Wednesday, May 30, 2007
SethSpeaks Top 50
Part 2 - #31-40
Good Morning everyone! Last night, I wrote up two postings. The first was more thoughts on Torii Hunter. The other was a Congratulations to Kevin Slowey as he has officially been told that he will be promoted!
Today, I am going to post part two of a five part series on my choices for the top fifty Twins prospects. Last Friday, I posted my choices for #s 41-50.
If you have any questions or comments on any of these players or their rankings, I would love to hear your thoughts. The other three parts of this list will be posted next week, culminating in the Top 10 list next Friday. Also next week, I have another Q&A lined up with another Twins prospect. If you have thoughts, or if you have a Top 10, 20, 30, or 50 Prospect list, I would love to see it and share it with other Twins fans, so please e-mail me or leave Comments below.
SethSpeaks Top 50 Twins Prospects
#40 – Tyler Robertson – LHP – 19
2007 Team: Extended Spring Training
Acquired: Twins 3rd round pick in 2006 from Citrus Heights, CA
It is interesting that the Twins are so willing to push their young high school bats. Top round picks with bats (Parmalee, Benson, Plouffe, Kelly, Thompson, etc.) get pushed to a full-season team for their first full seasons. They're not quite as willing to do that with young pitchers, except for 1st round picks. So Robertson has spent his time in Extended Spring Training waiting until the Elizabethton seasons starts. However, in a mini-surprise, Robertson was promoted to Beloit yesterday. I expect that he will do fairly well, yet hit some struggles as well. Last year with the GCL Twins, Robertson struck out 54 hitters in 48.2 innings. The other thing to remember is that he is left-handed, and clearly that is important as well. (Note - Robertson made his Beloit debut last night and gave up one run in four innings.)
2007 Projection: starter at Elizabethton
Potential: potential to be a #2 starter
Could be in Minnesota in: 2011
#39 – Andrew Thompson – 2B – 20
2007 Teams: Beloit Snappers
Acquired: Twins 2nd round pick in 2005 out Jupiter, FL high school
Rumor has it that Thompson could be nearing a return to the lineup. He has been out since a back injury ended his 2006 season. It has lingered on for awhile, which has actually dropped him down this list a bit. I am very curious as to whether he will head to Ft. Myers when he returns or if he will go back to Beloit. Although he is very slight in stature, he does have a very solid bat and a surprising amount of power, much like his father, Robbie Thompson.
2007 Projection: hopefully healthy soon, start at Beloit, move up to Ft. Myers
Potential: starting 2B.
Could be in Minnesota in: 2011
#38 – Jose Morales – C – 24
2007 Teams: Rochester Red Wings
Acquired: Twins 3rd round pick in 2001 out Academia de Providencia (Puerto Rico)
You don't find a lot of catching prospects on any Twins prospect lists. But it is important to remember that it isn't a huge deal. The role of any catcher coming up through the Twins system would be to backup Joe Mauer. The player has to be able to catch a pitcher and be solid with the bat. Mike Redmond has definitely set the expectations high for any future Twins backup catcher. Morales was drafted by the Twins as a middle infielder and moved him to catcher even though Joe Mauer was taken that same year. He has seemingly always been a 'prospect' but he has missed a lot of time due to injury. In 2006, he got off to a horrible start at New Britain but he really picked it up as the season came toward its completion. When Chris Heintz was promoted to the Twins and Shawn Wooten left the team, Rochester needed a catcher and Morales was promoted and played in the playoffs. This year, he has put it all together. Through Monday, Morales was hitting .350/.390/.453. He is also doing a very nice job behind the plate. Although Morales will likely remain in Rochester in 2008, he could be with the Twins by 2009, if not sooner.
2007 Projection: catching for the Red Wings
Potential: solid backup catcher
Could be in Minnesota in: late 2008
#37 – Juan Portes – IF/OF – 21
2007 Teams: Ft. Myers Miracle
Acquired: Twins 15th round pick in 2004 out of Malden, Mass., HS
Knock on wood... Portes has managed to stay healthy all season so far for the Miracle. He has been hitting in the middle of the team's lineup all year. Although he is hitting just .246, that is second on the team. Don't forget that Portes has missed a lot of time and he is two or more years younger than hitters in the league. He needs to walk more. He needs to strike out less. But I am more than willing to give him the year in Ft. Myers to let him do that. First, the FSL is not a hitter's league. Second, no one on the team is hitting. Third, if he is known for anything, it is that he can hit. Of course, not all prospects "that can hit" end up able to hit, but after the injuries, I'm willing to give him some time.
2007 Projection: playing several positions for Ft. Myers
Potential: potential big bat
Could be in Minnesota in: 2009
#36 – Steve Singleton – SS/2B – 21
2007 Teams: Extended Spring/Beloit Snappers
Acquired: Twins 11th round pick in 2006 out of U of San Diego
Another 'little' Twins middle infield prospect, Singleton is another guy who will likely follow a career path like Matt Tolbert. At San Diego, he walked more than he struck out. He also showed some extra base power. Last year with Elizabethton, he showed even more power. To my surprise, he started the season at Extended Spring before coming up to Beloit early in May. He started out hitting very well but has since cooled off. He has shown some pop, but like the other college guys that start out in Elizabethton after they are drafted, you really have to be careful about buying into their E-Town numbers too much. I think Singleton will be a very good pro, but it will be a process to get to the big leagues. In 92 at bats with the Snappers, he is hitting .272/.287/.326 with five doubles.
2007 Projection: IF at Beloit
Potential: utility middle infielder with solid bat.
Could be in Minnesota in: 2010
#35 – Paul Kelly – SS – 20
2007 Teams: Beloit Snappers - Disabled List
Acquired: Twins 2nd round draft pick in 2005 out of Flower Mound (TX) high school
Rumor has it that Kelly may be near a return as well. Kelly blew out his knee near the end of last year. I think that the Twins thought he would be back by now but he has had continual set backs. When healthy, Kelly has been a very good hitter. But he is said to have soft hands and a very strong arm, making him excellent defensively. As with Thompson, I am very interested in finding out if Kelly will be pushed forward to Ft. Myers, or if they will be more patient and send him back to Beloit.
2007 Projection: hopefully getting some time at Beloit, maybe Ft. Myers
Potential: good top of the lineup, good field SS
Could be in Minnesota in: 2011
#34 – Garrett Olson – 3B – 22
2007 Team: Beloit Snappers
Acquired: Twins drafted in the 4th round in 2006 out of Franklin Pierce College
You have to root for the small school players. Olson comes from the Division II ranks where he put up some impressive numbers. Although he hasn't hit for much power yet this season, Olson has the size and skills necessary to develop into a power hitter at some point. Defensively, he has played each of the infield positions already this year. He has also played some left field. In 137 at bats, Olson is hitting .248/.313/.292 with six doubles.
2007 Projection: continue playing everywhere at Beloit
Potential: super utility player
Could be in Minnesota in: 2010
#33 – Eli Tintor – OF – 22
2007 Team: Ft. Myers Miracle
Acquired: Twins 18th round pick in 2003 out of Hibbing (MN) high school
Another year, another level for Tintor with the Twins. This ranking is not as much based on what he is doing so far in 2007. He is admittedly struggling to this point with Hi-A ball. This ranking is about what Tintor is capable of. In past years, he has shown that he could be a four or five-tool talent. He has hit for power. He has shown incredible speed. He has adapted well to the outfield where he possesses a catcher's arm. Will he ever hit for average? I'm not sure. With Ft. Myers, he is hitting just .190/.268/.272 to date while playing both CF and RF.
2007 Projection: should remain at Ft. Myers
Potential: big league RF, 20/20 type
Could be in Minnesota in: 2009
#32 – Brian Kirwan – RHP – 19
2007 Teams: Extended Spring, Beloit Snappers
Acquired: Twins 11th round pick in 2005 out of a California high school
I was happy to see the Twins promote Kirwan to Beloit last week. He made his first start and picked up his first win. (Note - in his second start, last night, he gave up two unearned runs in five innings, but took a loss.) As you know, the Twins were able to take Kirwan in the 11th round despite the fact that he has a first-round arm. During football season of his senior year in high school, Kirwan tore up his knee and then pushed him out of the first round. By taking him in the 11th round, he was outside of the league-mandated contract numbers found in the top ten rounds, so the Twins signed him for $500,000. I think it was a great signing because knees can heal, but his arm is strong. For a pitcher, having a strong arm is important, and he hasn't lost that. Kirwan could move quickly up this list.
2007 Projection: start at Beloit the rest of the year
Potential: #2 starter
Could be in Minnesota in: 2010
#31 – Matt Moses – 3B – 22
2007 Team: Rochester Red Wings
Acquired: Twins 1st round pick in 2003 out Miles Godwin HS (Richmond, VA)
I was quite impressed when Matt Moses reported to spring training having lost 40 pounds. I think that will do well for him although I have to wonder if he lost 20-30 pounds too many. From a power potential standpoint, it would make much more sense for him to be 200-210 pounds rather than 190, but let's let him play at this weight and see how it goes. The Twins continue to push Moses, probably too fast. After struggling in AA a year ago, the Twins pushed him to Rochester. So far, he has hit .231/.253/.319 with eight doubles, two homers (both in one game) and 17 RBI. Not terrible numbers for a 22 year old in AAA. However, the most disturbing numbers to me are: four walks, 41 strikeouts. That isn't good. And it doesn't bode well for any hitter. Of course, as is the case with any prospect, how he develops during the rest of the season is very important.
2007 Projection: continue to try to progress at Rochester
Potential: big league DH with a decent bat (Shea Hillenbrand?)
Could be in Minnesota in: 2008
Twins Thoughts (Twins 9, White Sox 2)
Last night, the Twins did not hit AJ Pierzynski. Beating the White Sox big for the second straight night works too, but I would have loved to have seen AJ go down!
Justin Morneau ... He's good! (3-4 with two doubles and his 16th home run!) He is now on pace to hit .293 with 34 doubles, 50 homers and 136 RBI.
Boof Bonser put together another solid start and recorded his fourth straight win.
As you can imagine, I was thrilled when Jason Kubel went yard off of a left-hander. It was unfortunate that Rob Mackowiak caught a ball at the top of the left field fence. It would have likely hit off the top of the fence, but Kubel continues to hit the ball hard.
When he swings! That's the one problem that I have with Kubel right now. Just so many called third strikes. You got it. If I'm going to say something about Nick Punto taking called third strikes, I have to say it about Kubel too.
The Twins are back above .500!
Luis Castillo went 3-4 and walked. He stole a base. Can't ask for more from a leadoff hitter! He also collected his 1,500th career hit, and it was his one year anniversary of his last error, easily a record for a 2B.
Michael Cuddyer went 3-4 and walked. He had a double. Can't ask for more from a #3 hitter.
Ramon Ortiz pitched a scoreless inning out of the bullpen. Good for him. Hey, at $3.1 million, it is likely that he will remain on the team, and if that's the case, I hope he can be adequate out of the bullpen.
Joe Christensen gave his readers $10 million and asked them what they would have done with the Twins. He got a lot of comments. Very interesting!
Minor League Updates
Here are the Twins updates from last night, including game reports of their minor league affiliates.
Tuesday SethSpeaks Player of the Day – Felix Molina, New Britain Rockcats
Tuesday SethSpeaks Pitcher of the Day – Josh Hill, Ft. Myers Miracle
Tuesday - Red Wings 7, Richmond 6 – Tommy Watkins just continues to get the job done. In this game, he was 2-3 with a walk and four RBI. Garrett Jones was 2-3 with his 11th double. Doug Deeds went 2-4 with his third homer. Nick Blackburn got the start and went the first six innings. He gave up five runs (4 earned) on six hits. He walked one and struck out three. Brian Bass got the Win. He pitched a scoreless 7th. Ricky Barrett pitched a scoreless eighth. Bobby Korecky got his 11th save despite allowing one run on two hits in the 9th.
NEW BRITAIN NEWS
Tuesday - Rockcats 4, Binghamton 12 – Felix Molina is on another hot streak. In this game, he went 4-5 with his seventh double. Brian Buscher went 2-5 with his 16th double. Matt Allegra went 2-4 with his 10th double and seventh homer. Jesse Floyd started and lasted just four innings. He gave up five runs (3 earned) on six hits and two walks. Brian Forystek gave up three (2 earned) on three hits. Danny Powers gave up two runs over the next three innings. Jay Sawatski gave up two runs in the ninth.
FT MYERS MEMOS
Tuesday - Miracle 8, Sarasota 2 – Luis Ugueto has to be called a player coach because he is too old to be playing in the Florida State League without the title. The former big leaguer went 4-6 with his third double. Dwayne White went 3-5 with his fourth double, second homer and four RBI. Steven Tolleson went 2-5 with a walk and his sixth double. Toby Gardenhire went 2-4 with a walk. Edward Ovalle went 1-3 with a walk and his fifth homer. Josh Hill picked up his first win of the year. He gave up only an unearned run over the first five innings. He gave up three hits, walked one and struck out six. Angel Garcia gave up a run and struck out three in two innings. Armando Gabino threw two shutout innings.
Tuesday - Game 1 - Snappers 2, Kane County 5 – Brian Kirwan evened his record at 1-1 with the loss. However, in five innings, he gave up two unearned runs on four hits and two walks. Aaron Craig gave up three runs in the final two innings. The offense managed just four hits. Joe Benson hit his sixth double. Johnny Woodard hit his fifth homer.
Tuesday - Game 2 - Snappers 2, Kane County 5 – Johnny Woodard hit his sixth homer, a two run shot in the first inning. That provided enough offense to help a couple of new guys in their first appearances of the year. 19 year old lefty Tyler Robertson started and gave up a run on four hits in four innings. He walked one and struck out four. Matt Fox got the win with two shutout innings in his first game. He walked one and struck out three. And then old reliable, Robert Delaney got his 17th save by striking out the side in the bottom of the 7th.
Do you have any further thoughts on any Twins prospects, minor leaguers, or these summaries? E-mail me, or also feel free to leave comments below.
That is it for today. Have a great day!|