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.

Top Ten Fantasy Prospects

1. Byron Buxton, OF | Age: 21 | ETA: 2015

PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB% K% SB CS AVG OBP SLG
137 19 29 4 2 4 16 7.3% 26.3% 6 2 .234 .307 .395

Buxton is ranked numero uno on my Top 50 fantasy prospects list, and it’s thanks to his ability to fill all five roto categories. He might be the closest thing we have in the minors right now to a first round fantasy talent with the power to hit 20 homers, the speed to swipe 30+ bags, and the ability to hit for a high average. Injuries limited him to 137 plate appearances in 2014, but that shouldn’t stop the 21-year-old from seeing the majors later this season. The ceiling is a perennial All-Star outfielder and a top ten fantasy player overall.

2. Miguel Sano, 3B | Age: 21 | ETA: 2015

PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB% K% SB CS AVG OBP SLG

Sano missed all of 2014 recovering from Tommy John surgery. Despite the major bump in the road, he has developed into the player the Twins were hoping for when they signed him as a 16-year-old for just over $3 million back in 2009. Sano has elite power with the potential for 35-40 homers at the major league level. He’s right there with fellow third base prospects Kris Bryant and Joey Gallo in that department. Sano most likely won’t hit for a high average, but his fantasy owners won’t mind if he’s launching 30+ bombs. I’d expect him to start the year in the upper minors with a mid or late season call-up a possibility.

3. Jose Berrios, RHP | Age: 20 | ETA: 2016

W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB/9 K/9 AVG
12 8 2.77 25 25 0 139.2 118 52 43 6 2.4 9.0 .227

Berrios has a great starter’s arsenal with a plus fastball (sits mid-90s) and a plus curveball coupled with an above average slider and changeup. He’s also relatively close to the majors and could make his debut sometime in 2015 if the Twins feel he’s ready. The ceiling is a #3 starter with good ratios and decent strikeout totals. Most reports rave about his maturity and ability to make adjustments, which could give him a better shot at making it in a big league rotation. He’ll likely start 2015 back at Double-A after reaching that level earlier than expected last season.

4. Kohl Stewart, RHP | Age: 20 | ETA: 2017

W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB/9 K/9 AVG
3 5 2.59 19 19 0 87.0 75 36 25 4 2.5 6.4 .233

Stewart has even better stuff than Berrios with two potential double-plus pitches (fastball, curveball) – he’s just a year behind developmentally. 2014 should have been Stewart’s first full season, but a shoulder issue limited him to just 87 innings in the Midwest League. The injury isn’t serious, and Stewart’s upside is still a #2 starter with the potential for big strikeout numbers. I prefer the closer arm in this case with Berrios, but you could make a case for slotting Stewart #3 based on upside alone. Pitching in the Florida State League this year should help his stock as well.

5. Alex Meyer, RHP | Age: 25 | ETA: 2015

W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB/9 K/9 AVG
7 7 3.52 27 27 0 130.1 116 58 51 10 4.4 10.6 .241

Pitching! Meyer is a big dude with a real big fastball that’s borderline elite. Pair that with his plus slider and he’s a potential strikeout machine in the bigs, something we could all use in our fantasy rotations. The bad news is that he could end up in a bullpen role if his changeup doesn’t develop into a weapon and/or his control doesn’t improve. The good news is that the bullpen role could be a solid closer, which still has fantasy value. Look for him to reach the majors later this year in some capacity.

6. Nick Gordon, SS | Age: 19 | ETA: 2018

PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB% K% SB CS AVG OBP SLG
255 46 69 6 4 1 28 4.4% 18.0% 11 7 .294 .333 .366

Gordon is the younger brother of Marlins infielder Dee Gordon and the Twins selected the shortstop 5th overall in the 2014 draft. Just out of high school, Gordon had a solid debut in his first taste of pro ball. He’s not nearly as fast as his big bro, but he has a better bat. Gordon is an average defender who’s likely to stick at short, but his fantasy upside is limited thanks to the mostly empty average. I’d still roll with him in the first round of first-year player drafts this winter, but he could end up being a “better in real life” type of prospect if he doesn’t develop at least average pop. The long wait also makes him less appealing in leagues with shallow farms.

7. Lewis Thorpe, LHP | Age: 19 | ETA: 2017

W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB/9 K/9 AVG
3 2 3.52 16 16 0 71.2 62 37 28 7 4.5 10.0 .232

The Twins signed Thorpe as an international free agent from Australia back in 2012, and while he has only logged around 150 total innings, he’s deserving of a spot in this strong top ten. Thorpe has #2 starter upside with three potentially plus pitches in his fastball, curveball, and changeup. There’s some nice strikeout upside for fantasy, with control being the biggest hurdle at this point. If he shows some improvement there and proves he can handle a bigger innings load, his stock could really take off this season. UPDATE: Thorpe recently experienced some elbow pain, and there is a non-zero chance he ends up having Tommy John surgery.  

8. Jorge Polanco, 2B | Age: 21 | ETA: 2015

PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB% K% SB CS AVG OBP SLG
589 74 151 23 6 7 61 9.3% 14.9% 17 11 .288 .353 .395

Polanco offers a high batting average and 20-steal speed, which is basically what Nick Gordon could turn into three years from now. The 21-year-old Polanco got a handful of plate appearances in the majors last year, but don’t be fooled. He’ll most likely head back to the upper minors for most if not all of the 2015 season. Polanco’s solid approach from both sides of the plate will only carry him so far in fantasy if he doesn’t also develop double-digit power. Hes a better play in deeper dynasty leagues.

9. Eddie Rosario, OF | Age: 23 | ETA: 2015

PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB% K% SB CS AVG OBP SLG
370 45 84 20 3 8 40 5.7% 19.7% 9 5 .243 .286 .387

Rosario missed time early in 2014 with a drug suspension, but finished the year strong with a good showing in the Arizona Fall League. He finished second in the AFL in both average (.338) and stolen bases (10). Rosario could see some playing time in Minnesota this season as a left fielder, especially if he starts the year off well in the minors. He’s more of a gap hitter than a power guy, so he’s not going to make for a fantasy stud. Dynasty players who are looking for some close-to-the-majors depth should give him a look though.

10. Lewin Diaz, 1B | Age: 18 | ETA: 2019

PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB% K% SB CS AVG OBP SLG
174 17 37 13 0 5 27 14.9% 13.8% 0 0 .257 .385 .451

Diaz was a J2 signing in 2013, so there’s a long wait before we’ll see him contributing in the majors. The 18-year-old has double-plus power from the left side and performed well in the Dominican Summer League last year. Like a lot of the players his age, the questions surround his ability to make contact. Since he already has the raw power, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get more attention in fantasy circles with even some small gains in the Gulf Coast League this year.

Twins Previews: 2014 | 2013

AL T10 Prospects Index

 
  1. Colonel Angus says:
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    Kennys Vargas went undrafted in my league. Strange?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      a little…he’s a decent CI option later in a redraft…Steamer’s giving him 20 homers with a .250 AVG for 2015

      • Colonel Angus says:
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        @Mike: In CBS, they took away his CI eligibility and made him strictly a DH. That’s gotta change though, right?

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          I would think he’d get a few games at first, yeah.

  2. Cram It says:
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    I know your Arizona preview was done in January, but do you have any further thoughts on Drury? Seemed like he was REALLY close to breaking camp with the team. Fantastic spring, really consistently solid minor league #’s. Do you think he has a decent shot at getting called up sooner than later based on performance? Or will it take epic failures by Lamb and/or Hill?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I doubt Tomas sticks at 3B over the long haul, and Drury could end up being better than Lamb. He’s only got about 100 Double-A at bats though, so I think he’s still a late-2015/early-2016 call-up. Great spring for sure, so his stock’s up. He can also play second base, which could speed things up for him.

      • Cram It says:
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        @Mike: I’ll cling to the optimistic late-2015 possibility then!

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          sounds good!

  3. jack says:
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    if buxton comes up this yr who is bumped out of the OF

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I’d guess Hicks since Buxton plays center.

  4. Joe Shmoe says:
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    Hi Mr. Mike,
    I was eyeing the center field situation in Philly the other day and I am clueless about Herrera. Any thoughts on what we can expect from him?( Rosterbated obdubel onto my NL team…)
    Thanks

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Contact/speed guy…nice depth add in NL-only leagues like that

  5. This list feels a little like that old kids game called “telephone” — you know; when you whisper something in someone’s ear, and they whisper it to the person next to them, and so on around the room until the last person repeats what he or she thought was whispered in their ear? It rarely matches what was originally said.

    You want a good sleeper from the Twins’ system? Try a name you don’t often read in rehash lists like this one. Try Nick Burdi. Rocket-armed, flame-throwing college closer who, given the Twins’ thin bullpen and Glen Perkins gnawing injury late last year (which could be a shadow of things to come), might just find himself closing out games at some point this year. Just sayin’.

    • TJ says:
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      @M.C. Antil: relief pitcher prospects have very little value to most in dynasty leagues.

      Burdi looks good though so far.

      • @TJ: Good point. But in a deep AL-only league, Burdi, like Rosario, could really pay some unexpected dividends as soon as this year. @TJ:

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Dad, the therapist said you’re not supposed to comment on my posts anymore

      • @Mike: Mike: Can’t help it. The years have taught me to value original ideas and contrarian thinkers. This list is fine, but feels slightly rehashed. Why is no one, for example, questioning Sano’s defensive shortcomings or how incredibly exploitable his swing and miss tendencies are going to be? The ten players here just feel like something from Casablanca; as in “round up the usual suspects. ” Like I said, just sayin’.

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          People aren’t questioning Sano’s defensive shortcomings because if they are looking at him from a fantasy perspective (like this list does) then they probably don’t care. Just like they won’t care about his average if he gets to the power that pretty much every scouting report mentions he has.

          It’s cool that you don’t like my list because you feel it’s the usual suspects, but my list isn’t a rehash of some other rankings. It’s my own rankings tailored for fantasy based on the tool grades I find for the players, their fantasy upside, and other factors like health, ETA, etc.

          To be totally honest, Burdi isn’t a “sleeper”. He wasn’t included in this list because relievers don’t make great investments in fantasy leagues, especially prospect relievers. If you’re going to tell me the work I put out (and put a lot of time into) is a game of telephone, then you probably shouldn’t turn around and try to sell me on a player with terms like “rocket-armed” and “flamethrowing”, because that sounds a little vague and hyperbolic too.

        • Baezaworldseries says:
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          @M.C. Antil: BAM!!!! Where you at now?
          You really need to actually play fantasy baseball to understand it.

      • Ra'zball Al Ghul says:
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        @Mike: Brilliance. Exhibit A why I love Mike

    • robbyrobdu says:
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      @M.C. Antil:

      I am extremely confused by the general comment, the line of reasoning, and why in the world it would be refreshing or in anyway original to include Burdi on this list.

      First off, everyone knows Burdi is one of the top young RP prospects in baseball, along with fellow 2014 Draftee Lindgren.

      Second off, you would be EXTREMELY hard pressed to find a Twins top 10 with Berrios ahead of EITHER Kohl or Meyer, let alone BOTH!

      Third off, MOST have been late to the game on Lewis Thorpe (The Australian Pedro…BOOK IT! LOL).

      Fourth off, I am psychotically devoted to Dynasty, have read hundreds of these lists, have not seen Lewin Diaz on a single one.

      Fifth off, most have let Eddie Rosario fall out of their top 10 as well.

      SAGNOF(F), Burdi, Bro? In most fantasy leagues RP have to be closers or the elite of the elite of the elite to even be owned, let alone valued.

      If anything, I can vouche as an outsider (Razzball member, but not one who could be “accused” of being part of any kind of rehashed mentality here…not at all) that Mike’s lists in general are MUCH different than the rehash lists you find all over the net and often unearth players most others are either sleeping on or haven’t had the guts to rank as highly as he does (not necessarily better or right, but far from cookie cutter).

      And in closing….WTF IS WET TAIL?!?!?

      • Mike

        Mike says:
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        it’s a hamster disease, but I think it’s also code for Lucas Duda around here. Jef with 1 F is the guy to ask.

        and thanks!

        • robbyrobdu says:
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          @Mike:

          No no no, good sir. Thanks to YOU!

  6. Ante GALIC says:
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    Mike!

    Gr8 job. Just when I thought there wasn’t a more stacked organisation than the Cubbies, along come the Twinkies! Will someone outdo the Twinkies?

    A. Do you really think Buxton has a big impact this year, like Trout in 2012?

    B. Who will have a bigger impact this year…Joc Pederson or Buxton?

    Cheers,
    Ante

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      thanks!

      A. probably not this year, no

      B. Pederson

  7. russell says:
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    What’s the story on Pinto? Think he’ll recover from this concussion and get enough time in the majors to be worth a flier?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      he’s cleared to play so sure, he’s still worth a look

  8. Yescheese says:
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    Great series. Im a big Kohl Stewart fan. Twins are holding his arsenal back like the Pirates did with Gerrit Cole

    • Kenneth says:
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      @Yescheese: Good to know. That would explain the 6.4 K/9.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      thanks! good stuff, Cheese

  9. inertiatic says:
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    How much is too much for Buxton in a trade? You’d have to make a huge offer to get anyone to even consider it, but what’s the limit. I want Buxton on all of my teams (don’t we all) and I own him exactly nowhere. I has a sad emoji face, or whatever the kids call it these days.

    I know it’s a vague question Mike but give me a reference point if you would be so kind. Great work beeteedubya I look forward to all of your posts and consider them gospel for my dynasty leagues.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      thanks! He’s going to cost more than I would pay right now I think. Prospect hype balloons expand to their fullest just before they come up, and that’s almost where he’s at right now (look at where Bryant is being drafted for example)

      My guess is Buxton’s owner would want a top 50 MLB player for him, but without knowing your league it’s kinda hard to say. If you want to run some offers that come your way hit us up though, we’d be happy to help

    • Swfcdan says:
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      @inertiatic: I’d say best time to get these guys is after they’re called up and when they (usually) struggle at first. That’s what I’ll be doing with the likes of Buxton, though I don’t expect Bryant to struggle at all (at least not in the power dept).

      The Castellanos, Bogey types I’d consider good buy candidates right now, they are only going to get better.

      • Mike

        Mike says:
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        exactly…wait for him to pee down his leg a little after he comes up

  10. Swfcdan says:
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    Nice looking darm. Red Sox next!

    Who do you think comes out of the Dodgers clusterfuck 3B situation. Do you see Olivera or Guerrero starting the year at 3rd or somewhere else?

    And who do you prefer out of Paxton and Shelby (non-prospect question)?

    • Swfcdan says:
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      @Swfcdan: *farm

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      haha the darms are lovely in early spring

      I wouldn’t pencil in either of those guys as the starting 3B yet

      Guerrero is still worth a flier as a utility play, but I’m guessing Olivera is going to need some time to shake off some rust

      I prefer Paxton

      • Swfcdan says:
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        @Mike: Who is going to play 3rd for the Dodgers though, Uribe? I’d think they’d be mad not to play Guerrero or Olivera over him, eff defense lol.

        Thanks on Pax, thought the same. Could be a very sneaky value pick if he can stay healthy.

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          agreed on Pax

          I’m guessing Uribe to start, yeah. I don’t see any rush to bump him for either of those two guys yet. Once Olivera is ready I could see them putting him at third. Next year’s a different story with free agency clearing out 3/4 of the infield. Guerrero could slip into a full time job at that point at either 2B or 3B, with Seager at SS and Olivera at either 2B or 3B.

  11. Milarkey says:
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    Hey Mike, what do you make of Odubel Herrera? I’m trolling for available rookies to draft beyond the obvious prospects (we have to start a rookie), and it looks to me from the updates I’m seeing that there’s little question that Herrera is on the team, and they may even be grooming him to start in CF (moving Revere to LF). Is he looking like a starter this year? What can I expect?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Contact/speed guy who could see some time in the OF and also spell Utley at second (they may give him more days off to keep him healthy). He’s a good depth piece in deeper formats, but not a guy I would sweat in 12-team leagues or shallower.

      • Milarkey says:
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        @Mike: Thanks Mike – like I said, I’m looking for backup guys to keep in mind for my rookie spots, so he could be a good last rounder for me. What do you think about the following guys on their chances to break camp, and actually show decent production?

        Jace Peterson
        Jake Smolinski
        Alex Guerrero
        Nick Tropeano
        Andrew Heaney
        Carlos Rodon
        Raisel Iglesias
        Ryan Rua
        Dariel Alvarez
        Randal Grichuk
        Jake Lamb
        Joe Wieland
        Nathan Karns
        Billy Burns
        Rafael Montero

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          no problem

          of that list I like Rodon, Peterson, Rua, and Iglesias

          I’m a fan of both Alvarez and Lamb but I don’t think their paths are as clear those others

          • Milarkey says:
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            Well, it’s a limited @Mike: Thanks again Mike. I thought I read somewhere that Iglesias would likely be sent down or to the pen when Bailey is healthy – plus since he’s always been a RP, do you worry about the workload starting may bring?

            • Mike

              Mike says:
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              it’s a concern, sure. Still worth a flyer to start the year in some leagues

  12. Marley says:
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    Hey Mike, roster conundrum. Do I drop heaney for Jace peterson?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      12-teamer? Is it a keeper? I’m leaning Peterson

      • Marley says:
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        @Mike: yea 12 tm keeper. Keep 25 of 36

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          I would take Heaney then

        • Marley says:
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          @Marley: h2h best of cats, standard 5×5

          • Mike

            Mike says:
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            yeah I’d still take Heaney

          • Marley says:
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            @Marley: ok cool thx Mike!!

            • Mike

              Mike says:
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              no problem Marley

  13. Chris says:
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    Mike,

    How about an updated top-250 Keeper list, preferably hybrid with prospects?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      does tomorrow work for you or would you rather have it tonight?

      • Chris says:
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        @Mike:

        Take your time.

  14. Marley says:
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    12 tm redraft lge. got offered taijuan and eovaldi for hughes and benoit. which side u like?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Walker/Eovaldi

  15. Alan says:
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    Hey Mike, nice call on lewin diaz, need names like that in deep dynasty leagues.

    Any way, I am in a super shallow — 11 team yahoo (10 hitters, 1350 inn limit) — league and our last round pick so around 255 we can have as a free keeper the next year. I am aiming at drafting stroman for a DL stash but I pick 11th out of 11th so all the best prospects will be gone.

    What do you think about taking profar and hoping he can break out as helpful in shallow leagues next season or is that too optimistic? (if stroman is gone)

    Thank you

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      thanks! I’d take a shot with Profar

  16. tank1 says:
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    Hi Mike, Love your work. I was hoping for your help on some final keeper questions.

    In a 10 team 6×6 (OPS and Holds) keeper league where we can keep 5 guys for up to 3 years. One player can be kept indefinitely as a franchise guy. Each player is assigned the draft round they were initially picked (with the draft round increasing by one each year they are kept).

    As of now I plan to keep Goldschmidt (19), Adam Jones (4) and Betts (25). Goldschmidt is my franchise guy and this is the last year I can keep Jones. This will be the first year I am keeping Betts.

    My options for the final two keepers are Carrasco, G. Cole, G. Polanco and J. Pederson. Cole will cost a 23rd pick and the other three would cost a 25th pick. Cole has two years of eligibility left including this year and the other three have the full three years remaining.

    I like all 4 options and currently am leaning toward keeping one pitcher and one OF. Another option would be to throw back Jones a year early and keep three of the above players (there is a chance I could re-draft Jones in the 1st round of my draft).

    Who would you recommend keeping in this situation? Thanks for the help.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      thanks! Cole and Polanco

  17. Dan says:
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    How’s it going, Mike

    Big prospect question here…
    10 team H2H Dynasty – keep 15 with round values attached to players in parentheses

    I recently acquired Buxton (1) for Chapman (12)
    Was just offered Correa (24) for my Buxton…

    Would you pull the trigger? Hearing comparisons to Trout is making me hold on tight to Bux but I like Correa’s round value and position… Here’s my keepers:

    C –
    1B – Hosmer (13)
    2B –
    3B – C.Santana (6)
    SS – Bogaerts (14)
    OF – Gallo (27)
    OF – Buxton (1)
    OF – Carlos Gonzalez (1)
    OF – Joc (27)
    Ut – Sano (19)
    Ut – Myers (24)
    Ut – Chris Davis (8)

    Tanaka (1)
    Richards (27)
    Felix (3)
    Betances (27)
    Stroman (27)

    Love your stuff, man
    Thanks for the help!

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      thanks! I’d take Correa

Comments are closed.