Tuesday, June 30, 2015

2015 Twins Top Prospects Update: 11-20

Over at Twins Daily, we have been counting down the Twins system's top prospects as part of our midseason update. This allows for players like recent first round pick Tyler Jay to fit into the Twins overall prospect rankings. There is plenty of depth in the Twins system so there are some very good players outside the top 10 rankings. 

Some players like Byron Buxton and Eddie Rosario will likely use up their rookie eligibility this season and graduate out of the rankings. This means other players just outside the top 10 will find themselves in the mix for a higher ranking spot during the coming off-season. 

These are my rankings so there are some differences from the Twins Daily compiled list (Alex Meyer was in the top 10 at Twins Daily and he checks in at number 12 below). Check out the rankings below and feel free to start a conversation about these players in the comment section.
11. Lewis Thorpe, LHP
2015 Level(s): N/A (Tommy John surgery)
Thorpe had Tommy John surgery this spring and will miss all of the 2015 season. This still takes nothing away from the type of impact pitcher he could be. He's still a teenager so at this stage missing an entire season shouldn't impact his long-term potential. Thorpe was almost four years younger than the other pitchers in the Midwest League last season. He's a player to be excited about and he should be back in the Twins Top 10 Prospects by the end of the season.

12. Alex Meyer, RHP
2015 Level(s): AAA, MLB
It hasn't been the start to the 2015 season that Alex Meyer imagined. After struggling in the rotation to begin the year, Meyer has been moved to the bullpen to regain some confidence. Things have been going well for Meyer so it will be interesting to see if the Twins use him as a bullpen arm the rest of the season or if they will move him back into the rotation. The Twins are going to want him to be a starter but that might not be the role he is destined for at the big league level.

13. Chih-Wei Hu, RHP
2015 Level(s): High-A, AAA
Hu burst onto the scene last season by compiling some stellar numbers at Elizabethton and Cedar Rapids. He's pitched most of this season at Fort Myers with even better results. The Twins have so much confidence in him that they allowed him to make a spot start at Rochester. Hu was six years younger than the average age of the other pitchers in the International League. He's not going to blow people away but he could be a good middle of the rotation starter.

14. Adam Brett Walker, LF/RF
2015 Level(s): AA
Walker hits the ball and he hits it a long way. There are some issues with making consistent contact as his strikeout numbers continue to rise as he moves through the Twins system. On a team that includes Miguel Sano and Max Kepler, he's leading the minor leagues in home runs. There are some flaws with his game and that's one of the reasons he isn't ranked higher. Because of those flaws, it will also be interesting to see how the Twins approach his promotions for the rest of the season.

15. Tyler Duffey, RHP
2015 Level(s): AA, AAA
Duffey pitched his way from High-A to Triple-A in 2014. This left some high expectations for him entering the 2015 campaign. He pitched very well in the Southern League to start the season and has since gotten the bump up to Rochester. There have been a few hiccups since his promotion but he's still only 24 and he's seen his strikeout rate make a big jump this season. If that trend continues, he could get a chance to start with the Twins in the next couple years.

16. Nick Burdi, RHP
2015 Level(s): AA
Burdi opened the year in many Twins Top 10 lists. He's collegiate record and success last season made many think he'd be a fast riser in Minnesota's system after the team took him in the second round a year ago. Things have gone poorly this season as Burdi is walking a lot of batters and giving up hits by the bushel. The batters are more experienced at Double-A but Burdi's going to need a strong second half or he might drop out of the Twins Top 20.

17. Travis Harrison, RF/3B
2015 Level(s): AA
Harrison can get lost in the shuffle of some of the bigger named power prospects in the Twins system but he continues to compile some decent numbers. He's moved through the system consistently and his slugging percentage is over .400 again this season after being below that mark last year. Harrison's playing right field for the first time in his career and he's already matched his career high with three outfield assists. He could still surprise some people if he makes some subtle improvements.

18. Taylor Rogers, LHP
2015 Level(s): AAA
The 2014 season marked the first time in his career that Rogers didn't pitch at multiple levels in the Twins system. He still put up some strong numbers at Double-A and the team rewarded him with a trip to the Arizona Fall League to face some of the best prospects in the game. He pitched well in the AFL and some of that experience has helped him to be successful to start the 2015 campaign. Rogers might never make a Twins rotation but he's left handed and he continues to find success.

19. Stuart Turner, C
2015 Level(s): AA
Turner has struggled offensively to start 2015 but the Twins have a lot riding on some of the younger catchers in the organization. In fact, the Twins took three catchers in the first nine rounds of the 2013 draft. Turner's real claim to fame is his defensive skills and ability to call a game. Some of his offensive struggles could be from the Twins moving him aggressively. Time will tell if he can make the adjustments and turn himself into an everyday big league catcher.

20. Felix Jorge, RHP
2015 Level(s): Low-A
Jorge struggled so much during his stint with Cedar Rapids last season that the Twins sent him back to Elizabethton. This year has been much improved as Jorge has been a mainstay in the Kernels' rotation while showing better control and command of the strike zone. Minnesota might have to take the slow and steady approach with Jorge but there's enough upside to keep an eye on him.

No comments: