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Twinkie Town Prospect Vote: Round 17

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Congrats to Travis Blankenhorn, our round 16 winner! Vote between Granite, Vielma, Hildenberger, Ynoa, and Wade in Round 17.

Welcome to the list, Engelb Vielma
Welcome to the list, Engelb Vielma
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

We're at the point in the list where all the prospects are pretty much ranked the same. Everyone I could add is ranked about the same grade by Fangraphs or John Sickels. I will try to make sure positions are represented around the diamond. For this round we are adding two of the better fielders in the system.

Twins top 30 prospects for 2017

  1. Stephen Gonsalves - 52% (Gordon 34%, Kirilloff 8%, Jay 7%)
  2. Nick Gordon - 73% (Jay 15%, Kirilloff 13%)
  3. Tyler Jay - 46% (Kirilloff 29%, Romero 17%, Stewart 4%, Mejia 4%)
  4. Alex Kirilloff - 51% (Romero 35%, Stewart 9%, Mejia 6%)
  5. Kohl Stewart - 43% (Romero 29%, Chargois 14%, Javier 9%, Mejia 6%)
  6. Fernando Romero - 48% (Chargois 32%, Javier 11%, Mejia 10%)
  7. Wander Javier - 35% (Chargois 33%, Jorge 20%, Mejia 12%)
  8. J. T. Chargois - 43% (Jorge 26%, Mejia 16%, Blankenhorn 14%)
  9. Felix Jorge - 31% (Mejia 30%, Garver 30%, Blankenhorn 5%, Rortvedt 4%)
  10. Adalberto Mejia - 45% (Garver 32%, Burdi 13%, Blankenhorn 6%, Rortvedt 4%)
  11. Mitch Garver - 47% (Thorpe 24%, Burdi 18%, Blankenhorn 7%, Rortvedt 4%)
  12. Nick Burdi - 45% (Thorpe 36%, Blankenhorn 11%, Rortvedt 8%)
  13. Lewis Thorpe - 49% (Palka 21%, Rortvedt 12%, Blankenhorn 11%, Wade 6%)
  14. Daniel Palka - 32% (Rortvedt 21%, Blankenhorn 19%, Wade 16%, Ynoa 12%)
  15. Ben Rortvedt - 60% (Wade 15%, Blankenhorn 14%, Ynoa 11%)
  16. Travis Blankenhorn - 37% (Wade 23%, Hildenberger 22%, Ynoa 19%)

Zack Granite, OF

2017 Age: 24
2016 High Level: Chattanooga (AA)

Zack Granite was drafted in the 14th round of the 2013 draft out of Seton Hall University. He is considered one of the best outfielders the Twins have in the minor leagues with terrific range and a decent arm. He has very good speed (102 SB with a 73% success rate) and decent control of the strikezone with nearly as many walks as strikeouts and a low 7.3% strikeout rate last season. What he lacks is power (4 HR). His offensive game is to get on base by bunting or finding a gap, steal second and have someone else hit him home. If major league rosters weren't full of relief pitchers he would have a future as a pinch runner and defensive replacement. He still might be able to eke out a living in that role if he can keep his batting average high enough. Granite was added to the 40 man roster this offseason so expect to see him debut as a pinch runner and defensive replacement this September.

Engelb Vielma, SS

2017 Age: 23
2016 High Level: Chattanooga (AA)

Vielma was signed as an international free agent from Venezuela in 2011. He is listed as 5'11" and 155 pounds which is jarring because my brain thinks "Engelbert" and "baseball" and immediately remembers the fat catcher from The Bad News Bears. Vielma is known as a great fielding shortstop with terrific range, clean footwork and a strong arm. At the plate he is the stereotypical "all glove, no bat" shortstop posting a .264/.327/.309 line for his minor league career. He stole 10 bases in AA but was caught 8 times so he needs work in that area. Vielma was added to the 40 man roster in the offseason and given the lack of infield depth on the roster you may see him called up if there is an injury to Polanco, Dozier or Escobar.

Trevor Hildenberger, RHP

2017 Age: 26
2016 High Level: Chattanooga (AA)

Trevor was a 22nd round draft pick as a 5th year senior out of Cal-Berkeley. Even in college he was strictly a relief pitcher. After being drafted he decided to change his pitching mechanics and start throwing sidearm. None of these things are typical indicators of big league success. However, in three seasons in the minor leagues he has been very effective pounding the strike zone (1.1 BB/9) and fooling hitters with his sidearm delivery (10.5 K/9). In 38 innings at Chattanooga last summer he kept on delivering results with a minuscule 0.70 ERA and K/BB numbers similar to his previous work. Trevor has a decent fastball, slider and changeup that all become more effective due to his arm slot. He profiles as a middle innings bullpen specialist who could be very effective when deployed against certain hitters. He was shut down with elbow tendinitis in August but seems to be on track to start the season healthy. Expect to see him at AAA Rochester and possibly promoted to the big leagues in 2017.

Huascar Ynoa, RHP

2017 Age: 19
2016 High Level: Gulf Coast Twins (Rookie)

Ynoa was considered the #14 international prospect in 2014. The pitcher from the Dominican Republic signed with the Twins for an $800,000 bonus and did well in his first season in the Dominican Rookie League.  Last season he came to the United States and was fairly impressive (9.0K/9 2.1BB/9) in 51 innings. His pitches reportedly have good movement and he throws strikes. For now he profiles as a starter with a four pitch mix. He should end up with Elizabethton next season after spending some time in extended spring training but could make it as far as Cedar Rapids if things go well.

LaMonte Wade, OF

2017 Age: 23
2016 High Level: Fort Myers (A+)

LaMonte Wade was the Twins' 9th round pick from the University of Maryland in the 2015 draft. He had a very impressive debut in Elizabethton with a .934 OPS but as a college draftee he was not young for that level. He started last season at Cedar Rapids and produced well enough (806 OPS) to earn a mid-season promotion to Fort Myers, where he hit even better (.318/.386/.518). Wade doesn't impress scouts because his athletic tools (arm, speed, power) are all considered average. He does impress coaches with his ability to produce at the plate and in the field. His best skill is his batting eye and ability to make contact as he is the rare modern player that draws more walks than he strikes out. He can play CF but is a bit stretched there athletically. In a corner outfield position he doesn't have the power that general managers normally covet (only 8 HR). However, his on-base skills and above average defense could allow him to succeed in the major leagues in a fourth outfielder role.