Saturday, June 14, 2014

A belated take on the Twins prospects

John Sickels is one of my favorite prospect gurus. He run the Minor League Ball blog for SB Nation and publishes an annual prospect book, and while the former Bill James assistant seems not to get the blogger slurping that Keith Law of ESPN gets, he's good at what he does.

The Baseball Prospect Book 2014 just came out in print copy -- held up by a health crisis (a heavy wall hanging fell on Sickel's head, giving him a severe concussion and, in the process, a personal experience with one of the trending topics in sports.)

Had the book come out in its usual time frame (spring training, not amateur draft), I would have tossed Sickels ratings in with the Law/Baseball America/ lists. I'll do so now.

Sickels's Top 100 is actually two lists: Top 50 pitchers and Top 50 position players.

Surprise: Byron Buxton leads the position player list. Miguel Sano is No. 12 on the Sickels list. They are the only Twins prospects on the Top 50 for position players. Eddie Rosario got a "B" grade; the bottom guys on the list are "Bs," so Rosario probably came close. (Buxton is an "A", Sano an "A-".)

While he doesn't give a precise order outside the overall Top 50, Sickles gave grades of B- to four minor league hitters: Josmil Pinto, Jorge Polanco, Max Kepler and Travis Harrison. Danny Santana got a C+. The other prospect lists generally agreed that Polanco rates above Santana, but would dispute ranking Harrison and Pinto higher than Santana.

As for pitchers: Alex Meyer (23) and Kohl Stewart (34) both made Sickels' top 50. Both are B+. Jose Barrios is a "B" but, like Rosario, not a strong enough B to crack the bottom of the list. Meyer-Stewart-Barrios fits the consensus of the organizational rankings.

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