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Minnesota Twins top 30 prospects: 7/16/2015

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Here's how Minnesota's top 30 prospects look coming out of the first half.

David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

This week's highlights include Byron Buxton starting the Futures Game as well as Max Kepler's nomination to the team before he was forced to miss it due to injury.

1 Byron Buxton CF Minnesota (MLB)
Per the official injury report, Buxton's finger was still in a splint on Saturday. He's been doing a little work in terms of base running and throwing, but swinging is out of the question. There's still some swelling, and right now there's "no timetable for his return." I imagine it'll be another two weeks yet, maybe three, before we can start to look forward to his return.
2 Miguel Sano 3B Minnesota (MLB)
Through his first 45 plate appearances Sano is batting .378/.489/.649 with two home runs. He's taken eight walks and struck out 15 times, both of which are big numbers considering the sample size, but things will level out as the sample size grows and, more importantly, as Sano gets more comfortable in his skin at the MLB level. Let's see how long he can mash before pitchers try a little harder at exploiting what they think might be weaknesses, because what will be really interesting will be how Sano adjusts.
3 Jose Berrios RHP Rochester (AAA)
Buxton started the Futures Game for the World Team this year...just like he did in 2014. He walked leadoff man Tony Kemp, but promptly picked him off and then induced a popout from J.P. Crawford and a groundout from Kyle Schwarber. He's desperate to get to Minnesota this year. It'll take some doing, mostly just because he's not on the 40-man roster yet, but if anyone can force the hand of the front office it's this guy.
4 Alex Meyer RHP Rochester (AAA)
Since moving to the bullpen Meyer has made 13 appearances and pitched 23.1 innings, striking out 26 and walking ten. It's been rough going since his return from Minnesota. The Twins need to find a way to get his head and his mechanics in the right place so that he can be pitching out of the Major League bullpen before the year is over.
5 Kohl Stewart RHP Fort Myers (A+)
Stewart's hot streak continues. He only struck out two in seven innings, but he allowed just one and has lowered his ERA to 3.28 on the season. There is an issue with splits appearing, where left-handers are hitting .319 against him and righties .253. His strikeout rates also drop versus lefties. Yet overall his season looks good.
6 Trevor May RHP Minnesota (MLB)
Trevor May announced his engagement. Congrats, dude.
7 Nick Gordon SS Cedar Rapids (A)
Gordon's hit streak has reached 13 games in which he's gone 19-for-56 (.339), improving his triple slash to .264/.331/.318.
8 Nick Burdi RHP Fort Myers (A+)
Seven innings, ten strikeouts and no walks since his demotion to the Miracle. He's allowing a base runner every other inning, more or less. He certainly looks like he's ready for Double-A, but before the Twins bring him back up he'll need to put in more time.
9 Jorge Polanco SS/2B Rochester (AAA)
Polanco's last game before the break saw him go 4-for-4, leaving him with a .366/.372/.439 line in Triple-A through ten games. He's another guy who could force the collective hand of the front office with his play, especially in light of how disappointing the contributions have been at shortstop from Danny Santana and Eduardo Escobar this year.
10 Eddie Rosario OF/2B Minnesota (MLB)
He looks good in the field, makes good throws, comes up with big hits, and hits for more power than we might have expected. It's all early going here obviously, but Rosario looks good. I keep waiting for pitchers to adjust to the fact that he doesn't like to take a walk, but his hands are so quick and his hand-eye coordination so good that he seemingly makes good contact with regularity.
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)
A sore shoulder kept Kepler from joining Berrios on the World Team for the Futures Game, but there's no doubt that he earned the honor: .335/.410/.534 in 65 games for the Lookouts.
13 Stephen Gonsalves LHP Fort Myers (A+)
Five innings of one-run baseball lowered Gonsalves' ERA with the Miracle to 2.61 through six starts. He's succeeding but not in the domineering way he did for Cedar Rapids. He only turned 21 earlier this month, and looks to finish the season in Fort Myers.
14 Jake Reed RHP Chattanooga (AA)
Reed allowed four runs his last time out, but it wasn't entirely on him. Third baseman Stephen Wickens threw the ball away in the seventh, allowing a run to score on what should have been a fielder's choice. He struck out the last two batters of the inning, but got himself into trouble in the eighth. Zach Jones allowed both of Reed's base runners to score. His ERA is now 5.80.
15 Adam Brett Walker RF Chattanooga (AA)
24 home runs: awesome. 126 strikeouts: ridiculously terrible. He leads the Southern League by a wide margin, with second place boasting a robust 85 strikeouts.
16 Amaurys Minier LF/1B Elizabethton (Rookie)
Minier had a three-hit game on Saturday and then had an 0-fer with two more strikeouts on Sunday. A work in progress.
17 Stuart Turner C Chattanooga (AA)
Sometimes when minor leaguers struggle they get demoted - it's something we've seen happen to a few people on this list this year, some ranked much higher than Turner. I'm not sure that'd be the most benefit for Turner. His catch and throw skills are so refined and he's such a natural talent behind the plate that sending him to Fort Myers might improve his offensive numbers but it wouldn't make him a better player. Turner should finish 2015 at Double-A, start there again next year, and by then perhaps his league experience will allow his production to flesh itself out a bit more.
18 Chih-Wei Hu RHP Fort Myers (A+)
The 21-year old hasn't pitched since our last update. He owns a 2.26 ERA in 12 starts for the Miracle this year.
19 Mitch Garver C Fort Myers (A+)
A three-game hitting streak has allowed Garver's improvements to continue. He's now batting .252/.372/.313, which is brilliant for a catcher. Garver is hitting .367 in his last ten games, and his .685 OPS is 73 points higher than it was this time last month.
20 Tyler Duffey RHP Rochester (AAA)
Duffey hasn't pitched since last week's edition. He owns a 2.56 ERA for the Red Wings in nine starts.
21 Travis Harrison LF/RF Chattanooga (AA)
Last week we noted that Harrison was 1-for-his-last-20, but he's showing signs of snapping out of his funk. He's 3-for-8 with a home run, five RBI and a walk since his return from the break, allowing a slight rebound to .250/.360/.390.
22 Taylor Rogers LHP Rochester (AAA)
Rogers' last start in Syracuse saw him go the full six innings, but he was touched for four runs off of ten hits and three walks. With a 3.19 ERA through 115.2 innings this year, it's safe to say that we undervalued Rogers on this list.
23 Zack Jones RHP Fort Myers (A+)
Last week we spoke about that rough stretch for Jones, but his most recent appearance looked good and clean. His subsequent outing saw him lit up again as his command faltered, and that was enough for the Twins to send him down to Fort Myers. He has yet to make an appearance for the Miracle, but after such a great start in Double-A he left the Lookouts with a 6.00 ERA in 27 innings.
24 Lewin Diaz 1B GCL (Rookie)
Diaz is 4-for-7 over his last two games, showing that a slow start can be erased early by a couple of nice games. It's all relative and he still isn't scaring any pitcher that steps into the box, but that potential is there.
25 Michael Cederoth RHP Cedar Rapids (A)
Cederoth hasn't pitched since June 4, having been placed on the disabled list June 7 with "an illness." He owns a 4.08 ERA on the season after six starts and five relief appearances; he's allowed just one earned run in 8.1 innings out of the bullpen.
26 J.R. Graham RHP Minnesota (MLB)
Graham struck out four and didn't allow a run in in three innings of work on Friday against Detroit. He's been getting better at inducing swinging strikes, which can only be a good thing for the Twins.
27 J.T. Chargois RHP Chattanooga (AA)
We mentioned how Chargois' trajectory had leveled off since his promotion to Double-A, and his next appearance illustrated exactly what the issue was: command slipped, leaving pitches either over the plate or not tempting in the least, and he gave up six earned runs in two thirds of an inning off of three hits and three walks. Yikes.
28 Huascar Ynoa RHP Dominican Summer League (R)
The 17-year old hasn't pitched his our last update. He has a 1.98 ERA through seven starts.
29 Levi Michael 2B Chattanooga (AA)
In spite of a stretch of more unimpressive games recently, Michael's offensive chops still show why he's such an interesting prospect right now. He's batting .256/.371/.436 in 34 games this year. At 24 there's a good chance he gets his first look at Triple-A next year.
30 Tanner English CF Cedar Rapids (A)
English is 6-for-15 (.400) since last week's update, leaving him with a .245/.342/.358 triple slash on the season. He's 12-for-36 (.333) on his recent hot streak, pushing his line in the right direction even though he's stopped taking walks. The 22-year old should finish the year with the Kernels.