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.

Top Ten Fantasy Prospects
1.  Byron Buxton, OF:  With the top pick in a prospect draft, there are a few directions you can go.  Oscar Taveras’s grade-80 hit tool is a good place to start.  And no one is gonna fault you for opting for Javy Baez’s awe-inspiring bat speed or Xander Bogaerts’s dreamy smile.  The wisest choice, though, is to target the all-encompassing skill set of Byron Buxton.  I put the “toolshed” label on a lot of prospects around here, but Buxton is the king of the toolsheds (the Yellow King?). As a 19-year-old in his first year of full-season ball, he hit .334/.424/.520 with 49 XBH (12 HR) and 55 SB in 575 PA between Low- and High-A.  The high-impact tools profile figures to help significantly in every category of the fantasy game, and in that way, Buxton reminds me of Mike Trout.  He’ll get a Double-A assignment to begin 2014, and he should be ready for a look in the bigs by year’s end.  ETA:  Late 2014

2.  Miguel Sano, 3B:  Sano is not quite so multidimensional as Buxton.  No, he’s more of a one-trick pony, but that one trick has potential to be awfully valuable in the fantasy game.  Sano’s power is limitless.  He drilled 35 homers across two levels (A+, AA) in 2013, and he’s probably capable of posting a 30 HR year in Minnesota this season if the Twins are willing to give him a chance.  I suspect they’ll be frugal with the 20-year-old’s service time, though, and allow him another year in the minors to work on minimizing the swing-and-miss component of his approach. ETA:  Late 2014

3.  Alex Meyer, RHP:  At 6-9, 220, Meyer is an intimidating presence on the mound and he brings an elite-level fastball.  The 24-year-old has had some injury troubles in the past, and that remains a concern moving forward.  But provided he stays healthy during the early portion of this coming season, Meyer should get a big league opportunity at some point this summer.  From a fantasy perspective, we’d love to see him surface as a starting pitcher, but there’s a Trevor Rosenthal element to Meyer’s game that could make him a very attractive bullpen option for the Twins.  ETA:  2014

4.  Kohl Stewart, RHP:  The fourth overall pick last June, Stewart brings a projectable frame and a deep arsenal of plus pitches.  On the surface, he certainly looks like a future front-end starter, but being that he’s yet to pitch above the rookie level, there’s still loads of uncertainty.  The 19-year-old will make his full-season debut in 2014, and we’ll have a much better gauge as to his potential impact once he’s had a chance to get settled at Cedar Rapids.  ETA: 2017

5.  Josmil Pinto, C:  Pinto is a bat-first catcher who should be getting an extended look behind the dish in Minnesota this season — note, the key word in that last sentence is SHOULD.  It would seem wise to give the 24-year-old full-time catcher duties in 2014, but the Twins have stated that they’re content to roll with Kurt Suzuki instead.  Developmental paths for catching prospects are always a bit slower, so I wasn’t going to be reaching for Pinto in drafts, regardless.  Still, there would’ve been nice upside here in an everyday role.  ETA:  2014

6.  Jose Berrios, RHP:  Three plus offerings (FB, CB, CH) give Berrios front-end potential, but inconsistent command and a smallish frame raise some questions about the long-term projection. The 19-year-old will step up to High-A Fort Myers in 2014 where the Twins will increase the workload, hoping to see steady production from April through August.  ETA:  2016

7.  Eddie Rosario, 2B/OF:  After twice testing positive for recreational drug use, Rosario will miss the first 50 games of the 2014 season.  It’s a developmental setback for the 22-year-old who brings a high-impact hit tool and likely middle infield eligibility.  Don’t lose track of Rosario when he resurfaces in pro ball this summer.  ETA:  2015

8.  Adam Brett Walker, OF:  Walker brings a similar profile as Sano in that the main attraction here is impact power potential.  It’s not the same brand of raw power as Sano’s, but Walker figures to be a guy who can max out around 30 HR while posting good RBI totals from the middle of an exciting young lineup.  Some evaluators question whether the 22-year-old’s hit tool will play at the highest level, and those concerns are legitimate considering Walker’s propensity to whiff. Being so, the Twins will be careful not to rush him through the remaining levels, so don’t expect to see him reach New Britain until 2015.  ETA: 2016

9.  Jorge Polanco, 2B:  In his first year of full-season ball, Polanco hit .308/.362/.452 through 115 games at Low-A Cedar Rapids.  A switch-hitter with great hand-eye, solid on-base skills, and projectable speed, the 20-year-old brings clear upside to the fantasy game.  ETA:  2016

10.  Trevor May, RHP:  I’m a sucker for Trevor May and his elite-level stuff, but 2013 was the second consecutive year that he’s failed to live up to his potential, posting a Double-A line at 4.51/1.42/159 in 151 IP.  I probably shouldn’t even be listing him among the top 10 in this extremely deep Twins org, but I find it difficult to ignore that if he can begin to harness his arsenal, the tools are still here for May to be the highest-impact arm in this system.  ETA:  2014

For a retrospective look at the Twins farm, peep their 2013 MiLB preview.

  1. Luis says:

    You think Meyer goes to the bullpen? Did you hear that somewhere? Or that’s how you feel he would fit in on the team because of his stuff? That would affect his stock – for me – immensely. I know relievers have their value, but I would never take a reliever high in the draft. How would you rank these players for drafting purposes: K. Calhoun, Meyer, Alcantara, Erik Johnson, R. Montero.

    • @Luis: If the Twins were as deep as the Cardinals are at SP, then the relief role would be more likely… they’re gonna give him every opportunity to succeed as a starter, but because his repertoire isn’t as well developed as other projected front-end guys… and because that fastball is so damn dominant… he could eventually end up as a closer… not this year, though.

    • @Luis: as for your ranking question — is this long-term or 2014-specific?

      • Luis says:

        @Scott Evans: Long term. Im not in full blown rebuilding mode, but I’m close enough where I think I just want to take best talent available. But if you think Calhoun projects to be a pretty reliable, good bat for years to come, then I’d take him now. I just picked up Wong, so I’m KIND OF set at 2B for a little while, I hope.

        You think Meyers has a little Cingrani in him? With his fastball being SO good that he might get away with having just that pitch, especially since if he doesn’t strike you out, he’ll get a ground ball.

        • Long-term ranks: Meyer, Alcantara, Calhoun, Montero, Johnson … bats are always safer, so I’d be tempted to go Alcantara/Calhoun as #1, but upside give Meyer the slight edge… and yeah you can make that Cingrani comp because of the fastball…

  2. Ryan says:

    In a dynasty league I have the next pick in our draft. Which of the following 2 should I take and why?

    Jon gray
    maikel franco
    mark appel
    joc pederson
    austin meadows
    clint frazier

    • @Ryan: Frazier & Gray… gotta chase upside & they offer the highest ceilings in this grouping…

      • Ryan says:

        @Scott Evans: what ya think about Franco?

  3. Grant says:

    I can only wait for the future as a life long Twins fan, and it can’t come soon enough.

    • @Grant: The future is bright, indeed. Lots to look forward to, my friend…

  4. Good stuff, per usual, Scott, thanks. I do though kind of cringe whenever Mike Trout is evoked as a comparison to Buxton–which a lot of analysts now do. Just seems to be asking too much of Buxton. If Buxton were accurately “reminiscent” of Trout, it would be idiotic to consider drafting Baez, Bogaerts, or Taveras ahead of him. But it’s not idiotic; Buxton is not a shoo-in for Trout status. I know that you qualified your Trout reference…just not enough in my book. Sorry to quibble. Really enjoy your analysis!

    • @Fanthed: You’re totally on point here, and I appreciate your quibble — as always, player comps have more to do with skill set than with expected production, but admittedly, I cringed a little too when I wrote it…

      • Swfcdan says:

        @Scott Evans: I loved the comp (having Buxton in a keeper), we can all dream cant we…lol

  5. David says:

    Lewis Thorpe should be 7th on this list, easily.

    • @David: I tried to make it clear that this top 10 doesn’t tell the whole story — Thorpe & others could’ve been ranked & if you’ve got Thorpe @ #7 on your list, I’m cool with it…

  6. goodfold2 says:

    in my super deep dynasty league with those 5 draft rounds i’ve been posting i’ve been trying to shop around bruce chen (now listed as 4th starter at KC) for a 2015 third round pick. I figured I could get that for him, until I’ve been noticing that many have a lot of faith in their own guys with SP qualification that aren’t good actually getting innings (i’m not talking good prospect guys, i’m talking chen like guys without jobs) and/or starting gigs. I can do this deal however
    1. my chen and my 5th round (my team likely to get around 9-14th, so mid-late round pick) pick for opp’s third round pick (likely 18-20th place team, so pretty decent pick). this doable for me or should I wait till season to see if Chen’s market goes up?
    Making the trade would give me 2 open roster spots I could use in the first week of season (first time we can use waivers is friday morning of first full week, from inverse of standings at that time), with those I could pick up useful bullpen guys that didn’t have enough innings for us to bid on them (under 50) like M.Tonkin MIN RP, or if I get really lucky Souza. It’d be especially lucky if Souza’s first time up was between fri – first gametime monday as that is non waiver free agent player first come first serve to all players in MLB time, where literally seeing a guy come up at noon instead of say 2 PM could be difference between owning him for at least 4 years or never.

    • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:

      @goodfold2: with the fri-first game monday i mean any week of the year, not only the first week of the season. From start of monday’s first game till 12:30 AM friday morning there are no pickups and all claims go off at that time, then pickup chaos till first game monday.

    • @goodfold2: I’m projecting Chen to be in the bullpen before mid-season. I doubt his value goes up from here — dump him while you can get some value.

  7. Thorbs says:

    Good stuff Scott…poor Kepler needs to play himself back into your top-10 lists!

    Have a Pinto question for my dynasty league (12-team, keep 20 + 8 MiLB; 2C, 2 extra OF, 2 UTIL):
    If we decided keepers today, my guys would look like (ages next to players):

    1B: Goldschmidt 26/Pujols 34
    2B: Kinsler 31
    3B: Headley 29
    SS: E-Cab 27
    OF: Trout 22/Braun 30/Bruce 27/Choo 31/Yelich 22/A. Garcia 22/Martin 25
    P: Hamels 30/Greinke 30/Shields 32/Ryu 26/Samardzjia 29/Skaggs 22/Wood 23
    + one of Wilson 33/Niese 27/Porcello 25
    MiLB: Paxton/Davidson/Schoop/Odor/Cecchini/Dahl/Hanson/DeShields Jr.

    Right now I’ve got two deals lined up that’d end up with a total of:

    I give:
    Hamels or Shields (likely Hamels)

    I get:
    Mike Minor
    Danny Salazar
    Nolan Arenado

    MiLB Keepers:
    Addison Russell
    Josmil Pinto

    I’d drop one of CJ Wilson/Niese/Porcello from my current keepers list in the deal, and drop DeShields and Hanson and load up on prospects in the draft (thinking Paxton/Davidson/Schoop/Pinto could all be in the bigs right away).

    I know the adage about quality vs quantity, but in a keep-20 league I was thinking I have great OF depth, average pitchers, Bruce’s K%/BB% going in the wrong direction and Hamels having recurring shoulder issues, and while I’d lose some pop in the lineup, my arms would be vastly improved and I’d retool nicely.

    Pull the trigger?

    • @Thorbs: Kepler could’ve easily been included along with a handful of others… Stacked system here…

      As for the trigger — pull it. Love the deal for you, splashing some exciting youth into your active roster & then setting yourself up to reload your farm. Russell is a top 10 fantasy prospect & I think he puts it over the top for ya… never been a big Bruce fan either…

      • goodfold2 says:

        @Scott Evans: in my dynasty i’d never get anywhere close to those 5 for hamels and bruce.

        • Thorbs says:

          @goodfold2: One owner who had been stockpiling prospects for a couple seasons just made a series of deals for Votto, Beltran and Utley, and he already has J-Up, Cole, J-Fer, Strasburg, Werth, Ortiz, etc., so now an insane arms race has begun!

  8. Swfcdan says:

    Cool keep these coming! Thoughts on Rosario long term? Had an offer involving Soler going the other way in a deal, do need a catcher with only Montero behind the dish for me. Points league so Rosys not as valuable due to his lack of BBs, but do you see growth in his numbers continuing? Dont think hes a bad player to get hold of as a keeper, considering the lack of good young offensive catching talent. Deal worth persuing?

    • Swfcdan says:

      @Swfcdan: 16 teamer and use LF,RF and CF if that changes things. And have Bruce who I can lock down long term so Soler likely would only fill a Util slot.

    • @Swfcdan: He’s not a top 100 prospect… impact potential in AVG, but that’s about it… still could be a useful fantasy 2b, but some think he moves to OF & then his value is nada…

      • TheNewGuy says:

        @Scott Evans: Noooo Willin Rosario! Sorry ya kinda confusing not clarifying on a twins post lol. What do you think of him long term.

        • @TheNewGuy: Are you posting with two names? This might explain a lot of confusion on my part last couple posts… Anyway, I’d take Wilin for Soler.

          • TheNewGuy says:

            @Scott Evans: Yah, mentioned before its due to regular trolling from one guy on the comments on Greys posts, guys an asshole. Yeah I thought the deal looked worthwhile too, enables me to lock up a quality catcher long term. Plus theres a chance we may not see Soler till Sept.

            • Swfcdan says:

              @TheNewGuy: argh I see my old name comes up when using my ipad! Fixed, sorry for confusion bud.

              • @Swfcdan: Haha, it’s all good — I’ve got it straight now.

  9. AJ says:

    If you could only keep one (and would need to trade the other) in a 6×6 mixed keeper league with OPS, would you keep Taveras or Buxton? I’m competitive now.

    • @AJ: Buxton is probably the more valuable hold, but he’s also gonna fetch the return on the trade market… tricky one to gauge… I’d explore trades w/ both to see how far apart the market is… if you’re getting WAY more for Bux, I’d trade him…

  10. Ghost of the Disappeared says:

    Scott: Talk about a system that is pouring players into the majors… It is primed to put more out again this year…

    The Twinkies with Pinto – I’m excited about him even in mixed leagues this year it all looks good going forward for his arrival

    Sano, Will he be a success once MLB pitchers get at him? Heck< AA pitchers did a number on him last year to a point… He may not be here as soon as we have been told. I could see him taking a year at each level – all year at AA this year

    Buxton – He is another who is being forecast up to soon… Look at how long it took Revere then Hicks to arrive… Every year was to be the year they would arrive… Until the Twins have solved some problems it is better not start his MLB Clock…. He may just be a Sept. 2015 call up – no matter how good he plays..

    Now Myer…. WOW!!!!! He is the good poopoo!!! WOW!!!!
    No reason to keep a 24 YO stud pitcher down they only have so much time

    Pulling for Gibson to stick … Seems like a good kid who may be worthy of a starting job.. Take the bad years numbers out of his MiLB stats and it get super impressive quick. He could be a solid back of rotation guy for them. Look for improvement this year.

    Polanco and Rosario what nice hitters they seem to be.. Position bouncing around ????s are not a good thing for rising would be MIs… Which the Twinkies desperately need at least at SS – They are weak there – Florimon is not the answer –

    Will Dozier prove to be one of those guys who blossomed at the MLB level an could he be shifted back to short- doubt it they moved him to 2nd for a reason) …

    I thought the Twinkies might have fast tracked Rosario this year – until the drug thingy (STUPID BUBBLEHEAD!!!! Millions maybe thrown away for a joint or a line of nose candy).. Thinking he would get there ahead of Buxton and Sano.

    Could the Twinkies make a trade with one or more of these guys and MLB ( they really don't have much to send ) help for one of the stud SSs floating about in MiLB this summer – once they are out of it… That should be by the 1st of May as they are probably worse than the Stros this year — THEY STINK!!!!

    • goodfold2 says:

      @Ghost of the Disappeared: yeah, it really sucks, as i traded for rosario (well really after that suspension, so…), and am now actually hoping to be able to waiver furcal at one of my 2 MI starting slots just to be able to not start schumaker. Bids got crazy on anybody starting (mercer got 7.5 million out of 100 mil budget). Would’ve been real nice if a guy like Rosario was able to come up at league minimum.

    • @Ghost of the Disappeared: Don’t think it’s fair to comp Buxton’s developmental path w/ Revere & Hicks — Buxton’s talent supersedes service time & the Twins would be wise to never let him reach arbitration… I agree on Sano — probably a slower path to the bigs than folks are anticipating… all fair points here…

      • Ghost of the Disappeared says:

        @Scott Evans:

        Scott: Sorry, I get tired of the hype (Yes, Buxton is a MLB force – maybe???? Where the other 2 were FBB speedster hypesters )… The main point on Buxton is, however good he is, he is not going to solve the Twinkies immediate or even 2 years out needs. I’m was thinking in terms of his arrival being retarded for MLB contract clock reasons for the good of the org – not Buxton. These kids are slaves… Until they are forced to use him by rule, it seems, it might be best to let him languish awhile in MiLB – regardless of his numbers and usefulness up.

        We in FBB forget to often is not real MLB when looking at these young men. To often players are grabbed up based on their potentials, when there are other non talent related roadblocks to their getting to the show anytime soon. These are too often ignored in the tout ranking sheets.

        Tim Beckham TB is a prime poster child example of this type of tout hype… He was getting drafted in FBB leagues right after his selection out of HS and he was way up there on all the ranking charts. The fact he was 18 YO into an Org that was historically slow to advance prospects. (That he was a near bust is not important here.) Now, 8 years later and forgotten, sadly, he finally seemed to be ready to breakout this year in MLB and is now hurt. The point is, he was drafted by many teams in 2008. This is a real FBB prospect disconnect from MLB reality. IMO

        • Ghost of the Disappeared says:

          @Ghost of the Disappeared:

          Oops – too often… Not a wordsmith like you lads

        • @Ghost of the Disappeared: I hear ya… all I’m saying is that the Twins shouldn’t be too concerned with Buxton’s service time, because if he’s as good as they’re hoping, they’ll never let him reach arb without extending him… think Rays & Matt Moore, who was extended in year 1 of ST… bring Bux up when he’s ready regardless of the talent around him & let him get used to competing at that level so that when the rest of the reinforcements arrive, he’ll be peaking, theoretically… just my thought on how they should approach it… Buxton isn’t Beckham.

          • Ghost of the Disappeared says:

            Scott: You are right to a point on Buxton not being a Beckham.

            But, I would only have you back up to 2008 and ask the touts why, they were ranking Beckham so high then?

            If Buxton stumbles, his past top rankings will be like chaff in the wind.

            Baseball has a funny way of winnowing talent.

            On extending; why bother. If, you can wait a time in patience until the tumblers are ready to click or at least you have some tumblers (which the Twinkies seem to have few of at the MLB level now).

            Soft as the cobwebs that dance the vine.
            Moist as the droplets that dew the rose.
            Warm as the first taste of ruby red wine
            Is love, which once planted sturdily grows.

            Harsh as the wind in the willow’s branch.
            Cold as the mountain lake’s icy flow.
            Hard as the drought that dehydrates romance
            Is wilted love, growing where the gales blow.

            Winnow the wind, divide chaff from grain.
            Discover pure gold, come love me again “”””

            *Fay Slimm

  11. Count de Monetball says:

    Whoa! Baseball America ranked C.J. Edwards 28th on the top 100 prospect list, WAAAAYYY higher than I expected… Any major surprises on their new list in your view?

    • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:

      @Count de Monetball: guessing for fantasy purposes correa would be a bit lower (not as much lower as lindor, but still)

      • goodfold2 says:

        @Aubrey Plaza’s Pillow: jimmy nelson and zack lee are probably too high for scott.

        • BA loves their “safe” arms, and I suppose there’s a lot of value in players who are, as they say, “more floor than ceiling”… in fantasyland, though, we gotta chase the high impact guys…

    • Not too surprised by any of it — I follow BA pretty closely, so I’m in tune with their preferences & trends… knew they were really high on Edwards — obviously I’m seeing more risk than they are (kinda shocking they have an unproven Edwards ahead of Carlos Martinez who’s already had success at the highest level & on the biggest stage possible — both those guys have similar profiles, so Edwards ahead of C-Mart doesn’t compute with me)… I guess I’m also a little taken by the fact they don’t have Hedges even in the top 25 — if you’re rating for real life baseball, I think he’s gotta be a top 10 prospect…

  12. First you have to love the name “Adam Brett Walker”
    Second you have to like the placement on this list (8th)
    Third he will be the steal of the 2012 draft (even as a 3rd rounder)
    Glad someone finally got it right.
    Ranking based on results 1st – Potential 2nd
    Until he proves he can’t bring results – Gotta Love him
    41 Home Runs in 187 games (every 4 1/2 games)
    154 RBI / 11 Triples / 38 Doubles / 14-14 SB in 187 games
    Watch the attached video to see just how far his Home Runs go
    This is why he is ranked 8th!!!

    • No doubt — ABW can really slug it…

  13. mindicohn says:

    you’re my new goto for these type of questions (value your opinion)…in dynasty I’ve been offered Aaron Sanchez / Joc Pederson / Alex Wood / Jon Lester ($25) for my Tanaka $1.

    Lester aside — here’s our minor league players (we don’t have to keep all)

    We only have 17 resvere spots so if we made that deal we’d either drop some above or be limited…

    • Not enough upside in that package to justify it… Sanchez is in the top 40 fantasy prospects, but I think you can fetch better w/ Tanaka…

      • mindicohn says:

        @Scott Evans: thanks…helps alot.

        • mindicohn says:

          @mindicohn: if we got Springer in that deal would that change? Not sure what full deal would be but wonder if worth going that road.

  14. Swfcdan says:

    Ooh see Jaimes out the rotation to start the season. Could there be a chance C-Mart takes it and runs with it now? Really hoping so, cant see much value with him as a setup guy long term with Rosie nailed down the 9th.

    • Yes, this opens the door for Martinez…

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