SethSpeaks.net Top 50 Minnesota Twins Prospects

29 Jun

also available at www.SethSpeaks.net -

Normally I like to post my Top 50 Twins prospect lists before the draft and then following the minor league season in September. I then have updated my top 30 or 40 for the Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook. Life, writing, kid, work and other things have been crazier this year than ever before. No surprise, but it definitely has affected blogging. Of course, I do encourage people to listen to the four half-hour podcasts that I’m involved in each week to get the most recent information if I don’t blog it.

Typically I have done a four or five part announcement of my Top 50 prospect list, but due to time, here it is today, in one installment. It also has a little different look. The below chart provides the ranking, position, age, team(s) and then some brief comments on the players.

Summary – to be honest, this is the most difficult time I have had putting together a prospect ranking for the Twins. This year, it was pretty easy to rank the top eight to ten, but beyond that, it was quite difficult. I think that the top of the Twins prospect list is very good, with some future all-stars and several big-league regulars. Beyond that, there are a bunch of prospects that I can see coming up and being back-of-the-rotation starters, bullpen types, solid big leaguers who can help the team. However, overall, I don’t think that this top 50 is necessarily as strong as it has been in year’s past.

Here are a couple of quick notes before we get started. First, Ben Revere (probably would rank 7th) and Luke Hughes (probably would be in the late teens) are now beyond rookie status (130 at bats), so they not in this list. I also did not include any of the 2011 draft picks. 2nd round pick Madison Boer is the highest selection to sign. Their three first-round picks have not signed yet. I know the question will come up, so I will answer it now. Where would I rank top pick Levi Michael on this list? Sadly, I would probably rank him somewhere between 13 and 17 on this list. Travis Harrison would probably be in the high-20s, and Hudson Boyd would be in the low-20s. I would probably rank Madison Boer in the mid-30s.

The purpose of these lists is really twofold. First, I think that minor leaguers deserve to be recognized for the work they’re doing without notoriety for the most part. Second, for discussion on these prospects.

Yes, I did flip-flop at the top again. With what Aaron Hicks has done over the last two weeks, I am again really excited about his future. He’s always been about the tools, but having seen him work in person for a few days and to see the numbers, I hope that we are seeing those tools turn into skills. It is in no way a knock on Kyle Gibson who continues to be a great prospect who will certainly contribute to the Twins for years. I’ve been touting Liam Hendriks as a top prospect considerable as well, and I will stand by that. I think he can be a Twins starter for years as well. Miguel Sano has a ton of talent and the comparisons to the likes of A-Rod and Miguel Cabrera are exciting. I don’t question the bat, I’m just curious about a few things. Will he be able to play defense adequately anywhere? Can he cut down the strikeouts? That’s why I now have Oswaldo Arcia up at #3. I think that he can be very solid defensively, but he can also hit for average and power. I am intrigued by his promotion to Ft. Myers after his elbow surgery and am very interested in how he does.

My  Twins Minor League Weekly co-host, Travis Aune posted his Top 50 Twins prospects the other day, and I definitely encourage everyone to check that out as well. He and I both love following the Twins minor league system and see most of the same information. We then generate our own thoughts on the players and you will notice that there are many similarities and many differences. Some of the differing opinions mean a big difference in where we rank the players. The reality is neither of us know for sure what these minor leaguers’ careers will amount to. No one does. And that’s the fun of these lists. We can all have different opinions on the various prospects, generate our own opinions, and then over the next several years, we’ll see how it goes.

With all that introduction, I present to you, the SethSpeaks.net Top 50 Twins Prospects for mid-season 2011. I definitely welcome any questions, comments or opinions on my rankings. I also encourage you to post your Top 5, 10, 20 prospect list as well. Feel free to post any comments here. (Note – See www.SethSpeaks.net for the Comments)

Rank

Player

Pos

Age

Team Comments

1

Aaron Hicks

OF

22

Ft. Myers Hicks is now turning his tools into skills. Future All-Star.

2

Kyle Gibson

RHP

23

Rochester Great K rate, GB rate, K:BB rate, so ignore that 3-7 W-L, Future All-Star.

3

Oswaldo Arcia

OF

20

Bel/FM Missed a month and still promoted, impressive bat!

4

Liam Hendriks

RHP

22

New Britain pushed to AA, has been terrific. 7-2, 2.81 ERA. Good K rate.

5

Miguel Sano

IF

18

Elizabethton No question about the bat potential. Bad D, need to be patient.

6

Joe Benson

OF

23

New Britain Streaky hitter, but great D, arm, speed, power, competitive

7

Trevor Plouffe

IF

25

Roch/Minnesota How is his bat not in the big leagues right now??

8

Adrian Salcedo

RHP

20

Beloit Long and lanky, and pitching well for Beloit!

9

Angel Morales

OF

21

Has Not Played Hasn’t played this year, still ranks in top 10. Good power/speed.

10

Rene Tosoni

OF

24

Roch/Minnesota Kubel-Lite has been pushed too fast this year, but terrific talent.

11

Chris Parmelee

1B

23

New Britain Solid all-around hitter, improving 1B. Needs to keep improving.

12

Eddie Rosario

OF

19

Elizabethton Complete package, line drives, HR power, great glove and arm.

13

Carlos Gutierrez

RHP

24

Rochester throws 97, good ERA, too many walks, not enough Ks.

14

David Bromberg

RHP

23

New Britain broken ulna cost him time, but he’s young and has the pitches

15

Danny Ortiz

OF

21

Beloit April Hitter of Month, small guy, but huge power, good D

16

Tom Stuifbergen

RHP

22

Ft. Myers 4 ER in last 43+ IP. Touching 94, great changeup, good SL & CB

17

Pat Dean

LHP

22

Bel/FM missed first six weeks, 7 Beloit starts, now to Ft. Myers.

18

Manuel Soliman

RHP

21

Beloit Still learning to pitch, but he can get some strikeouts. Throws hard!

19

Bobby Lanigan

RHP

24

New Britain Overshadowed in New Britain rotation. Has a great slider!

20

Niko Goodrum

SS

19

Elizabethton Still very raw, but immensely talented, strong, fast.

21

Max Kepler

OF

18

Elizabethton Still very raw, but immensely talented, strong, fast.

22

BJ Hermsen

RHP

21

Beloit has improved since the beginning of season.

23

Brian Dozier

SS

24

FM/NB Overlooked by me, he is a very steady, solid hitter and fielder.

24

Chris Herrmann

C/OF

23

FM/NB Great approach at plate, catcher versatility, very good outfielder.

25

Yangervis Solarte

IF/OF

23

New Britain Hit .350 most of year with pop, would like to see more walks.

26

Steve Singleton

IF

25

NB/Rochester lots of doubles again this season, would like to see more walks.

27

Nate Roberts

OF

22

Beloit On-Base machine. Little power, but a very good, line drive hitter.

28

Danny Rams

C

22

Ft. Myers Approach at plate has improved, still lots of Ks and power potential.

29

Rory Rhodes

3B

19

Elizabethton 6-7 Australian will put up big numbers in E-Town, all-around hitter.

30

Logan Darnell

LHP

22

Bel/FM Lefty with great stuff has pitched well at two levels.

31

Bruce Pugh

RHP

22

FM/NB Rough 1st outing in NB, dominant since. Big fastball!

32

Anderson Hidalgo

3B

22

Ft. Myers Just hits .300 everywhere, probably overlooked prospect.

33

Deolis Guerra

RHP

22

New Britain Terrible as a starter, but so far, so good in the BP! Still young!

34

Lance Ray

OF

21

Beloit Horrible April, steadily improve since. Good all-around  bat.

35

Nick Lockwood

2B

20

Elizabethton Line Drive after line drive. Good 2B, will hit for gap power too.

36

Evan Bigley

OF

24

New Britain Another overlooked prospect, very good all-around.

37

Alex Wimmers

RHP

22

Ft. Myers 1 outing, 6 batters, 6 walks… shut down. We can hope!

38

Scott Diamond

LHP

24

Rochester After being tremendous in ATL system, pretty bad with Red Wings

39

Dakota Watts

RHP

23

Ft. Myers Throws really, really hard.

40

Miguel Munoz

RHP

22

Ft. Myers 1 start, rehabbing elbow since. He has good stuff. Hope for health!

41

Michael Gonzales

1B

23

Beloit Repeating Beloit, lost weight, quicker bat, great power, good AVG

42

James Beresford

IF

22

Ft. Myers 2-time Beloit MVP hit well early. Struggled of late. Great glove!

43

Ryan O’Rourke

LHP

23

Beloit Lefty has pitched well out of BP and now as a starter too!

44

Anthony Slama

RHP

27

Roch/Minnesota Can’t do any more in minors, needs a chance, with someone!

45

Angel Mata

RHP

18

GCL Very young, very talented Dominican.

46

Danny Santana

SS

20

Beloit Speed. Swings hard for little guy. Lots of Es. Did I mention Speed?

47

Brett Jacobson

RHP

24

New Britain When he throws strikes, he can be really good. Not enough strikes.

48

Steve Hirschfeld

RHP

25

New Britain My April and May Twins Min. Lg Pitcher of the Month!

49

Dan Rohlfing

C

22

FM/NB Keeps getting pushed, much improved behind plate and at bat!

50

Matt Bashore

LHP

23

Elizabethton He’s now healthy and can begin the slow trek up the system.

Any other thoughts or questions on the Twins minor leaguers? Feel free to comment here.

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21 Responses to “SethSpeaks.net Top 50 Minnesota Twins Prospects”

  1. CK June 29, 2011 at 1:01 pm #

    Any updates on Joe Benson?

    • Seth June 30, 2011 at 11:50 am #

      Probably a week.

  2. Jon June 29, 2011 at 3:42 pm #

    Great list Seth….a few new names in the mix. Looks like a few kids in ETown are opening up some eyes. I sure hope that these kids finish as hot as they are starting out the season up there.

    • Seth June 29, 2011 at 4:17 pm #

      All of the E-Town guys in my current Top 50 were in my previous Top 50, with the exception of Nick Lockwood and Matt Bashore (who without two years of injuries could be way up the system by now). But yeah, they have some very young talent in E-Town, at least offensively. They’re all a long way from the big leagues though!

  3. big al June 29, 2011 at 4:34 pm #

    how about Clint Dempster

    • Seth June 29, 2011 at 8:44 pm #

      He’s having a terrific season in the Beloit bullpen!

  4. mike wants wins June 30, 2011 at 9:10 am #

    Anyone else having trouble seeing the comments of Seth’s due to formatting?

    Until Hicks performs consistently, I don’t buy him as the top prospect. He’s repeating A ball, and severl scouts on the interwebs have stated that they can’t recall a can’t miss prospect doing that. I still believe he can be very good, but I would think he’s not nearly the top prospect Gibson is. Does anyone doubt Gibson will be at least a number 3 starter, and maybe a number 2? With the doubts around Hicks, and few doubts around Gibson, I don’t know how Gibson isn’t number 1.

    That least lacks depth. Kind of not much upside after about number 9. Hopefully we can get some surprises here. If Wimmers fails, and this year’s draft is as bad as you think, that could be a really bad deal in the next few years. Hopefully they are better than you think, and Wimmers comes back to what people thought.

    • JS June 30, 2011 at 12:16 pm #

      Mike,
      I’ve seen the comment that “Hicks is repeating A ball” a few times now… not sure if it has only been from you or others as well. He repeated low A in Beloit last year, but he’s in high A Ft. Myers this year. Yes, both levels are called “A”, but my understanding is that high A is significantly stronger competition than low A. Seth, am I off base in thinking that he has met a new challenge this year and is killing it?

      • Seth June 30, 2011 at 12:20 pm #

        Yes, Hi-A is significantly better than Lo-A. And, the MWL and the FSL are pitcher’s leagues, so offense is generally subdued.

        I think you are right in saying that he has met this new challenge of Hi-A and is playing great and continuing to improve.

  5. mike wants wins June 30, 2011 at 10:23 am #

    Still think Hicks is in the top 3.

    • Seth June 30, 2011 at 12:19 pm #

      MWW, see the note above the list that says you’ll need to go to SethSpeaks.net to see the full comments.

      Hicks has been awesome the last two months. The tools are becoming skills.

      I don’t understand the whole ‘repeating A ball’ thing. This is his first year in Ft. Myers. Last year was in Low-A Beloit. All prospects spend time at both of those levels and usually a year at each. Hicks spent 2 months in Beloit the year before, although he was supposed to go to E-Twon that year.

      I can’t imagine there are a lot of organizations that have impact players after their top 8-9 prospects.

      • mike wants wins June 30, 2011 at 4:18 pm #

        I’m just repeating what I’ve read from KLAW and (I think, it was one other site) BA, I have obviously not seen him play nor do I know anything about repeating levels….Clearly he’s been much better the last couple of months. The article LEN3 linked to was interesting, reading about his changing approach to hitting earlier this year. That was very encouraging to me. I’m in no way denigrating him, I think he’s a very good prospect, I”m just saying Gibson seems like a more sure thing to me, at this point, so I’d rank him higher.

      • mike wants wins June 30, 2011 at 4:23 pm #

        Agreed on the 8-9 for most orgs, good point. That was more a statement of fact (opinion), than of judging the quality of the system compared to others.

  6. JS June 30, 2011 at 12:20 pm #

    Klaw saw Hendriks on Tuesday and tweeted that he was 87-90mph with a weak slider… That doesn’t sound as exciting as the sparkly numbers he’s putting up. Hopefully he was just having a bad day.

    • Seth June 30, 2011 at 12:21 pm #

      Hopefully because if that was a bad day and he still gave up a run or two in 7 innings, that’s very exciting. He’s an 89-92 guy, so it’s not like it’s way off.

    • mike wants wins June 30, 2011 at 4:12 pm #

      Last time KLaw commented on him, he wasn’t realy high on him either, if I remember correctly. He either sees him on off days, or just has a different belief than others.

  7. barry gordy June 30, 2011 at 10:18 pm #

    Matt Hauser has the lowest ERA at Beloit and was the 2nd to be promoted & he’s not in the top 50? I saw him pitch in San Diego he is really good and will be getting much better…. Strike out guy touched 96 last year.

  8. Bill in Sarasota July 1, 2011 at 2:02 pm #

    Hirschfeld’s ranking seems rather low. He’s produced at a high level except when he was hurt.

  9. sam jacobson July 1, 2011 at 11:28 pm #

    Will you please correct Hicks age.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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    […] going to lose you.  You are going to spend the next hour learning everything you can about SethSpeaks.net’s Top 50 Minnesota Twins Prospects. […]

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