With the constant influx of new talent, new names, new statistics, it can be easy to lose sight of a prospect who’s fallen from grace. A little more than a year ago, in their 2012 Prospect Handbook, Baseball America ranked Joe Benson as the #2 overall prospect in the Twins organization. Benson was coming off a 2011 in which he hit .285/.388/.495 with 16 homers at Double-A New Britain, finishing the year with a call-up to the big club and a spot on the 40-man. He was on the fantasy radar before injuries delayed his 2012 debut, but he hasn’t been relevant since then. Across four levels in 2012, the former 2nd round draft pick managed a line at .202/.288/.336. And after watching him hit .192/.256/.285 through 43 games at Triple-A Rochester this season, the Twins had seen enough and released Benson to make room for P.J. Walters. The Rangers claimed him have assigned him to Double-A. At 25 years old, there’s still a glimmer of hope for the toolsy outfielder, but that will fade quickly if the horrendous hitting continues.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Gird your loins – we’re going to be navigating positions battles in each division. Last week, I covered the NL East. Today I’m talking about the AL Central, which actually looks fairly interesting this year. At first glance, the Tigers should run away with the division. At a slightly closer glance, the Indians, Royals, and White Sox all appear to be trying to contend. Who knows? Maybe Verlander’s arm will fall off after pitching over 1,000 innings across the past four seasons, while Miggy and Fielder enter a 24/7 all-you-can-eat buffet in Vegas and never return. Anyway, here’s some of the position battles to keep an eye on in the AL Central:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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 Players — Peoria 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.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Minnesota Twins 2011 Minor League Review

Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America:

2012 (19) | 2011 (13) | 2010 (6) | 2009 (22) | 2008 (15) | 2007 (8) | 2006 (6)

2011 Affiliate Records

MLB: [63-99] AL Central

AAA: [53-91] International League – Rochester

AA: [72-70] Eastern League – New Britain

A+: [63-76] Florida State League – Fort Meyers

A: [69-69] Midwest League – Beloit

R: [42-26] Appalachian League – Elizabethton

The Run Down

Much of the Twins best talent is years away from its arrival in the big leagues.  Please, blog, may I have some more?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Minnesota Twins 2010 Minor League Review
Overall farm ranking via Baseball America (2010):
2010 (7) | 2009 (22) | 2008 (18) | 2007 (8) | 2006 (6) | 2005 (4) | 2004 (5)

Record of Major and Minor League Teams
MLB: [94 – 68] AL Central
AAA: [49 – 95] International League – Rochester
AA: [44 – 98] Eastern League – New Britian
A+: [64 – 74] Florida League – Fort Myers
A: [71 – 65] Midwest League – Beloit
Rk: [41 – 25] Appalachian League – Elizabethtown

The Run Down
As a Twins fan I try to be as objective as possible, typically leaning towards harsher judgments of their players and prospects. Please, blog, may I have some more?

Please, blog, may I have some more?