich, Hajjar, Steer and CES.  The Twins needed\wanted MLB players so there went part of the farm.  Seems like the system is still ranked around the middle of the pack so not too bad.  We are going to need to have players step up out of no where to get back into the top 10 though.  Hopefully this 2023 draft ends up a good one.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am always interested in these lists even though the actual rank does not mean that much.  Balazovic fell, but I might have knocked him out of the top 20.  Canterino is another of our (if healthy) hope guys.  

I expected Henriquez to be higher, 

Based on past articles I like Rodriguez more than the others on this list. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Noting here that my originally published list was slightly off, as it had Canterino at #16. He is in fact #15 (spoiler alert) and will be covered in Theo's story tomorrow. I've added in the proper prospect at #20, Misael Urbina, and moved everyone else down a spot.

Just in case anyone sees the above Canterino comments above and is confused.

Sorry folks. It's been a long week. I'm cohabitating two feisty cats, I hope you understand. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I hate to admit it, but as much as I follow drafts, international signings, and the entire milb system, I had forgotten about Jose Rodriguez. Hell of a debut! Is he ready for the FCL in 2023? Sure hope so.

TANNER SCHOBEL: I get the Dozier reference. I like the power he produced in college, and I like the plate discipline. Tells me he has a bat that can play. And I get he was adjusting to pro ball. But even as a 2nd round pick, I'm a bit disappointed.  No harm, no foul, a lot of potential still there. But I might have dropped him a notch or two at this point. 

RONNY HENRIQUEZ: He's got some lightening in his arm to be sure. He was really young for AAA in 2022. He kind of stunk early in the year, but got better. Better enough to earn a ML cup of Java at the end of the year. But what's so encouraging is the K's at AAA, and a solid ML debut, even in SSS. He reminds me so much of Sands, though they are different pitchers. You just never want to take a 22-24yo arm with potential and just decide; "you're a RP now". But sometimes you see build, and stuff, and maybe that missing 3rd or 4th offering that you just feel is never going to happen, and you make that call. I think he and Sands are going to make the transition in 2023 and be part of the pen, at some point, and beyond. Middle or late bullpen option is TBD.

JORDON BALAZOVIC: I don't care who says what or how you try to sponsor it. IMO, there is no way a well built, high velocity pitcher with solid secondary stuff and proven results to place him in the top 100 prospects crashes so bad in 2022 without having an injury concern. My opinion? His knee hurt, he tried to pitch through it, and the Twins let him. His mechanics and mind set also got messed up as a result. He did throw better the last month or so when he was probably feeling more of his usual self. I would have ZERO complaints if they if they just sat him down and told him "you are at St Paul the entire season if needed, to get yourself RIGHT. You want to debut in 2023? Then be healthy, get your head right, and go out and dominate again!" A combination of "babying" a top arm while challenging him is the right call. And that's how I'd approach Jordy Blaze for 2023.

MATT CANTERINO: Man, what might have been. The Twins took a shot. IIRC, he never had a single significant injury in college. And the Twins were very careful with him after signing. But the "Rice Curse" sure hit hard. Instead of POSSIBLY going in to his 2nd full season of being a Twins SP with the idea he might be the #1 option...he's recovering from TJ surgery after 10 GS in 2022 at AA Wichita, (2 GS in the complex to ramp up). He had very limited IP but great numbers, FWIW. And maybe he should have been shut down earlier and had surgery.  But that's the past.

He's ranked this highly...I believe deservedly so...based on talent and expectation of a successful TJ surgery. With luck, he will return to the mound at some point late in 2023 to get ready for 2024. At that point,  he will be 26yo. The FO is way smarter than me as an amateur GM. There is a part of me that says "let him still be a late arriving SP who might have a really good 7-8yr career". And there is the more practical part of me who says he should be placed in the pen to utilize the best years of his career as a potential high leverage and potential closer arm.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Really impressive debut from Rodriguez. I think it's going to be interesting how quickly the Twins push him; he's still so young, but he absolutely raked in his first taste of pro ball at 17! It's not like this was just a handful of ABs either: 200+ ABs ain't nothing. He's got a lot of levels to go through, but it sure would be fun to have one of these teenage signings jump up a little faster and not spend 3 years in rookie ball.

Balazovic had a really rough year. Hopefully he can throw it out, come in to camp healthy and strong this year, and do a reset. He's still very talented, and with the depth we have in the rotation there shouldn't be any pressure for him to immediately nail everything and make his MLB debut. (right now he's clearly behind Varland, SWR, and Winder, and Ober could end up starting the season in AAA too) Hope he can shake it all off.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, Seth Stohs said:

My rankings, if anyone is interested, and for transparency...

Balazovic: 20
Henriquez: 17
Schobel: 22 (I kind of think that if you're looking for a future Dozier, I'd lean toward Ben Ross). 
Jose Rodriguez: 18
Misael Urbina: 15

I am not as sold on Urbina especially since there is talk that might need to move out of centerfield.  The bat has been ok but no real breakout.  Any chance you can fill me in on what you see to rank him at 15?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just read Kiley McDaniels top 100 for ESPN.  I enjoy these like I do TDs rankings.  His has a lot of difference from Law.  We have 4 players - Lee, Lewis, Rodriguez and Salas in his top 100, all in the bottom half, but what really jumped out was seeing Povich (now an Oriole) ranked higher than all four.  How high did he get in TD ranks?  He was #54. 

Rodriguez ranks much higher for Law - #48. So does Lee - #51.  Povich, Lewis and Salas are not on the Law list. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not sure why Matt Canterino got into the conversation but since he is I can't wait to see him healthy again. With his injury history a back into reliever would seem to be the best option but you never know now that his arm is rebuilt. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

48 minutes ago, Dman said:

I am not as sold on Urbina especially since there is talk that might need to move out of centerfield.  The bat has been ok but no real breakout.  Any chance you can fill me in on what you see to rank him at 15?

He's young. Unfortunately had to end the 2022 season in Ft. Myers. He had visa issues that cost him about the first half of the season. No breakout yet, but let's get him out of the FSL. Good outfielder. Good speed. He's growing, getting stronger. Hopefully in time that translates to doubles and homers. Good approach. There's a lot to like. 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, saviking said:

Not sure why Matt Canterino got into the conversation but since he is I can't wait to see him healthy again. With his injury history a back into reliever would seem to be the best option but you never know now that his arm is rebuilt. 

See Nick's comment above. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 minutes ago, saviking said:

Not sure why Matt Canterino got into the conversation but since he is I can't wait to see him healthy again. With his injury history a back into reliever would seem to be the best option but you never know now that his arm is rebuilt. 

 

9 hours ago, Nick Nelson said:

Noting here that my originally published list was slightly off, as it had Canterino at #16. He is in fact #15 (spoiler alert) and will be covered in Theo's story tomorrow. I've added in the proper prospect at #20, Misael Urbina, and moved everyone else down a spot.

Just in case anyone sees the above Canterino comments above and is confused.

Sorry folks. It's been a long week. I'm cohabitating two feisty cats, I hope you understand. 

This is why

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Verified Member

I wonder if Jose makes a similar climb that Emmanuel did last year. Not predicating that, but Emmanuel had worse rookie ball numbers at his age 17 year, but mainly by average only.  Not comparing the two, but in MLB Emmanuel was ranked 21, had a huge season before injury, and now ranked 3.  If Jose can step up and show similar power and contact, he will fly up the lists.  

I do not take much from how they are ranked at 16 years old.  Many of the top international guys were not the top guy of their class, and guys like Soto were not big names but took off once came state side. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Verified Member

There are some hideous numbers in that group for the older players (21+).

Not sure some of those guys should even be on the list at this point.  

Schoebel is looking like another poorly executed reach with a high draft pick by this FO.  Maybe I’m wrong, but there seems to be a pattern of them grabbing a guy well above the projection, and it turns out very poorly (Cavaco, Sabato, Schoebel, off the top of my head).  I know, baseball drafts are a crap shoot, I get it.  But holy crap have these guys struck out in the draft.  Out of all the drafts they’ve been a part of, nobody drafted has made a major impact in the MLB (maybe Ober and Jax), and only 2 are on the current top 100 list (at the same position).  Maybe I’m missing some significant ones.

We’re not talking about a small sample size anymore.  They’ve had, what, 6-7 drafts?  And they’ve clearly targeted college level players who should reach the majors much quicker.  They seem to have done well in other areas, and there are a few promising drafted prospects right now (Prielipp, Varland, Julien, Lee, Miller).  So, things could turn quickly.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, mikelink45 said:

I just read Kiley McDaniels top 100 for ESPN.  I enjoy these like I do TDs rankings.  His has a lot of difference from Law.  We have 4 players - Lee, Lewis, Rodriguez and Salas in his top 100, all in the bottom half, but what really jumped out was seeing Povich (now an Oriole) ranked higher than all four.  How high did he get in TD ranks?  He was #54. 

Rodriguez ranks much higher for Law - #48. So does Lee - #51.  Povich, Lewis and Salas are not on the Law list. 

Fangraphs has Povich the 8th best oriole prospect.... but they state he has a real chance to jump up the rankings. They do like him.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

The Twins Daily Caretaker Fund
The Twins Daily Caretaker Fund

You all care about this site. The next step is caring for it. We’re asking you to caretake this site so it can remain the premier Twins community on the internet.

×
×
  • Create New...