Prospects: Who I'm most interested in for 2014
by, 03-03-2014 at 11:02 AM (496 Views)
I've been tossing this idea around in my head a bit as I start getting excited for the upcoming season. We have lots of highly rated prospects, lots of depth, lots of unknowns. I sat back a little and tried to figure out who I was actually most interested in seeing how they performed this year. This isn't a Top 10 prospects list, smarter people than me have already done those.
I'm assuming Buxton will dominate. I'm interested in that, certainly. But he's not the guy I'm most interested in finding out something about, I suspect we already know most of what we need to know about him, with him it's hopefully just about waiting. But we have lots of guys I really hope to get a better feel for this year as we hopefully start a large-scale roll over to prospects this year and next.
#1: Danny Santana - we've heard glimmers about his defensive prowess and his hitting looks to have some potential. Is he the next Pedro Florimon, or can he be a competent two-way starting shortstop for the next half-dozen years? I think I want the answer to this more than anything else this year.
#2: Stuart Turner - I'm not sure exactly why, but I'm really curious about him. He seems like he might be the perfect match for Pinto. A great-defense, mediocre hitting catcher to match up with the good-hitting, mediocre-defense (hopefully better, jury's still out) Pinto. I don't know if he will, but if he shows signs of being able to hit a little, I expect to see him move quickly.
#3: Mason Melotakis - There's some lefty starters that look to have more potential, probably, but I still have some high hopes for him. He hasn't had much time as a starter yet, I'm curious how he'll perform in a second year of full-season ball as a starter. An eventual move back to the pen wouldn't be a shocker, but I'm hoping for good results this year to make that a failsafe, not a given.
#4: Adam Brett Walker - His power is just so intriguing. Can he hit a breaking ball? I don't know what the overall reports on his defense are, but in my sample size of one (the Cedar Rapids game which was on FSN) he looked pretty athletic, and his stolen base success indicates someone with more going for him than just a powerful swing. He'll presumably be in a pitcher's league in Ft. Myers this year, we should finally start getting a better idea of how he may progress.
#5: Ryan Eades - We saw barely anything from him last year, as he threw only a handful of mediocre innings. Where will he pitch? Does he look like he can be a major leaguer some day? I think he's almost completely forgotten about amongst our starters, but if he turns out to be good how awesome would that be? He was a really good starter for a really good team in a really good college baseball conference. Surely he has something going for him?
#6: Trevor May - Another of the almost forgotten pitchers. Many seem to already be writing him off as a starter. His numbers didn't get a lot better in a second AA season, but they did improve in almost every category, even if it was small. He still seems like a guy who could be a #3/#4 pitcher for a lot of years, with flashes of being better. Not everybody will be an ace, but he still has a lot of the tools to be pretty good.
#7: Jorge Polanco - Will he actually get a full season of playing SS, or will he just fill in when somebody else isn't playing there? Can he actually man the position adequately? I'd be very much on board with a great-hitting, average-defense SS. Can he be that guy? Will he have to move back to 2nd, and if so will he be better than Dozier or Rosario?
#8: Stephen Gonsalves/Lewis Thorpe - cheating a bit here. Couldn't decide which of the two I'm most curious about, but high-upside lefty starters presumably playing above the rookie leagues are definitely guys to pay attention to.
#9: Alex Wimmers - Will he ever manage anything? A former #1 pick who's barely even pitched professionally. Almost more of a human interest curiosity than a baseball one at this point, but one I'm really wondering about.
#10: Amaurys Minier - Is he the next highly-rated International signing to start making waves in the Twins system? He seemed pretty inconsistent this last season (injuries?), but I hope to have a better idea of what his potential might be after this year.