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  • Minnesota Twins Top 50 Prospects: Summary

    Over the past three weeks, I have been posting my choices for the top 50 Minnesota Twins Prospects. As the lists have been posted, there has been some tremendous discussion in the Comments about the lists. So below, I will post my top 50 as presented. I encourage you to let me know who is too high, or to low?

    Then, I've been encouraging you to prepare your own person Top 10 or Top 20 or Top 50 Twins prospect list. It would be interesting to see who others rank where because we all have our own personal favorite prospects that we may rank a little higher than others. It's all part of the fun.
    Here is a quick breakdown of my Top 50 Twins prospects by position:

    RH Starting Pitchers: 14
    LH Starting Pitchers: 11
    RH Relief Pitchers: 5
    LH Relief Pitchers: 0
    Catchers: 3
    Corner Infielders: 6
    Middle Infielders: 5
    Oufielders: 6



    With that, here are my choices for Top 50 Twins Prospects. Discuss.

    #50 – Adrian Salcedo – Ft. Myers – RH RP (22)
    #49 – Josue Montanez – Cedar Rapids – LH SP (21)
    #48 – Aaron Slegers – Indiana/Elizabethton – RH SP (21)
    #47 – Stuart Turner – Mississippi/Elizabethton/New Britain – C (21)
    #46 – AJ Achter – New Britain/Rochester – RH RP (25)
    #45 – Mike Kvasnicka – Ft. Myers – OF (24)
    #44 – Levi Michael – Ft. Myers – 2B (22)
    #43 – Pat Dean – LH SP (24)
    #42 – Zach Larson – OF (20)
    #41 – Danny Ortiz – OF (23)
    #40 – Alex Wimmers – RH SP (24)
    #39 - Tim Atherton – RH SP (23)
    #38 – Tyler Duffey – RH SP (22)
    #37 – Mason Melotakis – LH SP (22)
    #36 – Brian Navarreto – C (18)
    #35 – Matt Summers – RH SP (24)
    #34 – Tyler Jones – RH RP (24)
    #33 – JD Williams – OF (23)
    #32 – Luke Bard – RH SP (22)
    #31 – Logan Darnell – LH SP (24)
    #30 – Dalton Hicks – 1B (23)
    #29 – DJ Baxendale – RH SP (22)
    #28 – Randy Rosario – LH SP (19)
    #27 – Brett Lee – LH SP (23)
    #26 – Yorman Landa – RH SP (19)
    #25 – Michael Tonkin – RH RP (23)
    #24 – Miguel Sulburan – LH SP (19)
    #23 – Amaurys Minier – 3B (17)
    #22 – Zack Jones – RH RP (22)
    #21 – Felix Jorge – RH SP (19)
    #20 – Niko Goodrum – SS (21)
    #19 – Taylor Rogers – LH SP (22)
    #18 – Fernando Romero – RH SP (18)
    #17 – Ryan Eades – RH SP (21)
    #16 – Kennys Vargas – 1B (23)
    #15 – Danny Santana – SS (22)
    #14 – Stephen Gonsalves – LH SP (19)
    #13 – Trevor May – RH SP (24)
    #12 – Travis Harrison – 3B (21)
    #11 – Josmil Pinto – C (24)
    #10 – Adam Walker – OF (22)
    #9 – Lewis Thorpe – LH SP (17)
    #8 – Max Kepler – OF/1B (20)
    #7 – Jose (JO) Berrios – RH SP (19)
    #6 – Jorge Polanco – 2B (20)
    #5 – Eddie Rosario – 2B (22)
    #4 – Kohl Stewart – RH SP (19)
    #3 – Alex Meyer – RH SP (23)
    #2 – Miguel Sano – 3B (20)
    #1 – Byron Buxton – OF (19)

    There it is. Discuss. And if you missed any of the ten pieces, check them out here:


    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
    Part 8: 11-15
    Part 9: 6-10
    Part 10: 1-5
    Comments 51 Comments
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      Quote Originally Posted by Rosterman View Post
      The Twins are considered better offensively than from the mound in current mainstream rankings, yet you ranked so many pitchers (almost half) in the top 50.

      Two items of discussions: Do batter move up in the system faster than pitchers.
      I'll take a stab at this. In the prospect world there's a saying TNSTAAPP (There's no such thing as a pitching prospect). Pitchers get hurt and flame out much easier as the move up... at least that's my guess. They also start out with promise and transition to a reliever. One really good example of that in recent Twins history is Hudson Boyd. He was on a few top 10 lists and pretty much universally in the top 20 when he was drafted. Right now we hope he can become a decent back of the pen option.

      Second, pitchers with upside are going to get ranked higher. It's the most important position in the game and having more good pitching than you have pitchers is the easiest way to fill gaps with high ceiling talent at other positions. Pitchers are like gold.

      In the Twins case it's compounded by the fact that they have a lot of high ceiling guys way low in the minors. If guys like Stewart, Gonsalves, and Thrope all continue on at Cedar Rapids where they left off in rookie ball, they will all likely be in the top 100 by the end of the year. Of course history says that only one of them will likely make it big. Here's to hoping history is wrong and we have a trio of top of the rotation starters in 4 years.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by Thrylos View Post
      This guy does not belong in here because of age/performance/level/lack of tools combination. I suspect if he were from NJ instead of MN, he would not be in the list:



      Many better choices out there; I'd take Dan Rohlfing who at the same age, did better in New Britain and played up to AAA last season...

      And what an unfortunate trade if you see what Sanudo did in the Houston system...
      Agree to disagree. I really like Dan, great guy, and he's got some value as an athletic catcher and capable corner OF, great team guy, etc.

      Kvasnicka has been hurt a lot, but he's consistently shown power. At 45 or so, I'll take a plus-tool like that.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by Vzltwins View Post
      Where is Ibarra?
      He was strongly considered for a spot in the 40-50 range, but didn't quite make it. As I've done more research and more scouting reports and such, he should be in that range.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Let's get some people's Top 20s here in the Comments... I'm curious what others would do.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by lee_the_twins_fan View Post
      I don't know – but the Twins added him to the 40-man roster. Interesting move for someone who is not on Seth's 50-man prospect list. But then Ibarra basically came in from nowhere.
      I was glad that Ibarra was added to the 40 man roster. I called it a month ago. He's got great stuff, left-handed, some strikeout stuff. But, I generally have relievers ranked lower because, at best, they pitch like 50-60 innings a year (a LOOGY could throw less than 40-50 innings). A #3 or #4 starter will throw 160-180 innings. But don't get me wrong, I think that he will pitch for the Twins, and I think he can be a valuable piece to the Twins bullpen. I've seen him pitch. He can be very good.
    1. lightfoot789's Avatar
      lightfoot789 -
      Quote Originally Posted by clutterheart View Post
      Walker - he has too many strike outs and not enough walks. From what I have heard/read looked over matched against low A breaking balls. A player who went to college who still struggles with SO, tells me he is guy who struggles to change his approach. I hope I am wrong as he does appear to hit straight fastballs a long way.
      Walker struck out at a 20% rate, which is great for a guy who led the league in HRs and RBIs. How many Top Prospects (nationally) can say they had a K rate of 20% or lower and led the league in HRs and RBI? I agree that he needs to take more walks (no arguement). That said however: Despite his low walk rate - He was on base enough to rank second in the entire league in runs scored. That means he scored more than Polanco, Harirson, & Goodrum - all of whom had higher OBP. That's not knocking those 3 (all great players) , but just signifying that your wants for Walker are based on hear say - not results from the here and now. Isn't the concern for a higher OBP to score more runs as a team. He seems to be doing his share of scoring & driving in runs, while also dropping his K rate over 10% in 1 season. I find more room for optimism than doubt if you ask me. Just saying ..
    1. Chance's Avatar
      Chance -
      20. Baxendale
      19. Z. Jones
      18. T. Rodgers
      17. Goodrum
      16. Harrison
      15. Kepler
      14. May
      13. Vargas
      12. Santana
      11. Walker
      10. Polanco
      09. Berrios
      08. Gonsalves
      07. Pinto
      06. Thorpe
      05. Stewart
      04. Rosario
      03. Meyer
      02. Sano
      01. Buxton
    1. lightfoot789's Avatar
      lightfoot789 -
      1) Buxton
      2) Sano
      3) Meyer
      4) Rosario
      5) Stewart
      6) Pinto
      7) Walker
      8) Polanco
      9) Berrios
      10) Thorpe
      11) May
      12) Santana
      13) Kepler
      14) Harrison
      15) Brett Lee (sleeper)
      16) Jorge
      17) Gonsalves
      18) Rogers
      19) Vargas
      20) Melotakis
    1. Chance's Avatar
      Chance -
      I do like Melotakis up higher. Nice group. Is there any particular reason you have Lee at 15? I don't know a great deal about him. Are you thinking he makes it as a starter or that he will be a closer soon?
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      Let's get some people's Top 20s here in the Comments... I'm curious what others would do.
      Something like this, and with a surprise name in the bottom:

      1. Sano
      2. Buxton
      3. Meyer
      4. Rosario
      5. Steward
      6. May
      7. Berrios
      8. F. Jose
      9. Kepler
      10. Gonsalves
      11. Eaves
      12. Walker
      13. Harrison
      14. Minier
      15. Baxendale
      16. Vargas
      17. Polanco
      18. Thorpe
      19. Z. Jones
      20. Brian Gilbert (RHP)


      Pinto and Tonkin graduated. Almost included 17 yo Venezuelan Alexis Tapia, who is probably the best of the Twins' DSL pitchers and might make the jump to the US this spring training.
    1. Jim H's Avatar
      Jim H -
      I am not going to submit a ranking. Largely I don't know enough, plus I don't think exact rankings matter much since so much of the rankings are based on projection and certain personal biases. That doesn't mean I don't find them interesting and I do have a few observations based on Seth's rankings.

      Although many people consider starting pitching a weakness in the Twins system, I am not so sure that is true. Among the top 20 prospects(according to Seth) are 9 starting pitchers. There are 8 more pitchers in the next ten. A lot of these guys, if they make the majors at all, will end up in relief. Still, if we agree that position players are a strength of the system, it is interesting that so many pitchers are that high. It is even more interesting that 2 guys ranked very high just a couple of years ago(Wimmers and Salcedo) are now ranked 40 and below. Although both have had serious injuries, they are only 24 and 22 respectively, and there is reason to believe that both could regain their former effectiveness. That both are so low, speaks to the perceived strength of the organization's pitching.

      People also suggest that though some of the pitching could be very good, it also very young and very far away from the majors. I believe that is partly true. Very good pitchers can and usually do, move up a system and to the majors quicker than comparable position players. Or at least that is often true. Baker, Slowey, and Henricks all moved to the majors quickly, even though I would hesitate to call any of them very good. If some of these young pitchers have the kind of stuff that many suggest they do, they could move very quickly. There are also some guys without the dominant stuff, who were pitching at A Ball this year, who could move quickly because they know how to pitch and their secondary pitches are pretty refined.

      One of the interesting things about lists like this, is that it all about upside. There are guys not on this list or near the bottom of this list, who will make the majors and perhaps perform significant roles for their teams. Guys in the Twins system like that could include Beresford, Ibarra, Turner, Kvasnicka and few more pitchers who likely will end up in relief.

      I do like the position players in the top half of this list. I am rather encouraged that a number of them are middle infielders, another area that is often considered a weakness in the Twins system.

      Finally, thanks again Seth, for your list. I appreciate your work.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jim H View Post
      Although many people consider starting pitching a weakness in the Twins system, I am not so sure that is true. Among the top 20 prospects(according to Seth) are 9 starting pitchers. There are 8 more pitchers in the next ten. A lot of these guys, if they make the majors at all, will end up in relief. Still, if we agree that position players are a strength of the system, it is interesting that so many pitchers are that high..
      I think that it is all relative. Only Meyer (really) has top of the rotation potential. Steward possibly, but he has to pitch a few innings more and not against kids who just grabbed wooden bats for their first time in their lives, to really cement that potential. Other than that we are talking about back of the rotation starters, and the 2011-3 Twins are prime examples of what happens when you fill a team with back of the rotation starters.

      The other reason that so many pitchers are so high, is that other than in the top 5 or so, there are not really any exceptional position player prospects. Even the top of the second tier of position prospects are close to average minor leaguers (like C/C+ prospects) at this point.
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      Let's get some people's Top 20s here in the Comments... I'm curious what others would do.
      To lazy to repost.

      http://twinsdaily.com/twins-minor-le...ect-lists.html
    1. cmb0252's Avatar
      cmb0252 -
      If I was going to make an official list it might be different but this is from off the top of my head:

      1) Buxton
      2) Sano
      3) Stewart
      4) Meyer
      5) Rosario
      6) Berrios
      7) Kepler
      8) Thorpe
      9) Pinto
      10) May
      11) Polanco
      12) Harrison
      13) Gonsalves
      14) Eades
      15) Walker
      16) Santana
      17) Jorge
      18) Romero
      19) Goodrum
      20) Minier
    1. cmb0252's Avatar
      cmb0252 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Thrylos View Post
      I think that it is all relative. Only Meyer (really) has top of the rotation potential. Steward possibly, but he has to pitch a few innings more and not against kids who just grabbed wooden bats for their first time in their lives, to really cement that potential. Other than that we are talking about back of the rotation starters, and the 2011-3 Twins are prime examples of what happens when you fill a team with back of the rotation starters.

      The other reason that so many pitchers are so high, is that other than in the top 5 or so, there are not really any exceptional position player prospects. Even the top of the second tier of position prospects are close to average minor leaguers (like C/C+ prospects) at this point.
      I don't understand not giving Stewart credit for his current tools regardless of the competition he has played. He has a perfect pitchers frame and is insanely athletic. His fastball consistently sits in the 92-94 and can hit 97 with good downward plane. Has an already plus slider with two more pitches that look to be big league average. Yeah, he doesn't have polish, but how many pitchers regardless of level have two already plus pitches and two that are average? Not very many.
    1. Jim H's Avatar
      Jim H -
      Quote Originally Posted by Thrylos View Post
      I think that it is all relative. Only Meyer (really) has top of the rotation potential. Steward possibly, but he has to pitch a few innings more and not against kids who just grabbed wooden bats for their first time in their lives, to really cement that potential. Other than that we are talking about back of the rotation starters, and the 2011-3 Twins are prime examples of what happens when you fill a team with back of the rotation starters.

      The other reason that so many pitchers are so high, is that other than in the top 5 or so, there are not really any exceptional position player prospects. Even the top of the second tier of position prospects are close to average minor leaguers (like C/C+ prospects) at this point.
      Fair enough, but 2008-2010 are examples of what you can do without any top of the rotation starters. If all of your starters are pretty good, you can end up with a 95 win season like 2010. Of course the rest of team has to be better than pretty good and your defense and bullpen better be darn good as well.

      I just think that having a bunch of c/c+ pitching prospects is a good thing. Some could jump up and be better than that and if they do, they will move fast.
    1. lee_the_twins_fan's Avatar
      lee_the_twins_fan -
      The 2013 Twins starting pitchers, however, ranked dead-last among MLB teams; that means they don't have many C/C+ starting pitchers on staff – they're mostly even lower.

      We need at least three FA starters acquired this winter, and better ones than Correa and Pelfrey, if the Twins are to make a move in 2014.
    1. MichiganTwins's Avatar
      MichiganTwins -
      1) Buxton 2) Sano 3) Meyer 4) Stewart 5) Rosario 6)Berrios 7)POlanco 8)Pinto 9)Kepler 10)Thorpe 11)May 12)Gonsalves 13)Walker 14)Harrison 15)Danny Santana 16)Vargas 17)Tonkin 18)Eades 19)Niko 20)Felix Jorge
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      Quote Originally Posted by clutterheart View Post
      I still can't get my brain around Romero at 18...

      My prediction:
      Walker falls to the mid 20's next year
      Harrison does not make the list next year
      Santana is off th list next year because he plays for the Twins
      Polanco becomes the teams number 1 prospect next year - assuming Buxton and Sano lose prospect status.
      I predict that none of those things happen.
    1. lightfoot789's Avatar
      lightfoot789 -
      See some of the prospects you have written about in the Kernels Season Game Highlights
      [Polanco, Kepler, Walker, Goodrum, Harrison, Lee, Berrios, Melotakis, DJ HIcks, JD Williams, Duffy, Murphy, etc. ]

      KernelsHighlightsABW

      and

      KernelsPartyattheParkTeam/GameHIghlights
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