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  • Minnesota Twins Top 50 Prospects: 26-30

    Last week we worked through Minnesota Twins prospects 31-50. This week, we will be continuing our look at the team’s top prospects. Today, we will look at my choices for prospects 26-30. Be sure to leave your thoughts and comments in the comment section below.

    Again, if you want to look into some of the things that go into my personal rankings, click on the previous parts of this series at the bottom of today’s group.

    Part 5: 26-30

    In this edition, we have a mix of prospect types. We have a big first baseman who put up some impressive counting numbers and even led minor league baseball in a statistic. He enters this range of prospects with four pitchers. One of the pitchers was a fast-mover while another has moved more slowly. The other two pitchers introduce us to the The Big Three who spent the whole season at Elizabethton this year. Once these guys get to a higher level, they could move up quickly… or, well, down quickly. That’s what makes these types of lists so much fun.



    #30 – Randy Rosario – LH SP (19)


    Rosario is a 6 foot tall skinny left-hander from the Dominican Republic. Just 19, he went 4-3 with a 2.82 ERA at Elizabethton this year. Blessed with a fastball in the 93 to 95 mph range, he also throws a slider and a change-up. From 2012 (GCL) to 2013 (APPY), he improved his BB/9 from 4.5 to 3.6. His season ended early with some shoulder discomfort, but he returned and pitched in the Instructional League.

    #29 – Dalton Hicks – 1B (23)

    At 6-5 and (listed at) 228 pounds, Hicks is a menacing figure in the left-handed batter’s box. The Twins 17th round pick in 2012 out of Central Florida, he has a long and powerful swing. He spent the first two-thirds of the season in Cedar Rapids and ended the year in Ft. Myers. In all, his 110 RBI led all minor league baseball, edging out Adam Walker. This year he hit 39 doubles and 17 home runs while hitting .289/.358/.468 (.826).

    #28 – Brett Lee – LH SP (23)


    Lee was the Twins 10th round pick in 2011 out of junior college. He made his pro debut by going 4-0 with a 2.68 ERA with E-Town in 2012 while pitching primarily out of the bullpen. He moved to the rotation in 2013 in Cedar Rapids and went 8-4 with a 2.95 ERA. The lefty has a good fastball with some deceptive movement. He’s got good offspeed pitches as well. His future may be in the bullpen, but he should continue to start for now.

    #27 – Yorman Landa – RH SP (19)


    Another 19-year-old from this year’s Elizabethton squad, Landa is a right-handed version of Randy Rosario. After going 1-3 with a 2.43 ERA in 33.1 innings in the Gulf Coast League in 2012, he went 3-4 with a 2.78 ERA in 55 innings in 2013 with the E-Twins. He throws hard, though he’ll need to continue to reduce his walk rate. It improved in 2013 to 4.7 from 5.4 in 2012.

    #26 – DJ Baxendale – RH SP (22)

    What Baxendale did in the season’s first two months in Ft. Myers was remarkable. Considering the 2012 10th round pick was pushed right to the Miracle, he was my choice for Twins pitcher of the month in April and May when he went 7-0 with a 1.10 ERA and a 0.79 WHIP in nine starts. He was pushed to New Britain where he certainly struggled, going 5-7, 5.63 ERA, 1.42 WHIP in 16 starts. Baxendale has a good fastball that reaches into the low-90s with movement and a full four-pitch mix. He gets a ton of movement, in part, due to throwing from a three-quarter angle.


    So there you have it, Part 5 of my Top 50 Twins Prospect list. We'll be back tomorrow with Part 5, prospects 21-25.


    Part 1: 46-50
    Part 2: 41-45
    Part 3: 36-40
    Part 4: 31-35
    Comments 21 Comments
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      The nice thing about the Twins system is that some of these guys would be top 20 in other systems. It's a deep system.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      I think I would agree with that. Baxendale and Hicks possibly. The younger guys might be in this range just because of their youth and where they are so far.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      I don't know. Looking briefly at MLB.com top 20 prospects, there seem to be at least several teams with a Landa or Rosario type pitcher in the 17, 18, 19, or 20 spots.
    1. Badsmerf's Avatar
      Badsmerf -
      I'm optimistic Baxendale can develop into a back of the rotation starter. Would be a great boost for the Twins.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      What's intriguing about Baxendales is that he jus seems to know how to pitch. He's got four pitches that he throws from various angles, with movement. Smart and Competitive. He's got a chance, for sure.
    1. clutterheart's Avatar
      clutterheart -
      Baxendale has a good fastball that reaches into the low-90s with movement
      Is that based off game reports? I remember a prospect chat with Keith Law - I think - where he said Baxendale would be a upper round pick if he threw in the '90's. I tried to find the link but came up empty.

      Are Landa and Rosario playing winterball?
    1. clutterheart's Avatar
      clutterheart -
      Quote Originally Posted by Badsmerf View Post
      I'm optimistic Baxendale can develop into a back of the rotation starter. Would be a great boost for the Twins.
      The current Twins have screwed up my definition of "back of the rotation starter" Does that mean a 5 + era? Or does that mean a low 4 ERA, and pitch a lot of innings? My epxectations on this are all screwed up.
      But the latter is my hope for Baxendale
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by clutterheart View Post
      Is that based off game reports? I remember a prospect chat with Keith Law - I think - where he said Baxendale would be a upper round pick if he threw in the '90's. I tried to find the link but came up empty.

      Are Landa and Rosario playing winterball?
      I'm told that Baxendale's 4-seamer is as high as 93. His two-seamer is probably 89-90. That's pretty normal.

      I am sure that Landa is playing, though he'll likely pitch more in the Parallel league. Not sure on Rosario.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by clutterheart View Post
      The current Twins have screwed up my definition of "back of the rotation starter" Does that mean a 5 + era? Or does that mean a low 4 ERA, and pitch a lot of innings? My epxectations on this are all screwed up.
      But the latter is my hope for Baxendale
      Well, League Average is an ERA right around 4, so I would think a #5 starter would have an ERA around 4.50 and eating a lot of innings would be great. So, I guess that would be my hope. Now, the Tigers top four are better than that, but I think that Porcello is closer to the latter. The Twins 3s and 4s and 5s have been closer to that 5+ ERA you reference, but obviously that's not some sort of guideline that they have for themselves. It's not what they're lookign for.
    1. Paul Pleiss's Avatar
      Paul Pleiss -
      I would have pushed Baxendale into the teens, but with such a deep system it'd be a hard sell. Also, arguing against Seth seems to be the wrong idea as far as Twins prospects are concerned.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pleiss View Post
      I would have pushed Baxendale into the teens, but with such a deep system it'd be a hard sell. Also, arguing against Seth seems to be the wrong idea as far as Twins prospects are concerned.
      isn't "arguing against Seth" kind of the purpose of creating a Top 50 prospects list? Hopefully it will get people thinking and everyone will want to make their own personal Top 20 or Top 30 or Top 50 list!
    1. TRex's Avatar
      TRex -
      I know comparing a #30 ranking to a #27 ranking is like comparing two prospects Sickel's rates as C+, but since you actually put numbers on them... why do you like Landa better than Rosario? Landa is also listed at 6' even, and a lefty who throws 93-95 as a starter will almost certainly make it to the big leagues (if his shoulder holds up).
    1. Siehbiscuit's Avatar
      Siehbiscuit -
      I have the exact same question as TRex. Landa and Rosario are SO similar, what do you see that separates them? I would think teams value the lefty sligtly higher than the RH'er. Interested to hear your thoughts?
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      I mean, I could toss a coin. Reports I've got seen to make me lean slightly toward Landa, though obviously he'll have to improve his control. Generally, his stuff is said to be a little bit better. You guys make good points. Both have a long way to go and a lot of development to have a shot, but both have very good upside.
    1. stringer bell's Avatar
      stringer bell -
      I saw Lee pitch in person at Cedar Rapids, and he got hammered. Lots of hard-hit balls. Shortly after he was put in the bullpen, but returned to pitch well late in the season.
    1. TRex's Avatar
      TRex -
      Should we understand that to interpret that Landa has better secondary pitch(es)? If so, what is it and does it grade out as plus?
    1. drivlikejehu's Avatar
      drivlikejehu -
      The homers Baxendale gave up at AA are a huge warning sign. He needs to get a lot better just to be a #5 starter, so his prospect value is pretty limited.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by drivlikejehu View Post
      The homers Baxendale gave up at AA are a huge warning sign. He needs to get a lot better just to be a #5 starter, so his prospect value is pretty limited.
      I would argue that 2014 is the big year to determine his prospect value. It's "normal" for successful college pitchers to struggle for the first time at AA. What he learned in his time there, his health, and how he adjusts will say a lot about what he will become. Most say 4th/5th starter upside, and that's likely true.
    1. old nurse's Avatar
      old nurse -
      Dalton Hicks. Long swing is mentioned. Will he be able to catch up to a major league fastball? See David McCarty's career.
    1. clutterheart's Avatar
      clutterheart -
      Quote Originally Posted by drivlikejehu View Post
      The homers Baxendale gave up at AA are a huge warning sign. He needs to get a lot better just to be a #5 starter, so his prospect value is pretty limited.
      Agree - also his lack of SO
      If he is not striking guys out he needs to get his GB rate up there
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