Thursday, October 8, 2009

Considering the prospects

A fresh issue of Baseball America arrived Thursday, and this one features Top 20 prospects for each league in organized ball.

The Twins prospects aren't particularly prominent on these lists, which perhaps figures. They've spent most of the past decade drafting in the bottom half, and until this year haven't been particularly active in pursuing the top level talent in the Caribbean basin.

Here, league by league, are the Twins ranked prospects:

International League (Triple A): None

Eastern League (Double A): Wilson Ramos, C, 8. Missed half the season with injuries but performed well. Two other EL catchers are ranked ahead of him, but one (Jesus Montero, Yankees, No. 5) may not make it to the majors as a catcher.

Florida State League (High A): Ben Revere, OF, 8; Carlos Gutierrez, RHP, 11; David Bromberg, RHP, 15; Chris Parmelee, 1B/OF, 17.

Easily the best collection for the Twins, which perhaps figures; Revere, Gutierrez and Parmelee were all first-round picks (Bromberg went in the 32nd round). Revere (above) had just 19 extra base hits, which renews the red flag about his size (5-9, 166 pounds). But it's a pitchers league — kids playing at low altitude on fields built to house major league spring training. Which makes Parmelee's 16 homers and 44 extra base hits a bit more impressive.

Of this bunch, Gutierrez is the best bet to be the first to the majors.

Midwest League (Low A) : Aaron Hicks, OF, 1. It's not that he tore up the MWL; he didn't. But he demonstrated the athletic ability the scouts saw in high school — and a rare sense of plate discipline.

BA quotes a National League scout: "He's the most dynamic, projectable position player I saw. He can play a premium position and he has a chance to be a five-tool guy."

He's just 19, and it will be awhile. But he is going to be something special.

Appalachian League (High Rookie): Tyler Ladendorf, SS, 12. And he's out of the system, traded to Oakland for Orlando Cabrera.

Elizabethton, the Twins affiliate, had a big year, but apparently didn't impress the scouts much.

Gulf Coast League (Low Rookie): Adrian Salcedo, RHP, 6; B.J Hermsen, RHP, 11. Salcedo's stats are off the charts. Three walks and 58 strikeouts? A good example of why stats on levels that low aren't necessarily meaningful. For that matter, Hermsen had 4 walks, 42 Ks.

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