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2014 offseason Minnesota Twins top 40 prospects: summary; all 1-40

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Originally published at The Tenth Inning Stretch

I have been counting down the Twins top 40 prospects with descriptions and scouting reports of the players, their potential, their likely destinations for 2014, and in some cases the reasons why they were ranked where they were. These detailed reports for prospects 36-40 are here, 31-35 here, 26-30 here , 21-25 here, 16-20 here, 11-15 here, 6-10 here, and you can find all segments in reverse order here.

I thought that a summary that contains my 1-40 list was in order, so there is perspective of all the rankings as a whole. A couple of things that I indicated in my earlier posts, regarding my rankings (pretty much verbatum) :

There are a lot of prospect lists out there and they are all slightly different because different people value different qualities in a player, but they all serve a great singular purpose: to get to know the minor league players in an organization who otherwise would just be names in old draft boards and rarely seen box scores.

I consider players who have played in the majors, as "graduating" from prospect status. You made big league money, you are not going to be in this list. Andrew Albers, Oswaldo Arcia, Chris Colabello, Chris Herrmann, Aaron Hicks, Kyle Gibson, Ryan Pressly, Caleb Thielbar and Michael Tonkin belong in this category. Secondly (and thirdly and fourthly) my criteria are slightly different that others' (e.g I value actual results at a higher competition level more than most) and the Twins have such a deep system, that some players who are listed in other lists and/or have been drafted in early rounds recently or have received large international signing bonuses will be conspicuously absent from this list. Trying to compile this list made me really appreciate the depth of the system this year. There are players who would have been on the top 20 list 3 and 4 years ago (a couple of names I can think of are Taylor Rogers, Luke Bard and JT Chargois) who did not crack my top 40 list. This is great news for the Twins. I am open to discussion about why and how, with the idea that it is just a point of view that is up to debate and not something that is either "right" or "wrong".

Here is my twins 2014 off-season top 40 prospect list:

1. Miguel Sano RH, 3B, DOB: 5/11/1993, 6'3", 195 lbs.
2. Byron Buxton, RH, CF, DOB: 12/18/1993, 6'2", 189 lbs
3. Alex Meyer, RH, DOB: 1/3/1990, 6'9", 220 lbs.
4. Eddie Rosario LH, 2B, DOB: 9/28/1991, 6'0", 170 lbs.
5. Kohl Steward RHSP, DOB: 10/7/1994, 6'3", 195 lbs.

6. Jorge Polanco, SH, SS/2B, DOB: 7/5/1993, 5'11", 165 lbs.
7. Kennys Vargas SH, 1B, DOB: 8/1/1990, 6'5", 245 lbs
8. Jose Berrios RHSP, DOB: 5/27/1994, 6'1", 185 lbs
9. Trevor May RHSP, DOB: 9/23/1989, 6'5", 215 lbs
10. Stephen Gonsalves LHSP, DOB: 7/8/1994, 6'5", 190 lbs

11. Ryan Eades, RHSP, DOB: 12/15/1991, 6'2", 178 lbs
12. Felix Jorge, RHSP, DOB: 1/2/1994, 6'2", 170 lbs.
13. Travis Harrison, RH, 3B, DOB: 10/17/1992, 6'1", 215 lbs
14. Amauris Minier, SH, SS/3B, DOB: 1/30/1996 6'2", 190 lbs
15. DJ Baxendale RHSP, DOB: 12/8/1990, 6'2", 190 lbs

16. Max Kepler LH, OF/1B, DOB: 2/10/1993, 6'4", 180 lbs
17. Adam Walker, RH, OF, DOB: 10/18/1991, 6'5", 225 lbs
18. Lewis Thorpe LHSP, DOB: 11/23/1995, 6'1", 160 lbs.
19. Zach Jones, RHRP, DOB: 12/4/1990, 6'1", 185 lbs.
20. Brian Gilbert, RHRP, DOB: 8/12/1992, 6'1", 215 lbs.

21. Alexis Tapia RHSP, DOB: 8/10/1995, 6'2", 195 lbs
22. Matthew Koch RH, C, DOB: 11/21/1988, 6'0", 219 lbs
23. Jose Abreu RHSP, DOB: 6/13/1992, 5'11", 170 lbs.
24. DJ Hicks, LH, 1B, DOB: 4/2/1990, 6'5", 228 lbs
25. JD Williams, SH, OF, DOB: 11/20/1990, 5'11", 183 lbs

26. Tyler Duffey RHSP, DOB: 12/27/1990, 6'3", 225 lbs.
27. Niko Goodrum, SH, SS, DOB: 2/28/1992, 6'3", 170 lbs
28. Stuart Turner, RH, C, DOB: 12/27/1991, 6'2", 220 lbs
29. Josh Burris, RHSP, DOB: 11/28/1991, 5'10", 183 lbs.
30. Danny Santana, SH, SS, DOB: 11/7/1990, 5'11", 160 lbs

31. Mason Melotakis, LHSP, DOB: 6/28/1991. 6'2", 206 lbs
32. Deibinson Romero, RH, 3B/1B, DOB: 9/24/1986. 6'1", 215 lbs
33. Miguel Gonzalez, RHSP, DOB: 10/12/1994. 6'1", 180 lbs
34. Fernando Romero, RHSP, DOB: 12/24/1994. 6'0", 215 lbs
35. Adrian Salcedo, RHSP, DOB: 2/5/1991. 6'4", 175 lbs.

36. Zach Larson RH, OF, DOB: 10/8/1993. 6'2", 185 lbs
37. Logan Wade, SH, IF, DOB: 11/13/1991. 6'1", 190 lbs.
38. Tyler Grimes, RH, C, DOB: 7/3/1990. 5'10", 187 lbs.
39. Tyler Jones, RHRP, DOB: 9/5/1989. 6'4", 215 lbs.
40. Alex Wimmers, RHSP, DOB: 11/1/1988. 6'2", 195 lbs.

One interesting thing (at least to me) is that all but Meyer and May were either drafted or signed as amateur free agents by the Twins.

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  1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
    Great stuff, overall. Interesting as well. I am done with 11-20, but haven't posted it yet. I do not get the hot love for Ryan Eades right now. I guess I might just be way wrong.
  2. Thrylos's Avatar
    Full disclosure: I have not seen Eades pitch yet. What I like about him:

    - plus to plus plus 95 mph FB that gets up to 98 and 3 average to above average secondary pitches.
    - very durable starter in College.
    - mid rotation projection as is.

    At this point, right after he was drafted, he is probably better than what Wimmers was and close to what Gibson was when he was drafted. If he develops one more out pitch, watch out. I could have potentially ranked him even higher, but I got to see him (and the other players in his draft class) play a bit.
  3. richardkr34's Avatar
    I've only seen reports on the FB at 91-93 or 92-94, touching higher. Never saw a 98 thrown out there. That would be awesome.
  4. Jim H's Avatar
    You have a fun list. Exact rankings probably don't matter, and I haven't seen any of these guys play like you have, but Vargas seems pretty high. I would think him and D. J. Hicks are about the same till they get to AA. I expect at least one of them will have a lot of trouble with advanced pitching. I like Polanco too, but I wonder if he really will end up at short. It sounds like both Santana and Goodrum have better shortstop tools. It is just wether either can develop them and hit enough.

    I like the fact you have different young pitchers than others that do these lists. I consider that a good thing. If the Twins really have that many young pitchers that merit some consideration, well maybe some them will develop into something good. It is a lot better than a few years ago when the only young pitcher getting much steam was Salcedo.(other than high draft choices)

    Thanks for your list. I still don't think Deb Romero belongs, he has never dominated any level and even at AAA now, the numbers are not that good. I don't see another Casey Blake here. And yes, I am ribbing you a bit.
  5. clutterheart's Avatar
    Danny Santana - 30? After the season, I got really high on him. I have soured a bit as I think about his weaknesses, but 30 seems low. He needs to be better at getting onbase and way too many SO, but his bat looks capable as shown by a .297/ .333 /.386 and has +SS tools if he can put it together.

    He looks to be the best internal hope for SS competency in the next 2 - 3 seasons and I expect him to be on the MLB team sometime this year - barring injury

    I would've put Eades in Santana's spot - (way too many unknowns about Easdes right now to be 11th in a system like this) and put Santana somewhere around 15 or so.

    But fun list, thanks for sharing.
  6. 2wins87's Avatar
    I could definitely debate a lot of these, but the one I am going to bring up is Gonsalves at 10 and Thorpe at 18. I like Gonsalves quite a bit, probably top 15, but at this point they've got very similar repertoires, and Thorpe has shown a much better ability to control it. Gonsalves got a touch of experience at a slightly higher level, but is also a year older, and has less of a track record in pro ball right now.
  7. Vzltwins's Avatar
  8. Thrylos's Avatar
    Fun comments. Here are some replies:

    - I have seen Santana play this season several times. I think that his ceiling is a utility player in the majors, thus the ranking. I am pretty certain that Polanco will be given every opportunity to make it at SS and he can make it

    - Ibarra? Career FIP 4+ in the minors does not a top 40 prospect make, regardless of inclusion on the 40-man roster.

    - I still have not bought in on Thorpe (or Sulbaran who is absent from this list) hype. I want to see more.

    - Romero dominated AA last season (.355/.429/.710). He has been putting close to .800 OPS every season the last 3 in AA and AAA and his isoP has been more than .155 each of those seasons.

    - There is no comparison between DJ Hicks and Kennys Vargas. Vargas is much further along and has much more raw power. People might drool about Sano's power, but people who actually watched them both in Fort Myers, know that Vargas has more power than Sano. Vargas is 4 months younger than Hicks, is a switch hitter, and in his half season in Beloit (2012) hit .318/.419/.610 (that's close to .300 isoP) while Hicks hit .297/.355/.494 in his half season in Cedar Rapids (2013). I like Hicks a lot, but he is not close to Vargas who might actually be MLB ready in 2015. There is a projection out there that has him hitting .233/.292/.421 24 HRs as a major leaguer now. Those are Plouffe/Willingham numbers.
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