Baseball America has released their MLB Best Tools 2013 report
, providing the top three players at certain skill sets (i.e. Best Hitter, Best Power, Best Strike-Zone Judgment, etc) as determined by a poll of major league managers. Not surprising, the Minnesota Twins have little of representation this year.
Only Joe Mauer
and Jamey Carroll
showed up on the list. Mauer was lauded as the second-best player in Strike-Zone Judgment and the third-best Hitter, third-best Defensive Catcher. Carroll, meanwhile, was selected as the second-best Hit-and-Run Artist in the American League.
A smattering of ex-Twins also showed up on the list, including Jesse Crain (as the second-best reliever in the AL), J.J. Hardy (who was voted the best Defensive Shortstop in the AL), and Carlos Gomez (who was deemed the best Defensive Center fielder in the National League).
In Baseball America’s minor league skill rankings, the Twins have numerous players lauded as having the best skills in their respective leagues:
(Midwest League): Best Batting Prospect (Byron Buxton), Best Power Prospect (Adam Brett Walker), Best Defensive 2B (Jorge Polanco), Best Defensive OF (Buxton), Most Exciting Player (Buxton) and Best Manager Prospect (Jake Mauer).
(Florida State League): Best Batting Prospect (Miguel Sano), Best Power Prospect (Sano), Fastest Baserunner (Buxton), Best Defensive OF (Buxton), Most Exciting Player (Sano).
(Eastern League): Best Power Prospect (Sano), Best Strike-Zone Judgment (Pinto), Best Defensive SS (Danny Santana) and Best Infield Arm (Sano).
(International League): None.
The two things that stick out about this list is while there is a decent amount of minor league Twins players included, they are (1) low in the system and (2) all position players. This will be a factor as the organization struggles to produce high-quality starting pitchers.