Thursday, January 13, 2011
Minnesota Twins Top 50 Prospects
Part 1: 26-50
Before we jump into Part 1 of a two-part prospect ranking, I need to point out a terrific article in today’s Ft. Myers Free Press. Remember last week when Bert Blyleven got into the Hall of Fame? (You’re Twins fans… you remember!) He, and many others, gave a lot of credit to BaseballAnalysts.com’s Rich Lederer for pushing Blyleven’s case. It should have been an easy case for baseball’s writers, but obviously it took 14 attempts to get it right. Lederer and Blyleven had spoken several times on the phone in the past with Blyleven frequently crediting Lederer for his help and efforts. On Tuesday night, the two met and embraced. The Twins surprised Blyleven by inviting Lederer to their fantasy camp. Lederer’s answer to their request was easy. Blyleven’s response to Lederer being there was priceless. Just a great story by the Free Press’s David Dorsey; a must read.
SethSpeaks.net Minnesota Twins Top 50 Prospects List 2011
As you know, I have been working on the 2011 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook for months. After of research and writing, a conclusion is finally in sight. In the next week, I will provide more information on the book, and how you can order or pre-order.
One thing that the book includes is my Top 30 prospects and a reminder of my previous Top 30s, going back to 2005. The book will include top 10 lists from many of your favorite bloggers.
I did something a little bit different in compiling my Top 50 list. I took the entire list of Twins minor league prospects from the GCL through Rochester, and in an Excel spreadsheet, I put each name in the first column and each name in the first row. Then I went through and compared every prospect to every other prospect, picking which of the two I thought was the better prospect. My ‘vote’ on each was based on a ton of research, stats, scouting reports and more. I considered which of the two players I would trade if a team said that I could pick which prospect to send in a potential deal. I compared Aaron Hicks to Kyle Gibson and Miguel Sano, and also against Matt Schuld and Matt Trau. I compared Manuel Soliman to Dan Osterbrock, Joe Benson and Dallas Gallant. After doing that for every player (which took WAY too long), I added up the total number of times I selected each player. The player that I chose above all players obviously ended up with the most points at the end of the day. The one with the second most votes would be the #2 prospect. And so on. Of course, there were ties, sometimes three-way ties, which I broke by my head-to-head results, so to speak. The results were interesting, at least in the middle of the list, but really throughout. Today I will post my choices for Twins Prospects #26 through 50 with a brief description. As you would expect, there was a tie at 50, so in fact, here are prospects 26-51. As always, your thoughts and opinions are welcome.
#50 (Tie) – Kyle Waldrop – RHP – Rochester
The Rochester relief pitcher has a terrific 2010 season and will head to spring training with the Twins again in 2011. Throws strikes and gets ground balls.
#50 (Tie) – Dan Osterbrock – LHP – Ft. Myers
Based on the season he had in 2010, he should be way up this list. A no-hitter in Beloit and sub-3 ERAs in Beloit and Ft. Myers. The soft-tossing strike thrower is intriguing. It will be interesting to see how he does when he gets to New Britain
#49 – Rory Rhodes – 3B – GCL Twins
The 6-7 infielder from Australia had a solid season in the GCL. I have mentioned him as a 2011 breakout candidate.
#48 – Cesar Ciurcina – RHP – GCL Twins
The righty came to the States and held his own in 2010 after putting up very good numbers in the Dominican in 2009. A long way to go, but plenty of potential.
#47 – Daniel Santana – SS – Beloit
Split time between E-Town and Beloit. Little guy who struggled some in Beloit, but played well in E-Town, including showing some decent power numbers.
#46 – Evan Bigley – OF – New Britain
The outfielder struggled to start the season back in Ft. Myers, but heated up in June. Played very well following a promotion to New Britain.
#45 – Anderson Hidalgo – 3B – Beloit
Lone Snappers hitter to hit over .300 in 2010. Has good doubles power already. Missed some time with injury again.
#44 – Lance Ray – OF/1B – Beloit
Twins 8th round pick in 2010 out of Kentucky, he quickly moved up from Elizabethton and played very well in Beloit. Good power.
#43 – Brian Dozier – SS – Ft. Myers
Just one of those solid, solid players. Hit about .280 at both Beloit and Ft. Myers. Good defense. OK speed. No power. Surprise non-roster invitee to big league camp.
#42 – Edgar Ibarra – LHP – Beloit
Experienced ups and downs throughout the season, but the lefty has four good pitches, just needs to be more consistent with them.
#41 – Dakota Watts – RHP – New Britain
2009 pick pitched at three levels in 2010. Some control issues, but the guy throws consistently in the upper 90s and hit 99 in Ft. Myers.
#40 – Logan Darnell – LHP – Elizabethton
Twins 6th round pick from Kentucky (yes, he teamed with Lance Ray and non-drafted free agent Gunner Glad there), the lefty had a nice debut with the E-Twins. Three good pitches.
#39 – Kane Holbrooks – RHP – New Britain
Began the season by dominating in the Beloit bullpen, then made a couple of starts before being promoted to Ft. Myers where he pitched even better. Ended season with a start in AA.
#38 – Nate Roberts – OF – Elizabethton
Twins 5th round pick in 2010 from High Point University put up some of the best numbers of an Elizabethton Twins player over the last quarter-century.
#37 – Chris Herrmann – OF – Ft. Myers
The 2009 pick skipped Beloit and held his own (including an All Star appearance) with the bat. Tremendous defensive LF but will also catch, including in big league training camp.
#36 – Michael Tonkin – RHP – Beloit
It was surprising when he was the first starting pitcher promoted from Extended Spring Training, but he pitched well in Beloit before going back to Elizabethton.
#35 – Luke Hughes – IF/OF/DH/PH – Minnesota
Homered in first big league at bat. OK at Rochester, but again was injured and didn’t play after June 6. Two surgeries (knee and groin). Potential big league super utility bat and pinch hitter.
#34 – Danny Rams – C/1B – Beloit
Returned to the Snappers in 2010. Tremendous power. Improving catcher. If he can learn to hit a breaking ball, he could fly up this list. Time will tell.
(NOTE - I just realized that I neglected to include Anthony Slama in my analysis/rankings. I will put the right-handed reliever with the tremendous K-Rate who should be in the Twins bullpen throughout 2011 right here at #33.5)
#33 – James Beresford – SS – Beloit
Also returned to Beloit for second straight year, and was the team’s MVP for the second straight year. Amazing defensive middle infielder who just needs to get bigger to be a real big time prospect.
#32 – Rene Tosoni – OF – New Britain
He’s been a top 10 guy for me in previous years. He was OK last year in New Britain before his season-ending shoulder surgery. Just a solid all-around player. If healthy, he will move up quickly.
#31 – Miguel Munoz – RHP – Beloit
Hard-throwing right-hander did a nice job as a starter early in the Snappers season. Tired late, and did alright in the Snappers bullpen. Has great stuff.
#30 – Tom Stuifbergen – RHP – Beloit
Another guy who will move up this list if he is healthy in 2010. He was top pitcher in Beloit after Hendriks and Osterbrock promoted, when healthy. Good stuff, and a very smart pitcher.
#29 – Martire Garcia – LHP – Elizabethton
Garcia struggled in E-Town in 2009 after strong ’08 in GCL. Returned to E-Town in ’10 and started 6-0 before promotion to Beloit. Throws hard, good movement. Young.
#28 – Scott Diamond – LHP – Gwinnett
Pitched well in Braves organization since signing as undrafted free agent after 2008 college season. He’ll give up some hits, but he gets a lot of ground balls. Twins Rule 5 pick has legitimate shot to make Twins roster.
#27 – Steve Singleton – 2B – New Britain
After bad April, Singleton played well for Rock Cats the rest of the season. Led organization with 43 doubles (2 behind Doug Mientkiewicz’s New Britain record). 54 extra base hits. Just 57 strikeouts. Not sure why the Twins don’t seem to like him more.
#26 – Niko Goodrum – IF/OF – GCL
Don’t worry about the numbers that he put up in the GCL. Goodrum is as good of an athlete as Hicks, Torii Hunter, Joe Benson, any other great athlete in the Twins system. He’s just very raw and has a long way to go, but the sky is the limit.
So there you have it, my choices for Twins Prospects 26-50. What do you think? Any surprises? Remember that the top 25 prospects are yet to come. If I’m able, I will separate them, maybe posting 11-15 later tonight and my top ten around noon on Friday. Check back when you are able to. Feel free to e-mail me or leave your comments here.