I didn't like that Frankie got traded, I didn't love the return and it makes me very concerned the team is planning on not competing in 2013. I dread another 90 loss team in 2013. Morneau & Span still could get traded. Whatever.
I guess its clear the future is NOT now. Its later. So to avoid my 2013 / 2014 dread, I am going to keep my focus on the Minors. As part of that I decided to rank the twins prospects, after the jump.
The usual suspects are at the top and should surprise no one. I think the top 4 Twins are all top 120 prospects next year. However its the group of young young pitchers in the low low minors that are an intriguing bunch. I know the old saw about pitching prospects and for sure most will get hurt and flame out. But one or two of them could work out. In my memory I don't remember the Twins having so many young non-college pitchers in the low minors who are doing so well in their young careers. Its very early in but its encouraging at least. Does this indicate a that the FO has gotten the message and they need to invest in more high upside arms? I hope so.
On to the list:
1) Sano 3B Low A - 19 yeas ols, 20 HR and a .854 OPS. He is one of the best hitting prospects in baseball but if he can't stick at 3B his value drops. But that power ohhhh that power makes me drool. Some people are concerned about his Defense but based on Sickels report, I think he can figure it out. Some people are wringing their hands about his strike outs but now that Varges is lighting up Beliot, hopefully that protects Sano a bit. This week alone he has 2 games where was walked 3 times. He is 19 and already getting the Barry Bonds treatment in Low A. Time to promote him to a level where the other team will actually let him compete.
2) Arcia COF AA- Mr. Masher, Mr Riser. Mr. Studly Mr Tough as Nails Mother You know what. (I base that only on his picture on Milb. He looks mean.) I think we are going to really really like him in MN. .911 OPS, 1.01 vs RHP .776 vs left. He can hit LHP OK and is not as terrible as folks say but he just destroys a RH pitching. He strikes out too much but it hasn't slowed him down yet. Its interesting that with Arcia in the lineup both Benson and Hicks hit better. He is blocked by Willingham/Revere so I think he will be at AAA next year. However if the Twins trade Willingham or Span, I would expect Arcia to have a chance and grab the RF spot in Spring next year.
3) Hicks –CF AA Getting it together and that OPS keeps getting higher. A few days ago he was hitting with a plus .800 OPS from both sides of the plate However as a LH he still struggles. He should be back in the top 100 prospect lists next year but I suspect he repeats AA next year. He will get added to the 40 man and if Span gets traded could put himself in the mix to be in CF in 2013 at some point.
4) Rosario 2B Low A- This is tough for me because Rosario is my fav. prospect in the Organization, I want him to be #1 Its great to see him doing well in the GCL as he recovers. I think when healthy he is in top 120 prospects in baseball. Another guy who I think we are going to like in MN. Hope he starts the year at High A next year. He needs reps at 2B so expect him to see lots of winter ball action.
5) Benson CF AA- Actual Quote: "Don't forget about me! I still have tools and can hit HRs" He is having a better July after coming back from Injury but his stock keeps dropping. He has to learn to hit consistently. I expect him to stay at AAA next year and will not make the Big League team out of spring. He needs to be a more consistent hitter. His defensive versatility could put him on the big league team as a 4th OF sometime in 2013. But I do not expect him to be a September call up.
6) Hendricks SP AAA- Please learn how to get MLB hitters out. Dominating AAA so you would think he can figure it out. He is a lock to make the MLB team next year. Should be a September call up.
7) Kepler – OF Rk - Actual Quote "I'm 19 years old, hitting well in Rookie Ball and someone compared my swing to Mickey Mantle. What have YOU done with your life." His line: .288 /.411 / .547 .951 OPS, AGE 19!! Not bad. Too bad he is still at Rookie level and OF is just not a strong positional need in the organization. He actually might be too low but I am not sure who to move out. Maybe Benson.
8) Buxton CF Rk- 100% Hope at this point. I don't care about his GCL numbers too much but interesting he has hit a few dingers.
9) Parmalee DH AAA - His line: .325/.458 /.579 This is what a dominating AAA stat line looks like and its awesome to see a top pick HS hitter do well. He mashes AAA but he needs to learn how to play OF so he can have more versatility. When he gets called up he just sits on the bench because there is no place to put him. This problem will exist for him next year as well. Since the team extended Doumit the trio of Morneau, Mauer and Doumit will rotate between DH and 1B and Catcher. Unless he finds a position, its hard to get him on the MLB team. If he hit more HRs I might be more interested in trading Morneau. If he had a position he would be on the MLB team now. In 2013 I expect him to start the year at AAA unless there is a trade. He would be a much higher prospect if only he could play the field.
10) Gibson –SP DL Please be Healthy and fully recovered.
11) Santana –SS A+ Actual Quote: “Why do I keep getting forgotten about? I am 21 years old and carrying a bad team and play good defense at SS. I am a good player damn it.” He has consistently hit a + .700 OPS at every level. Twins keep having him repeat at Fort Meyers so hopefully he has done enough to warrant a promotion. I probably have him too high but MI a big positional need for the Twins - what else is new?
12) Hermsen SP -AA Actual quote from him "Thats right suckers. I jumped up huge this year and all I do is pitch well at AA, pitch long in games and win baby. Suck it." His lack of SO is a big red flag and he seems to give up a fair amount of hits. His ERA is creeping up and he is starting to concern me but he keeps getting decent results. Like Santana he is probably ranked too high and surely I have him ranked higher than most due to positional need.
13) Wimmers - WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!??????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!
14) A Mata - SP - rk - More than hope with this kid. He is 19, turns 20 in Dec. Has dominated the DSL, GCL and now at E-Town. Opponents are hitting .171 against him. He is still very young. But he is slowly building arm strength, endurance and advancing. Looking forward to him at Beloit next year and I like how the twins are being cautious with his arm.
15) Berrios – SP Rk Holy Shit is he dominating. 18 years old. playing in the GCL. Only 14 IP as he has been used as a relief pitcher and got his first start the other day. 0.64 ERA opponents hitting .085 against him and he has 21 SO and 2 walks. Very very early in his career and we have seen lots of supplemental picks flame out for the Twins. But they are being cautious with his Innings, and putting him in a position to succeed.
16) Goodrum –SS Rk If he can't stick at short he has limited value but another one of my favorite prospects. He is not hitting all that well, but then he has stretches where he seems to flash brilliance. I was hoping for a better a performance from a 2nd round pick in 2010 especially since he is repeating rookie ball. But he is young enough (Age 20) and could put it together. Compared to last year he is hitting for more power +.800 OPS but he on pace to strike out more. Would like to see him hit for better average. He has a great arm so he could play at 3B, OF and might be a utlitly type.
17) Harrison 3B –Rk 20 years old hitting rookie level pitchers. Not much more is needed. Had an amazing June of 1.01 OPS but has cooled off a bit in July (but still very good) Like Sano he is having problems with the fielding. Unlike Sano I have read he doesn't have the reflexes to stay at 3B.
18) Boyd – SP Rk Mostly hope here. And needs to eat less cheeseburgers. But he has logged 34 innings in 7 starts. This is more innings than usual for a young HS pitcher in the Twins Organization. They see his weight and assume that he can handle it. He has had a dominating July. 2.15 ERA in E-town. I will take it for a 19 year old (turning 20 in Oct.)
19) Malinowski SP -Rk Again Hope. Another 19 Year Old who is getting a lot of SO against in the GCL
20) Bromberg – SP AA? If He can stay healthy he could be a nice pitcher. He keeps getting moved from Bullpen to Starter then back to bullpen. I imagine he gets added to the 40 man next year but he is not a lock to do so. As a SP batters are hitting .204 against him but as a RP .317. I'm not sure whats that about.
21) Hauser – SP A – If he can be a starter he could be OK. If he can’t he is just another guy. He just got promoted to AA and unfortunately they are using him in the bulpen. Should be used as a starter for Rock Cats next year.
22) M Summers SP FM - He is being used a starter. He seems hittable but if he can stay as a starter he has value.
23) Herrmann– C AA He could make the team and be versatile and have a little pop. The only reason he is on the list is his position versatility as I am not sure his bat will be Doumit quality. He is a favorite of many on this site but I am not so in to him. I almost left him off entirely. He is no getting on base, he is not hitting for enough power. He is 25 years old. He better be a damn good catcher.
24) Salcedo SP - DL– He had a nice 2011 and seemed to strike out enough guys. But he just can't stay healthy. But he is a big fav of mine.
25) Lo – SP Rk – 100% Hope - and because Seth says the FO likes him.
26) Walker OF Rk - This guy could be a sleeper in the Twins organization. He has power. And he could be a good. 8 HR so far in his first year of pro ball. However, I would like to see a college bat doing better at rookie league.
27) Landa SP - Another Young 19 year old doing well in the GCL. Pure hope at this point.
28) . Gallant SP A – Not so young, but coming off TJ surgery and could be very very good. I have not seen any reports but when they drafted him he was supposed to have a heavy fastball. Should be moved to the starting rotation next year and then we will see.
29) R. Rosario SP– Rk More Hope. 18 years old. In the GCL. First pitched in the DSL and now the GCL. Needs to do a better job striking guys out. If I had to guess he has a mean sinker or something like that. Interestingly, has not given up a home run in his professional career.
30) Higginbotham SP RK - Pure Hope - I have read people who like his arm. But he is walking a lot of guys. But he another teenager
There are several types of players / names missing from this list. For example, Guerra, Oliveros, Pugh, Watts, and so on They could be very nice players and I watch them but I don't want to spend time on guys who are relievers at AAA / AA
Burris, Bard and all the other bullpen Arms they drafted in 2012. If they start I can revisit it. But for now, not so interested in taking the time.
Hirschfeld and players like him.
Players like Bigby, Beresford, Blake Martin and other fringy prospects / organizational filler. I don't want to spend too much time looking at them. Some of these guys could get a cup of coffee at some point.
Morales – Sigh. I really liked him.
Michael – He stinks right now. 2011 was one of the deepest drafts in years. And the Twins selected a guy who is not fielding exceptionally well, hitting very bad and losing playing time to Daniel Santana. He is a disaster. I expected Brian Dozieresque production out of him and he can't even beat that.
That infielder FA they signed from the Dominican – Mostly because I forgot his name (not mostly entirely) could someone tell me his name?!?!
In Summery? Stop with the talk about there being no help n the Twins Farm system. They have high upside young arms in the low minors. They have high upside hitters in the High Minors. They have even higher upside hitters in the low minors. At some point we might have to do a Bill Smith Retrospective. He did a horrible job with trades. But he did some nice things in spending money and getting good young prospects in the organization.