It is time to begin our annual series of mid-season organization reviews, beginning with the Minnesota Twins.
THIS IS NOT A NEW LIST
THIS IS A REVIEW OF THE PRE-SEASON LIST
THESE ARE NOT NEW GRADES
1) Nick Gordon, SS, Grade B+: Hitting .298/.366/.458 in Double-A in 325 at-bats; power is steadily increasing; won’t have his brother Dee Gordon’s speed but should have more pop; all systems look good.
2) Stephen Gonsalves, LHP, Grade B+: Performing very well in Double-A with 2.95 ERA in 58 innings, 65/12 K/BB, just 43 hits; missed April and part of May with injury but has been very impressive when healthy.
3) Fernando Romero, RHP, Grade B/B+: Also performing very well in Double-A; 2.78 ERA in 91 innings with 91/34 K/BB, just 79 hits; could be ready for a trial in September.
4) Alex Kirilloff, OF, Grade B/B+: 2016 first round pick blew out elbow and will miss season with Tommy John surgery.
5) Tyler Jay, LHP, Grade B: 2015 first-rounder recently underwent surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome, a very serious shoulder injury that is much more difficult to recover from than Tommy John elbow procedures.
6) Lewin Diaz, 1B, Grade B-: Signed for $1,400,000 out of Dominican Republic in 2013, showing impressive power in the Low-A Midwest League with .283/.320/.465 line, 10 homers, 25 doubles; needs more attention than he’s received.
7) Adalberto Mejia, LHP, Grade B-: Has made 13 starts for the major league team, posting a 4.43 ERA in 65 innings, 54/32 K/BB, 64 hits; prediction that he could be a number four starter looks on track so far.
8) Travis Blankenhorn, 3B-2B, Grade B-: Third round pick in 2015, showing some pop and patience in Low-A with .247/.352/.431 line, eight homers, 39 walks in 299 at-bats; third base defense needs more polish and I don’t think he has the range for second long-term; bat has promise.
9) Wander Javier, SS, Grade B-: Signed out of Dominican Republic for $4,000,000 in 2015; just getting started in rookie-level Appalachian League hitting .286/.362/.429 in his first 12 games; tools to make impact on both offense and defense but only 18 years old.
10) J.T. Chargois, RHP, Grade B-: Has missed almost entire season with elbow problems; can hit 100 when healthy but has a long history of injuries and is already 26 years old.
11) Kohl Stewart, RHP, Grade B-: First round pick in 2013 from high school in Texas, has made nine starts in Double-A with 3.73 ERA with 25/25 K/BB in 41 innings; has missed much of season with knee injury; stuff has backed up since high school and right now he looks like a potential fifth starter rather than any kind of ace.
12) Nick Burdi, RHP, Grade B-/C+: Second round pick from University of Louisville in 2014; got off to excellent start with 0.53 ERA with 20/4 K/BB in 17 innings in Double-A; rumored for quick promotion to Minnesota but hurt elbow in late May and is out with Tommy John.
13) LaMonte Wade, OF, Grade C+/B-: Drafted in ninth round in 2015 from the University of Maryland, consistently solid performer with on-base ability hitting .285/.411/.389 with 58 walks, just 47 strikeouts in 270 at-bats in Double-A; sleeper prospect holding up so far.
14) Huascar Ynoa, RHP, Grade C+/B-: Signed for $800,000 in 2014; just getting started in rookie ball with Elizabethton, 5.06 ERA in 16 innings so far with 14/10 K/BB; projectable with above-average stuff but needs more polish with command at age 19.
15) Mitch Garver, C, Grade C+: Impressive season in Triple-A, hitting .286/.388/.540, 12 homers, 35 walks, 60 strikeouts in 213 at-bats; has thrown out 30% of runners with .995 fielding percentage; older prospect at age 26 but clearly ready for a major league trial at any time.
16) Felix Jorge, RHP, Grade C+: Part of strong Double-A rotation; 3.26 ERA in 86 innings, 61/22 K/BB; doesn’t have as much long-term potential as Gonsalves or Romero but got two starts in the majors because he was already on the 40-man roster; projects as inning-eater type with command.
17) Ben Rortvedt, C, Grade C+: Second round pick in 2016 from high school in Wisconsin, hitting only .216/.288/.296 in 199 at-bats in Low-A; has thrown out 39% of runners and has strong defensive tools; bat weak so far but he’s just 19.
18) Daniel Palka, OF, Grade C+: Hit .261/.316/.452 in 157 at-bats in Triple-A until going on DL with broken finger; intriguing left-side power with contact questions; ready for trial soon once finger is healed.
19) Zack Granite, OF, Grade C+: Excellent in Triple-A, .360/.412/.492 with 15 steals; 70-runner with refined glove, improving on-base skills, should be ideal fourth outfielder.
20) Lewis Thorpe, LHP, Grade C+: Missed 2015 with Tommy John and 2016 with a viral infection; back this year with 2.23 ERA in 32 innings in High-A with 37/14 K/BB; stuff appears back to pre-surgery levels, still working off the command rust but stock is back on the rise.
OTHER GRADE C+ Prospects:
Luis Arraez, 2B: Out with torn ACL
Akil Baddoo, OF: Hitting .275/.362/.510 in 51 rookie ball at-bats
Trevor Hildenberger, RHP: Excellent in Triple-A, 2.05 ERA, 35/8 K/BB in 31 innings, strong in the majors as well, 2.16 in 8.1 MLB innings.
Nelson Molina, INF: .254/.295/.365 in High-A
Randy Rosario, LHP: 1.82 ERA in 35 innings in Double-A, 29/8 K/BB
Lachlan Wells, LHP: 4.11 ERA in 72 innings in High-A, 58/15 K/BB.
There are many other players to talk about: ask in the comments section and I’ll answer and give some idea where they would rank on a revised list. We can also talk about the 2017 draft class.