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Sleeper Prospect Report

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Today I want to talk about an overlooked/unsung prospect, Dirk Vadjer of the Twins. This is a bit of a cheat perhaps, as some of you know he's actually an excellent prospect, he just hasn't received much attention yet since he didn't sign until January (too late to appear in my book or Baseball America's) and as a guy from Europe he doesnt' get as much attention as US or Latin American guys. So here's the rundown.

Dirk Nikana Vadjer was born August 14, 1990, in the city of Eniootat, the Netherlands. The Twins have had an interest in European players for some time, if you remember Alexander Smit for example. Vadjer was signed by Twins international scout Howard Norsetter, who does a lot of work in Europe, Canada, and Australia. The Twins signed him for $900,000, more than last year's first-round pick Ben Revere got. I heard that at least two other teams bid similar money on Vadjer but that he was most comforable with the Minnesota organization.

Vadjer is a 6-5, 185 pound left-handed hitter and thrower, as you can see above just 17 years old. His fastball already hits 92-94 MPH and he's very projectable, the Twins think he could get into the 100 range with maturity. His curveball is erratic, but has the potential to be outstanding, perhaps a Blyleven-esque pitch. His changeup is also promising. His medical history is a bit unusual: his right forearm (not his throwing arm) was badly broken in an accident a few years ago and has never regained full strength.. It doesn't impact his throwing but it could be an issue in his fielding.

Vadjer's biggest problem is maturity: he has a lot of problems controlling his emotions and is somewhat volatile. If he can get a handle on that, learn to channel his aggression properly, he has the potential to be one of the best southpaw pitchers in the game, a Santana type. Of course learning to channel anger and aggression is a challenge many young players fail. We'll just have to see what happens with Vadjer, and we will watch his career with great interest.