Prospect Run-Off: Jorge Polanco vs Max Kepler

USA TODAY Sports

We have a tie!

No matter how many times I encouraged people to vote in Round 7 over the last couple of days, Jorge Polanco and Max Kepler would keep pace with each other. Over the last 24 hours they haven't been more than seven votes apart at any time, and as of this morning they are tied with 117 votes apiece.

The winner gets prospect #8 honors, and the loser, as last time, will go back into the voting pool for spot number 9. Have at it!

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.

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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