Thursday, July 13, 2017

Nick Gordon vs. Royce Lewis vs. Wander Javier

Away back last Sunday, Nick Gordon, the Twins' sole representative in the Futures Game, started at shortstop and hit leadoff for Team USA. He went 1-for-3 with a run scored.

There's a debate over whether Gordon, who is having what appears to be a typical Gordon season at Chatanooga, is still the organization's top prospect. Royce Lewis, taken 1/1 by the Twins about a month ago, outranks him in the estimate of some. But Gordon is considerably closer to the majors.

I'm not ready to take a position on this, partly because it's unclear to me what position either will take in the majors when their times come. I'd vote for the one who plays shortstop in the majors, and there is no consensus that either will stick at shortstop.

Gordon is hitting .298/.366/.448 in Double A; he's hit six homers, which is more as he hit in his previous three minor league seasons combined. His slugging percentage is some 70 points higher this year. That might represent growth; it might be more about the difficulty of hitting in Hammond Stadium in particular and the Florida State League in general. It's a pitcher's league.

Lewis is hitting .340/.426/.566 for the Twins team in the Gulf Coast League. Statistics in the GCL (or even the Appy League, the next rung up the ladder) are meaningless for evaluative purposes; he could hit .140 there and it wouldn't mean anything. He's an 18-year-old getting his feet wet.

Then there's Wander Javier, also 18, a Dominican signing from two years ago who is playing short this summer for Elizabethton in the Appy League. Javier is hitting .286/.362/.429 in E-Town. The Twins gave him a bigger bonus than they gave Miguel Sano, so even though Javier hasn't played two dozen professional games yet, he's obviously somebody to keep an eye on.

And one of the things to watch is what happens when/if Lewis is assigned to the same level as Javier, which might come fairly quickly. Only one can play shortstop at a time.

Too many shortstop prospects is a better problem than no shortstop prospects.

No comments:

Post a Comment