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Thursday Morning Breakfast & Baseball: Buxton, Sano, Prospects, Sizemore, Figgins

Yeah! Twins stuff!

Joe Robbins

Your sound track for this morning's Twins roundup: "The Black Jack White", by Spirit Animal.

Byron Buxton & Miguel Sano: Number One Prospects

Buxton and Sano were selected by's top prospects in center field and at third base, respectively, heading into 2014. While Sano boasts "more raw power" than anyone else in the entirety of the minor leagues and is "a better overall hitter than many think", Buxton's review is positively off the charts, saying in part:

Buxton reminded low Class A Midwest League observers of Mike Trout -- only with more power than Trout had at the same stage. And his plus power is Buxton's worst tool, falling in behind his top-of-the-scale speed and his well-above-average bat, arm and center-field defense.

The Trout comparisons are drawing a bit old, albeit they're very exciting. Not only is Buxton going to be a different build to Trout, but the comparisons are bound the create expectations that he's going to be hard-pressed to match. I think it's just safe to say that Buxton has tools in abundance, has produced well beyond our wildest dreams, and is on track to be a true superstar. That's not so bad, is it?

Other Prospect Points

  • Eddie Rosario ranks as's eight-best prospect at second base.
  • For's top ten right-handed pitching prospects, Kohl Stewart doesn't quite make the cut...but he was close. He made it into the brief "Next Up" section at the end.
  • Baseball America's Top 10 Twins prospects: Byron Buxton, Miguel Sano, Alex Meyer, Kohl Stewart, J.O. Berrios, Eddie Rosario, Lewis Thorpe, Trevor May, Danny Santana, Jorge Polanco.
  • BA also lists the organization's top 15 players who are 25 and under. Included are Oswaldo Arcia (#4) and Aaron Hicks (#10). They're the only two players at the MLB level (more or less), but it's good to see that Hicks, in particular, still has some of the game's best scouts in his corner. Hopefully he turns a corner this year, because if he doesn't there won't be the same belief in his skills at this time next year.
  • Accolades for some of the newer players to the system: Stuart Turner is recognized as the system's best defensive catcher; Kohl Stewart has the system's best slider; Fernando Romero and Stephen Gonsalves come in at numbers 14 and 15 in the list of best players under 25.

Reclamation Projects: Grady Sizemore & Chone Figgins

Both Sizemore and Figgins have been out of baseball for at least a year. Sizemore hasn't appeared in a Major League game since 2011, and hasn't been even an average player since 2009. From 2005 to 2008 he was one of the game's best center fielders, but it's been a long hard fall from that perch. Minnesota had some interest during the season but there was none over the winter before his signing with the Red Sox. He'll be in his age-31 season, so he's still young enough to make an impact.

His situation reminds me of that of Rocco Baldelli, who was a promising young player who was still young when he attempted to make his comebacks from injuries. Hopefully Sizemore has more success.

Minnesota also doesn't have any interest in Figgins, although they did recently watch him work out. Figgins has played more recently than Sizemore, logging 66 games in 2012, but I think he'd rather forget them. Suffice it to say that the Twins aren't that interested in reclamation projects this year, and that's okay.