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Minnesota Twins top 30 prospects update: 6/18/2015

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Promotions and performances and...something else that starts with the letter "p," oh my!

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

How have your favorite prospects done this week? Enjoy!

1 Byron Buxton CF Minnesota (MLB)
While Buxton's promotion this week came as a surprise, that does't mean it was undeserved. Buxton hit .283/.351/.489 in 59 games for Double-A Chattanooga, stealing 20 bases in 22 attempts and rolling up 25 extra-base hits. Coming into today's game he has two Major League hits, including a triple. I'm sure we'll see many more this year.
2 Miguel Sano 3B Chattanooga (AA)
Sano has become much more consistent over the last few weeks, rarely going back-to-back games without a hit (May 17 and 18). He's hitting .270 in his last ten games, including a pair of home runs, six walks and 11 strikeouts. There have been only three games this month in which he hasn't reached of his own accord. He's batting .251/.351/.493 with 12 home runs, and you never know - we could see him before the All-Star game at the rate things are going.
3 Jose Berrios RHP Chattanooga (AA)
Berrios was looking good on Sunday, recording the first nine outs of the game on 41 pitches before taking a comebacker off the side of the lower leg. The Lookouts took him out as a precaution but he's fine and should make his next appearance. Berrios has now made 13 starts at Double-A this year, recording 83 strikeouts in 78.2 innings and posting a 3.09 ERA.
4 Alex Meyer RHP Rochester (AAA)
Twins Assistant General Manager Rob Antony is out to catch Triple-A games and to watch Meyer, who has now allowed just one run in six relief appearances. As a reliever, Meyer has struck out 15 in 10.2 innings while walking six and giving up just seven hits.
5 Kohl Stewart RHP Fort Myers (A+)
Stewart made his tenth start of the year on Wednesday, allowing four runs in four innings to Dayton. Terry Ryan continues to say that Stewart has the stuff to strike people out, but it sounds like he's almost gun shy when it comes to utilizing that stuff. It's hard to say how much truth there is to Ryan's belief given the fact that Stewart is striking out just 10.8% of batters - and they're hitting .297 off of him. This kid has been said to have an assassin's mentality in the past. It's early in his career and he's young, but it would be good to see him start to flash that plus stuff.
6 Trevor May RHP Minnesota (MLB)
A pair of home runs ruined a start in Monday in which May admittedly didn't have his best stuff, but he's still one of the most valuable players on the team this year and is perhaps the club's best starter this year outside of Mike Pelfrey - who pitched a gem today. Joe Mauer's solo homer with two outs in the eighth got him off the hook for a possible los.
7 Nick Gordon SS Cedar Rapids (A)
A three-hit day  yesterday means Gordon has hit .282 in his last ten games, but right now roughly 60% of his balls in play are grounders and only 12% of his balls in play are reaching the outfield through the air. All of which illustrates how far Gordon's bat has to go. He's still looking good in the field and has learned to read pitchers better, stealing bases at a 74% clip (14-for-19). Even if there's a bit of bad luck at play here, Gordon needs to be able to hit the ball hard through the air to be successful. Hopefully we see that adjustment over the next few years as he matures.
8 Nick Burdi RHP Chattanooga (AA)
Three consecutive scoreless innings had Burdi's ERA down to 4.28, but he was roughed up big time by Jacksonville. The Lookouts were leading 3-0 yesterday before the Suns put up an eight-run seventh inning, all of which came through Burdi. The first two runs weren't his, but he allowed both inherited runners to score. A single brought home the third run of the inning, this one on Burdi's line. He later walked in a run and then served up a grand slam to Matt Juengel. Burdi's ERA is 5.93.
9 Jorge Polanco SS/2B Chattanooga (AA)
Polanco was called up to Minnesota for a game to fill in for Eddie Rosario who was on paternity leave recently, going 1-for-3 with a walk. He was immediately returned to Double-A. On the season Polanco is hitting .303/.347/.415 for Chattanooga. I keep waiting for news that the 21-year old has been called up to Triple-A, but that may be a post-All-Star break move as well.
10 Eddie Rosario OF/2B Minnesota (MLB)
He's up to five walks on the season, which is a big improvement (relatively) since three have come in the last week. Ideally this is a developmental step in the right direction for Rosario, who has been relying far too much on his own hitting ability. Coming into today he was hitting .278/.307/.426. If he can walk a little, Rosario is a potential top-of-the-order batter. He's been holding his own, and has looked pretty good in the outfield recently - including a nice putout at second on Wednesday.
11 Lewis Thorpe LHP n/a
This report from Baseball America's Matt Eddy on April 11 puts Thorpe's surgery in the past tense and echoes the reports I've read that Thorpe had the surgery in late March, but there has been no news on his recovery and rehabilitation timeline. According to the Tommy John surgery database his surgeons are listed as Dr. John Steubs and Dr. Pearce McCarty.
12 Max Kepler OF/1B Chattanooga (AA)
Back-to-back four-hit games have blown Kepler's line northward once again - hot that he was exactly scuffling. With ten stolen bases in 13 attempts and 25 extra-base hits (just at Double-A), Kepler has also been impressive in his discipline by walking 19 times compared to 23 strikeouts with the Lookouts. He's batting .331/.393/.530 in Chattanooga, including .485 in his last ten games. Defensively he's played in right field all year.
13 Stephen Gonsalves LHP Fort Myers (A+)
Getting called up to Advanced-A ball in Fort Myers was well-deserved for the 20-year old lefty, but his first start didn't go as planned. Dominic Ficociello's double to lead off the second led to a run, and then Ficociello ruined Gonsalves' day by smashing a two-run homer in the sixth. It ended Gonsalves' day at five and a third having allowed those three runs, plus three walks and a pair of strikeouts. Not a bad day. But not a good one, thanks to Ficociello. His second outing was on Sunday. Gonsalves again struck out two, again walked three, and again allowed three earned runs off of five hits, but this time it was all done in 3.2 frames. It's been a tough two starts for the Miracle.
14 Jake Reed RHP Chattanooga (AA)
Like Burdi, Reed can't find any consistency. He puts down a clear line one day and then doesn't do himself any favors his next time out. The ERA is 5.74 this year in 26.2 innings. Batters are hitting .288 off of him.
15 Adam Brett Walker RF Chattanooga (AA)
A rare walk and a bunch of strikeouts don't stop Walker from being a productive hitter. It's easy to see why Terry Ryan likes Walker, red flags and all. Sure, he's striking out in 37% of plate appearances but he's also smashed 17 home runs. His triple slash is .268/.318/.574. Walker has amassed 36 extra-base hits. He has more extra-base hits than singles.
16 Amaurys Minier LF/1B Extended Spring Training
Minier is currently in extended spring training, on the shelf recently for a broken bone in his hand. He should be back and ready to play competitive games in the next few weeks, but there's no rush.
17 Stuart Turner C Chattanooga (AA)
His OPS has dropped about 90 points since our last update, and he's managed just four hits in his last ten games. Somebody has to help him flip a switch or something, because Turner is in a tail spin. He's batting .186/.281/.276. Let's hope he can turn something around.
18 Chih-Wei Hu RHP Fort Myers (A+)
Hu has been a bit more hittable his last couple of times to the mound, but it's not like he's been bad. Last Friday he allowed a pair of earned runs off of four hits and three walks in five innings, and that performance pushed his ERA up to 2.17. I still think he'll get a cup of coffee in Chattanooga at some point this year, but I doubt it will happen on the back of a couple of his less impressive starts of the year. That call is probably still a few weeks away.
19 Mitch Garver C Fort Myers (A+)
Occasional good games and a good eye at the plate has kept Garver as a useful catcher in spite of the comedown from 2014's impressive performance. He's hitting .225/.352/.273 with 35 walks against 39 strikeouts. The nine doubles are all of his extra-base hits this year. Garver has caught 14 of 42 attempted steals, which is exactly one third. That's not bad at all.
20 Tyler Duffey RHP Rochester (AAA)
Duffey has sandwiched good starts with bad ones for the Red Wings, but yesterday's was a great one: nine strikeouts, no earned runs, eight innings, one walk. In his two bad starts he's struck out four and allowed nine runs in ten innings. In his three good starts he's struck out 24 and allowed four runs in 21.1 innings. There hasn't been any middle ground. After five starts in Triple-A he owns a 4.15 ERA in 30.1 innings, including 28 strikeouts and five walks. He has yet to allow a home run this year.
21 Travis Harrison LF/RF Chattanooga (AA)
A big grand slam last week gave Harrison his third homer of the season, but he's scuffled since - including a .188 batting average in his last ten games. He continues to draw walks however, and his .267/.373/.396 line is pretty middle of the road for a corner outfielder.
22 Taylor Rogers LHP Rochester (AAA)
Rogers had one of his best starts of the year on Sunday versus Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, striking out eight and not issuing a walk in eight innings. He owns a 3.23 ERA in 83.2 innings this year, striking out 60 and walking 22. If Rogers had been knocking on the rotation door for the Twins two years ago, or even last year, we'd be chomping at the bit to get a guy like this a shot. As it is he's not on the 40-man roster and is buried on the starter's depth chart. Duffey and Rogers both provide fantastic depth, but I do wonder if the club might try to gauge interest in both players during trade season.
23 Zack Jones RHP Chattanooga (AA)
High-profile relievers like Burdi and Reed are really struggling this year. Meanwhile, Zack Jones keeps blanking the opposition and striking people out. He's allowed two runs in a month. In 2015 Jones owns a 2.05 ERA with 26 strikeouts and seven walks in 22 innings as opponents have managed a meager .197 batting average.
24 Lewin Diaz 1B Extended Spring Training
Diaz is currently in extended spring training. Rookie league seasons will begin soon.
25 Michael Cederoth RHP Cedar Rapids (A)
Cederoth is currently on the disabled list, but he's been better since moving to the bullpen: 11 strikeouts in 9.1 innings, with just two walks and one run allowed. His ERA on the season has healed a bit as a result as it's down to 4.08. He hasn't pitched since June 4.
26 J.R. Graham RHP Minnesota (MLB)
All he's done is give the Twins a 3.45 ERA in 28.2 innings of relief. Some of those innings have been pretty big. For a rookie it hasn't been a bad performance at all, and it's a sign that there's room to grow for a guy once considered one of Atlanta's top prospects.
27 J.T. Chargois RHP Chattanooga (AA)
Do you remember the last time J.T. Chargois allowed an earned run? It was April 13, when he imploded and gave up four in his second appearance of the year. Since then he's earned a promotion, and in six appearances for the Lookouts he's struck out six, walked two, and avoided runs. There's one unearned run in there, but who's counting? Between Fort Myers and Chattanooga, Chargois owns a 1.74 ERA this year, with 25 strikeouts in 20.2 innings. We're discovering why the Twins really liked this guy when they drafted him in 2012.
28 Huascar Ynoa RHP Dominican Summer League (R)
Ynoa has made three starts for the DSL Twins, at times being quite wild but otherwise owning the competition. He just turned 17 in May, so we can have a reasonable level of optimism here. In 11.1 innings he has a 0.79 ERA, with nine strikeouts, six hits allowed, and seven walks.
29 Levi Michael 2B Chattanooga (AA)
Michael has been rehabbing his ankle in extended spring training. He's not quite 100% yet, but he'll be back with the Lookouts soon enough.
30 Tanner English CF Cedar Rapids (A)
A nice week for English has helped him to nose his triple slash in the right direction, as it's back up to .240/.350/.368. He's stolen 19 bases in 22 attempts, and those 34 walks are - much like Garver - going a long way in ensuring he stays a productive member of the Kernels' lineup. If he can somehow maintain a .240 batting average and a good eye at the plate as he moves up the ladder, English looks like a fantastic fourth outfielder or perhaps a borderline starting center fielder.