Saturday, February 25, 2012

2012 Minnesota Twins Prospects 25-21

As spring training rolls along, I have been counting down their top 50 prospects. Already looked at 50-46, 45-41, 40-36, 35-31 & 30-26.

25. Tyler Robertson Left-Handed Reliever 12/23/1987.
Robertson was drafted by the Twins in the 3rd round of the 2006 draft out of Bella Vista High School in Fair Oaks, California. He went 10-3 with 16 saves and a 3.61 ERA in 55 appearances for AA New Britain. He struck out 88 and walked 29 in 89.2 innings. Robertson was considered a solid starting prospect coming into 2010. I had ranked him #20 as a 22 year old starter prospect in Fort Myers and some (more reputable sources) had him even higher. Unfortunately, his 2010 was miserable. He went  4-13 with a 5.40 ERA for New Britain, though his 4.80 FIP  suggests he wasn't quite as bad as his ERA. Even with the bad numbers, he was one of the Twins sent to the Arizona Fall League where he was used as a reliever. My half-assed scouting report on 2010 AFL Twins is here. Robertson had a really nice first year as a late inning reliever and it has jump started his career. He saw his K rate jump up more than 3 strikeouts per 9 innings and his walk rate improved as well. His season was good enough to get his career on track and was added to the 40-man roster. If Robertson can keep it up in his second year as a reliever, he could help the Twins in 2012. Especially in light of Joel Zumaya's latest injury.
2012 Outlook: Will spend the season in Rochester unless the Twins need some extra bullpen arms.

Robertson admiring my "Viva La Stache" shirt in 2010.

24. Tyler Grimes Shortstop 7/3/1990.
Grimes was drafted by the Twins in the 5th round of the 2011 draft out of Wichita St. He hit .225/.316/.406 with 4 HRs and 5 stolen bases in 7 attempts in 159 plate appearances for Beloit. He also had 4 triples. He got on base a ton his junior year of college but he also struck out a lot. The strikeouts carried over to his pro debut but his on-base skills haven't yet. He struck out 53 times and walked just 13 in 159 plate appearances. He may not stick at short, he has a strong arm at SS, but he committed 30 errors his junior year in college. He  also had 6 in 40 games in Beloit. If Grimes can stick at short, he could move up quickly in a system with few middle infield prospects. If he can hit for more average and cut the strikeouts, he will be elite.
2012 Outlook: He should start at Fort Myers and has a chance to move to New Britain, depending on #1 pick Levi Micheal's growth.

23. Niko Goodrum Shortstop 2/28/1992.
Goodrum was drafted by the Twins in the 2nd round of the 2010 draft out of Fayette County High School in Fayetteville, Georgia. He hit .275/.352/.382 with 2 HRs in 230 plate appearances plus 8 stolen bases in 9 attempts for Elizabethtown. Goodrum's numbers improved over his disastrous first pro season numbers. He's tall and skinny with a big arm but right now, Goodrum is still mostly tools. Most scouts feel his skill-set and body will eventually lead him to the outfield. Goodrum is predicted to add power as he fills out and he also has some speed. He's an intriguing prospect and it will be interesting to monitor his progress as he grows and plays in full-season leagues.
2012 Outlook: Goodrum may start in Extended spring training but should eventually report to Beloit.

22. Manuel Soliman Right-Handed Starter 8/11/1989.
Soliman was signed by the Twins in 2007 out of La Romana, Dominican Republic. He went 7-11 with a 3.97 ERA in 28 appearances (25 starts). He struck out 120 and walked 50 in 136 innings. Originally, Soliman was signed as a third baseman with some expectations, but he just couldn't hit. After 2 seasons of not hitting, topping out at a .640 OPS as an 18 year old in the Dominican Summer League, his live arm was converted to pitching. Soliman is a couple years behind in his pitching development and even though he throws hard, he hasn't been able to harnass his secondary pitches. As a 22 year old in High A ball, it will be time for him to start pulling everything together if he to become a good or even great pitcher. I ranked him #13 last year and Andrew Kneeland wrote it here.
2012 Outlook: Will probably spend all season starting for Fort Myers.

21. Max Kepler-Rozycki Outfield 2/10/1993.
Kepler was signed by the Twins in 2009 out of Berlin Germany. He hit .262/.347/.366 with 1 HR in 221 plate appearances for Elizabethtown. Max moved up a level of rookie ball and did modestly better than his first season. As an 18 year old, he was still very young for the level and he should continue to improve. He was regarded as one of the greatest prospects signed out of Europe, two years ago when the Twins signed him for $750,000, and there is nothing yet to doubt that. The one worry I have at this stage, is his strikeout rate went up a ton in 2011. I'm looking forward to seeing his continuing development. I had him at #15 last year. Andrew Kneeland wrote about him here.
2012 Outlook: Like Niko Goodrum, Kepler May start in Extended spring training but should eventually report to Beloit.

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