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Twitter

  1. Since the delayed start of the 2022 major league season, the Twins have called up a host of players from their Triple A affiliate in St. Paul. Some guys like Gilberto Celestino, Trevor Larnach and (I guess) Kyle Garlick played little if at all for the Saints. Since then, top prospects Jose MIranda and Royce Lewis have been recalled. Yesterday, Jharel Cotton and Mark Contreras were recalled to the Twins. It was posted on this site (unofficially) that Cuban righty Yennier Cano will be recalled today. Looking at the box scores of the last couple days, I don't see much help available across the river in St. Paul. There are several pitchers with big league experience, but that would be middle inning relievers and sixth or seventh starter options. Several position players have major league experience, but none could be called a prospect. Jermaine Palacios would be a fun story if he was promoted, but he probably wouldn't move the needle much for the Twins. It has become common to populate AAA with guys with limited upside. It seems to me that this is exactly what is left in St. Paul as we reach mid-May. I wonder if some promotions from Wichita are in order. The top 7 in their lineup last night had OPS over .700, with the lowest being Austin Martin, who is among the league leaders in steals and is still rated as a top prospect. A number of the Wind Surge pitchers have also done well, including Simeon Wood Richardson, Louie Varland and Matt Canterino, and four or five relief options.
  2. How about a little good news... Baseball America lists both Josh Winder and Louie Varland(!) as part of their weekly "20 notable hot prospects". On Winder: "With a solid four-pitch mix topped by a fastball that reaches the upper 90s, Winder is progressively asserting himself as one of the Twins most promising starting pitching prospects." On Varland: "While admittedly old for the level and playing in a pitcher-friendly league, Varland has nonetheless impressed in Fort Myers’ rotation this year." Wander Javier has been as hot as any player on this week's list but I think he's fallen off the national radar (.296/.321/.741 during the past week).
  3. https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories/how-many-mlb-draftees-make-it-to-the-majors/ It would be nice to think that everyone signed to a baseball contract would see a day in the majors, but here is what this site has to say, "Over three days in early June, more than 1,200 players will have their long-time dreams come true. They will hear their names called as selections in the 2019 draft. Of those more than 1,200 draftees, more than 900 players will agree to terms and sign contracts to become professional baseball players. With one dream fulfilled, they will set their sights on a bigger dream—becoming a major league player. And for more than 700 of those 900 pro players, that dream will go unfulfilled. In studying every draft since Baseball America began covering the draft in 1981, we wanted to answer a very simple question: how many players drafted in June’s MLB draft will eventually make it? The answer is less than one in five. It’s too early to judge the 2011 to 2018 drafts, but from 1981-2010, 17.6 percent of players who were drafted and signed ended up making it to the majors. Those odds vary dramatically depending on where a player is drafted. First-round picks can expect to reach the major leagues. First-round picks who don’t make it are the exception. From 1981 to 2010, 73 percent of first-round picks reached the majors. In 2004, only two of the 29 first-round picks who signed failed to make the majors—a 93 percent success rate that will be hard to beat. But that success rate drops off quickly. By the second round, the rate of players who reach the majors dips to 51 percent. In the third round, 40 percent are eventually going to be major leaguers. From there it continues to steadily dip." There are four minor league affiliates plus two short season teams for each MLB team now. In 2007 the average lifetime of a MLB career was 5.6 years. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070709131254.htm "Early in the talks between MLB and MiLB, MLB discussed a roughly 150-player limit for teams’ domestic minor league rosters. Players playing in the Dominican Republic would not be subject to this limit. MLB teams are already limited to two clubs in the Dominican Summer League. A 150-domestic player limit would ensure each MLB team would be limited to one U.S. complex-based team in the Gulf Coast or Arizona leagues. When you include players on the injured list, restricted list and other non-active players, a 150-player limit would mean MLB teams have no choice other than to field only five domestic minor league teams—four full-season clubs plus one complex team. One size fits all." https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories/mlb-expected-to-expand-milb-player-limit-for-full-season-clubs/#:~:text=When%20you%20include%20players%20on,clubs%20plus%20one%20complex%20team. Of course MLB has continuously underpaid the players in the minors and (I think) overpaid those in the majors. So who are those prospects at the bottom of the 150 player limit? And why do they hang on? Love of the game? No marketable skills? MLB needs them to fill the roster and they should pay them. Who are the ten players in Elizabethtown who played the fewest games and what do we expect from them? In AAA there were 7 position players over 30 years old, and seven pitchers in the same age range. What do we expect them to do? I do not mind that we have these older players still chasing their dream, in fact I like it, but MLB is cutting them out, cutting teams, cutting dreams. I enjoy the lists that TD writers put up, but I wonder about the bottom 20. Those who have no chance, but love the game and love the opportunity. They need to be recognized too. When MLB cut the minor league teams these underpaid, under appreciated ball players were the ones who suffered. One year of Trevor Bauer's salary would keep them employed for the rest of the century.
  4. With the completion and availability of the 2020 Twins Prospect Handbook, I have now written and self-published a dozen Twins Prospect Handbooks. I think back to the first one, which I think I wrote up and published within about two or three weeks, and laugh. Since then, I truly believe that the handbooks have continued to get better and much more detailed, and that’s thanks to a lot of people. As much as I know that I enjoy researching and learning about the players, it is a ton of work. But I enjoy having the conversations with a variety of people inside and outside of the organization. I enjoy watching video. I enjoy reading other opinions. I enjoy going to Ft. Myers each spring and spending time watching minor league practice and games. I also enjoy getting down to Cedar Rapids for some games. However, ultimately, I also truly believe in that paragraph that I wrote in that 2008 prospect handbook and have included in every single Twins Prospect Handbook since then, including this year’s. Minor league baseball players are doing all the same work that the big leaguers do. They are just doing it with far less fanfare, smaller per diems, less luxurious travel and hotel arrangements, and noticeably lighter wallets due to pay checks with far fewer zeroes. These players deserve to be recognized too. It’s about the players. They deserve the recognition. They work hard. Sometimes that means a big league career, and sometimes it means peaking in A-ball. Tom Froemming wrote an article for this year’s Prospect Handbook about why it’s important to get to know more than just a team’s Top or Top 20, or even Top 40, prospects. A quick glimpse back at the Twins 2019 season reminds us that Luis Arraez asn’t a Top 10 Twins prospect just 12 months ago. Cody Stashak was recognized for his transition to the bullpen in 2018, he he didn’t rank as a Top 50 prospect. Randy Dobnak wasn’t a Top 50 prospect. Geez, how many Twins Top 100 prospect rankings would he have made one year ago. Which prospects will surprise and advance in 2020? Which top prospects will? The Twins system is currently really strong. There are four to six Twins prospects that are Top 100 guys nationally. There are a few others that are probably close to that level. And there is a ton of depth of players that have the ability to, if opportunity arises, be big league players. That makes the writing and researching and all the time well worth it! So, here is a quick look at what you will find if you order a copy of the 2020 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook (which will again be available in paperback and as a PDF). THE COVER Finn Pearson, who has volunteered to do a lot of really good graphic work for Twins Daily the last couple of years, did a very nice job on the cover again this year. (He did last year’s too.) We talked about it and decided that baby blue was the way to go after the Twins announced they were bringing back those ‘80s uniforms in 2020. And, well, Pensacola sure had a lot of high-quality pitching prospects in 2019, didn’t they? Here are three of them; Jhoan Duran, Jordan Balazovic and Brusdar Graterol. THE AUTHORS Seth Stohs - As mentioned above, this is my 12th annual Twins Prospect Handbook. Hard to believe. I wrote the Twins Daily Minor League Award winner articles, and a few other articles. Tom Froemming - This is Tom’s third Prospect Handbook. He wrote an article about how Twins fans need to look beyond the top 20 Twins prospects. We saw in 2019 that several players who did not come into the season as top prospects or even potential call-ups not only got called up, but contributed to the AL Central championship run. CONTRIBUTING WRITERS RT Rybak - The former mayor of Minneapolis contributed a great poem for the Twins Daily Offseason Handbook, and he was kind enough to also contribute a fantastic poem to the 2020 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook too. It’s titled, “All who Wander Javier,” and I know you’ll really enjoy it. . Steve Buhr - Steve wrote a fantastic article discussing the controversy going on between MLB and Minor League Baseball. He tries to see both sides of the story, and tries to answer what it might all mean. Ted Schwerzler - As he has done in recent years, Ted contributed an article in which he predicts which Twins prospects will make their debuts with the Twins in 2020 and when. Nash Walker - He has been contributing articles at Twins Daily recently, and he wrote an article on Jhoan Duran for the handbook. THE PROFILES We like to call the prospect profiles the meat and potatoes of the Prospect Handbook. There are about 170 profiles of Twins minor leaguers in the book. 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 2019 statistics. The 2019 Recaps were written by Tom Froemming and they, well, recap the player’s 2019 season. I (Seth) wrote up the Background and the Scouting Report sections. The Background covers their amateur days and previous seasons. The Scouting Report provides, well, a scouting report on the player. We also included a Forecast for ‘20 in which we try to give a good idea of where each player could spend the 2020 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. We used a lot of my photos, but I also want to thank Steve Buhr for his great photos from Cedar Rapids, Ft. Myers and the GCL Twins. The Elizabethton Twins photos came from Nicholas Badders or Kassi Butcher. So there you have it. The 2020 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook is coming very soon. Keep checking back to Twins Daily and we will let you know when it is available and how you can order it. It’s something that Tom and I are really proud of. It just keeps getting bigger and better, and we hope that you will enjoy it too!
  5. The 2020 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook will be now available. By clicking here, you can order the paperback version of the PDF/E-Book version at Lulu.com. In addition, the promo code ONEFIVE will get you 15% off of all print books you order on Lulu.com (promo code is good through Thursday). In this link, you'll see previous Twins Prospect Handbooks are available.With the completion and availability of the 2020 Twins Prospect Handbook, I have now written and self-published a dozen Twins Prospect Handbooks. I think back to the first one, which I think I wrote up and published within about two or three weeks, and laugh. Since then, I truly believe that the handbooks have continued to get better and much more detailed, and that’s thanks to a lot of people. As much as I know that I enjoy researching and learning about the players, it is a ton of work. But I enjoy having the conversations with a variety of people inside and outside of the organization. I enjoy watching video. I enjoy reading other opinions. I enjoy going to Ft. Myers each spring and spending time watching minor league practice and games. I also enjoy getting down to Cedar Rapids for some games. However, ultimately, I also truly believe in that paragraph that I wrote in that 2008 prospect handbook and have included in every single Twins Prospect Handbook since then, including this year’s. Minor league baseball players are doing all the same work that the big leaguers do. They are just doing it with far less fanfare, smaller per diems, less luxurious travel and hotel arrangements, and noticeably lighter wallets due to pay checks with far fewer zeroes. These players deserve to be recognized too. It’s about the players. They deserve the recognition. They work hard. Sometimes that means a big league career, and sometimes it means peaking in A-ball. Tom Froemming wrote an article for this year’s Prospect Handbook about why it’s important to get to know more than just a team’s Top or Top 20, or even Top 40, prospects. A quick glimpse back at the Twins 2019 season reminds us that Luis Arraez asn’t a Top 10 Twins prospect just 12 months ago. Cody Stashak was recognized for his transition to the bullpen in 2018, he he didn’t rank as a Top 50 prospect. Randy Dobnak wasn’t a Top 50 prospect. Geez, how many Twins Top 100 prospect rankings would he have made one year ago. Which prospects will surprise and advance in 2020? Which top prospects will? The Twins system is currently really strong. There are four to six Twins prospects that are Top 100 guys nationally. There are a few others that are probably close to that level. And there is a ton of depth of players that have the ability to, if opportunity arises, be big league players. That makes the writing and researching and all the time well worth it! So, here is a quick look at what you will find if you order a copy of the 2020 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook (which will again be available in paperback and as a PDF). THE COVER Finn Pearson, who has volunteered to do a lot of really good graphic work for Twins Daily the last couple of years, did a very nice job on the cover again this year. (He did last year’s too.) We talked about it and decided that baby blue was the way to go after the Twins announced they were bringing back those ‘80s uniforms in 2020. And, well, Pensacola sure had a lot of high-quality pitching prospects in 2019, didn’t they? Here are three of them; Jhoan Duran, Jordan Balazovic and Brusdar Graterol. THE AUTHORS Seth Stohs - As mentioned above, this is my 12th annual Twins Prospect Handbook. Hard to believe. I wrote the Twins Daily Minor League Award winner articles, and a few other articles. Tom Froemming - This is Tom’s third Prospect Handbook. He wrote an article about how Twins fans need to look beyond the top 20 Twins prospects. We saw in 2019 that several players who did not come into the season as top prospects or even potential call-ups not only got called up, but contributed to the AL Central championship run. CONTRIBUTING WRITERS RT Rybak - The former mayor of Minneapolis contributed a great poem for the Twins Daily Offseason Handbook, and he was kind enough to also contribute a fantastic poem to the 2020 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook too. It’s titled, “All who Wander Javier,” and I know you’ll really enjoy it. . Steve Buhr - Steve wrote a fantastic article discussing the controversy going on between MLB and Minor League Baseball. He tries to see both sides of the story, and tries to answer what it might all mean. Ted Schwerzler - As he has done in recent years, Ted contributed an article in which he predicts which Twins prospects will make their debuts with the Twins in 2020 and when. Nash Walker - He has been contributing articles at Twins Daily recently, and he wrote an article on Jhoan Duran for the handbook. THE PROFILES We like to call the prospect profiles the meat and potatoes of the Prospect Handbook. There are about 170 profiles of Twins minor leaguers in the book. 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 2019 statistics. The 2019 Recaps were written by Tom Froemming and they, well, recap the player’s 2019 season. I (Seth) wrote up the Background and the Scouting Report sections. The Background covers their amateur days and previous seasons. The Scouting Report provides, well, a scouting report on the player. We also included a Forecast for ‘20 in which we try to give a good idea of where each player could spend the 2020 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. We used a lot of my photos, but I also want to thank Steve Buhr for his great photos from Cedar Rapids, Ft. Myers and the GCL Twins. The Elizabethton Twins photos came from Nicholas Badders or Kassi Butcher. So there you have it. The 2020 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook is coming very soon. Keep checking back to Twins Daily and we will let you know when it is available and how you can order it. It’s something that Tom and I are really proud of. It just keeps getting bigger and better, and we hope that you will enjoy it too! Click here to view the article
  6. Continuing on from part 1: #24 - Gabriel Maciel CF (International from Brazil, acquired in 2018 trade) | The second best prospect acquired in the Escobar trade, Maciel is a speedy outfielder who loves to spray singles all around the field. He's a frequent base stealer who's capable of swiping 20+ a year, but gets caught more often than he should. He has a career .288 average in the minors and will rarely strike out, but the downside is that he has little power. Not just a lack of HRs, but also 2Bs and 3Bs. He profiles as a 4th OF who will be useful as a pinch hitter, defensive replacement, and pinch runner. | #23 - Luis Rijo RHP (Acquired in 2018 trade) | Rijo jumped onto the scene after a great 2019 season as he posted a 2.86 ERA over 19 starts at single A Cedar Rapids. Sporting a WHIP of nearly 1.0 and a healthy 8.3 K/9, Rijo's fastball touches 95 and his secondary pitches are rated well. Scouts have critisized the 'hitability' of his fastball and deemed his curveball to be too predictable, which probably factors into why he was passed up in the 2020 Rule 5 Draft. He's still got time to improve his pitches and build more innings in the minors to try and become a #4/5 starter. Unlike other pitching prospects, he doesn't strike me as a future reliever, unless he becomes a long reliever. | #22 - Nick Gordon SS/2B (1st Round 2014, HS) | Gordon has had a long and drawn out minor league career, but seemed to be heading towards the majors in 2019 once being added to the 40 man roster, but a leg injury prevented that (he was a near lock to at least be called up in September). He then had a long bout with COVID in 2020 and never even made it to the alternate site. He's now 25 and has just one option left, but remains on the roster. His minor league track record isn't bad, as he's been a decent pure hitter (.276 average), but he never developed any power and will likely end up like his older brother Dee - a sub .700 OPS hitter. To provide value he'll need to become a strong defensive player, but he's also got a shaky track record as a fielder and might end up as a second baseman. All in all, Gordon will likely settle into a utility role if he can crack the majors. | #21 - Spencer Steer 2B (3rd Round 2019, Oregon) | Steer had a quality debut in 2019, hitting .949 OPS at Elizabethton and went to single A Cedar Rapids and hit for .358 OPS (.745 OPS). He handled 3B and 2B primarily, and doesn't seem likely to play SS. The Twins will need to figure out how to develop his power, after hitting just 12 HRs in 3 years at Oregon (and 4 in the minors so far). The scouts seem to believe that there is potential for more pop in his bat, and that would elevate him into a top 15 spot if he could. | #20 - Ben Rortvedt C (2nd Round 2016, HS) | Ben seems destined to be a long-term backup catcher in the big leagues. Scouts rave about his defensive capabilities behind the plate, consistently blocking balls in the dirt, pitching frame, and throwing out runners. He's also go the potential to hit a few HRs and will take plenty of walks. The main problem is that he's a mediocre hitter, likely doomed to be a .210-.230 hitter in the majors. MLB teams will put up with that if he's as good defensively as the scouts say. | #19 - Wander Javier SS (International from Dominican Republic, 2016) | The Twins poured $4M into Javier in 2016, and the returns don't look good so far. After hitting well in Elizabethton in 2017, Javier missed 2018 with an injury, and turned in a very poor 2019 season at Cedar Rapids. Javier needed a rebound year in 2020 to get back on track, and now he's already Rule 5 eligible despite having just 552 professional PAs. Javier should be better than a .177 hitter, and has a skillset that should play at SS, but his time is running out. He needs several years in the minors just to get back on track, but if he could, he's got the potential to be a top 5 prospect. Everyone below him on the rankings doesn't have close to the ceiling Javier does. | #18 - Travis Blankenhorn 2B/3B (3rd Round 2015, HS) | Like many other prospects in this system, Blankenhorn's strength is hitting the ball hard, and is a bit on the chunky side. Splitting most of his time between 2B, 3B, and LF (he stopped playing 3B at AA, though), Travis took a step forward in 2019 at AA and crushed 19 HRs with a nice .278 average. He doesn't take a lot of walks, and his strikeout rate isn't a big concern. He's on the slower side, and would likely be a liability at 3B and LF. He's got the bat to play 2B, and he's probably ready to get his first big chance (he got into 1 game with the Twins in 2020). Expect to see him on the bench and play a bit in Marwin Gonzalez's old role when injuries inevitably hit. | #17 - Jose Miranda 3B (2nd Round 2016, HS) | Miranda is the last player on this list to have been passed over in the Rule 5 Draft. He boasts a solid set of tools but nothing splashy - he looks the part to handle 3B, but his bat has never quite developed. In almost 600 PAs at Fort Myers, he hit just .659 OPS. Scouts think there's potential for more power (just 8 HRs in 2019) and multiple sources lauded his bat speed and swing, but so far he's been unable to realize his potential. He needs to take a big step forward if he's going to want to become a starter in the big leagues.
  7. I am always curious where the national rankings put the Twins Prospects. It helps give me perspective as I look at the rankings from TD. Today Jim Bowden had his top fifty prospects in the Athletic https://theathletic.com/1523975/2020/01/17/jim-bowdens-top-50-prospects-for-2020/?source=dailyemail and our top three were all there. Kiriloff has now passed Royce Lewis and is ranked number 12 over all which is great. This is a quote from the article describing Alex "Kirilloff has one of the best swings in baseball, one that reminds me of former MVP Christian Yelich at around the same stage." We would take a Yelich performance. It is also why Kiriloff should not be traded no matter what is dangled in front of us. Lewis is now 18. I remember when he was consistently in the top five. He is sighted for his versatility but the key sentence in his write up is "How quickly he adjusts as a hitter will determine when he’s ready for the majors, but he does have some work to do at the plate if he’s going to reach his high ceiling." Finally Graterol comes in at #48 and I love this sentence in the scouting report, "When Graterol pitches, you better make sure your radar gun does well with the triple digits because he’ll be there often." Nice to have them in the top fifty, now let's get Kiriloff and Graterol to the big show. It will probably take a trade of Rosario or another injury to Buxton, but when we need someone I would prefer the rookie over Cave. Time to unlock the potential. Graterol should be designated to take the rotation spot of Pineda until he comes off the suspension and maybe he will be so good that he forces one of the others off the rotation and that would be great.
  8. 0:02- Perez and Pineda 0:03- Devin Smeltzer 0:08- Luis Arraez 0:23- Keuchel/Kimbrel 0:31- Prospect update 0:40- Draft You can listen directly here or download directly from iTunes here. Additionally, you can access all the previous episodes as well. Let us know what you think and thanks for listening!
  9. Jim Bowden is releasing his top 200 on the Athletic. I am comparing where he ranks our players in order, since he has the entire MLB our numbers will not conform to his ranks, but will the sequence of ranking conform to our numbers? In the second 200 he has our number seven Jhoan Duran ranked 181. #11 Nick Gordon - Bowden has at 177. At 170, obviously above the last two is Jordan Balazovic. Why isn't he on our list? Bowden has Lewis Thorpe at 162 we have him at #8. Bowden had none of the Twins in his 101 – 150 Rating. Do we have that many in the top 100 or are we just a long way from Bowden’s perspective. Twins Daily 2019 Top 20 Prospects and Bowden rating. 20. Jose Miranda, 2B/3B 19. Jorge Alcala, RHP 18. LaMonte Wade, OF 17. Zack Littell, RHP 16. Gilberto Celestino, OF 15. Yunior Severino, 2B 14. Ben Rortvedt, C 13. Ryan Jeffers, C 12. Stephen Gonsalves, LHP 11. Nick Gordon, SS - 177 10. Akil Baddoo, OF 9. Blayne Enlow, RHP 8. Lewis Thorpe, LHP - 162 7. Jhoan Duran, RHP - 181 6. Brent Rooker, 1B/LF 5. Wander Javier, SS 4. Trevor Larnach, OF 3. Brusdar Graterol, RHP 2. Alex Kirilloff, OF TD Top Prospect: #1- Royce Lewis Bowden Unrated by TD - Balazovic 170
  10. http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/25512874/minnesota-twins-outfielder-byron-buxton-admits-was-angry-not-getting-called-up This article is interesting in light of my recent Blog about Buxton and Sano and how long do we wait for them. Today I listened to Gleeman and the Geek and once again I hear that we are waiting on this potentially dynamic duo. But if so what is the thinking of the Front Office. Read this report and it is obvious that we did a lot of damage by not letting Buxton play in September. Why? What did the team gain by this? What was the message that they wanted to send? In the Athletic - 12//13 - comes the following quote - "But Baldelli hopes to go further than a phone call with Buxton and Sanó soon. He said he tentatively would like to visit each, including a trip to the Dominican Republic to Sanó’s home, before the end of the year, with the knowledge that plans can always change." Why wasn't there a meeting when Buxton was in Minnesota? The Athletic article said, "Buxton spoke out at a charity event in Minneapolis on Tuesday for the first time since the Twins didn’t promote him in September, a move that surprised players in the clubhouse and leaves Buxton just shy of three years of service time. Had he eclipsed three years of playing time during the past season, Buxton would have remained on target for free agency after 2021 as a 28-year-old. Instead, Buxton — who is arbitration-eligible this offseason after reaching Super Two status — won’t hit free agency until he’s 29, which potentially could cost him significant dollars. Buxton spoke to reporters from the Pioneer Press and Star Tribune. “Pissed? Yes,” Buxton said. “I ain’t sugar-coating nothing, simple as that.” “It’s business, they did what they did, I do what I do. At the end of the day, I’m still going to keep playing hard, still want to play in Minnesota, still want to play beside my teammates. That’s all that matters.” Did Buxton have to say that to get their attention. The day after was when Baldelli said he was going to visit Buxton and Sano in person.
  11. A lot of us were shocked by the Buxton treatment this year, from playing him with an injury to denying him his September call up. We were almost equally shocked to see Sano sent to A ball and when he returned people talked about him looking a little thinner, but then the season played on and before ending with another injury he resorted to the same 200 hitting occasional Home Run hitter. September call ups included Matt Belisle and a trade for Gimenez, more time for Johnny Field and not much excitement outside the young pitchers and that wonderful Opener experiment. Gonsalves, our top pitching prospect has stunk, Littell who has been called up a couple of times continues to stink (I know that they want to make that trade look good for the FO). Stewart has improved as we continue to pitch him against the mighty Tigers and Busenitz has demonstrated that AAAA is his best hope (when will they open that league?). Of course there is one rookie who looked really good early in the Season, but he could not even be called up to toss a couple BP sessions - Romero. Among hitters only Astudillo has appeared and that is because we have our original starter out for the season, our next starter out with a concussion, our first reserve traded for last years reserve and only Astudillo available for actually crouching behind the plate. No look at Rooker or Gordon or any other potential hitters. So how good is our player development? I just read the Athletics Matthew Kory in the season ending power ranking and his comments really jumped out at me. "One of the things that good teams do is draft talented players, develop them in the minors, and turn them into stars when they get to the big leagues. The Red Sox have done that with Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts. The Indians have done that with José Ramírez and Francisco Lindor. The Astros have done that with Carlos Correa and Alex Bregman (and George Springer) (and José Altuve). The Twins should have done that with Miguel Sanó and Byron Buxton… but they haven’t. Despite loads of talent, Sanó is barely playable and Buxton supposedly isn’t even ready for a September call-up. If you’re looking for the difference between Minnesota and every playoff team in baseball, that’s it in a nutshell."
  12. A few days okay I wrote about Polanco and SS and I found him wanting as a defensive and future SS for a championship team, but what about 3B? Are we set with Sano? In this article https://calltothepen.com/2013/02/07/bold-prospect-comparisons-miguel-sano/ written five years ago Sano was the third best prospect in the majors, "Sano potential has a 70-grade power tool and 70-grade arm strength. Meaning he will be expected to hit 35 or more bombs a year and have one of the stronger arms in the league. His hit tool should be about major league average, maybe slightly below average. That is a .250-.270 hitter. His fielding is below average and so is his speed.He may swipe double digits in his early years but it isn’t considered a part of his overall game." Well that might be overly optimistic. However, along with Byron Buxton, he was the cornerstone for the future. This year Sano has a -0.4 WAR, he is batting 202, has a long stint in the minors to make corrections and is back as a fixture at 3B. And his comps, according to Baseball Reference are pretty bleak in my assessment: Michael Conforto (960.5) Randal Grichuk (959.3) Adam Duvall (959.2) Chris Duncan (957.3) Eric Thames (947.2) Domingo Santana (944.1) Bud Souchock (943.5) Travis Shaw (942.4) Dusty Rhodes (939.5) Chuck Essegian (939.4) In 182 MLB games he is batting 245, but this year he is batting 202. Last year he had 3.1 offensive WAR and this year he is 0.1 Offensive WAR and -0.5 Defensive WAR. We knew that he would not be Brooks Robinson or Pie Traynor or any great 3B, but his hitting would make up for it. It has not. In Fantasy sports - CBS https://www.cbssports.com/fantasy/baseball/rankings/h2h/3B/ he is not in the top 40. I am sure that must be wrong. On ESPN he currently ranks 49th at 3B. https://www.cbssports.com/fantasy/baseball/rankings/h2h/3B/ I went to many of the rankings and he does not rank except in the mind of the Twins fans. So what's up. Is he the future star or a bust? Is the another Mark Reynolds, or Kingman? Or is he someone we can build around. Combine Buxton and Sano and we have lousy BA, good HRs, Excellent fielding (last two categories apply to only one). When I looked at Polanco I asked if a team that looks at a future championship can put Polanco as there every day SS. I have to ask the same for Sano. But who can replace him? I know some will expect to resign Escobar - I don't. But among prospects who is it? Blankenship? Move Polanco to 3B? I have this desire to have a World Series again and that means I want better than average at every position. Right now 3B is my second question mark.
  13. Okay it is August and the Twins have kept us around and speculating since Spring Training. Who will be cut, what FA will be brought in, will the minor leaguers get a chance, will Dozier's 1/2 year of brilliance begin soon? Are we buyers or sellers, who will be our all-star, will anyone take our deadwood at Trade Deadline. Now what? The Twins are 9 games back in the Central and perhaps even more telling they are 13.5 back in the wild card. At 49 - 57 the Twins now have 56 games left. Being just an 8 fame winning streak from 500 what are the chances of strong finish? Yawn - does it matter. The new acquisitions are ready to contribute to the big club in about 5 years, the best players in the minors in 2 years. The Twins still have Belisle taking innings. Why? They still have slugger Morrison and his 193 BA taking regular ABs - Why? I believe DFA was created for these two. Any reason that Romero and Gonsalves are not in the rotation for the rest of this waste year? Is there some logic that it is better to go with Belisle, Rodney, and Reed than some of our minor league arms? Is there any reason Rooker should not get a preview rather than Morrison? Is there no one in the minors who could benefit from removing Wilson at Catcher? Other than seeing new talent and getting a preview of better times what does the rest of the season mean? I know the Vikings are about to start playing exhibitions that are even more pathetic than our chances to catch Cleveland, but at least there are individual goals for the players on the Twins. Or we can watch Thibodeau in daily debates with his best player as we wait the highly anticipated (cough-cough) Timberwolves, or switch over to the 8th place United. Maybe a trip to the lake, a walk in the woods (my choices) are the best choices. Meditation about what it means to be a Twins fan. Our all-time record puts us 101 games below 500 - maybe that is our destiny. The state parks await. Or the state fair with everything on a stick can take away our baseball blues. A concert or two, or a trip to the minor leagues to see what the young Twins look like (and please do not repeat that we have built up our minors so we can use them for trades). Look for hope before the leaves turn, the wind shifts and the flakes fall. We know that there are a lot of fans with the same doldrums. Most of them entered the season without hope and that is the hardest part. Baseball is such a tease. And, of course, there are the teams like the Cubs, Red Sox, Dodgers, Yankees that should be put in one division so that they can beat each other up and give the rest of us a real chance. Enjoy the sunshine, harvest your garden, check Twins Daily for new stories and let the radio put the Twins in the background while you sit on the deck and remember what a gorgeous place we live in.
  14. Okay it is mid season and we are getting a reshuffle of prospects and their ratings. Which makes me wonder - what if the ratings include the players already in the major leagues? For example - if all the starting pitchers were put in one pot and we said who has the most potential for the next five years - I would certainly keep Berrios at number 1, but who is number 2? I take Romero. Then I think I would go back to the minors and then Brusdar Graterol. Is it time for someone on the MLB team? I think I would lean to Gibson and then Gonsalves. That is my top five. Who should you invest in? For the Bullpen - I am thinking of five years so we have to drop Rodney - I would drop Belisle if it was five days. So who are the top ranked prospects? Hildenberger has solidified his position. Who is next? Give me Tyler Jay, John Curtiss, Nick Anderson, Andrew Vasquez, and Busenitz. The vets are low on the list. Positions C Rortvedt Garver very poor list 1B/DH Sano Rooker 2B Nick Gordon Wander Javier SS Royce Lewis Jorge Polanco 3B Eduardo Escobar Travis Blankenship OF Byron Buxton Eddie Rosario Alex Kiriloff Akil Baddoo LaMonte Wade Jack Cave List them anyway you want - but by position, this is my Twins of the near future top prospects.
  15. Of all the things that I love about the MLB, the farm systems are near the top. Following baseball is so much fun because even in the lowest years there is that optimism that comes with building up a minor league program. Honestly, I would rather be at that bottom than treading water in the middle. Now, it goes without saying but I’ll say it anyways, a World Series every now and then would be nice. However, for much of the last decade Twins fans have been watching the pipeline grow. Speculating about Miguel Sano’s future production, salivating at the thought of Buxton roaming the Target Field grass, and always searching for the top pitching prospect has been and continues to be a challenging enjoyment. What got the Twins to this place, building from the bottom, however; was the lack of consistent growth in the farm system. Like most Twins fans, I have been pleased with the work of Thad Levine and Derek Falvey. Honestly, it is hard not to be impressed considering the improvements the club has made over their watch. However, what I’m most excited about has been their ability to put a winning club together at Target Field and not just keep their prospects, but build out the farm system. MLB.com just put out their 2018 Prospect Lists and I thought it would be fun to look at who of the Twins Top 30 Prospects are the results of Levine and Falvey moves. Let’s take a look… Player/Prospect Rank/Acquire Through Royce Lewis #1 Draft Brent Rooker #8 Draft Blayne Enlow #9 Draft Zack Littell #15 Trade Andrew Bechtold #20 Draft Tyler Watson #22 Trade Jacob Pearson #25 Trade Landon Leach #28 Draft Yunior Severino #29 International Signing David Banuelos #30 Trade Taking into account only the moves made to acquire minor league talent it is safe to safe this front office did well last year. Certainly drafting from the top gave them an advantage. However, they took full advantage of that draft slot and the money that came with it. With one draft class Falvey and Levine have stacked their farm system with five talented players. Three of whom are in the top ten. Beyond the draft class which has yielded great early results, they were smart with their International Signing Money. The Twins were able to jump on Severino, who was made available after the Braves scandal. In addition to the middle infielder, the Twins made two smart trades sending away money to bring in Jacob Pearson and David Banuelos. Obviously, all three players have their flaws, but they are also young and were acquired wisely. I believe that is the best way to sum up the early returns of this new front office; wise moves. The Twins really haven’t yet made a big splash, but they have made smart, calculated moves. Falvey and Levine seem perfectly content to continue to stock the selves with raw talent, watch it grow and strike when the timing is right. I must admit, it’s been fun to watch so far!
  16. Respond to as many as you like. Just curious what people think is an expected return for the below players (All have some degree of availability via trade). SP Gerrit Cole – 2 Years of Team Control 2018 (28) – Arbitration 2 2019 (29) – Arbitration 3 SP Chris Archer – 4 Years of Team Control 2018 (30) - $6.25 M 2019 (31) - $7.50 M 2020 (32) - $8.25 M Team Option 2021 (33) - $8.25 M Team Option SP Jake Odorizzi – 2 Years of Team Control 2018 (28) – Arbitration 2 2019 (29) – Arbitration 3 SP Dan Straily – 3 Years of Team Control 2018 (29) – Arbitration 1 2019 (30) – Arbitration 2 2020 (31) – Arbitration 3 SP Marcus Stroman – 3 Years of Team Control 2018 (27) – Arbitration 2 2019 (28) – Arbitration 3 2020 (29) – Arbitration 4 RP Kelvin Herrera – 1 Year of Team Control 2018 (28) – Arbitration 4 RP Raisal Iglesias - 3 Years of Team Control 2018 (28) - $4.5 M 2019 (29) - $5.0 M 2020 (30) - $5.0 M RP Zach Britton - 1 Year of Team Control 2018 (30) – Arbitration 3 RP Justin Wilson - 1 Year of Team Control 2018 (31) – Arbitration 3 RP Dellin Betances – 2 Years of Team Control 2018 (30) – Arbitration 2 2019 (31) – Arbitration 3 RP Felipe Rivero – 4 Years of Team Control 2018 (27) – Arbitration 1 2019 (28) – Arbitration 2 2020 (29) – Arbitration 3 2021 (30) – Arbitration 4 RP Brad Brach – 1 Year of Team Control 2018 (32) – Arbitration 3 RP Brad Hand – 2 Years of Team Control 2018 (28) – Arbitration 2 2019 (29) – Arbitration 3 RP Ken Giles – 3 Years of Team Control 2018 (28) – Arbitration 1 2019 (29) – Arbitration 2 2020 (30) – Arbitration 3
  17. As some of you may remember, back in August I began an exercise where I would periodically try and rank the top 100 Twins Prospects. Those rankings and the discussion that followed can be found by clicking on the below link. http://twinsdaily.com/topic/27220-top-100-prospects/ I received very useful feedback that I have taken into consideration this time around. Thank you to everyone who went through the list as I am sure you have better things to do than pay attention to who I believe is the 74th best prospect in the Twins system at the moment. One thing I emphasized last time and I will again is that I am still in the beginning / learning phase of how to evaluate and quantify an entire system of prospects. I have not seen everyone play, so I rely a lot on research, scouting reports, and an evaluation of there recent statistics and overall body of work. I feel more confident this time in my rankings and know a lot more about all these guys than I did 4 months ago. For example, I knew next to nothing about Akil Baddoo. I had him 30th in my last rankings really due to a lack of knowledge and research on him. As you will discover below, I am now very high on Baddoo and his potential. A lot of that comes from additional research and becoming more familiar with him as a player (He also continued to play very well). The next list will come out probably in late March or so once all the off-season moves have occurred. I anticipate 1 to 2 guys to be lost via rule 5 draft, and at least a couple to depart via some sort of trade. The Twins also could add via International Free Agency. So some shakeup in anticipated in the next couple of weeks. I really appreciated the feedback last time and if there is anyone that you feel I am completely missing or just wrong on let me know. It is a great starting point to do additional research and learn more. *Age is as of Opening Day 2018 Top 100 1 SS Royce Lewis 18 2 SS Nick Gordon 22 3 LHP Stephen Gonsalves 23 4 RHP Fernando Romero 23 5 OF Akil Baddoo 19 6 OF Brent Rooker 23 7 OF Alex Kirilloff 20 8 RHP Blayne Enlow 19 9 SS Wander Javier 19 10 RHP Brusdar Graterol 19 11 LHP Lewis Thorpe 22 12 RHP Zack Littell 22 13 LHP Tyler Jay 23 14 1B Lewin Diaz 21 15 RHP Felix Jorge 24 16 C Mitch Garver 27 17 2B Jose Miranda 19 18 3B Travis Blankenhorn 21 19 OF Jacob Pearson 19 20 RHP John Curtiss 24 21 OF LaMonte Wade 24 22 RHP Kohl Stewart 23 23 2B Yunior Severino 18 24 OF Zack Granite 25 25 LHP Tyler Watson 20 26 RHP Nick Burdi 25 27 C Ben Rortvedt 20 28 RHP Landon Leach 18 29 C David Banuelos 21 30 SS Jermaine Palacios 21 31 3B Andrew Bechtold 21 32 RHP Tyler Wells 23 33 RHP Jake Reed 25 34 RHP J.T. Chargois 27 35 SS Ricardo De La Torre 18 36 LHP Gabriel Moya 23 37 2B Luis Arraez 20 38 LHP Charlie Barnes 22 39 OF Aaron Whitefield 21 40 RHP Luke Bard 27 41 LHP Lachlan Wells 21 42 RHP Griffin Jax 23 43 OF Jaylin Davis 23 44 RHP Tom Hackimer 23 45 LHP Jovani Moran 20 46 RHP Aaron Slegers 25 47 LHP Ryley Widell 20 48 LHP Dietrich Enns 26 49 LHP Andrew Vasquez 24 50 2B Emmanuel Morel 20 51 3B Trey Cabbage 20 52 RHP Tyler Benninghoff 20 53 OF Jean Carlos Arias 20 54 LHP Mason Melotakis 26 55 RHP Clark Beeker 25 56 3B Chris Paul 25 57 LHP Alex Robinson 23 58 LHP Bryan Sammons 22 59 OF Edgar Corcino 25 60 1B Zander Wiel 25 61 RHP Sean Poppen 24 62 RHP Hector Lujan 23 63 RHP Eduardo Del Rosario 22 64 RHP Derek Molina 20 65 RHP Jordan Balazovic 19 66 2B Estamy Urena 18 67 OF Shane Carrier 21 68 3B Nelson Molina 22 69 RHP Cody Stashek 23 70 RHP Edwar Colina 20 71 OF Tanner English 25 72 3B Wander Valdez 18 73 RHP Michael Montero 18 74 3B T.J. White 26 75 SS Brandon Lopez 24 76 C Mitchell Kranson 24 77 2B Carson Crites 23 78 RHP Nick Anderson 27 79 LHP Sam Clay 24 80 OF Matt Albanese 22 81 RHP Calvin Faucher 22 82 RHP Zack Jones 27 83 RHP Williams Ramirez 25 84 RHP Colton Davis 24 85 LHP Michael Theofanopoulos 25 86 OF Carlos Aguiar 16 87 LHP Taylor Clemensia 21 88 C Rainis Silva 22 89 RHP Bailey Ober 22 90 RHP Ryan Eades 26 91 RHP D.J. Baxendale 27 92 OF Max Murphy 25 93 RHP Ryan Mason 23 94 3B Victor Tademo 18 95 OF Colton Burns 22 96 RHP Carlos Suniaga 20 97 RHP Patrick McGuff 24 98 C Brian Navarreto 23 99 OF Alberoni Nunez 19 100 SS Jordan Gore 23 Removed From Last Rankings Waived / Released / Minor League Free Agent / Contract Voided OF Daniel Palka (23) SS Jelfry Marte (27) LHP Randy Rosario (38) SS Engelb Vielma (46) 1B Amaurys Minier (52) 3B Niko Goodrum (71) RHP Dereck Rodriguez (73) 2B Levi Michael (76) OF Travis Harrison (79) LHP David Hurlbut (93) No Longer in Top 100 RHP Pedro Garcia (83) OF Humberto Maldonado (83) RHP Alex Schick (85) OF Roni Tapia (86) RHP Johan Quezada (87) SS Sean Miller (92) RHP Todd Van Steensel (97) Graduations RHP Trevor Hildenberger (28) RHP Alan Busenitz (49) Also Considered OF Humberto Maldonado OF Roni Tapia RHP Johan Quezada 2B Alex Perez LHP Anthony Marzi 1B Kolton Kendrick RHP Alex Muren OF Alex Robles OF Lean Marrero 3B Ariel Montesino RHP Randy Dobnak C Caleb Hamilton RHP Jared Finkel RHP Nick Brown 1B Ben Rodriguez C Willians Astudillo RHP Alex Schick 1B J.J. Robinson SS Sean Miller RHP Pedro Garcia RHP Todd Van Steensel RHP Donny Breek RHP Niklas Rimmel OF Mark Contreras 3B Yeltsin Encarnacion LHP Anthony McIver
  18. Originally Written by: Zane Douglas at mnssa.blogspot.com The Minnesota Twins have a solid list of prospects, but the bunch looks weak compared to the Byron Buxton, Miguel Sano, and Jose Berrios days. If you were to look at any of the current guys at the top of the Twins prospect list right now, you might see names like Nick Gordon, Royce Lewis, or Stephen Gonsalves, but what you don’t see are some very talented and very underrated players that are going to be helping the already formidable and already young Minnesota Twins team very soon. Two things I would like to stress about this article are that I will not be focusing on every lesser-known young player and contributor, and also I am not taking away anything from the top tier prospects in the organization. The first player that I’d like to focus on is LaMonte Wade. Wade spent the 2017 season in Double A Chattanooga and had great numbers with the Lookouts. He is currently ranked as 17th on MLB.com’s top 30 Minnesota Twins prospects list. He has shown the ability to hit throughout his minor league career, but one thing where he stands out from most minor league hitters is his ability to be patient and draw a lot of walks. Wade walked 76 times this season in 117 games, and has only struck out 71 times. Wade has 177 walks in 273 games, which means he has done this at every level. This helped Wade to slash .292/.397/.408. His slugging percentage is a bit low, but he has shown the ability to hit the ball out and could develop a little more power as he matures more. Looking at our numerical projections for Wade, we have calculated a slash line of .194/.264/.272. It isn’t the prettiest slash line, but projections are almost always low when relating a AA player to their production in the majors. He has time to grow as a player, and to get comfortable with higher levels of play, so a large leap in production wouldn’t be the least bit surprising. He is projected to be a fourth outfielder that can play the whole outfield, but I believe his bat will make it hard to sit him. Although there is a log jam of young talented players in the Twins outfield, don’t be surprised if LaMonte Wade works his way into the mix. Another undervalued prospect is Tom Hackimer. Hackimer was drafted in 2016 and spent the whole 2016 season with Cedar Rapids. In 2017 he split time between Fort Myers and Cedar Rapids and at both levels he was dominant. Hackimer was drafted as a reliever from St. John’s University and he was fantastic there. He has a sidearm delivery which has led Twins fans who know of him to compare him to the rising star Trevor Hildenberger. Hackimer, though, has a few differences from Hildy that are really evident. Hackimer has a quick move to the plate that could throw hitters timing off, and his secondary pitch is a sweeping slider instead of a changeup. Through 87.2 minor league innings pitched, Hackimer has a 1.95 ERA (19 ER). His walk rate is above Hildenberger’s as he’s walked 34 guys in the minors so far, but his strikeout rate is good, having 97 whiffs in his minor league career. Hackimer is already 23 and he’s only in single A, so expect him to move quickly, and possibly find a spot in the Twins bullpen in the next couple of years. The Twins sure don’t look like they need help right now as they pull away in the wild card race, but if they want to improve for next year they might need to look within the organization. The bullpen is already starting to fill up with some underrated arms and while Wade and Hackimer won’t fully complete the puzzle, it’s hard to think that they can’t at least be a start. Check out the rest of our posts at our other blog, mnssa.blogspot.com
  19. After the trade deadline I had some time and ranked my top 100 Twins prospects. For references I used fangraphs, BA, MLB Pipeline, Twins Daily's prospect handbook, other available scouting reports, and 2017 performance. Some of these could have changed recently as this list is about 2 weeks old. Just thought I would post to get feedback Rnk Pos. First Last Age 1 SS Royce Lewis 18 2 SS Nick Gordon 21 3 RHP Fernando Romero 22 4 LHP Stephen Gonsalves 23 5 OF Alex Kirilloff 19 6 OF Brent Rooker 22 7 SS Wander Javier 18 8 LHP Tyler Jay 23 9 RHP Blayne Enlow 18 10 RHP Kohl Stewart 23 11 RHP Felix Jorge 23 12 OF Zack Granite 24 13 1B Lewin Diaz 20 14 3B Travis Blankenhorn 21 15 RHP Zack Littell 22 16 RHP Nick Burdi 24 17 C Mitch Garver 26 18 LHP Lewis Thorpe 21 19 RHP J.T. Chargois 26 20 C Ben Rortvedt 19 21 RHP Brusdar Graterol 18 22 LHP Tyler Watson 20 23 OF Daniel Palka 25 24 RHP Jake Reed 24 25 OF LaMonte Wade 23 26 RHP Landon Leach 18 27 SS Jelfry Marte 16 28 RHP Trevor Hildenberger 26 29 SS Jermaine Palacios 21 30 OF Akil Baddoo 18 31 LHP Dietrich Enns 26 32 3B Andrew Bechtold 21 33 LHP Gabriel Moya 22 34 SS Ricardo De La Torre 18 35 RHP John Curtiss 24 36 LHP Lachlan Wells 20 37 OF Jaylin Davis 23 38 LHP Randy Rosario 23 39 RHP Aaron Slegers 24 40 RHP Eduardo Del Rosario 22 41 2B Luis Arraez 20 42 LHP Mason Melotakis 26 43 3B Jose Miranda 19 44 LHP Andrew Vasquez 23 45 LHP Ryley Widell 20 46 SS Engelb Vielma 23 47 RHP Luke Bard 26 48 3B Nelson Molina 22 49 RHP Alan Busenitz 26 50 OF Aaron Whitefield 20 51 LHP Charlie Barnes 21 52 1B Amaurys Minier 21 53 RHP Tom Hackimer 23 54 3B Trey Cabbage 20 55 RHP Jordan Balazovic 18 56 1B Zander Wiel 24 57 RHP Tyler Benninghoff 19 58 OF Tanner English 24 59 RHP Griffin Jax 22 60 SS Brandon Lopez 23 61 RHP Cody Stashek 23 62 RHP Williams Ramirez 25 63 LHP Bryan Sammons 22 64 OF Edgar Corcino 25 65 OF Matt Albanese 22 66 RHP Ryan Eades 25 67 C Rainis Silva 21 68 RHP Sean Poppen 23 69 RHP Zack Jones 26 70 LHP Taylor Clemensia 20 71 3B Niko Goodrum 25 72 RHP D.J. Baxendale 26 73 RHP Dereck Rodriguez 25 74 RHP Calvin Faucher 21 75 LHP Michael Theofanopoulos 24 76 2B Levi Michael 26 77 OF Jean Carlos Arias 19 78 RHP Pedro Garcia 22 79 OF Travis Harrison 24 80 RHP Tyler Wells 22 81 RHP Colton Davis 23 82 LHP Alex Robinson 22 83 OF Humberto Maldonado 19 84 LHP Sam Clay 24 85 RHP Alex Schick 22 86 OF Roni Tapia 20 87 RHP Johan Quezada 22 88 RHP Hector Lujan 22 89 LHP Jovani Moran 20 90 OF Shane Carrier 21 91 3B Chris Paul 24 92 SS Sean Miller 22 93 LHP David Hurlbut 27 94 RHP Nick Anderson 27 95 OF Max Murphy 24 96 RHP Clark Beeker 24 97 RHP Todd Van Steensel 26 98 RHP Ryan Mason 22 99 C Brian Navarreto 22 100 SS Jordan Gore 23
  20. Yesterday the Minnesota Twins finally got the trade done for Jaime Garcia. The Braves traded Jaime Garcia and catcher Anthony Recker to the Minnesota Twins for 19 year old right hander, Huascar Ynoa. The Braves got a 19-year old pitcher who they obviously liked and want him to be on the team once they are out of the rebuild stage. The Twins acquired Recker and of course Garcia. Anthony Recker is a catcher who has been in four organizations including Oakland, Chicago Cubs, New York Mets, and Atlanta. This year in the big leagues he is just 1-7 in six games. Recker would be a good backup catcher to Castro up in the show. Jaime Garcia was already rumored seriously last week for being traded to Minnesota, but that trade fell through because the Atlanta front office had a medical problem with the prospect that Minnesota was proposing them. Then, there were reports about some other teams getting in on Garcia, but yesterday the Braves finally liked the prospect Minnesota proposed, Huascar Ynoa, and they made the deal to give Garcia and Recker to Minnesota. Garcia on the year has pitched in 18 games, has a record of 4-7, and a 4.30 ERA in 113 innings pitched. Last Friday Garcia went seven innings, gave up seven hits, three earned runs, one walk, and struck out four. On the hitting side, he hit his first grand slam in his last game as a National League pitcher. So, as the Twins made this deal, the Kansas City Royals sent Travis Wood, Matt Strahm, and 18 year old infielder Esteury Ruiz to San Diego for pitchers Trevor Cahill, Ryan Buchter, and Brandon Maurer. This was very important for Minnesota to get a solid pitcher since the Royals just got three pitchers. After the loss to the Dodgers last night, they drop back even more in the division to 3.5 games after Cleveland and Kansas City won last night. I believe this Jaime Garcia trade can get the twins a win every five days and hopefully get the Twins a division win or at least the second wild card spot.
  21. Hey Twins Fans, Last year we directed a movie about Twins' top prospect Miguel Sano's signing in the Dominican Republic in 2009 called Ballplayer: Pelotero. We am happy to announce that since 2009 we never stopped filming with Miguel and are 4 years into production on a sequel that will track Miguel from his humble beginnings in the Dominican Republic, through the Twins' minor leagues system, and hopefully one day soon all the way to the majors. We have filmed already with Miguel and other future Twins in Boca Chica DR, Fort Myers, Elizabethton, and Beloit. We have had cooperation and access from the team, Miguel and his family and have the chance to tell a truly special story. It takes a long time to make it to Target Field though and we need your help to make it happen. We have launched a Kickstarter page to raise enough money to keep shooting this year. Our goal is $25,000; enough for us to make 5 trips to Fort Myers this season and 1 to the Dominican republic. Your contributions will make this film happen and we have some awesome rewards, to get you excited about the future of the Twins! Please check it out. The Miguel Sano Story by Guagua Productions ? Kickstarter Every dollar counts, and please help spread the word on Facebook and Twitter. Jon, Ross, and Trevor!
  22. Despair is a tough feeling to rebound from once you've felt it as badly as Twins fans have felt it this season. The sky is falling. There is no hope. Nothing good on the horizon. It is like we've put The Walking Dead on repeat. I'm not going to go Patrick Reusse on the bit because I couldn't say it much better than he did. I just want someone to tell me it is going to get better. It has to get better. Won't it get better? Like I said, the horizon seems bleak. Your budding prospects, Byron Buxton, Eddie Rosario and Miguel Sano have combined to hit .231 this season with 137 strikeouts in 372 at-bats. That's a strikeout just under every third at-bat for these guys. This is your future core. Your hope. And they are failing. Miserably. Of course, they are all very young. Rosario is the oldest at 24. Buxton the youngest at 22. And not one of them has played a full season at the Major League level. Preaching patience to a fan base that has seen this team win just 18 games this year is like selling trying to sell sand in the desert. No one is buying it. It's an old mantra that continues to grow tiresome. But it is the only thing you have to hold on to as Twins fans. And, frankly, I think these three will be just fine. Between refining their skills and more playing experience, things will turn around. You also have to believe they may feel pressure from other players at their positions. Players like Robbie Grossman or Max Kepler. A good showing from them should make them realize they are only as good as yesterday's box score indicates. It will be okay from that standpoint. That's my belief. That's where I put my faith in this team. Then, I look at the pitching. And all that faith that was built up in the young position players is destroyed. The current starting rotation is garbage. Last in the American League in ERA+ as a staff, last in the AL in earned runs, last in the AL in runs allowed per game and second to last in the AL in home runs per nine innings. Just to name a few. And I can't point to anyone in the system that I believe will save this staff. Jose Berrios is one guy and his initial appearance at the big league level was a large fart in a crowded elevator. I still believe he will get better but it will take more time. Which he has. Guys like Kyle Gibson, Phil Hughes and Ervin Santana do not. This to me is problems A, B and C for the Twins with not real hope on the horizon. That's why they need to blow the whole thing up. And start now. Not in the off-season but right now. Outside of Berrios, no one is safe. Even coaches and front office staff. This would be where I agree with Reusse. I would take a bucket of balls for Nolasco at this point. Or maybe a bag of air. It might give the Twins more value. What's the point in waiting anymore? You want to have hope and belief in something as a fan. You can stomach the bad if you believe good will come. You can at least see it from the position players standpoint. You can't from the pitching staff.
  23. I didn't really understand how the minor league worked at that time. "How come this guy that was hitting .250 got moved up when the guy hitting .325 didn't?" "Why is the guy hitting .325 not someone I've ever heard of?!" " Why are the first-round picks not playing AAA ball?!?!" You know, those were the types of things that were going through my mind. It wasn't until I hit my teenage years and started to like girls that I started to not ask those questions aloud and to myself anymore. It was around that same time that school computers had this new icon called "Netscape Navigator." Clicking into it was opening this portal to a world with answers to all my questions. Over the next few years, I started to learn more about the minor league process and the players and the draft. A few years after that I stumbled across a website called SethSpeaks.net and my mind was blown. There were a few other now-defunct websites that I'd visit and I soon became the (probably annoying) kid person who was emailing the guys that wrote on these sites asking a lot of questions. ORDER NOW: 2016 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook (paperback, $15.99) ORDER NOW: 2016 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook (eBook, $10.99) At one point, probably about eight years ago, Seth started advertising a book. It was red, kind of hideous and full, I mean, FULL of prospect information. I was captivated. I recognized Seth - because of his SethSpeaks.net hat - at TwinsFest and introduced myself. In typical Seth fashion, he politely shot the breeze. Fast-forward a handful of years and Seth hasn't changed much. He ditched the comfy SethSpeaks.net website for this fancy new website. (Let's say he was promoted from A-ball to the Big Leagues.) He doesn't rock the hat anymore (which he should). And he will still shoot the breeze with anyone that's interested. The "book" however, has changed. Volume-wise, it got bigger and bigger. It got to the point where Seth couldn't do it all alone anymore. Fortunately for me and Cody, he reached out. We accepted. After releasing last year's book - my third in which I've helped - I started floating the idea of a format change. It was going to be a big undertaking. In fact, I didn't know if I could handle the idea that I had in my head. I was going to put more of the overall plate, which, in turn, put more on Seth's and Cody's plate. Ugh. In June, I took my idea and put it to work with the 40 draft picks. Despite the lack of interest in The Twins Draftbook, the idea worked. The 2016 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook was going to look extremely different. ORDER NOW: 2016 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook (paperback, $15.99) ORDER NOW: 2016 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook (eBook, $10.99) That's where a lot of others come into play. We've included pictures in nearly every player bio. I thought it would be a fun undertaking. (Sorry, Seth.) The inclusion of those pictures isn't possible without Steve Buhr, Jim Donten, Evan Ellis, Becky Evans, Linwood Ferguson, Craig Gordon, Ed Kempf, Zach Lucy, Kelly McGlohon, Rob Moore, William Parmeter, Kelsie Redburn, Maddie Seymour, Seth Stohs, Jon Tarr, Marc Verkerk and the Minnesota Twins. Thanks to all of you! Having those pictures makes the book better and will make you like it that much more. So in the end, we're all happy. There are a TON of others we'd like to thank again. We can't, but you know who you are. There are other changes too. The profiles include more, including recognition for the scouts that signed each player. We each selected a few "sleepers" (guys that we think will be in the Top 30 next year) and a "breakout" player (someone we think will take the jump into the Top 10 next year). And each player that made any of our Top 30's has it included at the bottom of his profile. Oh yeah, the profiles. That was almost all Cody and Seth. Cody provided the numbers and motivation for the other two of us to keep up. Of course, this was all while he was going through a pretty significant life event, welcoming his first child into the world... a few weeks early to boot. ORDER NOW: 2016 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook (paperback, $15.99) ORDER NOW: 2016 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook (eBook, $10.99) Seth did what Seth does. I don't need to talk too much about that. Backgrounds? Check. Scouting reports? Check. Forecasts for next season? Check that too. Another addition to the profiles was a "roster status" section. Cody and Seth didn't always leave me much room, but it's a section I added that explains whether they're on the 40-man (and where they stand option-wise) or when they could need to be added or when they'll be a free agent. You know, the nerdy stuff that I'm into. All things considered, I think the three of us are more proud of this book than we have been of the previous editions. In fact, we're not sure where to go from here to make it better. But you'll probably have ideas and we'd love to hear them. There will be a survey available soon and we'd love your feedback after you have a chance to pick up a copy. Thanks for your support and we hope you enjoy!
  24. So, after hours upon hours of video research and emailing, today, the first 20 of my top 100 Atlanta Braves prospects goes live. I'm not assuming you all would have a ton of interest in this, but it's been a heck of a project for me, and I'd appreciate any feedback that anyone would care to share. The first 20 (or last 20, depending on how you want to look at it) launches at 4pm EST today on Tomahawk Take, but here's a link to the schedule and the first post highlighting the graduates of the system this year: http://tomahawktake.com/2015/10/12/atlanta-braves-top-100-graduates-and-schedule/ Obviously pimping my own stuff here, but I do appreciate the baseball insight of many on this board, so I thought I'd invite you all in to enjoy/critique as you see fit. Thanks!
  25. Baseball hasn't always been the paragon of parity, with teams like the Cardinals, Braves, and Yankees constructing dynasties that spanned for the better part of a decade, but this year is unlike any we've seen in recent history. No American League team is more than 10 games out of a playoff spot with two full months of the season left. It's parity to the utmost: Every team is in it if they want to be. From a general baseball standpoint, this is phenomenal. Even as the Royals run away with the AL Central, the other four playoff spots are all still very much up for grabs, and it virtually guarantees meaningful baseball will be played well into September. On a team-by-team level, this is maddening; if everyone is a contender, then no one is. Teams that have struggled to find .500 are, at least in theory, just one or two pieces away from making the crucial leap. The Royals proved last year that once you get into the playoffs, anything can happen, leaving fans of fringe-contending teams to shout "Don't just stand there, DO SOMETHING!" Thanks to the object lesson that is the New York Mets, we can see just how flawed that logic is. They traded High-A starter Casey Meisner for A's reliever -- and free-agent-to-be -- Tyler Clippard. Cue Keith Law's response: http://i.imgur.com/1NsJ8zj.png Charitably, the Mets made themselves better when they acquired Clippard and they did so by trading talent from a position of strength, and at least they struck while the iron is hot, right? Flags Fly Forever! Law's point, and he's probably correct here, is that not all action -- even that which makes you better in the short run -- is good. The Mets' bullpen isn't great, but it's also not their most glaring weakness. It sits at or slightly above-average in most categories (K/9, BB/9, FIP, and WAR most notably), and while having a shutdown bullpen makes the playoffs less stressful, the Mets' decidedly subpar offense still may keep them from ever getting there. If the Mets determined that Meisner had more value as a trade piece than he did in their organization, which seems objectively true, they still misused him and received too little value in return. Having a large collection of quarters doesn't make trading five of them for a dollar a good idea. I'll leave the actual evaluation of Meisner to the professionals. He's a 20-year-old in High-A, meaning he still has the full range of possibilities ahead of him: He could be a cautionary tale for years to come when he becomes a star (like Wilson Ramos or Carlos Santana) or a complete non-factor (ala Deolis Guerra or literally dozens of other pitchers league-wide). Twins fans should take the Mets' move as a cautionary tale, since there's a parallel between someone like Meisner and someone like Max Kepler, who is showing good production in the low minors, but who may be blocked on his path to the majors. Or, more pointedly, who may have more value outside the Twins organization than in it. He could be used to bring talent into a squad that sorely needs it, but unless they can get fair-market value or above for him, the Twins are better off keeping Kepler and waiting for a calmer trading period to emerge. Fortune favors the bold, especially with so many teams in the mix for a fixed number of playoff spots, but for a team at the very beginning of its contending window like the Twins are, sometimes .
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