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Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2012 (19) | 2011 (13) | 2010 (6) | 2009 (22) | 2008 (15)

2012 Affiliate Records
MLB: [66-96] AL Central
AAA: [72-72] International League – Rochester
AA: [75-67] Eastern League — New Britain
A+: [60-75] Florida State League – Fort Myers
A: [77-63] Midwest League – Beloit (Cedar Rapids beginning 2013)

Arizona Fall League PlayersPeoria Javelinas
Logan Darnell (LHP); Kyle Gibson (RHP); Caleb Thielbar (LHP); Michael Tonkin (RHP); Evan Bigley (OF); Nate Roberts (OF)

Graduated Prospects
Chris Parmelee (1B/OF); Brian Dozier (SS); Liam Hendriks (RHP); Cole De Vries (RHP); Sam Deduno (RHP); Pedro Florimon (SS); Darin Mastroianni (OF)

The Run Down
There are certainly other teams in the discussion, but when evaluating the most improved farm systems in baseball over the past year, Minnesota needs to be considered near the top.  Owning the #2 pick in the draft is always a nice way to bolster a club’s young talent, but the Twins went beyond that in 2012, as impact talents lived up to hype, and forgotten prospects returned to form.  And they continued improving into the offseason, adding big-ceiling starting pitchers in Alex Meyer from Washington and Trevor May from Philadelphia.  The Twins shipped out MLB outfielders Denard Span and Ben Revere in order to acquire those arms, but with capable outfield prospects pushing through from the minors this year, the added pitching depth seems like a smart move.  Do take note of this system as there’s plenty to be excited about in terms of the fantasy game, and certain prospects should be making their impacts this year.

Top Ten Prospects
1.  Miguel Sano, 3B:  Sano’s power is enormous.  He hit 28 homers at Low-A Beloit last year, and scouts see him building on that as he moves through the system.  It’s not out of reason to expect 40+ HR seasons at the major league level, but with a big swing, he’ll amass quite a few whiffs too.  Still, the power potential alone makes Sano a big time fantasy prospect.  ETA:  2014

2.  Byron Buxton, OF:  Buxton was the 2nd overall pick in June.  His tools profile is about as exciting as any prospect’s in the game, projecting to do everything you’d want out of a fantasy outfielder — hit for power, post a nice average, and steal plenty of bags.  The 19-year-old is a long way off, but he’ll be a fun guy to watch in 2013 as he digs into full-season ball.  ETA:  2015

3.  Alex Meyer, RHP:  Acquired via Washington in the Denard Span trade, Meyer brings big potential with a power arsenal and a lanky 6-9 frame.  The 22-year-old was outstanding in his first year of pro ball, posting a 2.86 ERA, a 1.10 WHIP, and a K/9 at 9.7 in 129 IP between Low- and High-A.  Scouts see Meyer adding more velocity as his frame fills out, which is surprising considering the righty already hurls a fastball in the upper-90s and a features a power slider that sits in the upper-80s.  ETA:  2014

4.  Trevor May, RHP:  Before he was traded to the Twins, I ranked May as the #2 prospect in the Phillies system.  Read that post here.  A change of scenery could be beneficial for the inconsistent flame-thrower.  ETA:  Late 2013

5.  Oswaldo Arcia, OF:  Arcia hit .320/.388/.539 with 61 XBH (17 HR) in 534 PA between High-A and Double-A.  The 21-year-old Venezuelan is ready for the bigs, but the Twins might opt to start him at Triple-A.  In any case, Arcia can hit, and that’ll make him a potential fantasy option in deep leagues, so be sure to monitor his status this spring.  ETA:  2013

6.  Aaron Hicks, OF:  After a rough year in 2011 at High-A Hicks moved up to Double-A in 2012 and looked like an entirely different player.  The 23-year-old hit .286/.384/.460 with 13 homers, and 32 stolen bases at New Britain.  Most think that a stint in Triple-A will serve Hicks well, but expect to see him in Minnesota at some point in 2013.  ETA:  Late 2013

7.  Jose Berrios, RHP:  Berrios was the 32nd overall pick in June, and the young Puerto Rican impressed in his pro debut.  The 18-year-old features a plus fastball, and counters with a nice curve, and a solid changeup.  In 30 IP between instructional ball and rookie ball, Berrios posted a 1.17 ERA, and a 0.62 WHIP while fanning 49 batters.  ETA:  2016

8.  Kyle Gibson, RHP:  Gibson missed most of 2012 to Tommy John, returning late in the season to make a handful of starts.  Recovery from TJ surgery is almost routine at this point, so the 25-year-old should return to his pre-injury projection — #3-type innings-eater with good command and so-so stuff.  ETA:  2013

9.  Joe Benson, OF:  After breaking into the bigs in 2011, Benson’s stock plummeted in 2012 as he struggled with the bat and with his health.  Still, he’s a toolsy guy, and he’ll likely return to the majors if he can stay on the field in 2013.  Some still see 20/20 potential, but the window is closing quickly for this 24-year-old.  ETA:  2013

10.  Eddie Rosario, 2B/OF:  Rosario hit .296/.345/.490 in a full season at Low-A Beloit.  At 6-0, 170, you wouldn’t expect much pop, but the 21-year-old managed 12 homers in his first year of full-season ball.  He handles the bat well enough to cut it at the next levels, but some baseball folks doubt his feel for the game and his general baseball acumen.  Those shortcomings could make it tough on him as he reaches the upper levels.   ETA:  2015

From Around The Web

  1. Clifford says:
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    Sorry, but I think May is ranked way way too high on this list. I would have him easilyyyy behind Sano, Buxton, Arcia, Meyer, Gibson, Berrios, Hicks, and Rosario…he might make the Top 10. He would not be in my top 5 Phillies prospect either….the guy is incredibly inconsistent, took a huge step backward last year, and doesnt know where the ball is going when it comes out of his hand….much like hitters with very high strikeout rates in the minors, pitchers with astronomical walk rates dont often succeed in the show. He’s an 8th inning guy for me. He can certainly throw hard, but I simply see no way how he can be ranked ahead of guys like Arcia, especially considering the impact Oswaldo could have this season.

    Also, I would be shocked if Hicks wasnt called up right after the Super Two Deadline. I think Late 2013 is a little on the late side. He could very well start the season as the CF for the Twins

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Fair points, but it’s a little too soon to quit on May. If the command issues persist, I agree he’ll end up pitching shorter stints out of the ‘pen. But one poor season does not ruin him for me — he showed flashes in 2012 that had him looking like a future #2 & he’s especially exciting for fantasy purposes because of his K potential. Another bad year (or a couple bad months, really), and I’ll agree with you on all accounts. I’m in the minority here, but I’m gonna be patient with May for a little while longer.

      Re: Hicks, he’ll be up when he’s needed. It’s near impossible to predict for opportunity, and there’ll be no opportunity if he’s not hitting at AAA. And I could be off here, but I still think Benson (if healthy) has the edge on the org depth chart…

      Again, though, all fair points.

      • Clifford says:
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        Hmm, you really think Benson has the edge on winning the job right out of ST?? I would actually put him 3rd behind both Hicks and Mastroenni(sp?)…while i dont think the organization has given up on Benson by any means, I also dont think they have him higher than Hicks….or Arcia for that matter.

        As for May, I do understand what you are saying, but IMO, the bottom line is this….the guy had 1 good season out of the last 3 in the minors. in 2010, he dominated A-ball for 11 starts, but that was also his 2nd go-round there, so not all that impressive. he was pushed to High-A where he struggled big time, with a 5.01 ERA, and an astonishing 7.84 BB/9 over 14 starts, and 70 IP. That equates to a whopping 61 walks in only 70 IP. Thats horrible. I dont care what level you’re at, what age you are at the time, thats not the kinda stats a top prospect puts up…ever. He rebounded in 2011 with a solid year, but again, it was his 2nd trip in High-A, and his BB/9 was still north of 4.00…and as you know, last year was not a good year for him.

        At the end of the day, hes pitched 429 innings since the start of 2010….and he’s walked 224 guys. That equates out to a 4.70 BB/9 ratio. His K/9 took a sharp turn for the worse last year. as it went from 12.10 in 2011 all the way down to 9.08 last year. I get that hes got the stuff needed to be an ace, but i just dont see ranking him ahead of a guy like Arcia, who is nearly 2 years younger than May, and last year, in 469 ABs, he hit .320 with 17 HR, 98 RBI, and 107/51 K/BB…he’s hit at every level hes been at throughout his minor league career, and he looks like he should contribute this year…i just think with all those factors considered, Arcia should be way way ahead of May….but hey, thats just my 2 cents. what do i know?

  2. fri-guy says:
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    is there yet an approximate date for 2013 for players to miss the cut-off for super 2 eligibility?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      As I understand it — and someone please correct me if I’m off here — for MLB rookies in 2013, Super Two status won’t be clear until after the 2015 season — they’ll need to be in the top 22% of playing time among players who are between two and three years of service time.

      As far as determining that service time, there’s no firm date. A player starts accumulating service time as soon as he’s called up, but he won’t reach one year of service time unless he’s in the bigs for 172 days during the season. The Super Two exception muddies the water on arbitration eligibility & decreases the effectiveness of clubs trying to exploit service time cutoffs.

      Still, look for clubs to bring up their MLB-ready prospects no sooner than June 1st. Guys who are up in May will almost surely be Super Two eligible.

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