Minnesota Twins News & Rumors Forum
  • Baseball America releases 2013 Best Tools list

    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:

    Low-A (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).

    High-A (Florida State League): Best Batting Prospect (Miguel Sano), Best Power Prospect (Sano), Fastest Baserunner (Buxton), Best Defensive OF (Buxton), Most Exciting Player (Sano).

    Double-A (Eastern League): Best Power Prospect (Sano), Best Strike-Zone Judgment (Pinto), Best Defensive SS (Danny Santana) and Best Infield Arm (Sano).

    Triple-A (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.
    Comments 25 Comments
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      Danny Santana as best defensive SS in AA?
    1. tjsyam921's Avatar
      tjsyam921 -
      Before this season started I was really thinking the Twins should be ready to compete as early as 2014. As this season has gone on I think its going to be a ways longer. The biggest weakness of the organization is still pitching even after the additions last offseason. At the same time if the position players continue to progress well they could just concentrate on free agent pitchers or unfortunately trade some position players for them.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      I'd take those with a huge grain of salt and primarily for entertainment purpose, & especially since Buxton did not make the fastest base runner in his league...
    1. Monkeypaws's Avatar
      Monkeypaws -
      Well, I wouldn't be surprised if more than a few teams didn't get skunked on this list. Maybe this will help the Twins deal Carroll: one of the best hit and run artists in the game, and he can pitch too!
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      Quote Originally Posted by Thrylos View Post
      I'd take those with a huge grain of salt and primarily for entertainment purpose, & especially since Buxton did not make the fastest base runner in his league...
      He did in Hi A... not in low A... interesting.
    1. SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
      SpiritofVodkaDave -
      How is Double A considered "Low in the system?"
    1. B Richard's Avatar
      B Richard -
      How is Danny Santana the best defensive SS?
    1. troyhobbs's Avatar
      troyhobbs -
      Quote Originally Posted by tjsyam921 View Post
      Before this season started I was really thinking the Twins should be ready to compete as early as 2014. As this season has gone on I think its going to be a ways longer. The biggest weakness of the organization is still pitching even after the additions last offseason. At the same time if the position players continue to progress well they could just concentrate on free agent pitchers or unfortunately trade some position players for them.
      I also thought the Twins could be competitive by 2014 but watching this team and seeing highly touted prospects like Hicks and Gibson struggle (Arcia has been decent for a 22 yr old rookie) is a reality check and it seems more likely that Joe Mauer is going to be washed up before the Twins make the playoffs again. Good to see Jake Mauer getting props for his managing skills though, another good option to replace Gardy with along with Molitor.
    1. Parker Hageman's Avatar
      Parker Hageman -
      How is Double A considered "Low in the system?"
      Better phrasing would have been, "ready to step in next year".
    1. drjim's Avatar
      drjim -
      Quote Originally Posted by B Richard View Post
      How is Danny Santana the best defensive SS?
      Maybe they consider things other than errors.
    1. B Richard's Avatar
      B Richard -
      I understand that errors are often not the best way to judge fielding ability, but 27 of them amidst questions about his defensive prowess are enough to make me seriously question his honors.

      Great to see our top prospects succeeding, however.
    1. DJL44's Avatar
      DJL44 -
      Quote Originally Posted by troyhobbs View Post
      Good to see Jake Mauer getting props for his managing skills though, another good option to replace Gardy with along with Molitor.
      I can't see Jake Mauer as the manager as long as Joe Mauer is on the team.
    1. Brandon's Avatar
      Brandon -
      Next year it looks like the next wave of players will be making debuts and getting their feet wet in the majors while this years rookies get to build off of this year and 2015 will have a few more rookies moving up with the others continuing to grow and either in 2015 or 2016 the Twins will be competitive again assuming we are waiting for a bunch of prospects to come up and not banking on trades or FA signings for a competitive swing for 2014.
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      Quote Originally Posted by B Richard View Post
      I understand that errors are often not the best way to judge fielding ability, but 27 of them amidst questions about his defensive prowess are enough to make me seriously question his honors.

      Great to see our top prospects succeeding, however.
      I'm not trying to compare the two, but Jose Reyes had tons of errors when he came up too. Part of that was rushing, and part of that was that he had a greater range and was getting to more things that others couldn't get to... Not sure if that's Santana's problem or not, but worth thinking about.
    1. KernelsGuy1's Avatar
      KernelsGuy1 -
      Quote Originally Posted by DJL44 View Post
      I can't see Jake Mauer as the manager as long as Joe Mauer is on the team.
      Why not? This isn't high school baseball. Joe is in the lineup everyday anyway.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      I think Jake Mauer is and should be considered a potential manager, and Joe's spot on the roster has nothing to do with that, good or bad. The guy knows baseball, inside and out. As important, he gets people. He brings people together. He is very smart. He's got the personality and temperament necessary. he's impressive.

      I can see him doing like TK and Gardy though, starting out as the 3B coach in the next couple of years before taking over.
    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      I think Jake Mauer is and should be considered a potential manager, and Joe's spot on the roster has nothing to do with that, good or bad. The guy knows baseball, inside and out. As important, he gets people. He brings people together. He is very smart. He's got the personality and temperament necessary. he's impressive.

      I can see him doing like TK and Gardy though, starting out as the 3B coach in the next couple of years before taking over.
      Not to mention that his pedigree and age may make him a very enticing target for other organizations. Not every organization seeks out managerial and coaching candidates internally.
    1. E. Andrew's Avatar
      E. Andrew -
      Quote Originally Posted by B Richard View Post
      How is Danny Santana the best defensive SS?
      There was a few days during spring training when Danny Santana was the hot topic. Granted, most of the big names had or were about to leave for the WBC, but at the time I remember hearing reports that he was the most athletic shortstop in the org. I thought I remember more articles, but here's the only I could find from spring:

      Danny Santana is 'a legitimate shortstop candidate for the future' - Minnesota Twins news | 1500 ESPN Twin Cities ? Minnesota Sports News & Opinion (Twins, Vikings, Wolves, Wild, Gophers) | Sportswire: Minnesota Twins
    1. maxisagod's Avatar
      maxisagod -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      I think Jake Mauer is and should be considered a potential manager, and Joe's spot on the roster has nothing to do with that, good or bad. The guy knows baseball, inside and out. As important, he gets people. He brings people together. He is very smart. He's got the personality and temperament necessary. he's impressive.

      I can see him doing like TK and Gardy though, starting out as the 3B coach in the next couple of years before taking over.
      id like to see him and Dougie M. Take over the corner coach positions over the next couple of years, give us some better internal options than our current 1st base coach, I mean bench coach, I mean 3rd Base Coach, I mean Hitting Coach, wait no... 1st base.
    1. TRex's Avatar
      TRex -
      For example, in Sunday's intrasquad game, Santana, playing shortstop, made an extraordinary backhanded, sprawling stab on a bad-hop ball, then short-hopped first baseman Drew Butera, who was unable to come up with the scoop.
      "He made a fantastic catch, and then he didn't finish," Ryan said. "And those are some of the things we need to iron out."
      I think this quote from the linked article says everything you need to know about how someone with 27 errors could be a great fielding prospect. If, as suggested, he learns how to 'finish' he becomes an excellent fielding MLB shortstop and if he doesn't he kicks around between AAA and the bigs for the next half-dozen years.
©2014 TwinsCentric, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Interested in advertising with Twins Daily? Click here.