Friday, February 7, 2014

BA's Top 31 Twins prospects

Miguel Sano of the Twins system is
the cover boy for the Handbook this year.
My copy of Baseball America's annual Prospect Handbook arrived Thursday.

The publication's Top 10 Twins prospects was released last month, and I commented at the time about the absence of Josmil Pinto, who I figured should be no lower than No. 5.

He is No. 14 on BA's list. They're clearly unimpressed with Pinto's defensive skills behind the plate, and wary of the recurring shoulder issues that hampered him in midseason and during the winter.

Other items of note from a quick perusal of the Twins section:

  • The Cedar Rapids club, in the Low A Midwest League, figures to have a loaded starting rotation. The Handbook projects Kohl Stewart (No. 4 on the Twins list), Lewis Thorpe (7), Fernando Romero (12), Stephen Gonsalves (13) and Felix Jorge (17) as Kernels starters this season. Plus there's Randy Rosario (22), who the book predicts will be used as a swingman.
  • Nine of the 31 players BA ranks for the Twins (30 in the book and one more in the "bonus supplement" that goes to those who buy from the BA website) were signed out of the Dominican Republic,  not bad for an organization that only recently made much of an effort there. Two of them (Lewin Diaz, No. 21, and Roni Tapia, No. 29) have yet to play pro ball on any level.
  • Bryon Buxton got a 75-Low grade. BA uses the 80-20 scale common in baseball scouting, with 80 being top of the chart, and adds a "risk factor" — Low, Medium, High and Extreme. Buxton's 75 is the high score in the book, and he's one of the very few Low risk players profiled. Cover boy Miguel Sano is a 70-Medium. 
  • BA rates the Twins third in overall minor league talent, behind Pittsburgh and Boston.
  • All four of BA's evaluators have the same top three overall prospects: Buxton No. 1, followed by Boston shortstop Xavier Bogearts and St. Louis outfielder Oscar Taveras. Sano rates from No. 4 to No. 10. Alex Meyer made two of the evaluators' top 50 list, Stewart one list.

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