2016 Twins off-season top 40 prospects list: 26-30

You can find the introductory segment in this series, including my criteria for eligibility to be a prospect and the list of the 2015 top 40 players who graduated as prospects or are not in the system, here.    Here is my 2015 Twins off-season top 40 prospects list (summary of 1-40) for reference.

This is the third countdown segment of the 2016 off-season Top 40 Twins'  prospect.  You can find players 36-40 here and players 31-35 here .

30. Taylor Rogers (--)
DOB: 12/17/1990; Age: 25
Bats: L, Throws: L
Height: 6'3", Weight: 200 lbs
Acquired: 11th Round Draft Pick 2012
Professional Experience: 4; Highest level: AAA (2015)

The Colorado native was selected by the Twins in the 11th Round of the 2012 draft from Kentucky University.  Taylor has a Twin brother, Tyler, who is in the Giants' system (drafted in 2013) and interestingly is right-handed.  To complicate matters, the Giants had a Taylor Rogers pitching in the organization from 2009-2013.  Genetics and homonymy aside, Rogers is an interesting enough pitcher to make this list for the first time. On first sight he is a "solid" middle of the rotation minor leaguer who can keep his team in the game.  His 2015 pitching line with Rochester was: 28 games, 174 IP, 44 BB, 126 K (7.6 K/9; 17.2 K%), 3.98 ERA, 3.21 FIP. Players like this are usually not prospects, especially when they are 25 years old.  There are three things about Rogers that elevate him this season:  
  • Between Rochester and the Arizona Fall League Rogers pitched 199 Innings in 2015.  This is the most innings pitched by anyone in the Twins' organization at any level last season (Kyle Gibson was second with 194.7) .Rogers did not have a performance drop-off, actually pitching better in September (in both AAA and AFL) than he did in July and August. 
  • His stuff and endurance are better that the guy who projects as the number 5 pitcher in the Twins' rotation, Tommy Milone who has never pitched that many innings in a season and last time he reached 190 IP was 4 seasons ago.  This should count for something 
  • And most important: Left-handed hitters, might as well sit down when he is pitching.   He has always been great against LHBs, but his 2015 AAA numbers against lefties are out of the charts:  57 IP, 5 BB, 55 K, .177 OBA, 0.68 WHIP, 1.42 ERA, 2.09 GO:FO  These numbers have LH set up man all over them.  
His Fastball is his best pitch and sits at 91-93 mph. Has an average slider and changeup as well. A move in the pen might help him increase his velocity and if one of his secondary pitches improves there is a lot of potential here.  Dark horse for being the LH set up man the Twins were supposed to acquire from outside the organization this off-season.

Likely 2016 path:  Since he was added to the 40-man roster to be protected from this season's Rule 5 draft.  Can potentially make the Twins' pen out of Spring Training or be held in reserve at Rochester, if the numbers are not in his favor.  Likely a September call up at worst case scenario.

ETA: 2016

29. Brandon Peterson (27)
DOB: 9/23/1991; Age: 24
Positions: RHP
Bats: R, Throws: R
Height: 6'1", Weight: 190 lbs
Acquired: 13th Round Draft Pick 2013
Professional Experience: 3; Highest level: AA (2015)

Brandon Peterson is a Minnesotan from Savage, who was drafted in the 13rd round of the 2013 draft from Wichita State University.  With a fastball that sits at 95 mph and a slider that is a hair below a plus pitch, Peterson has been able to move up the Twins' organizational ladder in leaps and bounds, striking out the competition and being the closer at each level he pitched.  Until he reached AA as a promotion from Fort Myers at the middle of this season, where he landed to Earth.  In 20 games he pitched 29.3 innings, walking 13 and striking out 33 (10.1 K/9, and 25.4 K%) with a 1.47 WHIP (.354 BABIP) and 3.38 ERA (2.93 FIP.)  In contrast, earlier in the season in A+ he pitched 21 games (31.7 IP), walking 15 and striking out 44 (12.5 K/9 and 36.1% K%) with a 0.92 WHIP (.222 BABIP) and 0.85 ERA (1.81 FIP.)  He held his opponents to a .131 average in Fort Myers and .259 in Chattanooga. It might be that he needs to adjust his approach to be successful against better competition rather than his stuff not playing against better competition.  But the jury is still out and this reason, in addition to the fact that the Twins' system is loaded with RHRPs, is part of the reason that Peterson dropped 2 spots this year compared to last.

Likely 2016 path:  Sharing closer duties in AA, a promotion to AAA is probably depending his success and promotions to the MLB bullpen of AAA pitchers allowing him a path there.

ETA: 2017

28. Brusdar Graterol (--)
DOB: 8/26/1998; Age: 17
Positions: RHP
Bats: R, Throws: R
Height: 6'1", Weight: 180 lbs
Acquired:  International Free Agent 8/27/2014
Professional Experience: 1; Highest level: Rookie/DSL (2015)

I want not untrue when I said that the number 40 prospect, Emmanuel Morel, is a great candidate for being a sleeper prospect who comes out of nowhere and becomes the darling of mainstream media, but this is even more true for Venezuelan, Brusdal Graterol who just turned 17 and has been placed in the Fast Track by the Twins.  Graterol signed for a moderate $150,000 bonus in 2014 just as turned 16 and pitched his age 16 season next summer in the Dominican Republic.  An what he did was opened some eyes wide open after just 4 starts with those numbers:  11 IP, 12 H, 1 BB, 17 K, 2.45 ERA (1.19 FIP), 1.18 WHIP (.444 BABIP).  How wide did those eyes open?  After his first 17 days as a pro, Graterol, who also wins the title of the Twins' prospect with the best name now that Will Hurt is outside the organization, was on a plane to Fort Myers to get acclimated to life in the US and learn English.  I have not seen Graterol pitch, but those numbers for a 16 year old (3 years younger than average DSL age) are extremely impressive.  

Likely 2016 path:  In the Instructional leagues to begin the season and the GCL rotation in June

ETA: 2020+

27. Huascar Ynoa (--)
DOB: 5/28/1998; Age: 17
Positions: RHP
Bats: R, Throws: R
Height: 6'3", Weight: 175 lbs
Acquired:   International Free Agent 7/2/2014
Professional Experience: 1; Highest level: Rookie/DSL (2015)

The Twins signed Huascar Ynoa to an $800,000 bonus on July 2 of 2014 and had his first professional season in DSL the past season as a starter.  He started 14 games (56.7 IP) walked 30 (4.7 BB/9) and struck out 47 (7.5 K/9 and 19.2% K%) with a 2.70 ERA (3.84 FIP) and 1.29 WHIP (.258 BABIP).  Like his 7 year older and 5 inch taller brother Michael, who at some point was the baseball number 20 prospect according to baseball prospectus and now is in the White Sox' organization, consistency is the biggest issue with Huascar Ynoa.  He has 3 pitches (fastball, curve, slider) which all flash above average to potentially plus, but he does not throw them consistently, thus the walks.  He does have a good feel for all his pitches, which suggests that mechanics might be an issue here that can be correctable.  Additional data pointing out to a mechanics issue are his numbers in full wind up when pitching with nobody on:  20.7 IP, 26 H, 24 BB, 15 K for a 2.42 WHIP.  Subtract those from his totals and his numbers when pitching from the stretch position end up like this: 36 IP, 17 H, 6 BB (1.5 BB/9) , 32 K (8 K/9) and 0.639 WHIP, which are absolutely impressive under any and all circumstances.  This, and not genetics, is the reason that Ynoa is ranked that high in my prospects list, and his numbers on full delivery is the reason he is ranked that low.

Likely 2016 path:  Extended Spring Training and move to the GCL rotation in June

ETA: 2020

26. Lachlan Wells (--)
DOB: 2/27/1997; Age: 18
Positions: LHP
Bats: L, Throws: L
Height: 5'8", Weight: 163 lbs
Acquired:   International Free Agent 8/14/2014
Professional Experience: 1; Highest level: Rookie/GSL (2015)

The Twins signed the diminutive Australian as an International Free Agent in August of 2014 and made his debut in the Gulf Coast League in 2015.   He played in 10 games (9 GS) and pitched 47.3 innings, walking 11 (2.1 BB/9) and striking out 49 (9.3 K/9, 26.5% K%) for a 2.09 ERA (3.22 FIP) and 0.97 WHIP (.263 BABIP).  Size is a Concern with Wells, but he is just 18.  He throws an above average 92-93 mph fastball, a work in progress curveball and a changeup that is close to plus and is his out pitch.  So far his spits against lefties and righties are about similar with only one big difference:  He produces 5 times as many ground balls against lefties that he does against righties.  It could be the more frequent use of the changeup, but it is an interesting data point.  It is too early to tell whether the pen or the rotation is in Wells' future, but a plus changeup at 18 is nothing to scoff at.  We will know more as he develops in the Twins' organization.

Likely 2016 path: Extended Spring Training and likely in the Elizabethton rotation in June, depending on the 2016 Twins' draft.

ETA: 2020+


Dave Thompson said...

Interesting series Thyrlos -- thank you! My mind boggles at the thought of 17 year old pro baseball players. It sounds like Rogers might fill that gaping LHP hole in the Twins bullpen.

thrylos98 said...


Yeah there are few 17 year old pros in this list, which bodes well for the Twins I hope :)