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Top 20 Shadow Twins Prospects

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Top 20 Shadow Twins Prospects for 2010

As many of you know, I've been doing a Shadow Draft for the Minnesota Twins since 1996, building my own farm system. You can read about the background here, and here.

Here is how my current Shadow/Alternate Universe Twins system looks. Remember that this was built doing a parallel draft in real time with the real draft. For Latin American and foreign players, I just go with whoever the real Twins draft.

Top 20 Shadow Twins Farm System

1) Brett Lawrie, OF, Grade B+: Very happy with the bat so far, though I use him as an outfielder instead of a second baseman like the Brewers do.

2) Jared Mitchell, OF, Grade B: Great tools, draws walks, somewhat worried about the strikeouts, but a great ceiling.

3) Jay Jackson, RHP, Grade B: Sleeper guy from the '08 draft has developed excellently so far.

4) Michael Bowden, RHP, Grade B: Would have a chance at the Shadow Twins rotation for '10.

5) Wynn Pelzer, RHP, Grade B: Throws hard, gets grounders, need to see Double-A transition. Drafted him in the seventh round in '07.

6).Wilson Ramos, C, Grade B-: Highest-ranked real Twin in my Shadow system.

7) Jake Odorizzi, RHP, Grade B-: Very projectable, anxious to get some full-season data in '10.

8) Zack Van Rosenberg, RHP, Grade B-: I took a signability risk drafting him in the fifth round this year, so I'm very glad the Pirates got the deal done in real life. Takes some of the sting out of the Blue Jays not signing my second round pick, Jake Barrett.

9) Adrian Salcedo, RHP, Grade B-: Another real Twin.

10) Lars Anderson, 1B; Grade B-: My first round pick from 2006 has a lot to prove this year. He was looking like a brilliant choice over real Twin Chris Parmalee until a poor '09.

11) David Bromberg, RHP, Grade C+: The real Twins drafted him in the 32nd round in '05 and I'm glad I stuck with that decision.

12) J. J. Hoover, RHP, Grade C+: My 10th round pick in '08 had a fine season in the Braves system in real life, great K/BB but need to see him higher than the Sally Leauge.

13). Danny Valencia, 3B, Grade C+: Another Real Twin.

14) Scott Barnes, LHP, Grade C+: Drafted in the fourth round in 2008 for my shadow system. In real life, had a great year with the Giants at San Jose, then traded to Cleveland. I have not traded him and he is still in my shadow system.

15) Miguel Sano, SS, Grade C+: Another Real Twin.

16) Eric Thames, OF, Grade C+: He can really hit but can't seem to stay healthy.

17) Carlos Ramirez, C, Grade C+: Like this former Arizona State star a lot, great skills and performance despite a bad-looking body.

18) Tim Smith, OF, Grade C+: I didn't trade him to the Royals like the Rangers did in real life.

19) Matt Bashore, LHP, Grade C+: Real Twins pick in the '09 draft that I agreed with and stuck with.

20) David Newmann, LHP, Grade C+: My third round pick from the '07 draft had a good season in the Rays system in real life.

OTHERS: Eric Cordier, RHP; Michael Fiers, RHP; Brian Friday, SS: Conor Gillaspie, 3B; Nick Greenwood, LHP; Nevin Griffith, RHP; Max Kepler, OF; Deangelo Mack, OF; Jeff Manship, RHP; Derek McCallum, 2B; Jon Meloan, RHP; Roy Merrit, LHP; Ryan Mount, 2B; Jordan Newton, C; Eamonn Portice, RHP; Ben Tootle, RHP; Dustin Richardson, LHP; Tyler Robertson, LHP; Charlie Ruiz, RHP; Damon Sublett, OF; Tom Stuifbergen, RHP; Matt Sulentic, OF; Rene Tosoni, OF; Pat Venditte, RHP-LHP; Kevin Whelan, RHP.

I like my depth in pitching, and the Lawrie-RF, Mitchell-CF slots the last two years help address what was a weakness previously. Right now I look thin up the middle infield, depending on what happens with Sano, and could use more offensive depth in general. Sticking with the real Twins foreign investments while making my own domestic draft picks seems to work well.

Keeping track of the Shadow system is fun, but it also forces me to focus on players before they get into pro ball. Guys like Jackson, Hoover, and Pelzer were on my radar before they were drafted as a result.