Here is my third installment of 2012 Minnesota Twins prospects. I recently posted 50-46 & 45-41. I originally had Pedro Guerra in this range, but he was recently released. It would be interesting to see why the Twins let him go, given that he his young and has had decent numbers. Oh well, let's continue the countdown.
40. Michael Gonzales First Base 6/16/1988.
Gonzales was drafted by the Twins in the 9th round of the 2008 draft out of Diablo Valley College. He hit .289/.371/.468 with 15 HRs in 477 plate appearances in his second year at class A Beloit. His walks have increased his strikeouts have decreased as he has matured. He looks to be rounding into a good all around hitter but in his age 24 year, he really needs to start moving up. Last year he did not make my top 50, but in 2010, I ranked him #39.
2012 Outlook: Will probably spend most of the season at Class A Fort Myers with potential promotion to AA.
39. Kennys Vargas First Base 8/1/1990.
Vargas was signed in 2009 out of Canovanas, Puerto Rico. He hit .322/.377/.489 with 6 HRs in 191 plate appearances for Elizabethtown. Vargas has shown a decent bat in both levels of rookie ball and at 6'5", he sure has the size. The interesting test will be once he plays a full season. He will not have a chance to play a full season in 2012, due to a 50 game suspension handed down in August for taking phentermine. Rumors are, he has problems keeping his weight down. Hopefully, he can shake off the suspension when he returns and continue his progression.
2012 Outlook: Should get to Beloit eventually upon completion of his suspension.
38. Matt Summers Right-Handed Pitcher 8/17/1989.
Summers was drafted in the 4th round of the 2011 draft out of UC Irvine. He went 1-1 with a .87 ERA in 20 appearances at Elizabethtown. He struck out a whopping 36, walked 5 and only gave up 2 runs in 20.2 innings. He started in college, throwing a no-hitter and going 11-4 with a 2.15 ERA in 2011. Big West pitcher of the year is one of the accolades he has earned.
2012 Outlook: Will probably head to Beloit or Fort Myers probably as a starter.
37. Kane Holbrooks Right-Handed Pitcher 6/8/1987.
Holbrooks was drafted in the 21st round of the 2009 draft out of Texas State University. He went 5-9 with a 4.87 ERA in 19 appearances for Fort Myers, 16 of them starts. He struck out 47 and walked 26 in 94.1 innings. He really struggled in his first full year as a starter, though injuries probably played a part. He might be better served as a reliever. 2012 will be a big year for Holbrooks who rocketed up the prospect charts last year and back down this year. I ranked him #11 last year and Andrew at TwinsTarget wrote the prospect profile here. I also wrote something about him and Dakota Watts here. Holbrooks is a real character and the Twins could us someone like him on the big club to add personality to the room.
2012 Outlook: I would look for the Twins to send Holbrooks to New Britain and try him as a starter a little longer.
36. Bruce Pugh Right-Handed Pitcher 7/18/1988.
Pugh was drafted in the 19th round of the 2008 draft out of Hillborough (Florida) Community College. He went 2-7 with a 5.91 ERA and 17 saves in 43 appearances between Fort Myers and New Britain. He struck out 75 and walked 32 in 64 innings. His ERA was pretty ugly, but some of it can be traced back to the 8 earned runs in 1.1 innings he gave up on June 1st. This was his maiden voyage in AA. Pugh has a chance to be a useful pitcher, he has a good fastball and decent breaking pitch but he walks too many. He could be a decent starter or dominant reliever if he could control the walks. I ranked him 26th last year.
2012 Outlook: A full year at New Britain unless he starts really strong.
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