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Minnesota Twins 2015 Prospect Vote: Round 22

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Off the board: Travis Harrison. On the board: Lewin Diaz.

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Round 21 wasn't exactly a photo finish, but each of our five candidates garnered at least 12% of your votes. As far as a balanced fields go, this one wasn't too bad. Still: Harrison comes away as our #21 prospect for 2015, which is five spots lower than he was last year and seven spots down from his first ranking back in 2012. The message from our community is clear: as talented as Harrison may be, he has work to do to regain his status as one of the organization's better prospects.

The new entrant for this round is Lewin Diaz.

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%)
  18. Chih-Wei Hu (Hu 58%, Duffey 22%, Garver 19%)
  19. Mitch Garver, C (Garver 31%, Duffey 28%, Harrison 16%, Jones 13%, Rogers 8%, Graham 5%)
  20. Tyler Duffey, RHP (Duffey 41%, Harrison 26%, Jones 17%, Rogers 12%, Graham 5%)
  21. Travis Harrison, LF (Harrison 32%, Jones 24%, Rogers 19%, Graham 13%, Cederoth 12%)

Michael Cederoth, RHP
2015 Age: 22
2014 High Level: Rookie

Year Age Lvl ERA G GS IP WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 K/9 K:BB
2014 21 Rookie 3.55 11 10 45.2 1.29 8.1 0.2 3.5 8.3 2.3

In recent seasons, the Twins have made a point of drafting velocity wherever it's available. Cederoth ticks that box, as a third-round selection in 2014 out of San Diego State who converted from a starter to a reliever in his third and final season and proceeded to touch 100 mph with his fastball. That kind of velocity usually makes pitchers a possible first-round draft pick.

Cederoth fell to the Twins in the third round because of his troubles with command. As has also been the case in recent seasons, the Twins have started out by attempting to develop this high-velocity arm as a starter. In shorter rookie league starts his fastball sat in the mid-90s, which is still pretty good, and there's good news in that his control wasn't good but was still better than it was in college.

The belief is that Cederoth will transition back to the bullpen eventually, partially because of that incredible fastball velocity and partially because of the command issue, but also because there isn't an obvious second plus pitch right now as both breaking balls are a work in progress. He should spend most of the year in Single-A Cedar Rapids. There's certainly reason for caution here, but scouts also like Cederoth as a potential late-inning reliever down the line.

Lewin Diaz, 1B
2015 Age: 18
2014 High Level: Dominican Summer League

Year Age Lvl G PA 2B HR BB SO AVG OBP SLG OPS
2014 17 Rookie - DSL 43 174 13 5 26 24 .257 .385 .451 .836

The signing of Diaz (for $1.4 million) during the 2013 international signing period came with a minor level of notoriety as scouts were excited about his offensive potential. He has a big body with the potential for a big bat, but reports aren't too dissimilar from what we hear about Amaurys Minier: we love the ceiling in that bat, but we're not sure where he'll ultimately play. And that might be generous about his defensive profile.

In his professional league debut, Diaz walked more than he struck out and hit for good power. That's a good start, but he'll need to continue hitting as he moves up the ladder if he's going to work his way up this list in coming years.

Diaz should start the year with the GCL Twins. That raw power, which right now is his only plus tool as far as I can see, will be something to watch.

J.R. Graham, RHP
2015 Age: 25
2014 High Level: Double-A

Year Age Lvl ERA G GS IP WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 K/9 K:BB
2011 21 Rookie 1.72 13 8 57.2 1.13 8.1 0.0 2.0 8.1 4.0
2012 22 A+, AA 2.80 26 26 148.0 1.06 7.5 0.5 2.1 6.7 3.2
2013 23 AA 4.04 8 8 35.2 1.38 9.8 0.0 2.5 7.1 2.8
2014 24 AA 5.58 27 19 71.0 1.48 10.0 0.3 3.3 6.3 1.9
4 Seasons 3.37 74 61 312.1 1.20 8.4 0.3 2.4 6.9 2.9

Injuries have derailed what was once seen as a potential top-flight arm. His velocity is still recovering and is likely to sit somewhere between the upper-90s where it was before the injuries set in, and the low-90s where it was for parts of 2014. Some of the dip in velocity is by design, however, as Graham works through his mechanics for a more consistent delivery and better command.

Graham will have an opportunity to make the club out of spring training as a member of the bullpen. His status as a Rule 5 draft pick means that if the club doesn't take him, the Twins will need to work out a trade with Atlanta to send Graham to the minor leagues or, alternatively, just send him back to the Braves. With the array of players eligible and ready to contribute for the Twins, his spot in the bullpen isn't as secure as it may have been if he's arrived under the same circumstances in years past.

Zack Jones, RHP
2015 Age: 24
2014 High Level: Advanced-A

Year Age Lvl ERA G SV IP WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 K/9
2012 21 Rookie, A 2.25 18 4 20.0 1.10 5.0 0.4 5.0 15.3
2013 22 A+ 1.85 39 14 48.2 1.15 5.2 0.4 5.2 12.9
2014 23 Rookie, A+ 1.80 11 3 10.0 1.20 5.4 0.0 5.4 12.6
3 Seasons 1.94 68 21 78.2 1.14 5.1 0.3 5.1 13.5

Jones lost a great deal of 2014 thanks to an aneurysm in his shoulder. It was unfortunate, because in 2013 he'd demolished hitters in the Florida State League. I felt like, with one more similar season, he'd be knocking on the door of the Major League bullpen by the start of 2015 if not the end of 2014.

As things happened, his development took a hit. He returned near the end of the season and got in 11 good appearances, and he went to the Arizona Fall League as well. He struggled with command a bit in the AFL, but for a guy who really needed that time to shake off some rust and get that muscle memory back it's not unexpected.

Rob Antony feels that Jones' number one priority should be to develop his secondary pitches. Once he does that, he could be on a fast track to the Majors. Until then, it's hard to say how close he really is. For 2015, he should see a good deal of time at Double-A.

Taylor Rogers, LHP
2015 Age: 24
2014 High Level: Double-A

Year Age Lvl ERA G GS IP WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 K/9 K:BB
2012 21 Rookie, A 2.27 15 10 63.1 1.11 7.5 1.0 2.4 10.5 4.4
2013 22 A, A+ 2.88 25 24 140.2 1.20 8.5 0.4 2.3 6.0 2.6
2014 23 AA 3.29 24 24 145.0 1.29 9.3 0.2 2.3 7.0 3.1
3 Seasons 2.94 64 58 349.0 1.22 8.7 0.4 2.3 7.2 3.1

After a fine but unspectacular 2013, Rogers delivered a solid performance as the stalwart of New Britain's rotation in 2014. He offers a low 90s fastball with a good changeup in the lower 80s and a mid 70s curve. While he isn't a strikeout pitcher, he attacks the corners with a game plan to get the batter to swing at the pitches he chooses. It works, and he gets a lot of ground balls as a result.

Right now, Rogers profiles as a fringe back-end starter. Those players are always necessary for any club, and they carry value in team-control years. With a strong 2015 it's possible that Rogers sees time with the Twins by season's end.

Rogers is in the same boat as Duffey, in that the sheer quantity of starters who should be available to fill out the rotation in Triple-A could result in him starting the year at Double-A. But he should spend most of 2015 in Triple-A, which is where he belongs.