Today we begin our major project for the off-season: the Top 20 Prospect Lists for 2017 for each major league organization. In past years this was part of the process of writing the Baseball Prospect Book, but the BPB has been retired after 20 years. However, we still have prospects to analyze and players to grade and organizations to discuss, so let's get started.
The first step is the yearly community organizational discussion, beginning with the Minnesota Twins. By tradition, the first three teams to be analyzed are the Twins, the Atlanta Braves, and the Kansas City Royals. After that, teams are selected basically on my whims, although we'll alternate between leagues and I usually put an early focus on the World Series teams, so this year we'll go Twins/Braves/Royals/Cubs/Indians to start.
So let's get started today and talk about the Minnesota Twins farm system and the general state of the organization. Some possible points for discussion include, but are not limited to:
***The Twins had a nice 2015 season at 83-79 under first-year manager Paul Molitor. However, 2016 was a disaster at 59-103, which has triggered a massive turnover in the front office. Ownership insists on retaining Molitor as manager for 2017. How much of Minnesota's troubles in '16 can be blamed on Molitor and is there a chance that he really is the manager to bring this team back to success in the future?
***Cleveland Indians executive Derek Falvey will be taking over as baseball operations leader once the World Series concludes, with Thad Levine coming over from the Texas Rangers as GM. Does the new front office need to completely tear down this team, or are there enough pieces in place for a quick rebound?
***Would you trade Brian Dozier, or build around him?
***Byron Buxton surged in September, hitting .287/.357/.653 in his final 29 games. Does this presage a breakout in 2017?
***Max Kepler, in contrast, slumped late in the year. Does this hint at sophomore troubles?
***Can Eddie Rosario improve significantly?
***Jorge Polanco is still just 22 years old. Could he become a genuine star?
***As always, feel free to discuss sleepers or overlooked prospects in the system.