Monday, December 1, 2014

The All Prospect Twins Team of the Future

As the finishing touches are being put on the 2015 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook (CLICK HERE to order last year's version for 30% off), my mind has been focused on many of the young players that are making up one of the strongest farm systems in baseball. There are a lot of big names like Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano in the system and the hope is that those players turn out to be All-Star caliber players for years to come.

There are also players that might not end up being in contention for any MVP or Cy Young awards but they could be very important everyday players on the next winning baseball team in Minnesota. Every prospect isn't going to make it as a big league player and some of the Twins best prospects are still multiple years away from making their debut.

Here is a look at what type of line-up and pitching rotation could be made from just the prospects in the Twins organization. For the purposes of this post, I didn't consider any players that had already reached their rookie eligibility threshold in 2014. This took away players like Oswaldo Arcia, Danny Santana, and Kennys Vargas that will figure into the long-term plans for the Twins organization.

All Prospect Twins Team Line-Up/Batting Order
1. Nick Gordon- SS
2. Eddie Rosario- LF
3. Byron Buxton- CF
4. Miguel Sano- 3B
5. Travis Harrison- DH
6. Amaurys Minier- 1B
7. Max Kepler- RF
8. Stuart Turner- C
9. Jorge Polanco- 2B

This line-up looks pretty solid from top to bottom. Gordon, Rosario and Buxton would give the front end of the batting order some speed and plenty of on-base ability in front of the big boppers. Sano, Harrison, and Minier would have plenty of opportunities to drive in runs and all three have the potential to hit 25 or more home runs in a season. Kepler would provide solid defense and be a very solid regular player. Turner could be an everyday player with the potential to make an All-Star team if things break the right way. Polanco might not have the defensive skills to stick at shortstop but he could make a nice double-play combo with Gordon. He'd also be a solid number nine hitter leading back to the top of the order.

Bench
Adam Brett Walker- OF
Niko Goodrum-IF
Levi Michael-IF
Mitch Garver-C

This bench offers a little bit of everything. Goodrum and Michael have the ability to fill-in at multiple infield positions while also being good options as late-inning pinch runners. Garver and Turner would be a very good catching duo with both getting the opportunities to start. Walker would be a huge bat off the bench with the potential to hit a long ball anytime he stepped into the box. He could also fill-in as a corner outfielder when other players needed an off day.

Starting Rotation
1. Kohl Stewart-RHP
2. Jose Berrios- RHP
3. Alex Meyer- RHP
4. Lewis Thorpe- LHP
5. Stephen Gonsalves- LHP

A starting rotation with Stewart, Berrios, and Meyer at the top is what Twins fans have been dreaming of since Stewart was taken with the fourth pick in the 2013 draft. Berrios is coming off a breakout season across the three highest levels in the Twins system. Meyer is on the cusp of making his debut and he continues to be impressive. Thorpe and Gonsalves would offer some left-handed action to the back-end of the rotation while still having the potential to be front of the line starters. There's a chance for a lot of strikeouts with this fearsome five-some but the bullpen is where things get even scarier.

Bullpen
Closer: Nick Burdi-RHP
Set-Up: Michael Cederoth- RHP
Jake Reed-RHP
Zack Jones-RHP
Trevor May- RHP
Taylor Rogers- LHP
Mason Melotakis- LHP

The Kansas City Royals rode a terrific trio of late-inning relief arms to the 2014 American League Pennant. In the last few drafts, the Twins have been going after some hard throwing college arms to build their own dominant relief core of the future. Burdi, Cederoth, Reed, and Jones could each be given an inning of their own late in games and this would mean starters would only need to pitch five frames. If May doesn't work out as a starter, he could fill into a long-relief role. Rogers and Melotakis could be solid options for retiring some of the best left-handed bats from the opposition.

Overall, there is a ton of talent on the way to Target Field. All of these players wouldn't make it to the big leagues but the Twins have a lot invested in some of these players. There are multiple first round picks on this roster, a handful of the top 100 prospects in baseball, and a solid core of players to make Twins fans forget about the last four years of losing.

Now it's your turn. How would your line-up and roster look for the Twins team of the future? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

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