The Twins are a fun system to look at. They have the elite guys like Buxton and Berrios, but now we have the breakout Max Kepler and the international signee Byung-ho Park. Outside of the Aaron Hicks trade to New York, the Park signing was the biggest news of the Minnesota offseason. The Twins had some surprising success in 2015, thanks in part to the arrival of their young slugger Miguel Sano. 2016 will see even more prospect talent surface in Minnesota though, and things could gel together quickly. It’s probably do or die time for Danny Santana and Oswaldo Arcia, but there’s a lot of young talent to work with this year at Target Field.

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All year we’ve been ranking the top prospects closest to the majors. With September call-ups quickly approaching, this post is a little different. Instead of limiting the list to players with their rookie eligibility intact, this will include any players currently in the minor leagues regardless of their at bats or innings pitched totals. There’s a catch, though. It’s only going to list players who are currently healthy and on their team’s 40-man roster. If you see a big name omitted, it’s probably because they aren’t currently on the 40-man. That can still be manipulated of course, but if a player is already on the roster, it increases the chances they’ll get a look next month. I also decided to weed through it for players that I thought could actually have some relevance in fantasy. With guys like Domingo Santana, Trea Turner, and even Aaron Altherr already up, this isn’t exactly the sexiest group. But there are some nice players in here, and if they can find playing time, they could also help your fantasy team down the stretch. When looking at who to pick up, I’d recommend focusing on teams that are out of the playoff hunt and who may be more inclined to give their younger players a look. Zeroing in on injuries (or potential ones) is also a good move. I bolded a few of the names that I think are interesting gambles…

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With just over a month and a half left to play, it’s still a tight two-horse race between Razzball’s J-FOH and Hannibal Montana for the first Razznasty championship. The big story right now though is MattTruss (The Hippos). Truss has gained nearly 20 points in the standings since our last league update in early July and now sits comfortably in third place. How has he done it? Basically he’s dominated the rest of us since July 1st – leading the league in RBIs, wins, and strikeouts over that span. But that’s not all. The Hippos have also been top five in four other categories, including hitting the second most homers and posting the second best ERA since the beginning of last month. In other words, it’s been a balanced attack on the standings, and I am now officially scared of hippos. There is still a lot of ground between Truss and our two leaders, but anything can happen when you’re a 2-ton animal on the move.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

In a surprising move, the Nationals promoted infield prospect Wilmer Difo to the majors yesterday when Jayson Werth hit the disabled list. In some ways it makes a lot of sense, as Difo was already on the 40-man roster and hitting well in the minors to start the season. This move reminds me of the Twins jumping Jorge Polanco to the majors last year to fill a need on their major league roster – opting to temporarily go with an unproven player already on the 40-man instead of shuffling the entire deck. Difo is still pretty raw, and raw prospects are a lot like raw eggs. All the “stuff” is there, but it’s usually a good idea to cook ’em. It’s uncertain exactly how the Nats will use him going forward given that their current infield seems to be working just fine. So while I don’t expect Difo to stick this year once the Nats get healthy, this presents us with a good opportunity to peek at his profile…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2014 (3) | 2013 (10) | 2012 (19) | 2011 (13) | 2010 (6)

2014 Affiliate Records
MLB: [70-92] AL Central
AAA: [77-67] International League – Rochester
AA: [73-69] Eastern League – New Britain (2015 Chattanooga)
A+: [82-57] Florida State League – Fort Myers
A: [73-67] Midwest League – Cedar Rapids

Graduated Prospects
Danny Santana, SS, OF | Kennys Vargas, 1B

The Gist
After setting up a base camp with the Angels way back in November, we’re now getting close to the summit of the minor league previews with this well-stocked farm system in Minnesota. The Twins have two of my top 10 fantasy prospects overall. While both Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano are looking to bounce back from injuries, they also both possess the tools to become future fantasy stars. The pair could see time in the majors later this season, joining sophomores Danny Santana and Kennys Vargas in the Twins’ young core. If the position players aren’t enough, Minnesota also boasts several qualilty arms that should contribute to the major league club sometime in the next two years.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Jackie Bradley Jr. walked three times in one game. Have you people forgotten he walked three times…IN ONE GAME! Yeah, that’s old news for the Sons of Sam Horn. They have a new fish to park in Harvard Yard. There’s going to be a new man in Bo’ town soon. The master of no disaster, the king of that’s a purdy swing, the man who once impregnated a lady by looking at her while he was in the batter’s box, Mookie Betts. Oh, you better, you better, you Betts! I usually don’t get caught up in the thrill of the rookie chase (Ha! Of course I do, I’m a damn fool!), but this one looks like he might be mollywhopping like, well, a middle infielder and stealing bases like, well, a middle infielder. Now, now, no deflating. He does look like he can be special and should have middle infield eligibility, which ups the how’s your father just a bit. He stole 22 bases in 54 games in Double-A, but he was completely overmatching people there. Okay, in Triple-A, he’s doing the same. He’s putting up Atari numbers everywhere he goes in the minor leagues. Hard to imagine it continues in the majors, but, if it did, he’d be a 15-homer, 35-steal guy. Sounds like another Red Sox middle infielder from once upon a time ago (no, not dyslexic Ramon). The one that they shipped off to Florida (Hanley Ramirez). If Mookie is available in your league and you have room, I’d stash him. It sounds like he could be up in the landmark case of sooner vs. later. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2013 (10) | 2012 (19) | 2011 (13) | 2010 (6) | 2009 (22)

2013 Affiliate Records
MLB: [66-96] AL Central
AAA: [77-67] International League – Rochester
AA: [66-76] Eastern League — New Britain
A+: [79-56] Florida State League – Fort Myers
A: [88-50] Midwest League – Cedar Rapids

Graduated Prospects
Oswaldo Arcia (OF); Aaron Hicks (OF); Chris Colabello (1B/OF); Chris Herrmann (C/OF); Ryan Pressly (RHP); Andrew Albers (LHP); Pedro Hernandez (LHP); Kyle Gibson (RHP)

The Run Down
With regard to fantasy impact on the farm, the Twins are right there with the Cubs at the top of the league.  And, narrowing our scope a bit, no team in baseball can boast a better one-two prospect punch than what Minnesota has with Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano.  But try not to distract yourself too much with the shiny, hyped-up names at the top of this list, because this org is loaded with talent from top to bottom.  The top ten we have here don’t even tell the whole story — we’ll have to let the steady flow of homegrown talent speak for itself over these next few seasons.

Please, blog, may I have some more?