The vote for the Twins' second-best prospect essentially turned into a two-man race, but Oswaldo Arcia (32%) beat out Byron Buxton (30%) by 22 votes. Congratulations to Mr. Arcia, who clearly is continuing to impress the Minnesota Twins fan community here at Twinkie Town.
For Round 3 we won't be introducing any new candidates. We're still looking at a field of five, and with the players we could include (Trevor May, Max Kepler, Travis Harrison, etc), none of them are strong enough to be the organization's number three asset down on the farm. With that, here we go!
Byron Buxton, CF
2013 Age: 19
2012 Top Level: Elizabethton, 87 PA (Rookies)
Buxton's slower start in the GCL picked up as he saw more action, and by all accounts continues to be the most athletically gifted player in the system. A lot of this is obviously based on perceived upside, but it's hard to hold that against him when that's exactly what these votes are about. While it's difficult to put at ETA on him after just 189 plate appearances, if we allow him one level per year and subtract one due to talent we're still looking at 2016 when he'll be just 22.
Aaron Hicks, OF
2013 Age: 23
2012 Top Level: New Britain, 563 PA (Double-A)
|A (2 seasons)||A||815||181||42||12||78||31||19||128||167||.269||.383||.411|
|AA (1 season)||AA||563||135||21||13||61||32||11||79||116||.286||.384||.460|
|Rk (1 season)||Rk||204||55||10||4||27||12||2||28||32||.318||.409||.491|
|A+ (1 season)||A+||528||107||31||5||38||17||9||78||110||.242||.354||.368|
A slow May followed an alright April, leading many to believe it was "just another disappointing season" for the 2008 first-round pick. But then he exploded, recording OBPs of .371, .430, .398, and .467 from June through September. Hicks turned a corner and his patience at the plate is no longer just being passive. He should spend 2013 at Triple-A, but everyone would love to see him for the Twins' hand in center field at some point this season.
Alex Meyer, RHP
2013 Age: 23
2012 Top Level: Potomac, 39 IP (Advanced-A)
While some thought that the Twins could have gotten more in return for the proven and hot commodity of Denard Span, that can't be held against Meyer, who was the Nationals' first-round draft pick in 2012. Going into just his second season in professional ball, Meyer should spend most of his time at Double-A with a view to breaking into Minnesota sometime in 2014. He is expected to be one of a number of very talented, young, and inexpensive pitchers who will lead the Twins back into contention.
Kyle Gibson, RHP
2013 Age: 25
2012 Top Level: Rochester, 6.2 IP (Triple-A)
|AAA (3 seasons)||AAA||4.67||23||23||117.2||1.402||10.1||0.9||2.5||8.4||3.33|
|A+ (2 seasons)||A+||1.97||9||9||50.1||1.033||7.0||0.5||2.3||8.4||3.62|
|AA (1 season)||AA||3.68||16||16||93.0||1.215||8.8||0.5||2.1||7.5||3.50|
|Rk (1 season)||Rk||2.45||9||7||14.2||0.886||5.5||0.6||2.5||9.8||4.00|
Gibson missed a vast majority of 2012 due to recovery and rehab after 2011's Tommy John surgery, throwing 21.2 innings between the GCL Twins and Fort Myers before making two starts for the Red Wings at the end of the season. He also had a decent performance in the Winter League before a couple of less impressive outings at the end. He's expected to contribute to the Major League team in 2013, although his innings may be limited this season, leading some to believe he may start the year as a reliever before moving into the rotation later in the year.
Eddie Rosario, 2B/OF
2013 Age: 21
2012 Top Level: Beloit, 429 PA (Single-A)
|Rk (3 seasons)||Rk||531||155||21||27||39||11||44||90||.321||.375||.578|
|A (1 season)||A||429||116||32||12||11||11||31||69||.296||.345||.490|
Considering he missed time after getting hit in the face with a baseball and still returned to finish the season, I think it's safe to say that Rosario is still the Twins' greatest hope of having a player who can hit and play the middle infield at the same time. He's flying under the radar in a lot of the mainstream prospect listings, but there's no denying he's performed to this point. His ETA is sometime in 2015.