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Prospect list in depth, Part Three: 31-40

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This is the third segment in my prospect list breakdown. These ten have good-to-great upside in most cases and essentially all of them are facing crucial seasons in their development, for various reasons.

40. Angel Morales (DOB: 11-24-89), RH outfielder: After the 2010 season, I placed Morales at number 5 on my prospect list. That was a bit high for him, but he certainly made the vast majority of top 10 lists. Morales spent half of 2010 in Fort Myers and has been there ever since, battling injury in 2011 and struggling 420 plate appearances to manage a .220/.310/.328 line. He is clearly stuck in a rut, but the talent is still present and he is only 23. A move up to New Britain could mean a make or break season. Aaron Hicks benefitted from the move to New Britain as did Oswaldo Arcia. Morales is very athletic and his defense is very good with a great arm. This is about the age that Hicks and Benson took off, so hopefully the same can be said for Morales after 2013. Expected start: New Britain. ETA: 2015 or 2016.

39. Manuel Soliman (DOB: 8-11-89), RH starter/reliever: Solimon was a top prospect going into the 2012 season but was sidelined with injury and had surgery to repair a torn labrum in June. He will come back slowly this year and should be ready by June. He throws in the low 90s and has a sinker as well. If the injury takes a few ticks away, he might be moved to the bullpen. That was the likely future for him anyway, but he could be very good in that role. Like Morales, 2013 is going to be a huge year for Soliman to return to form and move up this list. Expected start: Fort Myers DL. ETA: never or 2015-2016.

38. D.J. Baxendale (DOB: 12-8-90), RH reliever/starter: Baxendale doesn’t really throw hard, but still struck out 31 batters in 18+ innings between Elizabethon and Beloit. He was selected in the 10th round of the 2012 draft and I would consider him a borderline case between the rotation and the bullpen. The Twins might want to see him as a starter, so that could be in the works for 2013. Expected start: Cedar Rapids. ETA: never or 2015-2016.

37. Matthew Summers (DOB: 8-17-89), LH starter: Summers is a guy that I thought would be shooting up this list, but he is in danger of dropping off if he doesn’t turn it around in 2013. Fresh out of college in 2011, he dominated Elizabethon. This year the K rate plummeted to 5.9, while he walked to many batters (especially in limited time at Fort Myers). He can throw hard, but that didn’t translate to strikeouts last season. He did throw almost 150 innings, so that is a good sign for 2013. That said, I wouldn’t be surprised if he is in the bullpen by 2014. Expected start: Fort Myers. ETA: never or 2015-2016.

36. Madison Boer (DOB: 11-9-89), RH starter/reliever: Boer is another pitcher who dominated in Elizabethon in 2011 and then had a problematic season across both levels of A ball in 2012. Boer can hit the mid 90s with his fastball, but the strikeouts are not coming. His 5.4/2.6 per nine K/BB rate in 111 innings at Fort Myers is cause for concern. He also gave up 147 hits there. Expected start: Fort Myers. ETA: never or 2015-2016.

35. J.T. Chargois (DOB: 12-3-90), RH reliever: Chargois was great at Elizabethon, which doesn’t mean a whole lot for college pitchers. He has a mid 90s fastball and a good slider, however, and could be a fast-rising pitcher. Hopefully his 2013 season doesn’t lead me to saying the same thing about Chargois as I did about Boer and Summers. Expected start: Cedar Rapids. ETA: never or 2015-2016.

34. Angel Mata (DOB: 12-3-92), RH starter: Mata followed up an impressive 2011 with a solid 2012 at Elizabethon. He has control issues, but is young and strikes people out as well. He threw only 53+ innings, so one has to wonder about the number he will be limited to in 2013. While walking too many, he has managed to give up a very low number of hits the past two years (54 in over 90 innings) which says a lot about his stuff. That makeup reminds me a bit of Anthony Slama, but I will leave that alone for now. Expected start: Cedar Rapids. ETA: 2016-2017.

33. Michael Tonkin (DOB: 11-19-89), RH reliever: Tonkin finished the year in the Arizona Fall League and was fantastic prior to his last appearance when he gave up three earned runs in an inning. Tonkin between Beloit and Fort Myers struck out 97 batters in 69+ innings, with the K rate actually rising after his promotion to Fort Myers. He had a breakout year in 2012 and should be moving quickly up as the Twins clearly liked what they saw this year with him. Expected start: New Britain. ETA: 2014-2015.

32. Danny Ortiz (DOB: 1-5-90), LH outfielder: Ortiz has flown under the radar amidst the massive amount of outfield talent in the Twins system, but he has been consistently solid each year and can play all three outfield positions. This might project him into 4th OF status as the offensive output is definitely not overwhelming (career .732 OPS). That said, he has displayed doubles power each year and has kept his strikeouts fairly low. He could have a breakout season in 2013 in New Britain if the Twins are smart enough to start him there. Expected start: New Britain. ETA: September 2014-September 2015.

31. Luke Bard (DOB: 11-13-90), RH reliever/starter: A lot, in my view, will depend on whether the Twins make use of Bard as a starter or reliever. The 42nd overall pick in the draft has very good stuff with a mid 90s fastball and a fantastic slider. His stat record is so small that isn’t really worth mentioning as seven innings tells one nothing. As a starter, Bard could amount to a mid-rotation contributor. As a reliever, he could end up being a setup or closer type after the Glen Perkins era. Only time will tell. Expected start: Cedar Rapids. ETA: 2016-2017.
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