There was a massive difference in the organization's top prospects between our 2012 and 2013 lists. The difference between the '13 and '14 lists isn't as stark; the top end of our list is maybe a bit stronger than last season's ensemble, but the depth of the Twins farm system this season is where the contrast really starts to show. Enjoy!
|1||Byron Buxton||CF||2012||1||2||20||2015||Probably the best prospect in baseball, with potential plus (at least) tools in all five traditional areas. He won't play until May, but he's on his own timetable.|
|2||Miguel Sano||3B||2009 (DR)||n/a||n/a||21||2015||His 2014 debut has been postponed by a few months thanks to Tommy John surgery. He should recover in plenty of time to compete for the starting third base job on Opening Day 2015.|
|3||Alex Meyer||RHP||2011||1||23||24||2014||Meyer is starting the season healthy and in Triple-A, so it's a matter of when - not if - he makes his Major League debut this summer. Providing he avoids injury, of course.|
|4||Eddie Rosario||2B/OF||2010||4||135||22||2015||A 50-game suspension to start the season, due to a drug of abuse (presumed to be marijuana) will slow his timetable a bit, but provided he continues to hit he'll be a valuable prospect and potential cornerstone starting, probably, in 2015.|
|5||Kohl Stewart||RHP||2013||1||4||19||2017||Last year's first-round pick looked good in his debut last summer. Can he continue to look good as he continues to pitch against old, better hitters? Stewart's ceiling is high, and he's the only player in the top five (how did he finish fifth anyway) who will still be on this list in two years' time.|
|6||Josmil Pinto||C||2006 (VEN)||n/a||n/a||25||2014||Pinto has already hit three home runs this season. Has Minnesota found a long-term catcher to follow Mauer?|
|7||Jose Berrios||RHP||2012||1||32||20||2015||It's the same ETA as we gave him last season, as we'll continue to believe he's on the fast track until a lack of promotion tells us otherwise. It would be a late/Septemeber 2015 debut, but it's feasible. Can he adjust in his second full-length season?|
|8||Jorge Polanco||2B/SS||2009 (DR)||n/a||n/a||20||2016||If you haven't been keeping an eye on this guy, you need to - starting right now. The Twins have a pair of middle infield prospects who can really hit. Think Guzman and Rivas...but with much better bats and less speed. Polanco could be a Top 5 prospect in the organization next season.|
|9||Max Kepler||CF/1B||2009 (GER)||n/a||n/a||21||2016||We've moved his ETA back a season following his sub-par 2013. He'll need to put up number this season or he'll fall down the 2015 list. Very talented, though, with plus skills in multiple areas. Will he move towards first base more permanently? Then he better hit.|
|10||Lewis Thorpe||LHP||2012 (AUS)||n/a||n/a||18||2017||Thorpe came out of nowhere to impress scouts and number lovers alike. His ceiling doesn't appear to be as a number one, but he's been collecting rave reviews from all corners. He looks like a good bet to remain in the rotation as he is promoted, but is still at least three years away. One hell of a place to debut on a prospect list, though.|
|11||Trevor May||RHP||2008||4||136||24||2014||The upside is wearing thin on May, but his proximity to the Majors and his raw stuff and strikeout numbers keep him very interesting. If he can improve on his command even a bit, he projects as a killer relief option - or a mid-rotation guy with strikeout potential but only two plus pitches.|
|12||Adam Brett Walker||RF||2012||3||97||22||2016||Jumping up from number 25 last season, Walker's offense continues to be the source of his ceiling. Still lots of strikeouts and has a lot of work to do in controlling the strike zone, but he was a fringe prospect last season. This year, he has a chance to make or break that prospect status.|
|13||Felix Jorge||RHP||2010 (DR)||n/a||n/a||20||2017||This is an incredible list debut for Jorge, but could be one of the players in the most dubious position. He was drug along in the wake of Lewis Thorpe - can he hang with his Australian counterpart? The ceiling is there.|
|14||Stephen Gonsalves||LHP||2013||4||110||18||2018||The third of Minnesota's top four picks in the 2013 draft, Gonsalves impressed in his pro debut. His numbers will become less impressive as he moves through the system and his prospect status may be difficult to maintain as a result, but it was a very impressive debut. And he's left-handed.|
|15||Michael Tonkin||RHP||2008||30||906||24||2014||Tonkin, as a prep pick in '08, was a gamble of a draft pick. He's turning out to be a pretty good result. If he's not a full-time member of the Major League bullpen by season's end, it will be a surprise.|
|16||Travis Harrison||3B||2011||1||50||21||2017||If he can't stick at third base, or if he can't continue to hit, Harrison will lose his status as one of the organization's most powerful hitting prospects. It's easy to rake in a Rookie league, if you have any power at all - so now is when we start to see what kind of prospect Harrison truly is.|
|17||Danny Santana||SS||2007 (DR)||n/a||n/a||23||2014||Good contact skills and good (but inconsistent) defensive abilities, along with his proximity to the Majors, keep Santana one of the organization's first options for a callup this summer. If he's not taking most of September's starts at short, something has gone wrong - or Pedro Florimon is playing over his head.|
|18||Kennys Vargas||1B||2008 (PR)||n/a||n/a||23||2015||Vargas' power keeps him interesting. He's getting old for his level, however, so he needs to keep hitting. The Twins added him to the 40-man roster over the winter, so they liked him enough to protect him.|
|19||Ryan Eades||RHP||2013||2||43||22||2016||It wasn't an impressive debut for Eades in 2013, but it can be considered a write-off if he comes in this season and starts to show the potential that the front office clearly saw when they drafted him with their second selection last June.|
|20||Zach Jones||RHP||2012||4||130||23||2015||Killer strikeouts and proximity to the Majors mean he's a potential shut-down reliever, but command has to stay under observation. He could compete for a bullpen role out of spring training next year.|
|21||Fernando Romero||RHP||2011 (DR)||n/a||n/a||19||2018||Baseball America likes him, and an impressive 2013 can tell you why. Is he a one-and-done, or will the talent be sustained?|
|22||Sean Gilmartin||LHP||2011||1||28||24||2015||Gilmartin is a lefty who is already close to being Major League-ready. He's a low-ceiling, high-floor type of player, but for this year he's buried in the depth chart for both starters and relievers. Watch to see if his performance improves now that he's fully healthy.|
|23||Stuart Turner||C||2013||3||78||22||2016||The final of four 2013 picks on our list, Turner's scouting report reveals a good defensive catcher who might also be able to hit. He may not climb the list for next season, but if he treads water he's doing something right.|
|24||Amaurys Minier||3B||2012 (DR)||n/a||n/a||18||2018||Supremely talented but years away. Very much a wild card since we have no track record, and not even a draft position to go on. Minier could climb the ranks quickly if he's anything like the player the scouts think he could be.|
|25||D.J. Baxendale||RHP||2012||10||310||23||2015||Baxendale has dropped two spots in the rankings but has still leap-frogged fellow pitching draftees Melotakis and Bard.|
|26||Niko Goodrum||SS||2010||2||71||22||2016||Down six places, Goodrum is talented but needs a season that makes people take notice. He could climb the list eventually due to his proximity to the Majors.|
|27||Mason Melotakis||LHP||2012||2||63||23||2016||Finished in Single-A in 2012 and stayed there all of 2013, but has moved onto Advanced-A this season. He needs to develop one or two pitches to be an effective relief option in the future, as his ability to start long-term is still up in the air.|
|28||Lewin Diaz||OF||2013 (DR)||n/a||n/a||17||2019||The only player on our list projected to debut any later than 2018, Diaz has yet to record a statistic for the organization. Right now it's all ceiling, scouting, and projectability. Because that's a thing.|
|29||Logan Darnell||LHP||2010||6||195||25||2014||Darnell's proximity to the Majors, left-handedness, and being essentially Major League-ready mean he cracks our Top 30. Providing he's healthy and doesn't implode, no doubt we'll see him with the Twins at some point this year.|
|30||Adrian Salcedo||RHP||2007 (DR)||n/a||n/a||23||2015||Salcedo ranked 13th on our list in 2012, missed our list entirely last season, and now reappears at the end of our list for 2014. With another solid season, he could be one of the first options to be called up for the 2015 bullpen.|
Observations of this year's Top 30 list.
- Of our Top 30, 12 were international signings. Sano, Polanco, Jorge, Santana, Romero, Minier, Melotakis, and Salcedo are out of the Dominican Republic; Pinto is out Venezuela; Kepler from Germany; Thorpe from Australia; Vargas from Puerto Rico.
- On our list last year, ten of the 25 were first round picks. On this year's 30, only six qualify for that honor.
- Tonkin, Baxendale, and Darnell are the only draftees on the list taken after the fourth round.
- Amongst players on the list, Meyer, May, and Gilmartin are the only three not drafted or signed by the Twins.
- Meyer, Pinto, May, Tonkin, Santana, and Darnell are the players with potential to come off the list next year due to their playing time.
- Lewis Thorpe gets credit for the biggest jump, appearing at number ten this season. By contrast, J.T. Chargois was number 12 on last season's list and has now dropped off entirely.
- Oswaldo Arcia, Aaron Hicks, Kyle Gibson, and Chris Herrmann came off of last year's list due to playing time. Joe Benson was traded. Chargois, Luke Bard, Hudson Boyd, Alex Wimmers, and Levi Michael all fell off due to performance.
- How does this year's Top Ten compare to last year's? The 2013 list was: Sano, Arcia, Buxton, Meyer, Hicks, Rosario, Gibson, Kepler, Berrios, and May.