Stephen Gonsalves' upside won the day in Round 13, winning the coveted spot of the fourteenth-best prospect in the Minnesota farm system for 2014. Not bad for 2013's fourth round selection. Gonsalves had 38% of the vote, beating out Michael Tonkin (24%), Danny Santana (19%), and Travis Harrison (17%).
Twinkie Town Top 14 Prospects for 2014
- Byron Buxton, CF
- Miguel Sano, 3B
- Alex Meyer, RHP
- Eddie Rosario, 2B/OF
- Kohl Stewart, RHP
- Josmil Pinto, C
- Jose Berrios, RHP
- Jorge Polanco, 2B/SS
- Max Kepler, CF
- Lewis Thorpe, LHP
- Trevor May, RHP
- Adam Brett Walker, RF
- Felix Jorge, RHP
- Stephen Gonsalves, LHP
- For each round, a certain number of players will be presented with statistical history, a brief overview, and other basic information such as age and level.
- Once on a ballot, players will remain on the ballot until they eventually win a vote. Barring something drastic, like a trade.
- Sometimes no players will be added to subsequent ballots. Sometimes more than one player will be added. Early rounds will have fewer players for which to vote, and later rounds are more likely to have more.
- Share with your friends! Let's get as many votes as possible.
- A general list has already been assembled, and players are slated to join the voting at a specified time, but you are welcome to recommend players that you think should be added in the following round.
Travis Harrison, 3B
2014 Age: 21
2013 High Level: Cedar Rapids, 537 PA (Single-A)
Harrison's triple slash doesn't look as impressive as his short-season Rookie league debut in 2012, but there are a number of things to keep in mind. First, he definitely slowed in the latter part of the season as his body wore down. That will balance itself out. Second, while his strikeout rates jumped from 20% to about 23%, his walk rates also bumped - from a good 9.5% to an impressive 12.7%. His isolated power was basically identical. What also went up, though, was his percentage of poorly-struck balls. Let's see how he performs this season; the power is real, and that's exciting.
Michael Tonkin, RHP
2014 Age: 24
2013 High Level: Minnesota, 11.1 IP (MLB)
Tonkin is still eligible for our list due to his innings largely coming in September. What makes him so appealing as a prospect is his floor, which more and more is starting to look like a strong back-end of the bullpen profile. He throws a lot of fastballs in the mid-90s but gets good movement, and he can take a little bit off to get some two-seam action as well. He compliments it with a good slider and occasional changeup. Sure, he's "only" a reliever, but if Casey FienorJared Burton falter this season it'll be Tonkin who's first into the breach.
Danny Santana, SS/2B
2014 Age: 23
2013 High Level: New Britain, 588 PA (Double-A)
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Santana actually got better as 2013 went along. He took a few more walks, and yes it's all relative and yes he needs to do it more often, but he also improved as a defender at short, cutting down on his early-season errors. He's a strong contact hitter with good speed but no power, so unless he gets better either patience or pitch recognition or both his ceiling will be limited - but his floor is starting to look like a versatile, capable utility type who is good enough to stay with the big league team for the long haul. There's a lot of value in that, especially while the player is under team control. Another guy with maybe not the highest celing, but a pretty good floor.
Miguel Sulbaran, LHP
2014 Age: 20
2013 High Level: Cedar Rapids, 20 IP (Single-A)
Yep. This is the guy the Twins landed for Drew Butera. His strong command has helped him to this point, but as he rises through the system the strikeout rates will drop and, at that point, he should be moved to a bullpen role. Scouts seem to like his breaking balls already, so the added velocity on the fastball in short bursts could help him maintain his stock as a prospect down the line.
Ryan Eades, RHP
2014 Age: 22
2013 Top Level: Elizabethton, 15.2 IP (Rookie)
Eades was Minnesota's pick in the second round of the 2014 draft, getting in ten relief appearances for the Elizabethon Twins. There isn't much to go on here except projectability and upside, but Twinsbaseball.com sees him as the organization's number ten prospect. Twins scouts believe he has the potential to become a number two type, with his fastball, breaking ball, and changeup all looking like they could be plus pitches, but his status as a prospect will depend greatly on how he follows up on 2013's debut campaign.
Kennys Vargas, 1B
2014 Age: 23
2013 High Level: Fort Myers, 520 PA (Advanced-A)
D.J. Baxendale, RHP
2014 Age: 23
2013 High Level: New Britain, 92.2 IP (Double-A)
The Twins had Baxendale on the fast track through his first two seasons in the system, which is exactly what you love to see from a collegiate pick. He struggled a bit in Double-A in 2013 though, so he's likely to start there again this season - particularly in light of the number of pitchers in the upper levels of the system. He seems to be the second-best pitcher from the 2012 draft, behind Berrios, meaning that - compared to our prospect list last season - he's leapfrogged fellow draft mates J.T. Chargois (#12), Mason Melotakis (#16), and Luke Bard (#17).
Zack Jones, RHP
2014 Age: 23
2013 High Level: Fort Myers, 48.2 IP (Advanced-A)
Jones is already a reliever, which hurts his draft status since everyone loves starting pitchers. But in his second season as a professional pitcher, Jones continued his penchant for domination of minor league hitters. He should be coming out of the bullpen in New Britain this season, at age 23, and a strong season could put him in Rochester and just one phonecall away from the Twins. A strong fastball and slider lead a power arsenal. He made the list of our ten un-ranked pitching prospects in September.