2/2/18

2018 Twins Off-Season top 60 Prospect List: 46-50

This is the next segment in the 2018 Twins top 60 prospect list.  You can find the introductory segment that discusses qualifications to be on this list and presents the players who were on the 2017 list but are not in this list here.  You can find the list of the previous rankings here:  56-60, 55-51.  You can find all segments in this series here.

Here are players 46-50 in reverse order with their 2017 ranking in parenthesis. Players no in the 2017 top 60 list are indicated by (--)

50. Colton Burns (--)
DOB: 10/19/1995; Age: 22
Positions: OF
Bats: L, Throws: R
Height: 6'2", Weight: 195 lbs
Acquired: Drafted in the 18th round in 2017
Professional Experience: 1; Highest level: GCL (2017)
ETA: 2021

Colton Burns was drafted by the Twins in the 18th round of the 2017 draft as a Junior from the University of California Santa Barbara.  The Palmdale, CA native transferred there from the JuCo College of the Canyons.  As a junior he played the OF and filled in at second base because of injuries.  He hit .308/.422/.389 with 9/57 extra base hits and 5/10 SB.  His first season as a pro was at the GCL where he hit .282/.423/.385, .393 wOBA, 138 wRC+, and had 16.3 BB% and 23.5 K% and was 8/11 in SB.

Burns is very raw but has a true 70 speed and excellent plate discipline.  He had some issues with contract his first time around with wooden bat, but this will be a matter of adjustment.  He projects as a left fielder or centerfielder in the future.  He is a player with tools similar to current Twins' OF Zack Granite.

Likely 2018 Path: Extended Spring Training and then Elizabethton.

 49. Hector Lujan (--) 
DOB: 8/23/1994; Age: 23
Positions: RHP
Bats: R, Throws: R
Height: 6'3", Weight: 220 lbs
Acquired: Drafted in the 35th round in 2015
Professional Experience: 3; Highest level: A+ (2016)
ETA: 2020


Hector Lujan was drafted by the Twins in the 35th round of the 2015 draft from Westmont College as a junior.  The Corona, CA native went to University of California Santa Barbara as a freshman and sophomore but decided to transfer to get more opportunities to pitch.  In his Junior year he pitched 23 innings in 20 games out of the pen with a 4.30 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 9.8 K/9 and 5.9 BB/9.  A mechanical change in the pros reduced the walks (2.5/9 at GCL in 2015 and 2.6/9 in Elizabethton in 2016), but previously to last season, he was fairly ineffective:  in 2015 at GCL he pitched in 15 games (18 IP) with 16 K (8 K/9, 20.8 K%), 5 BB (2.5 BB/9, 14.3 K-BB%), with a 5.00 ERA, 2.70 FIP and 1.39 WHIP.  In 2016 he appeared in 19 games with Elizabethton pitching for 35-1/3 innings and had 30 K (7.6 K/9, 18.8 K%), 10 BB (2.6 BB/9, 12.5 K-BB) and a 5.35 ERA, 4.99 FIP and 1.39 WHIP.  That season he pitched a game for the Miracle (1 IP, 1 ER, 1 HR, 1 K).  Last season a different Hector showed up in Cedar Rapids and dominated as the closer for most of the season.  He appeared in 42 games (54 IP), stuck out 54 (9 K/9, 26.5 K%) walked only 8 (1.3 BB/9, 22.5 K%) and finished with 1.33 ERA, 2.79 FIP and 0.91 WHIP (.277 BABIP).

Two things happened for Lujan that helped those results:  His fastball gained a couple of ticks to 96-97 mph and he learn how to command and control it better.  It has a lot of movement and it is a plus pitch at this point.  Add a hard slider with plus flashes but solidly at above average and an average to above average changeup and Lujan might be on the fast track if he starts producing at higher levels.

Likely 2018 Path: Closer at the Fort Myers Miracle.

 48. Kerby Camacho (--) C, 2021
DOB: 11/23/1997; Age: 20
Positions: C
Bats: S, Throws: R
Height: 5'10", Weight: 175 lbs
Acquired: Drafted in the 11th round in 2015
Professional Experience: 3; Highest level: GCL (2015, 2017)
ETA: 2023

The Twins drafted the Arecibo, PR native in the 11th round of the 2015 draft from the Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy.  His first professional season in the DSL was disappointing (.093/.169/.167, .176 wOBA, 9 wRC+.  He lost all of his second season to a 60 day suspension testing positive for the anabolic steroid Nandrolone.  He return to the GCL in 2017 where he was much improved: .246/.378/.328 slash line with a  .349 wOBA and a 111 wRC+ in 74 PA.

He projects to stay at Catcher where he is pretty good with the glove cutting down 29% of the would be base stealers. He is good at calling games and pretty sure-handed as a backstop making no errors last season.  He is a switch hitting catcher, which is not a small feat by itself.  Still pretty raw and still question marks, and not only because he is another steroid strike away from major consequences on his development, but he is one to keep your eye on.

Likely 2018 Path: Catching at Elizabethton.

47. Tom Hackimer (--) RHP
DOB: 6/28/1994; Age: 20
Positions: RHP
Bats: R, Throws: R
Height: 5'11", Weight: 190 lbs
Acquired: Drafted in the 4th round in 2016
Professional Experience: 2; Highest level: A+ (2017)
ETA: 2019

The New Hyde Park, NY Native was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 4th round of the 2016 draft from St. John's University as a Senior.  He was a Physics majors with a 3.62 GPA and decided to go back to finish after being drafted by the Mets as a Junior.  In his senior year at the Big East conference he pitched in 28 games (53-2/3 IP) striking out 71 (11.9 K/9) and walking 19 (3.2 BB/9).  He finished with 8 saves, 1.17 ERA and 0.800 WHIP.  As a pro that season (2016) he was assigned to Cedar Rapids where he pitched in 21 games (26-1/3 IP), struck out 26 (8.9 K/9, 22.8 K%), walked 12 (4.1 BB/9, 12.3 K-BB%) and hit 7 batters.  He  had a 2.39 ERA, 4.16 FIP and 1.25 BABIP.  He repeated Cedar Rapids to start the 2017 season, pitching 16 games (24 IP), striking out 28 (10.5 K/9, 30.8 K%), walking 3 (1.1 BB/9, 27.5 K-BB%) and hitting 4 batters.  His ERA was 1.50, FIP 2.04 and WHIP 0.58 (.196 BABIP).  He moved up to Fort Myers where he pitched in 27 games (37-1/3 IP) stuck out 43 (10.4 K/9), walked 19 () and hit 7 batters.  He finished with a 1.93 ERA, 3.10 FIP, and 1.02 WHIP (.221 BABIP).  He followed with an appearance in the Arizona Fall League where he pitched 11-2/3 innings in 10 games with 7.7 K/9, 5.4 BB/9, 2.31 ERA and 1.29 WHIP.

Hackimer did not allow a HR this season.  He allowed 1 at Cedar Rapids in 2016 and none in 4 NCAA seasons.  He is an extreme ground ball pitcher, allowing 2-4 as many time ground balls as fly balls.  He is a submarine pitcher with a fastball that runs 89-92 and moves a lot (thus the walks and HBPs) and has a good Frisbee slider.  Control will make or break Hackimer, but he is fast tracked to the majors.

Likely 2018 Path: In the Fort Myers' pen with a move to Chattanooga mid-season.

46. Andrew Vasquez (52) LHP, 2019  
DOB: 9/14/1994; Age: 24
Positions: LHP
Bats: S, Throws: L
Height: 6'6", Weight: 228 lbs
Acquired: Drafted in the 32nd round in 2015
Professional Experience: 3; Highest level: A+ (2017)
ETA: 2019

Andrew Vasquez was drafted by the Twins in the 32nd round of the 2015 draft from Westmont College where he transferred as a senior from University of California Santa Barbara where he pitched his first 3 collegiate seasons.  The California native was Highly recruited out of High School after finishing 5-1 with 1.54 ERA and 67 strikeouts in 52-1/3 IP and being a switch hitting first baseman.  His freshman season he started 15 games (88-2/3 IP) had 106 strikeouts (10.6 K/9) and 63 BB (6.4 BB/9) with a 1.93 ERA and 1.36 WHIP.  The next 2 seasons the wheels fell off and his ERA ballooned to mid 4s, before dropping to 3.06 after his transfer.  The problem?  Andrew Vasquez is an unusual pitcher.  One has to think of him as a knuckleballer, but unlike a knuckleballer, Vasquez bread and butter pitch is his curveball that he throws most of the time.  And it is a beautiful slow curveball that sits at the high 60s low 70s, which most of the time is a plus plus pitch that misses bats and induces very weak contact when it does.  He occasionally throws a mid 80s fastball that was just a step above a playground pitch at college but improving.  Missing bats is what Vasquez does, but when he misses the plate with his curveball and the hitters are sitting on his fastball, the results have been disastrous.  All of his collegiate career he was given more walks than hits. His strikeout numbers (13.1 K/9) and hits (4.8 hits per 9 innings) have been stellar his senior year, but walks were the problem (5.7 BB/9).  In his first pro-season with the Twins, Vasquez transitioned to the pen in the Gulf Coast League where the trent continued.  He pitched 12-1/3 innings in 12 games, striking out 22 (16.1 K/9) allowing 10 hits (7.3 H/9) but walking 15 (11 BB/9).  He started 2016 in extended spring training and looks like something clicked for Vasquez.  He moved to Elizabethton for 4 games, pitched 10 innings striking out 15 (13.5 K/9, 38.5 K%) allowing 6 hits (5.4 H/9) and walking only 4 hitters (3.6 BB/9, 28.2 K-BB%) ending up with an 0.90 ERA,  2.46 FIP, and 1.00 WHIP (.333 BABIP.)  He was promoted to Cedar Rapids where the success continued: He came of the pen in 13 games for 28-1/3 innings, with 36 K (11.4 K/9, 31.6% K%), 12 BB (3.8 BB/9, 21.1 K-BB%) and 13 H (4.1 H/9) translating into a 1.59 ERA, 2.63 FIP and 0.88 WHIP (.210 BABIP).   He begun last season at Cedar Rapids for 14 games (22-1/3 IP), striking out 33 (13.30 K/9, 36.7 K%) and walking 10 (4.0 BB/9, 25.6 K-BB%), with an 1.61 ERA, 2.02 FIP and 1.12 WHIP (.326 BABIP).  He moved up to Fort Myers, pitching in 23 games for 35-2/3 inning, striking out 52 (13.1 K/9, 34.4 K%) and walking 11 (2.8 BB/9, 27.2 K-BB%.) He finished with and 1.51 ERA, 1.82 FIP and 1.21 WHIP (.390 BABIP.)  He moved on to the Arizona Fall Leauge where he pitched in 11 Games, 12-2/3 IP, 1.38 ERA, 9.7 K/9, 3.6 BB/9 and 1.11 WHIP.

It has to be mentioned that Vasquez has not allowed a home run as a pro player.  As mentioned earlier, even though a secondary pitch, his 88-90 mph fastball has improved this season and he has been also toying with a slurve that sits at high 70s to low 80s and has improved to above average.  He is lethal against LHBs. He is a very interesting prospect who will live and die with the control and command of his curveball and if that holds up in higher levels, he might be a fast riser.  The benefit he has as a reliever that he did not have as a starter is that he can reduce his exposure when his command and control is not there.

Likely 2018 Path: In the Fort Myers' pen with a move to Chattanooga mid-season; aggressively, could start the season in AA.

Next: 41-45

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