The major league all star game is just around the corner, and while some short season leagues just got going, I nonetheless figure it’s close enough to half way through the minor league season to dial up a Twins prospect all star team. This team is mostly a look at which prospects are having the best 2012 seasons, but I’ll tend to give a tiebreaker of sorts to the guy I think is the better prospect:
C – Chris Herrmann (AA)
Herrmann has gotten a lot more comfortable behind the plate (and already had a good arm back there) which has helped assuage some of the concerns about his bat. Unfortunately, his hitting has gotten worse repeating AA, as his OBP has gone from .380 to .334. Herrmann walked almost as often as he struck out last year, but this year he’s walked 31 times next to 49 strikeouts. They aren’t awful numbers, especially if he can still catch, but one does have to wonder why his numbers are so much worse repeating the level.
Others of note: Matthew Koch, a 2011 12th rounder, is hitting .299/.421/.522 in Beloit. On one hand, he’s a college kid playing against younger competition, but on the other hand it is the midwest league, so those numbers are impressive regardless of his age. He’s also hit 6 homers in 130ish at bats. Continue reading
Rochester Red Wings SS Pedro Florimon was named to the International League’s all star team today. Florimon is Rochester’s only representative, which speaks to the overall lack of talent on the club. Claimed off waivers in the offseason from Baltimore, Florimon has spent half of 2012 at AA. While in AAA (47 games), Florimon is hitting .260/.323/.370 for the Red Wings. He’s hit just 3 homers and walked 15 times, but has struck out about once per game.
Florimon is an average defender and at 25 his offensive potential has pretty much been realized. He has just a .323 career OBP in the minors, so I don’t expect he’ll be making an impact in the majors anytime soon.
Once the calendar flips to July 2nd, MLB teams will once again be free to sign 16 year olds from Latin America, but this year there will be a twist. Thanks to the new CBA, teams are limited to $2.9 million in spending, which prompts a couple of interesting shifts in strategy. First, no longer will teams be priced out of Latin America. It used to be where teams could make the excuse (though not a good one) that there was no point in signing international FAs because the richer teams could afford to buy all of them. Now everyone is on the same budget and, assuming the top prospects still take up much of a team’s budget, can afford to sign some players. As such, teams will likely have to face the difficult decision of whether to sign one of the better prospects available and then have their budget sapped, or whether to spread it around and sign some lower profile guys. (I’d go with the lower profile guys, but more on that later).
For now, let’s look at some of the players the Twins are rumored to be interested in: Continue reading
The Twins will officially promote LHP Tyler Robertson from AAA today, completing a bit of a comeback of sorts. Robertson was drafted in the third round of the 2006 draft out of high school in California, and almost immediately inspired mixed feelings from prospect writers. His zenith as a prospect was in 2008 when John Sickels gave him a B+ grade and rated him as the best Twins prospect. Many other people (including myself) disagreed, and while they all ended up being correct, for awhile there it looked like everyone had overestimated him. Robertson struck out just 6.5 batters per 9 innings and had a 1.326 ERA in Fort Meyers in 2010, while repeating the level no less. In 2010 it got even worse, as he gave up over 11 hits per 9 innings and had a 1.64 WHIP between A+ and AA. Continue reading
I didn’t have internet access when it happened so you’ll have to forgive me for being late, but the Twins have inked their supplemental first rounder Luke Bard, who signed for the recommended pick slot of 1.227 million.
Bard is the brother of Red Sox pitcher Daniel Bard and he was a great pitcher out of the Georgia Tech bullpen this year when he pitched. The problem was he didn’t pitch much as he tore an arm muscle in March. I think it was a bit early to take Bard given the injury history, but if he does show that he’s healthy he could be a good pick. The Twins plan on converting him into a starter, where he hit 97 this year (as a starter) and has a plus slider. Mike Radcliff has said that he thinks Bard could develop a good changeup as well. Bard’s ceiling is probably that of a #2 starter, but there’s a good possibility he ends up in short relief as well.
With Bard signing, the Twins are 208,500 under budget according to Baseball America, and their highest drafted unsigned pick is Christian Powell, a right handed pitcher out of the College of Charleston.
The Twins have continued their draft signings, inking Rice reliever JT Chargois for a $712,600 bonus according to Baseball America’s Jim Callis. That is the full pick value, which strikes me as a little dumb to give to a college reliever, but who knows. It seems they could save 100k or so and give an extra post 10th rounders 200k.
In any event, Chargois profiles as a back end of the bullpen type, and hopefully a high leverage guy. He has a slider that scouts say should be a plus pitch and a fastball that touches 98. His main drawback is that he was also an every day player for Rice and is relatively new to pitching. It’s good in the sense that he has a fresh arm, but he could be the rare college reliever that takes a bit to get to the big leagues. However, concerns about his mechanics and his high effort delivery pretty much demand he gets to the big leagues in a hurry.
I hate taking college relievers early, but Baseball America ranked him 77th before the draft and if he develops into a good high leverage reliever who they can have on the cheap for 6 years (or 4 or 5 before trading him for prospects) he will have definitely been worth the pick.
Twins prospect Oswaldo Arcia has been named to the 2012 Futures Game, the only Twin to receive that honor. Arcia, a native of Venezuela, will represent the world team.
Arcia was recently promoted to AA New Britain after dominating much of 2012 in high A with Fort Meyers, hitting ..309/.376/.517 in 57 games. If he performs at AA, Arcia will probably sneak his way onto some top 100 lists next year. He was unranked in both Baseball Prospectus’s and Baseball America’s top 100 lists. He was ranked 5th among Twins prospects at BA and BP. 2012 #2 overall pick Byron Buxton will slide ahead of him, but Arcia could be third after him and Miguel Sano.
Speaking of Sano, the organization’s #1 prospect and a probable top 10 prospect next winter, did not make the roster. His exclusion from the roster was likely a combination of there already being so many Dominican prospects in the game and the want for geographic diversity as well as Sano’s age and the likelihood he’ll be in the minors for at least a couple more years and will have the opportunity to make a roster in the future.
The Futures Game will take place July 8