I've talked some about what goes into my rankings, but it's certainly not a science. It is subjective. I do try to take many factors into account, but one thing I do try to consider is guys with certain tools that stand out as elite. As we get into the Top 15 prospects, you'll start to see some of those elite tools and that's why they are up this high.
Part 8: Prospects 11-15
In today's installment, there is a mix of youth and some guys who have been around awhile and should be close to the big leagues. In fact, one of them had a pretty impressive big league debut in September. Two other players on the 40 man roster should debut in 2014. One lefty made an impressive pro debut in July. The other has immense power and offensive potential.
#15 Danny Santana SS (22)
Santana is a difficult prospect to get a good read on. He was added to the 40 man roster a year ago, and certainly did enough at AA New Britain to keep that spot. He hit .297/.333/.386 (.719) with 22 doubles, ten triples and two home runs. He is incredibly fast which helps his batting average. He could afford to walk more, though at this point we may not be likely to see more than a little improvement. He stole 30 bases, though he was also caught 13 times. Defensively, Santana is tough to read. His speed gives him remarkable range and he can make a lot of highlight reel plays. He also committed 32 errors, many on more routine plays. He will turn 23 years old later this week and should spend the 2014 season in Triple-A with a shot at a late-season big league debut.
#14 Stephen Gonsalves LH SP (19)
After a very good but somewhat controversial season at Cathedral Catholic high school in San Diego, the Twins used their 4th round pick last June on the left-hander. At 6-5 and 205 pounds, he has some room to gain strength. It would be great if he could add a couple miles per hour to his fastball which currently sits between 89 and 92 and has touched 94 at times. He also has an inconsistent curveball and a pretty good changeup. Both pitches have the chance to be very good pitches. Hes still young, and he has room to improve and grow, but the Twins got a steal when he fell to them in the 4th round.
#13 Trevor May RH SP (24)
Trevor May came to the Twins about a year ago from the Phillies in the Ben Revere trade. The right-hander returned to the Eastern League for a second consecutive season. He did show minimal improvement in just about every category. His ERA and WHIP fell just a little bit. His walk rate dropped from 4.7 per nine to 4.0 per nine, while his strikeouts increased from 9.1 per nine to 9.4. He threw over 150 innings. In two more innings than a year earlier, he gave up eight fewer home runs. It wasnt a big step forward, but he stayed healthy and did show some improvement. May throws hard and has the pitches to be a starter. In the AFL hes been pitching out of the bullpen. He will need to begin the 2014 season in the Rochester starting rotation. He was one of three Twins's minor league full-season starters to strike out more than a batter an inning.
#12 Travis Harrison 3B (21)
Harrison was the Twins first supplemental first round pick in 2011 out of high school in California. The man has very strong hands, wrists and forearms which certainly bodes well for him becoming a very good power hitter for the Twins. He has power to all fields. On the season in Cedar Rapids he hit .253/.366/.416 (.782) with 28 doubles and 15 home runs. It did appear the length of the full season wore him down as he struggled the final six weeks of the season. Defensively, he remains a work-in-progress at third base. At all six of the games I saw Cedar Rapids, he was on the field as much as five hours before the game taking ground ball after ground ball from manager Jake Mauer. He could also eventually move to a corner outfield spot or first base. I do think that in time he will have enough bat to play those positions.
#11 Josmil Pinto C (24)
Pinto was up with the Twins for only a month, but he showed what Josmil Pinto is and can be. Starting with the positive, the guy can hit. He began the year in AA and hit .308/.411/.482 (.892). He moved up to Rochester, and in 19 games hit .314 (with an .819 OPS). Right before September, he was promoted to the Twins where he hit .342/.398/.566 (.963) in 21 games. He had five doubles and four home runs. To summarize, he can hit for average, has a very good approach at the plate and knowledge of the strike zone and very good pop in his bat for a catcher. Defensively, there is no question that he remains a work in progress. He struggled at times, but some of that is part of learning a new league. Hes a little stiff, but people talk about how hard he works, so I think he will make himself an adequate glove man. Offensively, he is ready now.
Thank you for reading part Part 8 of what will be a ten part series with my Top 50 Twins Prospects. Next up, the Top 10 Twins prospects (in my opinion). In case you missed any of the previous installments, here are those links:
Part 1: 46-50
Part 2: 41-45
Part 3: 36-40
Part 4: 31-35
Part 5: 26-30
Part 6: 21-25
Part 7: 16-20