Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Reviewing Top Ten Prospects

Last November I posted a list  of top ten prospects. My list actually had eleven players and with the minor league season over now is a good time to review that list. I am not going to create an alternative list just yet, but simply evaluate how the 11 players on my list last year progressed.

Major Leagues

Jose Mijares progressed as expected, taking a key role in the Twins bullpen after some struggles in spring training had him sent to Rochester.

Phil Humber failed in a couple chances with the Twins and is probably gone as a free agent after the season. He still has the talent to be a productive major league pitcher, but he has yet to harness his control and the Twins have a lot of competition from younger pitchers who are in similar spots.

Anthony Swarzak had some moments as a big league pitcher, but he still needs work on his control. Nothing he did this year changed the outlook for him to be either in the rotation or a key part of the bullpen in the future.

Kevin Mulvey actually moved faster than expected. But that was more desperation on the Twins part than him being ready. He got shipped off at the end of the season for Jon Rauch.

AAA


Trevor Plouffe struggled to start the year and then progressed, hitting over .300 in August and being named to the World Cup team. He looks ready to make a run at the Twins starting shortstop position next spring, but his errors are still a concern.

AA


Given his youth, Wilson Ramos assignment to AA was a surprise. He got hurt and saw limited play. But he also showed he has the bat and glove to be a starting catcher with star potential at the major league level. Of course there is a large roadblock named Joe Mauer at that position right now.

Delios Guerra started the year at Fort Myers and was promoted to AA. He struggled and then improved. He continues to look like he has the potential for stardom, but he is probably still a couple years away from the big leagues.

Rene Tosoni was another surprise assignment to AA. He showed it was not a mistake batting over .300 in May and June after a slow April start. That won him a position on the Futures Game world team. But his performance slipped post allstar break. He is now playing in the World Cup. It may be he ends up back at New Britain, but more likely he will start next year at Rochester. Given the Twins outfield surplus, he probably is at least a year away from being ready to take a major league spot.

A Ball

Ben Revere demonstrated again that the angst over his first round selection appears to be ill-founded. He finished second in hitting in the FSL with more walks than strikeouts and 45 stolen bases. He will advance to New Britain next year.

Tyler Robertson stayed on track. Fort Myers is a pitchers park in a pitchers league, but Robertson showed he is ready to move up to the next level.

Angel Morales started out struggling, but he ended the year showing the same combination of average, speed and power that makes him an exciting player. He also continued to strike out a lot. He is now playing in the playoffs for New Britain, but it is likely he will start next year at Fort Myers.

As I said when I created this list, I did not consider any of the players from the 2008 draft. Gutierrez and Hicks progressed and are clearly top prospects at this point.  Hunt has showed he definitely isn't.

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