After yesterday's prospects were revealed, we have now reached the halfway point of the Top 50 Minnesota Twins Prospect rankings. Today I am presenting my choices for Twins prospects 21 through 25. The discussions of these rankings so far have been fun, and I anticipate the debates growing as we roll closer to Number One.
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 6: 21-25
Again today I think this is an interesting collection of prospects. There are two relievers, one that Twins fans have already seen in the big leagues and one who could be there quickly. The other three are not yet 20 years old and have high ceilings, but a long ways to go.
#25 – Michael Tonkin – RH RP (23)
I often hear about how the Twins promote guys too slowly, and there are a some instances where that may be true. However, when you consider the early stages of Tonkin’s career, you have to appreciate that sometimes patience is a very good thing. Drafted in the 30th
round in 2008 out of high school, Tonkin spent parts of the 2010, 2011 and 2012 seasons in Beloit (Low A). The first year, he made a dozen starts. The second year, he pitched adequately out of the bullpen and improvement was clear. He then spent the first half of the 2012 season in Beloit before finishing the season in Ft. Myers. He began 2013 in New Britain, was promoted to Rochester fairly quickly and arrived with the Twins in July. He struggled with Rochester, but he made his Major League debut just 13 months after leaving Low-A. A mid-90s fastball and a slider make him a potential back-end of the bullpen guy.
#24 – Miguel Sulburan – LH SP (19)
The fact that he is just 5'-10" creates concern in the minds of some, but to this point in his career, Sulburan has pitched like he’s much bigger. The Twins plucked this left-hander from the Dodgers in exchange for Drew Butera at the July deadline. For the Kernels, he went 3-0 with a 2.70 ERA in four starts. Combined in 2013 in the Midwest League, he posted a 2.96 ERA in 112.2 innings and struck out 8.1 per nine innings while walking just 2.6 per nine. He has a solid four-pitch mix. His best pitch, to this point, is a devastating changeup. He’ll need to get some movement on his fastball to be successful as he moves up.
#23 – Amaurys Minier – 3B (17)
Minier was the Twins big international free agent signing in 2012 when he signed as a 16-year-old for about $1.5 million. The third baseman has tremendous power and will likely be a good hitter but he is very young. As you might expect, he was quite streaky in his US/GCL debut. He showed power rarely seen in the GCL with six home runs in 119 plate appearances. However, he fought injury much of the season and hit just .214/.252/.455 (.707) in this small sample in a league where the stats matter very little. His power is legit and he is one who could jump quickly up this list.
#22 – Zack Jones – RH RP (22)
Listening to several Miracle games throughout the season, it was hard not to get excited when play-by-play men Brice Zimmerman and Adam MacDonald spoke of Jones and his 96-100 mph fastball. He also has an improving slider. Jones was the Twins 4th
round pick in 2012 out of college, where he also was a hitter. Very exciting is his 12.9 K/9 (70 strikeouts in 48.2 innings), but he’ll have to throw more strikes (28 walks) if he wants to move quickly.
#21 – Jorge Felix – RH SP (19)
Felix is another very exciting young arm in the Twins farm system. To this point, he has moved up one level each year. He posted a 2.67 ERA in the DSL in 2011. In 2012 in the GCL, he posted a 2.34 ERA in 34.2 innings. With the E-Twins this year, he posted a 2.95 ERA in 61 innings (12 starts). His strikeout rate has increased each of those seasons, from 8.7 to 9.6 to 10.6 K/9. He’s 6-2 and wiry. He throws hard and has a solid breaking ball. The combination of Felix, Landa and Rosario gave the E-Twins some great pitching, and along with a couple guys that are a little higher on this list, they give the Twins and their fans reason to be excited for the future.
So there's Part 6 of my Top 50 Twins Prospect list. We'll be back soon with Part 7, prospects 16-20.
Part 1: 46-50
Part 2: 41-45
Part 3: 36-40
Part 4: 31-35
Part 5: 26-30