Prospects For "Bounce-Back" Seasons
Prospects for Bounce-Back Years:
Each of the Minor Leaguers have appeared somewhere on the Top-10 list at various times over the past few years. At least a few of them are due to have bounce-back campaigns when you consider - Aaron Hicks and Kyle Gibson probably would have made this list last spring. If even a few of the guys listed can bounce back – it will help the cause for the Twins being recognized as one of the Farm Systems in baseball.
Who is going to “BUST” and who is going to “Bounce-Back” in 2013:
CF Joe Benson (25) – The hype is on him competing for the opening in centerfield, but last season was an absolute disaster after two very nice seasons at Fort Myers and New Brittan. He dropped from a top 5 prospect heading into 2012 to not even listed on peoples top 10 lists this spring. Out of options next season - at this point I’d be satisfied with an MLB defensive replacement who can make a living as a 4th outfielder hitting lefties well.
SP Adrian Salcedo (22) - Considered a top 3 starter and top 10 prospect heading into the 2012 season; obviously before his shoulder gave out and the Twins acquired Alex Meyers, Trevor May, Pedro Hernandez in trades and recent drafts that yielded the likes of: Berrios, Bard, Melotakis, Boyd, Summers, Boer, Wheeler, Duffey. Will Salcedo even be healthy to start the year – if so he might find a way to resurface onto the prospect map.
SS Levi Michael (22) – Hopes were high after the Twins made the UNC product a 1st round pick. Reality is he’s probably on track for a repeat performance at Fort Myers after batter .246 with a .311 slugging. The good new is his numbers improved in the 2nd half in a tough hitters league and showed enough with the glove - to make those believe he can at least be a utility infielder in the big-leagues someday. The question is will he ever be more than that.
SS Niko Goodrum (21) – Baseball minds still gush about Goodrum’s tools, but his numbers hardly improved in his second season at Elizabethton – which is widely considered a hitter league. Yet still has found a way to make it on some Top-10 lists. He’ll play in full-season ball in Cedar Rapids, but questions surround not only his bat, but if he can stay at SS long term. If he doesn’t hit this year – they might consider just moving him to the outfield so he can focus exclusively on his swing.
SP Alex Wimmers (22) – His minor league career has been a wild-one to say the least. Underwent Tommy John surgery last August and I’m sure the hope is to get him back on the mound for a few starts before the season ends – and send him off to winter ball like Kyle Gibson last season. If he can come back and make even 2 or 3 successful outings he could sneak back onto some prospect lists.
SP Madison Boer (23) – Looked like the Minnesota-boy might be on the fast-track after tearing up Elizabethton and Beloit after signing. & already earning comparisons to Scott Baker. Last year was dismal in Fort Myers as a starter. He’ll repeat that level in 2013 where hopefully he can have more success – if he continues to struggle expect the Twins to move him back to the pen by 2014 where his plus fastball might be better suited.
CF Angel Morales (23) – Looks to have “BUST” labeled all over him. Will probably get a 4th try at Fort Myers after an anemic 2012 effort unless the Twins decide on a change of scenery and put him in New Brittan instead. He did miss most of 2011 with injuries – which can explain some of it. Before that he was considered a Top-10 prospect after crushing Appalachian League pitching in 2008 and having a nice year in 2009 in Beloit as a 19 year old. Still has all the tools – 5 to be exact – but there are serious question if they will ever materialize.