David Arias is Back!
by, 01-21-2013 at 02:41 AM (1004 Views)
What is the meaning of life? Why are we all here? When looking for meaning in life, it is important to stay away from the “meaningless” list of Twins top prospects on MLB.com. That brings up another burning question: Who is ranking the Twins’ prospects on MLB.com?
In my opinion, a top prospect list should be a “fluid” collection of players with the highest perceived upside. If a player is not producing up to moderate expectations, then he should be dropped from the list and a productive player with high upside should be added in his place.
Because MLB.com had so many glaring issues, I boldly predicted what the top-10 should look like following the 2013 season. I will stick with this theme for my #11-20 Twins' prospects.
11. Nate Roberts – LF
12. Zachary Jones – RHP
13. Mason Melotakis – LHP
14. Josmil Pinto – C
15. Daniel Santana – SS
16. DJ Baxendale – RHP
17. A.J. Achter – RHP
18. Michael Tonkin - RHP
19. Kennys Vargas – 1B
20. Chris Colabello – 1B
Okay, here goes…
11. Nate Roberts – This guy is easily a top-20 prospect after tearing the AFL a new “one” last fall. He is the guy with the dirtiest jersey after most games. He is not a “toolsy” prospect. He relies on intelligence and proper execution of offensive fundamentals. I recently posted a blog entry predicting trade winds that could land Roberts in Minnesota by 2014. He is going to be a Lenny Dykstra-type of player (tough as nails).
12. Zachary Jones – Watch your lips when you step into the box vs. this right-hander. He isn’t a big, intimidating figure on the mound at 6’1”, but take a look at what Willihammer posted here concerning a pitcher’s height and effectiveness. Jones averaged 15.3 K’s per nine innings during his professional debut. He is going to be reeeeally good…may pitch in the Eastern League at the end of 2013.
13. Mason Melotakis – Here is another arm that could move multiple levels next summer. He sat hitters down nicely with Beloit, and could prove to be Minnesota-worthy quickly since our closer is a lefty and Duensing appears to be crappin’ out. He might cruise right up to Double-A this summer with the kind of stuff he possesses.
14. Josmil Pinto – We are starving for a catcher that can hit. We are starving for a catcher that can catch! Heck, we are just plain starving in Minnesota. Hopefully Pinto is the answer to this problem by 2014-15. He was impressive at A+ and AA, and should be making Hermann and Butera sweat following the 2013 season.
15. Daniel Santana – We are starving for a shortstop too! This kid is still a few years away, but he showed great speed the last two years in low-A and Ft. Myers. He hit .286 last summer with a little pop, and I really like his fielding percentage at SS (.950). This could be the guy that puts a stop in that revolving door we got in Minnesota.
16. DJ Baxendale – This ranking is based solely on what DJ did last summer during his rookie minor league season. The kid allowed hardly anyone to get on base, let alone score a run. He is said to be starting next year, and I cannot wait to find out what he can do in that role. He’s another college hurler with a chance to move up fast.
17. A.J. Achter – This dude was the minor league “Pitcher of the Year” for our favorite organization. Yet, he was absent from MLB’s list (as are a huge chunk of my top-20). Go figure, and then take a look at Achter’s stats. He belongs on this list, and he might even make it to Triple-A this next summer. He certainly dominated the FSL hitters last year.
18. Micahel Tonkin – Stud. Big, tall stud. How in the heck does he not make the top-20 after his stingy numbers on the mound in 2012. He struck out 12.6 per nine last year between low-A and Ft. Myers. He wasn’t giving up many hits or walks either. His appearance in the Arizona Fall League wasn’t bad. Tonkin can handle AA hitters, and should be within reach of Minnesota by the end of 2014.
19. Kennys Vargas – Whoa! Where did this guy come from? The island of Puerto Rico! I am not really sure what is going on with Vargas’ “games played” totals during his pro career. Maybe one of my readers can fill me in on that? But, I am scared when I watch him swing. And that is a great feeling! He hit 11 homers and walked 28 times in 41 games with Beloit in 2012. He bettered his numbers from Rookie ball to low-A. I see Big Papi when he swings. His short year in Beloit was so good he may need to be ranked much higher on this list. This 22-yr-old may be top-10 material right now.
You can brush up on your Español while Kennys scares you here: Conoce a tus Indios - Kennys Vargas - YouTube
20. Chris Colabello – If you are not rooting for this guy, shame on you! He is an un-drafted, NCAA Division-II corner infielder that can really hit. He plays for peanuts during a seven-year Independent League career, and finally gets a shot by being placed directly in AA with the Twins organization in 2012. He snaps off an eye-popping stat line during his first year with an MLB affiliate, then goes to the Mexican League and devours fastballs like fajitas. He earns a spot on my top-20. He and Vargas are reasons why a trade of Morneau and/or Parmelee wouldn’t be so bad. Colabello could be the bridge to 2015-’16 for the Twins at first-base starting in 2014.
(Vargas & Sano: they are big)
If your favorite prospect is not on this list, perhaps he will be losing his prospect status in 2013. Or...he may not be producing up to normal expectations, and does not belong in the top-20. As you can see, I dropped anyone that has been under-performing in the minor leagues. I also dropped players that I feel do not have a high enough ceiling to be a considered a top-20 prospect.