U.S. Futures All-Star Ben Revere of the Minnesota Twins at bat during the 2010 XM All-Star Futures Game at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 11 2010 in Anaheim California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Minnesota Twins Top 20 Prospects for 2011
All grades are EXTREMELY PRELIMINARY and subject to change. Don't get too concerned about exact rankings at this point, especially once you get past the Top 10. Grade C+/C guys are pretty interchangeable depending on what you want to emphasize.
Feel free to critique the list, but use logic and reason rather than polemics to do to. The list and grades are a blending of present performance and long-term potential. Full reports on all of players can be found in the 2011 Baseball Prospect Book. We are now taking pre-orders. Order early and order often!
QUICK PRIMER ON GRADE MEANINGS:
Grade A prospects are the elite. They have a good chance of becoming stars or superstars. Almost all Grade A prospects develop into major league regulars, if injuries or other problems don't intervene. Note that is a major "if" in some cases.
Grade B prospects have a good chance to enjoy successful careers. Some will develop into stars, some will not. Most end up spending several years in the majors, at the very least in a marginal role.
Grade C prospects are the most common type. These are guys who have something positive going for them, but who may have a question mark or three, or who are just too far away from the majors to get an accurate feel for. A few Grade C guys, especially at the lower levels, do develop into stars. Many end up as role players or bench guys. Some don't make it at all.
A major point to remember is that grades for pitchers do NOT correspond directly to grades for hitters. Many Grade A pitching prospects fail to develop, often due to injuries. Some Grade C pitching prospects turn out much better than expected.
Also note that there is diversity within each category. I'm a tough grader; Grade C+ is actually good praise coming from me, and some C+ prospects turn out very well indeed.
Finally, keep in mind that all grades are shorthand. You have to read the full comment in the book for my full opinion about a player, the letter grade only tells you so much. A Grade C prospect in rookie ball could end up being very impressive, while a Grade C prospect in Triple-A is likely just a future role player.
1) Kyle Gibson, RHP, Grade B+: Overcame injury concerns, fits perfectly into Twins pitching philosophy.
2) Alex Wimmers, RHP, Grade B+: Shouldn't need a lot of minor league time, and I think his stuff is underrated.
3) Aaron Hicks, OF, Grade B+: Borderline B. I still believe in the tools and will give him some slack on the power development.
4) Miguel Sano, 3B, Grade B: Raw, but enormous power upside and youth combination push him up the list.
5) Liam Hendriks, RHP, Grade B: Borderline B-; grade may change. Another Twins guy with excellent command of solid stuff.
6) Ben Revere, OF, Grade B, Borderline B-: I still like him, but I'm growing more concerned about the lack of power, and he needs to use his speed better. (Original List had Revere at 7, Arcia at 6. Updated 10/18)
7) Oswaldo Arcia, OF, Grade B: Borderline B-, grade may change. Great numbers in Appy League, but plate discipline issue is of concern.
8) Billy Bullock, RHP, Grade B-: Could be a huge bullpen force if the command sharpens up a bit more.
9) Adrian Salcedo, RHP, Grade B-: Same grade as last year, great command, still projectable.
10) Max Kepler-Rozycki, OF, Grade B-: Tough to grade at this point, immense potential but very young and inexperienced, held his own in rookie ball.
11) Joe Benson, OF, Grade C+: Good progress with his power development, strikeout rate remains scary.
12) David Bromberg, RHP, Grade C+: Potential inning-eating starter.
13) Carlos Gutierrez, RHP, Grade C+: Power sinker would look good in bullpen.
14) Angel Morales, OF, Grade C+: Great tools, high strikeout rate, high risk/high reward guy.
15) Manuel Soliman, RHP, Grade C+: Another efficient young Twins pitcher, breakthrough candidate.
16) Eddie Rosario, OF, Grade C+: Love this guy, sleeper outfielder from '10 draft, speed, on-base skills, some power potential.
17) Nate Roberts, OF, Grade C+: Another '10 draft sleeper, solid tools and consistent production.
18) Tom Stuifbergen, RHP, Grade C+: Could rank a few slots higher, but concerns about health history and conditioning make me somewhat cautious.
19) Kane Holbrooks, RHP, Grade C+: Overlooked guy but had a great year and has decent stuff. Looks like a sleeper to me.
20) B.J. Hermsen, RHP, Grade C+: Borderline C, Grade is speculative. He's from Iowa so I would normally be predisposed to like him, and I like his strike-throwing ability, but something holds me back that I can't put my finger on.
21) Bruce Pugh, RHP, Grade C+: Borderline C: Live arm, strikes people out, could surprise if his command sharpens up.
22) Pat Dean, LHP, Grade C+: Borderline C; Love the 32/1 K/BB ratio in the Appy League, but need to see at higher levels.
OTHERS: Matt Bashore, LHP; James Beresford, SS; Logan Darnell, LHP; Rob Delaney, RHP, Brian Dozier, INF; Niko Goodrum, SS; Deolis Guerra, RHP; Matt Hauser, RHP; Edgar Ibarra, LHP; Andrei Lobanov, LHP; Chris Parmelee, 1B; Josmil Pinto, C; Trevor Plouffe, SS; Daniel Rams, C; Tyler Robertson, LHP; Steve Singleton, 2B; Anthony Slama, RHP; Rene Tosoni, OF; Kyle Waldrop, RHP; Dakota Watts, RHP.
The Twins don't have any Grade A or A- guys at this point, though Sano and maybe MKR can get there eventually. Lots of depth in B-/C+ types; some of those C+ may end up as regular C in the book since I often start of my grading optimistically then go back and review things. Keep track of sleeper pitchers like Holbrooks and Pugh, very under the radar but more promising than some guys who get more press.