Ten years ago, I got the idea of taking my knowledge of the Twins minor league system and turning it into a coffee table book for Twins fans. Think about how often during a Twins game Dick Bremer will mention a minor league player and someone wonders aloud who that player is and when we might see him in the big leagues.
Reach down to your coffee table, grab the Prospect Handbook and sound like a genius when you tell him all about that player, his background, his stats and a scouting report on him.
That was the original purpose of the book, but now it’s even more than that. First, my “knowledge of the Twins minor league system” wasn’t real high in 2008 relative to now. Second, it’s constantly evolving and I still know only a percentage of all there is to know. We have seen the evolution of the game on and off the field. The Twins have made many changes in their minor leagues. They’ve switched affiliates. They’ve added technology. They’ve added more coaches and coordinators. The goal is to make the players the best they can be and use whatever they can to get them to the big leagues and contribute.
Third, and really probably #1 on this point, is the saying that has been included in every single Twins Prospect Handbook since that first edition and will again be in the 11th annual Twins Prospect Handbook as well.
It’s about the players. They deserve the recognition. They work hard, and they earn what they get. Sometimes that means a big league career, and sometimes it means peaking in A-ball.
So, here is a quick look at what you will find if you order a copy of the 2019 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook (which will again be available in paperback and PDF).
Finn Pearson, who has done a lot of really good graphic work for Twins Daily since earlier this year, did a very nice job on the cover
It would be hard for me to explain if we had gone with anyone other than Alex Kirilloff and Royce Lewis on the 2019 handbook cover. You will also notice that the beautiful stadium in Pensacola is in the background. The home of the new Twins Double-A affiliate sits right along the Gulf of Mexico.
Seth Stohs - As mentioned above, this is my 11th Twins Prospect Handbook. Hard to believe. I wrote three articles for the handbook this year. I wrote the three Twins Daily Minor League Award winner articles. I had 30+ minute phone interviews with our three winners, Alex Kirilloff, Tyler Wells and Andrew Vasquez and penned an in-depth article on each. There are a lot of similarities in the stories and their are a couple of very solid relationships among these players. And as you saw the other day, they have a lot of respect for each other.
Cody Christie - Cody was first a Co-Author on the Prospect Handbook in 2013. He wrote an interesting article looking into the first few seasons of Joe Mauer’s professional career and compared it to whatt Royce Lewis has done. Has there been a passing of the torch?
Tom Froemming - This is Tom’s second Prospect Handbook. He wrote an article about how the Twins have brought in so much young talent over the last couple of years since Derek Falvey took the reigns. They have really used every potential means.
Dan Hayes - Hayes joined The Athletic as the Twins beat writer almost a year ago, and he has been a terrific writer and a great follow on Twitter this offseason. We are thrilled that he wrote an article for this year’s Prospect Handbook. He wrote about a lot of the changes that happened over the last year or so in the Twins minor league system on and off the field.
Chris Blessing - Chris writes about prospects for BaseballHQ.com and several other sites including USA Today Sports Weekly and the Minor League Baseball Analyst. In his scouting, he has seen many Chattanooga Lookouts games in recent years, and he noticed some things about Twins prospects in 2018 that are encouraging.
Ted Schwerzler - Ted has contributed an article the last few years in which he projects which prospects will make their debuts with the Twins in 2019 and when.
For the first time we have enlisted the help of the Twins minor league affiliates and have an article from each of the affiliates (with the exception of the GCL Twins).
- Rochester Red Wings media relations director Nate Rowan wrote a great article on the rich history of the Red Wings and baseball in Rochester. Includes some remarkable stories including one from a game the Red Wings played in Cuba in 1959 that got more than a little scary.
- Daniel Venn did a Q&A for Twins Daily recently. He is the media relations director for the Pensacola Blue Wahoos. Daniel shared with us the relatively short, but interesting history of the Blue Wahoos.
- Marshall Kelner is the media relations director for the Ft. Myers Miracle. He wrote an article on the team’s history and the 2018 Miracle Florida State League championship team.
- A long-time contributor at Twins Daily and of the Prospect Handbook, Steve Buhr met with the Cedar Rapids Kernels front office for a very interesting article on how much winning matters to a minor league affiliate.
- Mike Gallagher was the play-by-play man of the Elizabethton Twins. He wrote about the E-Twins long history with the Twins organization and recent legislation that hopefully will keep that relationship intact moving forward.
- Mariana Guzman writes at Twins Latinos. She wrote a good article about the 2018 season in the Dominican Summer League including who some of the better prospects might be on that team. Who could be the guys moving up to the Gulf Coast League in 2019? We admittedly have not covered the Twins Dominican Summer League in the book or on Twins Daily as much as we should, so this is a great addition to the book.
We like to call the prospect profiles the meat and potatoes of the Prospect Handbook. There are over 160 profiles of Twins minor leaguers in the book. I might give you an exact number, but we will update the book after Thursday’s Rule 5 draft to add any players that the Twins select. So, that number is subject to change between now and the book’s release.
For those that have purchased Prospect Handbooks in the past, you have an idea of what the profiles look like and the information in each. For those of you who have not purchased previous Prospect Handbooks, well, you can buy previous Prospect Handbooks here. Ha! However, we wanted to include a profile here just to give you an idea of what you are getting.
Here is a quick snip of a player profile. The header information includes height, weight, how they were acquired and their 2018 statistics. The 2018 Recaps were written by Tom Froemming and they, well, recap the player’s 2018 season. I (Seth) wrote up the Background section and the Scouting Report. The Background covers their amateur days and previous seasons. The Scouting Report provides, well, a scouting report on the player. We also include a Forecast for ‘19 in which we try to give a good idea of where each player could spend the 2019 season.
We have pictures of a lot of the players in the bios. I wish we had all, but we definitely want to thank all the photographers that were willing to let us use their photos.
So there you have it. The 2019 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook is coming very soon. Keep checking back to Twins Daily and we will let you know when it is available.
It’s something that Tom, Cody and I are really proud of. It just keeps getting bigger and better, and we hope that you will enjoy it too!