The Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook has now been available for a little over a week in both paperback
forms. One of my favorite parts of the book is the History of my Top 30 Twins Prospects lists. Near the back of the book, I posted my Top 30 Twins Prospects for 2013, and I also post the Top 30s going back to 2007. It’s fun to look back and see some player’s names from the past. It’s fun to see some of them being successful in the big leagues, and it’s even fun seeing names of players that I (and likely many others) may have been completely wrong about.
Back in October, I posted a preliminary Top 50 prospect list
on this site. It was purposely done before a lot of research on the Twins minor leagues had started. It created great discussion in the comments, but it is also interesting to see if, after reading a ton about all 150 or so Twins minor leaguers, the rankings change much. In some cases, they did change. The Twins also added a couple of top prospects.
Below you will see my final 2013 Minnesota Twins Top 30 Prospects. In the book, it’s just a list. After each, I’ll be added a couple of sentences about the player, kind of stream of conscious-form. Obviously, in the book, there is much more about all 30 players, and over 120 more player prospects. So again, if you’re interested in the e-book
, the paperback
or any of the previous Prospect Handbooks
, feel free to do so.
SethSpeaks.net 2013 Minnesota Twins Top 30 Prospects
Rank – Name – Pos – 2012 Levels
1 – Miguel Sano – 3B – Beloit Snappers
Everyone knows Sano. He’s one of the Top 10-20 prospects in baseball due to his power potential. Can he play 3B long-term? I think so. He hit 28 homers and drove in 100 runs last year in Beloit while hitting just .258 and striking out a ton. He’ll have to make some adjustments before he becomes a Sure-Thing, but he has the world of potential!
2 – Byron Buxton – OF – GCL Twins, Elizabethton Twins
Speaking of amazing potential, Buxton fits into the upper echelon. The #2 overall pick in last year’s draft had all of the tools. He is incredibly fast, plays great defense, has a rocket for an arm, and should hit for power. He had a successful debut in 2012 and it will be interesting to see if he begins the 2013 season in Cedar Rapids or at Extended Spring Training.
3 – Oswaldo Arcia – OF – Ft. Myers Miracle, New Britain Rock Cats
Flat-out impressive hitter. He has very good power, uses the whole field and just always finds a way to put the barrel of the bat on the ball. In New Britain, he showed he can hit for average, walk enough, and come up big in big situations. Twins minor league hitter of the year in 2012, he could go back to New Britain for a short time or begin the season in Rochester.
4 – Alex Meyer – RHP – Hagerstown Suns, Potomac Nationals
Meyer came to the Twins in the Denard Span trade. The 2011 first-round pick out of Kentucky has a ton of potential on the mound. Anyone who throws 99 mph, has a semblance of control, and has the potential for four plus pitches should probably be higher than #4 on the list. He has Ace potential, now we’ll see in 2013 if he can get there.
5 – Aaron Hicks – OF – New Britain Rock Cats
The funny thing is that a year ago, Hicks was coming off of a frustrating season in Ft. Myers. I ranked him #4. In 2012, he moved up to New Britain and put together a very impressive line in which filled up all of the offensive categories. He had double figures in doubles, triples and home runs and stole 32 bases. He also has great range, and has a very strong arm in the outfield. He has a chance to be the Twins starting centerfielder in 2013.
6 – Kyle Gibson – RHP – Ft. Myers Miracle, Rochester Red Wings
Like Hicks (and Arcia), Gibson should debut with the Twins sometime early in 2013. The right-hander’s rehab from Tommy John surgery in September of 2011 went as planned. He pitched fairly well, especially early, in the Arizona Fall League. He’s got a great mix of pitches including a fastball that occasionally touches 95. He should be a very solid starting pitcher in the near future.
7 – Eddie Rosario – OF/2B – Beloit Snappers
Rosario has a terrific bat. He is also a very good centerfielder, but due to the Twins glut of outfielders in the farm system, Rosario has been moved to second base where he has shown glimpses of having a future there. Can he stay at 2B? That shall be determined. He will be playing for Puerto Rico in the WBC and is starting to become a household name in his country.
8 – Jose (JO) Berrios – RHP – GCL Twins, Elizabethton Twins
Another member of the Puerto Rico WBC roster, Berrios is very young having just been drafted by the Twins in the supplemental round of the Twins 2012 draft. He is a very advanced pitcher for his age and seems to be more likely to get to the big leagues than most players his age. Hopefully he can remain healthy.
9 – Trevor May – RHP – Reading Phillies
May came to the Twins with Vance Worley from the Phillies in the Ben Revere deal. A year ago, May was the top prospect in the Phillies organization. Walked too many at AA in 2012, but he throws hard and if he can harness the control, he could be a solid member of the rotation.
10 – Max Kepler – OF – Elizabethton Twins
Kepler was signed the same year as Jorge Polanco and Miguel Sano, and in 2012 he took a big step forward in his second season in the Appalachian League. He showed his power potential. He takes walks. He is a good outfielder. 2013 will be interesting as he moves into a full-season league.
11 – Joe Benson – OF – Rochester Red Wings, New Britain Rock Cats
Benson was as big of a prospect one year ago as Aaron Hicks is today. Unfortunately, he struggled early and was hurt most of the year. When it comes to tools and talent, Benson has as much upside as anyone on this list not named Buxton or Sano. The mullet is gone. The knee is nearly back to 100% He should be given a legitimate shot at the starting centerfield gig.
12 – Kennys Vargas – 1B – Beloit Snappers
When it comes to raw power, Vargas has as much as anyone in the organization, including Miguel Sano. He returned a year ago after serving an extended 50 game suspension and showed his power right away in Beloit. He’s not swift. He’s not great at 1B. He struggles with a good fastball, but I just can’t get past that power potential.
13 – Danny Santana – SS – Ft. Myers Miracle
I’ve always been pretty high on Santana. I love his speed, both on the base paths and with his range at shortstop. He has a strong arm. He was the leadoff hitter for the Miracle this past year despite rarely seeing a pitch that he didn’t want to swing at. He posted an OBP over .300, primarily due to his average. He’s not big, but he’s fast and shows good extra base power. He was added to the 40 man roster following the season.
14 – Travis Harrison – 3B – Elizabethton Twins
Harrison debuted in 2012 with the E-Twins. He hit .300 although he didn’t show much power. His defense was rather rough at third base. He is a solid all-around hitter and the power should develop. He likely won’t stay at third base, so his bat is what will carry him.
15 – Alex Wimmers – RHP – New Britain Rock Cats
Wimmers was considered by many to be one of the most ready pitchers drafted in 2010. 2011 was a mess, and he lost his 2012 season because of elbow problems that resulted in Tommy John surgery. But, if he’s healthy, he can still show why he was a 1st
round pick. Good fastball, good changeup. Plenty of pitches. Hopefully his rehab can go as smoothly as Kyle Gibson’s did. Biggest picture, don’t completely forget about Wimmers yet!
16 – Adam Walker – OF – Elizabethton Twins
OK, Walker has some incredible power potential too. The key for the 2012 draft pick will be whether he is able to make more contact. If he can, he’ll move up quickly. If not, frankly, he will struggle.
17 – Chris Herrmann – C – New Britain Rock Cats, Minnesota Twins
When the 2012 season ended, Herrmann went home to prepare for the Arizona Fall League. A couple of weeks later, the Twins had a need at catcher and Herrmann was called up. He didn’t hit, but he did show his patience. He also impressed behind the plate and in left field. That is the role (similar to Ryan Doumit, but without the bat) he should be playing for the Twins for years to come.
18 – BJ Hermsen – RHP – Ft. Myers Miracle, New Britain Rock Cats
Yup, I get that he doesn’t throw real hard and many think it won’t transfer as he moves up. The Twins Pitcher of the Year knows how to pitch. He has a variety of fastballs that he throws at various speeds and with various movements. He lives on perfect control and being able to keep the ball in the park.
19 – Jorge Polanco – 2B – Elizabethton Twins
Polanco was signed for his glove at shortstop, but he has gradually been playing more at second base. He actually hit quite well in the Appy League in 2012I don’t expect that to continue, but Polanco should advance to the Midwest League in 2013.
20 – Luke Bard – RHP – GCL Twins, Elizabethton Twins
Bard pitched mostly out of the bullpen in college, but he has the pitches and the makeup to be a starter, where the Twins 2012 first-round pick feels he would be more valuable.
21 – Adrian Salcedo – RHP – Ft. Myers Miracle
Salcedo was a Top 10 prospect a year ago, but 2012 was a lost year for him. He fought elbow and shoulder injuries and was rehabbed throughout the season. Hopefully he will be successful in his recovery and return to his prospect status quickly. When healthy, he is a starter who can sit in the mid-90s. He also has three pitches.
22 – Mason Melotakis – LHP – Elizabethton Twins, Beloit Snappers
The hard-throwing Twins 2nd
round pick in 2012 did a nice job for the E-Twins and Snappers bullpens. However, there is a good chance that he will get an opportunity to start. If he can be successful, his value skyrockets.
23 – Nate Roberts – OF – Beloit Snappers
Led the Arizona Fall League in Batting Average, OBP and SLG% this past fall. He is the perfect leadoff hitter who understands his job is the get on base as often as possible.
24 – Michael Tonkin – RHP – Beloit Snappers, Ft. Myers Miracle
Tonkin went back to Beloit to start the 2012 season and was tremendous out of the bullpen. He throws his heavy fastball in the mid-to-upper 90s with a devastating slide. He struckout almost 13 batters per nine innings and was added to the 40 man roster.
25 – Pedro Hernandez – LHP – Rochester Red Wings
He’s considered by most fans to be just another guy from the Francisco Liriano trade. He’s a lefty with multiple pitches who, at age 23, already made a start in the big leagues. His 2013 ended with injury, but he could be a decent back of the rotation starter in the future.
26 – Daniel Ortiz – OF – Beloit Snappers, Ft. Myers Miracle
Ortiz had another solid season in 2012 between Beloit and Ft. Myers. The diminutive outfielder has a very nice swing and solid all-around skills, but he is often forgotten among all of the other Twins outfield prospects.
27 – Niko Goodrum – SS – Elizabethton Twins
Goodrum repeated at Elizabethton in 2012 and his batting average dropped but his Isolated Discipline and power increased. He should get to the Midwest League in 2013.
28 – Matt Summers – RHP – Beloit Snappers, Ft. Myers Miracle
A hard-throwing right-hander, Summer pitched well early in Beloit, but he did struggle in Ft. Myers. He has three solid pitches and his strikeout numbers should increase going forward.
29 – Hudson Boyd – RHP – Elizabethton Twins
Boyd made his professional debut with the E-Twins in 2012. His ERA was solid, although he did give up a lot of unearned runs. He has a fastball in the mid-90s, but he didn’t get many strikeouts during the season.
30 – Levi Michael – 2B/SS – Ft. Myers Miracle
I wasn’t real high on Michael when the Twins made him their top pick in 2011 from North Carolina. He went to Ft. Myers and really struggled with the Miracle. He played a season at third base, a season at shortstop and a season at second base in college. He played more second base with the Miracle. Offensively, he wasn’t particular good.
So there you have it. My official 2013 Twins Prospect Ranking. Feel free to leave comments and ask questions in the Forum.