Prospect list in depth, Part One: HMs and 51-60
by, 12-29-2012 at 10:47 AM (1407 Views)
This is the first in a series of blog posts breaking down my top 60 Twins prospects. I realized that I had omitted Ryan Pressly and Zach Jones from my initial list, so they will make it into the series now. Overall the system has improved dramatically in the past two years, both at the top and with respect to depth.
Honorable Mention: Matthew Koch, Bobby Lanigan, Tyler Grimes
HM: Matthew Koch: After an inconsequential 2011, Koch started out of the gates hot in the first half of his season and then cooled off. He ended with a .253/.349/.421 (.770) line and hit 8 homers in 359 plate appearances. He also struck out 106 times and that was the major cause of his fall in the second half. If he can regain some of that offensive prowess displayed early and cut down on the whiffs, he could rise up the list. He just turned 24, however, so the clock is ticking. Expected start: Fort Myers. ETA: never or 2015-16.
HM: Bobby Lanigan: Lanigan is falling off the prospect map and 2013 might be his last chance to turn his career around. In 225+ inning in AA, he has a 4.51 ERA and 5.8/2.2 per nine K/BB rate. AAA was significantly worse for him in 2012. He’ll be 26 in May. Expected start: Rochester. ETA: never or 2013-2014.
HM: Tyler Grimes: Grimes was successful in his first partial year in professional baseball in 2011, but repeating Beloit in 2012 got him nowhere. In 222 more plate appearances, his OPS dropped 69 points. His defense at shortstop also went south in 2012 so he might be moving to 2B or 3B, which could help his chances if he can start hitting again and he has a bit of time (turns 23 in July). Expected start: Fort Myers. ETA: never or 2015-2016.
60. Logan Darnell (DOB: 2-2-89), LH starter: Darnell struggled at New Britain in 2012, posting a 5.08 in 156 innings with a 5.7/2.7 per nine K/BB rate. His fastball tops out in the low 90s and he has a decent changeup. He very well could end up moving to the bullpen, but for now will likely stick as a starter for 2013. Expected start: New Britain. ETA: never or 2014-2015.
59. Tyler Jones (DOB: 9-5-89), RH starter: Jones had a fairly impressive 2012 year at Beloit. He gives up too many hits and walks too many (1.442 WHIP), but struck out 102 in 86+ innings. His fastball tops out in the mid 90s and he will need to work on his secondary pitches (slider, changeup) to improve. He is someone I may consider as a 2013 breakout candidate and he could move up this prospect list very quickly. Expected start: Fort Myers. ETA: never or 2015-2016.
58. Romy Jimenez (DOB: 5-14-91), RH outfielder: After spending the vast majority of his time in the organization in the DSL, Jimenez burst on the scene in 2012 in Elizabethon. In 139 plate appearances he posted a 1.108 OPS, with 12 doubles, 8 homers, and 19 walks (vs. 25 strikeouts). The outfield depth chart is obviously crowded in the organization, but Jimenez could hold his own in his first full season. Expected start: Cedar Rapids. ETA: never or 2016-2017.
57. Pedro Hernandez (DOB: 4-12-89), LH starter: Hernandez came over in the Francisco Liriano trade and has a bit of promise. I am potentially undervaluing him, but the falling K rate 10.2, 8.4, 8.3, 7.0, 6.5, 6.0 at each successive level in the minors worries me. That said, he does not walk many hitters and has solid command of multiple pitches (fastball, sinker, changeup). Might be the left-handed version of Liam Hendriks. His fastball hits the low 90s, so command is going to be vital for the lefty going forward and his stock may rise dramatically by mid-season. Expected start: Rochester. ETA: 2013-2014.
56. Taylor Rogers (DOB: 12-17-90), LH starter/reliever: Drafted in the 11th round in 2012, Rogers pitched at two levels, finishing well in Beloit. Splitting time as a starter and reliever, he pitched 33+ innings, striking out 35 and walking 12. With a high 80s-low 90s fastball, his secondary pitches (curveball, changeup) are going to need to continue to be effective if he is too remain a starter. A solid pitcher, all-around, he is very unlikely to be a bust. Expected start: Cedar Rapids or Fort Myers. ETA: 2015-2016.
55. Pat Dean (DOB: 5-25-89), LH starter: Dean uses a low 90s fastball mixed in with good secondary pitches (curveball, changeup) to maintain solid, though not overpowering numbers as a left-handed starter. The strikeout rate has fallen off a cliff but he also keeps the walks pretty low. I am skeptical of continued success as he moves up, but he could wind up (for better or worse) being the left-handed BJ Hermsen. Expected start: New Britain. ETA: Never or 2014-2015.
54. Deolis Guerra (DOB: 4-17-89), RH reliever: Early in 2012 it looked like Guerra’s move to the bullpen was entirely successful and that he might be on a fast track to the Twins bullpen. He dominated at AA but ended the season struggling in Rochester, posting a 4.87 ERA in 57+ innings of work there. The K rate is still impressive and if he can keep the walks low, Guerra should find success in AAA this year. Given that the Twins bullpen could regress with the likes of Alex Burnett and Anthony Swarzak (and even Casey Fien), we may see Guerra with the Twins at some point this year. Expected start: Rochester: ETA: 2013-2014.
53. Tim Shibuya (DOB: 9-14-89), RH starter: After a successful 2011 in rookie ball, Shibuya regressed significantly in 2013 and his season was cut short due to injury. His average stuff did not translate with the move up, but perhaps he can come back with a solid performance at low-A ball this year after the injury. His 6.8/1.8 per nine K/BB numbers are good enough if he can maintain the ratio going forward. Expected start: Cedar Rapids. ETA: never or 2015-2016.
52. James Beresford (DOB: 1-19-89), LH middle infielder: Beresford’s drop on this list has less to do with his performance and more to do with the depth of the list and the last two drafts for the Twins. In fact, Beresford performed slightly better with the move up to AA in 2012, raising his OPS 17 points, mostly the result of a bit of increased pop (which is a very welcomed sign). He split time pretty evenly between shortstop and second base and may do the same this year. He is very good defensively. His .266/.330/.314 line is something to build off of for 2013. Expected start: New Britain. ETA: 2013-2014.
51. Tyler Duffey (DOB: 12-27-90), RH reliever: Duffey dominated Elizabethon in 2012 after the Twins drafted him in the 5th round. He struck out 27 and walked 2 in 19 innings of work. He throws in the low 90s and has a good slider. I would expect him to remain in the bullpen. Expected start: Cedar Rapids. ETA: never or 2015-2016.