Friday, June 4, 2010
SethSpeaks.net Top 50
Minnesota Twins Prospects
In the past, I have tried to do my Top 50 Twins prospect reports right before the June draft and then shortly following the completion of the minor league seasons which is generally in mid-September. This past year has been so much more busy than ever before on so many fronts, so this year, I am still going to update my Top 50 list and do some of my other pre-draft blogs, they will just have to be a bit condensed. With that, today I will be posting my updated Top 50 Twins prospect list. I would love to hear your thoughts or comments on any of the rankings. You dont have to agree with me. So ask questions and present your Top 10, 20, 50 list for discussion too.
#1 Kyle Gibson RHP New Britain Rockcats Prospect lists are a combination of potential with likelihood to reach potential. Gibson can be a top of the order, #2 type of pitcher, and there is a very good chance that it will happen.
#2 Aaron Hicks OF Beloit Snappers Hicks has all of the tools, including the 6th tool (plate discipline). The Midwest League is not an easy place to play, but 2010 has been a very streaky season. His strong streak told us just how good he can be.
#3 Miguel Sano SS DSL Twins All of the potential in the world, but still a long way to go. He wants to be up in the big leagues by 19. The Twins will be wise to note let that happen.
#4 Wilson Ramos C Rochester Red Wings Strong spring training. Horrible start at Rochester. Seven hits in his first two big league games. Reality set in. Ramos is immensely talented, both offensively and potentially defensively when he puts in the effort. Will be interesting to see if hes still with the organization in August.
#5 Adrian Salcedo RHP Ft. Myers Miracle 19 years old. Throws hard. Working on the breaking pitches, but he has been impressive in his short stint at Ft. Myers so far, even though he should probably be waiting for the Elizabethton season. Very high ceiling.
#6 Angel Morales OF Beloit Snappers Its been a disappointing 2010 so far for Morales. He hasnt hit for as much power, but the tools are all there. It would be nice for him to have a strong second half. He is one of the better base stealers in the organization.
#7 Joe Benson OF Ft. Myers Miracle Speaking of all the tools, Bensons ability to hit for power and get on base very well have him high on this list. The ability to put the ball in play seems to be the one thing that he needs to improve most, which is likely why he is back in Ft. Myers.
#8 Davis Bromberg RHP New Britain Rockcats Its been an up and down season for Bromberg, but he has four or five pitches, and hes quite young. He also has great confidence and will work through any struggles. I expect that he will have a strong second half.
#9 - Ben Revere OF New Britain Rockcats Comparing Revere to Hicks, Morales and Benson isnt really fair. The other three are all much better and have much higher potential in terms of power and defense and arm. But Revere is a great singles hitter with tremendous speed and his base stealing has continued to improve. His likelihood to be a solid big league player is higher than the other three OF prospects.
#10 Danny Valencia 3B Minnesota Twins Valencia is currently with the Twins with Michael Cuddyer out. Everywhere he has played, he has hit for average. He has never hit below .282. He doesnt like to walk too much, but an IsoD of over .050 is at least adequate. He is yet to homer this year, but his minor league track record indicates that he can hit for some power. And his defense has continued to improve.
#11 Deolis Guerra RHP Rochester Red Wings Is he ready for AAA? Probably not. But hes holding his own and continues to learn. Best changeup in the organization, and his incredible improved control is very impressive.
#12 Alex Burnett RHP Minnesota Twins Burnett was a surprise when he made the team out of spring training, but he has proven that he is ready and has pitched very well for the Twins. He always had good control, even as a starter. He throws hard and has three very good pitches. Hes still young, but he is a guy who could be a future closer.
#13 Trevor Plouffe SS Rochester Red Wings Plouffe has seemingly put things together in 2010, and its hard to believe that he is still just 23 years old. He has the ability to be an everyday Major League shortstop, which alone should probably move him even higher up this list.
#14 Liam Hendriks RHP Ft. Myers Miracle I dont know if Hendriks terrific start this season is a surprise, but it certainly has been noticed. He was the organizations pitcher of the month in April which earned him an early promotion to Ft. Myers where he has continued to be very good. His stuff is very good, and he understands how to get hitters out.
#15 BJ Hermsen RHP Beloit Snappers Hermsen started the year at EST, but when needed, he was promoted to Beloit. He has been good at times, and at other times shown that he might be best served by pitching at E-town. But he has good stuff, good size and very good control, and the Twins love that.
#16 Carlos Gutierrez RHP New Britain Rockcats I still believe that Gutierrez will be a big league relief pitcher, and a very good one. Its important to remember that he is working on adding pitches while in AA. He gets a ton of ground balls. He throws 95 with sink. Just has to trust his stuff and he can dominate.
#17 Rene Tosoni OF New Britain Rockcats How much has the shoulder injury hurt Tosoni in 2010? He is still hitting around .280, but to this point, the power hasnt shown up the way it did last year. Tosoni is very good, so this ranking doesnt feel right. I think he should be higher, but right now, today, I just cant do it.
#18 Bruce Pugh RHP Ft. Myers Miracle Although he was called a sleeper this offseason, Pugh was also a very pleasant surprise this year until an elbow injury which has sidelined him for a few weeks already. Hopefully he will be alright because he throws hard and has a couple of improving secondary pitches that make him potentially dominant.
#19 Jeff Manship RHP Rochester Red Wings Again, a guy who is the big league clubs sixth start, and gave up two runs in six innings for the Twins shouldnt be ranked this low. Manship can pitch in the big leagues, although his time in AAA this year will be valuable as well. He can help the Twins already when needed, but he can still continue to get better.
#20 Chris Parmelee 1B Ft. Myers Miracle Parmelee has a ton of potential as well, but he was overmatched in AA. Getting sent back to Ft. Myers was the best thing that could happen. He can now work on his game without being overwhelmed. The contact rate is always the question with Parmelee, but hopefully with the Miracle, he can regain his ability to take walks and to hit for power.
#21 Max Kepler OF Extended Spring Training All the talent in the world, but it will be very interesting to see how Max Kepler is able to put it together. Very good speed. Solid already defensively. Needs work on the offensive part of the game. But hes just 17, and the Twins will be very patient with him. Id expect him to spend two years with the GCL Twins before advancing.
#22 Tom Stuifbergen RHP Beloit Snappers Hopefully his elbow issues and his upcoming MRI reveal nothing and that Stuifbergen can rest and come back strong soon. He is another guy who just knows how to get hitters out. He has very good stuff, but he knows how to pitch, and thats important too.
#23 Blayne Weller RHP Extended Spring Training Im surprised and curious as to why Weller has not been promoted from EST to a full-season team, and yet, it is in his best interest to pitch for the E-Twins this year. Hes got good stuff and great control. Just a notch behind Hermsen.
#24 Luke Hughes 2B Rochester Red Wings How cool was it to see Hughes hit a home run in his first at bat with the Twins? Again, this feels like a low ranking, and yet, as good as Hughes has shown he can be, he just keeps getting hurt and isnt able to sustain the success very long. If he could stay healthy, he can help the Twins, maybe as a pinch hitter. I also think he could compete for the starting 2B job next year.
#25 Chris Herrmann C/OF Ft. Myers Miracle Herrmann has done a very good job adjusting to the catcher position. Hes quick and has a strong arm. But he is also an excellent defensive left fielder. He is also a solid hitter. The Twins typically do not have players skip levels, but Herrmann was pushed from Elizabethton last year to Ft. Myers this year and hasnt been completely over his head. Hes got a chance to be a solid all-around player.
#26 Bobby Lanigan RHP Ft. Myers Miracle Gibson got all the notice, but Lanigan was even better in April. Unfortunately, he has only pitched once since then. He has a good fastball and a very good slider, so hopefully he can get back soon.
#27 Steve Singleton 2B New Britain Rockcats Another guy who should be much higher on this list probably.
#28 Billy Bullock RHP Ft. Myers Miracle The 2009 second round pick from Florida can throw hard. He can dominate and gets a lot of strikeouts, but he should continue to get better and better. He is a future closer option.
#29 Tyler Robertson LHP New Britain Rockcats Robertson has really struggled in 2010 at AA, allowing hitters to bat about .330 against him so far this year. The lefty does have decent stuff and a high baseball IQ, but hes still so young for the level, even after spending two years at Ft. Myers. Hopefully his arm strength will continue to increase and he can move up this list. Remember, he was my choice for the Twins #1 prospect after the 2007 season.
#30 Anthony Slama RHP Rochester Red Wings Again, I know most wont like this ranking, but its clear that there must be some reason that Slama has not been promoted, and I think a big part of that is the number of walks, which would likely increase more in the big leagues. But his ability to get strikeouts is pretty impressive, and he needs to get a shot soon. I mean, hes already 26!
#31 Michael Tonkin RHP Beloit Snappers Tonkin was pitching best at EST when Beloit had a need, so he was the first promoted. He has actually done better than I would have thought. Hes got good control. He has a decent fastball and an improving curveball. He has a long way to go.
#32 Yangervis Solarte IF/OF New Britain Rockcats Like Hughes, Solarte can play a lot of places. His most natural position is 2B, but he can play basically all of the infield and outfield positions adequately. His biggest asset, however, has been his bat. Not sure how confident I am that he will sustain it, but he certainly could, and Im comfortable with this ranking.
#33 Danny Rams C/1B Beloit Snappers Rams hit two home runs last night. I really, really hope that he can find a way to put the ball in play more because when he makes contact, he hits the ball so hard and can hit the ball a long way!
#34 Shooter Hunt RHP Ft. Myers Miracle It is good to see the improvements that Hunt has made this year. But he has a long way to go before we can feel confident in his future. But the potential is so high, he has to be on the list. Hell be making another start today.
#35 Jorge Polanco SS DSL Twins When Baseball America named Polanco the top defensive infielder in the Twins organization, I wasnt sure how to take that. It means he is very good, but it could also be an indictment of the rest of the systems infielders. Polanco will have to show some bat to move his way up the list. I dont expect him to hit much for a couple of years.
#36 Edgar Ibarra LHP Beloit Snappers I may be biased because I saw him pitch in Beloit, but I was very impressed with the high-side of his four pitches. Good fastball, worked both sides of the plate. Very good slider. Devastating changeup. Now, he wasnt consistent with any of those pitches, and hasnt been all year, but the pitches are there, and his potential is high.
#37 Kyle Waldrop RHP Rochester Red Wings Waldrop has impressed this entire year. 2009 was about staying healthy. 2010 has been about ground balls, throwing hard, getting a ton of movement on his pitches, and great success. There is a good chance that Waldrop, even with his lack of strikeouts, gets promoted before Anthony Slama.
#38 Miguel Munoz RHP Beloit Snappers The numbers havent been there in Beloit, but the stuff is incredible. Munoz throws quite hard and has good stuff. He just needs to throw more strikes and be more consistent.
#39 Santos Arias RHP New Britain Rockcats Arias fell a bit on this list, but even with his horrible performance in late innings for the Rockcats, his ERA isnt bad. He still has good stuff. He has been healthy. Hes got a very good fastball, and a very good changeup. Im not giving up on him at all.
#40 James Beresford SS/2B Beloit Snappers he was the player in Beloit that I was most impressed with. He will have to get bigger to make it to the next level. I assume that will happen, so he could move up this list very quickly. He got off to a very tough start in April, and is still hitting just .240, but he could very well be a big leaguer.
#41 Anderson Hidalgo 3B Beloit Snappers Hidalgo has been a doubles machine. He doesnt play every day and splits some time with Reggie Williams at 3B, but he just hits. Hes the one hitter at Beloit that is actually putting up numbers, and not just singles. He doesnt like to walk, and he doesnt have much range, but he can continue to improve, and definitely is worth watching.
#42 Michael McCardell RHP New Britain Rockcats Its been a tough season for McCardell in terms of wins and losses, but he hasnt pitched terribly at all. He is a solid starter, probably a future bottom of the rotation guy, or even a long reliever. He has good stuff and is mentally strong, so he will be fine.
#43 Brian Dinkelman OF Rochester Red Wings This is probably a case of Age-ism. Dinkelman has done nothing but play well since the Twins drafted him in 2006. He is playing in AAA this year, and continues to walk more than strikeout, get extra base hits, hit for average and do the little things. He has also transitioned to the outfield pretty flawlessly.
#44 Brad Tippett RHP Ft. Myers Miracle Tippett is back on the DL with forearm issues. He just has not been able to get going. He has never thrown hard, but hes got good size, so if he can continue to gain strength, he can add a few mph. And again, the Australian knows how to pitch.
#45 Oswaldo Arcia OF Extended Spring Training Arcia is young and did a nice job last year in the GCL. Has all kinds of tools.
#46 Andrei Lobanov LHP Ft. Myers Miracle One walk and 35 strikeouts in 22 innings in the GCL last year. He likely will go to E-town, but he has done quite well with the Miracle.
#47 Steve Liddle OF Beloit Snappers I thought he would do more this year with the Snappers. He has shown good power at times, but you would hope for more from a college hitter.
#48 Rob Delaney RHP Rochester Red Wings This is way too low, but Delaney has been hittable in Rochester after dominating all the way up to that level. That said, he still is walking very few and striking out about a batter an inning. He is ready.
#49 Josmil Pinto C Beloit Snappers The guy can hit a bit. Seems adequate behind the plate. No speed whatsoever.
#50 Reggie Williams IF Beloit Snappers Lots of talent. Getting a chance to play this year. He doesnt seem to be a 3B, but should be a 2B. He has also played in the OF. Takes decent at bats and has doubles power.
There you have it. There is my Top 50 Twins Prospects list as of June 4, 2010. Let me know what you think, agree or disagree, and feel free to post your comments and questions in the Comments section.