Top Ten Twins Prospects

5 Jun

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After looking at Twins prospects 36-50 Tuesday, and 21-35 Wednesday, and Prospects 11-20 yesterday, it is time to look at my choices for the Top 10 Twins Prospects. Again, let me know what you think. I hope you enjoy this and again, please feel free to comment.  

What is a prospect and how do I rank them? First of all, prospect ranking is far from an exact science. The top prospects do not always pan out, and frequently other players seemingly come out of nowhere. I do this as much to recognize players as anything else. But I also have been following the Twins minor league system for several years now and have tried to learn what I can about how they operate, and what is needed for promotions, and what skills are important. I have not included players from the Dominican Summer League in these rankings because they need about 7 promotions before they would get to the big leagues. I daily review box scores from the games. I keep up with stats and some trends. For hitters, I like to look at OBP and SLG, but specifically at 2B and 3B coupled with body type to try to determine if HR are in their future. For pitchers, I will look at WHIP and innings and consistency and opponent’s batting average. One of the key stats I look at for both hitters and pitchers are walks and strikeouts which I think tell a lot about a player.

Now, sitting in Minnesota, I have little opportunity to actually see many of these players play. When it comes to prospects, you have to try to look beyond the stats. I have developed sources in and around the Twins farm system to try to get a closer perspective on the players, what their skills are, what they need to work on. I think it is vital to look beyond the stats to try to give a fair perspective. You also have to consider age and level of competition. You have to weigh potential ceiling with likelihood of reaching that ceiling.

With that, I am curious your thoughts on my top ten Twins prospects, or any of the top 50. Who is missing? (Note – I made a concerted effort not to include Jose Mijares just because I think he is now pretty established as a big leaguer.) In the comments, share your top 10, top 20, or whatever you like.

And again, to read much more on all ten of these players, go to

#10 – Rene Tosoni – OF – 22 (7/2/86) 

#9 – Kevin Mulvey – RHP – 23 (5/26/84) 

#8 – David Bromberg – RHP – 21 (9/14/87 

#7 – Carlos Gutierrez – RHP – 22 (9/22/86)

#6 – Anthony Swarzak – RHP – 23 (9/10/85)

 #5 – Angel Morales – OF – 19 (11/24/89) 

#4 – Wilson Ramos – C – 21 (8/10/87)

#3 – Danny Valencia – 3B – 24 (9/19/84)

#2 – Ben Revere – OF – 21 (5/3/88)

#1 – Aaron Hicks – OF – 19 (10/2/89)

So there you have it, my selections for the Top 10 Twins Prospects. What do you think? I would love your feedback and input. Who did I have too high, or too low? If you have any comments, opinions or suggestions, please feel free to Send me an e-mail, or leave your questions or comments here.


11 Responses to “ Top Ten Twins Prospects”

  1. John June 5, 2009 at 12:26 pm #

    I’d put Tosoni higher, between 3 and 5. The Twins sent him to AA at age 22 despite having skipped low-A and getting only 140 ABs at Fort Myers last year. That says something about how the Twins see him, and his power display at New Britain has been very impressive.

    He’s getting eaten alive by lefties and generally striking out too much, but that is expected given his inexperience and he’s been reducing his strikeout rate of late. Tosoni is a good athlete who should be an above average corner outfielder defensively.

  2. clutterheart June 5, 2009 at 12:36 pm #

    What is the logic of putting Tosoni higher than Plouffe? Tlouffe, is 22 and in AAA. Twins have really pushed him hard. So if you believe in Tosoni because the twins seem to, then why wouldn’t you really belive in Plouffe?
    On a side note:
    Am I the only twins fan who think that Plouffe will be a solid player for the twins in 2011?

    • sam June 27, 2009 at 3:50 pm #

      plouffe and winfree and tosoni are the same age you tell me that he that much better plouffe and winfree

  3. John June 5, 2009 at 12:47 pm #

    The logic of putting Tosoni higher is that he’s a much better hitter. The odds on Plouffe both learning to hit and improving his defense are not especially high, though it’s possible.

  4. mike wants wins June 5, 2009 at 1:33 pm #

    I just can’t rate Hicks above Revere, until Hicks actually plays in games. I know you preach patience, but if they follow their normal path, they are wasting a year of time here (see Delaney), if he’s really this good.

    I’m conflicted on Slama and Mulvey. I don’t think their ceilings are as high as some others’, but they have proven more, so it’s hard to figure out how to rank the pitchers relative to each other.

    As much as I like Hughes (and think he should be up with the Twins as a RH DH and PH and utility guy), I wish for Valencia to get promoted this year. He appears to be the real deal here, and I want him up at the beginning of the year next year (trying to win, not worrying about arbitration dates).

  5. mike wants wins June 5, 2009 at 1:34 pm #

    Not Slama, Swarzak, sorry….

  6. TT June 5, 2009 at 2:44 pm #

    Mostly I agree, but then how much fun is there in that?

    1) Ramos is a catch and throw guy. He is not a DH any more than Joe Mauer is. He is definitely a better prospect than Valencia, he may well be the Twins best prospect.

    2) Valencia is way over-rated. Neither his bat nor his defense stand out. Its possible they are both just good enough to play in the big leagues. His ceiling is Ron Coomer and he may not reach it.

    3) Also count me a skeptic on Bromberg. This looks to me like someone being touted more on his stats than his tools. That doesn’t work for a guy pitching in A ball.

    3) You have to wonder about Morales. He is still striking out too much and this year he is not showing the power production to make up for it. Being young and athletic keeps him on the list, but …

    4) Plouffe belongs on this list. Whether he is as good a hitter as Tosoni or not he will be an above average offensive shortstop.

    5) I think you are underestimating Gutierrez. I would put him on the list with Hicks, Revere and Ramos as players who could turn out to be special in the major leagues.

  7. clutterheart June 5, 2009 at 8:07 pm #

    Danny V = Ron Coomer!?!

    Yikes. I hope not.

    Plouffe is so young for his level. He has shown flashes and I think after 1.5 years at AAA he might be ready to help the club

  8. Ricky June 5, 2009 at 10:56 pm #

    Matt Fox should still get some consideration as a prospect. He’s doing a fine job at New Britain. I think he could be a good bullpen guy. I doubt he’d be a starter just because of the guys up ahead who are blocking him. He could get a promotion.

    Angel Morales is doing alright. He had a good May. Parmelee could be a top 10 once he starts hitting home runs again.

    some guys who are interesting — Reggie Williams, Daniel Ortiz, and BJ Hermsen: maybe Blayne Weller

  9. SHS June 7, 2009 at 2:32 pm #

    I like yours here is a rough version of mine through 2 months:
    1. Revere
    2. Hicks
    3. Valencia
    4. Ramos
    5. Swarzak
    6. Bromberg
    7. Gutierrez
    8. Mulvey
    9. Tosoni
    10. Parmelee
    11. Mijares*
    12. Hughes
    13. McCardell
    14. Delaney
    15. Benson (DL)
    16. Slama
    17. Tolleson
    18. Robbins
    19. Lanigan/ Tippett
    20. R. Santana/ Plouffe

    honorable mention: Rene Leveret, Brian Dinkelman, Steven Hirshfeld, Cole DeVries, Matt Fox, Evan Bigley

  10. Joe June 28, 2009 at 12:04 pm #

    Hello Seth. I love what you are doing. I love the future of the Twins systen. I have a few comments of what I think the Twins prospect list will look like next year once Kyle Gibson signs. I assume he will. My only thing witht he rankings is I like the guys who have the best chance who will make a difference in the major league team.

    1 Aaron Hicks – A true tool box. He was the best high school outfielder in 2008 or 2009 draft. I see him long term as a Grady Sizemore type. A yearly Gold Glove candidate who can bat anywhere from 1st to 5th in a major league line up.
    2 Ben Revere – Everything Carlos Gomez is not. Will never hit for power but can really drive the ball when a pitcher makes a mistake. He will steal 30 to 50 bases and more importatly will rarely swing and miss.
    3 Kyle Gibson – His injury is irrelevant to hit arm motion. Sounds like a freak accident. He will have good chance to be a front line starter with his stuff and mound presense. Something that Scott Baker and Kevin Slowey really don’t have is the mind set that they can go right after hitters whenever they want.
    4 Danny Valencia – He was Ryan Brauns backup in college before he had a good last year in U of Miami. He has hit every level and now is absolutley raking in AAA. He is definitly better then Buscher and should be able to make the 40 man roster and compete for the starting job when Target Field opens. I don’t really care about his age beacuse he carries a bat and can play defense.
    5 Carlos Guttierez – A younger Nick Blackburn. Basically he is just that. Throws a little harder but walks a few more. We all know he is relearning how to be a starter after closing in college but should be able to be good at the next level.
    6 Anthony Swarzak – Unlike anybody on this list their is something that Swarzak did that the other prospects did not. Had success at the major league level. A few wins and a 3.90 ERA is great as a 23 year old. It is too bad that there is not much room considering the 5 starters are young and successful. I wonder if a trade is in the futre for him.
    7 Tyler Ladendorf – He was drafted twice out of high school then his Freshman year at Howard College before he was taken in the second round out by the Twins. He has a big bat with home run power. He take a lot of walks too. I garuntee he will be in Baseball Americas top 10 next year and be ranked ahead of Trevor Plouffe.
    8 David Bromberg – He has put it together this year. He looks like the best pitcher if the Florda State League. At 6 feet 5 he is a giant. A little rough around the edges with his control but has good strike out pitches and hopefully he will be in Double AA before the season is over.
    9 Angel Morales – I know you like this guy a lot. He is very very young and has some power that can put on a show. But is low contact rate is confusing to me especially with his home away splits. Him and Hicks will play together in Beloit and Fort Myers. Should be cool.
    10 Wilson Ramos – Too bad he has been hurt this year. He can really play the position well. If it was not for that he would be one of the best cathing prospects in the league. Still only 21 years old if the worst thing happens which is Mauer not resigning this will be the guy everybody looks to. Big big shoes to fill
    11 Chris Parmaleev- I have always liked Parmalee. He has big time power and now just won the FL State League HR derby. He is hitting 267 this year and although inconsistent he has made big jumps this year to be the best power hitter in the Twins system.

    12 Anthony Slama AA, should finish in AAA
    13 Tyler Robertson A+ will remain there with good numbers
    14 Joe Benson – A+ if only he didn’t pucnh
    15 Kevin Mulvey – AAA – 40 man roster to finish out
    16 Rob Delany – AAA 40 man roster possibly
    17 Billy Bullok – Rookie League at best will go to Beloit
    18 Matt Bashore – If he signs soon he will go to Eliz..
    19 Rene Tonosi – AA and will probably remain there
    20 Delois Guerra – A+ he will stay there. I pray they move him to AA next year. Might be the best thing for his confidence to not spend a 4th year in FSL. Can you update me on what he velocity is like. At age 18 I heard he threw 93 and last year I heard 87. Whats it like now?

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