Minnesota Twins 2014 Prospect Vote: Round 7

USA TODAY Sports

This round could be interesting.

In spite of vocal support for Lewis Thorpe and Jorge Polanco, Max Kepler still finished second in Round 6 with 21% of the vote. Our winner for the #7 prospect in the system, however, was Jose Berrios with 53% of results. He becomes the third pitcher to grace the Twinkie Town top prospect list.

At this point in the process things start getting a bit more interesting, because once you get past Berrios people tend to not always agree on who's next. We have three spots remaining in our Top 10, and the four players remaining on this ballot are the most commonly listed players that high on the Twins prospect list.

Twinkie Town Top Prospects for 2014

  1. Byron Buxton, CF
  2. Miguel Sano, 3B
  3. Alex Meyer, RHP
  4. Eddie Rosario, 2B/OF
  5. Kohl Stewart, RHP
  6. Josmil Pinto, C
  7. Jose Berrios, RHP
Your rules:

  • For each round, a certain number of players will be presented with statistical history, a brief overview, and other basic information such as age and level.
  • Once on a ballot, players will remain on the ballot until they eventually win a vote. Barring something drastic, like a trade.
  • Sometimes no players will be added to subsequent ballots. Sometimes more than one player will be added. Early rounds will have fewer players for which to vote, and later rounds are more likely to have more.
  • Share with your friends! Let's get as many votes as possible.
  • A general list has already been assembled, and players are slated to join the voting at a specified time, but you are welcome to recommend players that you think should be added in the following round.

Players up this round: Lewis Thorpe, Jorge Polanco, Max Kepler, Felix Jorge


Lewis Thorpe, LHP
2014 Age: 18
2013 High Level: GCL Twins, 44.0 IP (Rookie)

Year Age Lg Lev W L ERA G GS IP WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9
2013 17 GULF Rk 4 1 2.05 12 8 44.0 0.864 6.5 0.4 1.2 13.1
Provided by Baseball-Reference.comView Original Table
Generated 11/12/2013.

It might seem a bit premature to throw international signing Lewis Thorpe into the voting fray so early, but we're doing it. In spite of his age, in spite of his distance from the Majors, in spite of his small sample size, Thorpe absolutely dominated with the GCL Twins in eight starts and four relief appearances. The Twins will no doubt keep him in rookie ball this season, possibly with Elizabethton, but another blistering performance like this might tempt the Twins into seeing how he does in Cedar Rapids at the end of the season. Scouts mostly seem to think he has mid-rotation upside, but it's easy to dream on the Australian 17-year old lefty with amazing strikeout rates.

Jorge Polanco, SS/2B
2014 Age: 20
2013 High Level: Cedar Rapids, 523 PA (Single-A)


Year Age Lev G PA 2B 3B HR BB SO BA OBP SLG
2010 16 FRk 18 68 2 0 0 6 9 .250 .309 .283
2010 16 Rk 34 119 5 0 1 12 9 .223 .299 .301
2011 17 Rk 51 193 8 3 1 15 24 .250 .319 .349
2012 18 Rk 51 204 15 2 5 20 26 .318 .388 .514
2013 19 A 115 523 32 10 5 42 59 .308 .362 .452
4 Seasons 269 1107 62 15 12 95 127 .287 .349 .418
Provided by Baseball-Reference.comView Original Table
Generated 11/21/2013.

Polanco's age relative to his level of competition is as much of a reason for excitement as is his production on its own. After struggling in Rookie leagues as a 16 and 17-year old, the last two years have been a revelation and have helped to reveal why the Twins liked him as a kid in his mid-teens out of the Dominican Republic. Another fantastic season could see him continue to climb the organizational ladder, and if he starts the season at Fort Myers and plays well it's not out of the question that he finishes his summer at Double-A Fort Myers. Before we get too excited though, let's see where the Twins place him to start the season and then actually wait to see if he continues to be as outstanding of a hitter as he's been the last two years.

Felix Jorge, RHP
2014 Age: 20
2013 High Level: Elizabethton, 61 IP (Rookie)


Year Age Tm Lev W L ERA G GS IP WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9
2011 17 Twins FRk 2 1 2.67 9 5 27.0 1.037 6.3 0.0 3.0 8.7
2012 18 Twins Rk 0 3 2.34 12 7 34.2 1.212 7.8 0.0 3.1 9.6
2013 19 Elizabethton Rk 2 2 2.95 12 12 61.0 1.213 8.3 0.3 2.7 10.6
3 Seasons 4 6 2.71 33 24 122.2 1.174 7.7 0.1 2.9 9.9
Provided by Baseball-Reference.comView Original Table
Generated 11/21/2013.

I was going to wait another round or two to add Jorge, but after the discussions we've had here and considering how highly BP ranked him in their list, it's certainly possible he merits more consideration than I was giving him. With 12 strong starts under his belt in E-Town this season, Jorge will be pushed ahead to Cedar Rapids this summer and we'll see how his great arm deals with not just better hitters but with a full season. Berrios tired a bit in 2013, and the same is virtually guaranteed to happen to Jorge or any pitcher coming off of a short season. The question is: how will he handle it?

Max Kepler, CF
2014 Age: 21
2013 High Level: Cedar Rapids, 263 PA (Single-A)


Year Age Tm Lev G PA 2B HR SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG
2010 17 Twins Rk 37 153 6 0 6 1 13 27 .286 .346 .343
2011 18 Elizabethton Rk 50 221 11 1 1 1 23 54 .262 .347 .366
2012 19 Elizabethton Rk 59 269 16 10 7 0 27 33 .297 .387 .539
2013 20 Cedar Rapids A 61 263 11 9 2 0 24 43 .237 .312 .424
4 Seasons 207 906 44 20 16 2 87 157 .269 .348 .429
Provided by Baseball-Reference.comView Original Table
Generated 11/21/2013.

Kepler was slow out of the gate due to a late start, and he never really picked up a lot of steam. The Twins sent him to the Arizona Fall League anyway, where he played first base but continued to struggle against, admittedly, elite-level competition. The tools are all there, and as an athlete he appears to rank very well in each of the five tool categories even if none of them are 70s or 80s on the 20-80 scale. At 21 this coming season I think the Twins are going to start looking for him to put up numbers to match his potential. There's a lot of good upside with Kepler, which is why the team added him to the 40-man roster this week. Hopefully we can see that talent play out in on-the-field production this season.
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