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  • Minnesota Twins Will Send Seven To AFL

    The Twins announced Tuesday that they will be sending seven players to the Arizona Fall League this year. The list of prospects includes Byron Buxton, Alex Meyer, Trevor May, Max Kepler, Eddie Rosario, A.J. Achter and Zach Jones.

    It's an impressive group, to be sure. The first five names comprised half of Twins Daily's Top 10 Twins Prospects this spring, and Buxton has of course solidified himself as the best young talent in all the minors with a phenomenal campaign between Cedar Rapids and Ft. Myers. While Buxton is the highlight, the most interesting players to follow may be the two pitchers acquired in trades last offseason.

    Meyer displayed dominating strikeout stuff in New Britain this year and has reportedly flashed 100 MPH heat in recent outings, but he missed two months with a shoulder injury and will finish the season with fewer than 100 innings pitched. He badly needs the additional work to build arm strength, but could become a factor for the big-league club in 2014.

    May has had a disappointing and inconsistent first year in Minnesota's system, but he has displayed a powerful arsenal and could improve his standing with a good showing in the AFL.

    Buxton and Kepler aren't on the verge of the majors but they may rank as the organization's top two outfield prospects with Oswaldo Arcia graduated and Aaron Hicks amidst a year-long slump. Rosario will continue to refine his skills at second base and should be in the mix to make his big-league debut next year. Achter and Jones are stand-out relief prospects.
    Comments 53 Comments
    1. ashburyjohn's Avatar
      ashburyjohn -
      I call shotgun in his limo between Tucson and Phoenix.
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      I missed the part where adding Buxton to the AFL means he's going to be in MN next year. Nice to see them picking him to play, and I suspect he starts in NB, but I'm guessing he's not in MN until 2015 after Willingham leaves.
    1. tjsyam921's Avatar
      tjsyam921 -
      Just wondering.....Do they ask the players if they want to play? Just interested as Buxton has played a lot more games this year than in any previous years.
    1. gunnarthor's Avatar
      gunnarthor -
      Quote Originally Posted by diehardtwinsfan View Post
      I missed the part where adding Buxton to the AFL means he's going to be in MN next year. Nice to see them picking him to play, and I suspect he starts in NB, but I'm guessing he's not in MN until 2015 after Willingham leaves.
      Could be. But the Twins haven't been afraid of promoting from AA to the majors. If the Twins are bad next year and Willingham is solid, I think they move him at the deadline freeing up a spot in the OF. Could go to Buxton.
    1. USAFChief's Avatar
      USAFChief -
      Quote Originally Posted by LaBombo View Post
      Sighting? Pfffft. We're all staying with him. He just doesn't know it yet.

      Dibs on the Barcalounger at bedtime!
      You're all welcome, but you should know a couple things:

      1. No one, and I mean NO one, gets the barcalounger. This is non negotiable. It's not even a barcalounger. That's so 70s. Its an ekornes stressless, full leather. Sweet.

      2. I will not be providing the beer, but I could be talked into smoking some ribs and/or a brisket.

      3. It's about a 2 hr trip to the ballparks in Phoenix, so have some jokes ready for the trip up. I'll be napping on the trip home.

      4. Mrs Chief requests you respect the fact she needs her sleep.
    1. ChiTownTwinsFan's Avatar
      ChiTownTwinsFan -
      Quote Originally Posted by USAFChief View Post
      You're all welcome, but you should know a couple things:

      1. No one, and I mean NO one, gets the barcalounger. This is non negotiable. It's not even a barcalounger. That's so 70s. Its an ekornes stressless, full leather. Sweet.

      2. I will not be providing the beer, but I could be talked into smoking some ribs and/or a brisket.

      3. It's about a 2 hr trip to the ballparks in Phoenix, so have some jokes ready for the trip up. I'll be napping on the trip home.

      4. Mrs Chief requests you respect the fact she needs her sleep.
      Would Mrs. Chief be interested in going shopping with me?
    1. LaBombo's Avatar
      LaBombo -
      Quote Originally Posted by tjsyam921 View Post
      Just wondering.....Do they ask the players if they want to play? Just interested as Buxton has played a lot more games this year than in any previous years.
      Great question. And how do players, in general, react to being assigned to the AFL? How does it affect their lives?
    1. sorney's Avatar
      sorney -
      Quote Originally Posted by LaBombo View Post
      Great question. And how do players, in general, react to being assigned to the AFL? How does it affect their lives?

      Im guessing since their dream is to play in the Majors, and the AFL is supposed to be for high level prospects, they jump at the chance and don't have to be asked if they want to
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by tjsyam921 View Post
      Just wondering.....Do they ask the players if they want to play? Just interested as Buxton has played a lot more games this year than in any previous years.
      It's an invite after rosters are determined, but no one would say no. It's a huge opportunity. They get treated like big leaguers. They play in front of scouts from every organization.
    1. h2oface's Avatar
      h2oface -
      It is too bad that the boys couldn't get a different manager other than Jeff Smith.
    1. orangevening's Avatar
      orangevening -
      Quote Originally Posted by h2oface View Post
      It is too bad that the boys couldn't get a different manager other than Jeff Smith.
      Mr. Smith has quickly become the 2nd least liked manager in the Twins system. Is he really as hard-nosed and by the book as he sounds?
    1. scottsilvi's Avatar
      scottsilvi -
      Hmm. Long time lurker, fringe stat geek guy. Been planning a trip to the SW... Feenix is starting to look like a good idea.
    1. jimbo92107's Avatar
      jimbo92107 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Badsmerf View Post
      I'm a little surprised that Buxton is getting the nod. I can see Kepler since he missed so much time, but Buxton.... My hopes for seeing him in 2014 just went up a little.
      I read earlier that Buxton's a workout freeek. The extra load of baseball probably doesn't wear him down as much as other guys.
    1. mnfanforlife's Avatar
      mnfanforlife -
      Why is Sano not going to the AFL?
    1. Steve Lein's Avatar
      Steve Lein -
      Quote Originally Posted by mnfanforlife View Post
      Why is Sano not going to the AFL?
      His Dominican Winter League team won't let him. He would have to get a special waiver to play fall/winter ball stateside and is too big of a draw for his team there for them to do it (and they picked him Round 1, Pick 1 last year).
    1. Steve Lein's Avatar
      Steve Lein -
      Also of note: Max Kepler is on the roster as a 1B-man and he has played nearly as many games there as he has in the OF for Cedar Rapids. Wonder how soon they'll make this position change fully.
    1. amjgt's Avatar
      amjgt -
      Quote Originally Posted by Steve Lein View Post
      Also of note: Max Kepler is on the roster as a 1B-man and he has played nearly as many games there as he has in the OF for Cedar Rapids. Wonder how soon they'll make this position change fully.
      The only other 1B on the roster seems like a nothing prospect to me (sub 700 OPS if I remember correctly). I suspect, given that he's at Low A and the Twins used their "foreign player without a foreign league" exemption to get him on the team, he will not see the field more than 3 times a week.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Funny, when someone suggested Kepler move to 1B, that person was mocked.....
    1. Steve Lein's Avatar
      Steve Lein -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      Funny, when someone suggested Kepler move to 1B, that person was mocked.....
      I would have mocked them 2 years ago, but he's grown into his body considerably since then and 1B is actually his "natural" position, in that it's the position he played before he was signed.

      From Sickels back in June, referencing Kepler:

      "There is a chance he will wind up at first base if he loses too much speed, but that's down the line. He remains a good overall athlete and would likely develop into a sharp defender at first base if he does move there."
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      Quote Originally Posted by orangevening View Post
      Mr. Smith has quickly become the 2nd least liked manager in the Twins system. Is he really as hard-nosed and by the book as he sounds?
      Not to state the obvious here, but the only Jeff Smith hate I've seen is people saying (without providing any links) that he's not well liked in NB. I don't know anything about the guy to decide whether I like him or not, but I've seen very little concrete anything that indicates he should be on his way out. Just my 2 cents.
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