Minor League Update: Twins' Top Prospects June 9, 2014

Hannah Foslien

Jesse spins through the Twinkie Town top 30 prospects for 2014.

A question for y'all to answer in the comments, too: Where should the Twins new draft picks slot into our list?

1 Byron Buxton CF Fort Myers (A+)
During Sunday's game, Terry Ryan stopped by the broadcast booth. The update on Buxton was vague, but he did say that Buxton would be starting baseball activities in the next week or so. There is still no timeline on his return, which is disappointing, but it sounds like we should still see him for a few weeks later this summer.
2 Miguel Sano 3B New Britain (AA)
Sano also had an injury update over the weekend, with LEN III reporting "There's a real chance that Miguel Sano will be able to DH some minor league games before the end of the season." That's great news, as long as it's the right thing to do. Maybe I'm just hesitant following a big injury, but I'm sure the Twins will be erring on the side of caution anyway.
3 Alex Meyer RHP Rochester (AAA)
Meyer is still looking for some consistency, but he was brilliant again over the weekend. He struck out eight batters in six shutout innings on Saturday, scattering four hits. He's struck out 75 batters in 62.2 innings this year, allowing just 51 hits and four home runs. His season ERA is down to 3.30.
4 Eddie Rosario CF/2B New Britain (AA)
Rosario was promoted to Double-A after hitting .300/.382/.300 for Fort Myers in eight games. He's 6-for-13 with the Rock Cats in his first three games and is clearly playing inspired baseball. He collected no extra-base hits for the Miracle but has already recorded a home run and a double for New Britain. If he rakes for two or three weeks, could the Twins push him to Triple-A?
5 Kohl Stewart RHP Cedar Rapids (A)
Stewart has now made ten starts this season, striking out 36 in 49 innings. He's allowed just one home run on 37 hits, with hitters posting a .209 batting-average against. Stewart is scheduled to pitch tonight versus the Kane County Cougars. Stewart, along with teammates Bryan Haar and Yorman Landa, were named to the Mid West League All-Star team.
6 Josmil Pinto C Minnesota (MLB)
Pinto catches both Kevin Correia and Sam Deduno, so he gets regular action, but it's questionable whether it's enough. His duties as a regular designated hitter have disappeared as the team has gone without a third catcher. Will the Twins send him to Triple-A now that Kendrys Morales is on the roster? There's no doubt that Pinto needs to work on the defensive aspect of his game. Base runners are perfect on stolen base attempts this season, and he's had troubles blocking balls in the dirt. His triple slash is down to .222/.323/.407, thanks to a slump that's seen him hit .138 in his last ten games. Rochester might be the best thing for him, even if it makes the Twins a bit worse as a result.
7 Jose Berrios RHP Fort Myers (A+)
Continuing his dominance of the Florida State League, Berrios struck out nine in eight innings of work on Friday night. He allowed two earned runs and didn't walk anybody. That's 74 strikeouts in 64.1 innings, matching up well with a sterling 2.24 ERA. Simply because of his age the Twins may choose to keep him in Fort Myers for most of the season, but he's pitching like he deserves a look at Double-A. The Twins have three very, very good pitching prospects in their top seven.
8 Jorge Polanco SS/2B Fort Myers (A+)
Polanco has been mired in a bit of a slump, but has shown signs of breaking out of it in the last couple games. He's hit just .250 in his last ten games, but on the season still holds a strong line of .289/.360/.405. Ryan said he would nominate Polanco for the Futures Game over All-Star week.
9 Max Kepler CF/LF/1B Fort Myers (A+)
Kepler has been out nearly a week since being removed from a game on June 3. When he returns, he needs to start hitting. On the season, Kepler is batting .218/.317/.340.
10 Lewis Thorpe LHP Cedar Rapids (A)
Promoted just prior to the weekend, Thorpe made his first start of the season on Saturday. He had a bit of a rough time, surrendering five runs in 4.2 innings off of six hits and three walks. He struck out just one batter. At just 18, it's good to see the Twins test Thorpe after his stellar 2013 - if only to see how advanced he really is. Let's see how he does over the next four weeks or so.
11 Trevor May RHP Rochester (AAA)
May's streak of four scoreless starts in a row vanished on Thursday, when he allowed three runs in six innings to Charlotte. He struck out nine and walked just two. He's tallied 63 strikeouts in 61 innings over 11 starts so far this summer, and seems to have found a level of consistency. When the Twins do eventually replace Kevin Correia, it wouldn't surprise me to see it was May called upon to do the job. He's had a better year than almost anyone could have expected.
12 Adam Brett Walker RF Fort Myers (A+)
Walker is riding an 11-game hit streak, which has included five home runs. He's raised his triple slash to .255/.302/.468 thanks to batting .390/.381/.732 in his last ten games. He's hit safely in 19 of his last 21 games. Has something clicked for Walker? We can hope so. He's now crushed 14 home runs in 60 games for the Miracle this year. RBI isn't a meaningful statistic, but it's still impressive when you drive in 50 runs in 60 games.
13 Felix Jorge RHP GCL Twins (R)
After moving to the bullpen for three games, the Twins decided the 20-year old Jorge wasn't ready for SIngle-A baseball quite yet and moved him back into the rookie leagues. In eight starts and four relief appearances, Jorge posted a 9.00 ERA in 39 innings, striking out 23 and walking 20 while allowing an incredible 57 hits. It's time for Jorge to slow down, and let's see if he can't work his way back to Cedar Rapids at the end of the season.
14 Stephen Gonsalves LHP Elizabethton (R)
The Elizabethton Twins haven't played a game yet this year.
15 Michael Tonkin RHP Rochester (AAA)
Since his demotion to Triple-A Rochester Tonkin has made nine relief appearances, notching four saves. He's struck out 11 in 12 innings, walking just three and allowing two earned runs for a 1.50 ERA. We'll see Tonkin back with the Twins before season's end.
16 Travis Harrison 3B Fort Myers (A+)
Harrison continues to struggle for extra-base hits. He's notched the occasional double, but hasn't homered since he hit his only one of the year on April 18. He's making fine contact, hitting .271, and his eye at the plate is fine if we're to judge his 12.7% walk rate, but the power has been non-existent. While it does still constitute an above average job for a hitter in the Florida State league, if Harrison's lack of power continues his status as a prospect will become suspect.
17 Danny Santana CF/SS Minnesota (MLB)
You can't say enough great things about Santana right now. He's filling in where the team needs him, and he's mostly done a fine job of it in the field. In 22 games he's hit .361/.395/.472, hitting the ball squarely and finding holes. He's 4-for-4 in stolen base attempts. He'll come back to earth sooner rather than later, but the Twins need to continue to ride the hot hand.
18 Kennys Vargas 1B New Britain (AA)
Continue to hit? That's the only job Vargas has, and he's done it very well. He's hitting .319/.394/.505 on the season, cranking nine home runs and driving in 45 runs in 58 games. For his first spin through Double-A he's doing a hell of a job. He'll turn 24 on August 1, so in some sense he's only doing what he needs to do as a prospect whose assets live entirely in his bat. But he's still done an impressive job so far, and a late-season callup to Triple-A is not out of the question. Let's see him hit the rest of 2014, and maybe sometime next season we can see him push for a job with the Twins.
19 Ryan Eades RHP Cedar Rapids (A)
Eades' season has gone to hell in a handbasket, as he's been lit up in four of his last five starts: 18.1 innings, 36 hits, 32 runs (29 earned), 14 walks, 17 strikeouts. On the season, hitters are batting .322 against him.
20 Zack Jones RHP Fort Myers (A+)
Still out, injured.
21 Fernando Romero RHP Cedar Rapids (A)
Romero was promoted with Thorpe, and Romero's first appearance went much better. He allowed two runs in five innings on Thursday, striking out six and walking one. It was an impressive debut for the 19-year old. All six of his strikeouts came against right-handed hitters.
22 Sean Gilmartin LHP New Britain (AA)
It's expected that Gilmartin will be called up to Rochetser fairly soon. He's really settled in for the Rock Cats, posting a 2.82 ERA in 11 starts and 67 innings. He's struck out 68 and walked just 16, allowing just a pair of home runs off 65 hits. As Scott Diamond continues to really struggle, and with the impeding callup of either one or both of Meyer and May, the Red Wings will need another arm. It should be Gilmartin.
23 Stuart Turner C Fort Myers (A+)
Turner's slow season might be turning around. He's hit .342/.390/.500 in his last ten games, upping his season triple slash to .232/.293/.326. It's still too low and should result in a drop in prospect ranking next season, unless he can continue his hot streak.
24 Amaurys Minier 3B GCL Twins (R)
The GCL Twins haven't played a game yet this year.
25 D.J. Baxendale RHP Fort Myers (A+)
After struggling in Double-A and recording a 5.76 ERA in 25 innings, the Twins have moved Baxendale to Fort Myers where they hope he can re-establish himself as a starter. It didn't go well in his Miracle debut, allowing six runs in five innings. Hopefully he can adjust, pitch well, and end the season back in Double-A.
26 Niko Goodrum SS Fort Myers (A+)
Goodrum had been on a bit of a skid, but looks like he could be pulling out of it. His season triple slash is down to .256/.333/367, and he looks destined to finish the season in Fort Myers. You'd like him to really switch on at some point, to simply be more consistent offensively, but right now it seems likely that Goodrum's potential is as a bench player with some defensive and speed skills. There's nothing wrong with that, but other than the recently drafted Nick Gordon, he's the only true shortstop in the system with any potential.
27 Mason Melotakis LHP Fort Myers (A+)
Melotakis is on a run of four scoreless relief appearances in a row, and going back to May 5 has allowed just five earned runs in 18 innings (2.50 ERA). His ERA as a reliever is down to 3.34, including 24 strikeouts in 29.2 innings. He's still struggling with command, but the results have certainly been better as he's established himself out of the bullpen.
28 Lewin Diaz OF DSL Twins (Summer)
The season for the DSL Twins is still sitting in the single digits for length. Diaz has made five starts, and is 4-for-18 with a home run, walk, and seven strikeouts. It's early, so we'll know more as we continue to check in throughout the summer.
29 Logan Darnell LHP Rochester (AAA)
Darnell was roughed up for four runs in five and a third yesterday, but on the whole he's doing just fine as a member of Rochester's excellent rotation. He's struck out 49 batters in 50.2 innings, earning a 3.02 ERA on the season. If the Twins decide to call someone up for the rotation short-term they could go back to Darnell, but his long-term value to the Twins is probably out of the bullpen.
30 Adrian Salcedo RHP New Britain (AA)
Salcedo continues to struggle with command, even through he's now put together three consecutive scoreless appearances. His season ERA is 7.09 after 19 appearances for the Rock Cats. The strikeouts are still coming, recording 32 in 26.2 innings, but he's been hit hard most of the season. He has allowed just one hit in his last three games, though, so maybe we can be optimistic and hope he's turning things around.
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