Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Twins 2011 Prospects 45-41

I recently posted my 46-50 best Twins prospects and today, I will post 41-45. The fun thing about ranking prospects is that it is such a subjective exercise. I see very little separation between my 50th prospect and my 25th.

45. Luke Hughes Infield/Outfield 8/2/1984. 
He was signed in 2002 out of Perth, Australia. Luke battled injuries in 2010, hitting .257/.313/.405 in only 22 games for AAA Rochester.  He did make his major league debut in 2010, becoming the 106th player in MLB history to HR in his first at-bat. Hughes rocketed up prospect boards with a .309/.369/.524 line for AA New Britain in 2008, but injuries have sent Hughes in reverse. He goes into 2011 as an intriguing right-handed bat and questionable glove but has a hard time staying healthy. Hughes could really be a useful right handed bat for the Twins if he could just stay on the field. I had him as my number 33 prospect last season.
- 2011 Outlook: Start the year in AAA, probably given a final shot at 2B. He could be a RH bench bat option & will probably be one of the first injury call-ups.

44. Brett Jacobson Reliever 11/9/1986.
He was recently acquired from the Baltimore Orioles along with Jim Hoey in exchange for J.J. Hardy. He went 8-1 with a save and a 2.79 ERA in the High A Carolina League in 2010. He struck out 67 and walked 24 in 71 innings. He has a low 90s sinker and could be a useful relief option for the Twins pretty soon. The Hardy trade was pretty underwhelming, but Jacobson provides some relief value.
- 2011 Outlook: 8th inning guy or closer for New Britain.

43. Carlos Gutierrez Reliever/Starter 9/22/1986.
He was the Twins 27th overall pick in 2008 out of the University of Miami. He went 5-8 with 2 saves in 16 starts and 16 relief appearances with a 4.57 ERA for AA New Britain. He struck out 81 and walked 50 in 122 innings. He hits 95 occasionally and seems to be a much better reliever than a starter. He has a very good sinker. Many rank him higher than I do but he allows too many base-runners and his strikeout rate isn't great. If the Twins decide to use him exclusively as a reliever, he will rank higher on my next list.
-2011 Outlook: Hopefully a late inning reliever for New Britain or Rochester.

42. Andrei Lobanov Lefty Reliever 1/25/1990.
He was signed in 2007 out of Moscow, Russia. He went 3-2 with 3 saves and a 2.64 ERA in 64.2 innings mostly split between Beloit and Fort Myers. He struck out 56 and walked 14. He doesn't throw very hard but he's young, has a pretty low walk rate and he's left-handed. He's 6'3" but only 171 lbs. If he could add some weight, he might increase his velocity. He could become a stud lefty reliever. I ranked him #10 going into last season.
-2011 Outlook: Should spend most of the year in the Fort Myers Bullpen.

41. Scott Diamond Lefty Starter 7/30/1986.
He was recently claimed in the rule 5 draft from the Atlanta Braves. He needs to stay on the Twins MLB roster or a trade needs to be made with the Braves, or else he will be a Braves prospect again. Diamond has a chance to stay with the Twins. He went 8-7 with a 3.46 ERA between AA and AAA. He struck out 123 and walked 54 in 158.2 innings. The Twins have some holes in the bullpen and, if they don't sign Carl Pavano, rotation depth issues. Diamond could be the first option to start if any of the top 5 starters get injured. Diamond doesn't profile better than a back-end of the rotation starter, but he's got decent numbers and he's left handed. He could certainly fill a role for the Twins in 2011 and beyond.
-2011 Outlook: Making the MLB roster as a long reliever.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Twins 2011 Prospects 50-46

Well, 2010 is about to come to an end. As the Twins start preparing for their 2011 season, it is time to take a look at the prospects. Some are high on talent, low on experience, some will help the team in 2011, other will never get a sniff at the majors....

For now, we'll rank them based on age and ability, guys lower in the top 50 may make an impact with the Twins sooner than some high prospects, but the guys higher on the list have a greater chance of doing something special.

50. Jair Fernandez Catcher 12/10/1986.
He was traded from the Mariners for R.A. Dickey in 2008. (Ya know, before the Twins re-signed Dickey in 2009) He had a .241/.332/.347 line at 3 levels, including a .267/.326/.409 line at AA New Britain. He's a decent defensive catcher (he's thrown out 43% base-runners in his career) , though, not a third baseman (I saw him play a poor third base this past season). He could be a useful backup catcher someday. 
2011 Outlook: With the Twins lack of Catching depth, Fernandez could be near the top of the backup list, but will probably start the year in AA. 

49. Yangervis Solarte Infield/Outfield 7/7/1987.
He was signed out of Valencia, Venezuela in 2005. He had a combined line of .292/.328/.401 line at 3 levels, including a .320/.371/.419 line at High A Fort Myers. He's very versatile, playing 4 different positions in 2010. 
- 2011 Outlook: Utility man, most likely for AA New Britain.

48. James Beresford Short Stop 1/19/1989.
He was signed by the Twins in 2005 out of Glen Waverly, Australia. He had a .297.349/.363 line at low A Beloit. He also stole 14 bases in 28 attempts. 2010 was his second year in Beloit.  He's pretty young, has some ability and is on the short list of middle infield prospects in the system. As mentioned here, the Twins don't have a lot of SS (or 2B) position depth in the system. 
- 2011 Outlook: Should spend the full season at High A Fort Myers.

47. Deolis Guerra Starter 4/17/1989.
He was acquired by the Twins in 2008 as part of the Johan Santana trade. After a couple of ordinary seasons since coming over, he had a terrible year in 2010. He went 2-13 with a 6.36 ERA, for AA New Britain and AAA Rochester. He struck out 85 and walked 45 in 127.1 innings. His K rate dropped and walk rate increased in 2010, but he was also unlucky. His hit and HR rate really soared in 2010. He is still young for his level, but he isn't THAT young anymore, he hasn't progressed. I have seen him in person and he has a nice breaking pitch and change up, his fastball tops at around 89. It doesn't look like his fastball will get to the 95 he had in the Mets system again.  He has some skill, but no longer looks close to the top prospect he was in 2008. I had him at #19 last year.
- 2011 Outlook: May start a third year in AA.

46. B.J. Hermsen Starter 12/1/1989.
He was a Twins 6th round draft pick in 2008 out of Masonville, Iowa. He went 4-6 with a 5.00 ERA in 12 starts for Beloit after going 2-2 for Rookie League Elizabethtown. He struck out 85 and walked 19 in 110 innings. He doesn't walk many, but his strikeout rate dropped a lot after he was promoted to A ball. He profiles as a back of the rotation starter. I had him at #13 last year based on a .68 WHIP and .68 BB/9 rate in GCL.
- 2011 Outlook: Should start the season in Beloit.