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  • Six Minnesota Twins Among MLB.com's Top 100 Prospect

    The Minnesota Twins front office should feel somewhat vindicated by all of the recent draft picks, international signings and savvy trades which have brought the organization closer to sustainable relevancy – at least by MLB.com’s standards. On Tuesday night, MLB.com revealed their Top 100 prospects and six Twins prospects graced the list.

    Joining front-running Miguel Sano (12th), Minnesota sent 2012 draftee Byron Buxton (19th), recently acquired Alex Meyer (40th), Kyle Gibson (49th), Oswaldo Arcia (93rd) and Aaron Hicks (98th), into the top 100. Only Boston, Miami, St Louis and Texas equaled that total.

    The Twins added two additional prospects to that list over the prior year – mainly due to the return of Gibson from Tommy John surgery, the acquisition of Meyer, and the rebound of Arcia, who was added after he missed a substantial part of 2011. Both Sano and Buxton moved up in the rankings while Hicks dropped from 59th to 98th Eddie Rosario, who was ranked 80th in 2012 but was injured for a portion of 2012, was bumped off completely. Overall, based on the prospect points rankings (i.e. 100 equals 1 point, 99 equals 2 points, etc) the Twins’ scored 295, good for fourth behind Seattle, St. Louis and Tampa – three very good organizations when it comes to developing in-house talent.

    Earlier this month, Baseball America’s Jim Callis released their preliminary top ten list for farm systems in baseball. According to Callis, the Twins ranked seventh. Ahead of them included the Cardinals, Mariners, Marlins, Rangers, Red Sox and Rays. Once again, they ranked among the game’s best and – with the exception of the Mariners and Marlins – regular contenders. This was a sizable jump in BA’s standings considering that Baseball America viewed 19 other organizations to be better than the Twins a year ago. The climb was similar at prospect guru John Sickels’s site MinorLeagueBall.com. Last year, he placed them at 17th overall but moved them up to seventh as well this year.

    Of course, it should be noted how quickly teams can swing from top to bottom of Baseball America’s list. For instance, in 2010, the Cardinals were ranked as 29th, after being rated eighth the previous year. Two years later, they are the number one team. Likewise Cleveland who was in the seventh spot in 2011 dropped to 29th heading into last year. Several trades or solid draft picks can do wonders for an organization.

    Outside of the aforementioned big-ticket guys on the list, players like Rosario, newly acquired pitcher Trevor May and outfielder Max Kepler are drawing plenty of attention. Arms like J.O. Barrios and Luke Bard are also leaving strong impressions and could contribute quickly in Minnesota.

    Team president Dave St. Peter’s remarks on the recent Gleeman and the Geek podcast over the TwinsFest weekend revealed the team’s intentions. “We’re trying to do this right,” St. Peter said in regards to the team’s strategy. “We’re trying to do it the only way we know how to do it, which is to build this thing through our farm system and for the long term.”

    While many fans may be disheartened by the moves (or lack of moves) made at the major league level, building a solid foundation is imperative for the long-term success of any team.

    Having a strong minor league system does not necessarily mean waiting until 2021 and Hover Board Giveaway Day at the ballpark to be competitive either. Having a strong system also gives teams the luxury of trading for parts to help immediately. This offseason the Toronto Blue Jays, who were rated fourth in 2012, unleashed a flurry of prospects to land starters Josh Johnson, Mark Buerhle and shortstop Jose Reyes. The Royals sent the number three overall prospects Wil Myers to Tampa for starter James Shields (for better or worse). If the 2014 roster – with an aging core of Mauer and Willingham – appear poised to compete, the team could trade from the depth to provide immediate reinforcements if deemed appropriate.

    Even if the rest of the 2013 season doe not quite go as schedule, rest assured that the team is laying the right groundwork to build upon.
    This article was originally published in blog: Six Minnesota Twins Among MLB.com's Top 100 Prospect started by Parker Hageman
    Comments 67 Comments
    1. gunnarthor's Avatar
      gunnarthor -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      If they were so good at it, where are all the regular starters that have come up since Mauer? Why do they have almost no good, young players on the roster or at AAA?
      It's cyclical. And since Mauer was called up, the Twins have added a ton of young talent. All of these guys have had at least one decent year - Bartlett, Garza, Slowey, Blackburn, Perkins, Baker, Liriano, Span, Revere, Kubel, Ford, Ramos, Neshek, Crain, Swarzak, Duensing, etc. They also traded prospects for guys like Pavano, Cabrera, Castillo, Rauch and Fuentes.

      The 05 and 06 drafts stand out as the real problems right now - Garza was traded for Young, which didn't work out and the 06 class - Parmelee, Benson and Robertson haven't really helped much yet. We did get one nice year from Valencia. Gibson, 09, should make his debut this year. Dozier already has. Bullock from that draft was traded for Diamond. Hicks, 08, should debut this year. Revere was 07, was solid and traded for Worley and a prospect.

      Worrying about young players at AAA is a bit of an over reach. They have several good prospects that'll be at AA or higher this year - Gibson, Hicks, Arcia, May and Hendriks - who could all be called up at any time.
    1. IdahoPilgrim's Avatar
      IdahoPilgrim -
      Quote Originally Posted by Badsmerf View Post
      How is your post relevant?
      How is any post on this (or any other internet BB) relevant? Might as well ask, "What's the meaning of life?"
    1. IdahoPilgrim's Avatar
      IdahoPilgrim -
      Quote Originally Posted by Nick Nelson View Post
      People aren’t allowed to criticize his approach to the MLB roster while acknowledging that he and his staff have done a very good job rebuilding the farm system?
      Of course they are. Those are obviously not the people I was making a tongue-in-cheek comment about.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Lots of should come up in the future there.....if you will not sign free agents one or two guys need to come up every year and be good for more than 1 year, or you are going to lose 90 plus games 3 or 4 years in a row. I have no idea how that is acceptable. This system has not developed enough good players, do people disagree with that?
    1. TheLeviathan's Avatar
      TheLeviathan -
      Quote Originally Posted by PseudoSABR View Post
      Right, but we really haven't that kind of nuance from the pessimist, and even I think you've been cringing at the negative-nancy-ism lately.
      Um...it's happening in this thread? What are you talking about?

      Does every post have to list a pro-con for Ryan before pursuing the main point or can we stick on the topic of each thread and save this nonsense?
    1. gunnarthor's Avatar
      gunnarthor -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      Lots of should come up in the future there.....if you will not sign free agents one or two guys need to come up every year and be good for more than 1 year, or you are going to lose 90 plus games 3 or 4 years in a row. I have no idea how that is acceptable. This system has not developed enough good players, do people disagree with that?
      It probably depends on how you look at the system. Generally, over the last decade or so I would say that the system has generated enough good players. That doesn't mean there can't (won't) be down times but from 01-10, the team's worst season was 79 wins and that was its only losing season. That's a pretty solid run that you can't reasonably expect to continue indefinitely. And the system is designed to prevent that by making good players more expensive as they get more experience and making good teams draft later. Good teams are also likely to make win-now moves by trading prospects for rental players. If the team didn't have payroll concerns, they could arguable still have a rotation in which Garza, Baker, Santana and Liriano were all competing for spots in, this year. So I think that the Twins system has generally created enough talent over time.

      I don't think a few bad years should be looked at in isolation. To do so would cause overreactions. The 11-12 Twins were bad and the 13 Twins will be too. But that doesn't necessarily mean that the Twins system is itself broken. The 11-12 teams were hurt badly by the washouts of Young and Liriano, injuries to both Mauer and Morneau, and the slow development of the 06 group - Parmelee and Benson. Most teams will take a hit if you remove their two MVP players and two top 5 overall prospects (Young and Liriano) regress to beyond bad.

      The Twins haven't been able to draft near the top of the draft and ownership has usually adhered to the slotting system. That took it's toll on the system as well. It's nearly impossible for a team to continue to restock itself from the minors without a hitch. That the Twins actually managed to change nucleus without much of a hitch in the mid 00s was pretty impressive. So I do think that the Twins system is generally ok and that most of the problems aren't structural but rather cyclical.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Gunnathor, that is a fair stance, I just do not agree that it has to be cyclical, nor do I agree the down cycle should last 4 years, at least. But, that is not a fact, and we are so far off of celebrating that they do have a better system now, that I am probably done with this part of the discussion on this thread.
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      anyone else find it weird Gibson was ranked 49th but wasn't even ranked in the top 10 of right handed pitchers by the same exact guy?
    1. gunnarthor's Avatar
      gunnarthor -
      Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
      anyone else find it weird Gibson was ranked 49th but wasn't even ranked in the top 10 of right handed pitchers by the same exact guy?
      No. There were more than 10 RHP ahead of him. #10, Noah Syndergard, was #29 overall.
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Quote Originally Posted by gunnarthor View Post
      No. There were more than 10 RHP ahead of him. #10, Noah Syndergard, was #29 overall.
      o

      Okay, I meant...wow, lot of RH pitchers in the top ranks for that to happen...and since the list favors RF pitching, how far back in the RH pitcher rankings does May have to be to not make the top 100 if Gisbon could be out of the top 10 in RH pitcher ranking and still in the top 50 overall :-)
    1. Wookiee of the Year's Avatar
      Wookiee of the Year -
      Piggy-backing somewhat off of Cap'n Piranha's comment, Parker, I wonder why we saw such large drops from year-to-year by the Cardinals and Indians. Is it because prospects flamed out or shot up in their projected abilities and rankings, indicating the list is subjective and not a great guide? Or is it because those prospects became major leaguers or were traded away, draining the farm system to stock the major league roster?
    1. TwinsFanInPhilly's Avatar
      TwinsFanInPhilly -
      Quote Originally Posted by Badsmerf View Post
      How is your post relevant? You think he deserves more than that after two 90 loss seasons and another possible?
      He doesn't know that only negative comments are tolerated here.
    1. Old Twins Cap's Avatar
      Old Twins Cap -
      I'm not sure how long I've been clicking around this site trying to find the 52 comments listed on the main page, but it's been too long, and this issue has persisted for too long. At some point, you just need to fix your site or people like me are just going to give up on you guys.
    1. snepp's Avatar
      snepp -
      Quote Originally Posted by Old Twins Cap View Post
      I'm not sure how long I've been clicking around this site trying to find the 52 comments listed on the main page, but it's been too long, and this issue has persisted for too long. At some point, you just need to fix your site or people like me are just going to give up on you guys.
      You should report any occurrences of this happening in the "Questions About Twins Daily" subform.

      More specifically, there's a thread in there where others have reported similar problems.
    1. Kwak's Avatar
      Kwak -
      Quote Originally Posted by gunnarthor View Post
      It's cyclical. And since Mauer was called up, the Twins have added a ton of young talent. All of these guys have had at least one decent year - Bartlett, Garza, Slowey, Blackburn, Perkins, Baker, Liriano, Span, Revere, Kubel, Ford, Ramos, Neshek, Crain, Swarzak, Duensing, etc. They also traded prospects for guys like Pavano, Cabrera, Castillo, Rauch and Fuentes.

      The 05 and 06 drafts stand out as the real problems right now - Garza was traded for Young, which didn't work out and the 06 class - Parmelee, Benson and Robertson haven't really helped much yet. We did get one nice year from Valencia. Gibson, 09, should make his debut this year. Dozier already has. Bullock from that draft was traded for Diamond. Hicks, 08, should debut this year. Revere was 07, was solid and traded for Worley and a prospect.

      Worrying about young players at AAA is a bit of an over reach. They have several good prospects that'll be at AA or higher this year - Gibson, Hicks, Arcia, May and Hendriks - who could all be called up at any time.
      Examine some statistics and let's see if we can decipher if the Twins Draft is effective. What is the average lengthof a ML career assuming we toss out all of the guys who don't last more than a full year? Is it 10 years? Or how about 8.33 years? I choose these numbers because the Active Roster is 25 and they represent something close to reality. If my assumption is too high (maybe 6.25 years is correct) then this will only skew things even higher. If 10 years: then the Twins must successfully find 5 players every 2 years that are promoted to the ML club and stick. I should add at least one guy per season for those "callups" who won't last more than one season, or about 3.5 promotions per year. That would be the ML average because FA were promoted by someone.

      If a career was only 8.33 years (excluding the short-timers) then 4 players per year must be promoted. So, my question is: How many players do the Twins promote per season? Do the Twins successfully promote the needed 3.5 to 4 players from their draft every year? If not, then their draft is below the major league average for number of players. In order to successfully compete long-term any deficit has to be made up by FA signings, trades that result in more players received that relinquished, or Twins players have significantly longer career that other teams.
      Ryan has stated that the Twins can't be built by adding FAs as a normal operating policy. The Twins must consistently "out-draft" the major league average. The names provided from recent Twins drafts do not indicate that the Twins were "out-drafting". Many succesful players are not selected in the 1st round (Morneau for a Twins' example)--indicating that any team could have selected that guy. I could be wrong, but I think that there is a dearth of Twins' players (today on the roster) who were selected later in their draft than Morneau was selected in his year (99) especially those that play regularly. The closest example I can think is Jason Kubel ('00), who has left the Twins.

      To sum up, I don't think the Twins have performed adequately in the draft since the new millenium and the "disasters" of '11 and '12 are the result.
    1. gunnarthor's Avatar
      gunnarthor -
      Quote Originally Posted by Kwak View Post

      To sum up, I don't think the Twins have performed adequately in the draft since the new millenium and the "disasters" of '11 and '12 are the result.
      I'm not sure how much of this to go into. Drafting isn't the only part of minor league development, the team has also added international talent, waivers and trades. That said, I think it's hard to say that the team hasn't drafted well since the new millennium if they had only one losing season between 01-10. But I could be wrong. In 01 they took Mauer and Blackburn. In 02 they took Span, Crain, Neshek. 03 was Baker. 04 was Perkins, Plouffe, Swarzak, Tolbert. 05 was Garza, Slowey, Duensing. 06 was Parmelee, Benson, Valencia and Robertson. 07 was Revere. So they drafted 1 HOF catcher, an all-star pitcher in Garza and 3 decent starters in Baker, Slowey and Blackburn. 2 good center fielders (who were also turned into SP prospects later). They also grabbed several good relief arms and some iffy infielders. And they also traded some 2nd rounders (Landengraf and Bullock) for Diamond and Cabrera. That seems to be fairly respectable. Not included in that were traded for talent and international signees like Liriano, Boof, Ramos, Ford, Casilla and Bartlett. The 06 draft stands out as the draft that really hasn't produced anything for us yet although maybe Benson and/or Parmelee turn into regulars this year. Robertson is probably a part of the pen for the next few years. 04 could have been better but all 4 pitchers got hurt and Plouffe developed slowly.

      I think a better way of looking at this would be to look at how each team was built. The 2010 Twins, for instance, had 42 players play in at least one game. 6 of them were signed as free agents. The other 36 were either drafted by the Twins, signed as international free agents, minor league free agents, claimed off waivers or traded for. It might be fairer to break that up by impact, after all Thome had a lot more influence on that team than Matt Fox did, but you get the idea. In any event, the minor league system did seem to support the Twins pretty well for 10 years.
    1. birdwatcher's Avatar
      birdwatcher -
      gunnarthur, I wish everyone who believes the Twins are woeful at drafting and development would read your comments with an open mind. Factual, fair, and astute.

      One year in ten, drafting in the top third of the draft order, will impact even the best organizations, unless they hit homeruns with international signings.

      Read John Mayo's report, people. MLB's top 100 contains only a handful of players drafted in later rounds. 25% are international signings, and 50%, I recall, are first-rounders, most of them low first-rounders.

      It's a fact that the Twin's farm system went through a rough period.It's NOT a fact that the primary reason for this was their ineptitude. Based on the more current facts, like their high ranking among farm systems, it's much more reasonable to conclude that they're actually pretty good, relativeley speaking, than to conclude they're lousy at it, like so many of you guys like to say.
    1. birdwatcher's Avatar
      birdwatcher -
      By the way, the Twins signed two international prospects ranked among the top 25 this year: Amaurys Minier (#7) and Mauricio Silva (#23).
    1. drjim's Avatar
      drjim -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      Gunnathor, that is a fair stance, I just do not agree that it has to be cyclical, nor do I agree the down cycle should last 4 years, at least. But, that is not a fact, and we are so far off of celebrating that they do have a better system now, that I am probably done with this part of the discussion on this thread.
      It is fair to think this and as a fan you should be demanding but it might be unrealistic expectations. Only a handful of teams can match the sustained success the Twins had and even fewer have avoided a lull for multiple seasons. It is the nature of the industry. A few missed picks, some bad trades, and some injuries and here we are. The key is getting out wuick or you can stay buried for a while.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      They are in year three of not getting out....how long should fans wait before not spending their money?
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