Wednesday, December 17, 2014

2015 Twins Top 30 Prospects: 21-30

One of the highlights of the off-season for a core of Twins fans is the release of the Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook. Seth Stohs has worked to put together this fantastic book for the last seven years. In 2012, he gave me my first taste of helping with the book. By 2013, I was writing an article for the annual and for the last three years I have been among a trio of writers that includes Jeremy Nygaard, Stohs, and myself. 

There is a ton of work that goes into the creation of this book. I don't know if we could create this without the help and push from the other writers involved. Besides profiles of all of the prospects in the Twins system and articles on topics from across the baseball world, one of the best parts of the book is our top 30 prospect lists.

Over the next few days, I will be counting down my top 30. I have some differences compared to the other authors but that's what makes this fun. To see their top 30's, you're going to have to go and pick up a copy for yourself.

***Get your copy of the Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook now (Paperback or PDF).***


 
21 – Chih-Wei Hu – RHP – Elizabethton Twins, Cedar Rapids Kernels
2014 Stats: 8-2, 2.15 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, 71.0 IP, 15 BB, 64 K
Hu had one of the most surprising seasons in the entire Twins organization. He could be on his way to being much higher on this list if he continues on his current trajectory. He doesn't strike out a ton of batters but he controls the strike zone. He had dominant stretches in Low-A as a 20-year old and could be a sleeper pick 

22 – Michael Cederoth – RHP – Elizabethton Twins
2014 Stats: 4-2, 3.55 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 45.2 IP, 18 BB, 42 K
One of a core group of hard throwing college pitchers the Twins have selected in recent drafts. Because of some of his up-and-down track record, he could be a good candidate to end up in a bullpen role. His professional debut didn't go perfect but he should improve as he moves up the ladder.

23 – Niko Goodrum – SS/3B – Ft. Myers Miracle
2014 Stats: .249/.337/.336, 19-2B, 5-3B, 3 HR, 49 RBI, 35 SB
Goodrum has ranked higher on my list in previous years. His speed and on-base abilities make him a threat once he reaches base. However, he struggled to make consistent content this year at High-A. He also doesn't flourish at any specific defensive position. The transition to Double-A could be tough and it might be a make-it or break-it season for Goodrum.

24 – Jake Reed – RHP – Elizabethton Twins, Cedar Rapids Kernels
2014 Stats: 3-0, 0.29 ERA, 0.45 WHIP, 31.0 IP, 3 BB, 39 K
Reed was a fifth round pick in 2014 out of Oregon. He put up impressive numbers in his professional debut as he threw strikes and overpowered the opposition. Cederoth throws a little harder than Reed and that's why he's higher on the list. His fastball hits up to 95 and he has a decent slider to keep hitters off-balance.

25 – Zack Jones – RHP – GCL Twins, Fort Myers Miracle
2014 Stats: 0-0, 3 S, 1.74 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 10.1 IP, 6 BB, 14 K
Jones got into limited action in 2014 after having shoulder surgery at the end of February. Doctors found that he has an aneurysm in his shoulder that was causing circulation problems. Jones served as the closer for the Miracle in their run to the FSL title. He pitched well in the AFL to cap off his 2014 campaign. Over 11 appearances, he didn't allow an earned run and struck out 11. 

26 – Engelb Vielma – SS – Cedar Rapids Kernels
2014 Stats: .266/.313/.323, 13-2B, 4-3B, 1 HR, 33 RBI
Vielma made some huge strides in the jump from rookie ball to a full season league. He got on base over 31% of the time and his batting average increased by 32 points. Vielma's biggest strength might be his defensive ability and his fielding percentage jumped 42 points. If he can continue to make offensive improvements, he could rise in the years to come.

27 – J.R. Graham – RHP – Mississippi Braves
2014 Stats: 1-5, 5.55 ERA, 1.47 WHIP, 71.1 IP, 26 BB, 50 K
The Twins just selected Graham in the Rule 5 Draft so there is a chance that he's back with the Braves organization before the season starts. He spent time as a starter and a reliever. His strikeout rate has dropped in recent years. For him to stay with the Twins, he will have to fill a bullpen role for the entire 2014 campaign.

28 – Fernando Romero – RHP – Cedar Rapids Kernels
2014 Stats: 0-0, 3.00 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 12.0 IP, 5 BB, 9 K
Romero was three years younger than the competition in the Midwest League. He was limited to three starts after tearing his UCL at the end of June. He underwent Tommy John surgery and will likely almost all of next season. He threw hard before Tommy John surgery so he could move through the system quickly if he can get back to his previous level.

29 – Jason Wheeler – LHP – Ft. Myers Miracle, New Britain Rock Cats, Rochester Red Wings
2014 Stats: 11-9, 2.67 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 158.1 IP, 37 BB, 115 K
Wheeler had arguably the best professional season of his career as he cruised through three different levels and finished the year at Triple-A. He fits the mold of pitch to contact as he throws a lot of strikes and doesn't strikeout a ton of batters. Wheeler's impressive season was rewarded as he was added to the 40-man roster so there's a chance he could debut in 2015.

30 – Brett Lee – LHP – Ft. Myers Miracle
2014 Stats: 10-5, 2.45 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 106.1 IP, 33 BB, 54 K
Lee pitched all of 2014 for the Fort Myers Miracle. His strikeout rate is terrible and he will need to improve this area if he is going to find any sort of success in the higher levels of the minors. Even saying that, he was able to limit runs scored against him and he posted career best marks in wins and ERA. 

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sure would be nice to show their age next to their name. Gives the rest of us a chance to analyze and project out the prospects

NoDak Twins Fan said...

Their ages are easily available on websites like Baseball Reference.