Midseason Top 10 Prospects

I’ll eventually go to a top 50, but wanted to do a quick update on a midseason top 10 prospects list. A brief explanation on my methodology: I tend to favor higher ceiling guy if their is a tiebreaker, but for the most part I use a combination of floor and ceiling to figure out a player’s probable career path, and then factor in the likelihood of him reaching it. To do so I use a combination of scouting and statistics, with statistics receiving more weight the more a player moves up the ladder.

1. Miguel Sano, 19 years old, 3B

Sano is just a teenager, and so Twins fans shouldn’t be tremendously concerned about the error totals piling up. What he does offer is prodigious power. He’s one of only a few prospects in the minors who can boast having 80 power. There’s still a lot of swing and miss there, but Sano has the potential to hit 4th in a championship lineup. As for his defense, I think the worst case scenario is right field due to his strong throwing arm, but I think there is something to the idea of letting him be a third baseman with not a lot of range. If he can clean up the error totals – and reading scouting reports regarding his hands it should be doable – then it’s maybe not a bad idea to let him be Miguel Cabrera with less batting average. Continue reading

Goodrum’s Breakout Weekend Could Signal Breakout Year

Niko Goodrum was taken with the 71st pick in the 2010 draft out of high school in Georgia. Like a lot of athletic Georgia prepsters (Tim Beckham, Donovan Tate) he struggled in his pro debut, hitting just .161/.219/.195 in 36 games in the GCL. He showed marked improvement in his second pro season, however, hitting .275/.352/.382 in Elizabethton, but with only 15 extra base hits.

Repeating Elizabethton this year, Goodrum has had a fantastic start to the season. Saturday was the culmination of all those efforts as Goodrum hit for the cycle for Elizabethton, going 4-5 on the evening. For the year he is at .306/.443/.735 in his second go around in Elizabethton.

Expectations should be tempered a bit of course: it is only rookie ball, and plenty of Twins have had hot starts in rookie ball and then flamed out, plus it is Goodrum’s second trip through the league and while he’s not seeing many of the same players, he is a year older.

Still, there are plenty of reasons to be excited: he might not stick at short (I would bet he gets put in center field) but he is a toolsy athletic player who has the best position player arm in the system, can fly both around the bases and in the field, and has good hands. He has made quite a few errors so far in his minor league career, but he’s still learning how to play the position at the pro level. He’s played some second base and third base this year as well, but for the most part the Twins are letting him figure it out at short, which is the right plan. Even if he sucks there, it’s better for him to keep playing short and figure out on his own that he’s not a pro shortstop vs. the Twins telling him to move and them him having animosity about it.

Goodrum is 6’3″ and while most scouts think he will have to move, there is at least a chance that he will stick at short, making his potential value sky high. If he doesn’t collapse at the plate or get hurt (crosses fingers) Goodrum will definitely be a top 10 prospect in the system at year’s end, and potentially even top 5 thanks to how toolsy he is and how high his ceiling is.

Twins Prospect All Star Team

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