• Minnesota Twins Top 50 Prospects: 41-45

    Yesterday, we began our look at my Top 50 Twins Prospects, starting with Prospects 46-50. In Part 2 today, we continue by learning a little about my selections for prospects 41-45. There are three outfielders at various points in their career. A left-handed starter who appeared to have stalled until he was promoted to AAA. There are also two former first-round picks who find themselves at this stage of the rankings.

    Yesterday I wrote about some of the things that go into my thinking when I'm ranking prospects, so check that if you have questions.



    #45 – Mike Kvasnicka – Ft. Myers – OF (24)

    The Lakeville native and former Minnesota Gopher came to the Twins in spring training in exchange for rookie-leaguer Gonzalo Sanudo. It was a great move for a guy who was a first-round pick just three years ago. As the season began, he broke his hamate bone and had surgery. He played in 69 games for the Miracle and had 24 extra base hits, including nine home runs. He has real power, but he needs to stay healthy and get at bats. His father played in the Twins farm system from 1989 to 1992.

    #44 – Levi Michael – Ft. Myers – 2B (22)

    The Twins 2011 top pick struggled in his pro debut in Ft. Myers in 2012. He returned in 2013, but he missed the first three weeks of the season with an arm issue. His batting average was lower. His on base percentage was lower. His slugging percentage was a little higher. If you’re looking for the positive, he was 21 or 23 in stolen base attempts (and now 27-29 in his career). He played more at shortstop in 2013, but down the stretch he moved back to second base. 2014 will be a big year for Michael. Can he be a starter, or will his ceiling be that of a utility player?

    #43 – Pat Dean - New Britain/Rochester – LH SP (24)

    The Twins 3rd round pick in 2010 out of Boston College, Dean quickly moved up and made a start at New Britain at the end of the 2011 season. He spent all of 2012 with the Rock Cats as well. He went 6-11 with a 4.68 ERA in 22 starts for the Rock Cats to start the 2013 season. He was promoted to Rochester where he made a great impression. He threw seven shutout innings in his debut and went 3-2 with a 2.02 ERA. He is left-handed and has pitches similar to Brian Duensing’s. However, he does not like to miss bats.

    #42 – Zach Larson - GCL Twins/Elizabethton – OF (20)

    Larson was the Twins 20th round pick in 2012 out of high school in Florida. The Twins used some of their extra bonus allotment to sign him. He began this year in the GCL and hit .317. He moved up to Elizabethton and hit .301. His hit tool is definitely his best tool. He should develop some power, which is good because he is not fleet of foot. He’s an adequate defensive outfielder. He is certainly one to watch as he moves up to see if he develops.

    #41 – Danny Ortiz - New Britain – OF (23)

    Ortiz is kind of lost among Twins outfield prospects because they have always had some top outfield prospects, but he has been solid all-around. He’s not a large man, listed at 5-11 (but he’s not) put has good extra base pop. He had 43 extra base hits including 12 home runs at AA. He is a solid defender in all three outfield spots. He doesn't have one tool that jumps out as great, but he is solid across the board. His future is fourth outfielder.

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    So, what do you think? Like yesterday, these are guys that could potentially be role players with the Twins; pinch hitters, fourth outfielders, and utility infielders. Larson is the one here who has a chance for his Power tool to really develop over time. Kvasnicka's power is legit. He could move up if he can just stay healthy.


    Part 1: Prospects 46-50
    Comments 16 Comments
    1. righty8383's Avatar
      righty8383 -
      Larson is the only one from this group that intrigues me. Michael looks like a bust.
    1. clutterheart's Avatar
      clutterheart -
      Quote Originally Posted by righty8383 View Post
      Larson is the only one from this group that intrigues me. Michael looks like a bust.
      I would say "IS" a bust. He is the classic example that you should never draft for need - especially in the MLB draft.
      Twins needed MI help and drafted him. A big miss.

      Dean is Deadly against lefties & if things go upside down again next year, he could get a chance or two with the big league club
    1. mnfanforlife's Avatar
      mnfanforlife -
      True about Levi Michael, he will not hit past AA. At least, that's what appears to be happening.
    1. mnfanforlife's Avatar
      mnfanforlife -
      Pat Dean pitching in Minnesota at some point next year?
    1. Don't Feed the Greed Guy's Avatar
      Don't Feed the Greed Guy -
      Quote Originally Posted by mnfanforlife View Post
      Pat Dean pitching in Minnesota at some point next year?
      He may be the Andrew Albers of 2014. Both lefthanders are very similar in their pitch-to-contact approach.

      I only saw Dean pitch once. New Britain shut out Trenton, 2-0 on July 11. Dean pitched 7.1 innings, and gave up six hits and one walk while striking out four. What surprised me were the "loud outs." There was plenty of "Thunder" off the Trenton bats, but the ball kept landing in Rock Cats' gloves.

      I left the ballpark thinking, "that's the luckiest pitcher I've seen in a long time..." One game is a small example--I know, small sample size--I get it. But it just goes to show that seeing--and hearing--a baseball game is different than reading the box score.

      That said, I'd love to see Dean (or Albers) stick as that crafty lefty/5th starter, but I'm afraid he's a AAAA talent, at best. I suspect that's why he's ranked #43.
    1. DJL44's Avatar
      DJL44 -
      Quote Originally Posted by clutterheart View Post
      I would say "IS" a bust. He is the classic example that you should never draft for need - especially in the MLB draft.
      Twins needed MI help and drafted him. A big miss.
      Look at who was picked between Levi Michael and Travis Harrison in that draft. Only Jackie Bradley looks like a big leaguer. If it makes you feel better think of Harrison as the 1st rounder that season.
    1. DJL44's Avatar
      DJL44 -
      I like Stuart Turner better than these guys. Catchers who can defend make it to the big leagues even if they hit .200.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by DJL44 View Post
      Look at who was picked between Levi Michael and Travis Harrison in that draft. Only Jackie Bradley looks like a big leaguer. If it makes you feel better think of Harrison as the 1st rounder that season.

      I consider Supp-1st rounders as 1st rounders. Close enough. Michael was picked 30th, so there is never any 'sure-thing' attached to someone drafted that far down. That said, it is a good reminder that drafting for need is generally pretty wrong.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by mnfanforlife View Post
      Pat Dean pitching in Minnesota at some point next year?
      I'd say there's an outside chance.
    1. markos's Avatar
      markos -
      Quote Originally Posted by clutterheart View Post
      I would say "IS" a bust. He is the classic example that you should never draft for need - especially in the MLB draft.
      Twins needed MI help and drafted him. A big miss.
      FWIW, Baseball America and Keith Law both had Michael ranked #22 in the class. The only player available that was ranked higher by both was Josh Bell, and he was drafted in the 2nd round for $5 million. Of all the players available for the Twins #30 pick, there is a good argument that Michael was the best available that would sign around slot value.

      Now, that doesn't change the fact that he is officially a bust (which I agree) and a big miss. But I don't think it was a blatant "draft for need" mistake like you suggested.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by markos View Post
      FWIW, Baseball America and Keith Law both had Michael ranked #22 in the class. The only player available that was ranked higher by both was Josh Bell, and he was drafted in the 2nd round for $5 million. Of all the players available for the Twins #30 pick, there is a good argument that Michael was the best available that would sign around slot value.

      Now, that doesn't change the fact that he is officially a bust (which I agree) and a big miss. But I don't think it was a blatant "draft for need" mistake like you suggested.
      Great reminder... and going by the "experts", Michael was the best available and it was a position of need.
    1. birdwatcher's Avatar
      birdwatcher -
      [QUOTE=clutterheart;173813]I would say "IS" a bust. He is the classic example that you should never draft for need - especially in the MLB draft.
      Twins needed MI help and drafted him. A big miss.

      There is no substantiation whatsoever for a claim that Michael was selected on the basis of positional need. Perhaps you're just guessing about this?
    1. Rosterman's Avatar
      Rosterman -
      We always talk about the can't miss prospects, but always forget that people are needed to be that 4th outfielder or all-around utility guy, middle relief, or back-end starter.
    1. Steve Lein's Avatar
      Steve Lein -
      Quote Originally Posted by DJL44 View Post
      I like Stuart Turner better than these guys. Catchers who can defend make it to the big leagues even if they hit .200.
      Agree. Having Turner's name so low on this list surprised me, but have to believe it's just because he hasn't played enough in the Twins system yet. For what it's worth, Mayo on MLB.com has him at #19.
    1. clutterheart's Avatar
      clutterheart -
      Quote Originally Posted by birdwatcher View Post
      There is no substantiation whatsoever for a claim that Michael was selected on the basis of positional need. Perhaps you're just guessing about this?
      Obviously its a "guess." I have no access to the Draft War Room, nor would any rational scouting director outright say "we drafted for need." But we can see that Michael was the first position player out of college the Twins drafted in the first round since 1996. And the state of the MI in the minors was a disaster at the time. It seems clear to me at least they used a first round pick on a position of desperate need in the organization.

      In my opinion, his pick was very similar to the Adam Johnson pick. Twins got a guy that most scouts considered as "solid" but not great. - (ignoring the dif between #2 overall & #30 overall)

      I often dislike hindsight when it comes to drafts, every team has different philosophies, but since it was brought up by others, here is a few other guys they could've got:

      Trevor Story 45th
      Henry Owens 36th
      Jackie Bradley as was mentioned...

      Looking at the red sox...they had a pretty good 2011 draft!
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      I consider Supp-1st rounders as 1st rounders. Close enough. Michael was picked 30th, so there is never any 'sure-thing' attached to someone drafted that far down. That said, it is a good reminder that drafting for need is generally pretty wrong.
      This assumes that the Twins passed up on guys they thought were better in order to draft for need. I dont' see that, especially given the lack of ML talent in players taking immediately after Michael. Call it a pet peeve of mine, but in the BPA vs. need debate, this is really good example of my frustrations with it. It's revisionist history. Since the Twins needed help at SS, it's automatically assumed that he wasn't their BPA, even though based on the results, no one really knows. That assumption is bolstered more because he's failed as a prospect. This pick wasn't universally deried as horrible either.


      There were questions about his bat back then, and unfortunately, we've seen them play out. He's a bust. They happen, especially when picking that low.
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