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Minnesota Twins 2015 Prospect Vote: Round 18

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And it's Turner by a nose!

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

We haven't had a prospect smackdown vote yet this year, but we came close this round. Stuart Turner topped Chih-Wei Hu by just five votes, and as a result has earned himself the #17 spot on our 2015 Minnesota Twins prospect list. That's about right for a guy of Turner's talents.

The only other candidates on the ballot to receive more than 10% of the vote were Hu, Mitch Garver, and Tyler Duffey. If that sounds familiar, that's because the same thing happened in Round 16. As a result, for Round 18 our ballot will momentarily shrink to just those three players. Graham, Harrison, Jones, and Rogers will re-join the ballot for Round 19, along with the two players who don't win this vote.

Twins Top 30 prospects for 2015

  1. Byron Buxton, CF (Buxton 72%, Sano 28%)
  2. Miguel Sano, 3B (Sano 56%, Berrios 44%)
  3. Jose Berrios, RHP (Berrios 73%, Meyer 16%, Stewart 4%, Gordon 4%, Polanco 3%)
  4. Alex Meyer, RHP (Meyer 63%, Stewart 17%, Polanco 10%, Gordon 10%)
  5. Kohl Stewart, RHP (Stewart 56%, Polanco 26%, Gordon 18%)
  6. Trevor May, RHP (May 28%, Gordon 27%, Polanco 21%, Rosario 20%, Thorpe 4%)
  7. Nick Gordon, SS (Gordon 35%, Polanco 30%, Rosario 29%, Thorpe 6%)
  8. Nick Burdi, RHP (Burdi 38%, Polanco 31%, Rosario 23%, Thorpe 8%)
  9. Jorge Polanco, SS/2B (Polanco 51%, Rosario 36%, Thorpe 13%)
  10. Eddie Rosario, OF/2B (Rosario 72%, Thorpe 18%, Gonsalves 4%, Reed 3%, Duffey 2%, Rogers 0%)
  11. Lewis Thorpe, LHP (Thorpe 48%, Kepler 21%, Reed 10%, Gonsalves 9%, Duffey 5%, Walker 4%, Turner 1%, Harrison 1%, Rogers 1%)
  12. Max Kepler, CF/1B (Kepler 30%, Gonsalves 27%, Reed 18%, Walker 13%, Turner 5%, Duffey 5%, Harrison 1%, Rogers 1%)
  13. Stephen Gonsalves, LHP (Gonsalves 47%, Reed 32%, Walker 21%)
  14. Jake Reed, RHP (Reed 49%, Walker 24%, Turner 12%, Duffey 7%, Harrison 5%, Rogers 3%)
  15. Adam Walker, RF (Walker 47%, Turner 22%, Duffey 16%, Rogers 7%, Harrison 7%)
  16. Amaurys Minier, LF/1B (Minier 24%, Turner 18%, Hu 17%, Duffey 15%, Garver 10%, Harrison 6%, Jones 4%, Graham 3%, Rogers 2%)
  17. Stuart Turner, C (Turner 26%, Hu 25%, Garver 14%, Duffey 13%, Harrison 7%, Jones 5%, Rogers 5%, Graham 5%)

Tyler Duffey, RHP
2015 Age: 24
2014 High Level: Triple-A

Year Age Lvl ERA G GS IP WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 K/9 K:BB
2012 21 Rookie 1.42 12 0 19.0 0.63 4.7 0.5 0.9 12.8 13.5
2013 22 A+, A 3.64 24 18 121.0 1.15 8.6 0.6 1.7 6.8 4.0
2014 23 A+, AA, AAA 3.67 25 25 149.2 1.15 8.5 1.0 1.8 6.8 3.8
3 Seasons 3.51 61 43 289.2 1.12 8.3 0.8 1.7 7.2 4.2

Duffey is one of Minnesota's 2012 draft picks that profile as a reliever, but who has been utilized as a starter. He's been effective in that role so far, in spite of being a closer for Rice, and in 2014 he worked his way to the top echelon of the Twins' farm system.

In Duffey's favor are his numbers as well as his body type and pitch arsenal. As a starter his fastball sits in the low 90s, compared to the upper 90s as a reliever. It's backed up by a plus curve and a developing changeup.

It will be interesting to see where the Twins place him to start the season. With so many pitchers available to fill out the rotation in Rochester, including quite probably Alex Meyer and Trevor May, it wouldn't be surprising to see Duffey begin 2015 in Double-A Chattanooga. But he's ready for Triple-A, and he should spend most of 2015 with the Red Wings. He could even see a cup of coffee with the Twins in September.

Mitch Garver, C
2015 Age: 24
2014 High Level: Single-A

Year Age Lvl PA 2B HR BB SO AVG OBP SLG OPS
2013 22 Rookie 225 15 2 19 31 .243 .313 .366 .679
2014 23 A 504 29 16 61 65 .298 .399 .481 .880
2 Seasons 729 44 18 80 96 .280 .372 .445 .817

The best scouting report on Garver is available from Seth Stohs in his 2015 Prospect Handbook. They named him their Hitter of the Year thanks to his offensive value, a culmination of discipline, an understanding of the strike zone, and his power.

Garver is also an apt defensive catcher, earning solid reviews from the coaches he's played with so far. He was a runner up for the award for the best collegiate catcher, which went to Stuart Turner, but the impression we're getting is that Garver is earning a reputation as an interesting talent on both sides of the ball.

In our interview with Rob Antony, he didn't put a timeline on Garver. But he believed his upside was as an above average hitter with some power, and that's great for a catcher. With a good start in Fort Myers, he could earn a promotion to Double-A Chattanooga before the year is out.

Chih-Wei Hu, RHP
2015 Age: 21
2014 High Level: Single-A

Year Age Lvl ERA G GS IP WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 K/9 K:BB
2013 19 Rookie 2.45 12 5 36.2 0.98 6.9 0.0 2.0 9.6 4.9
2014 20 Rookie, A 2.15 13 12 71.0 0.87 6.0 0.0 1.9 8.1 4.3
2 Seasons 2.26 25 17 107.2 0.91 6.3 0.0 1.9 8.6 4.5

All Hu did, as a member of a pitching staff that included Stephen Gonsalves, Lewis Thorpe, and Kohl Stewart, was put up the best numbers of any of them. Keep in mind that all of these pitchers were at least two years younger than the average player in the midwest league, but all of them were impressive. Hu, somewhat surprisingly, was the best.

Signed last in the summer of 2012, there's always been a little bit of buzz around Hu. But his 2014 campaign, amongst such respected peers, should generate some real excitement. His fastball sits in the low 90s but can be dialed up to 94 or 95. His secondary pitches need work, but for a guy at such a level it's what you expect.

His raw stuff isn't as obviously impressive as Stewart's, and he hasn't had the press of Thorpe, but Hu probably deserves to be on par in a discussion with Gonsalves. He's one to watch in 2015.