Monday, June 9, 2014

Twins Top 10 Prospects: Post-Draft Edition

Minnesota added some top-notch talent to the organization at the end of last week. For the third year in a row, the Twins had a top five pick in the MLB Draft. Minnesota's farm system was already considered one of the best in the game and adding top tier talent can only help the organization.

My last prospect rankings were released in conjuncture with the "2014 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook." There have been some changes since that time as minor league teams are almost halfway through their season. Some players have shined and others have struggled.

Injuries have been the story for the Twins top two prospects this year but some pitching prospects have really started to shine, as they get closer to the big leagues.

1. Byron Buxton- OF (Previously #1)
2014 Team(s): Fort Myers Miracle
2014 Stats: .150/.150/.350, 1 HR, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 3 R (5 Games)
Even though Buxton has missed most of this season with a wrist injury, he is still considered by many to be the best prospect in the game. The lost playing time is going to hurt some of his development but he was young for the levels he has played at so far. Hopefully, he can get into some games in the second-half of the year and show some positive signs.

2. Miguel Sano- 3B (Previously #2)
2014 Team(s): N/A Tommy John surgery
Tommy John surgery took away most of this season from Sano. He won't likely be able to get on the field this season unless it is in a DH capacity at the very end of the year. It seems likely for the Twins to send Sano to the Arizona Fall League to get some extra at-bats before he plays in the Dominican winter league.

3. Alex Meyer- RHP (Previously #3)
2014 Team(s): Rochester Red Wings
2014 Stats: 3.30 ERA, 62.2 IP, 75 SO, 28 BB, 51 H (12 Games)
Meyer will likely be making his big league debut this season and he has made some adjustments at the Triple-A level. He learned a new change-up grip and this has helped to improve his strikeout totals. Opponents are hitting .223 against him for the season. Because of some injury issues last year, he's already closing in on the amount of innings he pitched last year.

4. Nick Gordon- SS (Previously N/A)
2014 Team(s): N/A 2014 Draft
The Twins haven't been able to develop a shortstop in the minor leagues for quite some time. Nick Gordon is hoping to be the man to end that trend. He add 15 pound of muscle in the last year and this should help to improve his power numbers. He'll start in the rookie leagues once he signs a contract.

5. Jose Berrios- RHP (Previously #6)
2014 Team(s): Fort Myers Miracle
2014 Stats: 2.24 ERA, 64.1 IP, 74 SO, 17 BB, 57 H (11 Games)
Berrios might be having the best season of any of the top prospects on this list. There have been questions in the past about whether his long-term role was going to be as a starter or as a relief pitcher. He is putting some of those questions to rest with his performance in the Florida State League. I would have moved him higher but I need to see more from him throughout the season.

6. Kohl Stewart- RHP (Previously #4)
2014 Team(s): Cedar Rapids Kernels
2014 Stats: 2.67 ERA, 49.0 IP, 36 SO, 15 BB, 37 H (10 Games)
Stewart's ERA looks great but I was expecting him to strike out more batters. This is one of the reasons he dropped a little. It's still very early into his first full season in professional baseball so he has a lot of time left to develop before reaching the big leagues.

7. Eddie Rosario- 2B/OF (Previously #5)
2014 Team(s): Fort Myers Miracle, New Britain Rock Cats
2014 Stats: .350/.409/.450, 1 HR, 1 2B, 6 RBI, 9 R (10 Games)
Rosario missed 50 games to start the season because of a drug related suspension. He's done fairly well since his return and the team already moved him up from High-A to Double-A. It sounds like Rosario will be playing some in the infield and some in the outfield after transitioning to second base last year. He's still a very gifted hitter and he could make it to Rochester by season's end.

8. Jorge Polanco- 2B (Previously #7)
2014 Team(s): Fort Myers Miracle
2014 Stats: .289/.362/.395, 3 HR, 11 2B, 26 RBI, 40 R (57 Games)
Polanco has consistently moved through the Twins system and he seems to improve at every level. He's hit over .300 each of the last two seasons and continues to add power. The switch-hitter has close to the same batting average from both sides of the plate so he should continue to switch hit as he moves up the ladder.

9. Trevor May- RHP (Previously #13)
2014 Team(s): Rochester Red Wings
2014 Stats: 2.80 ERA, 61.0 IP, 63 SO, 24 BB, 45 H (11 Games)
One of the biggest concerns for May has always been his control. He's made some positive strides this season, as he has been able to limit the amount of walks he's allowing. His numbers are the best of his career and he's another player who is knocking on the door to the big leagues. If he continues to show consistency, the Twins will reward him with a call-up.

10. Lewis Thorpe- LHP (Previously #11)
2014 Team(s): Cedar Rapids Kernels
2014 Stats: 9.64 ERA, 4.2 IP, 1 SO, 3 BB, 6 H (1 Game)
Thorpe exploded onto the scene last year and shot up prospect lists with his performance in the GCL. The Twins had him skip Elizabethton and he got roughed up in his first Low-A start. He's only 18-years old so he's much younger than the competition. The Twins had confidence in him skipping a level so they must believe he is ready.


Eric Pleiss said...

Just to be irritating, insert rant here about moving JO Berrios up one spot. And moving Gordon down at least two. He's 18, has a LONG way to go. Steward is just a year from the draft as a HS kid in full season ball.

NoDak Twins Fan said...

First of all Mr. Pleiss, his name is Stewart. Ha Ha.

Gordon will be an everyday player. Stewart and Berrios will start every fifth day if they both remain starters.