Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Top 50 Twins Prospects
Hey everyone! Well, as you are reading this, I am in Orlando, Florida. Florida in February! Sounds great, huh? Well, I will spend most of the days in a convention center, so it isn't the fun-filled time that you were probably imagining. No spring training, just work. Anyway, because I'm not home and will be working most of my time in Florida, I thought I would post a couple of things on here each morning and really count on you, the readers, to make the day more interesting by filling up the Comments section.
Today, I am going to be presenting my 2008 preseason Twins Top 50 Prospects list. I only do my full-fledged Top 50 prospect lists, with much more detail, in June before the draft and in September, following the season. But I do like to post an updated list before spring training starts because some happens in the offseason. The Twins brought in some prospects (the Mets, Jason Pridie) and traded some others (Eduardo Morlan), lost a couple to the Rule V draft (Garrett Guzman, Tim Lahey) and others left as minor league free agents (Trent Oeltjen). So, here is my Top 50 list, and please feel free to discuss, argue and generally tear it apart as you feel necessary.
* Note - I will not include Carlos Gomez and Glen Perkins on this list officially because neither one will be a rookie in 2008 (the definition of prospect here). However, because of the magnitude of the Johan Santana deal and Carlos Gomez's importance to it, I think it is important to show where I think he would rank. I will include those two players in parentheses.
(Carlos Gomez) - OF - I don't know really why so many are so down on him. His age/level breakdowns compare favorably to those of Jose Reyes, Hanley Ramirez and others.
1 - Deolis Guerra - RHP - 6-5, 18 year olds with three pitches are rare. Even more rare in High-A.
2- Tyler Robertson - LHP - 6-5, 225 pound, 19 year old lefties with three pitches are rare even in the Midwest League.
3 - Anthony Swarzak - RHP - did the 50 game suspension hold him back, or was it a spring board to meeting his potential?
4 - Kevin Mulvey - RHP - Strong first full pro season at AA, followed by 13 shutout innings at AAA.
5 - Trevor Plouffe - SS - Still just 21, Plouffe had 48 extra base hits at AA.
6 - Ben Revere - OF - Twins top pick in 2007 proved the Twins trust right... so far... in the GCL. Now what?
7 - Phil Humber - RHP - If we believe Francisco Liriano can come back and be what he was, why not Humber?
(Glen Perkins) - LHP - could start, could dominate in the bullpen.
8 - Jeff Manship - RHP - AA is always the predictive indicator for a college pitcher, Manship will get that opportunity there.
9 - Joe Benson - OF - Five Tool talent... but can he cut down the strikeouts to 'hit for average'?
10 - Brian Duensing - LHP - If not for Garza and Slowey, more Twins fans would be talking about his fast rise through the system.
11 - Danny Valencia - 3B - Like Manship, could rise quickly. Helped by uncertainty at his position in upper levels.
12 - Alex Burnett - RHP - another 19 year old who performed well in the Midwest League. Not tall, but very talented and tough.
13 - Oswaldo Sosa - RHP - Sinkerballer dominated FSL before struggles (at just 21) in AA. Think Silva.
14 - Wilson Ramos - C - Arguably the organization's most intriguing prospect. I just can't rank him higher than this, but he could move up quickly.
15 - Chris Parmelee - OF/1B - Comparable power to Adam Dunn, but still the strikeouts need to come down a little to advance.
16 - Jason Pridie - OF - A very nice add-on to the Young/Garza deal, Pridie needs to show his 2007 wasn't the anomaly.
17 - Erik Lis - OF/1B - As solid an all-around hitter as there is in the system, I think he will really show his talent (and power) at New Britain.
18 - Deibinson Romero - 3B - Should be at Beloit all year, and if he keeps hitting, he should be in the Top 10 (maybe Top 5) by the end of the year.
19 - Nick Blackburn - RHP - Maybe I had him too low when I had him at #27 in September, just can't justify him at #1. Must prove 2007 was legit.
20 - Jay Rainville - RHP - Another guy I expect to fly up this list in 2008. Second year after surgery, he will hopefully add velocity.
21 - Brock Peterson - 1B - Can he replicate his second half walk:strikeout ratio, and keep the power?
22 - David Bromberg - RHP - Needs to cut down on the walks, but he's got the stuff to be special.
23 - Mike McCardell - RHP - eight walks and 95 strikeouts in any level has to be noticed. Could be the guy to move up quickly this year!
24 - Ryan Mullins - LHP - Like Duensing, I think Mullins has been underrated. A college pitcher with size and a solid mix of pitches.
25 - Yohan Pino - RHP - Would rank higher on my list if he was bigger, and the Twins let him start for a full season.
26 - David Winfree - 3B - goes into 2008 healthy. I think he'll rebound and team with Lis to dominate AA. Has a lot to prove though.
27 - Dustin Martin - OF - the insertion of Martin into the Ft. Myers lineup helped the whole team. Can play CF and has enough pop to be a solid corner.
28 - Juan Portes - IF/OF - really needs a position, or Super Utility role. But he can really hit and I think he will show that in the Eastern League as well.
29 - Rene Tosoni - Putting up his numbers in a full season league and he could legitimately move up 15-20 spots in 2008. It definitely could happen.
30 - Brian Dinkelman - 2B - Try to forget his late season plummeting (in BA) and he was a big positive in the Twins system in 2007.
31 - Kyle Waldrop - RHP - Big season for the Twins third first round pick in 2004. Must prove he can succeed in AA.
32 - Denard Span - OF - Big season for the Twins first round pick in 2002. Has competition for the role of "Heir Apparent" now.
33 - Ozzie Lewis - OF - Big time tools guy who put up big time numbers in the Appy League.
34 - Brandon Roberts - OF - After bad first month in New Britain, hit .300 or better each subsequent month.
35 - Danny Rams - C - Prospect lists are about potential and although Rams did little in the GCL, too few at bats to make much of it. Huge power potential.
36 - Michael Tarsi - LHP - 12th round pick out of UConn, the 6-8 lefty had strong debut at E-Town.
37 - Jose Mijares - LHP - may have debuted in 2008, but was injured in car crash in Venezuela last month.
38 - Angel Morales - OF - Twins 3rd round pick in '07 has five-tool potential according to some.
39 - Matt Tolbert - IF - will again get regular playing time at AAA in '07, but plenty will be ready if he falters.
40 - Dan Berlind - RHP - The 6-7 righty was taken in the 7th round in '07 and he dominated in the GCL.
41 - Cole DeVries - RHP - The Eden Prairie native and former Gopher did great in his first full season after signing as undrafted free agent.
42 - Estarlin de los Santos - SS - team very high on his speed and all-around skills.
43 - Jose Morales - C - Should be the Twins #3 catcher in 2007. Slap hitter who should hit for some average when opportunity presents itself.
44 - Brad Tippett - RHP - Australian reliever dominated at E-Town in 2007. Is he that good?
45 - Robert Delaney - RHP - Just check his numbers in 2007 one more time.
46 - Matt Macri - 3B - has great pop in his bat. Should play consistently at Rochester.
47 - Brian Buscher - 3B/PH - had unreal 2007 season. Was it real? He can hit, so a career in pinch-hitting makes a lot of sense to me.
48 - Drew Butera - C - defensive-minded catcher acquire for Luis Castillo, he held his own in the AFL.
49 - Zach Ward - RHP - led minors in losses, but pitched better than that much of the season, until the end.
50 - Armando Gabino - RHP - another guy whose numbers you just have to take a second look at.
Warrant Watching - The Next 20: Rene Leveret, Matt Moses, Reggie Williams, Eli Tintor, Danny Santiesteban, Whit Robbins, Garrett Olson, Steven Tolleson, Michael Allen, Danny Lehmann, Ben Petsch, Loek Van Mil, Juan Richardson, Jeanfred Brito, Yangervis Solarte, Nick Papasan, Brian Bass, Bobby Korecky, Julio DePaula, Luke Hughes.
Any thoughts? Send me an e-mail, or let's talk about it in the Comments here.