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Twins Top 65 Prospects (51-65 and HM)

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I have scrapped my earlier project of going by YOB. Why? Well, it took long enough to do . . . for things to slightly change in my mind here and there, so that the numbers were going to be messed up. Making a prospect list always involves weighing a bunch of different factors: floor/ceiling, durability, progress through the system, starter vs. reliever, positional versatility, etc. So it had changed enough for me to just go back to the old-fashioned way of constructing such a list.

One thing that I really like about this result is that the honorable mentions that I list are all intriguing players.


Honorable mention: J.T. Chargois, Chih-Wei Hu, Dereck Rodriguez, Kuo Hua Lo, Brandon Peterson, Madison Boer, Hudson Boyd


65. Tyler Grimes, C/2B, RH, DOB: 7/3/90
2013 A-: .256/.377/.382 (.759, career .708), 11 doubles, 4 triples, 6 doubles, 45 strikeouts/87 walks, 3 stolen bases/1 time caught stealing.

Grimes has now spent three season in low A. The move to catcher makes his potential offensive contribution more valuable. Obviously he will be starting in Fort Myers and provides nice backup middle infield potential as well.


64. Kyle Knudson, C, RH, DOB: 9-12-87
2013 A+/AA (combined stats): 200, .273/.355/.352 (.707, .660), 8-0-2, 18-31, 0-1
Knudson is a good catcher with decent offensive capabilities. If the Twins finally part with Danny Lehmann and also opt not to bring Eric Fryer back (both wise moves) next year, Knudson should join Danny Rohlfing in Rochester next year and be the next guy in line after Mauer, Doumit, Herrmann, and Pinto. Given that Mauer is likely going to see a steady decline at the plate, Doumit should be traded, and the latter two aren't established, Knudson might see some time in the big leagues in 2014 or 2015.


63. Taylor Rogers, LHS, DOB: 12/17/90 2013 A-/A+ (A+ stats): 130.2 IP, 2.55 ERA, 83/32 strikeouts/walks (career 7.4/2.3)

2013 was an impressive season for the lefty. His K rate fell dramatically but he really kept the ball in the ballpark, giving up only five homers in A+. It was a solid step forward for Rogers and some more time in Fort Myers could really help him develop further.


62. Angel Morales, OF, RH, DOB: 11/24/89
2013 A+/AA (combined stats): 418, .239/.304/.427 (.731, .761), 23-5-12, 32-127, 8-7

When Morales lost most of the 2011 season, one might have thought that it was just one lost season and that it was no big deal in the long run. But it wasn't until 2013 that Morales finally showed mastery of A+ ball. Once a part of a dynamic quartet of Twins OF prospects (with Revere, Benson, and Hicks . . . wow), Morales is now struggling to stay in the system. His AA performance was shockingly bad. That he was still able to ascend a level leads me to believe that the Twins should still not give up on him and hope that another year of AA baseball will help him, but he certainly cannot remain on the same timetable.


61. Stuart Turner, C, RH, DOB: 12/27/91
2013 ELZ: .264/.340/.380 (.729), 5-0-3, 12-22, 0-1

That he is likely soon a major league ready defensive catcher is going to keep him on this list for awhile, though I was disappointed with his selection by the Twins in the 2013 draft. He's a third-round pick who could turn out to be Danny Lehmann, most likely becomes Drew Butera, and hopefully turns into a better defensive catching version of Chris Herrmann. 2014 in Cedar Rapids is going to be indicative.


60. Steven Gruver, LHR, DOB: 6-30-89
2013 A-/A+ (combined stats): 79, 2.85, 76/29 (7.0/2.7)

Gruver has moved to full-time relieving duties. He did not pitch very well in a small amount of A+ time in 2013, so he will be headed back there for 2014. He's one of a ton of left-handed middle relievers in the organization, so he is going to have to distinguish himself.


59. Matthew Koch, C, RH, DOB: 11/21/88
2013 A+: 393, .278/.346/.401 (.749) (.768), 20-1-7, 35/75, 1/1

Koch has a solid bat and I was surprised that the Twins didn't promote him in the second half of the season this year. If he starts the season well at New Britain next year, this could lead to a jump on this list.


58. Pat Dean, LHS, DOB: 5/25/89
2013 AA/AAA (combined stats),: 165, 4.04, 83/22 (5.5/1.6)

It is hard for me to imagine Dean being a major league starter. He will start in Rochester in 2014 and hopefully the K rate improves. Otherwise he is a less effective version of Andrew Albers. Now it is possible that he could regain some velocity and be a serviceable lefty out of the bullpen down the road.


57. Tim Atherton, RHR, DOB: 12/7/89
2013 A-: 95.2, 2.54, 102/33 (10.3/3.9)

Atherton turns 24 in two days so the time is now for him to move. I don't see any future as a starter, and that's fine. He could be a contender for the Twins bullpen by 2016.


56. Zach Larson: OF, RH, DOB: 10/8/93
2013 GCL/ELZ (combined stats): .300/.380/.433, (.813), 11-1-5, 19-39, 12-2

Larson put up intriguing numbers in 2013 and it was a bit out of nowhere. A full season in Cedar Rapids is going to be telling. If he stays at these kind of numbers, then he might be a real talent.


55. Mike Kvasnicka, RF, SH, DOB: 12/7/88
2013 A+: .282/.341/.460 (.800, .703), 13-2-9, 23-59, 4-4.

Kvasnicka is a good story and perhaps a late bloomer. Drafted 33rd overall by the Astros in 2010 out of the University of Minnesota, Kvasnicka did very little until his first year in the Twins organization this past season. He should start in AA in 2014 and he will be one to watch.

54. Fernando Romero, RHS, DOB: 12/24/94
2013 GCL: 45, 1.60, 47/13 (8.9/3.2)

Romero turns 19 on Christmas eve of this year. He has a very good fastball but there is still a lot of work for him to be regarded all that much higher on this list at the moment. Another solid season in 2014 (this time in E-Town) and Romero could be a fast-rising pitcher, however.


53. Edgar Ibarra, LHR, DOB: 5/31/89
2013 AA/AAA (combined stats): 60.2, 1.93 54/29 (7.8/3.9)

Ibarra had split time as a reliever and starter up through 2011 and he was not very good. In 2012 he was not very good as a reliever, but in 2013 he emerged as quite effective, really limiting the number of hit off of him. But he continues to walk a lot of batters and his strikeout rate is declining. This coming season he could rise in the Rochester bullpen as the left-handed setup man. I put him one spot ahead of Dean because Dean could potentially be Edgar Ibarra 2.0 will a similar move to the bullpen.


52. Nelvin Fuentes, LHR, DOB: 4/7/89
2013 AA/A+ (combined stats): 51.1, 4.03, 58/17 (10.1/2.8)

Fuentes can really strike guys out and in 2013 he started to limit hits given up at a more acceptable rate for A+ ball. He's a talented lefty who should get a second shot at starting in AA next season and hopefully he continues to progress.


51. Cole Johnson, RHR, DOB: 10/6/88

2013: A+/AA (combined stats): 59 IP, 3.20 ERA, 65/20 K/BB (career 9.7/2.6)

Johnson could shoot up the list quickly if he can maintain this strikeout rate. I imagine he will start at AA next year, but could be quick to ascend if anyone at AAA or with the Twins falters (and someone likely will).


This wraps up the first segment of my prospect countdown. 50 all the way through 11 will be down 10 prospects at a time, and the top 10 will be broken up in fives.
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Comments

  1. lightfoot789's Avatar
    Truly surprised by your selection of Rogers at 63. He just gets results as a pitcher and is a Lefty who throws 90. Why so low on your list?
  2. MichiganTwins's Avatar
    I too am confused about your placement of Rogers. Why so low?
  3. Shane Wahl's Avatar
    I find the dramatic K rate drop to be a sign of a problem for that low-90s fastball. I will be surprised if he remains a starting pitcher past 2014. As soon as the hits and homers come back, I would worry.
  4. Shane Wahl's Avatar
    Number 58 here, Pat Dean, is who I maybe have in mind for Rogers' future. Dean's K rate fell dramatically when he hit Fort Myers. Still pretty serviceable, especially if Dean moves to the bullpen, but I am just not going to get all gung-ho about these kinds of pitchers in the system until they develop further.
  5. YourHouseIsMyHouse's Avatar
    I can't agree with Rogers being lower than Cole Johnson or any of the other names on this. A left handed starter who's never had an ERA over 2.88. 6K/9 isn't the worst thing in the world and of course it's going to take a hard hit when you move to the rotation. 1.156 WHIP to go with his ERA. If Rogers is this low, then I'm not sure as to why Melotakis will likely 15+ spots higher . I mean his K/9 is 6.8 and everything else for him was worse than Rogers. Lower level, same age, shorter, worse WHIP, worse ERA. To me those guys are pretty close and to have that big a gap between them just comes off as crazy.
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