Minnesota Twins Top Prospects (Part 2: 11-25)

13 Jan

available at www.SethSpeaks.net

Alright, if you missed prospects 26-50ish, click here or scroll down, but for now, it is time to take a brief look at my choices for Twins prospects 11 through 25. If you missed it earlier, I also did an interview with Bullpen Banter, talking about the 2011 Twins and Twins prospects. Check it out here.

SethSpeaks.net Minnesota Twins Top 50 Prospects List 2011

As you know, I have been working on the 2011 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook for months. After of research and writing, a conclusion is finally in sight. In the next week, I will provide more information on the book, and how you can order or pre-order.

One thing that the book includes is my Top 30 prospects and a reminder of my previous Top 30s, going back to 2005. The book will include top 10 lists from many of your favorite bloggers.

I did something a little bit different in compiling my Top 50 list. I took the entire list of Twins minor league prospects from the GCL through Rochester, and in an Excel spreadsheet, I put each name in the first column and each name in the first row. Then I went through and compared every prospect to every other prospect, picking which of the two I thought was the better prospect. My ‘vote’ on each was based on a ton of research, stats, scouting reports and more. I considered which of the two players I would trade if a team said that I could pick which prospect to send in a potential deal. I compared Aaron Hicks to Kyle Gibson and Miguel Sano, and also against Matt Schuld and Matt Trau. I compared Manuel Soliman to Dan Osterbrock, Joe Benson and Dallas Gallant. After doing that for every player (which took WAY too long), I added up the total number of times I selected each player. The player that I chose above all players obviously ended up with the most points at the end of the day. The one with the second most votes would be the #2 prospect. And so on. Of course, there were ties, sometimes three-way ties, which I broke by my head-to-head results, so to speak. The results were interesting, at least in the middle of the list, but really throughout. Today I will post my choices for Twins Prospects #26 through 50 with a brief description. As you would expect, there was a tie at 50, so in fact, here are prospects 26-51. As always, your thoughts and opinions are welcome.

#25 – Bruce Pugh – RHP – New Britain

                Hard-throwing young right-hander pitched very well in Ft. Myers until an injury. Returned and pitched well enough to get in a couple games with the Rock Cats.

#24 – Deolis Guerra – RHP – Rochester

                Guerra may be one of the more polarizing prospects in the Twins system. He is still young, has a tremendous changeup and he’s got great makeup. Unfortunately the numbers tell a different story. 2011 is a big year for him as it is his final option season.

#23 – Billy Bullock – RHP – New Britain

                Bullock throws very hard and has an improving slider. He’s succeeded as a closer and gets plenty of strikeouts. The only concern is how quickly his walk rate has raised at each level the past two years. No rush though. He doesn’t need to be added to the 40 man roster until after the 2012 season.

#22 – Pat Dean – LHP – Elizabethton

                My choice for breakout pitching prospect in 2011, the Twins 3rd round pick in 2011 walked one and struck out 34 in his 25 innings between GCL and E-Twins. The lefty could move up quickly next year.

#21 – Trevor Plouffe – SS – Minnesota

                Plouffe was promoted to the Twins three times in 2010. He struggled making contact in limited time, but he did hit two home runs. He had a career-high in home runs in 2011. His batting average was actually around .300 for Rochester most of the year, until he went on a horrible slump to end the season.

#20 – Bobby Lanigan – RHP – New Britain

                Lanigan had an incredible, dominant month of April, but then he was hurt and missed about two months. When he came back, he did alright and ended the season by making a few starts in AA.

#19 – Daniel Ortiz – OF – Elizabethton

                My choice for breakout hitter of the 2011 Twins minor league season. Ortiz impressed in the GCL after being drafted in 2008. He missed all of 2009 with a knee injury. After a slow start in 2010, he had a great month of August, hitting over .300 with eight home runs.

#18 – BJ Hermsen – RHP – Beloit

                Hermsen started the season in Extended Spring Training, but he was soon promoted to Beloit where he held his own. The highlight was a one-hit complete game shutout in Cedar Rapids, less than an hour from his hometown, in which he had a no-hitter into the 9th inning. Struggled a lot late and then pitched well in Elizabethton.

#17 – Max Kepler – OF – GCL Twins

                I didn’t know what to expect from “the greatest prospect ever from Europe.” However, the 17-year-old more than held his own in the GCL. He’s a five-tool talent, and most important, he improved over the course of the season. Long ways to go, but huge upside.

#16 – Eddie Rosario – OF – GCL Twins

                The Twins took Rosario in the 2010 4th round out of his high school in Puerto Rico. He came to the GCL and immediately performed well, all-around. Good defense and arm. Hit for average and got on base and extra base hits. Also stole 22 bases.

#15 – Tsuyoshi Nishioka – SS/2B – Chiba Lotte

                You all know about Nishioka. He’d probably be higher if he weren’t 26. Can he be a very good big league player? Average big leaguer? We will certainly find out. But I think he will be solid all-around.

#14 – Carlos Gutierrez – RHP – Rochester

                On a podcast a few weeks ago, Gutierrez said he much prefers to pitch out of the bullpen. He saw great value in his time starting, working on secondary pitches. But anyone with a sinking, 97 mph fastball who thrives in the bullpen can be very effective. I think he will be in the big leagues in June, if not sooner.

#13 – Manuel Soliman – RHP – Elizabethton

                Two years ago, he was a 3B prospect struggling in the DSL. He was moved to pitcher the last two seasons, and he throws hard with adequate second pitches. At Elizabethton, he threw one seven inning no-hitter and carried a second into the 7th. Still improving.

#12 – Chris Parmelee – 1B – New Britain

                April in New Britain was bad for Parmelee. He was sent back to Ft. Myers in May and made some adjustments. He was back in AA in a month and didn’t stop hitting. In fact, he led the Arizona Fall League in hits. Cut down strikeouts and hit for average in 2010, but the power is still there. Will be fun to see what he is capable of in 2011.

#11 – David Bromberg – RHP – Rochester

                Bromberg had moved up one level each year. He began the 2010 season in New Britain, but he made several starts for AAA Rochester. And he held his own. Ceiling is probably mid-to-back-of-the-rotation starter, but he’s got good stuff and knows how to pitch.

So there you have it, my choices for Twins Prospects 11-25. What do you think? Were there any surprises? Still to come is my top ten Twins prospect list, which I will post on Friday morning. Check back when you are able to. Feel free to e-mail me or leave your comments here.


12 Responses to “Minnesota Twins Top Prospects (Part 2: 11-25)”

  1. Cmb0252 January 13, 2011 at 9:01 pm #

    Your prospect breakdowns are second to none and they are must reads for any Twins fan.

    I’m interested in if you could have only one, of our many, OF prospects who would you take from the 11-50 range?

  2. TT January 13, 2011 at 11:47 pm #

    I have no idea how Soliman is ahead of Nishioka and Gutierrez by either ceiling or likelihood of reaching it. He is the same age as Delios Guerra and hasn’t pitched above rookie ball.

    Rosario and Dean were drafted after the first 100 picks this year. Their chances of making it in the big leagues are very limited based on that. And there is really nothing else to base their status on.

    This list looks like it is based almost entirely on your imagined ceiling in the best possible case without regard to whether they have any likelihood of reaching it. That is a little like valuing a lottery ticket based solely on the size of the jackpot.

  3. Jeff in WI January 14, 2011 at 9:30 am #

    Always enjoy your take on these guys. Can’t wait until Snappers season starts so I can see some of the Appy League and GCL players move up. You have to get down for another weekend in Beloit or head to Cedar Rapids, Quad Cities or Clinton. Looking forward to your Top 10, have a feeling a couple 2010 Snappers will be in there.

  4. funkytown January 14, 2011 at 9:46 am #

    Dean walked one/fanned 34….Man if he walked 34/fanne3d one, that’d by MY statline.

    • Seth January 14, 2011 at 10:14 am #

      Thanks Funky… I edited that. Ha!!

  5. j-sin January 14, 2011 at 10:03 am #

    Seth I applaud you for such an undertaking and making it as scientific as possible. Assuming you looked at more than just 51 players to do your “head-to-head” player scoring, say 80, you probably did about 2000 comparisons! (80 Choose 2 = 1960).

    Even though you based your head-to-head comparison on many stats and other variables, you were still doing a lot of the calls based on your gut feelings. I think it is almost impossible to take out the gut feelings even with more advanced scoring and ranking systems, and no matter what it will be viewed as flawed because there is always a top-10 prospect who didn’t progress while a #40 guy who had something “click” and makes it. I guess we can look back at prospect lists from years past and see that some lists were better predictors than others, and I’m confident that your lists do compare well against other rankings, which of course is why I read your posts. Thanks for your continued efforts!

    • Seth January 14, 2011 at 10:20 am #

      Thanks for this comment j-sin…
      first, I actually compared about 150 prospects to each other… so, your math makes it look kind of crazy, doesn’t it? HA!

      But the ‘stats and other variables’ are all things that I researched while writing the book. Other variables include scouting reports I’ve received from various people, and hopefully a lot of things.

      But when I actually got to doing the head to heads, I made myself do them pretty quickly. I tried not to think too long. Some are obvious, but even those that aren’t obvious, I wanted to trust my gut feeling because I wanted to not over-think it (which the whole analysis is already doing, I guess…), and since it is my list, I am OK with making some personal biases (again, based on all the research). For instance, I really think Danny Ortiz is going to break out, so some of my quick-response has to be about what I think he’ll do going forward more than what I think he’s done.

      In the end, you’re right… with any minor league prospect, we just don’t know. These are to be fun lists, to create discussion, and to give some recognition to some minor leaguers who deserve it.

      • mike wants wins January 14, 2011 at 12:20 pm #

        The book “Blink” would posit that you made the right choice about how to do your rankings, Seth….great work, as always. Thanks for the site!


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