• 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. Oxtung's Avatar
      Oxtung -
      Quote Originally Posted by E. Andrew View Post
      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
      I wonder how Niko Goodrum stacks up next to him. Everything I've read says he is extremely athletic as well.
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Quote Originally Posted by TRex View Post
      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.
      Florimon was an error waiting to happen in the minors, about one every 4 games, he's turned into a darn good defensive shortstop.
    1. DJL44's Avatar
      DJL44 -
      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.
      You really think they're going to have Jake Mauer tell Joe he's moving off catcher? How about when it's time to tell Joe he has to be a bench player?

      I can see Jake joining the major league coaching staff but he'll need to spend some time in the high minors first (AA opening soon?).
    1. powrwrap's Avatar
      powrwrap -
      Went to the full list at the link provided and was agreeing with almost everything until I got to Best Manager. #1 Jim Leyland? and Joe Maddon of the Rays isn't even on the list. This is so wrong.
    1. YourHouseIsMyHouse's Avatar
      YourHouseIsMyHouse -
      Dozier and Florimon got no love as best defensive choices.
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