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Year in Review: Twinkie Town 2016 Top 30 Prospects; Part 2

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In which SooFoo Fan covers the second half of our top prospects list.

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Chicago White Sox
Not a prospect.
Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Twins 2016 season was one to forget. Actually, we should probably just never acknowledge it happened. But, how did our hand-picked top 30 prospects do?

In case you missed part one, where I covered 1-15, here ya go.

16. Engelb Vielma, SS – .271/.345/.318 (AA)

Vielma had a pretty good year in AA; at least as far as batting average and on base percentage are concerned. The power really isn’t there, and we shouldn’t expect much improvement in that area. Defensively, Vielma played mostly at shortstop (.954 fielding %), but also saw 182 innings at third (.982 fielding %). His future is uncertain, but I could see him filling a bench role as a utility infielder.

17. Taylor Rogers, LHP – 61.1 IP, 27 ER (3.96 ERA), 16 BB, 64 SO (MLB)

Rogers emerged as one of the Twins best out of the pen’ this year, with a nice strikeout rate of 9.4 K/9. A few rough outings at the start of September hurt his stat line overall, but most of the year he was solid. I expect him to be a returning piece in the bullpen in 2017.

18. Felix Jorge, RHP – 9-3, 1.55 ERA, 93 IP, 16 ER, 11 BB, 77 SO (A+) | 3-5, 4.12 ERA, 74.1 IP, 34 ER, 12 BB, 32 SO (AA)

Felix Jorge pretty much killed it in Ft. Meyers, leading to a deserved call up. His first game with the Lookouts didn’t go so well (5.1 IP, 7 ER), but he settled down soon after. Throw out that first start and the ERA drops to 3.52, not bad at all.

I expect to see Felix start the year in AA, and quickly go to AAA and (possibly) see a September call up if all things go well. Knowing the Twins that seems unlikely but "never tell me the odds."

19. Stuart Turner, C – .239/.322/.363 (AA) 40% CS

At this point, Turner looks to be a future backup catcher in the majors. He walks at a decent rate (9.5%), but doesn’t generate much power. The caught stealing percentage listed above is impressive, considering the league percentage is 29% (MLB, not sure about AA).

The Twins are starving for production out of the catcher position, and at least Turner provides a defensive upside.

20. Randy Rosario, LHP – 6-6, 3.34 ERA, 94.1 IP, 35 ER, 3 HR, 34 BB, 68 SO (A+)

The strikeout rate isn’t very impressive, but Rosario was still able to post a respectable ERA. He pitched both as a starter and as a reliever this year. I expect he’ll start next year in AA Chattanooga.

21. Jermaine Palacios, SS – .222/.276/.287 (A)

Oof. That stat line does not look good; it’s by far the worst season in his minor league career. Palacios needs a turnaround for next season. He’s only 20 years old, so he has time to figure things out.

22. LaMonte Wade, OF – .280/.410/.396 (A) | .318/.386/.518 (A+)

Wade had a very productive 2016, moving from Cedar Rapids to Ft. Meyers. The promotion didn’t slow him down one bit. The 9th round pick in 2015 looks to have a good shot at the major league roster in the future.

23. Mitch Garver, C – .257/.334/.419 (AA) | .329/.381/.434 (AAA)

Garver showed off some power this year, and was promoted to Rochester. At 25 it would appear Garver is ready to knock down the door to the Twins roster (guarded by the ghost of Nick Punto).

24. Daniel Palka, OF – .270/.348/.547, 21 HR (AA) | .232/.296/.483, 13 HR (AAA)

Palka has the same issue that Adam Brett Walker has, he hits a bunch of homers but strikes out too much. His strikeout rate (28%) in AA was relatively acceptable but in AAA it jumped to 39%.

25. Mason Melotakis, LHP - 1-2, 2.97 ERA, 33.1 IP, 11 ER, 3 HR, 12 BB, 42 SO (AA)

Melotakis had an encouraging season coming back from Tommy John surgery. We’ll probably have Melotakis in AAA next year but at 25 he needs to do well there.

26. Trey Cabbage, 3B – .204/.297/.337 (Rk - Elizabethton)

Along with a sub-par stat line, the 34% strikeout rate is troubling in just rookie ball. At just 19 years old, there’s still time though.

27. Jake Reed, RHP – 4-4, 3.57 ERA, 70.2 IP, 28 ER, 2 HR, 24 BB, 72 SO (AA & AAA)

A good strikeout rate and a decent walk rate highlight the year for Reed. He probably needs more time in AAA (only had 10 innings) next year, though.

Reed is another Red Wing I wouldn’t be surprised to see in a Twins uniform in 2016.

28. Fernando Romero, RHP – 9-3, 1.89 ERA, 90.1 IP, 19 ER, 1 HR, 15 BB, 90 SO (A+ & A)

Romero was really dominant this year, coming back from Tommy John surgery. He hasn’t had the control issues normally exhibited with TJ. I expect Romero to shoot up this list next year as he advances through the minors.

29. Travis Blankenhorn, 2B/3B – .293/.348/.502, 10 HR (Rk & A)

Two interesting names round off the top 30 list.

I’d like to see Blankenhorn take more walks, but it’s hard to argue with that stat line. At just 20 years old he has room to develop that plate discipline.

Interesting to note that he mostly played 2B this year.

30. Trevor Hildenberger, RHP – 3-4, 19 SV, 0.75 ERA, 48.0 IP, 4 ER, 2 HR, 6 BB, 53 SO

Hildenberger had a really good year for Chattanooga (0.70 ERA), operating as a closer for them. One word: awesome. He’ll be shooting up the list too.


That does it for our Top 30 prospects list! There are some guys that will probably be falling, and others that should be jumping way up the list. What do you guys think?