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  • Twins Prospects in Review


    I was listening to this week’s Gleeman & the Geek episode. In it, they discussed briefly how many Twins prospects might make Baseball America’s 2013 Top 100 prospects list. It certainly is an interesting question, especially given that the Twins minor league system has been generally considered very weak the last few years. However, there is little question in my mind, that the Twins organization will likely rank in the Top 10 minor league systems again.

    The general belief is that Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton will likely be Top 25 prospects in all of baseball. The two certainly give the Twins a couple of high ceiling prospects although both are yet to turn 20.

    Aaron Hicks is no stranger to the Top 100 lists. He was #19 on their list in 2010 and #45 in 2011 before dropping out of the last this past year. Oswaldo Arcia hasn’t been on Baseball America’s Top 100 before, but he put together quite the offensive season at age 21. I fully expect both of them to be in the Top 100.

    What about Eddie Rosario? Will missing a month of the season keep him out of the Top 100? Kyle Gibson was #34 in 2011 after being #61 in 2010. Although he pitched very little in 2012, could he make the list again with a strong AFL showing? What about Jose (JO) Berrios? The Twins first supplemental first-round draft pick this year just dominated the rookie leagues.

    I figure that there are four ‘for-sures’ to be Top 100, and I listed three others that we could make a strong case for making it. More important than the actual list itself is the fact that the Twins do have a lot of high-ceiling prospects again.

    But, what does that really mean? What has being a Baseball America Top 100 prospect meant over the last 23 years? Let’s take a look:

    1990 – Willie Banks (13), Johnny Ard (46), Kevin Tapani (88)
    1991 – Willie Banks (15), Rich Garces (16), Chuck Knoblauch (72)
    1992 – David McCarty (22), Pat Mahomes (25), Midre Cummings (33), Willie Banks (68), Alan Newman (96), Todd Ritchie (98)
    1993 – David McCarthy (16), Mike Trombley (53), Rich Becker (78)
    1994 – Rich Becker (37), Todd Ritchie (78), LaTroy Hawkins (92)
    1995 – LaTroy Hawkins (30), Todd Walker (40), Marc Barcelo (70)
    1996 – Todd Walker (22), Jose Valentin (58), LaTroy Hawkins (70), Dan Serafini (76)
    1997 – Todd Walker (7), Luis Rivas (70), Torii Hunter (79)
    1998 – Eric Milton (25), Luis Rivas (55), David Ortiz (84)
    1999 – Michael Cuddyer (36), Michael Restovich (50), Luis Rivas (63), Cristian Guzman (68)
    2000 – Michael Cuddyer (18), Michael Restovich (26), Matthew LeCroy (44), BJ Garbe (79), Luis Rivas (86)
    2001 – Adam Johnson (41), Michael Cuddyer (55), Luis Rivas (93)
    2002 – Joe Mauer (7), Justin Morneau (21), Michael Cuddyer (27), Michael Restovich (63), Adam Johnson (85)
    2003 – Joe Mauer (4), Justin Morneau (14), Michael Cuddyer (17), Michael Restovich (37)
    2004 – Joe Mauer (1), Justin Morneau (16), JD Durbin (66), Matt Moses (81), Jesse Crain (89)
    2005 – Joe Mauer (1), Jason Kubel (17), Jesse Crain (63), JD Durbin (70)
    2006 – Francisco Liriano (6), Jason Kubel (58), Matt Moses (75), Glen Perkins (91), Anthony Swarzak (100)
    2007 – Matt Garza (21), Glen Perkins (66), Kevin Slowey (71), Chris Parmelee (94)
    2008 – Deolis Guerra (35), Carlos Gomez (52), Nick Blackburn (56)
    2009 – Ben Revere (59), Wilson Ramos (71)
    2010 – Aaron Hicks (19), Wilson Ramos (58), Kyle Gibson (61), Miguel Sano (94)
    2011 – Kyle Gibson (34), Aaron Hicks (45), Miguel Sano (60), Joe Benson (100)
    2012 – Miguel Sano (18), Joe Benson (99)

    A couple of notes:

    • Any question why the Twins struggled in the 1990s? How about all of the high school pitchers drafted high in the late 80’s and early 90s? Guys like Willie Banks, Johnny Ard, Pat Mahomes, Alan Newman, Todd Ritchie and Dan Serafini didn’t exactly pan out. LaTroy Hawkins was a success story after several years of struggling. Of course, Brad Radke was a high school draft pick who was never a top prospect, but he turned out alright.
    • Based on his rankings, it sure would have been nice to see Rochester’s Michael Restovich get a real opportunity. Either that, or he’s a good example of a guy who hit a ton of HR in the Pacific Coast League and it wouldn’t translate to the big leagues?
    • These Top 100 lists are a good illustration of the definition of prospects. Most of them don’t make it to elite status. Some of the top guys become stars, and others completely flame out. Some just become OK players or even role players.
    • Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau and Michael Cuddyer turned out alright, I guess. I sometimes think that many Twins fans who talk about how bad the Twins farm system was a couple of years ago (and it was certainly not great) only had the incredible run of mid-‘00s prospects to compare to. In addition to those three, guys like Jason Kubel, Francisco Liriano and Glen Perkins were all prospects around the same time.


    Twins fans should be excited about the list of seven prospects mentioned early in this article. They are legitimate prospects and should give the Twins scouting departments a lot more credibility again. However, as with any prospects, there has to be an understanding of just what these rankings mean.
    This article was originally published in blog: Twins Prospects in Review started by Seth Stohs
    Comments 13 Comments
    1. Twins Twerp's Avatar
      Twins Twerp -
      I think you are right about hicks, buxton, and sano. Hicks will probably be in the 40-60 range in my opinion. Rosario should also make it as should Arcia IMO. But I don't think both get in. We talk about these guys on an almost daily basis so we can become a little bias. Best case scenerio, all seven of the guys you mention make it. JO Berrios may need another solid year at Low A before these sites (magazines) start ranking him in the top 100. Kyle Gibson, imo, no shot. Too little of a sample size after coming back from an injury. He will never make the list because he may be in the Majors next year and lose his rookie status. Good article.
    1. John Bonnes's Avatar
      John Bonnes -
      My best guess woudl be be Sano, Buxton, Hicks, Arcia and Berrios with Rosario getting an honorable metion. If Gibson does well in the AFL, he could too. But after all the rending of garments over the Twins farm system over the last two years, I think it'll be ranked as above average this year. That's a nice turnaround.
    1. Brandon's Avatar
      Brandon -
      Players who made the list twice had considerably more success or more playing time than those that only made the list once. Restovich is the big example of one who didn't get much playing time.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      1992 – David McCarty (22), Pat Mahomes (25), Midre Cummings (33), Willie Banks (68), Alan Newman (96), Todd Ritchie (98)
      If anything this sound indicate that inclusion in the BA top 100 prospect lists means absolutely nothing other that a nice status as a trade chip. Remember, the Twins were completing in '92. Wonder if they would have won a bit more before the strike that changed everything if they had traded a bunch of those "blue chip prospects" for some established players...
    1. kab21's Avatar
      kab21 -
      Rosario was #46 and Arcia #64 on Sickel's midseason list so I think it's pretty likely that they'll make BA's overall list. Guys like Gibson, Berrios and Kepler are guys that should rank in the 75-150 range on lists so I wouldn't be surprised if they made some top 100 lists and just missed others.
    1. kab21's Avatar
      kab21 -
      Quote Originally Posted by thrylos98 View Post
      1992 – David McCarty (22), Pat Mahomes (25), Midre Cummings (33), Willie Banks (68), Alan Newman (96), Todd Ritchie (98)
      If anything this sound indicate that inclusion in the BA top 100 prospect lists means absolutely nothing other that a nice status as a trade chip. Remember, the Twins were completing in '92. Wonder if they would have won a bit more before the strike that changed everything if they had traded a bunch of those "blue chip prospects" for some established players...
      The strike had nothing to do with '92 since it happened in '94 by which time the Twins were in freefall anyway. i think many have always thought that the twins should have been more aggressive going for it when they have had the chance but this is just the ultimate hindsight post. These prospect lists should serve as a reminder that prospects do bust all of the time and there is no reason to worry about where to play Revere, Arcia, Hicks, Buxton, kepler, Sano and anyone else that might end up in the OF. it's pretty likely that half of these guys are not MLB starters.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Quote Originally Posted by kab21 View Post
      Rosario was #46 and Arcia #64 on Sickel's midseason list.
      Here is one of my gripes with some of those lists that are treated as holy grails:

      Wonder how many times has Sickel seen Rosario and Arcia play (either live or on TV?) And I am not picking on Sickel. Lot's of those lists are the results of bandwagon jumping from good and bad reviews. (Full disclosure: I saw Rosario about the equivalent of one game and Arcia for like 10 games or so.)
    1. greengoblinrulz's Avatar
      greengoblinrulz -
      Shows how Tom Kelly & co. completely screwed up every top prospect they had in the 90s. He was horrendous with younger players & destroyed em.
      Good thing the eventual early decade Twins revolted on him in 2000 & organization knew it was time to get rid of him....TK had highs & lows, but nobody wants to remember the lows
    1. old nurse's Avatar
      old nurse -
      Quote Originally Posted by greengoblinrulz View Post
      Shows how Tom Kelly & co. completely screwed up every top prospect they had in the 90s. He was horrendous with younger players & destroyed em.
      Good thing the eventual early decade Twins revolted on him in 2000 & organization knew it was time to get rid of him....TK had highs & lows, but nobody wants to remember the lows
      Revolted???
      Destroyed Young players? Who developed the championship players from the minor league teams? Suddenly Kelly changes how he treats people? You are free to have an opinion but what player failed under Kelly and went on to be anything more than a role player? Hawkins, Trombley, Knoblach, and Hunter destroyed? Yah, right. Todd Walker, could not play defense and traded. He did not produce. Willie Banks did not make it because of his own skills. Garces ate his way out of the league. McCarty couldn't catch up to a fastball. Remember the lows of the player's themselves.
    1. SeanS7921's Avatar
      SeanS7921 -
      I don't really dig Baseball America. I like Keith Law and his top 100. His mid-season top-50 he has Buxton 18th, Sano, 26th and Rosario 39th. He also said Arcia was close to the top 50. So those guys should all be in his top 100 next year. He is really high on Buxton and Sano. Though with Sano his defense translates to 1B or DH he thinks. He used to like Hicks a lot. I'm not sure where that stands now. He scouted Sano and Rosario this year and liked both but thought Rosario's approach wasn't great. He thinks Berrios is completly overrated based on the level of compeition he faced.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      It will be hard for me to take any list seriously that leaves Arcia out of the top 100.

      I think it will end up like this:

      Top 30: Sano, Buxton.
      30-60: Arcia, Hicks.
      60-100: Rosario.
      Fringe candidates: Gibson, Berrios.
    1. YourHouseIsMyHouse's Avatar
      YourHouseIsMyHouse -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      It will be hard for me to take any list seriously that leaves Arcia out of the top 100.

      I think it will end up like this:

      Top 30: Sano, Buxton.
      30-60: Arcia, Hicks.
      60-100: Rosario.
      Fringe candidates: Gibson, Berrios.
      I agree with this. The Twins should certainly have 5 in the 100. I would add Kepler in as another fringe. A 19 year old who just showed glimpses of a fifth tool may be a tempting late add. To be a little more specific, I would hope for this:
      15-25 Sano, Buxton
      35-40 Hicks
      60-75 Arcia, Rosario
    1. BobbyBaseball70's Avatar
      BobbyBaseball70 -
      Wow
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