There were a couple of preliminary top prospect lists for the Twins released over the last couple of days. On Sunday night, Seth Stohs from TwinsDaily.com released his primary list of the top 50 prospects for the Twins organization. It's a pretty extensive list and you should check it out after you have perused the list below. John Sickels from MinorLeagueBall.com released his preliminary top 20 list for the farm system for the Twins. Both of these men have a ton of knowledge about the system for the Twins and I value their opinions.
Here is a quick glance at the way I have mapped out the Top 20 for the Twins at the end of the 2012 season. I will have a more permanent list in the coming months but this is the way I see them stacked at this point. After the top seven to nine players, there can be a whole lot of debate and that's what makes these lists so much fun.
2. Byron Buxton, OF: The second pick from last year's draft had a decent start to his professional career. He has all the tools to push for the top spot on this list in the near future. One of the biggest questions when the Twins drafted him was his power and he showed more pop than expected in 2012.
3. Aaron Hicks, OF: He finally seemed to put it all together in 2012 by combining his speed, athleticism, and power to be a force at the Double-A level. With a plethora of outfielders on the major league roster, someone is going to need to be dealt to clear room for him next season.
4. Oswaldo Arcia, OF: Arcia could be featured higher on this list for a variety of reasons. He finally stayed healthy for all of last season and his performance was indicative of this fact. His defensive ability is nothing to scoff at but Hicks and Buxton sit higher on this list for being better in the field.
5. Eddie Rosario, 2B-OF: His power numbers dipped a little in 2012 but he is still one of the best prospects in the system. Rosario spent time transitioning to the infield last year so it will be interesting to see what kind of adjustments he makes as he moves up the ladder.
6. Kyle Gibson, RHP: Besides a rough start in his most recent outing, reports about Gibson have been great from the Arizona Fall League. He could start the year in Rochester or in the bullpen for the Twins so the team can keep his innings under control for the first couple of months.
7. Jose Berrios, RHP: A supplemental round pick by the Twins in June and he is quickly earning the hearts of fans that follow the minor leagues. He was outstanding across both rookie levels this season and he is only 18-years old.
8. Travis Harrison, 3B: The Twins used a supplemental round pick on Harrison in last year's draft and there were plenty of scouts raving about his power potential. He showed some rough defense at third base in '12 but there were glimpses of power.
9. Max Kepler, OF: He repeated at Elizabethton this season but he made some significant leaps along the way. His power numbers made huge jumps and he is still a teenager. There is still time for him to add some more muscle as he moves through the system.
10. Joe Benson, OF: It was a nightmare year for Benson as he struggled through injuries and demotions for most of the year. Next year can't get any worse for him so be on the lookout for him to have a bounce back season in '13.
11. Daniel Santana, SS: There has been plenty of trouble developing middle infielders in the Twins farm system over the course of the last decade and Santana could be a small light at the end of the tunnel. After some struggles in the lower levels, he had a quite the season for Fort Myers.
12. Jorge Polanco, IF: He was only 16 when the Twins signed him back in 2010 so there continues to be time for him to develop. The switch to second base helped him to make improvements on the defensive side of the ball.
13. Mason Melotakis, LHP: The hard throwing lefty got a taste of Low-A in his first professional season. He was the 63rd pick in the draft and he could be on the fast track to a bullpen job with the Twins.
14. Luke Bard, RHP: Bard is another early round draft pick for the Twins that could be making some noise next season. It will be interesting to see if the organization decides to start him or if he will continue to be used as a bullpen arm.
15. Kenny Vargas, 1B: He had a very good season in Beloit after sitting out the first half of the year due to a drug suspension. Vargas is already 22 and there are some issues with him on the defensive side of the ball.
16. Niko Goodrum, SS: Goodrum was sent back to Elizabethton for a second year to work on a few things. He saw a slight increase in power and his walk rate went up.
17. Alex Wimmers, RHP: Like Gibson before him, Wimmers will miss a large chunk of 2013 due to Tommy John surgery.
18. Adrian Salcedo, RHP: One of the top pitching prospects for the organization at the beginning of last year dropped over the course of 2012. He will be looking to rebound from multiple injuries.
19. Chris Herrmann, C/OF: He got a taste of the big leagues at the end of last year and he could be on his way to a Ryan Doumit type role with the Twins by 2014.
20. Adam Walker, OF: There is plenty of power in his swing and contact was an issue in limited action last year. Time will tell if he can move up this list.
Leave a comment below to let me know your thoughts about my preliminary list.