Today we begin our major project for the off-season: the Top 20 Prospect Lists for 2018 for each major league organization.
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. We don’t know who that is yet, but we’ll line them up behind the top three this way: Twins, Braves, Royals, NL World Series Team, AL World Series team.
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 an impressive season, going 85-77, getting into the Wild Card game, and erasing the bitter taste from the failed 2016 campaign. It is evident that the Twins aren’t as bad as they looked in ‘16 but are they as good as they looked at times this year? What is the over/under for wins in 2018?
****Right-hander Jose Berrios was a big part of Minnesota’s success in ‘17, overall going 14-8, 3.89 with a 139/48 K/BB in 146 innings. Does he take another step forward in 2018, will he slip, or remain about the same? Put another way, can he become a home-grown ace, or will he be “just” a decent pitcher?
****Outfielder Byron Buxton hit .300/.347/.546 in the second half. Does this presage a complete breakout for 2018 or will he continue to tease?
****Who will be a better player four years from now: Eddie Rosario or Max Kepler?
****Pitching prospects Fernando Romero, Stephen Gonsalves, Tyler Jay, Zack Littell, and Felix Jorge (among others) are all candidates for promotion to the majors in 2018. How would you prioritize them?
****As we always do, please share your sleepers and overlooked prospects.