Minnesota Twins 2014 Top 15 Prospects

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Sep 15, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; The Minnesota Twins catcher Josmil Pinto (43) hits a home run in the eighth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Target Field. The Twins won 6-4. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

#10

Travis Harrison - 3B

Date of Birth: October 17, 1992

Height/Weight: 6’1 215

Acquired: 1st round (50th overall), 2011 draft

Year Age Tm Lg Lev Aff G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB GDP HBP
2013 20 Cedar Rapids MIDW A MIN 129 537 450 66 114 28 0 15 59 2 4 68 125 .253 .366 .416 .782 187 5 14
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/17/2013.

Analysis: Harrison was drafted in the first round and given an over-slot deal out of high school in 2011 because of his raw hitting ability, but that has yet to fully manifest itself statistically. He showed flashes of power, hitting fifteen home runs for Class-A Cedar Rapids and had a respectable .366 OBP, but his .253 average and 125 strikeouts left a lot to be desired. He’s very young and unpolished, though, and 25 homer power and a .280 average should come as he matures. He’s no Brooks Robinson at third, and he’ll never be much more than a below average defender, but he’s making strides. He had an outright clumsy .832 fielding percentage in 2012, having made 24 errors in just sixty games, but got that up to .915 this past season.

2014 Prognosis: Harrison will likely repeat the Class-A Midwestern league next year, probably with much better results, and be called up to High-A Fort Myers by July.

#9

Josmil Pinto - C

Date of Birth: March 31, 1989

Height/Weight: 5’11 210 lb 

Acquired: International Free Agent

Year Age Tm Lg Lev Aff G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB GDP HBP
2013 24 2 Teams 2 Lgs AA-AAA MIN 126 528 456 65 141 32 1 15 74 0 2 66 83 .309 .400 .482 .882 220 14 4
2013 24 New Britain EL AA MIN 107 453 386 59 119 23 1 14 68 0 2 64 71 .308 .411 .482 .892 186 8 3
2013 24 Rochester IL AAA MIN 19 75 70 6 22 9 0 1 6 0 0 2 12 .314 .333 .486 .819 34 6 1
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/17/2013.
Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ TB GDP HBP
2013 24 MIN AL 21 83 76 10 26 5 0 4 12 0 0 6 22 .342 .398 .566 .963 165 43 3 1
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/17/2013.

Analysis: Lacking any plus tool, Pinto has been ignored as a prospect until he forced himself into the picture with tremendous statistical success. After a standout season in 2012, Pinto was sent to Double-A New Britain to start 2013 and had the best results of his professional career, showing on base ability and modest power. He had hit 14 home runs in the past, so 15 between Double and Triple-A this year was not a surprise, but the 66 walks were more than he had ever collected in a single season. A kid with enough plate discipline to get on base at a .400 clip will always find a path to the majors, and Pinto did, getting the call this past September and promptly going on a tear from behind the dish. He certainly will never hit .342 or slug .566 in a full season, but the numbers are certainly an indication of future success. The only question is whether he can stay at catcher, as he has always been a bit bulky for the position and – although this is a small sample size –  baseball reference lists him as having cost the Twins .2 wins in just 20 games behind the dish last year.

2014 Prognosis: He has clearly shown that the minor leagues are no longer a challenge and with Joe Mauer moving over to first base full time, Pinto is the obvious candidate for the starting catching job in Minnesota.

#8

Max Kepler - OF

Date of Birth: February 10, 1993

Height/Weight: 6’4 180

Acquired: International Free Agent

Year Age Tm Lg Lev Aff G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB GDP HBP
2013 20 Cedar Rapids MIDW A MIN 61 263 236 35 56 11 3 9 40 2 0 24 43 .237 .312 .424 .736 100 2 2
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/17/2013.

Analysis: There are only two German born players in all of Major League Baseball – Edwin Jackson and Jeff Baker – and Max Kepler might be the next. Kepler has great tools all around, with the ability to play an above average right field, hit for average and power, and even swipe a few bags. But after his first true statistical success in rookie ball in 2012, he failed to channel those tools onto the diamond this past season. He missed the first two and a half months of the year with an elbow injury, and looked overmatched in his first tour of the Midwestern league.. He hit only .237 with a 312 OBP, although his power numbers were not terrible, as he projected to hit about 20 home runs if he had played an entire season. Still, this year was a short sample size and his superior tools should keep him in the Twins’ top 10 and long term plans.

2014 Prognosis: Kepler will undoubtedly repeat Double-A next season and considering his struggles to this point, I’d imagine the Twins keep him there for the entire year.

#7

Jose Berrios - RHP

Date of Birth: May 27, 1994

Height/Weight: 6’0 187

Acquired: 1st round (32nd overall), 2012 draft

Year Age Tm Lg Lev Aff W L W-L% ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB IBB SO HBP BK WP BF WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
2013 19 Cedar Rapids MIDW A MIN 7 7 .500 3.99 19 19 0 103.2 105 58 46 6 40 0 100 9 1 13 455 1.399 9.1 0.5 3.5 8.7 2.50
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/17/2013.

Analysis: Conventional scouting wisdom dictates that small righthanders like the six foot, 187 pound Berrios can’t become viable major league starters. The Twins’ second first round pick from the 2012 draft, however, is trying to prove this principle wrong. After dominating in his professional debut last year, he posted a 3.99 ERA in his first full season, which, while not outstanding was acceptable. His peripherals were better as he struck out almost a batter per inning, and had a walk rate of only 3.5 BB/9 – a much better than most teenage pitching prospects. Berrios works off of a a low 90′s fastball which he can amp up to 96 when he needs, a fringe change up that should progress as he goes along, and a high-velocity hammer curve, which is his best best pitch.

2014 Prognosis: Keith Law wrote after the 2013 season that Berrios had the ability to start 2013 in High-A. He didn’t but he will next year and he’s polished enough to possibly reach Double-A by the summer.

#6

Jorge Polanco

Date of Birth: July 5, 1993

Height/Weight: 5’11 165

Acquired: International Free Agent

Year Age Tm Lg Lev Aff G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB GDP HBP
2013 19 Cedar Rapids MIDW A MIN 115 523 465 76 143 32 10 5 78 4 4 42 59 .308 .362 .452 .813 210 4 3
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/17/2013.

Analysis: After spending three seasons in rookie ball, a 19 year old Polanco finally turned his good all around tools into full-season success with a solid performance in the A-level Midwest league. His .308 average and .362 average are both almost ideal numbers and are supported by an 8% walk rate and a 11% strikeout rate that, if posted by a major league, would be among the best in baseball. He only hit five home runs, but showed off gap power, hitting 32 doubles and ten triples en route to a .460 slugging percentage. A teenager in Class-A is invariably mostly projection, but statistical success like this is highly encouraging.

2014 Prognosis: Polanco has proven he can handle Low-A and he will move on to face stiffer competition at High-A Fort Myer to start next season.

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Tags: Minnesota Twins

  • Twinsfantravis

    Trevor May came over with Vance Workey in the Ben Revere trade with the Phillies, not the Nationals trade.

  • tonyjar0502

    Kepler won’t repeat AA because he wasn’t ever in AA. He also played a lot of 1st base because they have too much outfield depth.