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11/20/08

Twins batters prospect list

Earlier, I attempted to make a list of the top Twins starting and reliever pitching prospects using objective criteria. I knew that trying to attempt a similar endeavor with the batting prospects would be a much more daunting task. And it were. What you'll see here is a compromise, mainly because there are not any reliable fielding measures for minor league position players. So my list is really focuses on the batting part of the equation (like treating everyone as a DH.) That given, and using the same criteria I used for pitchers, here is the formula I used to evaluate batters:



The raw scores were:

Angel Morales, 18, OF, Rk (Elz) 6.05

Jairo Perez, 20, 1B, Rk (DSL) 5.34
Josmil Pinto, 19, C, Rk (GCL) 5.3

Anderson Hidalgo, 19, 2B/3B, Rk (GCL) 4.98
Alexander Soto, 21, C, Rk (GCL) 4.77
Jonathan Waltenbury, 20, 1B, Rk (GCL), 4.19
Aaron Hicks, 18, OF, Rk (GCL) 4.10
Ben Revere, 20, OF, A, 4.09

Evan Bigley, 21, OF, Rk (Elz), 3.69
Michael Gonzales, 20, 1B, Rk (GCL) 3.62
Chris Parmelee, 20, 1B, A, 3.61
Jason Pridie, 24, OF, AAA, 3.58
Juan Sanchez, 21, 3B, Rk (GCL) 3.58
Luke Hughes, 23, 3B, AAA, 3.49
Daniel Valencia, 23, 3B, AA, 3.41
Matthew Macri, 26, 3B, AAA, 3.29
Rene Tosoni, 21, OF, A+, 3.02

Dustin Martin, 24, OF, AA, 2.91
Steven Tolleson, 24, 2B, AA, 2.85
Daniel Berg, 23, OF, AA 2.83
Wilson Ramos, 20, C, A+, 2.79
Jeff Christy, 24, AAA, C, 2.75
Steven Singleton, 22, 2B, A+, 2.62
Brock Peterson, 24, 1B, AAA, 2.59
Brian Dinkelman, 24, 2B, AA, 2.45
Trevor Plouffe, 22, SS, AAA, 2.43
Jose Morales, 25, C, AAA, 2.30
Erik Lis, 24, 1B, AA, 2.23
Whitney Robbins, 23, 1B, A+, 2.04
Drew Butera, 24, C, AA, 2.04

Felix Molina, 25, 2B, AAA, 1.96
Ramon Santana, 22, SS, A, 1.95
Edward Ovalle, 23, OF, A+, 1.84
Michael Harrington, 22, OF, Rk (Elz) 1.83
Rene Leveret, 22, 1B, A, 1.79
Mark Dolenc, 23, OF, A, 1.74
Deibinson Romero, 21, 3B, A, 1.72
Reggie Williams, 19, 2B, Rk (ELZ) 1.71
David Winfree, 22, OF, AA, 1.71
Alejandro Machado, 26, SS, AAA, 1.64
Joe Benson, 20, OF,A, 1.63
Daniel Lehmann, 22, C, A+, 1.60
Oswaldo Arcia, 17, OF, Rk (DSL), 1.60
Toby Gardenhire, 25, 1B, AA, 1.58
Rodolfo Palacios, 23, C, AA, 1.55
Jeff Lanning, 21, C, Rk (ELZ) 1.55
Yangervis Solarte, 20, OF, A+, 1.51
Daniel Santana, 17, SS, Rk (DSL) 1.48
Nicholas Romero, 20, 3B, Rk (ELZ) 1.47
Juan Portes, 22, OF, A+, 1.44
Dominic De La Osa, 22, 2B, Rk (Elz), 1.44
Eli Tintor, 23, OF, A+, 1.44
Daniel Rams, 19, C, Rk (ELZ) 1.43
Johnny Woodard, 23, 1B, A+, 1.12
Yancarlos Ortiz, 23, SS, A+, 1.03
Daniel Ortiz, 18, OF, Rk (GCL) 1.04

Allan de San Miguel, 20, C, A+, 0.94
Starling De Los Santos, 21, SS, A, 0.92
Adan Severino, 21, OF, Rk (ELZ), 0.87
Jonathan Goncalves, 19, OF, Rk (DSL) 0.84
Andrew Schmiesing, 22, OF, A, 0.83
Brandon Roberts, 23, OF, AA, 0.81
Jair Fernandez, 21, C, A, 0.79
Garrett Olson, 23, 3B, A+, 0.79
Eliel Sierra, 22, OF, RK (DSL) 0.66
Andres Diaz, 19, 1B, Rk (GCL), 0.46
Chris Cates, 23, SS, A, 0.44
Lesther Galvan 18, DH, Rk (DSL) 0.44
Jeanfred Brito, 20, 2B, A, 0.43
Ozzie Lewis, 22, OF, A, 0.32
Nathan Hanson, 21, 3B, Rk (Elz) 0.29
Gregory Yersich, 21, C, A, 0.26
Matt Moses, 23, OF, AA, 0.11
James Beresford, 19, SS, Rk (Elz), 0.03
Jean Carlos Mercedes, 20, OF, Rk (DSL) 0.02

Juan Richardson, 21, 3B, A, -0.12
Wilfy Gil, 18, OF, Rk (DSL) -0.14
Herbert Lara, 20, OF, Rk (GCL) -0.26
Ben Petsch, 23, OF, A, -0.31
Hyun-wook Choi, 18, OF, Rk (GCL) -0.34
Manuel Soliman, 18, 3B, Rk (DSL) -0.70
Juan Blanco, 19, OF, Rk (DSL) -0.99
Felix Caro, 18, OF, Rk (DSL) -1.06
Jhonatan Arias, 19, C, Rk (DSL), -1.22
Daniel Rohlfing, 19, C, Rk (GCL) -1.31
Hyeong-rok Choi, 18, 2B, Rk (GCL) -1.36
Jairo Rodriguez, 19, C, Rk (DSL) -1.74
Tyler Ladendorf, 20, SS, Rk (GCL) -1.88
Yorby Martinez, 19, SS, Rk (DSL) -2.27
Jakub Hajtmar, 21, 1B, Rk (GCL) -2.32
Yancarlo Franco, 19, 2B, Rk (DSL) -3.76
Xavier Gonzalez, 19, 2B, Rk (DSL) -4.62

And the tidy list of the Twins' top 30 batting prospects is:


  1. Angel Morales

  2. Jairo Perez

  3. Josmil Pinto

  4. Anderson Hidalgo

  5. Alexander Soto

  6. Jonathan Waltenbury

  7. Aaron Hicks

  8. Ben Revere

  9. Evan Bigley

  10. Michael Gonzales

  11. Chris Parmelee

  12. Jason Pridie

  13. Juan Sanchez

  14. Luke Hughes

  15. Daniel Valencia

  16. Matthew Macri

  17. Rene Tosoni

  18. Dustin Martin

  19. Steven Tolleson

  20. Daniel Berg

  21. Wilson Ramos

  22. Jeff Christy

  23. Steven Singleton

  24. Brock Peterson

  25. Brian Dinkelman

  26. Trevor Plouffe

  27. Jose Morales

  28. Erik Lis

  29. Whitney Robbins

  30. Drew Butera



I have Angel Morales listed higher than most people out there, but he did perform better and is younger than fellow outfielders Revere and Hicks. Jairo Perez is probably a surprise to most people, but most people do not pay much attention to the Dominican Summer League (check the pitching list for more ranting about that fact).

So here you have it. This is the official tenth inning stretch Twins' 2009 batting prospect list.

If you want more information on these any many more of the Twins' prospects, go, run, refresh your browser and buy Seth Stohs' Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook – 2009; the best prospect handbook ever written for Twins' Prospects. Alternatively (not really, just go buy one now), be the first person to answer the current contest question correctly and get one.

Some food for thought:

Alcides Escobar has been mentioned by many as a can't miss infield prospect for the Brewers, a player who can push JJ Hardy to third base or even outside the Brewers' organization.

Here is a comparison:

Alcides Escobar:

2008 Southern League (AA): .328/.363/.434 (.797 OPS) .971 FP.

Steven Tolleson:

2008 Eastern League (AA): .300/.382/.466 (.848 OPS) .982 FP (2B), .930 FP (SS)

Should the Twins be thinking of Tolleson's major league potential in similar terms?

11/19/08

Where have you gone Aaron Heilman? (And a contest and a plug)

One of the biggest disappointments last season for the New York Mets was Aaron Heilman. Aaron was one of the greatest college pitchers in his time and the Mets used a first round draft pick for him. In his first 3 years he was mainly used as a starter and has a one hitter complete game in his books. He finished 2007 as the Mets' primary set up man with 3.03 ERA and 1.070 WHIP. Last season he took a huge step back performing at a 5.21 ERA and 1.592 WHIP rate. He definitely is expendable by the Mets and is arbitration eligible. Is he someone that the Twins should consider for their pen?

His biggest problem last year was that, even though he increased his K/9 to a very good 9.47, his K/BB dropped to 1.74. Scouting reports show that his fastball velocity increased to an average of 93.3 mph and was his out pitch, but his change up velocity also increased to 84 mph, making it a less ineffective pitch. In his effective 2007 Heilman threw 62% fastballs, 37.5% changeups and 0.5% sliders. In his ineffective 2008, Heilman developped an unexpected love with his not that effective slider (as an off-spead pitch), throwing it 15% of the time and decreasing his changeup rate to 24%. His changeup has location problems and this was the main reason for the decreased use. Is Heilman "fixable"? Until I looked at the pictures below, I had my questions:

2007:


2008:


Now I don't. I think that there is a good probability for improvement of his change up and becoming a great set up reliever again.

Any guesses why I think that?

The person who would be the first to guess the answer correctly and completely, would receive a copy of Seth Stohs' Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook – 2009. the best Twins Prospect handbook ever written. And if you do not win, make sure you order one. The price is right and no Twins' fan should be left without it.

I'll close the contest a week from today. And here is a hint: It is not the fact that his BABIP was .326, which is way too high and will certainly go down next year.

EDIT 12/1/2008:

Contest closed. And it was probably more esoteric and hard that I thought... It's all in the grip. In 2007 he was throwing a circle change and for some reason in 2008 he changed (pun not intended) to a three-finger change grip. Also notice that in his 3-finger grip, the index and middle finger are gripping the ball on the seams (like a sinker) instead of gripping across the seams (like a 4-seamer fastball), which is the proper grip for a 3-finger change up.

Not to worry, I ordered five copies of Seth's book and will give 4 of them away in monthly contests before the season starts