Top Ten Twins Prospects

23 Oct

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On Monday, I posted my choices for Twins Prospects 36-50. Wednesday, Twins prospects 21-35 were presented. Yesterday, I found that I had completely forgotten one of my top 20 prospects, so he had to be added, and that means that I presented Twins prospects 11-21. That brings us to the topic that I’m sure most of you look forward to in any prospect lists. Here are the Top 10 Minnesota Twins Prospects. You’ve done a great job in the comments section throughout the week, so be sure to Click Here to leave your Comments or Questions.

(To read the player profiles and more, be sure to go to

The Top Ten Minnesota Twins Prospects

#10 – Adrian Salcedo – RHP – 18 (4/24/91)


#9 – Rene Tosoni – OF – 23 (7/2/86)


#8 – Miguel Sano – SS – 16 (5/8/93)


#7 – Ben Revere – OF – 21 (5/3/88)


#6 – David Bromberg – RHP – 22 (9/14/87)


#5 – Kyle Gibson – RHP – 22 (10/23/87)


#4 – Danny Valencia – 3B – 25 (9/19/84)

#3 – Wilson Ramos – C – 22 (8/10/87)

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

#1 – Aaron Hicks – OF – 21 (10/2/89)

So there you have it, the Top Ten Twins Prospects. If you have any feedback, comments, opinions or suggestions, please feel free to Send me an e-mail, or leave your questions or comments here.


43 Responses to “ Top Ten Twins Prospects”

  1. chris October 23, 2009 at 9:32 am #

    Love how you do this every year and think you do real quality work.

    I see one glaring omission though, that is Matt Bashore. Trust me he’s a top 50 twins prospect, and likely a top 10 twins prospect next year. I’d put him above a lot of the guys you had, as college ball, is probably a higher level than the lower levels of the minors anyways.

    He’s a 6″3 lefty, with very good stuff, and over a k per inning his last two years of college, and was big in some huge games for Indiana, arguably the best on the staff late in the season, over Brewers 1st round pick Arnett.

    Trust me I got to see this kid 4-5 times in college on Tv, once live. The Twins gave him $750 Grand for a reason and more money than Bullock and Tootle for a reason, because he is better. Overall a great list, with one glaring omission, but it happens!

    • chris October 23, 2009 at 9:38 am #

      I mean the twins liked him enough to take him sandwich round and pay him $750k, and paid Tootle a 3rd round pick $320k and both guys really didn’t pitch at all in the minors this season, after long college seasons.

      So i’m not sure how you can have tootle higher, when Bashore played in a much better division in college, and put up much better stats, and is a southpaw and their stuff is pretty close. Tootle’s heater isn’t as fast as was reported, as they often get hyped. It’s about 92-93’ish similar to bashore, he might be a tick slower.

      So in closing, im not sure how u can rank tootle/bullock so high, when the Twins who do this professionaly rank Bashore as a better talent and their check book can reflect that. I hope Tootle, bullock and Bashore all have rock star careers as a twins fan, and I’m not a Indiana baseball fan, just a fan in general. However, my money is on Bashore becoming a fixture in this organization over guys like stufibargen, winston marquez, shooter hunt.

      • Seth October 23, 2009 at 9:54 am #

        I didn’t rank Tootle either at this point. Not sure what to make of Bashore. I’ve heard him compared to someone like Glen Perkins, slightly better.

        However, he threw one inning this year before experiencing arm issues. There is a decent chance he is going to need Tommy John surgery, although from what I hear they are considering other rehab options. They aren’t sure what’s wrong. Unfortunately, that’s a bit alarming to me, so honestly, that is the reason I didn’t include him. Maybe I should have, but if I would have, it would have been a ways down the list. I hope he comes back well.

  2. chris October 23, 2009 at 10:04 am #

    Oh I heard he had a little forearm soreness, and they didn’t consider it to be too serious, or need for surgery and they were possibly going to pitch him in instructionals, not sure if they did or not.

    Regardless, I think he’s going to be a keeper, but time will tell!!!

    I hope your #2 Twins prospect pans out, I have high hopes for him. Morales really needs to cut down on the strike outs though, he did a better job of that the 2nd half of the twins season last year. I think being in a warm weather Florida, may help him next year, guys in Beloit seem to get off to bad starts a lot.

    If someone had a gun to my head and told me I could only keep 3 twins prospects, I would pick ( Hicks, Gibson and Sano) I think those 3 are the most upside guys in our whole system.

    Hicks – a 5 tool, 25 hr, 100 run, 25 steal great defense CF
    Gibson- a #2 type starter, Era possibly mid 3’s
    Sano- If all goes right a impact bat in the middle of order.

  3. David October 23, 2009 at 10:04 am #

    Nothing to add – just wanted to say great work. Your insights are invaluable.

  4. TT October 23, 2009 at 10:06 am #

    I will do my mantra of “Danny Valencia is way over-rated” again. The reason he wasn’t called up is that his bat and his glove are both suspect based on his performance at AAA. He has always committed way too many errors and that problem only got worse as he progressed through the system. He committed 12 errors and had a .921 fielding percentage at Rochester, 20 points lower than the previous year at New Britain. Overall, he committed 20 errors for the second straight season.

    Valencia’s bat was probably worse than his glove. His overall numbers at AAA are inflated by a very hot start. After the all-star break he only hit .258 .279 .407 against AAA pitching. For comparison, Tolbert hit .307 .336 .457 over that same period against that same competition. Tolbert also only committed 3 errors while at Rochester.

    of course, Tolbert is two years older than Valencia. But Trevor Plouffe, who is two years younger than Valencia, hit .290 .340 .476 over the last half of the season. Over the full season Plouffe lead the league in errors with 26, but his fielding percentage was still better than Valencia’s.

    Its hard for me to see how Valencia is the better prospect than Plouffe based on their age and performance at AAA. And its hard to see how he was a better option than Tolbert at third base this fall.

    I also think you have overrated Bromberg. He had a great year and the BBA survey of managers found him the best in the league based on his performance. But Bromberg was only BBA’s 16th rated prospect in the Florida State League when they talked to scouts. He was behind several other pitchers, including the Twins’ Carlos Gutierrez.

    You probably have Morales ranked too high at second. If he reaches his upside, he could easily be the best player on the list. But there are a lot of red flags that might prevent him from amounting to anything.

    Salcedo, Gibson and Sano don’t really have enough track record to project them against professional competition, but they certainly are starting off with the scouts drooling. If you are going to include them on the list at all, they probably belong in the top ten.

    Great list Seth. These are always fun even though we will never see most of these guys in Minnesota.

  5. Bill in Sarasota October 23, 2009 at 10:47 am #

    Seth – good work.

    I would probably switch Valencia and Revere but I understand your reasoning that Valencia is closer and Revere hasn’t hit for power yet.

    I’m already looking forward to watching the Ft Myers Miracle and GCL Twins in 2010.

  6. Jon Belle October 23, 2009 at 10:47 am #

    Seth I agree with the top 10 prospects, although not necessarily their order. It is tough this year to rank them because you have a lot of new guys who haven’t played much if any, and some guys who were hurt or didn’t put up gaudy stats. You did a great job though!

    I think the system is the best it’s been in a while.

    Rochester and New Britain should have enough great prospects to quiet the accusations of the system not having any good prospects ready to contribute soon. Valencia, Ramos, Tosoni, Bromberg, Guerra, Plouffe, Parmalee, Benson, Burnett, and many more will all be in the upper two levels.

    Also we have more elite prospects than we have over recent years. Remember when Tyler Robertson was considered to be #1?

    Last thing, I know we don’t know much about Jorge Polanco, SS, but I would have liked to see him in the rankings.

  7. gobbledygookguy October 23, 2009 at 10:52 am #

    ??? how do most of the minor league fields rank in quality? are there a lot of them that are not in very good shape and that could contribute to errors or are they for the most part in good condition?

    • Brad October 23, 2009 at 11:28 am #

      We have made a few trips out to Rochester and it looks like a fabulous field. They have good grounds keepers and outside of starting the season with bad weather on occasion there isn’t much difference to MLB field.

    • TT October 23, 2009 at 11:53 am #

      One issue with infielders in the minor leagues is the ability of the first baseman to save errors on throws. Most minor league first baseman are there because of their lack of other defensive skills, not because they are great first basemen. I don’t know how the Rochester first baseman rate.

      I think throwing errors are often something players can sometimes work on. Stone hands are a lot harder to fix.

  8. Jeff B October 23, 2009 at 11:19 am #

    Is Aaron Hicks a younger version of Torii Hunter? If someone knows Hicks, how does he differ from Torii?

    • Brad October 23, 2009 at 11:23 am #

      His body type is more of a Carlos Beltran than Torii.

    • Chris October 23, 2009 at 11:46 am #

      I don’t think Hicks is that similar to Torii Hunter. His body type is more that of Grady Sizemore. He also shows better plate discipline then Hunter showed in the minors. I think his defense will be comparable, both have plus range and plus arms.

      I think Hicks can steal some more bases, hit for a little less power, and hit for a little higher average if he pans out.

      Hicks is a nice, nice spect.

  9. Joel Thingvall October 23, 2009 at 11:20 am #

    Wow! Come 2013 the Twins will have a different 4-outfielder probelm, wodnering if Joe Mauer will be the DH, and still in need of a second baseman.

    If you look at just the Top 10, you can see the Twins parting, via trade for prospects, Cuddyer, Young and eventually Gomez, a starter at the end of 2010, anbotehr in 2011.

    • Chris October 23, 2009 at 11:48 am #

      I see Cuddyer gone in a couple years, due to age, money….however he was great this year, and is a great clubhouse guy, everyone loves cuddy.

      Gomez simply isn’t a MLB talent, he’s just raw and probably still should be in the minors, I don’t see him here long term.

      Delmon Young is the guy we definitly shouldn’t give up on yet. He looked real good in the last 20 games of the regular season, and looked to gain confidence and turn the corner. I hope that translates into a real good year next year. I wouldn’t sell low on him yet, i think his upside is still there.

  10. Brad October 23, 2009 at 11:20 am #

    Wow, how one year can change the depths of the minor league system. By adding Gibson, Sano, Salcedo & Kepler BS has really added some top end quality to the lower minors. Now I hope they do this every year and not just every couple years.

    • Chris October 23, 2009 at 11:50 am #


      gibson 1.8 mill
      Sano- 3.15 mill
      Kepler – 800 k
      Polanco – 750 k
      Bashore- 751 k
      Bullock- 500K+

      They def put a little money in the product, hopefully this trend does continue.

      • Kunza October 23, 2009 at 11:18 pm #

        Wouldn’t you think possibly that the Twins decided to shell out some money this year because they will going into the offseason with the intention of NOT HAVING TO PAY a first/second round pick with some Type A and Type B free agents?

        God, I can only hope so!

  11. Jeff in WI October 23, 2009 at 11:49 am #

    Jeff B I thought Torii the first time I saw Hicks. His body needs to fill out and will, but I stopped thinking Torii when I saw him work a count or two. The kid has a plan at the plate and doesn’t just swing at everything Rock County.

    Beltran works also, but either way Hicks strikes you as a top rung athelete. Now being a great athelete and great baseball player can be two different things. We will see if he can develop.

    I liked Morales and yes it was a chilly and wet spring that probably knocked him back a bit. As far as Revere goes the kid just flat out hits. Don’t know about a lot of pop in the bat, but he will get on base and cause problems. Will he play outfield? Not real excited about him in the field as of now.

    So throw in Tosoni, Kepler and Joe Benson and the outfield depth in the system is very good. Reminds me of a few years ago when the strength of the system was pitching, throw in Span, Young and Gomez. Interesting to see what the Twins do with this in the next two years the closer some of these guys get to the majors.

    Look forward to this Seth. Thanks for work you put in on this.

    • Chris October 23, 2009 at 11:52 am #

      I’ve been hearing a lot of positive things about this young OF from Dominican, Arcia, who was in the GCL this year. Might be another OF with some upside.

      I think we are fine right now with OF prospects, it’s more middle infield that worries me.

      • Chris October 23, 2009 at 11:59 am #

        excuse me, Arcia is from Venezuela.

    • Jeff B October 23, 2009 at 12:18 pm #

      As we learned with our pitching “depth” that was considered an asset only 1-2 years ago, it can be fleeting or even misleading. Garza was considered expendable, but now look what we are left with: a bunch of mid-rotation starters at best in our high minors…many of whom are now out of the org or dealing with injuries. I suppose OF depth is more predictable or stable than pitching prospects, but we still should not count our chickens before they hatch.

  12. TT October 23, 2009 at 1:00 pm #

    “Remember when Tyler Robertson was considered to be #1? ”

    Yeh – ahead of Span, Baker, Blackburn, Perkins, Slowey …

    The problem was never that the Twins didn’t have top prospects, it was that they were mostly unrecognized.

    The Twins have always spent money to sign their draft choices. They paid top dollar for Johnson, Garbe and Mills. And Shooter Hunt last year for that matter. The size of the bonus paid is not necessarily a measure of a players ultimate value.

  13. chris October 23, 2009 at 1:42 pm #


    Adam Johnson/Bj Garbe/Ryan Mills – the holy trinity of suckiness!!!!

    thats like 7-8 mill of bonus’s right there!!! At least in the BJ Garbe draft we drafted some canadian kid named Morneau, in the 3rd round!!!! Now only if we took Pujols in before the Cardinals did that year, in the 13th round!!!!

  14. TT October 23, 2009 at 2:47 pm #

    “Rochester and New Britain should have enough great prospects to quiet the accusations of the system not having any good prospects ready to contribute soon.”

    Last year the Twins had Mijares, Duensing, Swarzak, Manship and Morales contribute at the major league level. I don’t think anyone on the top ten list is likely to contribute as much next year as any of those players did last year. And that ignores the contributions from guys like Gabino, Humphreys and Mulvey.

    Its not until you get to Seth’s second 10, guys like Gutierrez and Plouffe, that you see players who might be major league ready next season.

  15. Kyle October 23, 2009 at 4:36 pm #

    Great List. I have questions/comments on your write-up of Hicks though. To say Hicks could be in Minnesota in 2013 seems way too conservative, especially when comparing his arrival to your other positional player’s arrival, such as Morales, Revere, and Sano. The Twins have always promoted the guy with the glove over the guy with the bat quicker, so to say Revere would be 2 years ahead of Hicks doesn’t seem right. Morales a year ahead of Hicks doesn’t seem right either, considering there is probably more question with his bat than Hicks’ bat. Morales is also younger and Hicks is considered a better outfielder. Lastly, Hicks will be 23 in October of 2012, so to say our #1 prospect “could be” in the majors in 2013 bums me out.

  16. JimV October 23, 2009 at 4:58 pm #

    I was surprised by the list–not so much who was on it but who wasn’t. You can always make arguments about the bottom part, and to me Tootle and Bashore fall into that category.

    And there’s always the question as to how much major league experience do you need to have before you’re not a prospect anymore. For example, Manship had a decent amount of major league experience this year, but Seth still counted him as a prospect (as would I.) Seth apparently didn’t include Casilla, Tolbert, Morales, or Perkins, but any or all of them could be in the minors next year–and were in the minors for parts of this year. I also agree with Seth’s call on those guys, altho Morales might be the most debatable.

    But I’m struggling with the omissions of Swarczak, Gabino, and Steedley. Swarczak would seem to fall in the same category as Manship, Gabino played much less than Manship, and Steedley has no major league time and is clearly a prospect. And if they’re prospects, then I would think they’d be somewhere in the top 50. Swarczak had some success at the major league level–something many of these guys won’t have, Gabino is well considered enough to go with the team in the postseason even if he isn’t on the roster, and Steedley is in the AFL–and has played darn well.

    So I’m curious why those guys weren’t on the list.

    I was also mildly surprised Van Mil wasn’t on the list, but he’s certainly as debatable as Tootle/Bashore.

    It’s also interesting to see some of the guys who weren’t on the list this year, but were ranked somewhat high last year (if memory serves me correctly, which it often doesn’t): Evan Bigley; Phil Humber; Jason Pridie; Dustin Martin; etc.

  17. John October 23, 2009 at 5:15 pm #

    Biggest omission is Bruce Pugh. He’s one of the harder throwers in the system and had success as a starter at the end of the season in Beloit.

    I would put Ramos at #2 and Morales at #3. Ramos is so much closer to the Bigs and it is rare to find catchers with his offensive and defensive upside.

    Revere had an iffy year statistically but I still like him, and would put him at #4 or #5. Just because he makes contact doesn’t mean he’s polished- I think there is a ton of room left for improvement.

    I like Bromberg as well… the only guy really overrated in the top 10 is Valencia. I’m optimistic that he can be a serviceable third baseman for a couple years (2011-2012?) but he’s a stopgap measure at best. He has upside on defense but is a mediocre hitter.

  18. JoeM October 23, 2009 at 5:51 pm #

    Just curious about where the swag the Twins parted with to get Pavano, Cabrera, and Rauch (Yohan Pino, Tyler Ladendorf, and Kevin Mulvey) would have ranked in your top 50(1) prospects? Thanks.

  19. Seth October 23, 2009 at 9:21 pm #

    I’d encourage people to check out the Transcript from the live chat I conducted at noon on Friday. I answered many of those questions there, particularly regarding Bashore, Pino, Ladendorf and Mulvey.

    To answer John’s question about some of the guys that aren’t included, the answer is really quite simple. They have to be rookie-eligible next year. Manship only threw about 30 innings. Swarzak threw almost 60. The rookie cutoff is 50 innings. For a hitter, it’s 130 plate appearances. Morales is close to that. But Casilla, Perkins and Tolbert are all way over the limit.

    • JimV October 24, 2009 at 6:47 pm #

      Got it. I guess that means that Gabino and Steedley didn’t make your top 51?

      I’ve never looked into rookie qual metrics. Is it just the 50 innings for pitchers? I think that’s intersting because it means a September starter could be excluded from rookie status next year, while a Loogy could go a full year and not lose rookie status. I would have thought games played would enter into ti somehow, but I guess not.

      • Seth October 24, 2009 at 7:12 pm #

        No, neither would make the top 50 for me…

        The qualifications are actually both, or either. It’s either 50 IP or a certain number of days on the active roster (60 comes to mind?).

  20. peterb18 October 24, 2009 at 7:06 am #

    What kind of a pitcher is Bromberg——describe him a bit–type of fastball,etc. You describe him as a bulldog, or competitive. That tells me he doesn’t have great stuff!

  21. Seth October 24, 2009 at 8:40 am #

    Bromberg throws both the 2 seam and 4 seam fastball and can hit anywhere from 89-95, depending on which he uses. He can mix that up well. He says that the biggest area in which he improved was the command of his fastball. he also throws a changeup, a slurve and a curveball.

    • Han Joelo October 24, 2009 at 6:30 pm #

      Hopefully you also mean, that in addition to having some good-great pitches, he has a ‘big game’ mentality. Doesn’t wilt under the pressure and all that stuff. Kind of like John Lackey the other night, when he was so fired up to get the final out of the 7th inning, with the bases loaded.

      The blend of Baker’s stuff with Blackburn’s mental toughness. My definition of a true ‘ace’ or No. 1. Not necessarily someone with Bugs Bunny stuff, like Liriano used to have, but someone with at least above-average stuff who also has a mental toughness to go with it.

  22. roger October 24, 2009 at 5:06 pm #

    Hi Seth, Travelling since yesterday down to Hilton Head for a week. Great job on your entire Top 51! My comments regarding your final three would be that I believe Ramos should be #1. He was the Caribbean Championship Series MVP last winter, then went on to hit .317 with power as an Eastern League rookie. If he hadn’t broken his finger there is no telling what he may have done this year. I firmly believe that he will become an all-star catcher who will play in the summer classic for many years. I see him as a catcher who will be “special” defensively with a bat that will hit .300Average with 20-30 home runs. I know everyone is in love with Hicks and he could also be special. Ramos is so much closer that the liklihood of his being special is much more certain than both of the young kids.

  23. JA October 24, 2009 at 11:00 pm #

    Hi Seth, great work. I do not understand the love affair with Morales, he hits for pull power only at a fastball level. He will need some serious adjustment to continue to advance. Revere is a top 3 guy, you talk about him like he’s a finished product, like this is all he can be. What he is, is a hell of a baseball player, and also a hell of a athlete. Discipline and speed are two trait to take over power.

  24. roger October 25, 2009 at 9:09 am #

    Hey Seth, had more time this morning to go through your entire top 51. I think there are two names missing that need strong consideration. I know both are relievers and you tend to discount them, but Matt Tone and Zach See both had spectacular seasons for the Twins this year. See pitched so well that they moved him from the GCL to the Miracle for the playoffs. I don’t know where they should be but both had seasons worthy of being on a top 51!

  25. Seth October 25, 2009 at 10:22 am #

    Rich – read up above, the criteria for inclusion is simply that they maintain rookie eligibility. Swarzak and Duensing are both over 50 inning, Manship isn’t.

  26. #3-Killer October 25, 2009 at 10:52 pm #

    Hi Seth,
    I have a question for you… Do you read anything into Winter ball stats, especially in the Caribbean Leagues?

    With another 3-3, Dbl, HR night tonight Wilson Ramos’ line is .407/.468/.833 with 6D 1T 5HR and 21 RBI in 51 AB (and only 11 SO). If those were AFL numbers we would be pretty excited. But I’ve never tried to look for correlations from the VWL. What are your thoughts?

  27. Joe October 26, 2009 at 12:28 pm #

    I did not see Bruce Pugh on this list. I hear he has very good stuff and gets a lot of strikeouts. He will be in Fort Myers next year. I was reading this guys at Baseball Prospectus were really high on him. Take a look

  28. #3-Killer October 27, 2009 at 10:37 pm #

    With all the debate about the strength of the Twins farm system, I thought it would be fun to look back at what the Farm looked like earlier this decade. John Sickles 2003 Prospect book Graded the following Twins position players WHO ALL WENT ON TO HAVE SIGNIFICANT PRO CAREERS!

    Joe Mauer-A
    Michael Cuddyer-A
    Justin Morneau-A-
    Jason Kubel-B
    Lew Ford-C+
    Denard Span-B-
    Michael Restovich-B+

    WOW, that’s a pretty impressive group of prospects… although is took some pretty rough times in the 90’s and 2000 to get the high draft picks!

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