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Minnesota Twins 2012 Top 20 PRE-SEASON Prospects in Review

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Third base prospect Miguel Sano of the Minnesota Twins (Photo by John Sickels, SB Nation/Minor League Ball)
Third base prospect Miguel Sano of the Minnesota Twins (Photo by John Sickels, SB Nation/Minor League Ball)

Minnesota Twins Top 20 2012 PRE-SEASON Prospects in Review

This morning, we continue our mid-season reviews of our pre-season Top 20 prospect lists, witih a look at the Minnesota Twins. Remember, this is the pre-season list. It is not a new list.

This list was originally published October 9th, 2011.

1) Miguel Sano, 3B, Grade B+: Hitting .249/.369/.505 with 18 homers, 18 doubles, 53 walks, and 102 strikeouts in 305 at-bats for Low-A Beloit. Enormous power, will take a walk, strikeout rate is quite high and defense remains rough, but he's only 19 and in full-season ball.

2) Eddie Rosario, 2B-OF, Grade B: Hitting .293/.362/.473 with 27 walks, 38 strikeouts in 239 at-bats for Beloit, while doing a decent job adapting to second base. Currently on the DL after being hit in the face with a baseball, but he was turning heads before the injury.

3) Liam Hendriks, RHP, Grade B: Brilliant in Triple-A (1.79 ERA, 48/14 K/BB in 60 innings, just 37 hits) due to superb control, but hammered in the majors (7.04 ERA, 23/10 K/BB in 38 innings, 57 hits, 10 homers). He'll get more chances.

4) Oswaldo Arcia, OF, Grade B: Hitting .307/.371/.502 combined between High-A Fort Myers and Double-A New Britain, maintaining production at the higher level although impatience is an issue. Obviously a high-ceiling bat, main flaw is platoon issues.

5) Joe Benson, OF, Grade B-: Couldn't hit in Triple-A (.584 OPS in 28 games) or Double-A (.500 OPS in eight games), then got hurt, just reactivated in Gulf Coast League. Still has excellent tools, still hampered by contact/plate discipline problems.

6) Chris Parmelee, 1B-OF, Grade B-: Effective in Triple-A (.300/.449/.529 in 22 games) but hasn't brought this forward to the majors (.194/.278/.320 in 38 games). Like Benson, he isn't taking advantage of his opportunity but is still young enough at age 24 to have a future

7) Aaron Hicks, OF, Grade B-: Hitting .275/.367/.436 with nine homers, 44 walks, 77 strikeouts, 19 steals in 291 at-bats in Double-A. Showing more power this year, will take a walk, fast, good glove, just 22, making some progress but not looking like a future star at this stage.

8) Levi Michael, SS, Grade B-: Hitting .229/.319/.306 with 37 walks, 58 strikeouts in 288 at-bats for High-A Fort Myers. Looks like a reliable defender at second base and shortstop, will take a walk, but lack of pop in the bat is holding him back

9) Travis Harrison, 3B, Grade B-: Defense looks horrible: 14 errors in 22 games at third base. However, the bat looks excellent: .341/.429/.518 with 11 walks, 13 strikeouts in 85 at-bats in the rookie-level Appalachian League. He should have the bat to play first base if he needs to move

10) Brian Dozier, SS, Grade B-: Playing in Minnesota, hitting .241/.272/.343 in 215 at-bats, 10 walks, 41 strikeouts. I think he's capable of better and can improve.

11) Madison Boer, RHP, Grade B-: Adequately effective in Low-A (3.58 ERA, 20/10 K/BB in 28 innings) but horrible after being promoted to High-A (6.95 ERA, 35/25 K/BB in 66 innings, 93 hits). I expect he'll end up in the bullpen eventually, where he was effective in college.

12) Hudson Boyd, RHP, Grade B-: Looking good so far in the Appalachian League, 1.44 ERA, 18/8 K/BB in 25 innings. Live arm but needs to stay in shape.

13) Adrian Salcedo, RHP, Grade B-: Ineffective in High-A, 6.39 ERA with 14/15 K/BB in 25 innings, 33 hits. Stuff not picking up as hoped.

14) Alex Wimmers, RHP, Grade C+: Shut down after one start with elbow problems. A real enigma at this point.

15) Kyle Gibson, RHP, Grade C+: On rehab assignment in the Gulf Coast League, recovering from Tommy John surgery.

16) Niko Goodrum, SS, Grade C+: Hitting .289/.444/.592 with 21 walks, 16 strikeouts in 76 at-bats for Elizabethton. Looks excellent right now, promotion to Low-A should come soon. Big-time tools and his skills look better this year.

17) Max Kepler, OF, Grade C+: Hitting .296/.457/.407 with 18 walks, nine strikeouts in 81 at-bats for Elizabethton. No power yet, but showing an excellent approach to hitting, impressive for a 19-year-old kid from Germany. Has dramatically lowered his strikeout rate this year.

18) Manuel Soliman, RHP, Grade C+: Shut down after two starts with a sore shoulder.

19) Matthew Summers, RHP, Grade C+: 3.55 ERA with 71/34 K/BB in 109 innings for Beloit, 103 hits. Pitching pretty well, throwing strikes, but usually doesn't dominate, looks like back-of-rotation starter or a reliever.

20) Deolis Guerra, RHP, Grade C+: Erratic in Triple-A (4.91 ERA with 34/16 K/BB in 37 innings), pitched well in April and May, then poorly in June before going on the DL with a sore shoulder.

21) Nate Roberts, OF, Grade C+: Late start due to a spring injury, currently hitting .270/.422/.409 in 34 games for Beloit, 10 steals, 22 walks, 13 strikeouts in 115 at-bats. Shows a good approach.

22) Lester Oliveros, RHP, Grade C+: 2.56 ERA with 42/12 K/BB in 39 innings between Double-A and Triple-A. Looks like a spare part for the bullpen.

23) Tyler Robertson, LHP, Grade C+
: 3.77 ERA, 33/13 K/BB in 29 Triple-A innings. 5.14 ERA with 10/1 K/BB in seven major league innings. Another part for the bullpen.

24) Matt Hauser, RHP, Grade C+: 2.87 ERA with 50/22 K/BB in 60 innings for High-A Fort Myers, 53 hits, 1.86 GO/AO. Another bullpen possibility for the future.

Very mixed results here. I strongly believe in Sano and Rosario, and Arcia could be a regular as well. However, few of the guys close to the majors have done much, with Benson, Parmelee, and Hendriks all significant disappointments, although all still have a chance to contribute. There's been some injury attrition, and Odin knows what, if anything, the Twins will eventually get out of their first-round investments in Gibson and Wimmers.

On the positive side, the Twins have received strong performance from former Rule 5 pick Scott Diamond, who was awful in Triple-A last year but has ridden his control to major league success this year. Former non-drafted free agent Cole De Vries has been useful as well. B.J. Hermsen's stock is up enough that he could get a shot, although his low K/IP ratio is a red flag.

Outfielder Daniel Ortiz and infielder Daniel Santana have shown some intriguing talent flashes in High-A, and keep an eye on power-hitting catcher Matthew Koch at Low-A. Hard-throwing right-handers Tyler Jones and Michael Tonkin are dominating A-ball and both have strong sleeper potential.