Monday, November 03, 2008

Twins Top Ten (11) Prospects

Here are eleven Twins prospects to watch out for. They are in no particular order, but simply the players I think are likely to contribute the most at the major league level at some point in the next 8 years. Why eleven? I started out to create a top ten but found no compelling reason to leave anyone off this list. I look out 8 years, because most players have reached their peak by the time they are 27. While talented young players sometimes get to the major leagues quickly, it also sometimes takes several more years before they show their full talent.

Ben Revere (OF)
The question with Revere is whether he will develop the power the Twins saw when they drafted him or have to rely on his running game. Either way, he will contribute at the major league level.

Angel Morales (OF)
When drafted, Morales was identified as a slap-hitter in some quarters. He clearly isn't.With his outstanding speed and power, this is a guy who could be as a superstar or a super bust. The question is whether he will make enough contact at higher levels to make use of either one.

Deolis Guerra (P)
Guerra was a touted part of the Santana deal but the Twins turned him into a project, working to improve his delivery. Given their track record of success with pitchers in the minor leagues, you have to expect they know what they are doing.

Wilson Ramos (C)
A power hitting catcher with a plus arm and defensive skills. You can't get much better than that.

Rene Tosoni (OF)
Tosoni was injured this year. But this is a guy who hits for both average and with enough power to take a corner outfield spot.

Tyler Robertson (P)
Robertson remains one of the Twins top young prospects. He may be a few years away but he has the potential to be a top of the rotation starter.

Anthony Swarzak (P)
Swarzak struggled some at AA but did better once promoted. He is probably still at least one full year away from the major leagues. Like Robertson, he has the stuff to take a spot toward the top of the rotation. He also has a curve ball that would work well out of the bullpen.

Trevor Plouffe (SS)
Plouffe is probably still a year away from taking over as the Twins shortstop. He does not look to have star potential, but he will be an above average hitter and more than adequate fielder.

Jose Mijares (P)
Mijares almost had a wasted season last year that he turned to his advantage. He recovered from an auto accident and then showed enough to get a late season callup. Better yet, he showed that he is probably ready to be a key part of a major league bullpen.

Phillip Humber (P)
Humber started out struggling at AAA. But he came back the last half of the season. He is out of options, so he is very likely going to on a major league roster next year. He has potential as a starter, but is blocked on the Twins. It may take him another year, but if he doesn't win a place in the rotation, he will likely end up an 8th inning guy.

Kevin Mulvey
(P) Mulvey is younger than Humber and will likely get another year at AAA. He is probably a notch below Robertson and Swarzak in terms of his potential at the major league level. But he has all the tools to be a solid major league starter.

The Twins top three draft choices, Hicks, Gutierrez and Hunt have a shot at making this list next year but a half season after the draft doesn't really tell us anything. The Twins also have plenty of other talented players in their system who are not on this list. But most of those players have flaws that will need to be corrected as opposed to talent that they need to develop.

A good example is Allen de San Miguel. He is probably the best defensive catcher in the Twins system. But he has never been able to hit and he doesn't really project to ever being able to hit in the future. He still might figure it out, but its not just a matter of  giving him time to develop the talent he appears to have.

The players on the list above should contribute at the major league level. If they don't, it will be a result of not reaching their potential.


Anonymous said...

Hunter -> Hunt?

TT said...

Yep, Shooter Hunt. I corrected it, thanks for the heads up.

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