Sunday, February 19, 2012

2012 Minnesota Twins Prospects 30-26

The Twins pitchers and catchers reported yesterday, which also happened to be my second wedding anniversary. Perhaps you remember the marriage post? I set it up right. Two of my favorite days each year are occasionally going to be on the same day.

Anyway, as the Twins players start to filter down to Fort Myers, let's look at 5 more guys that may be a part of the Twins future. Two exciting draft picks from 2011 are included in this next group. I look forward to seeing their professional debuts. Check out the other posts in the countdown. 50-46, 45-41, 40-3635-31.

30. Lance Ray Outfield/First Baseman 9/2/1989.
Ray was drafted in the 8th round of the 2010 draft out of the University of Kentucky. He hit .253/.335/.432 with 16 HRs, 34 doubles and 10 steals in 16 attempts.  Ray's numbers were decent, but it was also a tough year for him in Beloit. His power came a little but he struck out 132 times in 539 plate appearances. Ray has the reputation of being a good hitter with some power, but his huge spike in strikeouts could be a problem if he doesn't get it corrected. His season was decent, just not completely fitting his reputation. I ranked him #39 last year.
2012 Outlook: He'll probably spend a full season at Fort Myers.

29. Daniel Rams Catcher/Outfield. 12/19/1988.
Rams was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2007 draft out of Gulliver Prep HS in Miami. He hit .239/.310/.388 with 8 HRs in 342 plate appearances for Fort Myers. He also threw out 33% of would-be base-stealers. Rams came into Fort Myers with a power reputation and a strikeout reputation. Unfortunetly, it was the strikeouts that were more prevelant in 2011. As a catcher, Rams numbers still profile decent enough, but it looks like the Twins will move him to the outfield. If the Twins switch him to outfield, he will have to improve his contact if he has any chance of making the major leagues. His power potential at catcher is the only thing that keeps him ranked in my top 50. 2012 is a make or break year. I ranked him #28 last year.
2012 Outlook: He'll probably move up to New Britain and split time between outfield and catcher.

28. Hudson Boyd Right-Handed Pitcher 10/18/1992.
Boyd was drafted 55th overall in the first round of the 2011 draft out of Bishop Verot High School, in Fort Myers, FL. He signed too late to make his professional debut in 2011. He went 12-0 with a .46 ERA as a senior in high school. He also struck out a Whopping 123 in 73 innings. Being down the road from the Twins facility probably gave the team an advantage while scouting him. It also went against the Twins usual draft strategy. They took a high school power pitcher high in the draft instead of a polished college control guy. Kevin Slowey, Scott Baker, Kyle Gibson etc.... are the typical high draft pick pitchers the Twins draft. Usually a guy who throws strikes and is 2 years or less from the majors. It was refreshing to see the Twins grab a power arm due to the dearth of powerful starter arms in their minors. There are very few in this list. He has a fastball that can reach 95 with a potential dominant curve ball. Keith Law had him as his 40th best prospect pre-draft.
2012 Outlook: Will start in extended spring training before shipping out to either GCL or Elizabethtown.

27. Travis Harrison Third Base 10/17/1992.
Harrison was drafted 5 spots ahead of Boyd, #50 overall in the 2011 draft out of Tustin California High School. He also signed too late to make his professional debut in 2011. He hit .481/.643/1.130 with 13 HRs as a senior in high school. Harrison was considered "one of the best pure bats in the high school class" by Keith Law. A powerful hitter, Harrison once hit a 504 foot HR. Harrison may eventually out-grow third, or just might not be good enough to play there defensively. If his power progresses, he will still be valuabel at first base. Law had Harrison as his 37th best prospect pre-draft.  Below is video of his swing in 2010.
2012 Outlook: Will start in extended spring training before shipping out to either GCL or Elizabethtown.

26. Jose Gonzalez Left-Handed Reliever 2/3/1990.
Gonzalez was signed out of Tucupita, Venezuela in 2007. He went 5-3 with 13 saves and a 2.47 ERA in 48 appearances for Beloit. He struck out 63 and walked 23 in 62 innings. Gonzalez is pretty small and he doesn't throw super hard, though reports lead me to believe his fastball velocity increased, but he's had incredible numbers at every level. His numbers and ability seem similar to those of Nelvin Fuentes (without having ever seen either pitch), who I ranked 35th, but Gonzalez is 10 months younger and was the closer at Beloit. If he can keep striking out guys and keep his walk rate down, he has a good chance of being a relief option  for the Twins sooner than later. I ranked him #20 last year & #37 in 2010.
2012 Outlook: Probable closer for Fort Myers.

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