2017 Twins Off-Season top 60 Prospect List: 21-25

You can find the introductory segment in this series, including my criteria for eligibility to be a prospect and the list of the 2016 top 40 players who graduated as prospects or are not in the system, here.    Here is my 2016 Twins off-season top 40 prospects list (summary of 1-40) for reference.

This is the countdown for players ranked 51-55th in the system. You can find players 56-60 here, players 51-55 here, 46-50 here, 41-45 here, 36-40 here, 31-35 here, 26-30 here and all segments in the series here.

25. Jake Reed (16)
DOB: 9/29/1992; Age: 24
Positions: RHP
Bats: R, Throws: R
Height: 6'2", Weight: 190 lbs
Acquired:  Drafted in the 5th round in 2014
Professional Experience: 3; Highest level: AAA (2016)
ETA: 2017

Jake Reed was drafted by the Twins in the 5th round of the 2014 draft from the University of Oregon as a Junior.  The Tuscon, AZ native was a starter both of his first collegiate seasons and was converted to a closer in his junior season where he excelled pitching in 31 games (37 IP), striking out 34 (8.3 K/9), walking 15 (3.7 BB/9) finishing with 1.95 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and 13 saves.  He continued the season in Elizabethton where he over-matched the opposition (4 G, 6 IP, 8 K, 0 BB, 1 H, 0 R, 3 SV) to a degree that the Twins moved him all the way to A level Cedar Rapids where he appeared in 16 games, pitching 25 innings with 31 K (11.2 K/9, 34.4 K%), 3 BB (1.1 BB/9, 31.1 K-BB%), for a 0.36 ERA, 1.48 FIP, 0.52 WHIP (.182 BABIP), and 5 saves.  Were that not enough, the Twins send him to the Arizona Fall League his first professional season, where among family and friends he pitched in 10 games for another 12-2/3 innings with good results also (10 K, 7.1 K/9, 20.0 K%, 3 BB, 2.1 BB/9, 14 K-BB%, 2.05 ERA, 1.43 FIP, 1.03 WHIP, .270 BABIP.  So between all of his stops from Oregon to Tennessee to Iowa and to Arizona, in 2014 Reed pitched 61 games and 80-2/3 innings, a load that seems appropriate for a major league level reliever, but hardly for a first year professional, but Reed responded.  His strikeouts were down and walks up in Arizona, but that was more than expected from a pitcher who was overused by they usually cautious Twins.  In 2015 the Twins had Reed skip the high A Fort Myers and play all the way up to AA Chattanooga in his second season as a pro after a first season that was overused with the expected results:  Reed tanked.  He appeared in 35 games, pitching 47 innings, striking out 39 (7.5 K/9, 17.6%) and walking (career high 4.0 BB/9, and career low 8.1 K-BB% ), with a 6.32 ERA (inflated by a very low 50.1 LOB%), 4.20 FIP, 1.62 WHIP (.340 BABIP). To salvage his season in the begining of August Reed was sent to Fort Myers where we pitched better, finding his control, but not his strikeouts (9 G, 12-1/3 IP, 7 K, 5.1 K/9, 16.3 K%, 1 BB, 0.7 BB/9, 13.9 K-BB%, 0.00 ERA, 2.27 FIP, 0.73 WHIP, .229 BABIP).  To add to the 44 games and 59-1/3 innings, the Twins re-sent him to the AFL after the season where the appeared in 10 more games for a total of 10-2/3 innings (season totals 54 games, 70 innings), pitching well (10 K, 8.4 K/9, 25.6 K%, 4 BB, 3.4 BB/9, 15.4 K-BB%, 0.00 ERA, 2.83 FIP, 0.94 WHIP, .240 BABIP).  He again started last season in Chattanooga, with better results  (41 G, 60 IP, 64 K, 9.6 K/9, 25.6 K%, 22 BB, 3.3 BB/9, 16.8 K-BB%, 3.90 ERA, 3.02 FIP, 1.22 WHIP, .314 BABIP).  He moved to Rochester for the final 9 games of the season doing well (9 G, 10-2/3 IP, 8 K, 6.7 K/9, 19.1 K%, 2 BB, 1.7 BB/9, 14.3 K-BB%, 3.90 ERA, 3.02 FIP, 0.94 WHIP, .258 BABIP.) For the season Reed pitched in 50 games for 70-2/3 innings.

Overused his first season and rushed both his first two seasons, Reed turned from an elite reliever to a below average to an above average reliever who has been a workhorse in the pen, already carrying MLB-level loads and more, each of his first professional seasons.  He has a plus fastball that sits from 93-95, an above average slider that flashes plus, and an average to above average change up.  Reed has a problem with left hand hitters (.256 OBA in Chattanooga in 2016) which might limit him to a 7th inning reliever.  The dilemma the Twins have is that with rushing him and not allowing him to develop an effective pitch against lefties, like a changeup, they have been grooming him for that role.  They can potentially slow him down, allowing him to develop that third pitch, and solve his wildness problems, to potentially be a set-up type of pitcher.

Likely 2017 path: Depends on the Twins' plans: either AA to develop a third pitch, or AAA with a potential call to the majors, depending on performance and needs.

24. Akil Baddoo (--)
DOB: 8/16/1992; Age: 18
Positions: OF
Bats: L, Throws: L
Height: 5'11", Weight: 185 lbs
Acquired:  Drafted in the 2nd round in 2016
Professional Experience: 1; Highest level: Rookie/GCL (2016)
ETA: 2020+

Akil Baddoo was drafted by the Twins in the 2nd round of the 2016 draft from Salem (GA) High School.  Baddoo did not turn 18 until after his first professional season at GLC.  He had a very hard time making the transition to a wooden bat (.178/.299/.271, 36 K for 28.3 K%, and 18 BB in 128 PA.)  He flashed speed both on the bases 8/9 SB, 2 triples and on the field where he is fast as a centerfielder, but needs to learn taking better routes to the ball.  He has a quick bat and soft hands.  Baddoo is a project.  But he is a potential 5 tool player, thus his ranking.  He is still growing but has a good frame, so power both with the bat and throwing could very well come.

Likely 2017 path:  Extended Spring Training and then repeating GCL

23. Felix Jorge (20)
DOB: 1/2/1994; Age: 23
Positions: RHP
Bats: R, Throws: R
Height: 6'2", Weight: 170 lbs
Acquired:   International Free Agent signing 2011
Professional Experience: 6; Highest level: AA (2016)
ETA: 2018

Felix Jorge was signed by the Twins as an international free agent from the Dominican Republic on February 21, 2011.  The Santiago native received an $250,000 bonus and was assigned to the Dominican Summer League the following summer.  He has been moving along the Twins organization, about a step a season, until 2014 where he had major issues in Cedar Rapids and had to return in Elizabetheton.  He started 2015 again in Cedar Rapids and was the Kernels' best pitcher, pitching 23 games (22 GS) a team tops 142 IP, had 32 BB (2.03 BB/9, 14.6 K-BB%) and 114 Ks (7.3 K/9 and 20.3% K,) for a 2.79 ERA, 3.54 FIP, and 1.056 WHIP (2.67 BABIP).  Last season he started in the Miracle rotation where he has the best results of his career: 14 GS, 93 IP, 77 K (7.5 K/9, 21.6 K%), 11 BB (1.1 BB/9, 18.5 K-BB%), 1.55 ERA, 2.50 FIP, 0.94 WHIP, .280 BABIP.   He moved to AA Chatanooga in July and fell a bit flat, especially as far as strikeouts go: 11 GS, 74-1/3 IP, 32 K (3.8 K/9, 10.7 K%), 12 BB (1.5 BB/9, 6.7 K-BB%), 4.12 ERA, 4.21 FIP, 1.28 WHIP, .307 BABIP.  Jorge's effectiveness has decreased in the second half both of last season, which might indicate that his decline in AA might have been the result of low endurance, in addition to facing better competition.

Jorge came in the organization as a 16 year old with a rare 3 above average pitch mix.   He has a low 90s fastball that maxes at 93 with good downward movement, which the hitters have a hard time picking up.  Above average slurvy curveball and change up.  He commands all three pitches well, has good control and he mixes pitches well.  One might see his 2016 results in Fort Myers and think that Jorge had a break-through season, but his biggest issue surfaced again: endurance. He does have mid-rotation potential, but time will tell whether he will have the endurance to be in a major league rotation or the pen.

Likely 2017 path:  In the Chattanooga rotation

22. LaMonte Wade (31)
DOB: 1/1/1994; Age: 23
Positions: OF
Bats: L, Throws: L
Height: 6'1", Weight: 189 lbs
Acquired:  Drafted in the 9th round in 2015
Professional Experience: 2; Highest level: A+ (2016)
ETA: 2018

LaMonte Wade was drafted by the Twins in the 9th round of the 2015 draft from the University of Maryland as a Junior.  The Baltimore native  hit .335/.453/.468 in his Junior season with 30 walks and 20 strikeouts in 42 games (158 AB).  He continued to his first pro season in Elizabethton, where he hit .312/.432/.506 in 64 games (284 PAs) with 8 doubles, 5 triples, 8 HRs, 12/13 SBs, 46 BB and 34 K.  He played 4 more games in Cedar Rapids.  He started 2016 in Cedar Rapids where he hit  .280/.410/.396, walking 44 times and striking out 27.  He also had 4 HRs, 3 3B and was 5/8 in SB in 56 games.  He was promoted to A+ Fort Myers in June after was was named a starting outfielder in the  2016 Midwest League All-Star game.  There he improved hitting .318/.386/.518 in 32 games (110 ABs) despite losing most of August in the disabled list.

Quick wrists, excellent eye, decent power and speed, very good Centerfield play and hitting and throwing as a lefty have had some people drawing Denard Span comparisons.  However the truth of the matter is that Span has less power, speed, and strike zone judgement than Wade  and has never had a season like Wade's 2015 or 2016.  It will be interesting to see how Wade's hitting will stand against better and better  competition, but he has a very high ceiling.  With Buxton, Granite, and English ahead of him at the majors, AAA, and AA, Wade might potentially move to a corner spot, but his defense is as good as any of the three.  There has been some discussion on moving him to second base; however throwing left-handed might put an end to that thought.

Likely 2017 path:  Will start the season as the starting Centerfielder for Fort Myers.

21. Justin Haley (--)
DOB: 6/16/1994; Age: 25
Positions: RHP
Bats: R, Throws: R
Height: 6'5", Weight: 230 lbs
Acquired:  Rule 5 draft, 2016
Professional Experience: 5; Highest level: AAA (2016)
ETA: 2017

Justin Haley was selected by the Twins in the 2016 Rule 5 draft from the Boston Red Sox who drafted him in the 6th round of the 2012 draft from Fresno State University as a Junior.  The Sacramento native pitched in 22 games (12 starts) for 93-1/3 innings, striking out 94 (9.1 K/9) and walking 39 (3.8 BB/9) with a 7-4 record, 3.18 ERA and 1.45 WHIP.  He started his professional career at short season A New York Penn League Lowell's rotation, and has been moving steadily in the Red Sox' organization reaching AA Portland in late July of 2014, spending a disappointing season there in 2015 (27 GS, 130-1/3 IP, 95 K, 6.9 K/9, 17.2  K%, 50 BB, 3.6 BB/9, 8.1 K-BB%, 5.15 ERA, 3.83 FIP, 1.55 WHIP, .343 BABIP), and beginning last season.  Last season he was very much improved (12 GS, 61-1/3 IP, 59 K, 8.7 K/9, 24.1  K%, 19 BB, 2.8 BB/9, 16.3 K-BB%, 2.20 ERA, 2.67 FIP, 1.11 WHIP, .293 BABIP).  He was promoted to AAA Pawtucket in June where he continued pitching well with a slight drop in strikeouts (14 GS, 85-1/3 IP, 67 K, 7.1 K/9,  19.8 K%, 26 BB, 2.7 BB/9, 12.1 K-BB%, 3.59 ERA, 3.80 FIP, 1.13 WHIP, .264 BABIP).  After the season was over he started 5 games in the Winter Dominican League, pitching 23-2/3 innings with 14 K, 4 BB, 0.68 WHIP and 0.38 ERA.

Haley is a polished pitcher with a big body and a lot of endurance; he has a mix of 4 pitches.  His fastball is above average at 90-92 and has touched 95 with good downward movement, average command, and occasional control issues. Average to above average changeup at 80-82 mph, above average slider that occasionally flashes plus and a slow 12-6 curve that he uses very sporadically and is a work in progress.  He has bottom of the rotation potential; however his stuff might play better in the pen and become a late inning reliever.

Likely 2017 path:  Will start the season in the Twins' pen.

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