Well it’s time to take another look at the Twins’ farm system and see who has improved their ranking and who has dropped.
There are a few things for you to keep in mind about this mid-season re-ranking and my thought process before you continue on to the list. Almost every single player on my preseason rankings has moved up or down at least one spot. My No. 1, 2 and 50 picks are the only three players who I have not shuffled around in this re-ranking. Whether it was due to players leaving the system, players missing significant time due to injury, or players either really excelling or failing, picks number 3-49 have all changed.
Here’s a quick rundown of players on my preseason Minnesota Twins Top 50 Prospects list who are not on this mid-season re-ranking:
- #10 Adalberto Mejia (exceeded rookie limits)
- #20 Trevor Hildenberger (I think he’ll exceed rookie limits by the end of the year. If I had to rank him right now I’d put him around 12-16)
- #24 Pat Light (traded to the Pirates for PTBNL before Spring Training)
- #25 Travis Harrison (released)
- #27 Huascar Ynoa (traded to Braves for Jaime Garcia)
- #33 Ryan Walker (didn’t make the cut)
- #37 Michael Cederoth (released)
- #40 Tanner English (didn’t make the cut)
- #42 DJ Baxendale (didn’t make the cut)
- #45 Niko Goodrum (didn’t make the cut)
- #46 Michael Theofanopolous (didn’t make the cut)
Now that being said, there were some players who I have not changed my opinion on, but by virtue of other players moving up or down these guys also ended up moving around in the rankings. Because of this, I’ll write a small blurb for anyone who had a noteworthy performance this season, and for players without a blurb you can refer back to my preseason rankings.
Now that that’s out of the way, here’s the re-ranking of my midseason Twins Top 50 Prospects: (*indicates injured)
Tier 1: Players with high expectations of both making the majors and playing at an All-Star level for a number of years
Tier 2: Players with an above average expectation of making the majors and being a solid contributor
Tier 3: Players with an average expectation of making the majors and being a solid contributor
Tier 4: Players who have the potential of making the majors, or have high likelihood of making the majors but providing minimal impact (e.g. middle reliever, low-ceiling UT guys)
Tier 5: Players who are worth keeping an eye on, but likely to never make a team’s 40-man roster
1. Stephen Gonsalves, LHP
2. Nick Gordon, SS
3. Fernando Romero, RHP
4. Kohl Stewart, RHP
5. Felix Jorge, RHP
6. Alex Kirilloff, OF*
7. Brent Rooker, OF
Out of everyone in the Twins’ 2017 Draft Class, Rooker is the guy I’m most excited about. I got the chance to watch him briefly with Rookie-affiliate Elizabethton, and he has a solid approach at the plate — able to take pitches and draw a walk or drive the ball deep into the gaps. Between Elizabethton and High-A Fort Myers, Rooker is hitting .282/.368/.577 with 18 homers and 52 RBI.
8. Royce Lewis, SS
This is an interesting situation for me. I really don’t like to rate guys fresh out of high school that high. But at the same time, I feel like I can’t NOT rank him high on my list. Lewis is having a solid season between Rookie-Gulf Coast League and Low-A Cedar Rapids, hitting .292/.390/.426 with four home runs and 18 stolen bases. I think he has a promising future, but it is going to be a while before he gets close enough to break into the majors.
9. Tyler Jay, LHP*
Jay was my No. 3 pick in my preseason ranking. And then around Spring Training, the Twins announced he was moving back to the bullpen. Then he started off the season on the disabled list, made two appearances at the end of May, and then hit the disabled list again for two and a half months. He’s still talented and has the potential to make an impact in fantasy leagues, but injuries plus the move to the pen have dropped him in the rankings.
10. Wander Javier, SS
11. Travis Blankenhorn, 3B
12. Lewis Thorpe, LHP
Thorpe missed the last two seasons after Tommy John surgery, but this year he is looking just as sharp as he did before surgery. Thorpe has made 16 appearances this season with 15 starts, going 4-4 with a 3.08 ERA, 1.24 WHIP and 80 strikeouts in 76 innings pitched. Keep an eye out on Thorpe, if he finishes out the year strong I think we might see him at some point in the second half of 2018.
13. Lewin Diaz, 1B
14. Mitch Garver, C
15. Luis Arraez, 2B*
16. Lamonte Wade, OF
17. Zack Littell, RHP
Littell was one of the two prospects the Twins received in the trade that sent Jaime Garcia to the Yankees. Littell has excelled in his time split between two levels and three teams this season. As of September 3rd he holds a combined record of 19-1 with a 2.12 ERA, 142 strikeouts and 41 walks in 157 innings pitched. This is a pitcher that could rise quickly through the Twins’ system.
18. Nick Burdi, RHP*
19. Jake Reed, RHP
20. Mason Melotakis, LHP
21. Jermaine Palacios, SS
22. Engelb Vielma, INF
23. Tyler Watson, LHP
Acquired from the Nationals for closer Brandon Kintzler, Watson has some potential as a back-end starter. Between Class A Hagerstown and Cedar Rapids, Watson has a 7-7 record in 2017 with a 4.34 ERA, 116 strikeouts and 32 walks in 120-and-1/3 innings pitched. I like his ability to not allow many walks, but that ERA does need to come down considerably.
24. Akil Baddoo, OF
25. Aaron Slegers, RHP
26. Zach Granite, OF
27. Daniel Palka, OF*
It’s been a rough season for Palka. After missing all of June with a broken finger he has lost most of his power at the plate, hitting only four home runs and 11 total extra-base hits since his return. It might be a little too harsh for me to drop Palka down to the low-20s, but without that power Palka doesn’t have much fantasy value. He was a guy I thought might have a chance to crack the back end of the roster out of Spring Training next year, but it might be another year before we see him in the majors.
28. Ben Rortvedt, C
29. Lachlan Wells, LHP
30. J.T. Chargois, RHP*
I had high hopes for Chargois before the season started, but he dealt with injuries during Spring Training before eventually ending up on the DL after making two appearances with Triple-A Rochester. I look forward to seeing him sometime next year where (hopefully) he’ll live up to my lofty predictions for him.
31. Trey Cabbage, 3B
32. John Curtiss, RHP
33. Brusdar Graterol, RHP
34. Zander Wiel, 1B
35. Tom Hackimer, RHP
36. T.J. White, 3B
37. Nelson Molina, INF
38. Jaylin Davis, OF
39. Charlie Barnes, LHP
40. Jose Miranda, 3B 41. Randy Rosario, LHP
42. Sean Miller, SS
43. Landon Leach, RHP
44. Andrew Bechtold, 3B
45. Blayne Enlow, RHP
46. Alex Robinson, LHP
47. Edwar Colina, RHP
48. Jordan Balazovic, RHP
49. Tyler Benninghoff, RHP*
50. Sam Clay, LHP
The next updated Twins Top 50 will come in January and it will be back to the format of Prospects1500 Tiers that you see on most of our other lists. I’d love to hear feedback on who you think I may have too high or too low. Please leave a comment below or reach me on Twitter at @MichaelGrennell.