Twinkie Town Top 25 Prospects Round-Up: August 28, 2013

Al Bello

We're back with a full round-up of each of out Top 25 Twins prospects!

With August nearly over, it's time for us to have our first complete check-in on our Top 25 prospects in a long time. We'll also talk about the number four overall pick in the 2013 draft, Kohl Stewart. Strap in and let's go!

1 - Miguel Sano - 3B
Double-A: .237/.340/.558

Sano's season has firmly established him as one of the preeminent power prospects in the game, hitting the fifth-most home runs among all minor league hitters with 33. He's in good company, with a couple of older prospects as well as the 20-year old Javier Baez and 19-year old Joey Gallo.

His biggest issue right now is making contact versus right-handed pitching (.217/.332/.490 vs RHP, .293/.364/.741 vs LHP) and discipline. Whether it's strike zone judgement or pitch recognition, right now Sano is still looking for a way to adjust. He's struck out 15 times in his last ten games. But he's also walked five times, cracked three homers, and driven in eight runs in his last ten games.

It seems inevitable that Sano gets an invitation to spring training in 2014, but it will be just to give him (and the fans) a taste. He's not ready yet, and there is zero reason to push it.

2 - Oswaldo Arcia - OF
MLB: .254/.309/.431

After a strong start that had me wondering if he'd be a Rookie of the Year candidate by season's end, Arcia's come down. At the time he was batting .286/.352/.490 - since posting that article, Arcia has hit .214/.256/.365. Such are the trials and tribulations of a 22-year old rookie who hasn't been challenged since 59 games with Fort Myers in 2011.

Arcia's biggest issue is that he's still raw. After belting .313/.426/.594 in 38 games with Rochester this season he's proven all he needs to prove in the minors, or so it appears, which means that for now all we can do is give him time in the Majors. And hope that he becomes the middle-of-the-lineup bat that he has the potential to become.

3 - Byron Buxton - CF
Advanced-A: .330/.424/.492

In his last ten games, Buxton is 12-for-26 with 12 walks and two strikeouts. Yes, you read that correctly: Buxton is tearing the cover off the ball and has taken 12 walks in his last ten games. Oh and he's also stolen four bases.

It's ridiculous to think that he's not a video game character, because right now he's playing like it. In August as a whole, he's batting .420/.556/.536. What can you say about him right now? I don't know the words. Awesome? Superhuman? Exciting?

The Twins have selected him to be one of seven players heading to the Arizona Fall League this autumn. If he plays well there, who knows how the front office will approach his chances in spring training next year.

4 - Alex Meyer - RHP
Double-A: 3.41 ERA, 66.1 IP

After a trio of rehab starts, Meyer made his return to Double-A on Saturday where he tossed five scoreless inninngs. He allowed one walk, struck out five, and walked two. He'll also be attending the Arizona Fall League.

It's hard to say whether his selection to the AFL has to do with his success at Double-A this season, or the injury that kept him out for two months, or the chances of making the team at some point next season, but here's what I'll be watching: how he's used. With the down time, there shouldn't be any restrictions on his arm in the AFL. Let's see how he handles the stiffer competition.

5 - Aaron Hicks - CF
Triple-A: .167/.262/.185

It was a surprise when Hicks was sent down as late as he was, but it looks like it was the right move. So far he's had trouble adjusting to Triple-A pitching. No doubt some of it is a let down emotionally, but he has to find a way around it. He missed a few games in the middle of the month and as a result is 0-for-11 since his last regular start on August 10. Hicks has been a notorious slow starter at every level in his time with the Twins organization, so hopefully next season it will be easier to notice the strides that he's making in his development.

We at Twinkie Town stay optimistic.

6 - Eddie Rosario - 2B
Double-A: .287/.336/.423

After a rough start to the month of August, Rosario has seen his results swing in a new direction recently. In his last ten games, Rosario is 15-for-42 (.357) with a walk, homer, and four doubles. He has struck out nine times, but right now it's easy to chalk up occasional struggles to the daily battle of experience. For whatever reason I'm not as hopeful that he'll get a big opportunity in spring training as I am for, say, Buxton and Sano, but at some point next season Rosario will be in Triple-A as the second baseman for the Red Wings. And if he doesn't make it to Minnesota by September, then we should certainly see him during September callups in 2014.

7 - Kyle Gibson - RHP
Triple-A: 3.04 ERA, 97.2 IP

After getting pushed around for the Twins, Gibson returned to Triple-A where he put in what might be his final start of the 2013 campaign by throwing five innings and allowing three runs for Rochester. He struck out four and walked one, and only two of the runs were earned.

Gibson turns 26 in October. Tommy John has given his career trajectory a hiccup, but he'll still be in spring training in 2014, competing for a spot in the Twins rotation. No doubt the 51 innings with Minnesota will be invaluable experience for him going forward, and it means he's that much closer to being the pitcher we hope he can be. Don't get too down on him for his rough first ride in Minnesota.

8 - Max Kepler - CF
Single-A: .241/.320/.424

Kepler continues to be a run producer for the Kernels despite not hitting very well. In his last ten games he was just 8-for-40 (.200), but the good news is that the Twins have selected him to be one of their representatives in the Arizona Fall League. After a late start to the season a few extra games will be important for Kepler, who will also be up against some of the best players he's seen.

9 - Jose Berrios - RHP
Single-A: 3.74 ERA, 98.2 IP

Berrios' second season in the Twins' system had its ups and downs, but on the whole he continued to be quite effective. He struck out 96 batters in 98.2 innings this season. In his last ten starts he slowed a little, striking out just 46 in 56.1 innings, but more troubling was the fact that in that span he also walked 25 of the 37 batters he walked all summer. It's possible that his arm was wearing on him or that he just wore down overall as the season went along.

As a player who scouts pegged as a power reliever in the long term, for Berrios it's going to be a matter of proving that he can continue to start and throw five, six, seven innings while still being an effective power pitcher who can miss bats. When he inevitably gets moved up the ladder next season, it will be interesting to see how the rate stats handle the challenge.

10 - Trevor May - RHP
Double-A: 4.48 ERA, 144.2 IP

In his last start, May struck out nine and walked one while blanking Trenton over six innings. They managed two hits. A couple of weeks earlier, he was beat around by Erie for eight hits and eight runs in 2.2 innings. In that game he struck out three and walked five. Of course every player can have great and awful games cherry picked for them, but this seems to be a microcosm of May this season. At times he's brilliant, can strike batters out, controls his fastball; at other times he really struggles to hit his spots.

In his last ten outings, May has struck out more than a batter per inning but is walking a batter every other inning. His challenge is to keep that strikeout rate while reducing the walk rate. Right now I'm not sure he makes our top ten prospects next spring, but it's undeniable that the talent is there.

11 - Joe Benson - CF
Double-A: .200/.278/.408

It doesn't look like the Twins lost much when Benson went to Texas off of a waiver claim early in the year.

12 - J.T. Chargois - RHP

Chargois hasn't pitched all season. As John Sickels said in his prospect review a number of weeks ago: he was drafted out of Rice, so perhaps being injured was part of the deal.

13 - Jorge Polanco - 2B
Single-A: .307/.361/.448

The 20-year old prospect has followed up a great 2012 campaign with a great 2013 campaign, and has continued to do well as his year winds down: .293/.356/.463 in his last ten games. His walk-to-strikeout ratio is strong, 40-to-59 on the season. Polanco's success means a likely promotion to Fort Myers next spring, and he should be one of the new guys cracking our Top Ten prospects list. He's currently on the seven-day disabled list.

14 - Travis Harrison - 3B
Single-A: .260/.370/.428

Harrison cooled significantly after April, May and even June, hitting .250/.406/.333 in July and just .229/.333/.265 this month. He hit 13 home runs in the first three months of the season, and just two since.

It's not much of a surprise though, and shouldn't be reason for concern. As a draft pick out of high school he played 60 games for Elizabethton in 2012 only to turn around and play a full season at Single-A this year: 124 games in total so far.

Harrison doesn't turn 20 until October. I'm willing to give him a pass on his wearing down this season, and no doubt we'll see a player better prepared and fully knowledgeable of the wears and tears of a full season next spring.

15 - Daniel Santana - SS
Double-A: .299/.335/.392

After criticizing him for not being willing to take a walk for the first half of the year, it's worth mentioning that Santana has actually made an effort to get better in this regard. After taking just nine walks through June, he took nine in July and has taken four so far in August. He's also managed to do it without sacrificing his very good batting average, with the results being back-to-back months with an on-base percentage in the .380s.

In his last ten games, Santana is 14-for-39 (.359) with a pair of triples, a homer, three walks and eight strikeouts. If he can continue to prove that this is a level of production he can sustain, he'll move up to Triple-A with middle infield partner Eddie Rosario next summer. He won't hit for power, but he can play defense, hit for average and, just maybe, take a few walks, too.

16 - Mason Melotakis - LHP
Single-A: 3.16 ERA, 111 IP

After his start on August 3, Melotakis was moved to the bullpen - not because he wasn't good as a starter, but possibly to manage the number of innings he'd throw this season. As a result, he's thrown five scoreless appearances of relief since then (7.1 innings), striking out 11, walking two, and not allowing more than one hit in any appearance.

As a starter this summer, Melotakis threw 100.2 innings in 18 outings, striking out 71 and walking 37. He allowed just six home runs. It's been another good year on the hill for him, and I expect him to be among the Twins top three or four pitching prospects next spring.

17 - Luke Bard - RHP
Rookie (E): 1.23 ERA, 7.1 IP

Bard had a late start to his summer, making four relief appearances for the GCL Twins before moving to Elizabethton, where he's been very good in 7.1 innings. In six appearances he's struck out and walked six, meaning there's been a control issue in the small sample size, but he's also given up just two hits. As a 22-year old pitching in a rookie league, even in just his second season, you expect him to be successful. Hopefully next spring he can get on the field earlier and we can start to evaluate his future in the organization.

18 - Hudson Boyd - RHP
Single-A: 5.13 ERA, 100 IP

Boyd was so ineffective in his first 13 starts this season that the Kernels moved him to the bullpen. He excelled there in shorter stints, and was subsequently moved back into the rotation for his last three starts. They've been better, allowing just five runs in 14.2 innings, but on the whole his ERA as a member of the rotation this season is still 6.06.

In 11 relief appearances his ERA is 1.69, allowing eight runs but only four of them were earned. He continued to struggle with command out of the bullpen, walking nine in 21.1 innings.

Boyd's status as a prospect has been badly damaged. He has a lot of work to do next season if he's going to get back onto the radar as a future arm for the Twins.

19 - Michael Tonkin - RHP
Triple-A: 3.52 ERA, 30.2 IP

After starting the season in Double-A, making two appearances with the Twins must have been like a dream come true. He's settled in quite well as a member of the Red Wings' bullpen, striking out 33 and walking just five.

The challenge for Tonkin will be to get better once runners find a way to get on base. A pitcher's ERA is always gong to be higher with runners on than with the bases empty, but so far this season he's sporting a 9.58 ERA in those situations.

Tonkin will be in the running for a spot in the 2014 rotation with the Twins, but with so many incumbents scheduled to return he might be on the outside of that bubble.

20 - Niko Goodrum - SS
Single-A: .256/.362/.356

Goodrum is currently on the seven-day disabled list, but prior to that he was riding another hot streak. In his last ten games he was 10-for-33 (.303) with four walks and four stolen bases. It was good to see him succeeding after such a terrible July (.195/.295/.244).

The good news is that Goodrum is still getting on base at an impressive clip, which is a skill that should be transferable going forward. He's also a good base stealer, taking 20 in 24 chances. His biggest challenge will be to maintain his batting average at levels of stiffer competition, all the while maintaining what may be the only facet he has that can differentiate him from fellow infield prospects like Polanco, Rosario, and Santana: his defense.

21 - Chris Herrmann - C
MLB: .221/.308/.375

Herrmann will be sticking around for the rest of the season, because even after Joe Mauer returns (if he returns this season), rosters will be expanded.

It hasn't been a good year at the plate overall, particularly after a hot start when he was called up for the first time, but that shouldn't be surprising. Herrmann was a prospect due to his MLB "readyness" and will certainly drop off of this list next season.

22 - Alex Wimmers - RHP
Rookie (GCL): 7.20 ERA, 15 IP

Wimmers has finally made his return to the mound, and is pitching with the GCL Twins as a part of his rehab process. He's made six starts, the first four of which were pretty good (11.1 IP, 15 K, 3 R), the most recent two of which were pretty bad (3.2 IP, 14 H, 9 ER). His status as a prospect, certainly a Top 25 prospect, is out the window for 2014, but to be fair it's been a pretty hard road. If he can come back next summer and have not just a good year, but a very good year, he'll force us to re-evaluate his position.

23 - D.J. Baxendale - RHP
Double-A: 5.74 ERA, 78.1 IP

After toppling the competition in Advanced-A Fort Myers, the Twins bumped Baxendale to Double-A where he's scuffled. The strikeout rates are down, retiring just 52 on strikes with the Rock Cats, and the hits are out of control: 94 allowed. Good starts have been peppered around, but they're too few and too far between right now.

For a 22-year old this isn't a terrible turn of events, but suffice to to say he'll be repeating Double-A next season and isn't likely to rise much on the prospect list.

24 - Levi Michael - SS
Advanced-A: .225/.324/.338

It's been another rough year for Michael, who hasn't really improved on his triple slash line while staying at the same level. He's been a lot better in terms of his base running, and he's 19-for-20 in stolen base attempts, but overall the results have been disappointing so far. He's just 22 this season, but at 23 in 2014 he's going to have to start to develop so that he can move through the system.

25 - Adam Walker - 3B/RF
Single-A: .280/.322/.530

Walker has taken off since his slow June, continuing to supply the Kernels with ample power. On the season he's crushed 26, and the good news is that while he clearly sees right-handed pitching better he's also slugging .500+ to both sides. For a 21-year old, the power he generates is tremendous.

He's come down to earth over his last ten games, not launching a solitary bomb while going 10-for-38 (.263) with four walks and seven strikeouts. On the season he's struck out 110 times in 489 at-bats, which is something that will need to come under control. He's also walked just 30 times, which isn't a good ratio and usually a harbinger of tough times when the player reaches levels with better pitchers.

Still, Walker is a sure shot to climb the prospect rankings next season. The only question is: how high?

Kohl Stewart - RHP
Rookie (E): 0.00 ERA, 4.0 IP

Following a successful stint with the GCL Twins, including three starts and three relief appearances, the Twins moved Stewart to Elizabethton for the end of the 2013 season. There he's made one start, going four innings, striking out eight and walking one. Not bad, right?

For the season he's thrown 20 innings, hitting 24 strikeouts, walking just four, allowing 13 hits and no home runs. Suffice it to say that, to this point, it's been a great debut for the Twins' first round draft pick.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Twinkie Town

You must be a member of Twinkie Town to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Twinkie Town. You should read them.

Join Twinkie Town

You must be a member of Twinkie Town to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Twinkie Town. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker