If there is one player in the Twins organization who you expected to be on this list, it's Miguel Sano. He's a special talent, appearing at #23 on MLB.com's top 100 list but topping Baseball America's 2012 prospect list for the Twins. Sano is Twinkie Town's top prospect, too.
MLB.com places Sano's ETA at 2014, which would be his age 21 season. This seems a bit early, considering he was still in rookie ball in 2011. When we tried to estimate top prospect arrivals, we looked at the average time it takes a player from a certain position to reach the Majors and concluded that Sano would reach the Twins sometime between 2015 and 2016. That still makes him just 22 or 23, but it also seems like a very, very long way off.
It's feasible that Sano flies through the system, perhaps starting the 2014 season in Rochester and getting a callup later in the season. But if he were to make the Opening Day roster that year, I doubt any of us would be disappointed. This team needs young talent and needs it fast. Unfortunately, 2014 will have to suffice.
Speaking of young talent, the other player on MLB.com's list is Aaron Hicks, who slides in at #72. Hicks was the only other player who I thought had the chance to crack the top 100, although I was no longer sure he would. Particularly since he is no longer a top 10 outfielder according to the same source. Clearly his tools, particularly his speed, his patience (passiveness?) at the plate, and his raw and as-of-yet undeveloped power, still appeal to scouts. Which is good to hear.
Interestingly, Hicks drops to number four on Baseball America's list of top Twins prospects for 2012. Joe Benson is a sneaky and odd choice for number two, while Eddie Rosario is a well-deserved number three. Twinkie Town's top three include Sano follwed by Rosario, Oswaldo Arcia, and then Hicks fourth again.
In the post I referenced earlier, we estimated that Hicks would make his MLB debut in 2013...at the earliest. That would be his age 23 season. MLB.com has him arriving one year later, in 2014, apparently spending all of this year and next between double-A and triple-A.
More Twins top prospect reading...