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  • TD Top Twins Prospect Rankings (Post Draft and Trade Deadline): 25-21


    Lucas Seehafer PT

    On Monday, Twins Daily revealed prospects 26-30 in our post-draft and trade deadline updated rankings. We continue today with prospects 21-25. 

    Image courtesy of Ed Bailey, Wichita Wind Surge

    25. RHP Chris Vallimont (24-years-old)
    Season Stats (High-A + Double-A): 4-4, 4.76 ERA, 64 1/3 IP, 102 K, 40 BB, 6 HR
    Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: 20, 2021 Preseason: NR

    Chris Vallimont has the physical profile of a modern day pitcher. He stands nearly 6-foot-6-inches tall with an athletic 220 pound frame that he uses to generate fastballs in the mid-90s to go along with a hammer curve (as well as the occasional slider and changeup). When he's on, there's a strong argument to be made that he has some of the most dynamic stuff in the Twins' system. However, he is a bit of an enigma. His peripheral numbers suggest that he is a better pitcher than what the surface-level stats say, the main anchor dragging him down being his walks. If he hones his command, it's not out of the realm of possibility that he develops into, say, a No. 3 starter. If he doesn't, he may wind up in the bullpen long-term. There are few prospects in the Twins' system with more future outcome variance than Vallimont. 

    24: RHP Louie Varland (23-years-old)
    Season Stats (Low-A + High-A): 6-2, 1.70 ERA, 69 IP, 98 K, 25 BB, 2 HR
    Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: Honorable Mention, 2021 Preseason: NR

    Louie Varland is one of those Twins prospects who has shot up the rankings this season due to sustained dominance. Varland was an unknown prospect when the Twins selected him in the 15th round of the 2019 draft out of Concordia-St. Paul. He started out the 2021 season with the Low-A Fort Myers Mighty Mussels before earning a promotion to the High-A Cedar Rapids Kernels where he rattled off nearly 20 straight innings of scoreless ball to begin his run at that level. Varland primarily relies on a fastball-curveball pitch mix. His fastball plays well both up and low in the zone; it presents with decent rise when elevated and greater sinking action when down. His most likely future role is as a reliever, but he has the raw stuff — and performance, to this point — to suggest he'll be effective in the high minors and, possibly, the big leagues.

    23: UTIL Nick Gordon (25-years-old)
    Season Stats (MLB): .250/.301/.333, 37 G, 3 2B, 3 3B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 5 SB, 26/5 K:BB
    Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: NR, 2021 Preseason: NR

    To say that Nick Gordon was an after thought on the minds of Twins' fans entering the 2021 season would be an understatement. However, a strong showing at Triple-A combined with a fast start when promoted to the parent squad quickly got him back into people's minds. Gordon primarily played shortstop in the minors; however, the rash of injuries suffered by Twins' outfielders thrust Gordon into some minutes in centerfield. While he didn't provide Gold Glove caliber defense, he did show enough to suggest that he may have a brighter future as a true utility man than most thought. Gordon doesn't do anything great, but also doesn't do anything well-below average. He may not be an everyday-type of player, but he should find himself with a role in the majors — though perhaps ultimately not with the Twins — for years to come.

    22: 1B/DH Aaron Sabato (22-years-old)
    Season Stats (Low-A): .181/.365/.309, 75 G, 13 2B, 6 HR, 32 RBI, 101/67 K:BB
    Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: 9, 2021 Preseason: 8

    The tale of Aaron Sabato is virtually the opposite of that of Varland and Gordon. Sabato was known as a bopper with a good eye at the plate when the Twins selected him with the 27th overall pick in the 2020 draft but so far only his peepers have translated. Sabato has struggled to keep pace with Low-A pitching. His strikeout numbers are through the roof and his power has evaporated compared to what he displayed while with the Tar Heels. To put it bluntly, not many minor leaguers have struggled as much as he has to date and proceeded to carve out a productive major league career. Sabato's walk totals are encouraging, but he needs to show more the rest of the way.

    21: INF Edouard Julien (22-years-old)
    Season Stats (Low-A + High-A): .251/.423/.449, 78 G, 21 2B, 1 3B, 10 HR, 47 RBI, 25 SB, 98/73 K:BB
    Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: Honorable Mention, 2021 Preseason: NR

    Alright, back to being positive. Edouard Julien is an on-base machine with some pop who has displayed the ability to play multiple positions defensively, though he is probably best at second base. He's also stolen far more bases this year than many thought possible when he came out of Auburn University. Julien's overall productivity has declined some since his promotion to Cedar Rapids — and, thus, the removal of Robo-umps — however, he has done more than enough to justify his placement on this list. Not bad for a former 18th round pick.

     

    What do you think of this set of five prospects? Future big-leaguers? 

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    Personally, I like the group you had the other day at 26-30 better than this group.  

    If Sabato hadn't been a first round pick, would any of you even consider him for your top 30?  I doubt it.  Reminds me of a guy I expect Seth will remember.  A high school first baseman taken in the first round, maybe a comp pick, a long time ago that scouts said had the best power bat in the draft.  Don't recall if it was best high school power bat or overall.  Kid may have made it to low-A ball.  Think his name was something Sanchez, but could be wrong.  Anyway, this pick reminds me of that one, one in which some scout(s) fell in love with some long home runs and talked the decision makers into taking him in the first round.

     

     

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    Thanks Lucas!  Always look forward to your analyses!  As you finish your top 30 list, I have one request:  can you ID any SSs now in the Twins system who have the defensive skills to fill that all-important position at the big league level?   All the reports I've read, including your #20-30 rankings do not seem to reveal a Grade A SS prospect.  We have a surplus of 2B/OF at both the major and minor league levels but so far, no one who seems to be our future SS.  I realize it is too soon to predict if any of our younger top prospects will hit at the major league level, but surely we should have some idea whether they have the abilities to be an above average fielder.

    If the cupboard is bare, then it would seem the FO has to prioritize signing a FA SS this offseason.  With all our pitching needs, I hope this is not the case, but if team defense is a priority then what othger choice do we have.  Just wondering!!  Thanks.

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    I like your write up on Vallimont and feel the same.  I just don't understand how he can walk the first two guys and be nowhere near the strike zone then potentially K the side in the same inning.  He has great K rate but the walks are killing him.  I hope he figures things out because we need him as a starter.

    Happy to see Louie this high on the list.  He has been dominant from the start of the season.  It looks like he still needs work on those secondary's but reliever looks like his floor now instead of his ceiling.

    Thank you for moving Sabato down.  I think from what we have seen he could have been even lower than this.  The eye has been good at strike zone management which is important but terrible when trying to get the bat to the ball.  He swings and completely misses everything far, far too often.  Hard to believe a top pick could be this bad.  He has a ton of work to do and hopefully he is ready and willing to do it or his career will be sunk.

    I don't really consider Nick a prospect anymore and while he can and likely will be a good utility player I think the Twins have too many guys in front of him to make it work.

    I have been high on Jullien since early in the season.  His eye was really good to start the season.  Still he too seemed to struggle getting contact at times.  For an 18th round pick though he looks like a steal right now.  Glad the Twins upped the anti to get him to sign.  He might make up for the poor Sabato pick in 2020.

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    Thanks for the write up.  I hope Varland can keep it up.  I like to see a riser, but you have to be careful expecting too much early.  He certainly seems to have the stuff to be a mid-high leverage reliever at the top level.

    Vallimont will have to be protected, so that will be an interesting decision.

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    50 minutes ago, roger said:

    Personally, I like the group you had the other day at 26-30 better than this group.  

    If Sabato hadn't been a first round pick, would any of you even consider him for your top 30?  I doubt it.  Reminds me of a guy I expect Seth will remember.  A high school first baseman taken in the first round, maybe a comp pick, a long time ago that scouts said had the best power bat in the draft.  Don't recall if it was best high school power bat or overall.  Kid may have made it to low-A ball.  Think his name was something Sanchez, but could be wrong.  Anyway, this pick reminds me of that one, one in which some scout(s) fell in love with some long home runs and talked the decision makers into taking him in the first round.

     

     

    In full transparency, when we voted I initially left Sabato off my top 30, but then slotted him in at 30 after I had to remove Ober. As I wrote above, there just isn't a good track record for prospects putting up the numbers he has in the low minors in the long-term. 

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    Gordon is not a prospect anymore for me.  I hope he gets more chances in MLB but I think his performance does not warrant being this high on your list.  Sabato has been a huge disappointment and I would not have him on the list at all, but I understand that he was a first round choice.

    When you are finished please give us the rankings by position - especially pitchers. 

    Thanks for the work. 

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    46 minutes ago, mike8791 said:

    Thanks Lucas!  Always look forward to your analyses!  As you finish your top 30 list, I have one request:  can you ID any SSs now in the Twins system who have the defensive skills to fill that all-important position at the big league level?   All the reports I've read, including your #20-30 rankings do not seem to reveal a Grade A SS prospect.  We have a surplus of 2B/OF at both the major and minor league levels but so far, no one who seems to be our future SS.  I realize it is too soon to predict if any of our younger top prospects will hit at the major league level, but surely we should have some idea whether they have the abilities to be an above average fielder.

    If the cupboard is bare, then it would seem the FO has to prioritize signing a FA SS this offseason.  With all our pitching needs, I hope this is not the case, but if team defense is a priority then what othger choice do we have.  Just wondering!!  Thanks.

    Definitely something we can consider. I do think that part of the problem though, as you indicated, is that there really isn't a true shortstop in the system. I think the guy with the best shot to stick at the position in the long-term is Noah Miller, but he's an 18-year-old. Austin Martin is pretty extended there based on what I've seen, but could cover in spells. We'll see what Lewis is like once he gets back from injury. 

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    Sabato has to be one of the biggest misses in recent Twins history. There's no outside explanation for his struggles, he didn't have a big injury or anything. He was billed as one of the most pro-ready hitters in his class and he's struggled to make contact in Low A.

    In contrast, the development of Varland has been very encouraging. He could make the majors next year if the Twins would put him on the bullpen track.

    Vallimont is somewhere in between. Tons of potential, but can't find the plate. There seem to be a lot of guys like that in A+ and AA. He's nothing special until he can get a modicum of control.

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    1 minute ago, Alex Schieferdecker said:

    Sabato has to be one of the biggest misses in recent Twins history. There's no outside explanation for his struggles, he didn't have a big injury or anything. He was billed as one of the most pro-ready hitters in his class and he's struggled to make contact in Low A.

    In contrast, the development of Varland has been very encouraging. He could make the majors next year if the Twins would put him on the bullpen track.

    Vallimont is somewhere in between. Tons of potential, but can't find the plate. There seem to be a lot of guys like that in A+ and AA. He's nothing special until he can get a modicum of control.

    Sabato's performance has been disappointing, but it should be remembered that in many ways the MLB draft is much more of a crapshoot than the other major drafts. I forget the specific analysis, but essentially after the first overall pick, the odds of selecting an All-Star level player drops precipitously. If I recall, Sabato was similarly comped to Rooker, who was the 35th pick, coming out of the draft. At the point, Rooker is pretty much the consummate Quad-A player. Maybe Sabato gets there, but he was never a sure thing to be an MLB player.

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    30 minutes ago, Lucas Seehafer PT said:

    Definitely something we can consider. I do think that part of the problem though, as you indicated, is that there really isn't a true shortstop in the system. I think the guy with the best shot to stick at the position in the long-term is Noah Miller, but he's an 18-year-old. Austin Martin is pretty extended there based on what I've seen, but could cover in spells. We'll see what Lewis is like once he gets back from injury. 

    Everything I have read, Lucas, says that Wander Javier is a good defensive shortstop and will stick there.  That's why it is so exciting that his bat has come alive this year, somewhat.  Hopefully, it will keep getting better and he will fill that spot for years to come.  The other highly drafted shortstop is Cavaco.  Is his defense good enough to stick at short?

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    I think I'd have Nick Gordon lower, if I had him on the list at all; while he may technically qualify as a prospect, I don't think I really see him that way any longer. He's a utility guy who we're figuring out if he'll hit enough in MLB and defend at enough positions to stick on a roster now.

    Vallimont is placed about right. Totally agree with the variance on him. Until he learns to command his pitches, he's going to be enormously frustrating. (we should try to remember that as much as his performances might cause us to tear our our hair...imagine being him? Going from mowing guys down to walking the side? Oof.) The stuff is amazing though and you can't cut bait on him. 

    Varland is a heck of a story and the performance is there. Looking forward to seeing how he does as he advances in level; that's going to be the key on him. Some guys dominate in A-ball through stuff, some through an advanced approach and it doesn't always hold up against more developed hitters. The jump to AA can be perilous, but I'm rooting for him.

    Sabato deserved to get pushed down, way down. Great, he can draw walks in A-ball, but he was a college hitter with a good eye so he damn well better be able to draw walks on some of the wildness you typically see down there. He's swinging through too many pitches and not doing near enough damage when he connects. He's a staggering disappointment. Maybe he'll bounce back next year and we'll see this as a recovery year for him to redevelop his skills, but he's on the fast track for Bust Town right now.

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    3 minutes ago, roger said:

    Everything I have read, Lucas, says that Wander Javier is a good defensive shortstop and will stick there.  That's why it is so exciting that his bat has come alive this year, somewhat.  Hopefully, it will keep getting better and he will fill that spot for years to come.  The other highly drafted shortstop is Cavaco.  Is his defense good enough to stick at short?

    He's athletic enough, for sure. I'm less than convinced about his bat. His overall numbers are pretty similar to what he put up in 2019. His OPS is currently below .700 despite putting up double-digit doubles, home runs, and nine triples. He strikes out way too much and doesn't walk enough or hit enough singles to make up for it. He's still young, he's only 22, but he also suffers from a similar issue as Sabato. Not many players with his track record...so on and so forth.

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    19 minutes ago, Lucas Seehafer PT said:

    He's athletic enough, for sure. I'm less than convinced about his bat. His overall numbers are pretty similar to what he put up in 2019. His OPS is currently below .700 despite putting up double-digit doubles, home runs, and nine triples. He strikes out way too much and doesn't walk enough or hit enough singles to make up for it. He's still young, he's only 22, but he also suffers from a similar issue as Sabato. Not many players with his track record...so on and so forth.

    Wasn't talking about the bat so much, Lucas, more about any prospect who is good enough at shortstop to be effective/good for the Twins.  Yes, I mentioned his bat as it seems to be coming around seeing him have several nice hitting streaks this year when he hit very well for a week or longer.

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    3 hours ago, roger said:

    Personally, I like the group you had the other day at 26-30 better than this group.  

    I was just thinking the same at first glance but it's hard to nitpick over the number 20-30 prospects in any system, just comes down to how you evaluate their stats and scouting profiles and how you weigh projection vs production.

    I do agree with other posters that I don't consider Nick Gordon a prospect and am very down on Aaron Sabato (and wasn't a fan of the pick at the time). Overall I can see the justification placing this group over the 26-30 group but other than Varland I find this group less interesting than the 26-30 group. 

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    45 minutes ago, twinkiesfan11 said:

    I was just thinking the same at first glance but it's hard to nitpick over the number 20-30 prospects in any system, just comes down to how you evaluate their stats and scouting profiles and how you weigh projection vs production.

    I do agree with other posters that I don't consider Nick Gordon a prospect and am very down on Aaron Sabato (and wasn't a fan of the pick at the time). Overall I can see the justification placing this group over the 26-30 group but other than Varland I find this group less interesting than the 26-30 group. 

    I think the big difference, and you probably picked up on this in my writing above, between 26-30 group and the 21-25 group is that the latter has much more variance in their games. The guys in 26-30 probably have lower floors and lower ceilings, but the guys in the 21-25 group could become legit MLB contributors if things go there way. A few may make it to the majors even if they hit bumps in the road. Personally I would swap Sabato and Moran between the two groups, but as you said, nitpicking prospects ranked 21-30 is a little degenerate lol.

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    Gordon will find himself a role in the majors?  Maybe on a team like the current Twins one, which is terrible, but not on many more.  I would say he doesn't get on base at an average pace or hit for any type of average slugging percentage. Well below on both, even for a utility guy.  Also his fielding in the infield is nothing special.  Maybe he runs at an average to above average pace?  I am fine if the Twins want to play him more this year, but won't be shocked if he never plays in the bigs after this year.

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    5 hours ago, roger said:

    Personally, I like the group you had the other day at 26-30 better than this group.  

    If Sabato hadn't been a first round pick, would any of you even consider him for your top 30?  I doubt it.  Reminds me of a guy I expect Seth will remember.  A high school first baseman taken in the first round, maybe a comp pick, a long time ago that scouts said had the best power bat in the draft.  Don't recall if it was best high school power bat or overall.  Kid may have made it to low-A ball.  Think his name was something Sanchez, but could be wrong.  Anyway, this pick reminds me of that one, one in which some scout(s) fell in love with some long home runs and talked the decision makers into taking him in the first round.

     

     

    Travis Harrison. Comp pick, IIRC, who had the best HS power in the draft. Without looking it up, I think he got to AA.

    This is probably what you should normally see when you look at prospects 21-25.

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    4 hours ago, roger said:

    Everything I have read, Lucas, says that Wander Javier is a good defensive shortstop and will stick there.  That's why it is so exciting that his bat has come alive this year, somewhat.  Hopefully, it will keep getting better and he will fill that spot for years to come.  The other highly drafted shortstop is Cavaco.  Is his defense good enough to stick at short?

    I think that Jermaine Palacios and Wander Javier are guys that can play short defensively. 

    I think Royce Lewis can be a better defensive shortstop than Polanco. I haven't seen enough of Martin at SS, but they've already moved him mostly to CF. Cavaco, like Lewis, played 3B mostly in high school. Lewis did because Chase Strumpf was there. Lewis just played SS his senior year. Cavaco played 3B because of Marcelo Mayer (top 5 pick this year), but people talk about his hands, range and arm too. Lots to still be figured out... and again, for all these guys, they need to keep getting innings. 

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    44 minutes ago, gunnarthor said:

    Travis Harrison. Comp pick, IIRC, who had the best HS power in the draft. Without looking it up, I think he got to AA.

    This is probably what you should normally see when you look at prospects 21-25.

    I think that Henry Sanchez (RIP) is a better comp, potentially. Both Harrison and Sanchez were highly-touted high school hitters. Harrison was a decent athlete and was able to move around the field a bit and contribute in other ways. Sanchez was a bat only, like Sabato. 

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    I think the issue in regard to utility players is whether or not the player can cover shortstop and center field. In terms of elite shortstop prospects I'd define as players who are likely to be starting MLB shortstops, the Twins have nothing. In order of rank of likelihood, I'd say

    • Lewis a22 AA (med/low) - Pros: Range, arm. Negs: Bat, Glove, ACL recovery
    • Miller a18 Rk (low) - Pros: Scouted Bat, Fluid, Range. Negs: Arm, Speed, No pro track record
    • Martin a22 AA (very low) - Pros: Very Good Bat. Negs: Arm, Speed
    • Gordon a25 AAA (remote) - Pros: Could fill out, Arm. Negs: Very poor glove, Range, Bat
    • Palacios a25 AA (remote) - Pros: Could fill out, Speed, Arm. Negs: Glove, Range, Bat
    • Javier a22 A+ (remote) - Pros: Speed, Range, Arm. Negs: Very weak bat.
    • Cavaco a20 A- (remote) - Pros: Arm, Speed. Negs: Very poor glove, Very weak bat

    I ranked Lewis above Martin despite Martin being very likely to be an MLB starter because I don't think Martin's physical tools will play at SS. Lewis is much less likely to ever be an MLB starter with serious questions emerging about his bat, but Lewis has superior athleticism. Lewis has about a 1/2 season to prove himself and there is a lot he needs to prove. 2022 is a make or break season for him. Either his stock will soar back up the charts or expectations will plummet. I don't see a middle ground considering his age, missed time and last performance.

    Noah Miller has a mediocre, arm for a shortstop with maximum throwing speed at 89mph and his speed isn't outstanding, but scouting reports say he moves well laterally contributing to good range. He could stick at shortstop, but needs to be careful about adding weight in the pursuit of added strength so he can maintain the needed range for the position. I rated him low because, well, MLB shortstops do not grow on trees. Much better prospects than Miller have flamed out and until there's some pro track record to evaluate, he's not going to get a vote of high confidence.

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    1 hour ago, Seth Stohs said:

    I think that Henry Sanchez (RIP) is a better comp, potentially. Both Harrison and Sanchez were highly-touted high school hitters. Harrison was a decent athlete and was able to move around the field a bit and contribute in other ways. Sanchez was a bat only, like Sabato. 

    Yes, Henry Sanchez is who I was thinking about, thanks.  Did he get higher than Eton?

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    1 hour ago, bean5302 said:

    Noah Miller has a mediocre, arm for a shortstop with maximum throwing speed at 89mph and his speed isn't outstanding, but scouting reports say he moves well laterally contributing to good range. He could stick at shortstop, but needs to be careful about adding weight in the pursuit of added strength so he can maintain the needed range for the position. I rated him low because, well, MLB shortstops do not grow on trees. Much better prospects than Miller have flamed out and until there's some pro track record to evaluate, he's not going to get a vote of high confidence.

    I couldn't leave this one alone... Noah Miller throws 89 mph... and that's a "mediocre" arm?? I don't know how many shortstops in the majors throw 89! 

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    16 minutes ago, Seth Stohs said:

    I couldn't leave this one alone... Noah Miller throws 89 mph... and that's a "mediocre" arm?? I don't know how many shortstops in the majors throw 89! 

    I was using this for reference. Average throw speed 85mph+. Reference to an above average arm at 91mph in the minors. Noah Miller has an average arm for a shortstop based on the reference I was using. Not mediocre in general. It's not apparent he has a cannon for a shortstop like Sano has or even as good as Gordon's arm which was in the 90s from the mound.

    http://www.hsbaseballweb.com/pro-scouting/scouting_arms.htm#:~:text=Scouts grade arms visually%3B in,around 85 mph and higher.

    Edited by bean5302
    based on my reference
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    Based on what I've read, would you consider Noah Miller to fall into a category of J.J. Hardy (with less arm since Hardy was throwing 91 off the mound in high school)? Hardy was never accused of having elite speed, but seemed to position himself well and he moved laterally really well, making tough plays look easy.

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    6 hours ago, bean5302 said:

    I think the issue in regard to utility players is whether or not the player can cover shortstop and center field. In terms of elite shortstop prospects I'd define as players who are likely to be starting MLB shortstops, the Twins have nothing. In order of rank of likelihood, I'd say

    • Lewis a22 AA (med/low) - Pros: Range, arm. Negs: Bat, Glove, ACL recovery
    • Miller a18 Rk (low) - Pros: Scouted Bat, Fluid, Range. Negs: Arm, Speed, No pro track record
    • Martin a22 AA (very low) - Pros: Very Good Bat. Negs: Arm, Speed
    • Gordon a25 AAA (remote) - Pros: Could fill out, Arm. Negs: Very poor glove, Range, Bat
    • Palacios a25 AA (remote) - Pros: Could fill out, Speed, Arm. Negs: Glove, Range, Bat
    • Javier a22 A+ (remote) - Pros: Speed, Range, Arm. Negs: Very weak bat.
    • Cavaco a20 A- (remote) - Pros: Arm, Speed. Negs: Very poor glove, Very weak bat

    I ranked Lewis above Martin despite Martin being very likely to be an MLB starter because I don't think Martin's physical tools will play at SS. Lewis is much less likely to ever be an MLB starter with serious questions emerging about his bat, but Lewis has superior athleticism. Lewis has about a 1/2 season to prove himself and there is a lot he needs to prove. 2022 is a make or break season for him. Either his stock will soar back up the charts or expectations will plummet. I don't see a middle ground considering his age, missed time and last performance.

    Noah Miller has a mediocre, arm for a shortstop with maximum throwing speed at 89mph and his speed isn't outstanding, but scouting reports say he moves well laterally contributing to good range. He could stick at shortstop, but needs to be careful about adding weight in the pursuit of added strength so he can maintain the needed range for the position. I rated him low because, well, MLB shortstops do not grow on trees. Much better prospects than Miller have flamed out and until there's some pro track record to evaluate, he's not going to get a vote of high confidence.

    I guess I question Palacios's bat as a negative.  He has 16 HR's this year and an over 800 OPS which is second in his division for SS.  While I wouldn't say he has an elite bat it also certainly doesn't appear negative to me either especially with only a 20% K rate and decent walk rate.  It might not be pro but to put that negative seems over the top to me.  I could go neutral with an arrow pointing to pro at least based on this years numbers but negative seems way to low to me especially for shortstop.

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    Palacios' historical bat is pretty rough and he was legit awful for 2 years in Tampa. He does look really good this year, but he's also just turned 25 and he's in AA. If you project his bat into AAA and then MLB, there's a very real possibility his K% would jump quite a bit and his walk rate would plummet. Nick Gordon put up a 9.2% walk rate and 23.2% K rate in AA at age 22.

    I guess I'm just not sold that his new found power and plate discipline are a straight up product of talent rather than maturity. His defense has also slipped quite a bit in range factor this year, even accounting for the rock hands he showcased to start the season. It's tough to figure out what's going on for a casual fan like me who is relegated to stats as the scouting reports on Palacios have long since dried up.

    The lack of scouting on Palacios and his sudden emergence with what appears like a bat with some potential is intriguing and it's why I think the Twins need to find a spot for him at the MLB club as of 2 weeks ago. I haven't heard about Palacios bulking up, but it's one of the things a lot of scouts and fans wanted to see for a long time. It would explain a lot of the changes if he had packed on muscle, but I still believe he'll probably be heavily exposed at the plate against MLB pitching.

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