As long time readers know, I have maintained an Alternate Universe fantasy roster called the Shadow Minnesota Twins in one form or another since 1996. It is basically a form of mock drafting, it serves as a focus for research, and it is simply fun. Sometimes the Shadow Twins system is stronger than the Real Twins system, and sometimes the Real Twins are stronger. Here's a look at how things went in 2014.
First, you can check here to see how the system looked in April when I posted my last update.
Twelve Shadow Twins rookies made their debuts in 2014 or have lost rookie status entering 2015. They were Kevin Gausman, Jake Odorizzi, Josmil Pinto, Jorge Polanco, Danny Santana, Christian Walker, Kennys Vargas, Erik Cordier, Sam Freeman, Nick Greenwood, Donn Roach, and Chase Whitley. Note that up until 2012, the Shadow Twins just signed whoever the Real Twins did on the international market. Since 2012 I have been doing my own international class, so in the future the Shadow system won't benefit from guys like Santana or Vargas unless I decide to sign them at the time they sign in real life.
Here is how the Top 20 PRE-SEASON Shadow Twins prospects panned out this year.
1) Kevin Gausman, RHP, Grade A: Age 23, 3.57 ERA with 88/38 K/BB in 113 innings for the Orioles, 111 hits. No complaints here. Would you rather have him or Byron Buxton? 2012 shadow draftee.
2) Miguel Sano, 3B, Grade A-: Age 21, missed season with Tommy John surgery. Carryover Real Twins international prospect.
3) Clint Frazier, OF, Grade B+: Age 20, hit .266/.349/.411 with 13 homers, 56 walks, 161 strikeouts in 474 at-bats for Low-A Lake County in Indians system. Would you rather have him or Kohl Stewart? 2013 shadow draftee.
4) Jake Odorizzi, RHP, Grade B+: Age 24, posted 4.13 ERA with 174/59 K/BB in 168 innings for the Tampa Bay Rays. A combo of Gausman and Odorizzi would look great in the real Twins rotation with Phil Hughes. 2008 shadow draftee.
5) Eddie Rosario, 2B, Grade B: Age 23, hit .237/.277/.396 with eight homers, 17 walks, 68 strikeouts in 316 at-bats for Double-A New Britain. Well below his previous standards and now has a drug suspension on the resume. 2010 shadow draftee.
6) Jose Berrios, RHP, Grade B: Age 20, posted 2.76 ERA with 140/38 K/BB in 140 innings between High-A, Double-A, and Triple-A. I am glad I stuck with this real Twins pick in the 2012 draft. 2012 shadow draftee.
7) Lewis Thorpe, LHP, Grade B-: Age 18, posted 3.52 ERA with 80/36 K/BB in 72 innings in Low-A. A real Twins international signee from Australia I stuck with in 2013.
8) Josmil Pinto, C, Grade B-: Age 25, hit .279/.376/.457 in Triple-A and .219/.315/.391 in the majors. I think he can improve. The last two years I have done my own international classes (see at the bottom of the article) so as time moves forward there will be fewer real Twins international guys in the Shadow system.
9) Jorge Polanco, 2B, Grade B-: Age 21, hit .288/.353/.395 with seven homers, 17 steals in 524 at-bats between High-A and Double-A. Solid prospect. Carryover Real Twins international prospect.
10) Ben Lively, RHP, Grade B-: Age 22, good year in Cincinnati Reds system, posted 3.04 ERA with 171/52 K/BB in 151 innings between High-A and Double-A. 2013 shadow draftee.
11) Riley Unroe, SS, Grade B-: Age 19, hit .226/.315/.325 with 29 walks, 47 strikeouts in 243 at-bats for the Princeton Rays in the Appalachian League. 2013 shadow draftee, got off to a good start then slumped.
12) Nolan Sanburn, RHP, Grade B-: Age 23, posted 3.28 ERA with 73/25 K/BB in 71 innings in High-A in the Oakland Athletics system, then traded to White Sox. Solid relief prospect. 2012 shadow draftee.
13) Max Kepler, OF, Grade B-: Age 21, hit .264/.333/.393 with five homer, 34 walks, 62 strikeouts in 364 at-bats in High-A. Carryover real Twins international prospect.
14) Travis Harrison, OF, Grade B-: Age 21, hit .269/.361/.365 with 33 doubles but just three homers in 458 at-bats in High-A, 64 walks, 86 whiffs. 2011 shadow draftee, a real Twins pick I stayed with.
15) Adam Brett Walker, OF, Grade C+: Age 22, hit .246/.307/.436 with 25 homers, 44 walks, 156 strikeouts in 505 at-bats in High-A. 2012 shadow draftee, real Twins pick I stayed with.
16) Danny Santana, SS, Grade C+: Age 23, hit .319/.353/.472 with 20 steals in 405 at-bats for the Twins. Carryover real Twins international prospect.
17) Christian Walker, 1B, Grade C+: Age 23, hit .288/.357/.489 with 26 homers, 56 walks, 132 strikeouts in 532 at-bats between Double-A and Triple-A in Orioles system, went 3-for-18 with a homer in the majors. 2012 shadow draftee.
18) Kennys Vargas, 1B, Grade C+: Age 24, hit .281/.360/.472 in Double-A then .274/.316/.456 in 215 major league at-bats. Carryover real Twins international signee.
19) Mikie Mahtook, OF, Grade C+: Age 24, hit .292/.362/.458 with 33 doubles, 12 homers, 18 steals, 46 walks, 137 strikeouts in Triple-A in the Rays system. 2011 shadow draftee.
20) Niko Goodrum, SS, Grade C: Age 22, hit .249/.337/.336 with 35 steals, 58 walks, 99 strikeouts in 438 at-bats in High-A in Twins system. 2010 shadow draftee, real Twins pick I stayed with.
OTHERS OF NOTE:
Mitch Brown, RHP: Age 20, 3.37 ERA with 127/55 K/BB in 139 innings in Low-A in the Indians system, 113 hits. 2012 shadow draftee.
Erik Cordier, RHP: Age 28, injury-plagued but has a live arm, debuted in the majors with the Giants this year, 3.59 ERA with 68/31 K/BB in 52 innings for Fresno, nine whiffs in six major league innings. 2004 shadow draftee.
Jharel Cotton, RHP: Age 22, posted 4.05 ERA with 138/34 K/BB in 127 innings in High-A in the Dodgers system, 2012 shadow draftee.
Sam Freeman, LHP: Age 27, posted 2.61 ERA with 35/19 K/BB in 38 innings for the Cardinals, 2008 shadow draftee.
Nick Greenwood, LHP: Age 27, posted 3.02 ERA with 37/10 K/BB in 51 innings in Triple-A for the Cardinals, 4.75 ERA with 17/5 K/BB in 36 innings in the majors. 2009 shadow draftee.
Corey Littrell, LHP: Age 22, posted 3.83 ERA with 110/48 K/BB in 132 innings in High-A in the Red Sox and Cardinals systems, 2013 shadow draftee.
Austin Nola, SS: Age 24, hit .259/.368/.327 with 77 walks in 499 at-bats in Double-A in Marlins system, good defensive reputation. 2012 shadow draftee.
Nick Petree, RHP: Age 24, posted 2.51 ERA with 106/33 K/BB in 129 innings in Low-A, High-A, Double-A in the Cardinals system. 2013 shadow draftee.
Michael Ratterree, OF: Age 23, hit .228/.344/.442 with 34 doubles, 19 homers, 79 walks,166 strikeouts in Low-A in Brewers system. 2013 shadow draftee.
Donn Roach, RHP: Age 24, posted 5.24 ERA with 44/40 K/BB (2.22 GO/AO) in 77 innings in Triple-A in Padres system, 4.75 ERA with 17/15 (3.53 GO/AO) in majors. 2010 shadow draftee.
Wilfredo Rodriguez, C: Age 20, hit .310/.359/.399 with 21 walks, 33 strikeouts in 281 at-bats in Low-A in Rockies system. 2012 shadow draftee.
Thomas Shirley, LHP: Age 25, posted 2.53 ERA with 100/32 K/BB in 117 innings in Double-A and Triple-A in Astros system. 2010 shadow draftee.
Duane Underwood, RHP: Age 20, posted 2.50 ERA with 84/36 K/BB in 101 innings in Low- A in Cubs system, 2012 shadow draftee.
Chase Whitley, RHP: Age 25, posted 5.23 ERA with 60/18 K/BB in 76 innings for the Yankees. 2010 shadow draftee.
If there were no such things as trades or free agency, and the Shadow Twins were composed only entirely of players Shadow Drafted since 1996, the current Shadow major league roster would look something like this:
(I apologize for the formatting, the data file was originally created with WordPerfect on a 286 machine in 1996 and does not translate well into the SB Nation editor. I can't make the spaces go away without retyping everything)
SHADOW TWINS ROSTER IF NO TRADES OR FREE AGENCY
01-1) Joe Mauer, C, Cretin-Derham HS, St. Paul, Minnesota
06-FA) Josmil Pinto, C, Venezuela
99-3) Justin Morneau, 1B, New Westminster (B.C) HS.
12-4) Christian Walker, 1B, University of South Carolina (PA)
09-FA) Kennys Vargas, 1B, Puerto Rico HS (PR)
09-8) Brian Dozier, 2B, University of Southern Mississippi
99-9) Mark Ellis, INF, University of Florida
08-1) Brett Lawrie, 3B, Brookswood SS, Langley BC
08-1S) Conor Gillaspie, 3B, Wichita State University
06-19) Danny Valencia, 3B, University of Miami-Florida
11-1S) Brad Miller, SS, Clemson University
07-FA) Oswaldo Arcia, OF, Venezuela
97-1) Michael Cuddyer, OF, Great Bridge HS, Cheasapeake VA
02-2) Curtis Granderson, OF, University of Illinois-Chicago
07-FA) Danny Santana, OF-SS, Dominican Republic
08-3) Eric Thames, OF, Pepperdine University
99-6) Aaron Harang, RHP, San Diego State University
12-1) Kevin Gausman, RHP, Louisiana State University
08-1) Jake Odorizzi, RHP, Highland (Illinois) HS
09-21) Michael Fiers, RHP, Nova Southeastern University
03-2) Scott Baker, RHP, Oklahoma State University
03-FA) Yohan Pino, RHP, Venezuela
10-15) Chase Whitley, RHP, Troy University
10-2) Addison Reed, RHP, San Diego State University
04-1) Glen Perkins, LHP, University of Minnesota
02-6) Pat Neshek, RHP, Butler University
08-10) J.J. Hoover, RHP, Calhoun CC (Al)
08-31) Sam Freeman, LHP, University of Kansas
09-13) Nick Greenwood, LHP, University of Rhode Island
10-3) Donn Roach, RHP, College of Southern Nevada
04-2)Erik Cordier, RHP, Southern Door HS, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin
OTHERS ACTIVE THIS YEAR
02-1) Joe Blanton, RHP, University of Kentucky
01-5) Brendan Harris, SS, College of William and Mary
00-2) Joel Hanrahan, RHP, Norwalk Community HS, Norwalk, Iowa
05-2) Kevin Slowey, RHP, Winthrop University
06-14) Jeff Manship, RHP, Notre Dame
Here are some real Twins that the Shadow organization did not draft.
REAL TWINS FARM PRODUCTS I DID NOT SHADOW DRAFT OR TRADE FOR
Trevor Plouffe, INF
Chris Parmelee, OF-1B
Aaron Hicks, OF
Chris Herrmann, C
Kyle Gibson, RHP
Anthony Swarzak, RHP
Brian Duensing, LHP
Mike Tonkin, RHP
Trevor May, RH
And finally, for the masochists among you who are still reading this, here is a nearly-complete but poorly organized list of players currently in the Shadow Twins system.
06-FA) Jairo Rodriguez, C, Venezuela
12-8) Luke Maile, C, University of Kentucky (KY)
11-12) Matt Koch, C, Loyola Marymount University (CA)
13-3) Stuart Turner, C, University of Mississippi (LA)
12-12) Jeremy Lucas, C, Indiana State University (IN)
12-7) Wilfredo Rodriguez, C, Puerto Rico Baseball Academy PR
11-3) Nick Rickles, C, Stetson University (FL)
12-30) Bryan Santy, C, University of Washington (CA)
12-34) Bryan Haar, OF, University of San Diego (CA)
13-6) Brian Navarreto, C, Arlington Country Day HS, Jacksonville, FL/PR
12-FA) Rainis Silva, C, Venezuela (Twins) $175,000
13-FA) Robert Molina, C, Venezuela (Twins) $300,000
14-22) Michael Hollenbeck, C, Illinois State University (IL)
06-1) Lars Anderson, 1B, Jesuit HS, Fair Oaks, CA
08-6) Josh Satin, 2B-1B, University of California
14-16) Tyler Kuresa, 1B, UC Santa Barbara
14-28) Bennie Robinson, 1B, Florida A&M University (FL)
06-FA) James Beresford, 2B, Australia
10-4) Eddie Rosario, 2B, Rafael Lopez Ladron HS, Guayama, PR
10-19) Carlos Alonso, 2B, University of Delaware (CA)
09-FA) Jorge Polanco, 2B, Dominican Republic $750,000
10-20) Alfredo Lopez, 2B, Compton Community College (CA)
11-22) Khayyan Norfork, 2B, University of Tennessee (TN)
10-FA) Aderlin Mejia, 2B, Dominican Republic
12-9) Jamodrick McGruder, OF, Texas Tech University (TX)
12-20) Jimmy Rider, 2B, Kent State University (PA)
13-11) Nelson Molina, SS, Antonio Luchetti HS, Arecibo, PR
14-20) Tim Zier, 2B, San Diego State University (CA)
14-38) Kavin Keyes, 2B, Oregon State University
08-2) Tyler Ladendorf, SS, Howard CC (Texas)
12-5) Austin Nola, SS, Louisiana State University (LA)
10-2) Niko Goodrum, SS, Fayette County HS, Fayetteville, GA
13-28) Zach Shank, SS, Marist College (PA)
13-33) Jeff Kemp, SS, Radford University (MD)
13-36) David Harris, SS, Southern Arkansas University (TX)
13-19) Brett Kay, SS, Illinois State University (IL)
13-2) Riley Unroe, SS, Desert Ridge HS, Mesa, AZ
14-1) Nick Gordon, SS, Olympia HS, Orlando, FL
14-21)Sam Bumpers, SS, Lamar University IL
12-FA) Frandi DelaRosa, SS, Dominican Republic (Cubs) $770,000
13-FA) Joan Mauricio, SS, Dominican Republic (Astros) $660,000
05-3) Brent Lillibridge, SS, University of Washington
04-FA) Deibenson Romero, 3B, Dominican Republic
08-28) Nathan Hanson, 3B, University of Minnesota (MN)
11-1S) Travis Harrison, 3B, Trustin HS, Tustin, CA
14-15) Damek Tomscha, 3B, Auburn University (IA)
02-1S) Jason Pridie, OF, Prescott HS, Prescott, Arizona
09-1) Jared Mitchell, OF, Louisiana State University (LA)
11-1) Mikie Mahtook, OF, Louisiana State University (LA)
09-FA) Max Kepler, OF, Germany $800,000
12-3) Adam Brett Walker, OF, Jacksonville University (WI)
12-24) Lucas Herbst, OF, Santa Clara University (CA)
11-34) Shawn Payne, OF, Georgia Southern (GA)
12-16) Ronnie Richardson, OF, University of Central Florida (FL)
13-1) Clint Frazier, OF, Loganville HS, Loganville, GA
13-18) Chantz Mack, OF, University of Miami-Florida (FL)
13-10) Michael Ratterree, OF, Rice University (TX)
13-25) Chad Christensen, OF, University of Nebraska (IA)
13-20) Jason Kanzler, OF, University of Buffalo (NY)
13-34) Ivory Thomas, OF, Cal State Dominguez Hills (CA)
13-24) Marcus Davis, OF, Florida State University (OH)
14-6) Jose Trevino, OF-INF, Oral Roberts (TX)
13-32) Darian Johnson, OF, Lamar University (AZ)
14-8) Grant Heyman, OF, CC of Southern Nevada (NY)
14-14) Chase Harris, OF, University of New Mexico (ID)
14-19)Richard Amion, OF, Alabama State University
14-29) Luke Tendler, OF, North Carolina A&T University (NC)
14-36) Chase Raffield, OF, Georgia State University (GA)
14-37)Tyree Davis, OF, Centennial HS, Compton, CA
12-FA) Henry Alvarado, OF, Dominican Republic (Cardinals) $170,000
12-FA) Antonio Tovar, OF, Venezuela (Twins) $100,000
12-FA) Jorge Parra, OF, Venezuela (Twins) $45,000
13-FA) Carlos Talavera, OF, Venezuela (Cardinals) $550,000
13-FA) Isael Soto, OF, Dominican Republic (Marlins) $340,000
13-FA) Edgar Herrera, OF, Venezuela (Twins) $135,000
04-2)Erik Cordier, RHP, Southern Door HS, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin
05-3) Kevin Whelan, RHP, Texas A&M
05-11) Mike Zagurski, LHP, University of Kansas
06-3) Tyler Robertson, LHP, Bella Vista HS, Citrus Heights, CA
06-5) Dustin Richardson, LHP, Texas Tech
06-FA) Edgar Ibarra, LHP, Venezuela
08-4) Scott Barnes, LHP, St. John’s University (NJ)
08-9) Jay Jackson, RHP, Furman University (SC)
08-19) Pat Venditte, RHP-LHP, Creighton University (NE)
09-12) Pat Lehman, RHP, George Washington University (NJ)
10-6) Rett Varner, RHP, University of Texas-Arlington (TX)
10-12) Tyler Knigge, RHP, Lewis-Clark State University (ID)
07-FA) Adrian Salcedo, RHP, Dominican Republic
09-14) Ryan Robowski, LHP, Ohio Dominican University (PA)
10-8) Thomas Shirley, LHP, Xavier University (OH)
10-13) Ryan O’Rourke, LHP, Merrimack College (MA)
10-17) Mike Nesseth, RHP, University of Nebraska (MN)
10-24) Jay Johnson, LHP, Texas Tech University (New Brun)
10-26) Seth Frankoff, RHP, UNC Wilmington (NC)
11-6) Brian Dupra, RHP, Notre Dame (NY)
11-8) Austin Wright, LHP, University of Mississippi (IL)
12-1S) J.O. Berrios, RHP, Papa Juan XXIII HS, Bayamon, PR
13-4) Ben Lively, RHP, University of Central Florida (FL)
10-1) Alex Wimmers, RHP, Ohio State University (OH)
11-2) Madison Boer, RHP, University of Oregon (MN)
11-23) Tim Shibuya, RHP, UC San Diego (CA)
11-10) Colin Rea, RHP, Indiana State University (IA)
11-11) Tyler Jones, RHP, Louisiana State University (WI)
12-2) Nolan Sanburn, RHP, University of Arkansas (IN)
12-13) Thomas Harlan, LHP, Fresno State University (CA)
12-14) Ben Klimesh, RHP, Trinity University-Texas (IL)
12-17) Blake Schwartz, RHP, Oklahoma City University (MN)
12-19) Jharel Cotton, RHP, East Carolina University (VI)
12-25) Josh Smith, LHP, Wichita State University (MO)
12-26) Mason McVay, LHP, Florida International University (FL)
13-5) Corey Littrell, LHP, University of Kentucky (KY)
13-9) Nick Petree, RHP, Missouri State University (MO)
13-13) Brandon Peterson, RHP, Wichita State University (IA)
10-14) Jamaine Cotton, RHP, Western Oklahoma Junior College (VI)
11-4) Charlie Lowell, LHP, Wichita State University (MO)
11-15) Josue Montanez, LHP, Miami Dade South Community College (PR)
11-FA) Fernando Romero, RHP, Dominican Republic $260,000
12-1S) Mitchell Brown, RHP, Century HS, Rochester, MN
12-2) Duane Underwood, RHP, Pope HS, Marietta, GA
12-FA) Lewis Thorpe, LHP, Australia (Twins) $500,000
13-8) Ricky Knapp, RHP, Florida Gulf Coast University (FL)
13-17) Matt Whitehouse, LHP, UC Irvine (CA)
13-21) Tristan Archer, RHP, Tennessee Tech (TN)
13-22) Layne Somsen, RHP, South Dakota State University (SD)
13-23) Scott Silverstein, LHP, University of Virginia (MD)
13-27) Randall Fant, LHP, University of Arkansas (TX)
14-2) Nick Burdi, RHP, University of Louisville (IL)
11-FA) Miguel Gonzalez, RHP, Dominican Republic $650,000
11-FA) Felix Jorge, RHP, Dominican Republic $250,000
11-FA) Kuo Hua Lo, RHP, Taiwan $130,000
12-6) Damion Carroll, RHP, King George HS, King George, VA
12-28) Carson Goldsmith, RHP, Northwestern State University (TX)
12-FA) Chih-Wei Hu, RHP, Taiwan (Twins) $220,000
12-FA) Starling Ynfante, RHP, Dominican Republic (Padres) $220,000
12-FA) Crusito Mieses, RHP, Dominican Republic (Angels) $200,000
12-FA) Johan Quezada, RHP, Dominican Republic (Twins) $150,000
13-7) Sam Wilson, LHP, Lamar Community College (NM)
13-12) Dakota Freese, RHP, Des Moines Area Community College (IA)
13-31) A.J. Burke, RHP, Western Oregon State University (OR)
13-39) Seth Wagner, LHP, Mifflin County HS, Lewiston, Pennsylvania
13-FA) Jaimito Lebron, RHP, Dominican Republic (Padres) $460,000
13-FA) Jose Martinez, RHP, Venezuela (Twins) $340,000
13-FA) Erick Balbuena, RHP, Dominican Republic (Twins) $175,000
13-FA) Orby Taveras, LHP, Dominican Republic (Yankees) $100,000
14-3) Eric Skogland, LHP, University of Central Florida (FL)
14-4) Austin Gomber, LHP, Florida Atlantic University (FL)
14-7) Andro Cutura, RHP, Southeastern Louisiana (LA)
14-12) Emilio Ogando, LHP, St. Thomas University (FL)
14-10) Javi Salas, RHP, University of Miami-Florida (FL)
14-11) A.J. Ladwig, RHP, Wichita State University (NE)
14-13) Chase Mallard, RHP, University of Alabama Birmingham (AL)
14-18) Michael Nolan, LHP, Oklahoma City University (NY)
14-23)Miles Nordgren, RHP, Birmingham Southern University (AL)
14-24)Kyle Kinman, LHP, Bellevue University (NE)
14-27) Jason Hoppe, RHP, Minnesota State-Mankato (MN)
14-30) Kyle Porter, LHP, University of California (CA)
14-33) Chad Reeves, LHP, Louisiana State University-Eunice (LA)
14-39) Cale Elam, RHP, Wichita State University (OK)
14-40) Pat Kaminska, RHP, Central Michigan University (IL)
FA) Manuel Soliman, RHP, Dominican Republic
5) Zack Von Rosenberg, RHP, Zachary HS, Zachary, LA
13) Erik Davis, RHP, Stanford University (CA)
FA) Yorman Landa, RHP, Venezuela
FA) Argenis Silva, RHP, Venezuela (Twins) $375,000
FA) Sebastian Perez, RHP, Dominican Republic $300,000
FA) Randy Rosario, LHP, Dominican Republica
FA) Miguel Sano, 3B, Dominican Republic $3,500,000
14) Zack Granite, OF, Seton Hall University (NY)
5) Nate Roberts, OF, High Point University (IL)