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Prospect list in depth, Part Five: 16-20

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The fifth installment is comprised of 5 high upside guys who could all be very good major leaguers. I guarantee that at least one of them will be very good, another will be good, and the other three will all make it to contribute in a real way (or be used in a trade).

20. Matt Hauser (DOB: 3-30-88), RH reliever/starter: Hauser has a mid 90s fastball, a sinker, a slider, and a changeup. He was great at Fort Myers in relief then started some games successfully and moved up to New Britain where he went to the bullpen again. His strikeout rate dropped in AA down to 4.5, but that was only 16 innings of work. I would expect Hauser to see some time starting again this year and I would think if he gets his strikeout rate back up over 7, it would be wise to keep him starting. Otherwise he may be a dominant pitcher out of the bullpen and would add to the great depth the Twins have there in the organization. If the walks fall even a bit, it will mean that Hauserís ERA should stay low even if he gets hit a bit more (only 78 hits in 88 innings in 2012óand only 5 of those were homers). He may be challenging Alex Burnett soon in his middle relief role, but also could make Jared Burton expendable in 2014. Expected start: New Britain. ETA: 2014-2015.

19. Hudson Boyd (DOB: 10-18-92), RH starter: Boyd throws in the upper 90s and came into the system with good control. He has fallen on this list both because of additions at the top and because his 2012 performance was underwhelming. In 58 innings at Elizabethon, he maintained a low ERA (2.95), but struck out only 36, walked 23, and hit 5 batters. The strikeout numbers are alarming for a pitcher of his skill at Elizabethon. He is still very young, though, and the talent is there. It is possible to see him move to the bullpen at some point and that could mean a fast ascent in the system, possibly as a future closer. As a starter, he would still probably be limited to under 100 innings in 2013. He probably will get another crack at starting, but he might be in the bullpen by seasonís end. Expected start: Cedar Rapids. ETA: 2015-2016 as reliever, 2016-2017 as starter.

18. Adrian Salcedo (DOB: 2-5-91), RH starter: Salcedo was fantastic through 2010 and was in the top ten of most prospect lists at that time. 2011 was a letdown, but he was still could in his first full season (135 IP, 92 strikeouts, 27 walks). 2012 brought a comebacker and a broken nose. He was limited to 30+ innings between Fort Myers and a rehab stint in the GCL. 2012 was a lost season for Salcedo like it was for Stuifbergen, Wimmer, and Soliman. His strikeout rate is dropping but another year at Fort Myers might mean an increase there. He has a low 90s fastball, a slider, and a changeup. He is still very young and was so impressive early in his professional career, so there is no reason to exaggerate the results of 2011 and 2012 at the moment. 2013 is a big year for Salcedo and he is near the top of my list of guys to watch this seaon. Expected start: Fort Myers. ETA: 2015-2016.

17. Niko Goodrum (DOB: 2-28-92), SH shortstop: The 2010 second round pick has been moved a bit slow early on in his professional career, but it may all be worth it if Goodrum can stick at SS or move to 3B as the next best option. He improved in 2012 in Elizabethon over his 2011 numbers there, especially with regard to plate discipline. 2011 stats: 230 plate appearances, 21 walks, 56 strikeouts, .735 OPS. 2012 stats: 269 plate appearances, 38 walks, 56 strikeouts, .768 OPS. Perhaps most importantly, his defense at short improved enough to warrant the vast majority of his time spent there during the season. If SS doesnít work out, 3B should for the big switch-hitter. He is an overlooked but important piece to the Twins future as there is no clear total package at SS or 3B in the system right now. Goodrum represents that possibility and it hopefully 2013 is a big step forward for him. Expected start: Cedar Rapids. ETA: 2016-2017.

16. Kennys Vargas (DOB: 8-1-90), SH 1B: Vargas served his suspension (did his time) and still managed 11 homers in 186 plate appearances at Beloit. Vargas was a legitimate power prospect going into 2012, but now he is at the top of the department with Sano. A 1.030 OPS at Beloit is nothing to scoff at and he is simply not striking out at a rate that should worry anyone at all. His .318/.419/.610 slash is phenomenal at that level. A real full season this year is going to be interesting. He is the most interesting prospect to watch in my opinion because he could rise into the top 10 easily if his success continues at Fort Myers. Vargas is interesting because he would give the Twins two huge power bats in the future with Sano being the other. That makes this seem a little more like the early 80s which should inspire and create some hope for the 2015 and on Twins. If the Twins find themselves in 2015 deciding between Vargas and Sano for 1B and DH, then things are quite good. Expected start: Fort Myers. ETA: 2015-2016.
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  1. Jim H's Avatar
    I enjoy these lists and don't really know enough about the prospects to comment, much. Still, I have a question about Vargas. My understanding about him is that he is a bit old for the level, has outstanding power but a bit of a slow bat and is not much defensively. He seems a little high on this rating. I tend to agree with you on the rest of the prospects. I am a bit excited about Salcedo, he seems like he could be a solid big league starter, someday.
  2. lightfoot789's Avatar
    *Boyd was a solid starter, but lacked run support in 2012. He works slowly on the mound which often leads to hitters becoming complacent thru the game. Solid ERA is most important stat. Big Strong Kid.
    *Goodrum will be a shortstop. He makes some excellent / athletic plays at SS.
    *I'm hoping Vargas becomes our Big Poppy in a few years regardless to his age. He can hit!!
  3. Jim Crikket's Avatar
    Vargas is still just 22 years old and won't turn 23 until mid-season. That's really not at all "old" for high-A. The time he lost to his drug suspension certainly didn't help his development, but while he's not going to play gold glove defense any time soon, he can hit a baseball a very, very long way.
  4. Shane Wahl's Avatar
    Lightfoot, I don't care about Boyd' W-L record (affected by his low run support). What concerns me is that he throws gas but someone didn't strike many batters out. He also supposedly has good command, but walked too many. They could send him to Elizabethon again to see if he can improve those numbers. It is good that he was fairly successive there *while not being college pitcher*!

    I hope you are right about Goodrum.

    Vargas wasn't that old for Beloit and will be basically on track at Fort Myers. Low A is a good first test for these prospects (which is why I would like to see some players pushed there quicker) and Vargas put up ridiculous numbers. Unfortunately I can see only his Winter League splits and not his Beloit splits. I believe he may be better from the left side, but a switch-hitting power hitter for the Twins. Who has fit that bill anytime? Chili?
  5. lightfoot789's Avatar
    I get your point on Boyd. That being said - I wouldn't want him as a future closer if he K rate is low either. I believe in the kid and think he will eventually be a starter. He can eat up innings.
  6. John Bonnes's Avatar
    I guarantee that at least one of them will be very good, another will be good, and the other three will all make it to contribute in a real way (or be used in a trade).
    In the majors? Or in 2013 at whatever level they start? I gotta say, I don't know that any of them are even likely to make it to the majors.
  7. Shane Wahl's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by John Bonnes
    In the majors? Or in 2013 at whatever level they start? I gotta say, I don't know that any of them are even likely to make it to the majors.
    Ok, sure I am a bit big on these guys, but I do think there has suddenly more depth in the system. There are people who I am sure have placed Vargas near the top 10 already, and if Goodrum sticks at SS or 3B, I think he could really develop. Hauser seems to be a sure thing to at least get a look. If Boyd moves to a relief role, he will get a look as well. Maybe Salcedo is a bust, but he was also a top 10 guy two years ago.
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