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John's Minnesota Twins Shadow Farm System 2014 Update

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Kevin Gausman
Kevin Gausman
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

As long time readers know, I have been running my own fake Minnesota Twins farm system since 1996 in parallel to the real Twins system. I call this the Shadow Twins. It is basically a form of mock drafting, serves as a focus for draft research, and is just simply a lot of fun.

Sometimes my fake system is stronger than the real system, sometimes it is weaker. It is always interesting to see how the real team makes decisions compared to my fake team. For example, in the last couple of drafts I picked Kevin Gausman and Clint Frazier in the first round, while the real Twins picked Byron Buxton and Kohl Stewart. Anyway, here is where things stand currently.

This is how the list looked one year ago.
2013 big league graduates were Brad Miller, Oswaldo Arcia, and J.J. Hoover, with Sam Freeman and Erik Davis also seeing major league action.

Top 20 Shadow Twins Prospects for 2014:

1) Kevin Gausman, RHP, Grade A
2) Miguel Sano, 3B, Grade A-
3) Clint Frazier, OF, Grade B+
4) Jake Odorizzi, RHP, Grade B+
5) Eddie Rosario, 2B, Grade B
6) Jose Berrios, RHP, Grade B
7) Lewis Thorpe, LHP, Grade B-
8) Josmil Pinto, C, Grade B-
9) Jorge Polanco, 2B, Grade B-
10) Ben Lively, RHP, Grade B-
11) Riley Unroe, SS, Grade B-
12) Nolan Sanburn, RHP, Grade B-
13) Max Kepler, OF, Grade B-
14) Travis Harrison, Grade B-
15) Adam Brett Walker, OF, Grade C+
16) Danny Santana, SS, Grade C+
17) Christian Walker, 1B, Grade C+
18) Kennys Vargas, 1B, Grade C+
19) Mikie Mahtook, OF, Grade C+
20) Niko Goodrum, SS, Grade C

OTHERS: Mitch Brown, RHP; Felix Jorge, RHP; Luke Maile, C; Corey Littrell, LHP; Brian Navaretto C; Nick Petree, RHP; Michael Ratterree, OF; Donn Roach, RHP; Wilfredo Rodriguez, C; Duane Underwood, RHP; Austin Wright, LHP

Up until 2012, for international players I just kept whoever the real Twins signed. However, that wasn't very fun so beginning last year I changed that policy and started signing my "own" international class. I have to keep within whatever the Real Twins budget is. If I want to buy a player who has been picked by another team, I have to beat his real life bonus by 10%. Also, I cannot sign a player if they have already played a professional game. I can't wait to see what a guy does in the DSL; I have to sign him without any pro data.

My general idea is to spread the money out, so for 2012 I didn't spent $1.4 million on Amaurys Minier and split that money up differently. My 2012 class that I wrote up last March looked like this:

2012 Top International Signees

1) Frandi DelaRosa, SS, Dominican Republic (Cubs) $770,000
2) Lewis Thorpe, LHP, Australia (Twins) $500,000
3) Argenis Silva, RHP, Venezuela (Twins) $375,000
4) Starling Ynfante, RHP, Dominican Republic (Padres) $220,000
5) Chih-Wei Hu, RHP, Taiwan (Twins) $220,000
6) Crusito Mieses, RHP, Dominican Republic (Angels) $200,000
7) Rainis Silva, C, Venezuela (Twins) $175,000

8) Henry Alvarado, OF, Dominican Republic (Cardinals) $170,000
9) Johan Quezada, RHP, Dominican Republic (Twins) $150,000
10) Antonio Tovar, OF, Venezuela (Twins) $100,000
11) Jorge Parra, OF, Venezuela (Twins) $45,000
DelaRosa, Ynfante, Mieses, Alvarado (1.36 mil) instead of Amaurys Minier (1.4 mil)

I'm glad I kept Thorpe. Minier wasn't very good in rookie ball but DeLaRosa was even worse, so thus far my theory isn't working too well.

For 2013, I have decided not to sign real Twins picks Lewin Diaz and Roni Tapia, instead spreading the $2,000,000 the Twins spent on those guys out as follows:

2013 Top International Signees
1) Joan Mauricio, SS, Dominican Republic (Astros) $660,000
2) Carlos Talavera, OF, Venezuela (Cardinals) $550,000
3) Jaimito Lebron, RHP, Dominican Republic (Padres) $460,000

4) Isael Soto, OF, Dominican Republic (Marlins) $340,000
5) Jose Martinez, RHP, Venezuela (Twins) $340,000

6) Robert Molina, C, Venezuela (Twins) $300,000
7) Erick Balbuena, RHP, Dominican Republic (Twins) $175,000
8) Edgar Herrera, OF, Venezuela (Twins) $135,000
9) Orby Taveras, LHP, Dominican Republic (Yankees) $100,000
10) Ruar Verkerk, 3B, Netherlands (Twins) unknown

Sign Mauricio, Talavera, Lebron, and Soto instead of Lewin Diaz and Roni Tapia.

I will post my complete draft lists going back to 1996 in the comment section.