Wednesday, February 20, 2013

One final prospects list

Baseball America on Tuesday released its Top 100 prospects list. Six Twins prospects are on the list -- Minnesota was one of three organizations with six, and nobody had more -- and it was the same six who top everybody's Twins prospects lists, with only the order in question:

Miguel Sano, 3B (9)
Byron Buxton, OF (10)
Oswaldo Arcia, OF (41)
Alex Meyer, RHP (59)
Kyle Gibson, RHP (68)
Aaron Hicks, OF (72)

Somewhere on the outside looking in is Eddie Rosario, who was likely held back by concerns over his defensive position; J.O. Berrios, who has only a couple dozen professional innings under his belt; and Trevor May, who has to demonstrate that he has command of the strike zone to get back on the list.

BA, as I've said repeatedly, is a good reflection of the industry consensus. If BA ranks Arcia that far above Hicks, it indicates that the two are generally seen that way -- that Arcia, a corner outfielder who figures to hit in the middle of the lineup, is more valued that Hicks, a center fielder who profiles as a top-of-the-order guy.

The Twins have a well-regarded stockpile of hitting talent in their minors, and some pitchers of promise, but little of it figures to be a factor in 2013.

Hicks is the most likely to matter in the coming season; he may well open the season in center field, even though that would mean skipping Triple A. Gibson should get some time in the big league rotation this year, but his innings will be limited as they monitor his reconstructed elbow. Sano and Buxton, of course, are high-ceiling players scheduled for A ball this year, as are Rosario and Berrios -- and, for that matter, Max Kepler, the consensus No. 10 prospect in the system.

Somewhere between the Hicks-Gibson "they matter this year" duo and the A ball buys are Meyer,Mays and Arcia, who all got at least some Double A time last year. They might rise to the majors at some point in 2013, or they might not.

Arcia is, at the moment, blocked by Josh Willingham and the Chris Parmelee/Justin Morneau duo; since Arcia has yet to play in Triple A, the Twins aren't in any hurry to unblock his route to the majors. Arcia's arrival depends as much on what moves the Twins make with the veteran sluggers as with how well he performs in the minors,

Meyer and Mays are in a different space. The Twins need quality starters, and they have as high a ceiling as anybody in the organization. Unlike Gibson, there are no physical restrictions; unlike Barrios, they are advanced in their development. If they perform, they'll move up. There is nobody ahead of them, majors or minors, who should be allowed to block them.

Which is another reason to expect the Twins to ultimately regret the $10 million committed to Kevin Correia.

1 comment:

  1. "BA, as I've said repeatedly, is a good reflection of the industry consensus."

    If you include the blogsphere as part of the industry that may be true. But in the past its writers have admitted to ranking some guys higher than their own organization. John Manual, for instance, said that about his ranking of Nick Blackburn as the Twins top prospect. Here is a 2008 evaluation of that 2007 ranking:
    2007 BBA Top Ten Twin Prospect Evaluation

    Its doubtful that either Meyers or Mays will be in the Twins rotation next season, which is the last year on Correia's contract. Neither one has yet pitched at AAA. But even if they move that fast, the Twins only have two other starters who will be in the organization next year, Diamond and Worley.

    Your argument that Correia won't be needed seems to rest on the idea that the Twins can counted on all three of their prospects to be major league ready in 2014. Here is a link to the Twins players who have appeared in the BBA top 100 over the last 20+ years.

    Twins in BBA Top 100 1990-2013

    Its not exactly reassuring that you can start planning on them as major league contributors, no matter how highly rated. Adam Johnson anyone? JD Durbin?