Minnesota Twins top ten prospects in 2015 (per MLB Pipeline):
- Byron Buxton, CF
- Jose Berrios, RHP
- Tyler Jay, LHP
- Jorge Polanco, SS
- Nick Gordon, SS
- Max Kepler, OF
- Kohl Stewart, RHP
- Alex Meyer, RHP
- Stephen Gonsalves, LHP
- Adam Brett Walker III, OF
We’re going to start at number ten and work our way down for this article.
10. Adam Brett Walker III, OF
Walker was a once promising outfield prospect with the Twins, staying in the organization until the 2017 season when the Twins waived him. He hit at least 25 home runs from 2013-2016 in the minors but was never given a chance on some awful Twins teams because he struck out too much. When he was waived after a 2016 season where he hit 27 home runs with a .784 OPS the Braves picked him up and he was never the same. He played in 79 games in 2017, hitting just 15 home runs and struggling to get on base. In 2019 he played in just 41 games and he did not play at all last season.
9. Stephen Gonsalves, LHP
Gonsalves is another player, like Walker, who is no longer in the Twins organization. He showed a ton of promise throughout his minor league career, posting an ERA below 3.30 every year until 2019 when injuries hit him hard. He could only pitch 13.0 innings in 2019 and the Twins depth has become so good that Gonsalves’ spot on the 40 man roster was not needed. He was waived and the New York Mets picked him up.
8. Alex Meyer, RHP
The Twins acquired Meyer all the way back when they traded Denard Span to the Washington Nationals. Meyer became one of the Twins best pitching prospects but sadly he had to have Tommy John surgery before the 2013 season. He returned to pitching for the Twins in 2015 and 2016 but was later shipped to the Angels in the Ricky Nolasco/Hector Santiago trade. He pitched again in 2017 but injury hit him again and he retired from baseball last season.
7. Kohl Stewart, RHP
There has not been a player on this list yet who is still with the organization and that trend continues with Stewart. The former number four overall pick just couldn’t put it all together with the Twins, posting a career 4.79 ERA and 1.44 WHIP in 62.0 innings. He was a minor league free agent this off season and the Baltimore Orioles signed him to a $800,000 contract for 2020.
6. Max Kepler, OF
Finally, someone who actually worked out for the Twins. As we all know, Kepler is with the major league team now, and he figures to be for the next five plus seasons. He put together All Star worth numbers in 2019 and even received a few MVP votes. I expect Kepler to put together an even better season in 2020 to get people talking about Kepler as the face of the Minnesota Twins.
5. Nick Gordon, SS
Gordon is certainly a confusing prospect. He was the Twins fifth overall selection in the 2014 draft but his prospect status has gotten progressively worse. He is now 24 and has not yet reached the majors. He also has no clear role with Polanco, Arraez, Lewis, and others being ranked ahead of him. He hit for an OPS of .800 at AAA for the first time in his professional career last season so maybe a utility role is in his future.
4. Jorge Polanco, SS
Polanco is another player like Kepler, who we all know is going to produce on the major league team for years to come. I don’t think any of us thought he would be the starting shortstop in the All Star Game and I also don’t know how many of us expected him to stay at shortstop. He and Kepler will continue to be two of the leaders for this team in the future.
3. Tyler Jay, LHP
The Twins really drafted Nick Gordon, Kohl Stewart, and Tyler Jay with top six picks in consecutive seasons. None of them have really worked out the way we hoped. Jay is another player who is no longer with the organization after he was traded to the Reds for cash. Jay is now 25 years old and has struggled to get past AA.
2. Jose Berrios, RHP
Wow, a pitching prospect that actually turned out to be good! Jose Berrios will begin the 2020 season as the Twins ace and one of the top 30-35 pitchers in baseball. Fans and the team are hopeful he can still take that final step to become that true ace we were all hoping for. At the time of me writing this, it looks like Berrios and the Twins are headed towards an arbitration hearing so that is certainly a downside that they should try to avoid.
1. Byron Buxton, OF
I would bet most of you knew who the number one prospect on this list would be. Buxton was listen not only as the Twins number one, but the best prospect in all of baseball in 2015. He has certainly shows flashes of becoming the player he was projected to be, but hopefully 2020 is the year he can stay healthy to showcase what he can do. If Buxton plays a full season while staying healthy then I fully believe he is one of the 10-15 most impact players in baseball.
I would say having four players contributing at a high level from this list is pretty good and that is what the Twins have. Obviously missing on so many first round picks will hurt you and that is part of the reason Terry Ryan is no longer around. What do you think of this list? Leave your comments below.