With Fischean in the middle of a move, I've volunteered to put together this week's minor league roundup of our Top 25 prospects. Tomorrow, I'll put together a list of the best-performing Twins prospects who aren't on this list. For now, let's examine our usual suspects. (For the record, my week is running Monday, June 17, to Sunday, June 23).
#1 - Miguel Sano - 3B (AA)
Sano played in six games last week, his first full week as a member of the New Britain Rock Cats. He was 5-for-24 (.208) with two homers, two walks, and ten strikeouts. For the first time Sano is facing pitchers that he can't overmatch with ease, and right now it looks like it's his time to adjust. On the whole he's batting just .150/.275/.350 in Double-A, but don't let that get you down. He's a 20-year old kid facing a lot of pitchers who are on the verge of being Major League ready themselves. Hopefully he can adjust quickly. Let's see how his numbers look at the end of the season.
#2 - Oswaldo Arcia - RF/LF (MLB)
I believe that Arica will be in the conversation for the American League Rookie of the Year by season's end. He was 7-for-21 last week with a pair of homers and six runs batted in, but since his recall earlier this month has hit .326/.392/.565. He's batting .278/.342/.486 on the season, meaning he's second on the team in OPS behind (who else) Joe Mauer. But we can talk about his Rookie of the Year candidacy in another thread.
#3 - Byron Buxton - CF (A+)
The 19-year old phenom wrapped up his time in Cedar Rapids last week, and last night played his first game as a member of the Advanced-A affiliate Fort Myers. He was 1-for-5 in his Miracle debut, driving in a run and getting caught stealing in his first attempt at swiping a bag. Buxton's final line for Cedar Rapids is .341/.431/.559, stealing 32 bags (74% success rate), collecting 44 walks, 56 strikeouts, and 32 extra-base hits in 68 games.
#4 - Alex Meyer - RHP (AA)
Meyer is still on the disabled list and hasn't pitched since his 10-strikeout performance on June 1.
#5 - Aaron Hicks - CF (MLB)
Hick started his rehab assignment in Triple-A Rochester just yesterday, so he'll be back in just a few days barring any set backs.
#6 - Eddie Rosario - 2B (AA)
Promoted along with fellow Top 25 prospect Miguel Sano, Rosario is the player on this list having the better results. Last week Rodario was 7-for-27 (.259) with two walks and eight strikeouts, but overall for New Britain is batting .289/.360/.378. His OPS versus southpaws in Double-A is .968, but versus righties it's just .654. It's early days and we're dealing with small sample sizes, but it does look like Sano isn't the only recent promotion who needs to make adjustments.
#7 - Kyle Gibson - RHP (MLB)
Gibson had one start last week, which was his final outing with the Red Wings: seven innings, six strikeouts, one walk, five hits, and one run - unearned. He'll make his MLB and Twins debut on Saturday. He finishes his time in Triple-A with a 3.01 ERA in 92.2 innings, including 78 hits (just four homers), 79 strikeouts and 28 walks.
#8 - Max Kepler - CF (A)
Kepler's season just started, meaning last week he played in his first four games of the season. Including last night's performance for a five-game sample, Kepler is 7-for-22 (.318) with one homer, four doubles, two walks, four strikeouts, and five runs batted in. Clearly he won't continue his ratio of tallying five extra-base hits for every seven knocks, but so far he's as advertised: kind of awesome.
#9 - Jose Berrios - RHP (A)
Berrios still hasn't pitched since June 12, but he is active.
#10 - Trevor May - RHP (AA)
In two starts last week, May combined for 13.1 innings, three runs, 14 strikeouts, two walks, and ten hits. It's been a season of inconsistency and ups and downs, but the trajectory is looking much better now than it did a month ago. In his last ten starts he's tossed 58.2 innings, striking out 57 en route to a 3.22 ERA. His ERA in June is 2.45. While I no longer think he'll make a cup of coffee appearance in September, if he keeps up the solid pitching we could see him finish the season in Triple-A.
#11 - Joe Benson - CF (AA)
Benson hit the ground running, going 6 for his first 13, including a home run in each of his first three games. Then he went 2-for-11 and hasn't played since June 11. He's currently on the 7-day disabled list.
#12 - J.T. Chargois - RHP
Chargois has yet to pitch in 2013.
#13 - Jorge Polanco - 2B (A)
Polanco is making waves with the Kernels, going 7-for-15 last week with four runs scored, two walks and a strikeout. On the season, Polanco is up to .302/.352/.459. He doesn't turn 20 for another week and a half, either. With improving defensive chops and a second season in a row with a good batting line, it's easy to dream on a scenario where he teams with Rosario a couple of years down the line. Even if you don't see that happening quite yet, it's easy to see Polanco leaping into the Top 10 of Twins prospect lists next spring.
#14 - Travis Harrison - 3B (A)
Remember when Harrison was hitting a bit of a slump and needed to adjust? I think he's done that. Last week he was 7-for-14 with a homer and seven runs batted in, meaning that in his last ten games he's raked to the tune of a .364/.532/.788 triple slash (including ten walks and seven strikeouts). This is what happens when guys with mammoth power catch a hot streak. The 20-year old Harrison seems destined to stick at Single-A for the time being, possibly for the rest of the season since he seems like a player who the Twins would be careful with, but his line for the year is more than respectable: .274/.372/.504.
#15 - Daniel Santana - SS (AA)
Danny continues to hit without taking any walks. He was 12-for-26 (.462) last week, and is now hitting .296 on the year. But he's also walked just eight times while striking out 48 times in 313 plate appearances. Players with that profile can have a Major League career, but they're few and far between. And I imagine that most of them are better hitters than Santana, who is just a career. 271 hitter in the minor leagues.
#16 - Mason Melotakis - LHP (A)
Melotakis did not start during our week in focus, but on the season owns a 3.69 ERA in 13 starts (70.2 innings). The 68 hits aren't an issue, but the strikeout rate is way down this season (not surprising considering the move from the bullpen to the rotation) and his walk rate is up. The lefty turns 22 on Friday, and has turned in a solid if unspectacular season so far. Isn't likely to climb this list next season, but could stay in the mid-teens area if he finishes the year strongly. Might be surpassed by draft contemporaries. Well, if Bard pitches.
#17 - Luke Bard - RHP
Bard has yet to pitch in 2013.
#18 - Hudson Boyd - RHP (A)
Boyd's one start this week was forgettable, like most of his season to date. He pitched five innings, walking six and striking out one, allowing five runs off of eight hits. In his last ten starts he's had just two decent performances, and his ERA this season is a staggeringly and surprisingly bad 6.75. I think the Twins thought he was more polished than he is. It won't surprise me to see Boyd tumble down the Twins prospect lists next season.
#19 - Michael Tonkin - RHP (AAA)
Tonkin and his creepy mustachioed visage made three more scoreless appearances for the Red Wings last week, striking out three and walking one in 3.1 innings of work. His ERA remains 0.00 thanks to ten scoreless appearances in which he's struck out 11 and walked just the single hitter. Tonkin is on the 40-man roster, so the next time Minnesota needs an arm don't be surprised to see this guy get the call.
#20 - Niko Goodrum - SS (A)
There are a ton of Cedar Rapids Kernels on this list, and Jorge Polanco's double-play mate tallies one more. At least offensively, Goodrum seems to have what Santana does not: a willingness to accept a walk. While he doesn't boast Santana's average, Goodrum is getting on base this season at a .384 clip. That's impressive. Last week he was just 5-for-21 (.238) with two walks and six strikeouts, but the body of work is there. Between Rosario, Polanco and Goodum, the Twins have a trio of middle infield prospects that are worth getting excited about.
#21 - Chris Herrmann - C (AAA)
Back in Rochester, Herrmann was 9-for-34 (.265) last week with a triple, two doubles, a walk and eight strikeouts. He'll be a fine player as a backup catcher if the Twins decide to trade Ryan Doumit this summer. Overall his numbers at Triple-A aren't very good this season, but Herrmann is who he is and he's ready for a backup role with the Major League ballclub.
#22 - Alex Wimmers - RHP (AA)
Wimmers has yet to pitch in 2013.
#23 - D.J. Baxendale - RHP (AA)
Baxendale didn't pitch during our week in focus, since he's been on the disabled list. He had struggled since his promotion to Double-A, getting pushed around in three of his four starts. Hopefully he can get back on the hill soon and finish the season strong. He should jump into the mid-teens for next year's list.
#24 - Levi Michael - SS (A+)
Michael only played in two games last week, and in the second didn't record a plate appearance. He hasn't been sent to the disabled list but his numbers in his last ten games are down again. On the season he's batting .234/.313/.357. He'll need to find a way to adjust before the end of the season, or next year he'll be leapfrogged by Goodrum and Polanco.
#25 - Adam Walker - 3B/RF (A)
Walker was 4-for-13 last week, with a homer, three runs batted in, and two strikeouts. His power numbers are strong, but once again he has not walked in his last ten games. That's going to limit his value if he doesn't find a way to be more patient. He's walked 15 times in 283 plate appearances this season, compared to 65 strikeouts. Of course, he's still slugging .496 thanks to 11 homers, five triples and 16 doubles, but his on-base percentage is just .314 and he's hitting .271. Walker is just 21, but the Twins may want to see more patience before they give him a promotion to Fort Myers.