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Minnesota Twins top 30 prospects: 7/30/2015

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The minor league seasons only have a few weeks left. Here's how the club's top 30 prospects have performed so far this year.

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

I fully expected one or two of these guys to be traded this week, but nothing has happened so far. Here's how our community-voted top 30 prospects are holding up through July.

1 Byron Buxton CF Minnesota (MLB)
Buxton's rehab is coming along fine. He says he'll be changing how he slides, but otherwise looks to be on track for a potential return to the Twins in September. Prior to that he'll head to Florida and is likely to get some minor league game action. As far as hitting drills go, he's been taking swings under water and was scheduled to hit off of a tee earlier this week.
2 Miguel Sano 3B Minnesota (MLB)
Sano is hitting .299/.429/.522 with three home runs, six doubles, and 16 walks versus 29 strikeouts in 84 plate appearances. If you extrapolate those numbers of a 162-game season he'd hit 24 home runs, drive in 105 runs, walk 130 times...and strike out 235 times. The walks and strikeouts should normalize with sample size, and while the swinging strikes are sometimes an issue pitchers rarely get him to expand the strike zone. He's been a lot of fun to watch.
3 Jose Berrios RHP Rochester (AAA)
In the last two weeks Berrios has made three starts, giving the Red Wings 20 innings of three-run baseball while striking out 18 and walking six. Oh, and giving up just 12 hits. There's a reason people are starting to notice Berrios and rank him - on a national level - accordingly. In 30.2 innings at Triple-A this year Berrios has sent down 30 batters on strikes. We're looking at a small sample size of course, but right now it looks like he's adjusted to the more experienced competition quite quickly. If he doesn't get a look in September I'd be surprised, although it's worth noting that he threw a career-high 140 innings in 2014. He's at 121.1 innings now. I can't image the Twins would let him go too far beyond 160 innings or so.
4 Alex Meyer RHP Rochester (AAA)
Heading back to Triple-A has been a nightmare for Meyer, who has recorded 11 innings, 20 hits, 12 runs, five walks, and 13 strikeouts. Opponents have posted a .995 OPS in that period. It might be fair to say that the bullpen experiment has gone up in smoke.There's no doubt that Meyer has the talent and the stuff to be an elite pitcher in the bullpen and potentially a #2 in the rotation if he gets the command under control, but right now it all looks like a confidence issue.
5 Kohl Stewart RHP Fort Myers (A+)
It's been six weeks since Stewart has allowed more than two earned runs in a start, giving the Miracle six starts (38 innings) of 1.89 ERA baseball. His 26 strikeouts in that frame don't look great for a pitcher carrying his expectations, but he did strike out seven in six innings on Saturday and continues to pitch against players three years older than he is, on average. On the season he's given Fort Myers 16 starts of 3.14-ERA baseball.
6 Trevor May RHP Minnesota (MLB)
Since moving to the bullpen May has made seven appearances, pitching 8.1 innings. He's struck out five, walked one, and given up 11 hits. Batters have posted a .314 batting average against, but he should get better as he adjusts to his new role. Hopefully he can get back to starting soon.
7 Nick Gordon SS Cedar Rapids (A)
Gordon continues to improve the OPS, which is currently sitting at .662. That's not great in a vacuum, but considering his age and that his OPS at the end of May was .586 he's clearly trending in the right direction. He's playing well in the field and has stolen 22 bases in 28 attempts. As Ted notes on Twitter, he's hit .315/.364/.417 in his last 32 games.
8 Nick Burdi RHP Fort Myers (A+)
Burdi is showing that his hiccup in Double-A to start the year was just that. He's made nine appearances for Fort Myers since his demotion and has struck out 20 batters (with no walks) in 15.1 innings. Opponents are hitting .192. His fast-track progress has been interrupted, but he could have an opportunity to finish the year in Double-A.
9 Jorge Polanco SS/2B Minnesota (MLB)
Polanco is in Minnesota, getting called up when Trevor Plouffe went on paternity leave. He's hit .284/.309/.352 in Triple-A this year - following on from batting .301/.347/.409 in Double-A - with some inconsistency issues on defense. Maybe he's seen his final days in the minor leagues and maybe he hasn't, but if the Twins don't pick up a shortstop at the deadline they might not trade or sign for one over the winter either. Polanco profiles better as a second baseman, but with Brian Dozier in the fold and not going anywhere it looks like the club has every intention of trying Polanco at short.
10 Eddie Rosario OF/2B Minnesota (MLB)
He's still not taking any walks (none since July 5), but in Rosario's last 13 games he's batting .373/.373/.569, with seven multi-hit games, four doubles, and three triples. He's driven in just one run but he's also scored 11 times, proving himself to be an integral part of many of the team's scoring chances of late. What's impressive is that he's not seeing an overwhelming percentage of fastballs upon which to feast with his plus contact skills: he's seeing a mixture of everything. And he still gets hits.
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)
Stealing from Ted once again, Kepler has hit .381/.493/.593 since June 11, with 22-to-25 walk to strikeout totals. On the season he's hitting .331/.414/.529. He's been the outfielder every team has been asking about at the trade deadline as far as the Twins go, but if Minnesota were to move him it would only happen in a splashy move involving a player with control beyond 2015. I don't expect Kepler to be moved.
13 Stephen Gonsalves LHP Fort Myers (A+)
Just like Stewart, Gonsalves hasn't had a start where he's allowed more than two earned runs in six weeks. Then again, that's only happened twice this year - when he allowed three runs in back-to-back starts immediately after his promotion to the Miracle. He owns a 2.36 ERA in Fort Myers and a 1.67 ERA combined between Fort Myers and Cedar Rapids.
14 Jake Reed RHP Chattanooga (AA)
A few good games always seem to sandwich a nightmare. Three scoreless outings, and a three-run affair since our last update. His ERA has dropped 0.06 points, to 5.44. The Twins were right to leave him with the Lookouts I think, but right now it looks like he'll start there again in 2016.
15 Adam Brett Walker RF Chattanooga (AA)
Since our last update, Walker has hit just two home runs wile striking out an additional 24 times. He's whiffing in 37.4% of his plate appearances. Remember a month ago when everyone was clamoring for him to be called up to the Majors for some ridiculous reason? The last two weeks is a great example of why everyone who was against that idea was taking the right approach: patience, patience, patience. Walker needs to learn it if he's going to continue to have success at the dish, lest he turn into a minor league slugger who goes through stretches of feast and famine. His current profile doesn't look too promising for a Major League ballplayer. But there's obviously a lot of talent here, and he has the time and the tools to develop into a better hitter.
16 Amaurys Minier LF/1B Elizabethton (Rookie)
It's been a tough adjustment for Minier, who is really struggling in his first taste of Stateside baseball. He's hitting .196/.258/.295 this year with two homers in 112 at-bats. He's just 19 so there's no reason to throw the baby out with the bathwater here, but be prepared to have the young slugger start 2016 back in Elizabethton unless he really picks things up down the stretch.
17 Stuart Turner C Chattanooga (AA)
Just like that, Turner's last couple of weeks have started to turn his season into something salvageable. He's batting .412 in his last ten games and has upped his overall line to .225/.320/.324. As Roger mentioned in the comments of another thread, if Turner can settle in to being a .240 or .250 hitter who can walk in 8-10% of his plate appearances, that's a starting catcher when you consider the maturity of Turner's defensive skill set. Perhaps there's something to be a little bit excited about after all.
18 Chih-Wei Hu RHP Fort Myers (A+)
Hu's outing on Monday saw him serve up ten hits and five runs in four and two-thirds, which was a bit unfortunate considering he'd already struck out six and walked a single batter. Ben Verlander's bases-clearing double in the third was enough to upset what could have been a good afternoon, but Hu's command clearly wasn't at his best. He's given the Miracle 15 starts (84.2 innings) of 2.44 ERA baseball, with 73 strikeouts and 19 walks. Opponents are hitting .249.
19 Mitch Garver C Fort Myers (A+)
Garver notched his second home run of the season on Tuesday. Perhaps the power was just slow in its adjustment to the promotion from last year, but both homers have come since July 19. On the season he's batting a passable .246/.359/.315. Elsewhere for the Miracle, catcher Alex Swim is hitting .318/.357/.369.
20 Tyler Duffey RHP Rochester (AAA)
Over seven starts from June 17 to July 21, Duffey didn't allow a run in five outings. But Sunday's matchup saw him serve up five in six and two thirds. His ERA in Rochester is 2.68, an impressive number by any stretch. He's also struck out 58 in 77.1 Triple-A innings.
21 Travis Harrison LF/RF Chattanooga (AA)
Harrison is struggling at the moment, hitting .139 in his last ten games. With a .241/.355/.363 triple slash it just looks like he's had trouble maintaining any kind of consistent success in Double-A. He turns just 23 in October so he'll likely return to Chattanooga next year to see if he can find his adjustments.
22 Taylor Rogers LHP Rochester (AAA)
The lefty hasn't has as much success as Tyler Duffey, the right-handed version of this under-appreciated prospect. Duffey's stuff hasn't worked as well as the Twins would have likes, and he's struck out just 88 in 127.1 innings while opponents are batting .273 off of him.
23 Zack Jones RHP Fort Myers (A+)
I did think it was odd to send Jones down after a small rough patch, and here he is for the Miracle proving that he's too good for the level. He's struck out six in five innings, allowing one run off of three hits and a pair of walks. This demotion can't last long, can it?
24 Lewin Diaz 1B GCL (Rookie)
The 18-year old Diaz is struggling, hitting .203/.289/.297 with no home runs in 22 games for the GCL Twins. He'll spend most of 2016 either back with the GCL Twins or with fellow rookie-league club Elizabethton.
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)
One of the few reliable arms in the Twins' bullpen, Graham owns a 3.64 ERA in 47 innings with 37 strikeouts. Unfortunately his consistency has fallen out of the boat over his last three outings, just like the rest of the team's, but right now there's nobody better suited to soak up two innings here or three innings there. My question is: in what role will the Twins try Graham over the winter in preparation for 2016?
27 J.T. Chargois RHP Chattanooga (AA)
Last time we mentioned Chargois' rude awakening to Double-A: six earned runs in two-thirds of an inning. But he's been perfect since, not allowing a hit in five appearances and striking out five. Perhaps he's settling in and adjusting, although the three walks on the 17th were a bit much. There's a lot to watch for with Chargois, but considering his return to action this year was his first time playing professional ball since his injury prior to the 2013 season his progress has to be seen as promising.
28 Huascar Ynoa RHP Dominican Summer League (R)
In nine starts and 34.1 innings for the Twins' DSL club, Ynoa has struck out 32 in 34.1 innings and is holding opponents to a .203 batting average. The 17 walks aren't as great, but the DSL is a different environment and it's difficult to make too much of anything over a 17-year old who won't even get to the GCL or Elizabethton until quite possibly 2017. If he does get there in 2016, that has to be viewed as a big sign of faith from the organization.
29 Levi Michael 2B Chattanooga (AA)
Michael's performance has leveled off a bit since his return from the disabled list. Overall he's batting .255/.370/.444 - which is fantastic for a second baseman - including 23 walks and 35 strikeouts, nine doubles, four triples, and four homers. It's a great season for Michael, following on from how he wrapped up his 2014 campaign. My expectation is that he'll start 2016 in Triple-A, although that might depend on how the Twins organize their middle infield over the next seven or eight months.
30 Tanner English CF Cedar Rapids (A)
After a miserable month of May, English has adjusted well in June and July. This month he's hitting .266/.355/.426 with seven stolen bases in ten attempts. Interestingly he's hitting .299/.385/.476 in home games and .191/.309/.272 on the road. That's worth watching.