• 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. mcrow's Avatar
      mcrow -
      I really think that Arcia might prove to be the best prospect in the system by the end of the season. I really like Sano's physical makeup and power but Arcia probably has more potential to be a better all around hitter. We will see though, it is nice to see some top notch talent in the minors again.
    1. Cap'n Piranha's Avatar
      Cap'n Piranha -
      It's encouraging to see the rebound of the farm system, but I still think Rosario got short-changed, and should be on this list. I also think it's absolutely ridiculous that Castellanos is considered to be number 21, while Arcia is 93. Now that they're playing the same position, it astounds me that there would be that big of a gap, considering Arcia is less than a year older, and had more hits, doubles, triples, homers, and walks, with fewer strikeouts, in less at-bats than Castellanos. Just ridiculous.

      That being said, I fully believe that we'll continue to see 5-6 players on this list on a yearly basis for the next few years. Gibson, Hicks and Arcia might all be off the list next year, but I fully expect Rosario, Berrios, pick #4, and maybe Kepler and May to replace them, with Sano, Buxton, and Meyer as holdovers.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Great progress. With two more top 5 picks, the minors should be even better over the next couple of years.
    1. Jeff P's Avatar
      Jeff P -
      So Hicks moves up a level and increases his OPS by 122 points and moves down 39 spots?? I realize the Eastern league is more hitter friendly but not by that much. What would it have taken him to maintain his rankings, an improvement of 200 points? 300 points?

      I realize some of the rankings for younger guys is based on projection (i.e. look at Bubba Starling's ranking compared to his actual production in the Appy league) so I was not expecting Hicks to move up but this ranking seems strange. Actually as I scan the list a number of these rankings seems strange. They obviously have put a lot of time into scouting and reviewing the players but it does emphasize to me how much of a crapshoot it all is.

      Still nice to have more players ranked and I am looking forward to seeing some of these players as soon as this year.

      Jeff
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      Arcia is sorely underrated, and not just on MLB either. He should be either the number 1 or number 2 prospect on any Twins list right now.
    1. Badsmerf's Avatar
      Badsmerf -
      I feel like Hicks and Arcia are getting screwed over pretty good.... Arcia more than Hicks. It doesn't really matter in the long-run, I just don't agree how these rankings are compiled. Best prospect to me means best chance to make an impact in the MLB, not highest ceiling. I rank mine on a weighted scale of production, ceiling and risk. Again, Rosario falls off based on the doubts on his ability to play 2b. If he makes big strides this season he will crack the top 100. It is fun to see more Twins on these lists, but keep in mind top prospects fail all the time. A guy like Brandon Wood was in the top 20 for 3 years in a row and hasn't been able to OPS over .513 in 700 AB's (although, I would have given him a flier for back-up 3b).
    1. Mark_RM's Avatar
      Mark_RM -
      ESPN's Keith Law's top 100 comes out next week. It will be interesting to see where he ranks everyone. He said in a chat in December that he expects at least 7 Twins to make it. He's a fan of Rosario...so I'm guessing May, Berrios and Kepler are possibles for him.
    1. gunnarthor's Avatar
      gunnarthor -
      Quote Originally Posted by Mark_RM View Post
      ESPN's Keith Law's top 100 comes out next week. It will be interesting to see where he ranks everyone. He said in a chat in December that he expects at least 7 Twins to make it. He's a fan of Rosario...so I'm guessing May, Berrios and Kepler are possibles for him.
      Yeah, I was going to mention that too. He's also been a big fan of Hicks and Arcia in the past.

      MLB's top 100 isn't, IMHO, as good as BA's list, so I'll be interested to see how they compare. BA was the hardest on Hicks, I'd love to see what they think of him now.

      Lastly, fangraphs Mike Newman would take Kepler over Bubba Starling. He's a huge fan.
    1. Oldgoat_MN's Avatar
      Oldgoat_MN -
      Totally agree with mcrow. For Arcia to be putting up his numbers in AA ball at age 21 (youngest player on the team) is very promising.
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Quote Originally Posted by gunnarthor View Post
      Yeah, I was going to mention that too. He's also been a big fan of Hicks and Arcia in the past.

      MLB's top 100 isn't, IMHO, as good as BA's list, so I'll be interested to see how they compare. BA was the hardest on Hicks, I'd love to see what they think of him now.

      Lastly, fangraphs Mike Newman would take Kepler over Bubba Starling. He's a huge fan.
      Keith Law is a fan of Kepler as well.
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Quote Originally Posted by diehardtwinsfan View Post
      Arcia is sorely underrated, and not just on MLB either. He should be either the number 1 or number 2 prospect on any Twins list right now.
      Of all the Twins prospects knocking on the MLB door, Arcia is the one I'm most excited to have up here.
    1. Parker Hageman's Avatar
      Parker Hageman -
      RE: Arcia. The only knock I see against Arcia at this juncture in his career is his ability to handle lefties. The past two years he's posted a 952 OPS v RHP but a 739 OPS v LHP. That's very Jason Kubel-like. Now, he could certainly improve upon that - especially as he catches up to the competition - but because he is going to face far more right-handed opponents over the course of his career, this is not necessarily something to be overly concerned over.
    1. mcrow's Avatar
      mcrow -
      Quote Originally Posted by Parker Hageman View Post
      RE: Arcia. The only knock I see against Arcia at this juncture in his career is his ability to handle lefties. The past two years he's posted a 952 OPS v RHP but a 739 OPS v LHP. That's very Jason Kubel-like. Now, he could certainly improve upon that - especially as he catches up to the competition - but because he is going to face far more right-handed opponents over the course of his career, this is not necessarily something to be overly concerned over.
      Yeah, that seems to be the most legitimate knock on him, but like you said for a young player there's not reason that can't improve. He may never be great VS Lefties but he can certainly get good enough to not be liability when a lefty is on the mound.
    1. IdahoPilgrim's Avatar
      IdahoPilgrim -
      Wait - does this mean that TR is not the worst GM in the history of the game? All of the "Twins front office is clueless" posters on this website can't all be wrong, can they?

      Personally, I'm kinda looking forward to the hover board giveaway.
    1. cmathewson's Avatar
      cmathewson -
      It's amazing how different Bill Smith's philosophy was from Ryan's. I keep focusing on one quote, which Ryan said to LEN III after Smith was fired "I will be more patient than Bill." Pretty much sums it up. Smith was in perpetual "win now" mode. So, though 2010 was a glorious year, we saw the after affects in 2011, when the Twins had gone from penthouse to outhouse both on the major league and minor league levels.

      That said, the good side of Smith's legacy will be in his signings of Sano, Kepler and Polanco. Though he was a comparative spendthrift and an impatient sort at the major league level (trading Ramos for Capps e.g.), he also spent more money on international prospects than any Twins GM.

      One way or another, you have to spend money to get winning talent. I'm OK with spending for the long haul. What they can't do is what they got themselves into prior to the slotting system: Drafting the likes of Ben Revere in the first round because he agreed ahead of time to third-round money. The Twins lucked out with him, but it's not sustainable to starve signing budgets. Fortunately, they have not backed off of spending on the draft and internationally like they have at the major league level.
    1. Badsmerf's Avatar
      Badsmerf -
      Quote Originally Posted by sbknudson View Post
      Wait - does this mean that TR is not the worst GM in the history of the game? All of the "Twins front office is clueless" posters on this website can't all be wrong, can they?

      Personally, I'm kinda looking forward to the hover board giveaway.
      How is your post relevant? You think he deserves more than that after two 90 loss seasons and another possible?
    1. gunnarthor's Avatar
      gunnarthor -
      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?
      Ryan has been GM for just over a year.
    1. mrkwx's Avatar
      mrkwx -
      Good article, Parker. Just letting you know you forgot a period (or a semi-colon) in the third paragraph between 98th and Eddie.
    1. righty8383's Avatar
      righty8383 -
      Quote Originally Posted by sbknudson View Post
      Wait - does this mean that TR is not the worst GM in the history of the game? All of the "Twins front office is clueless" posters on this website can't all be wrong, can they?

      Personally, I'm kinda looking forward to the hover board giveaway.
      Is this an attempt to give Ryan credit for the improvement of our farm system? If so, you might want to take a look at who was in charge when a lot of our top prospects were aquired.
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      Quote Originally Posted by Parker Hageman View Post
      RE: Arcia. The only knock I see against Arcia at this juncture in his career is his ability to handle lefties. The past two years he's posted a 952 OPS v RHP but a 739 OPS v LHP. That's very Jason Kubel-like. Now, he could certainly improve upon that - especially as he catches up to the competition - but because he is going to face far more right-handed opponents over the course of his career, this is not necessarily something to be overly concerned over.
      On that I agree... I just find it interesting that a toolsy guy who has outperformed Sano at nearly every stop and is on pace to make the majors at the same age is somehow 93 on the list when Sano is 12. I have no problems rating Sano high, as he has produced fairly well, but Arcia should be right up there with him. Not very guys make AA at 21, much less post a .900 + OPS with above average defense at the corner.
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